Performing the City – 2019

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. For winter/early spring 2019: 3 February Chingford Chiller I Ching Walk (segment 24); 3 March Woolwich Backwards Ghost Tide Walk through Woolwich back toward Eltham station (segment 21);  31 March for Tree/Spring, an urban ecology inspired walk starting at Hammersmith Bridge to Herne Hill (segment 10) with artist Rachel Gomme. Join the inspiral.


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.

“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)

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