ARCHWAY > KINGS CROSS
THE PARA-SITE COLLABORATIVE PROJECT >>>
In short I hated this project, but it has been a learning experience that I will definitely remember in future, AS HOW NOT TO ORGANISE A GROUP PROJECT. ESSENTIALLY OUR PROJECT WAS GOING TO BE LOOKING AT HOLLOWAY PRISON IN BETWEEN ARCHWAY AND KINGS CROSS. WHEN NONE OF US COULD AGREE WE COMPLETELY SWITCHED TACT AND FACETIOUSLY WENT ON A JOURNEY BETWEEN ARCHWAY AND KINGS CROSS, EXCEPT IT WAS THE LONG WAY ROUND. Based on the game exquisite corpses, WE WERE GOING TO GO THROUGH ALL THE CONTINENTS AND MAKE THE JOURNEY AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. IT WOULD BE THE NEGATIVE SPACE OF THE ORIGINAL WALK WE TOOK EARLIER IN THE TERM, AND NOT REALLY BE SITE-SPECIFIC AT ALL. EACH PERSON WOULD BROADLY HAVE A CONTINENT, AND WE ORGANISED MEETING POINTS WHERE THE BATON WOULD BE HANDED FROM ONE PERSON TO THE NEXT. I WAS WAITING AT THE PANAMA CANAL FOR JEAN-BAPTISTE, AND I WOULD TRAVEL DOWN SOUTH AMERICA TO BUENOS AIRES, WHERE I WOULD MEET SLOSI. WITHIN IN THE CONSTRAINTS OF OUR SECTION OF THE JOURNEY, WE COULD DO WHATEVER WE WANTED. THERE WAS AN APPROXIMATE FRAMEWORK AND WE WORKED WITHIN THIS. THE SUCCESS OF SUCH A STRATEGY IS IN QUESTION.
I have no energy to rehash all the same excruciating points so here is all my documentation in its full and occasionally sweary glory. Click through twice to make it more readable:
ARM DRAWING >>>
I had already begun working on the holloway prison idea, planning on creating a series of identities of prisoners inside. the last time i created an identity, it was of a charismatic cult leader, i drew all over my arm of his visions. i thought this would be a good starting point for creating new identities. when the prison idea fell through i continued drawing.
Taken from my diary:
"I reappropriated the arm drawing, using it instead as a means of "accummulating" ideas and thoughts. We slowly gather and lose personal memories and experiences, and in a similar way the ink rubs off or is washed away and new layers are drawn on top. This time the drawings were more focused than with the Appian series, relating more precisely with my journey from the Panama Canal to Buenos Aires tying in with my walk across the Darian Gap or the river boat along the Amazon towards Manaus. That being said other things did slip in, dream sequences and ominous imagery: people standing on the water's surface slowly drifting backwards on a slow moving current, before becoming tangled in the roots of a fallen tree. They never complain, and the tree swallows them up and grows around them, encasing and imuring them in dark wooden coffins." (6.191-193)
Taken from my diary:
"I wasn't sure how to display the work... I could wash the ink off and use it as a near translucent wash on my section of the paper. This would work conceptually but you would have nothing to look at. It would just be very faint grey water. Thinking about it, I am using the very same pen to draw on my arm as I write this diary with. Why not create a metaphorical diary, a series of experiences and memories somehow percolated and stored in a distilled form. Scrubbing it off in water I could then boil it down and kep it in a jar or vial, maybe display it on a shelf or hang it from a nail. The journey would be recorded like everyone else's journeys but it would be unreadable - if you went on a journey the ways to pass on information about that trip would be stories, photos, videos, momentos, souvenirs. But none of these allow other people to experience what you experienced; only you know that; only you can relive these moments in your head." (6.194)
COLLABORATING WAS A NIGHTMARE >>>
SEE ABOVE DIARY DOCUMENTATION.
the whole exquisite corpse schtick meant we stuck with the idea of the a big roll of paper. this was flawed i think. we couldn't work well together; our pieces didn't connect. basically the whole collaborative/site-specific aspects of this project didn't come through. everything is in the diary.
Left to right: Georgia (Hong Kong > Novgorod); Anna (Novgorod > Kings Cross); Chiyuki (Mombasa > Hong Kong via Marshall Islands); Slosi (Buenos Aires > Mombasa); Jean-Baptiste (Archway > The Panama Canal)
ACCUMULATED MEMORIES >>>
I knew exactly what recepticle to hold the washed off ink in. When I was 8 or 9, I was given a Victorian ink well by the old guy who owned the off licence next to my primary school. He liked to call himself "The Tabacconist", he had crusty finger nails and occasionally tabs of snuff on his nose. He said he found it in his garden. I've never used it before and the off licence has since been bought by Nisa Local and the man doesn't work there anymore. It's a beautiful object, and has all the connotations of writing and the potential of future ideas.