I have been re-working this text and image work I made late last year in a sound/image piece. Last Resort To Forgotten Fun was part of a series of works called ‘Stories From Time-locked Space’, which we included in our first publication, published earlier this year.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/248603349″>Last Resort To Forgotten Fun (Stories From Time-locked Space)</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user60125733″>John Ledger</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
This meeting saw Ben, myself and John gathering in the Costa Coffee within Blackwell’s bookshop near the University of Leeds. This was a rapid meeting on the fly and it occurred in three parts, later that week in Sheffield between Bek and John and then with Dave. The first section of the discussion, in Leeds, resulted in a brisk walk in the ever increasingly cold weather! This walk became journey down the hill towards the inner ring road and Woodhouse car park. The ultra functional 1960’s brutalism of this, highly specific, section of Leeds is the result of a convergence point. This convergence of city centre, to what used to be terrace housing, with the addition of an ever increasing university architectural splurge. Its a borderland and John discussed its nodal properties and ‘uncanny’ nature after dark.
Main Conversation points.
-Ben’s moments of clarity, Ben was thinking about recording and ‘mapping’ different languages and speech-acts through composed scores. This would be performative, we will think about what space and place would be most suitable. Ben then came up with ‘Half the conversation is going of in my head’! the idea of disconnection of language to thought that happens and how the systems seem to be exaggerating this disconnect.
-We talked about the very real movements towards Post-humanism regarding Sophia and Facebook/Google AI. The un-restrained race to embrace what could be a risk to our humanity but equally is possibly its only hope against ecological disaster.
-The problem of language and consciousness.
– We agreed that January would be excellent for both the mental health strike and the canal walk.
Mental Health is what we all have in common
Meet up with Bek, try to explain why I’m late, trying to get out an incredibly busy train station (Sheffield station has really small walkover), only attached with xmas song ear-wasps in the foyer. Bek talks about how angry her bus journey seemed.
I talk about how difficult it is to critique xmas. Bek says how people only pick up on certain words when you bring up discontents revolving around it, which results in them either calling you a ‘scrooge’, or actually joining in as if all it was was festive grumble-along.
When, in fact, you see so much unnecessary stress around this period, what you really want to communicate is that THIS ISN’T WORKING FOR THE GOOD OF US. And I guess this sense of health and general well-being is what starts the conversation off.
I’m meeting my friends for drinks in Manchester later and stress I’m in no real rush, because I can’t really do day-drinking any more. Bek Says she only had 3 pints last night, but yet feels quite ill. She said she had to stay at her friends and sleep on the ….”ceiling?”, I interjected for some reason. Giving us this idea that Lionel Richie may no longer be dancing, but he’s still on the ceiling….and he’s not coming down!
The rest of the talk is on the audio file ‘mental health is what we all have in common’….
These recordings are part of the same conversation just in different places at different times. These parts are between Dave, Bek and John Ledger.
This meeting consisted of member Dave Hooppell, John Ledger, Rebekah Whitlem and myself. The main focus of this meeting was to consolidate the meta-mapping thematic which had taken hold on the collective. We agreed to form a series of events/happenings/ exhibitions over an unspecified length of time. This would be as organic as possible without putting false time limits upon everything.
John mentioned that he and Ben would be compiling the videos and documentation from Baildon into an ‘afterlife’ installation for the Saltaire Arts Trail. The concept would be that ‘nobody’ turned up to visit the show because of its geographical problematics. This video would perhaps put a close to that part of the project.
Bek positioned some thoughts stemming from her recent enrolment on an MA Arts and Cultural Management in Sheffield. Looking at projects of ‘gentrification’ wrapped up in ‘the social good’. Bek is proposing a mock heritage trail of the city which highlights all the failed prestige projects which have just created a set of ‘nowhere’ and ‘anywhere’ places which are increasing the state of alienation which we are experiencing in late capitalism.
I am currently working on a mapping project of collectives working in Leeds. It is tied into my reseach for my phd along with these notes and posts from our meetings. I am linking them to plotted meeting on Google My Maps and hopefully open street maps for the project.
We decided collectively to plan a canal walk which part of the data gathering for Dave’s mapping idea. The parameters could possibly be the LS postcode and could take on other cities and villages along the Leeds-Liverpool canal.
It was a brisk November evening as, John Ledger, myself, Dave Hooppell and Ben Parker arrived to enter into discussion about the direction of The Retro Bar at the End of the Universe collective. We gathered with our beverages onto the rear fare end table of the pub in order to not disturb the other customers. There were several elephants in the room (so to speak) to discuss as events had transpired within global discourse in the preceding weeks. The Harvey Weinstein scandal had broken and Brexit was yet again reaching new levels of absurdity. The government’s position looked increasingly precarious and Boris Johnson had made a monumental mistake in diplomatic relations over the journalist Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
-We discussed the overall meta-project of ‘The Map’ which we had collectively decided to begin.
-We discussed the scarcity model collapsing and the emergence of populist politics.
-What would happen when the Queen eventually passes away?
-The languages of the now are incredibly dynamic and they are exceeding the structures with which we have in place to govern. This friction is coursing the immense upheaval we see in the western world with the crisis of capital.
Here is an extended edit from the discussion, installation photographs taken from The Baildon intervention. Click here
…Is where working with a collective, side by side with people/friends better at understanding statistics and spotting mathematical inaccuracies, and knowing which places already possess such data, can help me bring to fruition some of these mapping ideas I have.
Another early bird for the forthcoming projects…. but, surely, it’s onto something…?
The Retro Bar at the End of the Universe is in the process of creating an exciting project loosely revolving around the concept of maps, as a central theme to engage more directly in looking at a what sort of values we feel a future world should be founded upon, in reflection of the undisputable current political and cultural crises.
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on the visual style of my maps of the everyday. Here are 3 maps from the coldest week of the year so far.
These are works that are building towards a larger project, that if it sticks to it’s course, will be named ‘A Revolt Against our Ghosting’ to argue that the current (faltering) ideological reality de-centres and marginalises us all (to massively varying degrees) through processes that make the space we occupy seem beyond our comprehension, creating anxieties and encouraging privatised living. This project is part of a wider collective project, that will become more clear and present within these blogs in coming months.
It was last year sometime on a trip to Manchester that John brought up the notion that older tech had a strange flattening effect when you zoomed in. An almost digital rendering of time and space, and or a metaphor for the ‘flattening’ or ‘smoothness’ within which the cognitive capitalist realism erodes a sense its own horizon. John’s words have inspired me to carry on this project within RBATEOTU. Here is my curated selection.
These images are places and artworks or are they simply images and compositions.