Monday, 7 September 2009

WRITING MYSELF OUT OF MY OWN SCRIPT


Once, neurones cross-wired by lysergic acid, I came to the startling conclusion that life is a series of people coming and going: people enter, people leave, people return.  Revelatory, I know: drugs have a habit of imbuing that which is entirely banal with mystical significance, and we can excuse this embarrassing episode, especially as I was struggling to differentiate between “dry” and “wet” at the time. Nevertheless, my sentimental side wants me to remember this fact, as I begin to write again I am reminded that where once I went, now I have returned.

But for why? I am back merely to share- once again- the romance of concrete. Gliding ecstatic through the east end yesterday, and now ensconced in bed, shutting out the foxes and beggars and creeping cold, head swimming with grey-green dreams, buddleja sprouting from cracks in the masonry. The city turns and shows me another side. Keeps turning, keeps revealing another facet. I will die still thirsty, still hungry, still crying for more, enraptured by fantasies of being utterly assimilated by this wicked mistress. The moon, the moon- something beautiful and yet annihilating. Doe-rabbits buried in threatened warrens, bellies full of proto-rodents, absorbed their young back into the womb-wall because there is nothing with which to feed them. Nothing is wasted, only reproduced. Bright eyes, burning like fire. Turn around. Every now and then…

Death, death, death. I don’t want to die. I am happy to say that. I am happy and smiling and glad to be alive. But we will die. We are flesh and bone and everything is transitory. There is no me to be swallowed by the city that spat me out, the city never spat in the first place and the city never existed. What is real is concrete. When I die I want my body cast in the support beam of a pedestrian bridge. Maybe across the river. Not like an east end villain (Jack the Hat McVitie)?. There will be a place where they say I was buried. Some broad column stoically bearing  share of the load. And my myth will be not what I did or said or who I was, but whether I am really there at all:

“He paid a fortune to be buried there, but the council couldn't grant a licence. Something to do with consecrated ground. Public hygiene. Health and safety. They burned his body and poured his ashes into the composter.”

Then someone will shrug and talk about something else, clip-clop above my rotting corpse, skin on face and peeling lips to reveal a semi-permanent grin.


A line in the landscape, joining up he dots, an indistinct lineage, the frayed ends of the thread, tapestry bayou crocodile clip joint account. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

BA L-ARCH ENVT 0022 Landscape and Garden Designh Precedents

A post for CLD and BA LArch students:

I've been trying to find out more information about next week's block course as I do not think a venue was listed on the handout. Andy (Dallamore) got hold of this information for me- I am very grateful!

From what I have gathered it is a lecture-based theory course (pens and notepaper not sketchbooks and pencils? Or both?). For those of you who did not get a handout details are printed below. I'm assuming information abpout the boat trip will be provided closer to the date. Anyway:

The block course commences this Monday (19th May)

10.00am

QUEENE ANNE COURT MARITIME GREENWICH

HOWE LECTURE THEATRE QA 080

Timetable:

MON: 1000-1130 ALAN POWERS
1200-1300 ALAN POWERS
1400-1530 ROBERT HOLDEN
1600-1700 ROBERT HOLDEN

TUE: 1000-1300 TOM TURNER
1400-1700 TOM TURNER

WED TEN HOUR BOAT TRIP (!) with Robert (!!)

THU 1000-1300 Painshill tour and picnic with RH
1430-1700 More lectures

FRI 1000-1700 Seminars with Alan Powers

Apparently CLD students had to prepare something for the first day but I'd check with someone about that. As far as I know, BA students just need to turn up (no change there then).

BE nice to see Alan Powers before a more supportive crowd. We had him for Cultural Context in the first semester and he expended masses of energy trying to get the surveying and architecture undergraduates to stay quiet. He's quite the authority on Garden History and Architecture, apparently. Also writes a lot of books...

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Meta-Landscapes

A quick post, to be expanded later... just noting this down whilst fresh in my head!

Having spent all day on the internet, pretty much re-organising, consolidating and ammending all the blos and social network sites I used, something ocurred. We describe the internet and all connected with the digital exchange of information as "cyberspace", and web content is displayed on "sites". The vocabulary is very much spatial, and we can quite easly picture the world wide web as a rich and varied landscape covered with interconnected communities and developments.

Like towns and cities in the real world, these towns and cities experience variations in fortune: they expand and contract, their populations (represented by subscribers and other contributors) fluctuate. However, as I browsed myspace i was struck by the number of abandoned profiles and inactive users. Many people seem to have moved on to other sites (in much as the same way as BEbo now appears to be occupied exclusively by Spanish twelve year olds). Are their parallels with the movement of workers and the decimation of communities when industries die? What are the consequences of these abandoned sites in the digital landscape?

I'm going to think about it for a little while. I'd like to point out that you can read some poetry and fiction of mine at the following website (ironically, on myspace):

http://www.myspace.com/youssefifscapulet

Promise to put up that lecture/ debate review shortly!

Friday, 10 April 2009

SGLA Blogging

Long periods of inactivity chequer my life... this one is now unchequered. Just consolidating all my online platforms at present, hoping to utilise this blogspot for record of LArch projects and broader thoughts on space and culture... I'll leave my naive opinions concerning global security out of it!

Anyway, shortly going to blog recent lecture John Whybrow and I attended at The Barbican in connection with Le Corbusier exhibition, but until then please enjoy the SGLA blog on myspace (it's the first proper entry for about a year!)

http://tinyurl.com/dgh4gn

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