Performing the city.
Exploring through movement and measurement, the City’s hidden geometries.
InspiralLondon continues to curate and lead public walks along the route of the trail. Through the winter 2019 and into Spring 2020. You can listen to interviews and discussion from artists and walkers involved in the project:
On Segment 7 Trail – walking from Canary Wharf stopping at St.Anne’s Limehouse with Artists Anne Robinson, Richard Couzins and Rachel Gomme talking about walking the trail, memory and re-experiencing place.
On Commercial Road at junction with East India Dock Road.
Image: Performing dotdot dash – Birgitta Hosea’s collaborative light action with HiLight Walkers (Inspiral Night Walking Festival 20 April 2018)
Performing the city – A year long exploration of the City in all its variety and hidden wonder. 2018-2019
“Positioning On a Google map, the ‘my current position’ pin orients the viewer in space; it answers the question ‘where am I?’ fairly precisely. A more complex kind of reckoning ‘where I am?’ is necessary to experience in an unfamiliar space.” (Richard Sennett 2018: 185-7)
How do we position ourselves in the city? And how orient ourselves across a rapidly changing infrastructure? Even before we begin to dwell in the city, the need to find your place and navigate some small part of the space requires a certain skill, a set off operations, maximal and minute performances.
“…the geographer Michel Lussault is interested in the way walking establishes the relation of near and far…. at some time in a person’s development a physical effort made sense of the number which represents near and far, even if you’ve only once walked a kilometre… Jan Gehl proposes another application of Lussault’s theory. ‘Depending on the background and light, we can identify people as human rather than animals or bushes at a distance of 300 to 500 metres’….’ we usually recognise [a particular] person at somewhere between 50 and 70 metres.’ … Gehl believes that the critical ‘interpersonal threshold’ occurs both visually and sonically at around 25 metres…” (Sennett 2018: 186-188)
With the expertise and enthusiasm of associate artists, Inspiral builds an experience of the city where becoming experienced in navigating and performing the city in other ways, creates: punctuations, accretions, flows and an unfinishable thickening of the city. This artistic co-production that relies on and encourages collaboration, collective action and collectivity; that encourages the audience or participant to glide through and become the city . Together we begin to see, feel and share the city in other unpredictable ways:
“Gut rush, footloose, street sway, under seeing/Past wrecks and gorgeous/Simmering hours outside the clock… Past walking/Footfall present here in momentary disarray/Rupture: dissolution of the gauzy veil, hung soft/
Rapture: like in a dream/walk/unsteadt the roughs/of the path/down heart/walk walk/unsteady in the dance to the/music/walk walk walk/unsteady in exile never/homeward bound/spiralling…” (from Darks – A queer stumble through time, Anne Robinson 2018)
Featured Image – From Anne Robinson’s film installation – Darks (2018)