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Spare Places: A Psychogeograpical Guide to AOS' London


James
(@james)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 251
Topic starter  

If anyone would like to see a 15 minute 'home movie' entitled:

Spare Places: A Psychogeograpical Guide to Austin Spare's London

then go to www.jamie-gregory.blog.co.uk

or click on the webpage button at the foot of this post.

Regards,

Jamie


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Congratulations Jamie... a superb tour!

bazelek


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Indeed it is.
Best Wishes Robert.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Oh! Thank you, thank you and thank you!!!

Your movie... it made me cry. A strange mix of joy and nostalgia.
It's so beautiful and emotive.

[I've just watched it for the first time... and then for a second time... and then a third time too!].

Any fool can film the streets in which AOS lived... but a genius is able to film the spirit of AOS still walking there in an invisible and subtle way; and that's what you did.

I didn't visit your web yet (I watched it in youtube.com), but I'm going to visit it right now. I'd really love to hear a few comments from you about the way in which this movie was made. I really love what you did. 😀


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Hey!
I've just discovered that you didn't make a movie about Spare... but TWO!

http://www.blog.co.uk/srv/media/media_item.php?item_ID=60120 5"> http://www.blog.co.uk/srv/media/media_item.php?item_ID=601205

I really loved this other one too.
I'm not sure if that was your intention, but watching this other movie about the atavisms, I got really surprised by the way in which the animal statues look so alive... whilst the visitors of the museum look so mundane... as dead as salt statues. It's amazing.

When I started to watch this other movie, the first impression I had is that it was only a bit related to AOS, almost as if AOS was an excuse... but then... as I kept on watching... Wow! Exactly the opposite happened!
The visitors of the museum suddenly became the Inferno of the Normal, the most horrible creatures of the whole universe... and the statues showed their magic, their power as atavism. As if they were shouting: "look at this dead hell of human zombies... we are the way out!". And that's, in my humble opinion, the true spirit of AOS.

If my comments make you blush 😳 ... well, it's not my fault that you're such a marvelous artist! I really like the way in which you film.


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James
(@james)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 251
Topic starter  

Well thank you...praise indeed 😳

The film was really a matter of researching the areas where AOS lived and seeing how the levels of buried history of a place can resurge again in the present. This is the basis of psychogeography. Thus this method mirrors atavistic resurgence only on a street level.

To begin with it's just an idea to do something I am personally interested in, then once the pot has been stirred a few times it becomes quite amazing just what comes to the surface. I'm always interested in how fantasy material of the inner subjective world can manifest outwardly and create strange congruences. In a city the landscape is predominantly man-made so one expects to see human psychology 'spread across the face of the earth.'

Although some talk about being clear with ones intention before embarking on a magical work, I find with this sort of project the intention or perhaps motivation has many levels. These are revealed during the course of the work. I found it so with this project. There was a personal reason why this work was undertaken which became apparent to me as time went on. I began to realise just what AOS symbolises to me. After all I never knew the man personally so in one sense all my interest with him is fantasy material from the unconscious.

That material gets projected out upon the city as I walk around and thus it becomes possible to have a dialogue with this 'otherworld'. To be honest I'm of the view that this 'other' place sometimes appears as psychological and sometimes as outside in the physical world. As the writer Patrick Harpur suggests it's probably both, he uses the term 'daemonic' to talk of it. After all if it is transcendent then it must be beyond both subjective and objective.

One final point on this topic, I have a fantasy that the whole of London contains or can symbolise every possible level of consciousness. At the end his book London: a Biography, Peter Ackroyd states baldly that "It is Illiimitable, it is infinite - London." In other words like many people who live here I only ever visit certain areas for work, play etc. These areas become associated with all the different levels of consciousness that I experience day to day. This is just like everyone else who lives here too. So if I want to explore a different consciousness then I just visit a place I have never been to before. Although I wasn't born here I know many people who were and yet I have heard many of them say "Oh, I've never heard of that place before!" And yet, 'that place' is probably only a few miles from where they live. It's so easy to fall into the 'otherworld' and yet many never even realise just how close it is!
😯 😆
Regards,

Jamie


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Thank you for what you wrote.
I always love to hear an artist talking about the ideas behind his creative process.

AND, besides from loving both the films I've seen from you, I also like very much what you wrote.

I am familiar with the ideas behind Psychogeography (I have some sort of fetish for Situationism)... and I also admire the work of two English men who work in this fields: Stewart Home and Nigel Ayers; whom you probably know.

Maybe you know the two books that Gilles Deleuze wrote about Cinema: "movement-image" and "Time-Image" (some of us call them, as a joke, "the old testament" and "the new testament"). Both of these books are marvelous, and what you are writing makes me think a lot about this second book; "Time-Image".
Deleuze takes the ideas of Henri Bergson and uses them as a way to analyze cinema. He uses the idea of Bergson that there is a non-psychological memory (i.e, a memory that is contained in the matter of the world, in the world itself and not in our brains or "inside our head"). And that cinema is the art that is able to show this very special memory that is not "inside a brain", but in the world: the past that the present contains. The way in which the present is already a past, the way in which the past is already a future. As you say: "I have a fantasy that the whole of London contains or can symbolise every possible level of consciousness". That's exactly what Deleuze tries to explain; the way in which the world itself is a non-psychological consciousness.
That's exactly what happens in a master-piece like Resnais' "Hiroshima, mon amour"... which is the story of two characters, a couple, a French girl and a Japanese man, who become the cities in which they live. By the end of the movie the French girl from Nevers tells the Japanese guy: "Now I know your name, your name is Hiroshima"... the guy replies: "And I know your name, your name is Nevers". The fantastic thing about the movie is that Nevers (France) is also Hiroshima (Japan), but Hiroshima is also Nevers. The World itself becomes a non-psychological consciousness... a psychogeographical consciousness. The past of Hiroshima-Nevers becomes its own present and its own future. And then the Japanese guy asks the girl: "Are you going to stay here in Hiroshima?"; so she replies: "I can't leave Hiroshima", because that's what she became (a consiousness of the World -the horror of Nevers, the horror of Hiroshima... becoming love).

So, what you wrote made me feel really glad... Now I feel that you were, like those characters in the movie by Resnais, saying: "Austin Spare, I know your name, your name is London". And that's poetry in its perfection. A place that is no longer a place, but a consciousness, a memory.

The way in which you describe your creative process, I loved it. I can imagine you with the camera, trying to find "the places of AOS in London"... but in a special moment London becomes AOS and AOS becomes London. And the past of London becomes its present. That's magic. A poet behind the camera was necessary... and there you were... and you did it. So, congratulations. A true poet, a magician, is what you are.


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Frater_HPK
(@frater_hpk)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 104
 
"James" wrote:
If anyone would like to see a 15 minute 'home movie' entitled:

Spare Places: A Psychogeograpical Guide to Austin Spare's London

then go to www.jamie-gregory.blog.co.uk

or click on the webpage button at the foot of this post.

Regards,

Jamie

I just sent you email. I would like to show yopurs two movies, this one as well as An Intelligent Desing, on exibition we prepare about art and the occult. Is it possible?

93 93/93

B.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

So, James... it seems that someone really liked your movies and a review of both movies is now featured in the blog of o23...
An annonymous Spanish-spoken e-zine which is distributed only via e-mails... though it also has a blog where a few short articles or selections of larger articles also appear.

Since it's annonymous and written under a pseudonym, I can't know who wrote it! but it must be someone who really like what he saw 😉

http://ombligo23.blogspot.co m"> http://ombligo23.blogspot.com

~This is probably one of the most interesting experiences an artist can have... to see an article about some of his works... written in a language that he doesn't read! ~

fgccccccccvv <span style="font-size:9px]


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James
(@james)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 251
Topic starter  

Ha..Ha! curiouser and curiouser!

Thank you very much for this. Although, you are right, I don't speak Spanish, the French and Latin I remember from school gave me the gist of some of the paragraphs. Although if an English translation were available I would be interested to read it? If you come across one please let me know.

Please give Kia a pat on the head from me too. In my preliminary dream for this film I saw AOS flying in a glider up the River Thames from the East. How clever of Kia to refer to this re-birth (resurgence), motif!

Regards,

Jamie


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

Hello James.
Did you know that Spare took flying lessons? Perhaps you intuited this?
Best Wishes Robert.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 
"James" wrote:
Ha..Ha! curiouser and curiouser!

Thank you very much for this. Although, you are right, I don't speak Spanish, the French and Latin I remember from school gave me the gist of some of the paragraphs. Although if an English translation were available I would be interested to read it? If you come across one please let me know.

My natural language is Spanish; and though I'm able to read English fluently, what I can actually write is somehow very limited. I am certainly unable to translate something like this review to English. On line translations are never amazing, but I've just checked and using http://babelfish.altavista.co m"> http://babelfish.altavista.com and pasting there the URL:
http://ombligo23.blogspot.com/2006/09/austin-osman-spare-mon-amour-un-breve_18.html
[in the "translate a webpage" box and choosing the "Spanish to English" option] it would be possible for you to read a translation in a broken English. It will look a bit "funny", like a text written by a foreign person who babbles English, but you will know what the text says. It's still possible to read it even if it looks quite "funny" after the on line translation.

Please give Kia a pat on the head from me too. In my preliminary dream for this film I saw AOS flying in a glider up the River Thames from the East. How clever of Kia to refer to this re-birth (resurgence), motif!

Take it for granted that I will. It's not a surprise that he discovered your visions... he is a cat! (a creature who is, of course, by far more clever than I am). AOS himself knew this same thing too... looking at some pictures of him, it seems that he liked cats by far more than he liked humans! (and that's a very reasonable and sane point of view).

NOTE: after posting this message I've noticed that the lashtal.com system reduces the URL (it doesn't write as it is)... so you'll have to click the URL and visit the "real webpage" in order to copy the URL and then paste it in the on line translator.


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James
(@james)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 251
Topic starter  

Robert - I didn't know this fact about AOS' flying lessons, although I couldn't rule out cryptoamnesia as I have read a fair bit about him over the years. Thanks for this.

kzwleh - Thank you for this information too. I will give it a try.

Regards to you both

Jamie


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1126
 

For the information of anyone reading this forum in years hence, these two videos are available in their original uncompressed forms in the Downloads section:

An Intelligent Design
Spare Places: A Psychogeograpical Guide to AOS' London


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
 

"An Intelligent Design" is quite nice too, esp. the soundtrack.

I watched both short films on You tube.

Thanks!


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1992
 

I've only watched "An Intelligent Design" so far but wish to add my two cents worth:

It's GREAT. Both the style of filming and soundtrack blend perfectly to give a rumbling feeling of primal energy radiating from the various sculptures, almost as if you could reach out , touch one and feel heat, cold, vibration or a poweful surge of consciousness spoken without words! In fact, something of that happens through the eyes just watching the film!

Thank you for sharing it with all of us! 🙂

Kyle


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