Last night I had been filming Bob and Roberta Smith reading from his journals at Tate Britain and decided to walk along Millbank to Westminster to get the tube home. As I reached College Green, outside the the Houses of Parliament I came across the encampment of news crews still trying to untangle the mess of the General Election. It was 8.30pm, and there were only a few teams still broadcasting.
The was a strange feeling of tranquility hanging in the Westminster air, it was all very calm and quiet. Inside nearby rooms men, educated at the most expensive private schools in the country were working out who was going to be in charge. Earlier Bob and Roberta Smith had shown the audience at Tate a postcard from his recent show called ‘I Should Be In Charge’ – his painting of this declaration is on display in the windows of the Hayward Gallery just over the river from Westminster. Bob would make a brilliant Prime Minister
I contemplated whether I should get my camera out and film, and it was then that I recalled the scene in Patrick Keiller’s brilliant film, London, shot on the day after the election of the Conservation government in 1992. I have none of Keiller’s finesse nor a 16mm Bolex but felt I had had a duty to run off a couple of minutes of tape as an homage to Keiller’s opus.
Over to Wanstead Flats for a walk in the last hour or two of daylight as I have been doing semi-regularly since late Spring, but have neglected of late. There were large pools of water, yet to soak down through the gravel and tertiary clays, gathering round the rushes, marsh grasses and varieties of vetch. Rooks peck the ground looking for grubs. My father recently quoted me something he’d read in his youth, “a rook on its own is a crow”. The parliament of rooks was in full session out on the Flats today.
Through the bare trees where in summer we sheltered from the blistering sun. The moon is high over Aldersbrook whilst the setting sun drops into the Lea. Spring-fed Alexandra Lake is splattered black and white with Geese and Gulls; in the frozen shade Coots slide across the ice. I plod back through the rising mist towards the High Road and home.
Deep Topographer Nick Papadimitriou reads in a field near Mill Hill for a reading of the Resonance fm show Tunnel Vision. Shot on a Sony Ericsson phone
Listen to Tunnel Vision on www.resonancefm.com 104.4fm
Short clip from the Q&A that I did with Nick Papadimitriou, subject of the documentary – recorded at Housmans Bookshop, Kings Cross, London following a screening of the film.
The London Perambulator looks at the city we deny and the future city that awaits us. Leading London writers and cultural commentators Will Self, Iain Sinclair and Russell Brand explore the importance of the liminal spaces at the city’s fringe, it’s Edgelands, through the work of enigmatic and downright eccentric writer and researcher Nick Papadimitriou – a man whose life is dedicated to exploring and archiving areas beyond the permitted territories of the high street, the retail park, the suburban walkways.
For more information go to http://londonperambulator.wordpress.com
On the Passage of a few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International 1956-1972
Thought I’d share this insightful vid about the Situationist International
Sat in The Heathcote last night reading David Boote’s excellent series of leaflets on the Leyton Loop made me think about the walk that I did through Leyton to the West End via Kings Cross in June 2007. I posted a blog about it at the time.
Enthused, I came home from the pub, dug out the miniDV tape and quickly edited together this vid. It’s always difficult to capture the experience of walking in any form – literature seems to have managed it best. Here I tried to film as instinctively as possible as if scribbling in a notebook.
The Heathcote btw was shut tonight due to a gas leak – was it something I did? Not quite sure what I’ll do if it stays shut for a while. Maybe get round to writing up some notes I’ve got on walking that I’d like to share.