Wasted Common: a reading/viewing/listening list

24 Jun 2014 | David Bell - Nottingham, England

There were a lot of inspirations for Wasted Common, and I drew on a lot of peoples' research and ideas in making the programme. This list is in part to acknowledge those debts, but also to provide links people may want to follow up on for further information.

Radio

One of the biggest inspirations for Wasted Common were Ewan MacColl and Charlie Parker's Radio Ballads. They were incredibly groundbreaking, and mixed interviews, incidental music, song and field recordings. The sampling of Ewan MacColl's 'Dirty Old Town' at the beginning of the programme was partly a nod to this influence (though the lyrical content also fitted perfectly as it could describe The Island in the 50s). The radio ballads also had a social conscience, of course (even though Parker was a Tory when he began making them - I think I'm right in saying he became increasingly leftwing throughout the process though). The Ballad of John Axon (1958) is a wonderful portrait not just of a brave man but of a particular form of labour, whilst The Travelling People (1964) is one of the most moving studies of abjection and prejudice imaginable. I can't recommend them highly enough. Those that have survived are available to buy here.

I'd also like to really thank Resonance FM for commissioning this piece in the first place, and for being so open to experimental radio forms. Their brief to try and do something that could only be done on radio, and to push the boundaries of the format, was refreshingly empowering.

Film

When we began working with The Island, we thought of our methodology as a kind of 'stalking'; and then we remembered Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker (stream it free here) and noted that The Island has some similarities to 'the zone' in that film (time is perceived differently there, and the ruined industrial buildings look similar). In fact, we showed Stalker at our launch event a couple of years back. Eduard Artemyev's soundtrack was a big influence on the music made by Surfacing (of which I'm a member) for the programme, and as in Stalker I wanted a central refrain that could be reused throughout to bind the at times disparate subject matter and unsettle linear time.

Two very different films I saw too recently for them to have had any real influence on how this panned out, but which touch on similar issues and that I can strongly recommend are T Dan Smith: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Utopia by the Amber Film Collective and Concrete Heartland by Steven Ball and Ratsko Novakovi?. 

Music

How could anyone not be inspired by Einstürzende Neubauten's joyous repurposing of wastelands and urban space; especially when making a programme partly about wastelands in Berlin. There's a risk of disasterbation in their work, perhaps, but they did it before it became such a widespread cultural phenomena and with a hell of a lot more subtlety. And there was also an important critique of the optimism around the German economy at the time. That became particularly prescient with the rush to redevelop after the fall of the wall, which has created some pretty startling inequality. I'd also strongly recommend Jennifer Shrayne's writings on the band.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Set Fire to Flames were also strong influences: partly for the way they fused music with field recordings and interviews, but also for the way they seem to create such a strong sense of place through their music - to me, at least. And there's a sense of hope despite the ruins in their work too.

The 'utopian' trance section is inspired by, well, my love of cheesy trance. Straightforward utopianism is, of course, always 'problematic' (to coin a phrase), but it's great fun to let yourself go sometimes.

Dan Horner and Remi Fox-Novák - my bandmates in Surfacing - are also constant sources of inspiration. The semi rhythmic percussive sound that forms a lot of the incidental music in the programme is an instrument Dan made from bed springs abandoned on The Island.

Reading

 *=link is free to read/download

**=free with university login

Italics means it's a book, everything else is a chapter/article/pamphlet

Many of the books have been 'commoned' in .pdf form in libcom's library

On the commons and enclosure:

David Eden - Autonomy

Peter Linebaugh - Stop Thief! The commons, enclosure, resistance

Luther Blisset - Q*

George Caffentzis - In Letters of Blood and Fire

John Holloway - Crack Capitalism

Midnight Notes Collective - Promissory Notes: From Crisis to Commons*

Alex Jeffrey, Colin McFarlane and Alex Vasudevan - Rethinking Enclosure: Space, Subjectivity and the Commons**

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri - Commonwealth 

On ruins porn/disasterbation:

Denis Diderot - The Salon of 1767

John Cunningham - Boredom in the Charnel House: Theses on 'Post-Industrial' Ruins

Out of the Woods' libcom blog

Brian Dillon, ed. - Ruins

Owen Hatherley - The New Ruins of Great Britain

On wastelands:

Matthew Gandy - Marginalia: Aesthetics, Ecology and Urban Wastelands**

On abjection:

Imogen Tyler - Revolting Subjects

On 'creative' capitalism/gentrification/regeneration:

Southwark Notes

Andrew Harris and Louis Moreno - Creative City Limits: Urban Cultural Economy in a New Era of Austerity*

Urban Pamphleteer

Tom Slater - Gentrification of the City*

Not In Our Name! - Hamburg artists against gentrification*

Joel Kotkin - Richard Florida Concedes the Limits of the Creative Class*

David Panos - Create Creative Clusters*

Benedict Seymour - Shoreditch and the Creative Destruction of the Inner City* 

General inspiration:

Doreen Massey - For Space (link to podcast)

Marcus Doel - Poststructuralist Geographies: The Diabolical Art of Spatial Science

Henri Lefebvre- Rhythmanalysis

Fredric Jameson - Archaeologies of the Future: the desire called utopia and other science fictions

Stevphen Shukaitis - Imaginal Machines*

Lots of utopian, science-, weird-, fantastic fiction: Margaret Attwood, J.G. Ballard, Ursula le Guin, China Mieville, Marge Piercy...

 And finally...

The biggest inspiration, of course, comes from the people I've worked with through the project: Mathew Trivett and Rebecca Beinart of Wasteland Twinning Nottingham; Alex Head in Berlin; Ferdiansyah Thajib in Yogyakarta; and Ansgar Reul in Amsterdam, as well as all the artists we've worked with in those places. Plan C's guided walk around Leeds inner-city also sparked a lot of important thoughts.

Related Categories

Related Wastelands

Related Blog Entries by Site

The Island: A Lament

21 Nov 2017 | Rebecca Beinart

24 November at 16:00–17:00 UTCEvelyn Street, Nottingham, NG1 1, United KingdomJoin us at dusk on Friday to lament the...

Wasted Common on Resonance FM, June 24th/25th

05 Jun 2014 | David Bell

  At 8pm on Tuesday June 24th (and repeated the following morning at 9am) Resonance FM will be broadcasting 'Wasted...

Voices in a Field

16 Apr 2014 | David Bell

Commissioned by Wasteland Twinning Nottingham, Matthias Kispert's Voices in a Field is a collective vocal work...

The Wasteland Sculpture Park: A book project by Beth Bramich

14 Apr 2014 | Rebecca Beinart

Text by Beth Bramich. The Wasteland Sculpture Park A Collection of Proposals for Derelict Sites The Wasteland...

Recreation Ground Exhibition: An Overview

23 Jan 2014 | David Bell

Recreation Ground was an exhibition curated by Wasteland Twinning Nottingham. It ran at Attic Gallery, One Thoresby...

Desire lines symposium, 17 October

10 Oct 2013 | Rebecca Beinart

Desire lines: Art, Edgelands and the Urban Wilds Thursday 17th October, 2013 10am – 4.30pm (registration...

Voices in a Field - Participants Needed!

18 Sep 2013 | David Bell

Wasteland Twinning Nottingham has commissioned composer and sound artist Matthias Kispert to write a vocal work to be...

HS2 = Future Wastelands?

22 Apr 2013 | David Bell

As I've argued in recent posts, wastelands aren't simply made by accident - they're produced by political economy. This...

Creativity, Capital and Commons in the Contemporary City, Part 2

21 Apr 2013 | David Bell

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...

Creativity Capital and Commons in the Contemporary City: The Eastside Island, Pt. 1

15 Apr 2013 | David Bell

This is a very slightly edited version of a talk I gave to the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice's...

Making Place

05 Apr 2013 | Rebecca Beinart

A guest text by Richard Houguez on the first of Nottingham's Wasteland Conversations: Making Place On reflection,...

Artist's Impression: Wasteland Twinning Nottingham Needs You!

31 Mar 2013 | David Bell

Wasteland Twinning Nottingham NeedsYou! On Saturday 27th April, Wasteland Twinning Nottingham is producing an...

Wasteland Conversations Audio now online

29 Mar 2013 | Rebecca Beinart

The Wasteland Conversations took place in February and March 2013 at Nottingham Contemporary, exploring themes that are...

Wasteland Twinning Nottingham: Micro-Commissions Call

16 Mar 2013 | David Bell

Wasteland Twinning Nottingham is pleased to announce an open call for submissions for two works that will be...

Isola Art Center: Fight Specific Art

20 Feb 2013 | Mathew Trivett

Wednesday 20 February, 3.00 - 5.00pm We have invited curator and researcher Aria Spinelli to share the story of I...

Wasteland Conversations, Nottingham Contemporary

19 Feb 2013 | Mathew Trivett

Continuing our relationship with Nottingham Contemporary and their public programme we were invited to co-curate and...

The Eastside Island: Creativity, Capital and Commons in the Contemporary City

16 Jan 2013 | David Bell

On Monday I'll be talking at the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice's seminar series on 'Creativity,...

Leftlion interviews Matt Trivett from WT Nottingham

07 Jan 2013 | Will Foster

'When the Boot’s factories were demolished the City Council were going through the land reclamation process and they...

Nottingham Wasteland Twinning Early 2013 Programme

01 Jan 2013 | David Bell

Here in Nottingham we've got lots planned for the first quarter of 2013, including a series of public discussions at...

Twinning Agreement the Island & Ledok Timoho - culture360.org article

01 Jan 2013 | Will Foster

Article by Ferdiansyah Thajib, KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre and Rebecca Beinart, Wasteland Twinning Nottingham...

Regenerate Art at Nottingham Contemporary / 9 October 2012

28 Sep 2012 | Mathew Trivett

Nottingham-Yogyakarta twinning ceremony 02/09/2012

27 Aug 2012 | Rebecca Beinart

You are invited to the Wasteland Twinning Ceremony between Ledok Timoho in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and The Island in...

Surfacing - 'The Island'

29 Jul 2012 | David Bell

As part of our public launch programme, Wasteland Twinning Nottingham commissioned band Surfacing (of whom, I should...

Presentation & discussion at Nottingham Contemporary,10th July 5-7pm

10 Jul 2012 | Will Foster

Join Wasteland Twinning Nottingham and Berlin on Tuesday 10th July, 5-7pm at Nottingham Contemporary, to reflect on...

Wasteland Twinning on BBC Radio Nottingham. listen here

04 Jul 2012 | Will Foster

Wasteland Twinning Nottingham Rounders and Berlin on BBC Radio Nottingham. listen here at the time 2:38 http://www...

SIGN UP- Nottingham Rounders Club, June 30, 13 – 17.00, Nottingham

30 Jun 2012 | Mathew Trivett

Saturday 30 June 2012 1 - 5pm The Island As the Olympic Torch passes through Nottingham towards the Olympic...

WT Nottingham on Twitter

26 Jun 2012 | David Bell

Yup! And we'll be using it to live tweet the rounders tournament this Saturday. Come follow us here. We'll be...

Rounders Ready...

24 Jun 2012 | David Bell

         

Wasteland Twinning Nottingham Public Launch

07 May 2012 | David Bell

The Islanders present Launch of Wasteland Twinning Nottingham Saturday 19th May 2012 Featuring wasteland tours,...

Context Lectures: SITE /OFF-SITE /NON-SITE (Nottingham)

07 Apr 2012 | Mathew Trivett

Wednesday 11 April, 10 – 12.00 Djanogly Lecture Theatre, Nottingham Trent University, UK Context Lectures: SITE...

Interview with local residents

16 Mar 2012 | Rebecca Beinart

A few weeks ago I interviewed Pete McGuire, who has lived and worked in the area for many years. He explains what...

Trading Camouflage for Camouflage

16 Mar 2012 | Mathew Trivett

Today I began the process of producing a series of rounders bats (similar to a baseball bat) for a forthcoming research...

Tescopoly

13 Mar 2012 | Rebecca Beinart

Interview with local historian Chris Matthews on the recent plans for a Tesco Superstore on the Island Site, and the...

Stalking the Zone

19 Jan 2012 | David Bell

A couple of months back I watched Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker for the first time.  Returning to our site on the 22nd...

The Ghosts of Eastside

07 Nov 2011 | David Bell

The Ghost of Eastside Yet To Come As we continue our investigations into the Wasteland's strange past we have news of...

A Strange Recording from 1959

15 Oct 2011 | David Bell

Rebecca and I visited Nottingham City Library yesterday to conduct more research into the Island wasteland site. We...

Elderberry rob

06 Sep 2011 | Rebecca Beinart

I am interested in the idea of making produce from the wasteland: identifying plants on the the wasteland that can be...

Where the crow passes over...

22 Jul 2011 | David Bell

In working out the crow hours (our chosen measurement of distance for the signpost) between our Wasteland and the other...

As the crow flies

22 Jul 2011 | Rebecca Beinart

Nottingham was the first stop for the Sign Prototype - a method by correspondence. All distances are marked in cr...

Sunset recording

22 Jul 2011 | Rebecca Beinart

We recorded five minutes of audio at sunset last night. Here's a short extract. [jwplayer mediaid="895"] To hear...

Weeds, Rhizomes and Cracks...

25 Jun 2011 | David Bell

Rebecca's reflections on our visit to our wasteland site in Nottingham put me in mind of cracks and weeds: of spaes of...

Exploring the Island

23 Jun 2011 | Rebecca Beinart

Today I went to explore the Island with David, visiting parts of the site I had never been to before. The southern...