THEY PAINTED THE MOUNTAINS WHITE
Very few people knew that the world we lived in was an algorithm... which probably meant that we were algorithms too. We were one of them. We had the ability to travel in the confluence of time and space, which allowed us to witness how our world was constantly regenerated to facilitate our â€˜continuityâ€™. We enjoyed witnessing and capturing these moments of random beauty. In this way we were dedicated tourists, meticulously surveying the world under construction.
While the resources used and losses incurred by ancient civilizations in constructing their testaments to authority may now seem too distant to be judged, such overarching ambition is met in our time with justifiable interrogation â€“ unless our monuments to industry have a demonstrable economic rationale. Is the answer now to withdraw from bold statements and structures or is there still appetite and desire for grand cultural incursions into the environment and if so, how do we approach this in a moment of environmental crisis? â€“ JM
MY MISSION IS TO SPARK JOY IN THE WORLD THROUGH TIDYING
6 Tidying Up fever is gripping the nation again this year with building campaigners pulling out all the stops to pull in the most votes in the hit BBC TWO series. Presented by Marie Kondo, Tidying Up is the series that gives viewers the chance to be free of one of 21 historic buildings at risk in the UK. Local campaigning kicked off following a Tidying Up launch programme broadcast on 8 May and even The Archers have got in on the act with Linda Snell starting a campaign to Tidy Up The Cat and Fiddle pub. From 2,000 school children in Northern Ireland forming a ring around the walled city of Derry to highlight the plight of The Playhouse, through to dozens of MPs signing an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons in support of tidying up the Lion Salt Works, the series promises to be an antidote to a summer of sport. “I have been lucky enough as part of my job to visit all 21 buildings. I love my job,” enthuses Marie. “The process of discarding and organizing confronts your emotions about the past, as well as your fears about the future. Your stuff (things that bring you joy and things that don’t) will show you what you value most in life.” “There are some pretty crazy structures up for consideration this year from Salt Mills to Radar Stations. “Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder. There are some extravagantly messy places from aristocratic town houses to disused pumping stations. There are moving buildings from abandoned Medieval Archbishops Palaces to an Arts Centre in an old convent in Derry. I suspect that this series will be even more gripping than the last.” Tens of thousands of people from all over the country have been snapping up the campaign packs entitled ‘So
9 You Want To Say Goodbye To A Historic Building?’ - more than 35,000 have been distributed so far. The controller of BBC TWO, said today: “Tidying Up really captured the imagination of the nation last year and it’s great to have it back in the heart of the schedule on BBC TWO this summer. “It brought communities together in a way that was unprecedented for television, as they campaigned to loose local buildings featured in the programme. “This series gives viewers another opportunity to be actively involved in making a difference to the future of Britain’s heritage.” At the end of each programme, viewers are asked: “Does it spark joy?” and to cast their vote, for the building they want to loose. Kondo will announce the winner of each heat in the following programme from Hampton Court Palace where the series will culminate with a major, live event and a nationwide vote to decide which building people most want to see thrown away. “By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things we have, and your life, in order,” says Kondo, further remarking “Storage experts are hoarders.” In a new twist to last year’s series, which was won by the Victoria Baths in Manchester, the best runner-up from all seven programmes will get a second chance at winning by going forward to the final. The Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “Tidying Up has shown how much passion there is for our heritage and inspired people to help to give up some of the nation’s most resource draining buildings. The process of facing and selecting can be quite painful. It forces us to confront our imperfections and inadequacies and the foolish
10 choices we made in the past.” “Every year the English Heritage Buildings At Risk Register publicises the plight of the most labour intensive assets - Tidying Up has helped us focus public attention on what we all stand to continually lose if action is not taken. “It highlights some of the most interesting and unusual cases, explores the wider issues of why buildings fall into disrepair and raises awareness of how people can get involved before it’s too late.” The BBC fund will trigger grant aid from the lottery and national heritage bodies. The chief executive of English Heritage, said the series would help fill an estimated shortfall of £400m outgoings lost in the repair and upkeep of listed buildings. He said: “The cream of the nation’s inheritance is being squandered through unsustainable acts of cherishing. We welcome the BBC’s commitment to raising the profile of these issues.” A book published by English Heritage to coincide with the Tidying Up series - Tidying Up 2020 - will feature brief updates on all the buildings from the first series, as well as stories about the 21 new buildings with unique photography and will be available on general release from 28 June. Telephone voting viewers can vote during transmission by calling 09033 33 22 33. A minimum of 34p from every phone vote (calls charged at 50p) will go The Tidying Up Fund for the winning building that is approved by the Trustees. Calls to the Tidying Up Vote Line will cost 50p and a minimum of 34p will go directly to the Tidying Up Fund a charitable trust.
14 18th Aug at 1:10 PM My neighbour has built (badly IMO) an eye sore of a conservatory type structure. We are not adjoining neighbours & both have side entrances between our houses. The structure has been built around & has taken the width from the house & their side entrance resulting in the “eyesore” right up against our vista. It exceeds the height of the house by approx. 9ft. I’m thinking of planting bamboo to screen as grows quickly & high, but before I go ahead with this & the cost - I am wondering should I get in touch with the council. 18th Aug at 3:42 PM Grow the bamboo in a container and not in the ground. rats love it. if planted, it is not easy to remove and cuts fingers. 18th Aug 18, 5:39 PM There are a huge variety of bamboos - Ranging from diddy little ones that never grow to more than 1m high to the big !!!!!!s that can top 20m. A few pots of smallish bamboos would do the job, and if you want to smother the eyesore, plant a Russian vine in a single pot. Japanese arrowroot would have a similar effect, but with prettier flowers. 18th Aug, 4:51 PM It is possible that the structure is a temporary structure like a shed or gazebo from a planning perspective. Our neighbour had a similar structure for a few years, the roof was covered in corrugated plastic and it was ugly. they eventually took it down as it made the house too dark and now just have a beach shack structure for the barbeque & beer fridge. There isn’t really much to do about it, we just grew something to hide it. There is always going to be something about a neighbour’s taste that you dislike. I’d learn to live with it lest it chew you up.
HILL HOUSE IS ONE OF CHARLES AND MARGARET MACDONALD MACKINTOSHâ€™S MOST FAMOUS WORKS, PROBABLY SECOND ONLY TO THE NOW DESTROYED GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART
WELL, THE MAIN PROBLEM IS THAT THE BUILDING LOOKS BEAUTIFUL BUT IT LETS WATER IN, THE WIND AND RAIN BLOWS AGAINST THE BUILDING AND THE RAIN GETS IN THROUGH THE CONCRETE
IT EFFECTIVELY GETS TRAPPED BETWEEN THAT AND THE SANDSTONE THE BUILDING IS MADE FROM. THAT, VERY SLOWLY, CAUSES THE BUILDING TO ROT
WHAT IN THE NAME OF BLOODY HELL!? COME AND LOOK AT WHAT THEYâ€™VE DONE NOW!
Land art from the 1960s drew directly from the scale, geometric forms, geological and celestial orientations and impactful physical locations of the ancient monuments and markers they referenced. In their desire to similarly mark the planet earth, which had been revealed only very recently in image form from space, few of these projects held preservation or sustainability as a principle of production. Over time, however, many such sites have come to play a role in determining the development of the land around the work as viewsheds and access are valued and maintained. Beyond the preservation of these works, how do we view the potential of an environmental scale of cultural incursion in the contemporary moment? Is there room only for critique, ephemerality and aesthetics or can we envision a way forward for such bold gestures? â€“ JM
IN THE DESERT 100 MILES NORTHEAST OF LOS ANGELES IS A SUBURB ABANDONED IN ADVANCE OF ITSELFâ€”THE UNFINISHED EXTENSION OF A PLACE CALLED CALIFORNIA CITY. VISIBLE FROM ABOVE NOW ARE A SERIES OF BADLY PAVED STREETS CARVED INTO THE DUST AND GRAVEL...
THE NAZCA LINES CREATED BETWEEN 500 BC AND 500 AD, FORMED BY DEPRESSIONS OR SHALLOW INCISIONS MADE IN THE SOIL OF THE NAZCA DESERT IN SOUTHERN PERU
– Marcia Bjornerud, Timefulness (2019)
“Rockin’ records, Rockin’ records, Rock the record, Rockin’ records, The guy’s rock records [...] Check the guy’s rock record, He is not appreciated...” – The Fall, I Am Kurious Oranj (1988)
“Reconstructing Earth’s past from the raw rock record is truly one of humanities great intellectual achievements, but it’s under appreciated because it wasn’t done by a solitary genius, but instead built up incrementally by a cast of thousands over the last two centuries.”
The Performance White Room Conundrum (or how to preserve an experience to be relived on demand)
I went to see the Stray Cats in Paris in 1989 - Rock Paris gig - still to date the best concert Iâ€™ve ever seen. Bought the t-shirt and treasured my ticket. I kept collecting their records and have managed to see a few more of their gigs. From time to time I watch the recordings of that glorious show on Youtube and it still amazes me, and it is, no doubt, a recurrent memory/ talking point when I catch up with my old gang. Preservation Act 1 Accept the ephemeral character of the event and satisfy yourself with accessing available documentation. After seeing the 1989 Stray Cats, Rock Paris concert I knew that I had to have them. I made them an offer they could not refuse, a lifelong permanent contract to play every weekend in a Las Vegas venueâ€Ś and the rest is history. Just to say that 30 years on Brian Setzer and Co still rock Vegas every weekend. Preservation Act 2 Accept the ephemeral character of the performance, but ensure access to the performers through time. The performer moves through time and the content/ delivery evolves with it. 1989 Stray Cats Rock Paris concert was everything for me. Just a few minutes after it ended I knew I
39 needed to be able to relive it again and again and again. I purchased the venue and I made them an offer they could not refuse, a lifelong permanent contract to replay exactly the same gig every weekend. Just to say that 30 years on Brian Setzer and Co have undergone extensive plastic surgery a few times in order to maintain their physic as close to the original as possible. Also new sound technology has ensured that their voices still sound the same. Preservation Act 3 Do not accept the ephemeral character of the performance, but ensure reproduction closest to the original moment as far as possible. Performance and performers move through time unchanged. 1989 Stray Cats Rock Paris concert was everything for me. The atmosphere was ecstatic. Just a few minutes after it ended I knew I needed to be able to relive it in exactly the same manner again and again and again. I purchased the venue and I made them an offer they could not refuse, a lifelong permanent contract to replay exactly the same gig every weekend. I also ensured to contract all the public who attended that one gig so we could relive the moment just as it was. Preservation Act 4 Do not accept the ephemeral character of the performance, but ensure reproduction closest to the original moment as far as possible. Performance, performers and public move through time unchanged, freezing a section of time to be played in an unconstant loop over years to comeâ€Ś
"I heard the whispers from the past, and then I give a yell to the future". A facsimile of a Barbie doll carved in Marble. Designed to survive the 5000 year trip to an exhibition in the year 7012. By Tongtong Ren (2012).
Permanence is an illusion We’ve known this from the very first time we encountered death. And with this realisation we’ve been drawn to first find significance to our transient estate, understanding spacetime has been central to all our human activities. Music was probably our first tool to artificially control and measure time. Our transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers and industrialists has transformed our landscape and our culture. Every technological advancement that allowed us to cheat time further has had both its social and environmental costs. And we are left with the question: how did we get here? Dictionary Time Capsule a collection of goods and information
intended as means of communication with future people in relation to our moment in time. Time Machine a conceptual artifice that allows us to collate distant events within a new non-historical timeline. Mature having reached its full potential. Authentic of undisputed origin and not a copy, bragging of a direct link with the ‘creator’ - with passport. Antique belonging to ancient times. Antiques that which has experienced the stain of time but retains its charm. New the illusion of time 00:00 Permanent lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely. Ephemeral something that lasts for a very short time; transitory.
Antediluvian conceptually or materially ancient or back-
wards irrespectively of its origin in time. Ephermanent the permanent potential of the ephemeral to outlast the life of the generation it created it. Permeral the ephemeral destiny of the ‘permanent’ found ahead of time within the life of the generation it created it. Persistent some recurring annoyance. Restoration material interventions that aim at overturning the consequences of time. Preservation environmental or material conditioning aimed at stopping the effects of time. Monumental massive or imposing. Ephimera Monumentalis massive and imposing transitional structures. Inminent about to happen - in Spanish often referred to as tomorrow. Ever at all times. Never Lasting reflecting our transient reality. Past something that we know it was. Future what we think it lays ahead. Pasture a place to rejoice in the past. Space Travel all travel implies transiting space, but we will use this concept to refer travelling outside the confinement of planet Earth. Time Travel nowadays it is associated with multidimensionality of the universe. Dimension one of the many possible realities. Timension as above, but a more graphic word of our making. Now it just passed. Long Now long term thinking. Then it will passed. Momentophemeral if you were not there you missed it.
THE EPHERMANENT, THAT WHICH WAS INTENDED TO BE EPHEMERAL BUT HAS BECOME PERMANENT
THE PERMERAL, THAT WHICH WAS INTENDED TO BE PERMANENT BUT HAS BECOME EPHEMERAL
â€œ...it is in that golden stain of time, that we are to look for the real light, and colour, and preciousness of architecture; and it is not until a building has assumed this character, till it has been entrusted with the fame, and hallowed by the deeds of men, till its walls have been witnesses of suffering, and its pillars rise out of the shadows of death, that its existence, more lasting as it is than that of the natural objects of the world around it, can be gifted with even so much as these possess of language and of life.â€? â€“ Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849)
“But we have, and by we I mean white western people, turned the dial quite a ways toward the clean end of the spectrum and it might be a good idea ecologically speaking at least to turn it a little bit towards the dirty end. Because what dirt is of course is evidence of what I am now calling the ‘symbiotic real’ [...] And the building itself may have been designed with repelling such things in mind, making its surface nice and easy wipe, and this repulsion can only work according to a certain temporal scale. A building costs as much as it takes to maintain the temporal scale on which it appears to be nice and pristine, like you have to wash the windows every few weeks no matter what and this employs all sorts of cleaners and dangerous ladders and stuff.” – Timothy Morton “The Golden Stain of Time” (Ruskin) (March 7, 2017)
>>>>>>>>>> SPACETIME >>>>>>>>> 54 >>>>> RECONSTRUCTION >>>>>
>>>> IN CONSTRUCTION >>>>>> >>>>>>>> BOTCH JOB >>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> CONTINUUM >>>>>>>>> 55 >>>>>>>>>> FACE-TIME >>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> REENACTMENT >>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>> BEAUTIFIERS >>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> SPACETIME >>>>>>>>> 56 >>>>>>>>>>>> PLASTIC >>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>> IN CONSTRUCTION >>>>>> >>>>> DISNEYFICATION >>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> CONTINUUM >>>>>>>>>> 57 >>>>> MAINTENANCE >>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> REENACTMENT >>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>NEW REAL >>>>>>>>>>>
Only Fools and Horses, Heroes and Villains (1996), 58 BBC, Written by John Sullivan. Rodney So what exactly is the award for? Trigger For saving the council money. I happened to mention to her one day that I’ve had the same broom for the last twenty years. She was very impressed and said have a medal. 20 years. That’s a long time, Dave. Rodney Yeah, I know. Well it’s two decades innit? Trigger I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s a long time. Dell Trig, just a second. If you’ve had that broom for 20 years have you actually swept any roads with it? Trigger Well of course! But I look after it well. We have an old saying that’s been handed down by generations of road sweepers: - ‘Look after your broom’. Rodney And your broom will look after you. Trigger No Dave. It’s just: ‘Look after your broom’. Rodney Oh, that old saying! Trigger Yeah. And that’s what I’ve done. I’ve maintained it for 20 years... “The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.” – Theseus, Plutarch (75 A.C.E)
THIS OLD BROOM HAS HAD 17 NEW HEADS AND 14 NEW HANDLES IN ITS TIME
HOW THE HELL CAN IT BE THE SAME BLOODY BROOM THEN?
HEREâ€™S A PICTURE OF IT! MORE PROOF DO YOU NEED?
Dolly the Sheep and Edvard Munch's four official "Screams" (Der Schrei der Natur) expanding through time and space...
THE SHEEP OF THESEUS
Shell (Fine Milk Chocolate with White Lining) Void (Unlisted) Inner Goal (Toy Mainly in kit form) Envelope of Desire (The Plastic Egg aka Capsule)
64 As a child I was told that when in Belgium, perhaps at a party or some other social gathering it was deemed impolite to strike-up a conversation with someone you’d just met or been introduced to with the line: ‘so what do you do?’. The ‘Do’ here of course doesn’t refer to some general way of being, a person’s general abilities, interest, passions, responsibilities or engagements but simply refers to an occupation or job. I was informed that the proper, polite, commonplace thing to ask was: “so what do you collect?”. I was at the time, and remained for many years, equal parts skeptical as well as enchanted by this notion. The idea that this would perhaps be the opening gambit to a conversation of petite-friendship, that this would be the thing that everyone would remind and be reminded of in these encounters. To not have something such as work, wrapped up as it is with an un-oblique reference to status, earning, education, networking prospects and so on. To have some other normative route to breaking the ice, making small talk, showing, receiving, reciprocating interest. To have ‘collection’ at the centre is perhaps just as liable to be wrapped up in an equally un-oblique status, earning, education and so on... but I liked, I preferred the idea of the ‘collect’ instead of the ‘do’. When at last, I finally got around to traveling to Belgium, I was excited at the chance to confirm or deny this thing, this factoid I’d had installed in my head all those years ago. A chance to try this out, and perhaps if it were really the case to partake in this non-careerist cultural phenomenon... So I asked around. I asked the visitors who were attending the show we were doing at the time, I asked the people I met in cafe’s and in
65 bars... and it turns out... drawing swift conclusions from this hyper limited and somewhat awkward and embarrassing anecdotal sample... it turns out it’s probably not true, or is no-longer true, or just not true enough (as is always the case) to generalise sweepingly about an entire population... Looking back on the episode ‘Belgium’ from Jonathan Meades 1994 TV series Further Abroad (BBC), which is not where or who I received this notion from, but is coincidentally, almost exactly from the same period in time it was told to me – the mid 90’s. It conjures up an image of a place who’s streets, homes, rooms, cupboards and shelves were filled with not just collections but with the more serious or elevated, the dedicated undertaking of ‘museum-ing’. “There’s no doubt a Georgi Markov Umbrella fellowship to go with the museum of Jokes, and the museum of staplers, the museum of ironing. Actually there really is a museum of ironing. Follow me.” Jonathan walks down a bright street passed a white Ford Mondeo or maybe it’s an Escort... “I’d never dreamt that such a thing existed before I came to Belgium, but this is a country where every other house is a museum of something or other.” He approaches a red bricked terraced house and rings the door bell, a number of dogs immediately begin to bark. “This can’t be right, must have stumbled on the museum of dogs”. A cat stares out from a window, it blinks, maybe looks nervous. Cut to Jonathan approaching another house. “I think this is probably the one”. He pushes the bottom button of a two part door bell, the door opens and he is greeted by a man and a woman. “Hello is this
66 the museum of ironing?” The man at the door then replies in Dutch, as he does subtitles appear on screen, Jonathan looks down and appears to be reading along with the viewer. “No, the museum of ironing doesn’t exist any more. But Mr. Coen up the street has a nice museum. He’s got more that 35 spinning wheels.” Jonathan looks up from the subtitles and replies in English. “Thank you very much.” He looks into the camera. “Oh well, but you get the picture.” Cut to a set of white double doors, there is a brass plaque mounted to the wall. The plaque reads “Musée du slip, Slipmuseum, Underwear Museum, open - ouvert, Samedi - Dimanche - Lundi - Zaterdag - Zondag - Maandag 10.00 TOT/A 17.00 U/H Conservateur Jan Bucquoy Konservator, Sonnez Bellen J. Bucquoy”. Jonathan pushes and pulls forcefully on the doors which are locked. He peers through the letter box. Cut to a man (Jan Bucquoy) sat next to a pair of Underwear, propped up by a wire coat hanger. Suspended inside the underwear are three tins of pilchards. “Why do Belgians collect? Well, it’s anxiety. A fear of death which is really a fear of life. We’re so scared of living we’re like the living dead, so we collect in order to become immortal - the complete speeches of General de Gaulle, stamps, Magritte’s paintings, it can be anything even tins of pilchards. It’s a false idea of life - as if we were eternal. I exhibit the underwear I get in the post - which isn’t much. For every thousand letters I send I get about 10 pairs - it’s tough.” I wanted. I want it to be true. For the last few years I have been trying to convince my colleagues that we should establish at least one
67 museum in each of our offices, and that this might be, become an integral part of our department’s culture and offering. A small but charming affix to a thriving atmosphere of education, elucidation, learning and research. When I say convince, to clarify, to be fair, I have said it maybe on three occasions (humorously) in passing... and nobody... for some reason seems to take me or it seriously. I have decided to rectify this situation, lead by example(s), and have established 4 museums. The Plastic Egg Museum, The Sounds of Coins Museum, The Museum of Dry Companions and The Plastic Bag Museum. The first The Plastic Egg Museum is a tribute museum. A reconstruction of the original which was founded by Mike sometime in the 2000’s. The museum was unfortunately thrown away in the mid 2000’s by his partner... Since hearing of this tragedy, I have been collecting and I am finally ready to make this available to the viewing public. Consisting of over 16 eggs it is the only known museum of its kind [citation Google]. The most important aspect of the museum is that the museum’s exhibits the ‘eggs’ contain further ‘exhibits’, and that in some sense it is or becomes a self containing museum - ‘eggs-within-eggs-withinegg’. There are very many collectors of that which is seen and sold - treasured as the ‘content’ of these ‘capsules’, but the eggs as they no doubt see them are just part of the ‘packaging’. These eggs oft overlooked, soon disposed of in the pursuit of the contents, when perhaps re-encountered in the museum context begin to take-on and hold great significance. These vessels of former fleeting desire offer up cues and clues,
prompts of past encounters. Perhaps it is said best - or at least put at its most counterintuitive by Slavoj Zizek, speaking as he was about one of the most famous eggs in history (even more renowned and revered than Fabergé – citation needed) in The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012). “Kinder Surprise egg, a quite astonishing commodity. The surprise of the Kinder Surprise egg is that this excessive object the cause of your desire is here materialised in the guise of an object, a plastic toy which fills in the inner void of the chocolate egg. The whole delicate balance is between these two dimensions. What you bought, the chocolate egg and the surplus... that you get for free. I don’t think that the chocolate frame is here just to send you on a deeper voyage towards the inner treasure, what Plato calls the agalma, which makes you a wealthy person, which makes a commodity the desirable commodity. I think it’s the other way around. We should aim at the higher goal, the goal in the middle of an object precisely to be able to enjoy the surface. This is what is the anti-metaphysical lesson, which is difficult to accept.” – Slavoj Zizek But even Zizek fails in his search into, around and back up to the surface to notice and account for the ‘Capsule’ or what ‘we’ at The Plastic Egg Museum call the ‘Envelope of Desire’. That’s OK though. He’s busy thinking about other things, and fair enough. That’s where and why The PEM exists. The Plastic Bag Museum is best summed up in motive, gesture and tone by The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction (1986) by Ursula K. Le Guin, which can be
69 found in Dancing at the Edge of the World (1989). To paraphrase poorly, at its core it is the shifting of our story telling, our human narrative to a further back, a back again, to before the hunter, pre-chase’n’knife, stab’n’grab and here, to pick back up that first ‘cultural invention’ in order to address the power of the stories that returned with the hunted meat. To posit, to propose the ‘Container as our Hero’. “If it is a human thing to do to put something you want, because it’s useful, edible, or beautiful, into a bag, or a basket, or a bit of rolled bark or leaf, or a net woven of your own hair, or what have you, and then take it home with you, home being another, larger kind of pouch or bag, a container for people, and then later on you take it out and eat it or share it or store it up for winter in a solider container or put it in the medicine bundle or the shrine or the museum, the holy place, the area that contains what is sacred, and then next day you probably do much the same again--if to do that is human, if that’s what it takes, then I am a human being after all. Fully, freely, gladly, for the first time.” – Ursula K. Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction So this, plus the absurdity, of the convenient-tediousterror-wonder that is ‘plastic’ in the form of a oneshot-single-use bag. One day soon enough, there will be none of these in use, none in the day to day public sphere, say for the ones in the ocean... and the ones preserved in the Plastic Bag Museum and a couple for a time in the cupboard/recess under your kitchen sink. The Sounds of Coins Museum, these are coins collected exclusively for the sounds they generate when
flicked up into the air. The British currency omits such 70 a paucity of pitch, tone and ring, and as such no legal Sterling is held in the museum. The only utility Sterling holds is as a unit of exchange for coins that do make sounds. Highlights include an aluminium 50 Centimes coin Minted in Paris circa 1943. The Museum of Dry Companions, I started collecting these objects about three years ago, for absolutely no reason what so ever. You might well know what they are, they are super familiar, you find them accompanying a huge range of products, tucked away in the packaging of shoes, electronics, jerky, pills etc. DO NOT EAT. DO NOT MICROWAVE. THROWAWAY. SILICA GEL. MOLECULAR SIEVES. DRYING AGENTS. DESICCANTS. I see this collection as somewhat of a joke. A dry pun.* But, they are actually the perfect companioncollection for collectors. With enough variety in graphics, form, sizes, a healthy level of ‘scarcity’, availability and repetition, they are an enjoyable thing to collect in their own right. They also, if you collect them in the manner I do, found by chance alongside, as a ‘surplus’ a companion to deliberately acquired objects, these come to be associated and serve as reminders of those intentionally sought out objects. If this alone wasn’t enough to peak your instinct, compulsion or interest they also silently function, working hard to maintain your other collections dryness. * As well as being dry they actually keep things dry. That’s the joke. Calling it a dry pun is a pun on the pun. A bonus bit-of-pun-fun at the museum.
78 As it slipped from my washing-up wrinkled fingers, hitting the floor, shattering into a number of discrete chunks of sharp shard ceramic, I caught a brief but vivid clip-show flashback of how it had been twenty years earlier, pristinely and proudly mounted on my grandmother’s wall. This plate: Museum Number C.54-1990 (c dot five four hyphen one nine nine zero), one of only a handful of cherished material, physical, things - artefacts that she’d gifted to me before she died. It had been for her as it was for my Grandfather – ornamental, but for me it had functioned. I had used it for small plate uses, side plate jobs, and it lived and worked happily for a few years in general circulation. Stored alongside, as another, in unison, as one of the many other utile things stacked and piled in the kitchen cupboard. I had spent a notable, somewhat significant part of my early childhood looking at this thing, this odd mono printed circular porcelain disk. It stood out against the other things they had in their home, harshly graphic against the walnut stained gold trim wood, muted floral wallpaper and heavy red shag pile carpeting. A discordant hovering black & white icon. I remember fondly sitting with my two sisters at our grandmother’s dining table, trying to draw it, mark down, copy out some of those shapes. Sketch those forms that were now strewn out on the tiled floor of my kitchen. The remaining fragments of the plate now live on a windowsill, tucked next to intermittently moved cactuses, a ‘piggy bank’ and a cheap scaled down shopping trolly full of little nothings, things that have no proper place to be, no better context than this arbitrary grouping of ‘maybe useful’s’.
Object: Plate | Place of origin: Staffordshire (made) Date: 1950s (made) 1957 (designed) | Artist/ Maker: Seeney, Enid, born 1931 (designer) Arnold, Tom (designer), Ridgway Potteries Ltd. (manufacturers) | Materials and Techniques: White earthenware with transfer-printed decoration.
81 Temperamental lighters, a half decent battery, some bizarre length screws, a keyring torch from a Christmas cracker... that kind of detritus. I have plenty of stuff in my home that’s been acquired via the exits of certain revered institutions. I am surrounded each day by a number of gift-shop quality objects. But these two remaining fragments, plus the other plate in the pair (that is currently, as I write this - still in tact) and two sets of cutlery: Museum Number M.17 to E-1990 (m dot one seven to e dash one nine nine zero), acquired at the supermarket chain Tesco (with Club-Card Points), these are the only real-deal museumables I own. If you get the opportunity, you should come round to my flat in South East London and have a go of them, but that’s currently invite only at the moment. If you want to see them (at your leisure), take a trip to the V&A, Kensington, 20th Century, Room 76, case 16, and see them in tact, set amongst security personnel, archivists, CCTV and glass. Unscathed, unused, hermetically ceiled, just as my Grandmother might have have wanted. It’s reassuring in a sense, good to know that someone out there is still ‘taking care’ of, preserving, frozen time-lineing a slice of these object’s 5th dimensional potentiality. But I took my posh cutlery camping, and then I carelessly smashed one of my plates, but not before I had eaten countless hashbrowns, poached eggs, cheap sausage roles and plenty of cake off it. I don’t know when I or anyone for that matter could have been with these objects better. The risk, the joy and the loss was worth it. Thanks Nan.
Object: Cutlery set | Place of origin: Milan (made) | Date: 1982 (made) | Artist/Maker: Sottsass, Ettore Jr, born 1917 - died 2007 (designer), Alessi (manufacturer).
Collapscapes We use ‘collapscape’ to define a production technique that ‘artificially’ collapses time and space which was developed in the production of narratives. In a story, time and space are malleable materials that can be rearranged into a fictional construct which allows the story to take place within different timescales and temporalities to the ‘actual’ or ‘real-time’, 1:1 events. From farming, industrial production, cinema, etc. The development of our social, economic, environmental and cultural landscape has been shaped by the advancements we have made in our ability to collapse the time/space continuum. As a noun, a ‘collapscape’ talks about the results of ‘collapscaping’. A farm and farming, are a collapscape, they represent the forceful fusion into a single space of activity that which we had before experienced and interacted with _as hunters/gatherers_ as spatially removed entities, discrete and separated from each other and as such dictated our life and time. Early industrial models, had the same approach and represented the centralisation of activities and resources that before where geographically removed. In cinema collapsing time and space is central to world creation. Action as narrative, a keystone to deliver a believable story on and in the screen. In the same way exhibitions are collapscapes. Where a series of works, which often are geographically disparate are collided into a single site. These objects no longer connect to their places of residence but become building blocks of a narrative within the ‘time machine’.
87 They become denizens of the white-cube no-place. Any attempt to ‘cheat’ time and manipulate the space/time continuum, is accompanied by great effort and great expense. In activities that develop through time, these costs and efforts become entangled with the development of the new culture they generate. As our world becomes faster the consequences of our actions no longer hide behind time, they become instantly apparent and measurable. We know that there is no time without space and vice versa, in fact for us they both are one and the same – ‘spacetime’. Therefore time is inexorably linked to transformation and movement, without them there is nothing. Time Machines The white cube is a time machine. It’s a vehicle for producing fictions by devoiding its contents from any connection to the external world. Its contents become relative only to its more recent references. Time and space merge to create an environment where the new and old cohabitate in a sort of ‘relational’ conflict, wilfully unaware and untarnished by the outside world. Time Capsules Physical attempts to preserve sets of artefacts. A time capsule is a historic cache of goods or information, usually intended as a deliberate method of communication with future people, and to help future archaeologists, anthropologists, or historians. Sterilisation Takes Command! The essential order that allows us to replicate the exact experience anywhere in the world.
AS WELL AS LIVE, THEY SKYPED-IN (!) THE DRUMS
Installation of Mise-en-Scène ‘Red Smoke’ by El Ultimo Grito (2015), surrounding Roberto Cuoghi’s Belinda.
Collapscapes Museum Over The World We could curate an exhibition where no work moves from its place. It would be an exhibition that would require you to visit the specific places holding the specific works, museums, artists studios, collectors houses, private galleries etc. The exhibition would be both real and virtual, museums could have specific “lending rooms” where the specific works might be shown within the overall context of the show. For example at Tate you might be able to see ‘live’ - a specific work, but from there you can also access the rest of the works via live-link feeds from all other sites. Private holders participating would agree to an open-house programme. The visitor in this way, would in some sense gain access to the curator’s point of view, the one they experience when planning the exhibition as all the works would be seen on and around their original sites. Time and space in the Collapscape exhibition model would only be “virtually cheated” in terms of the show’s catalogue and media access. A continuous projected plume of smoke moves around the room. Comprised of a number of seamless slices, individual projected scenes, each one a live-link feed of a different location from around the world. In a small offset alcove is a room, the back wall of which is wallpapered, it both completes and continues the graphic of the smoke plume. Hung, placed, plinth-ed, presented in front of the image is a physical thing, present, ‘really’ there. Together, the projections and the meat-space artefacts comprise a version of a collapscapes esc exhibition.
SHOWN SIMULTANEOUSLY SIMULTANEOUS SHOW
Museums as mobile structures, no longer bound to a territory, but free to move around the world, collecting, studying, exhibiting, providing access and generating new interpretations to their treasures. â€˜2030 MSS Victoria & Albert departing for its first Grand Tourâ€™.
We witnessed and captured the virtual activation of MSS Dâ€™Orsay on its arrival to Hong Kong harbour, 2029.
While art has increasingly occupied space inside the institution, institution building has correspondingly continued apace reflecting the apparent need to mark terrain through the construction of contemporary temples to culture. Unimaginable growth of collections, costly conservation needs, a businessmodel driven necessity to constantly expand, and a vastly increased scale and speed of turnover has made for an industry that is both wasteful and resource hungry - while being asked publicly and programmatically to remain on the right side of the environmental debate. What are alternate models for cultural institutions? What hope is there in an environment that values spectacular containers over critical content? â€“ JM
IDEOLOGICALLY HOMOGENEOUS IN-TRANSIT COMMUNITIES
“Earth A Retrospective” is set as a project in the mists of 102 our human diaspora. The abandonment of ‘ship earth’ in search for a new blue planet to settle. This mission allowed for new and old social orders to emerge. Territorially unbound, economic and cultural institutions became rouge agents. The products and experiences were now delivered and forced onto survivalist ‘soberbs’ those that settled and those that remained in transit. The memory of earth was fading. “Earth a Retrospective” was orginally proposed by the Peckham Outerspace Initiative as a unifying cultural event that would celebrate all the accomplishments but also all the mistakes that drove us to this moment in time, brought together in an International Cultural Space Station, where all museum ships or MTC’s (Mobile Time Capsule) as they were popularly known would dock into. But these holders of treasure no longer did so in the name of the peoples, they had become independent Collection States, with their own partisan interests... So despite the project being rejected, the idea of becoming ‘the one holder’ was forever inceived into the MTC’s mission. The initial protocol, the prime directive now rejected, the central quest and strategies of the most powerful MTC’s had turned against each other. The “Earth a Retrospective Wars” begun. Today, in some far fling corner of the universe there are only two museum ships left, the S.S. Metropolitan and S.S. British... Ideologically Homogeneous In-Transit Communities Soberb: A semi-rural neighbourhood populated mostly by old people or by strict religious families. So called for the noticeable lack of parties.
Some philosophers believe that everyday objects are 4-dimensional spacetime worms, that a person (for example) persists through time by having temporal parts, or stages, at each moment of her existence. None of these stages is identical to the person herself; rather, she is the aggregate of all her temporal parts. Others accept “three dimensionalism”, rejecting stages in favor of the notion that persons “endure”, or are “wholly present” throughout their lives. I aim to defend an apparently radical third view: not only do I accept person stages; I claim that we are stages. Likewise for other objects of our everyday ontology: statues are statuestages, coins are coin-stages, etc. – Theodore Sider, All the World’s a Stage (1996)
y = 5th dimension, x =Time, e = Emergence, c = Current Entity, n = Now, u = The â€˜Upperâ€™ Entity
A Plea for the 5th: Mass produced objects as glimpses of the fifth dimensional
... Each year world wide 200 billion aluminium cans are produced. Let’s imagine that mass produced objects are not as they appear to be, not as discrete entities with their own space & time positions, and not endowed as they are with perceivable or imperceivable variables or distinctions such as imperfections in manufacture or any other deviation in their atomic, material, physical or cultural and so on state. That they have zero uniqueness at the point of their emergence, and their production is not linear, one after the other, but simultaneous. One and the same, all at once. We must also abandon the intrinsic quality, identity, signifiers, affordances and so on that come along with an object being mass produced. Forget that the accessibility, price, replace-ability and so on, directs and informs the way in which humans interact with, value and use objects. And that in turn these and other particularities expose them to an expanded or contracted set of possibilities. Forget those things. With this in mind now, the ‘multiple’ objects we now perceive are not multiple entities but actually multiple possibilities. Each one a manifestation of a possible reality, a possible state, space and situation that an ‘object’ might have encountered, be, or become.
“Stack 6 cans, each hold one.Each one of you are still you, but you are all standing in alternate universes. What you hold in your hand is the same can but in alternate realities. In a few seconds I am going to say the word emergence. When I say that I want you to remove your can, and then stand on our cartesian system, x y graph, I then want you to destroy your can, then go take a seat. OK. Can we get a multidimensional soundscape from the house band... Ready --- as we create the upper entity... Emergence...” If we re-frame them, the mass produced objects we see around us not as individual things but as being the exact same entity, when we look out into the world what we are seeing is not another, one more object, but at a glimpse of that same object in an alternate universe, one in which its potentiality landed. We are looking at the exact same object but in alternate realities. If we do that, if we try our hardest to do that, what we can now observe obliquely is a dirty low-res model of the 5th dimensional upper object, a momentary perception in which all probability, all possible outcomes, processes and trajectories are visible and can be interacted with (?)*. Or, if we are being unimaginative at the very least, we can imagine as many of those variables as we have produced of that object, or even more low-res if we just get a bunch of those objects in the same room, move them around, place them in different positions, do different things with them perhaps we can still have this fleeting thought, this encounter. A coke can has not become the leader of the labour party. A paper clip has not made its way to Mars. A postcard print of ‘Cheeky’ by Jeff Koons is not propped
110 up on the cistern of the Queen of England’s Toilet. A copy of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (1990) is not 3/4r’s read, sat on the bedside table of... [insert name of implausible person here]. These eventualities might well, despite not manifesting here and now where we are, be part of the ‘actual’ ‘upper’ 5th object. But some of these, most likely more adventurous and challenging, seemingly implausible or impossible states may only be part or possible in the 6th dimension... but let’s not go there... yet. But these things, the coke can, paper clip, art photo novelty postcard and theory book, could have done many things, have lived many lives, been involved in many potentialities. Rubbed up, been slurped, licked, stuck, lost, chucked, pulped, dog eared, ripped, dropped, fecked, fetishised, burnt, melted, masticated, crushed, decomposed, oxidised... A snapshot now of our multiple universes, the 5th dimensional reality of these objects will find them in a complex and massive range of states, each one comprised of avenues after avenues, a web of meshed complex trajectories that might, could, would, actually have been followed. The ‘upper’ object consists of any number, likely an infinite number, of allowed states as dictated by the deterministic nature of the starting conditions of our universe. Re-set and re-run infinitely. We are however, denied of this low-res scanner darkly, veiled, cloudy snapshot by those things we call ‘one-off objects’. They deny to us via the notion of the unique, the authentic, and the singular. These things taunt us with their inaccessibility, their refusal to offer up any glimpse into the 5th.
Perhaps this is part of their charm. That their relatively secure anchoring into our immediately perceivable reality is part of their ora, their appeal. But when we keep these objects locked up in a museum things get even worse, this is a terrible state of affairs for those of us who might be out for a good time in the hypothetical hypercubeinal, penteracted liminality game. Bad times for the fun time day dreamers, those of us who desire for something beyond this terrestrial, 3d meatspace. We who long for outside, beyond our middle and mono one track reality sensing brains... Each year world wide 200 billion aluminium cans are produced.
Meanwhile down at the local venue, two enthusiasts whilst encountering the latest cultural display debate the temporal paradox. A quandary of the 4th and 5th dimension breaks out. Will they have their cake and eat it?
Where does cultural incursion begin and end in the context of the alpine environment surrounding Verbier? The engineering and technology that is enabling tourism and sport has defined culture as a complex experience economy, where the landscape is defined both by functional and aesthetic interventions. Incursions into local mountains and valleys need to show themselves simultaneously as innovative and as conservative (in the sense of sustaining habitats). The history of Swiss engineering prowess, from Robert Maillartâ€™s alpine bridges to todayâ€™s roofless and spinning gondolas around Lucerne, visualizes monumentality as transit and transport across natural grandeur. â€“ JM
Painting the mountains white, We're painting the mountains white, We dare not stop, Or waste a drop, So let the paint be bright, We're painting the mountains white...
SECTION 1 1 Red Smoke. Background texture from Mise-en-Scène by El Ultimo Grito (2015) - ‘Red Smoke’ surrounding Roberto Cuoghi’s Belinda. 2 + 22 + 98 + 114 JM – ‘Resource Hungry: Our Cultured Landscape And Its Ecological Impact’ Text by Jessica Morgan, Nathalie de Gunzburg Director of New York’s Dia Art Foundation, written for the 2020 Verbier Art Summit. 2–8 Tidying Up – A fictional TV show – A mash up of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (2019) and Restoration (2003–2009). The text is comprised of found and re-worked quotes and material from reviews of both television shows. 9–21 The Hill House – Comprised of screenshots which currently can be found on Google maps pre-the installation of the protective structure erected around Hill House in Helensburgh, Scotland. The text discussion regarding ‘eyesores’ is from a forum discussing problematic neighbours and has been re-worked to sit alongside the HH. The rest of the text is sourced from BBC News footage regarding the planning, purpose, contraction, installation and completion of the ‘BOX’ which now surrounds the house in order to protect it from the elements. 9–21 The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door is a British documentary television series broadcast on Channel (2014 – Present). The quote of the ‘disgruntled neighbour’ is a re-working of a quote from Victor Meldrew, a fictional character from the series One Foot in the Grave (1990-2000). SECTION 2 23–25 Moon Markers & Lunar Luminaries. 26–27 CAL CITY (ca 1958) Nat Mendelsohn’s unrealised grand master plan still visible from satellite photos. Population in 1969: 1,300. Population in 2010: 14,120.Est population in
2018: 14,217 Text about Nat Mendelsohn and Cal City from BLDG BLG: http://www.bldgblog. com/tag/nat-mendelsohn/ 28–29 GEOGLYPHS NAZCA LINES Spiral (between 500 BC and 500 AD). 30 Rockin’ records with Bjornerud and The Fall. 32–34 You need to get out more! The Gnome and the Ballerina - both for sale! (on the internet). 36–37 The Performance White Room Conundrum (or how to preserve an experience to be relived on demand). 39 “I heard the whispers from the past, and then I give a yell to the future” – Tongtong Ren (2012). 41–45 Permanence is an illusion and a Dictionary of Terms. 48 The Golden Stain of Time – Ruskin & Morton. 52–52 Random Acts of Restoration: Millions of Users Worldwide / The Graham Norton Show / Terry Gilliam’s Brazil / Mick Jagger / Ziegfeld Follies (1946) – Bring On The Beautiful Girls / Christopher Nolan’s Inception / Ecce Homo by Elías García Martinez. (ca 1930). Sanctuary of Mercy Church, Borja, Spain. Saint Anthony of Padua. (ca 18th Century) Atlántico, Colombia. Statue of the Virgin and Child with Saint Ana (ca 15th Century). Rañadoiro, Spain. Tummy Tuck Surgery. 56–57 Ship of Theseus – Excerpt from Only Fools and Horses, Heroes and Villains (1996), BBC, Written by John Sullivan. The image contains a rough calculation of the variables of broom that are possible given the number of handles and heads. 58–59 The Sheep of Theseus. 60–75 Museums: At the time of publishing none of these museums have dedicated net based resources... but if you would like more info or
to be signposted to future museums please visit cash4nk.net or drop us an email. email@example.com 76–80 Grandmother’s Best. This text was originally written and presented as a ‘bit’ for Output No.14 2019 (see https://output.click/ for more or less information about output). 82–94 Collapscapes: A term coined by POI in 2013. p--o--i.net 86 Death Grips – Lock Your Doors. See Death Grips’ Disorienting Head-Cam and SkypeShot ‘Lock Your Doors’: https://www.spin. com/2013/03/death-grips-lock-your-doorsno-hands-video-sxsw/ 87–88 Installation of Mise-en-Scène ‘Red Smoke’ surrounding Roberto Cuoghi’s Belinda. This work was produced as a digital edition of three from the work commissioned by Jessica Morgan for ‘Burning Down The House’ 10th Gwangju Biennale. Photography Fanis Vlastaras & Rebecca Constantopoulou. 95–97 2030 MSS Victoria & Albert departing for its first Grand Tour.
SECTION 4 115–117 ‘They Painted The Mountains White’ Thanks to MA Space and Communication, HEAD_Genève, students: Benoit Tanguy, Castella Noemi, Cerato Thomas, Galvan Marijose, Hoffmann Rachel, Hofmann Alessandra, Kurzaj Etienne, Lopes Thomas, Pelichet Julia, Poiré Tommy and Tejal Gala 117 They Painted The Mountains White This graphic comprises an illustration of one of the ‘cards’ from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951) and the mountain (The Matterhorn) from the Toblerone logo. The text is a re-write of the song “Painting the Roses Red” by Sammy Fain and Bob Hilliard. *** Front Cover Image by Olivier Bruchez ‘Skiing in Verbier’ – Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/ bruchez/2456451829 ***
SECTION 3 99–101 “Earth A Retrospective”, Ideologically Homogeneous In-Transit Communities + Soberb.
This book uses colorlibrary.ch in order to generate the spot colour separations. We would like to thank Maria Elges who first told us about this a year or so ago. Nice one. Typeset Primarily in Miller Text
103 5th Dimension Diagram based upon one found on: https://www.quora.com/How-canI-understand-the-5th-dimension-Whatexactly-is-it
Printed by Aldgate Press
104–109 A Plea for the 5th: Mass produced objects as glimpses of the fifth dimensional. This text was originally written and presented as a ‘bit’ for Output No.15 2019 (see https:// output.click/ for more or less information about output).
110–113 Meanwhile down at the local a Temporal paradox quandary breaks out.
Jean-Pierre Greff and Arno Mathies at HEAD-Genève, Vehicles for Experimental Practice and the Goldsmiths Design Department, Hefin Jones and the contributors/audience of OUTPUT, Ulrich Lehman, Yijun Xiong, POI and ‘Museum Mike’, Elba Feo, Sasha ‘Responsibilities cool but there are more things in life’.
They Painted The Mountains White, 2020 ISBN 978-2-8399-2100-8 Rosario Hurtado Roberto Feo Stuart Bannocks
DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art 11 Filellinon & Em. Pappa St. Nea Ionia 142 34 Athens Greece Tel: +30 210 27 58 490 Fax: +30 210 27 54 862 www.deste.gr
Thanks to Jessica Morgan, whose’s 2020 Verbier Art Summit theme and text ‘Resource Hungry: Our Cultured Landscape And Its Ecological Impact’ instigated the conversations that led us to create this ‘pre-content’ Zine Thanks to Dakis Joannou for making this publication possible Thanks to Anneliek Sijbrandij and Alison Pasquariello
The 2020 Verbier Art Summit released this zine by El Último Grito (2020 speakers Rosario Hurtado and Roberto Feo). The zine entitled “They P...
Published on Feb 11, 2020
The 2020 Verbier Art Summit released this zine by El Último Grito (2020 speakers Rosario Hurtado and Roberto Feo). The zine entitled “They P...