The erratic nature of these blog entries is getting a bit silly so I'm instilling a bit of self discipline. I've decided to set myself 30 day projects to get some of the ideas in my notebooks into fruition and therefore have something to post here. Namely my progress.
Over the past year I have mostly been walking everywhere I need to be within London and have notched up 1300 miles so far [see map below]. A lot of these walks take me past a lot of building developments, none of which look to be aiming to be affordable or "social" housing. Mostly I am referring to Elephant and Castle and Vauxhall but there are many other areas undergoing gentrification.
A while back I read the phrase "Stuck In The Gentrifuge", although I can't remember where I read it now! However, assuming this is a play on the word centrifuge I would suspect that any victims of gentrification have not become stuck by any centrifugal force but separated and removed.
So, my first 30 day project is to find some sort of artistic representation of this.
Well, this sort of came out of the blue. From jokingly naming a big bumbling bee bashing against our window I came up with a little story for him and after four tortuous attempts at illustrating it ended up, over a year later, with this book. I don't think illustration is my forte but I am quite pleased with my attempt although I'm sure there are many that could do a better job.
This isn't a film about boxing... It's more a film about time.
On May 25th 1965 it was my Dad's birthday [well, it was every year] and he and my Grandad went out to see Ali fight Liston, so he later told me. The fight was in Maine, which I believe is 5 hours behind the UK so I have no idea what time the fight may have been screened here or what pub would have had a license to show it outside of the regular UK licensing hours in those days. Anyway, apparently they were slightly late getting to wherever they were supposed to watch it and, given the brevity of the bout, when they got there the fight was over. For some reason I believe that we were on holiday on the Isle of Wight but neither of them are around to verify these facts any more and as it was a long time ago that they told me it could be that I am remembering it wrongly; but thinking about it recently [out of the blue] gave me the idea to try to make the fight last its full length.
I'm not sure if it would have been a 12 or 15 round bout but either way it should have lasted between 36 and 45 minutes [plus bits between rounds I suppose]. I've stretched it to 38 minutes. That's the 1 minute 40 it lasted plus a bit of pre-amble and the end celebrations on Ali's part.
The concept was inspired partly by Douglas Gordon & Philippe Parreno's "Zidane" and Gordon's 24 hour Psycho.
Stretching the clip that much has rendered any accompanying audio useless so I had to think of a 38 minute piece to add to it. I considered something akin to Underworld's contribution to the Frantic Assembly production, "Beautiful Burnout", also boxing based; but I needed something so much slower. The Beach Boys "Help Me, Rhonda" was, apparently, No 1 in the US at the time of the fight so I've stretched that to the same length and the result is, I think, quite haunting; almost Gregorian in parts.
The sum of the two parts means means that it may not last long on You Tube but as I acquired both the video and the audio from uploads to You Tube that probably shouldn't have been there to purloin in the first place, who would be to blame, huh? It would be nice to have a better quality version of the original footage and better software to work on it with, but this will do for now.