I absorb Marclay over time. Dipping in and out of his Clock as opportunities arise. How long did Maya and I queue in New York? Massing hours in pursuit of time’s totality.
Whereas artists such as Douglas Gordon famously explored duration through the slowing down of cinematic flow almost to the point of stillness, Marclay resorts to quick cutting instead, assembling thousands of fragments that unravel in rapid succession, literally forsaking duration in favour of time-as-movement.1
Counting the minutes. Sucked into narrative. Counting the minutes. People spend hours, not minutes, waiting for the time to pass.
For Proust, time is to be psychic time, and consequently the factor which determines our bodily life.2
Crossing the Millennium Bridge again. A montage of previous memories.
I tried to demonstrate the Proustian text as experience: not merely as a stylistic structure but as subjective, unconscious, sensory experience.3
Voluntary: ‘Walk, Stop y Roll’, my first encounter walking the bridge at a distance.
So long as we remain on the level of voluntary memory, Combray remains external to the madeleine, as the separable context of the past sensation.4
Involuntary: ‘Notes to the Novice Pedestrian’, a year of relationships progressing.
But this is the characteristic of involuntary memory: it internalizes the context, it makes the past context inseparable from the present sensation.5
Time marked through wanders.
We must regard involuntary memory as a stage, which is not even the most important stage, in the apprenticeship to art.6
Rush hour approaches. People move in a fury. Refilming the clock at Liverpool Station. Filming the clock for the first time. A montage of city sites over a year of wanders.
Involuntary as it is, memory conceived in this way is not an internal property of the psyche: it aids the complex dynamics of the imaginary process whose role is to reconcile genius with the structuring of life.7
A team of workers, discovering, editing, compiling for the Master Artist.
There remains one thing sacred: art. But art is not social. It shreds the social order into little pieces. 8
1. Martine Beugnet, Firing at the Clocks: Cinema, Sampling, and the Cultural Logic of the Late Capitalist Artwork. Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, 54, no. 2 (2013): 193 ↩
2. Julia Kristeva, Proust and the Sense of Time (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1993), 5. ↩
3. Julia Kristeva, Proust and the Sense of Time (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1993), 29. ↩
4. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Continuum, 2008), 39. ↩
5. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Continuum, 2008), 39. ↩
6. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Continuum, 2008), 42. ↩
7.[Julia Kristeva, Proust and the Sense of Time (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1993), 91. ↩
8. Julia Kristeva, Proust and the Sense of Time (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1993), 96. ↩
A walk between two people in four parts over the course of one day.
A combination of the texts and photographs of Blake Morris and Andrew Howe.
A walk authored together.
Chimney Obscures Plane
DSB – Waiting Turns
A dog down by the river bank scrabbles in fallen leaves
Leaving a deposit for its two owners to find
Market men sort fruit
Pensioners arrange bags
Sweeping smoothly along the wide pathway from my right
Intermittently appearing/disappearing behind trees
The buzz of a leaf blower
Like an aggravating gnat
Pedestrian beeps signal crossing
The dog walkers pass in front of me, a man and woman
They lift the lid of the dog bin
Noticing me noticing
The danger of Watching.
Tethered (Running for the Bus – Caution Truck Turning Left)
People stopped on phones, waiting
Concrete columns loom above
Figures silhouetted between railings move quickly towards the town
A young woman walks in the opposite direction
Engrossed in a conversation on her mobile phone
Pedestrian time passed
Two loud bangs from a site further to the north
Telephone Conversation 1:
Like a performance score, a walk is an open-ended phenomenon, no one knows in advance what will present itself or who you might meet. The meaning is in the doing, properly performative then, which is to say, self-generating, contingent, improvisatory, light-footed and rooted in the everyday. It is also unexpected.
Carl Lavery, ‘Interruption… Walking and Ruination – or what it means to keep a secret’, in Clare Qualmann and Claire Hind Ways to Wander (Axminster: Triarchy Press, 2015).
ii. between things
Walking towards a tree I was imagining but not yet visualising | Searching for something inconsequential
Under my gaze and in a blink, ephemera gain gravitas | Making it consequential
A black hydrant on cast iron pillar stands next to the crumbling brick wall of Old St Chads | Enjoy: hide and go seek during the day; toilet facilities at night.
Peacock Passage | Peering in the window of a Gym I’ll never use
Car door slam | A different web for a different walker.
The chestnut tree comes into view | The tree a meeting point; a location for conversation
I retrace my steps, and the connecting path burns into my memory | before darting off into a cluster of trees on the path back home.
Telephone Conversation 2:
As we produce the social spaces around us, both materially and across digital networks, we are engaging in the production of space through movement. How we conceive of this movement determines how we will practice and live in the spaces we create.
Jason Farman, Mobile Interface Theory (New York: Routledge, 2011), 141.
from stillness to disappearance
emerged to pull me further on into the field
from afar who went immediately inside
high above, took me at steady pace
moving too quickly to keep up
a soft breeze
Briefly I let myself be nudged by
carrying a pet container stopped on a corner to chat
Keen to avoid following people
Instinct to stop following
I allowed myself to drift, handing over control to the
Skirting along warm pavement following
Driving me steadily to the hedge at the edge of the field
Following or drawn towards?
My attention was interrupted by
Chain saw sounds
hammering and chainsaws on a distant building site
Always towards the builders
I moved towards them until my route intersected a desire path
The colour red a jumper towards a bus terminal constant red movement meandering back across the field through long grass to the river bank a flock of pigeons the cat settles stretches on the tarmac a leaf that moves once with gusto and then not at all
Telephone Conversation 3:
the possibility of escalation was embedded in participant’s sense making of following to the extent that for many if the practice did not escalate, despite their subjective experience, participants felt unable to verify that something had happened.
Fiona Vera-Gray, Men’s Intrusion, Women’s Embodiment (London: Routledge, 2017).
iv. the visual frame
The four sections of the walk resolve here:
I stayed still to explore my visual frame. I walked through the Mall to see the ins and outs. Engaged with the simultaneity of stories-so-far. Outside the pigeons change position but stay within the square. These repeated movements are choreographed.
Telephone Conversation 4:
If, however, the spatial is thought of in the context of space-time and as formed out of social interrelations at all scales, then one view of a place is a particular articulation of those relations, a particular moment in those networks of social relations and understandings.
Doreen Massey, Space, Place and Gender (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 5.
Stones have a long memory. Our last meeting unexpected, history links us as we walk the quiet predawn streets of London. We are transported. Joyful. Together we speak of stones.
Rainy Day Women drifting over the Brooklyn Bridge. Talking tourism. Linguistic blagging. A Full English. Memorials. Buildings. Bridges. Death dates. A faint hum of suicide.
Twelve types of British stone. If these stones could talk: Keep calm and carry on.
A transitional moment. Brooklyn ‘misty and gray, with one tree out of a hundred to show fall colors.’ London cold and rainy, the summer’s heat wave a distant memory.
A heath in London, a hill in Brooklyn.
The mountain will not come to me. Or perhaps it’s just ‘moving at mountain speed’.