Deep Topography in Leytonstone

More Deep Topographical musings from Nick Papadimitriou recorded and provoked by the National Psychogeographic Film Unit on a walk on the eastern fringe of London through Leytonstone and Wanstead.
After watching our first film, Beyond Stonebridge Park, Iain Sinclair screened an extract at the Royal College of Art alongside clips of films by Chris Petit, Andrew Kotting and Patrick Keiller – company we were pretty chuffed and flattered to be in. He then spoke about Nick and the film when doing an ‘In Conversation’ with Will Self at Tate Britain in October 2006:
“The cinema of John Rogers and Nick is like a combination of…. the physicality of Kotting with the Deep Topography of Keiller.”
Thanks for that Iain.

I am working on a fuller length film with/about Nick and his ‘Deep Topography’. The clip above is a kind of study or sketch, experimenting with a different form to the earlier more spontaneous pieces.

In this episode Nick muses on the “time arc of technology”, how the military are the ultimate “super tramps” and most likely read a bit of Richard Jefferies whilst on exercises, and the wonder of the wood ant.

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In Praise of Middlesex County Council

The Deep Topographer Nick Papadimitriou has just relaunched his website Middlesex County Council. It’s a brilliant piece of work. An honouring of the county “utilising prose and poetry, photographs and local history lore. ” Anyone who has seen my films of Nick will be familiar with his unique vision of that area of London only sometimes referred to by its proper name.
The films by the way are: A Blakean Vision, Deep Topography with Nick Papadimitriou, Beyond Psychogeography, From Dan Dare to Pornography

The River Run pages represent a detailed study of the rivers of the borough and are an essential read. I have for two years now always had a bundles of dog-eared beer-stained copies of some of Nick’s writing in my bag. The pages can be downloaded as PDFs so that others can too share this privilege.

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Beyond Stonebridge Park pts. 2 & 3

The final two installments of ‘Beyond Stonebridge Park’ have been uploaded to Google Video and YouTube

This is the film that Iain Sinclair described as “grunge Keiller” and has been screened here and there apparently. Catch Deep Topographer extraordinaire Nick Papadimitriou riifing brilliantly on the Phenomenology of the Stockbroker Belt, the pig-iron universe of WWI, the progression from Dan Dare to Pornography via a skip in Cricklewood Lane and loads more.

‘Journeys Beyond the Western Sector’ is now available from Crockatt & Powell’s Booksellers on Lower Marsh SE1, behind Waterloo Station. They have an interest in matters psychogeographical and sell an array of books and pamphlets such as the intriguing ‘One Eye Grey’. Nice fellas too. My old mate Ivor Dembina even did a stand-up set there the other night (Ivor was the saint who made sure that my first ever stand-up comedy gig was Saturday night at The Hampstead Comedy Club on the same bill as Time Vine – it was downhill from there featuring painful stop-offs at places such as the Feral Comedy Night at the Bridge Hotel, Sydney).

Ah, Sunflower!

To the Renoir to see Iain Sinclair and Robert Klinkert’s 1967 film ‘Ah Sunflower!’. The film is semi-legendary, an important part of the Sinclair narrative. He’s written of how the cash he received from the German TV company WDR paid for his Hackney house. The story of the filming became Sinclair’s first (self) publication ‘The Kodak Mantra Diaries’.

The Renoir is sold-out, midday Sunday. I see Iain in the foyer, and we briefly talk about my film of Nick Papadimitriou, ‘Beyond Stonebridge Park’, that he has kindly screened excerpts of at ‘City of Disappearances’ events. I foist a copy of my Wycombe book, DVD and DHPS newsletters upon him. When I point out the Nodules of Energy reference that I took from his ‘conversation’ with Will Self at St Luke’s in 2004, he seems amused by the application of this formula to High Wycombe rather than Bunhill Fields.

He’s enthusiastic about the gathering, the numbers, the energy enlivening the corporate monocultural concrete of the newly de-generated Brunswick Centre. We should stage another Congress of the Dialectics of Liberation, at the Roundhouse, 40 years after the original, open up the secret London, an all-nighter, Iain says. It seems plausible, it seems like the right moment, the backdrop being Iraq rather than Vietnam, Blair for Wilson.

Sinclair introduces the short film selection as “what some people might call ‘Deep Topography” – a term outlined by Nick in our film. He adds the definition that it’s a “going back into the City and looking at it in a kind of structuralist way.”

Ah, Sunflower!, exceeds expectations, the casual camerawork, the capturing of Allen Ginsberg in full flow delivering mantras and propositions of a kind of psycho-politics that seems ripe for realisation.

Iain’s 1972 film ‘Maggid Street’ gets a rare outing, a surreal Brakhage-inspired gothic tale, a minor masterpiece. Sinclair has hours more of unscreened 8mm footage waiting to be unleashed, Bolex diaries of Hackney’s transformation in the 70’s.

There’s talk of re-staging the event somewhere, in one of the Curzons. If you don’t make it, the DVD is available from The Picture Press (mailto:info@thepicturepress.co.uk. Beat Scene has also republished ‘The Kodak Mantra Diaries’ (I think Dolly Head Books has one of the ultra-rare originals).

Iain Sinclair will also be at the NFT on Feburary 27th interviewing Andrew Kotting after a screening of Kotting’s new film ‘Offshore (Gallivant)’ – book early if today’s anything to go by.

Iain Sinclair has written about the experience of making the film on the Guardian’s arts blog

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