The Arts Catalyst

The Arts Catalyst
5th Floor, Isis House,
67-69 Southwark Street
Greater London




020 7633 0435

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
The Arts Catalyst logo

The Arts Catalyst commissions contemporary art that experimentally and critically engages with science. We produce provocative, playful, risk-taking artists' projects to spark dynamic conversations about our changing world.

Venue Type:

Artist studio or collective, Campaign or initiative

Opening hours

Not a public venue, we hold exhibitions and events at partner venues in London and across the UK

Admission charges


Collection details

Fine Art, Science and Technology

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
SEFT-1 road-rail vehicle with Mexican mountain Citlaltépetl in the background

SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe - Modern Ruins 1:220

  • 21 June — 27 July 2014 *on now

The Arts Catalyst & Furtherfield present

Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene
SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe
Modern Ruins 1:220

Furtherfield Gallery, Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ, UK
20 June–27 July 2014 (Private View Friday 20 June, 6-8pm)

Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11am-6pm |

Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene (Los Ferronautas) built their striking silver road-rail SEFT-1 vehicle to explore the abandoned passenger railways of Mexico and Ecuador, capturing their journeys in videos, photographs and collected objects.

In their first London exhibition, SEFT-1 Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe - Modern Ruins 1:220, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and presented in partnership with Furtherfield in their gallery space in the heart of Finsbury Park, the artists explore how the ideology of progress is imprinted onto historic landscapes and reflect on the two poles of the social experience of technology - use and obsolescence.

Between 2006 and 2011, the artists travelled across Mexico and Ecuador in the SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada or Manned Railway Exploration Probe). In a transdisciplinary art project, they set out to explore disused railways as a starting point for reflection and research, recording the landscapes and infrastructure around and between cities. Interviewing people they met, often from communities isolated by Mexico’s passenger railway closures, they shared their findings online,, where audiences could track the probe’s trajectory, view maps and images and listen to interviews.

The artists’ journeys led them to the notion of modern ruins: places and systems left behind quite recently, not because they weren’t functional, but for a range of political and economical reasons. In the second half of the 19th century, the Mexican government partnered with British companies to built the railway line that would connect Mexico City with the Atlantic Ocean – and beyond to Europe. This iconic railway infrastructure now lies in ruins, much of it abandoned due to the privatisation of the railway system in 1995, when many passenger trains were withdrawn, lines cut off and communities isolated.

For this new exhibition, the artists are inviting British expert model railway constructors to collaborate by creating scale reproductions of specific Mexican railway ruins exactly as they are now. One gallery becomes a space for the process of model ruin construction. The room’s walls will show the pictures, documents, plans and other materials used as reference for the meticulously elaborated ruin construction. With this action a dystopian time tunnel is created.

The SEFT-1 exploration probe will be on display next to the gallery 20–22 June, 11–13 July, 18–20 July and 25–27 July 2014.

Saturday 21 June 2pm – gallery tour with the artists, free
Saturday 21 June 3–5pm – A de-industrialised estate, talk with Dr Malcolm Miles and discussion with the artists at Furtherfield Commons, a short walk across the park from the gallery (limited capacity £5, online booking here)
Saturday 12 July 11.30am–1.30pm – drop in to the gallery and meet model railway maker extraordinaire Neville Reid and artist Andrés Padilla Domene, free
Saturday 12 July 2–4pm – Death Collapsing Into Life a guided walk along Parkland abandoned railway with landscape architect, urbanist and writer Tim Waterman (limited capacity £5 and up to two children under 15 free, online booking here)
Saturday 19 July 10am–12.30pm – Create your own Railway Exploration Vehicle family workshop for children 7-12 years led by Codasign (limited capacity, £30 one child £50 two children, plus one accompanying parent, online booking here)
Saturday 19 July 2–5pm – Code your own Retro Game with Python a beginners workshop for young people aged 13-17 to learn coding (limited capacity, £36 please bring a laptop with you, online booking here)

Presented in partnership with Furtherfield
With support from Embassy of Mexico, Arts Council England, Central de Maquetas

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 0-4
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • Any age


Furtherfield Gallery, Finsbury Park, London (N4 2NQ)
Finsbury Park
N4 2NQ

Getting there

Centre of Finsbury Park, near the playground