Justin Hopper • Class web resources: • www.jackdawshivers.com • www.justin-hopper.com • Contact me: • firstname.lastname@example.org • @oldweirdalbion (twitter)
Today. • Introduce ourselves. • Course Aims. • Establish a framework. • Define a few terms. • Create an idea sketch. • Look deeply at four artworks.
Justin Hopper • Our resources: • www.jackdawshivers.com • www.justin-hopper.com • Contact me: • email@example.com • @oldweirdalbion (twitter)
Course Aims. • Scale to a higher vantage point from which we can achieve a wider view.
Course Aims. • Scale to a higher vantage point from which we can achieve a wider view. • Watch for reflections; listen for echoes.
Course Aims. • Scale to a higher vantage point from which we can achieve a wider view. • Watch for reflections; listen for echoes. • Draw our own maps.
Framework. Patrick Keiller informs us, quoting his own film London: “[The] Thameside region proved to be the site for a succession of artists and designers… to make ‘the first attempts to transform the world by looking at the landscape.’”
Framework. • How might such a project operate? • How can we look at the landscape in a way that frees us? In a way that transforms our world and ourselves?
Framework. • We live in a strange moment. • For 10,000 years, everything we knew was determined by place – by the location in which we lived. • For 10,000 years, we became more intimately associated with place.
Framework. • A new dualistic view? • Over the past 250 years transportation and communications technology have radically changed that attachment to place. • “The City”, “The Countryside”, “The Crowd”, “The Landscape” – inventions.
Framework. • Mapping: More than ever before, we know where we are. • Maps changed from narrative and speculative, to scientific, to self-centred. • Today’s maps = present-tense, prosaic, sanctioned.
Psychogeography. • Artists and writers have long sought to address this imbalance. • Psychogeography seeks to address a world mapped as present-tense, self-centred, sanctioned, and prosaic. • Psychogeography’s lens is anachronistic, polyphonic, unsanctioned, and poetic. It is, in part, the art of tangential looking.
“I know you think of Kansas as Nowheresville and think I am caught up in nostalgia. Really it is the other way around. The whole concept of place is dead and it’s nostalgia to cling to it. … All this prattle … about me being an urban person – neither of them hit on the important fact about urban living: the continual stream of second attention awareness. Every license plate, street sign, passing strangers, are saying something to you.” – William S. Burroughs, private letter.
“Walking is the best way to explore and exploit the city; the changes, shifts, breaks in the cloud helmet, movement of light on water. Drifting purposefully is the recommended mode, tramping asphalted earth in alert reverie, allowing the fiction of an underlying pattern to reveal itself. To the no-bullshit materialist this sounds suspiciously like fin-de-siècle decadence, a poetic of entropy — but the born-again flâneur is a stubborn creature, less interested in texture and fabric, eavesdropping on philosophical conversation pieces, than in noticing everything. … As with alchemy, it's never the result that matters; it's the time spent on the process, the discipline of repetition. Enlightened boredom.” – Iain Sinclair, “Lights Out for the Territory”
“Graffiti could, I hoped, be read like a tidemark. In the course of our walk we'd find precisely where the "Freedom" of DursanKaratas gave way to the "Innocence" of George Davis — OK.” – Iain Sinclair, “Lights Out for the Territory”
“Perhaps the best way to think of The South Country, in fact, is as a dream-map – by which I mean an act of imaginative cartography, a chart of longing and loss projected onto actual terrain. Thomas knew, I think, that this was what he had written. ‘In a sense this country is all carved out of the carver’s brain, and has not a name’, he observes early in the book. ‘This is not the South Country which measures about 200 miles from east to west and 50 from north to south. In some ways it is incomparably larger than any country that was ever mapped, since upon nothing less than the infinite can the spirit disport itself.’“ - Robert Macfarlane, intro to Edward Thomas’ “The South Country”
Oh, and these last two things. • Anthropocene. • 1750-today. • Climate change. • Artistic response. • Haunting. • Unseen yet active presence. • Landscape, Memory, Myth.