So many dreams of collectivity have died in neoliberal London.
Now they are incarcerated in hospitals, or languishing in the gutter.
‘territories of commerce and control’.
Once those spaces are enclosed, practically all of the city’s energy is put into paying the mortgage or the rent. There’s no time to experiment, to journey without already knowing where you will end up. Your aims and objectives have to be stated up front. ‘Free time’ becomes convalescence. You turn to what reassures you, what will most refresh you for the working day: the old familiar tunes (or what sound like them). London becomes a city of pinched-face drones plugged into iPods.
No Pedestrian Access To Shopping Centre.
a bombed-out city, full of chasms, caverns, spaces that could be temporarily occupied and squatted.
The struggle here is not only over the (historical) direction of time but over different uses of time.
The whole city is forced into a gigantic simulation of activity, a fantacism of productivism in which nothing much is actually produced, an economy made out of hot air and bland delirium.
The eroticism here is not primarily to do with sexuality,
Fugitive time, lost afternoons, conversations that dilate and drift like smoke, walks that have no particular direction and go on for hours, free parties in old industrial spaces, still reverberating days later.
the city as a site for drift and daydreams, a labyrinth of side streets and spaces resistant to the process of gentrification and ‘development’ set to culminate in the miserable hyper-spectacle.
Cool Britannia. Old joke. ‘Space’ becomes the over arching commodity. Notting Hill. New Age cranks peddling expensive junk. Homeopathy and boutiques, angel cards and crystal healing.
ruptures in the fabric of everyday life.’
A new kind of human being was supposed to live here, but that all had to be cleared away so that the restoration could begin.
Haunting is about a staining of place with particularly intense moments of time,
trapped inside the drearily glossy spaces imagined by advertising and regeneration propaganda, sometimes free to drift.
Perhaps it is here that the space can be opened up to forge a collective resistance to this neo liberal expansion, to the endless proliferation of banalities and the homogenising effects of globalisation. Here in the burnt out shopping arcades, the boarded up precincts, the lost citadels of consumerism one might find the truth, new territories might be opened, there might be a rupturing of this collective amnesia.Words by Mark Fisher &/or Laura Oldfield Ford
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