Site-Writing

  • Dr Mona Livholts
  • narrative writing as art-based practice

  • Linda M Walker
  • “‘Linkages,’ ‘relationships,’ and ‘spider’s webs’ are some of the configurations taken by nerve information networks. Thus it appears that synaptic fissures are certainly gaps, but they are gaps that are able to form or take shape. That’s it, in fact: traces take form. It is striking to note that neuronal plasticity – in other words, the ability of synapses to modify their effectiveness as a result of experience – is a part of genetic indetermination. We can therefore make the claim that plasticity forms where DNA no longer writes.” (Catherine Malabou, trans. Carolyn Shread, Plasticity At The Dusk Of Writing, Columbia University Press, New York, 2010, 60)

  • Edward Hollis & Rita Alaoui
  • “… who, in ordinary life ever observes with such minute accuracy the decoration of a room? Who doesn’t limit himself to embracing the whole with a general glance, deriving vague and sometimes quite illusory impressions from it” (Praz, 1964) p.42.

    Mario Praz (tr. Weaver, William) An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration from Pompeii to Art Nouveau (Thames and Hudson, 1964) p. 42.

  • Silvia Groaz
  • I never saw this strange dwelling again. Indeed, as I see it now, it is not a building, but is quite dissolved and distributed inside me: here one room, there another, and here a bit of corridor which, however, does not connect the two rooms, but is conserved in me in fragmentary form. Thus the whole thing is scattered about inside me, the rooms, the stairs that descended with such ceremonious slowness, others, narrow cages that mounted in a spiral movement, in the darkness of which we advanced like the blood in our veins.
    R. M. Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, 1910

    Each layer flavours the next, but none is the right one. There is no sense of editing or correction, there is no top layer.
    N. Bourriaud, The Radicant, 2009

  • Emma Filippides
  • The still surface of the room constitutes four light grey plastered and painted walls adjoined at the corners, one white ceiling, and a floor of dark grey carpet. Fragments of stories pass through the door, each one utterly consuming, contributing towards the entirety of the known universe within.

  • Mariza Daouti
  • David Harvey has observed that despite the increased deterritorialization of culture and ethnicity, identities that have an attachment to places resist the pressures of globalization, and indeed their elaboration ‘has become more, rather than less important in a world of diminishing spatial barriers to exchange movement and communication’.

  • Maria McLintock
  • Debt makes people behave in strange ways. It mirrors and magnifies both voracious human desire and ferocious human fear. It is the emperor without clothes, a toxic masculinity exposed; naked and flaccid. Since this mother of all crashes, it has become the new shame. Being Catholic was once shame. As were cigarettes, being fat, being a whore, uneducated, gay, divorced. Debt is high on the charts of shame.

  • Max Olof Carlsson Wisotsky
  • Journeying allows grief because the journey has to stop: and that means the grief can’t last forever. The minute the train starts to pull away from the station I feel brave enough to cry.

  • Alessandro Zambelli
  • This, we believe, was what early Liuerpulians called their Metropolitan Salem, fed by the waters of the Fever Fountain and all administered by that Spring’s Lunatic Professor. Later, the people would feast in the Congregational Drinking Sheds, entertained by performances from the Gospel Boxes.

  • Mike Pearson
  • In June 1919, Cardiff was the scene of four days of riots that left three dead, many in hospital, and buildings ransacked and burned in the hunt for black and Arab seamen. A day-by-day, hour-by-hour, scene-by-scene narrative to conjure people, places and incidents – pieced together from local newspaper reports.

  • Simon Morris
  • ‘Artists are not interested in illustrating theories as much as they may be in testing them. This is why artists may choose to ignore contradictions in a text or choose to explode those contradictions. The art work may be the lab experiment which attempts equally as hard to disprove as prove a point.’ – Mark Dion, ‘Field Work and the Natural History Museum’, Alex Coles (ed.) The Optic of Walter Benjamin, v. 3 of de-, dis-, ex- , (London: Black Dog, 1999), p. 39.

  • Valeria Muteri
  • ‘Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.’ – Hannah Arendt

  • Rafael Guendelman Hales
  • ‘To some degree, the histories of displaced objects are analogous to human displacements, migrations and exiles.’

  • Photolanguage (Nigel Green & Robin Wilson)
  • “The first report was signed by the ‘Borough and Water Engineer’ and dated ‘this day of the 12th Day of November 1958’. This was a succinct survey by someone who knew where to look. It mentioned ‘bore holes’; ‘pits of puddle core’; ‘cut-off trenches’; a ‘concrete draw-off valve tower with overflow pass’; a footbridge with ‘moveable bearings’; and of a ‘site outside the water limits’ …”

  • Ishita Jain
  • ‘To understand a thing is a bridge, but to explain it is a murder.’ – Carl Jung, The Red Book.

  • Rachel Siobhan Tyler
  • Colour, texture, language, and the photograph, act as signs in these ‘site-writings’, which point to physical and sensory features of sites- whether these be architectural, artwork or emotional or philosophical concepts. The use of an ‘index’ questions what it is to ‘write’ site.

  • Catalina Pollak Williamson / Public Interventions
  • Phantom Railings is an interactive public artwork that uses sound to highlight the absence of railings from a Bloomsbury garden square by recreating the ´ghost´ of its lost fence.

  • Joanne Preston
  • ‘I find myself stalking its perimeter…I can just about get close enough to make out, through grubby windows, a chaotic scene of bubble wrap and sterile plastic boxes set against a sickly Victoriana palette. Duck Egg and mauve floral motifs collage with my own conspicuous reflection—out of place and unwelcome.’

  • Lili Zarzycki
  • ‘Consider the sublime. Is it possible that I feel this in sharper detail than most? Otherwise it seems impossible that this is not the only thing we talk about. That in lieu of the social we not just walk into the sea, sinking down to black and bleeding thick iron-blue’

  • Emma Cheatle
  • ‘9 September 1977,
    and I write to you that I love the delicate levers which pass between the legs of a word and itself’
    Jacques Derrida, The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond (1980).

  • Marko Jobst
  • I close the book. I contain the desire to disturb the silence of this room, to shout out your name and mark the beginning thus. Not a cry of love then, but a hypnotic cue: Wake up! And sink deeper into sleep.

  • Klaske Havik
  • between land and water 

    between dancing and falling 

    between dream and thought 

    between now and later and then

    

on ever these same edges 

    we build and write

    because the lines
    
inescapably 

    own us as we own them

  • Nikolas Ettel
  • The Glorious Tomb to the Memory of Nothing is a literary interpretation for locating and visualising the predefined use of punctuation beyond common reading methods, and thereby establishes a playful discussion of literary traces.

  • Valia Rassa
  • Intrigued by the fragmented visual sequence, the shape and rhythm of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, I analysed this type of wordless narrative and conducted multiple readings in order to try to understand the author’s logic and tools. I found myself in a constant dialogue with him and his work. A visual of the whole narrative prevailed in my head, and subsided only when it took the form of a map as concrete image.

  • Simon Morris
  • ‘If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.’ – Juan Ramón Jiménez is quoted by Ray Bradbury in the epigraph of his book Fahrenheit 451 (2004).

  • Anna Ulrikke Andersen
  • “With caretaker Stig Pallesen, I visited the building, recording our conversation with radio-mics. We wander through hallways, staircases, attics and offices, uncertain as to exactly where the chemist died, 90 years prior. When I returned, time had passed. The snow was gone, replaced by green grass and blooming trees and flowers. With me, I had the film The Death of the Chemist (2016) that was to be installed in the building.”

    From The Death of the Chemist: Installation

  • Ceren Hamiloglu
  • “We are only stickers here. Third class citizens.”

    Even though interviewees perceive themselves as ‘the other’ and resist change, they have to adapt to the ‘rules of the culture’ they live in, through tactics; yet interviewees also mentioned to me that some things in Dalston were done ‘the Turkish way’, suggesting a short circuit found in the system.

  • Fiorent Fernisia
  • “What is home, for a nomad?” If we start from a familiarity we call home and fly away betraying it, we familiarize ourselves with others only to betray them again. This is a secretive book that not only tells and shows story but also makes the reader perform it as well.

  • Polly Gould
  • The past, in other words, is always contained in the present, not as its cause or its pattern but rather as its latency, its virtuality, its potential for being otherwise.
    Elizabeth Grosz, (2000), ‘Histories of the Feminist Future’, Signs, 25:4, pp. 1017-21, p. 1020.

    Penguins are undoubtedly old-fashioned in their appearance, but their looks are nothing like so old-fashioned as their history. They are really some of the most primitive behind-hand birds in existence.
    Edward Wilson, ‘Some remarks on Penguins’, The South Polar Times, Vol. 1, April to August 1902, (London: Smith, Elder, & Co. 1907), pp. 3-9, p. 3.

  • Killian Doherty
  • ‘Our Conversation took about 45 seconds. I explained the idea, which took about 40 seconds. ‘Great I’ll give you steel’ he said and that was it. In reality Arcelor Mittal has given so much more than the steel.’

    Boris Johnson, Mayor of London on procuring the steel for the Orbit

  • Sebastian Buser
  • “If……oral historians are interested in the full meaning of the spoken word then they must stop treating oral narratives as if they were reading prose when in fact they are listening to dramatic poetry.”
    Dennis Tedlock, ‘Learning to Listen: Oral History as Poetry’, Boundary 2, Vol. 3, No. 3, The Oral Impulse in Contemporary American Poetry (Spring, 1975) p.725

  • Willem de Bruijn
  • … between the writing and the table there is a tension, which is the tension between a message and a surface, between something fluid and something static, between something supposedly written in the hand of God and a hand, all too human, trying to hold His wrath at bay…

  • Emma Cocker & Clare Thornton
  • Not disorientation but a shift in orientation. Going inward — turned backward. Inversion — to turn, change; turn inside out, to fold. Turn around on an axis; revolve — from volvere, to roll or wind. Turn over, rolling on the tongue; the release of language from itself. [Cocker/Thornton, The Italic I]

  • Naomi Gibson
  • I am engrossed. I can hear everything and see everything. I take the performance in, fully formed. I am aware that there are others around me, watching too, seeing what I see. But my relationship is only with the stage, and what it wants to tell me.

  • Carlo Menon
  • ‘Operating on its own constructions, history makes an incision with a scalpel in a body whose scars do not disappear; but at the same time, unhealed scars already mar the
    compactness of historical constructions, rendering them problematic and preventing them from presenting themselves as the “truth.”’ (The Sphere and the Labyrinth, p. 12).

  • Catharina Gabrielsson
  • The trajectories that led me to these grounds – to what appears like a crystalline return to origins – are a meshwork of incidents, interests and work-related striations: a landscape to hide in, a landscape to master, or to die in. Following the advice of Deleuze and Guattari, I’m here to maintain my “small plot of new land” in the reckless pursuit of an on-going project whose aims and outcomes are uncertain.

  • Emily Orley
  • ‘An echo cannot occur without a distance between surfaces for the sounds to bounce from. But the resonation is not on the walls. It is in the emptiness between them. It fills the emptiness with its complex patterning.’ Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002), p.14

  • Joanne Bristol
  • ‘The possibilities of language are not only human and not only language’.
    Stephen David Ross, ‘The Writing of the Birds, in My Language’, in Animal Philosophy: Ethics and Identity, ed. Matthew Calarco and Peter Atterton (London: Continuum, 2004), p. 190

  • Sarah Butler
  • They walk on cinders
    to crowd the banks
    Britannia, Mauretania, Monarch

    he reads the next place to step
    on slippery green

    throned on my father’s shoulders
    he remembers the zeppelin
    I remember him

    we watch them cast secret concrete
    through holes in a tin fence

  • Judith Rugg
  • Walter Benjamin, cultural theorist and writer wrote about the city through a series of ‘urban pen pictures’ – experiments in the representation of the city to capture the fleeting and contingent. These ‘thought images’ were a way of mapping personal history that modern society threatens to destroy.

  • Danielle Hewitt
  • “Until the time of Aldrovandi, History was the inextricable and completely unitary fabric of all that was visible of things and of signs that had been discovered or lodged in them: to write the history of a plant or an animal was as much a matter of describing its elements or organs as describing the resemblances that could be found in it, the virtues that it was thought to possess, the legends and stories with which it had been involved, its place in heraldry, the medicaments that were concocted from it substance, the foods it provided, what the ancients recorded of it, and what travellers might have said of it.”
    Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences [1966] translated from the French (London: Routledge, 2002)

  • David Roberts
  • I was raised by storytellers, Carlo and Antonietta, clinging to their great pilgrimage after the war from a Sicilian hillside village to a council flat in Clerkenwell. My grandma whispers gran destino — meaning great destiny, her ninety-year-old eyes gleam. When she really means clandestino — illegal immigrants, her words updated and mutated as veins have darkened and courage wrinkled.

  • Catalina Mejía Moreno
  • Remember, repeat, work-through. Sigmund Freud.

  • Sophie Handler
  • A semi-fictional journey through regenerating Newham investigating the spatiality of ageing from Plaistow to Canning Town. Featuring such notable places as the shelves in Poundland and that double avenue of trees in Beckton Park (gone missing).

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