As I’ve argued in recent posts, wastelands aren’t simply made by accident – they’re produced by political economy. This excellent piece at Jones the Planner persuasively argues that Britain’s High Speed 2 will (among other things) result in more city centre wastelands.
This is the second part of a (slightly) edited version of a talk I gave to the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham back in January. The first part – which covers the history of the site – is here, but they can be read as standalone pieces. …then as farce According to the recently released Nottingham Growth Plan, the city ’stands at the threshold ... more »
This is a very slightly edited version of a talk I gave to the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice’s seminar series back in January. This is the first part of the talk, which focusses on the way in which economic forces have shaped the ecology and geography of a large wasteland on the edge of Nottingham city centre. The second part, which I’ll post later this week, ... more »
A guest text by Richard Houguez on the first of Nottingham’s Wasteland Conversations: Making Place On reflection, it was fortunate it was to be a sunny day – land always seems to shimmer with possibilities in this kind of light. But hold back that word, u-t-o-p-i-a, first something can be heard. We trod grass a little while, moving between the shadows of the BioCity buildings, along the wore-in desire lines ... more »
Wasteland Twinning Nottingham NeedsYou! On Saturday 27th April, Wasteland Twinning Nottingham is producing an ambitious photographic work on ‘The Island’ wasteland, between Sneinton and Nottingham city centre. The work is a recreation of an artist’s impression of the unrealised Hopkin’s masterplan (above), which would have seen the space developed with hotels, restaurants, flats and offices. We’re going to ask people to stand on the wasteland in the same positions as those on ... more »
The Wasteland Conversations took place in February and March 2013 at Nottingham Contemporary, exploring themes that are central to our research within the Wasteland Twinning Network. They covered themes of place and place-making, the role of artistic practice, utopia and community, ecology, and the commons and enclosure. The audio files of the conversations are now available online. They can be accessed at: http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/event/wasteland-conversations Scroll down and click on ‘links’ to ... more »
Wasteland Twinning Nottingham is pleased to announce an open call for submissions for two works that will be included in (or occur at the time of) our exhibition in October 2013. The call is attached as a .pdf here and reproduced below. Wasteland Twinning Nottingham Call for Micro-Commissions The Wasteland Twinning Network (http://wasteland-twinning.net) is an independent, international network of artists and researchers exploring the uses and functions of wastelands in cities. ... more »
Wednesday 20 February, 3.00 – 5.00pm We have invited curator and researcher Aria Spinelli to share the story of Isola Art Center and their experiences of working with the local community to resist gentrification, and the notion of ‘Fight-Specific Art’ as part of Wasteland Twinning Nottingham’s current residency at Sneinton Library. BOOK HERE Venue Sneinton Library Sneinton Boulevard, Sneinton, Nottingham, NG2 4FD
Continuing our relationship with Nottingham Contemporary and their public programme we were invited to co-curate and host a series of conversations in response to the current John Newling and Piero Gilardi exhibitions. Making Place Wtih Alan Boldon, Elaine Speight and Ferdiansyah Thajib Tuesday 19 February, 6.30 – 8.30pm This conversation questions the use of art in public planning and place-making strategies and considers alternative means by which artistic practices ... more »
On Monday I’ll be talking at the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice’s seminar series on ‘Creativity, Capital and Commons in the Contemporary City’. The talk will focus on how changes to the form of production produced a large wasteland on the edge of Nottingham city centre (known locally as ‘The Island’) and will consider how capitalism is trying to mobilise ‘creativity’ to redevelop it. Yet I will argue ... more »
‘When the Boot’s factories were demolished the City Council were going through the land reclamation process and they found this underground reservoir of white, gooey, gloopy stuff which sparked a lot of worry that it might be dangerous. They sent some guys in chemical suits to take samples and when they got the results back it turned out that it was toothpaste…’
Here in Nottingham we’ve got lots planned for the first quarter of 2013, including a series of public discussions at Nottingham Contemporary and a ‘residency’ in Sneinton Library (close to The Island wasteland site). Talk at University of Nottingham Our first event of the year is a talk I’m giving at the Centre of the Study of Social and Global Justice’s seminar series on Monday 21st January. Entitled ‘The Eastside Island: ... more »
Article by Ferdiansyah Thajib, KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre and Rebecca Beinart, Wasteland Twinning Nottingham Collective, published on culture360.org. The article is based on a presentation that took place at the Wasteland Twinning Network Forum, responding to the recently signed ‘Wasteland Twinning Agreement’ between the wastelands known as Ledok Timoho in Yogyakarta and The Island in Nottingham. The conversation reflects on experiences of researching these sites and examines wider questions about ... more »
Discussion on art, regeneration, gentrification, land use and temporary usership in Nottingham. The debate will be led by writer, musician, film maker and contributing editor to Mute Magazine Benedict Seymour. Contributing participants include researchers from Wasteland Twinning Nottingham; designer, historian and lecturer Chris Matthews; developer and lecturer Nick Ebbs; journalist and writer Owen Hatherley; blogger, planner and urban designer Adrian Jones and cultural geographer Alex Vasudevan.
You are invited to the Wasteland Twinning Ceremony between Ledok Timoho in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and The Island in Nottingham, UK. The ceremony will take place on Sunday 2nd September at 12 noon local time in both locations. Featuring a walk to introduce the wastelands to each other, a short ritual, and foraged tea. This event marks the beginning of a relationship between two groups involved in the Wasteland Twinning network: ... more »
As part of our public launch programme, Wasteland Twinning Nottingham commissioned band Surfacing (of whom, I should add, I’m a member) to write a piece of music inspired by The Island site. The track was played live at the launch alongside a film shot on The Island by Rebecca and David, and edited by Rebecca. This is a remixed version of that live performance. It features a percussion instrument built ... more »
Join Wasteland Twinning Nottingham and Berlin on Tuesday 10th July, 5-7pm at Nottingham Contemporary, to reflect on recent Wasteland Twinning events and to learn more about the project. Will Foster and Gabrielle de Vietri will be visiting Nottingham from Berlin. Will is one of the founders of the Wasteland Twinning network, and Gabrielle has been instrumental in organising The Fallow Games in Berlin which took place last weekend, in parallel ... more »
Saturday 30 June 2012 1 – 5pm The Island As the Olympic Torch passes through Nottingham towards the Olympic ceremony, researchers from the Wasteland Twinning network will stage a day of international sports activity as part of their ongoing action-research into land use and classification. Appropriating the wasteland as adventure playground, recreation space and dangerous play area; you are invited to join a team for a friendly rounders tournament and ... more »
Yup! And we’ll be using it to live tweet the rounders tournament this Saturday. Come follow us here. We’ll be preserving all tweets and they’ll become part of the Wasteland Twinning archive.
Wednesday 11 April, 10 – 12.00 Djanogly Lecture Theatre, Nottingham Trent University, UK Context Lectures: SITE /OFF-SITE /NON-SITE Becky Beinart, David Bell and Mathew Trivett (Wasteland Twinning); Jennie Syson (Hinterland) and Emma Cocker (Urban Retreat / Manual for Marginal Places). This contexts lecture explores three different projects that deal with specific marginal sites as their point of provocation. Drawing on the experiences of these projects, invited speakers interrogate the critical ... more »
A few weeks ago I interviewed Pete McGuire, who has lived and worked in the area for many years. He explains what happened when the Boots factories were demolished and reflects on why the Island site has remained largely undeveloped for the past twenty years – and what he’d like to see there. As we were talking, Elizabeth, another local resident who was walking her dog, stopped to join in the ... more »
Today I began the process of producing a series of rounders bats (similar to a baseball bat) for a forthcoming research method involving game play and sports on the wasteland that reference the idea of the adventure playgrounds, reckie and the ‘dangerous’ play areas of youth. This sporting event moreover serves another function as a research method; it is designed to create a temporary space with an alterior rule-set unbound ... more »
Interview with local historian Chris Matthews on the recent plans for a Tesco Superstore on the Island Site, and the local campaign to oppose it. Apologies for the wind! Design for Tesco Nottingham Eastside by Mangera Yvars Architects Hopkins Nottingham Eastside Masterplan Chris talks about the local and national campaigns against Tesco: http://notescoeastside.wordpress.com/ http://www.tescopoly.org/ And Green Issues Communique – the organisation that Tesco’s commissioned to mount a pro-Tesco campaign.
A couple of months back I watched Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker for the first time. Returning to our site on the 22nd December for an exploration with fellow Nottingham explorers Rebecca and Mat – and Will from Berlin – I was really put in mind of the ‘zone’ in which so much of Stalker‘s action takes place. There’s a strange timelessness to the wasteland- particularly in the area around the former Great ... more »
The Ghost of Eastside Yet To Come As we continue our investigations into the Wasteland’s strange past we have news of the wasteland’s future. From the Nottingham Evening Post: “TESCO has abandoned its bid to build a superstore on the city’s Eastside development site, near Sneinton. The company withdrew plans to build an Extra store earlier this year after Nottingham City Council officers recommended they be refused.” The full story ... more »
Rebecca and I visited Nottingham City Library yesterday to conduct more research into the Island wasteland site. We uncovered much of interest relating to the island’s past (and numerous unrealised futures, including a plan for a ‘World Trade Centre’), about which we’ll say more soon- but one finding is worthy of immediate attention. Our interest was piqued by a card in the index draw. These cards contain snippets of information ... more »
I am interested in the idea of making produce from the wasteland: identifying plants on the the wasteland that can be used as food, drink or medicine. It offers another perspective on the value of such places. The Island is a very ‘productive’ site when viewed in this way – it’s a rich foraging ground. Last week, David and I went to pick elderberries (Sambucus nigra) from the southern part ... more »
In working out the crow hours (our chosen measurement of distance for the signpost) between our Wasteland and the other Wastelands in the project, we made a note of where you’d pass over whilst travelling ‘as the crow flies’ to the other wastelands in the projet. When we’re twinned with another wasteland, one of these groups of places will lie on one of the trillions of virtual threads of globalisation. ... more »
Rebecca’s reflections on our visit to our wasteland site in Nottingham put me in mind of cracks and weeds: of spaes of hope and that which is always trying to disrupt what we often taken for granted… Our site, as Becky’s post notes, is covered in dense foliage. This has really bloomed in the last few months and the change from an unappealing, barren ‘wasteland’ in February to what could ... more »
Today I went to explore the Island with David, visiting parts of the site I had never been to before. The southern part of the wasteland that’s dominated by a huge derelict warehouse is fenced off. But the fence has collapsed and it looks as though many people use this area as a dump, a hideout, a playground. David told me that the bodies of two homeless people had been ... more »