Vestigial Traits and Evolutionary Spandrels

KELDER is pleased to present Vestigial Traits and Evolutionary Spandrels, a solo project by Matthew Verdon bringing together a body of new works that expand on his research into circulatory systems and hybridity functioning within an ecological framework. By placing disparate disciplines, histories and practices on a collision course, Verdon attempts to reveal their inter-connectedness through the application of various methodologies.

Transforming the basement into a laboratory cum storage facility, the installation remains fluid whilst tests are performed, and outcomes are uncertain. Vast amounts of financial data is processed, manipulated and fed into an alternative system which sits at the centre of the project. Reminiscent of a subterranean factory, the hydroponic farm generates produce for the duration of the project with its success, or failure directly linked to the shareprice of the three biggest cloud storage services – Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Another storage device form a different time is sculpted from cannabis seeds; the tulipiere becomes the manifestation of two disparate crops during two different periods in history; both disrupting markets and the source of huge investment and even greater speculation. Will one become a repeat of the other?

Through his research driven practice, London based artists Matthew Verdon, attempts to address complex ecological theories around circulatory systems and its’  relation to global markets. Often experimental and time based, Verdon’s  work manifests itself as installations consisting of various sculptural elements. He graduated in 2014 with an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London. Recent exhibitions include ‘Rencontres Internationales’, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2018); ‘Formed into a soft mass’, Foundation, Vienna (2018); ‘Rencontres Internationales’, Le Carreau du Temple, Paris (2018); ‘Per-vert’, Avalanche, London (2017); ‘Building Your Partner Ecosystem: Who Are Your Potential Ecosystem Partners?’ Serf, Leeds (2017)


KELDER invited Rebecca Jagoe to respond to Matthew Verdon’s  project, Vestigial Traits and Evolutionary Spandrels.  Taking the form of a performative reading, Jagoe offered a personal account of circulatory systems, pharmaceuticals and the body.

For the performance, Jagoe used their historic abuse of laxatives to consider both the dynamic of personal participation in a global hydro-commons, and the use of plant-derived materials in contemporary Western medicine as a form of salvage accumulation. Looking at oedema (fluid retention) and dehydration associated with overuse of sennosides (derived from Cassia), the performance discussed their ways of attempting to parse their body of liquid as a refusal of watery embodiment that parallels both the impossible aim of closed systems of production, and a humanist, individualistic yearning for discreteness and isolation. The response to Verdon’s work forms part of a wider body of research into the opacity and unknowability of bodily systems, and the medicinal use of plants as a vector into the body.

The performance will start at 19.00 and entry is free. We have very limited space and ask that you please reserve your space via email to