Tag Archive | journeys

Recent Mapmaking (2014 so far) part 2

This is the second post in a series what I still call psychogeographical maps (or cognitive mapping). Quoting certain sections and using a selection of photographs to widen the project, which at its core still has the intention to be a Cognitive Mapping of Now – aiming to be useful for locating the current socio-political mood, and the psychological impacts of it. (The first post can be found here. A collection of the 2014 maps can be found here).

19 August 2014

“The smell of ‘Americanness’ emanating from Wakefield’s expansive retail park, from a very doughnutty smell.Yet [I am] at lest 200 yards away at the moment. I say ‘Americanness’ because it’s a distinctive smell from childhood, largely due to it’s lack of presence in it, except when I was with other [children’s’] parents. I think it is fair to say my dad was highly critical of large swathes of American culture – mainly that which forms around the likes of Disney and Macdonalds. Thus we rarely indulged in them, and more often had fish and chip takeaways.

42. 19.08.2014

43. P1010297

43. P1010298

“The trains are far more advanced than the clunky ones [the commuters of] lower-West and South Yorkshire get. It certainly does feel commuters from some areas are treat as a higher class of citizens than commuters from other areas. There is certainly an unacknowledged hierarchy and snobbery relating to commuter transport in this country.”

44. 19.08.2014 (2)

45. P1010300

46. P1010301

20 August 2014

“Low-seating on Northern Rail means that I can’t help but see what everyone is doing/reading on the train. [A] Girl/young woman sits in front of me. She looks like a student [do to student badge hung around her neck]. I notice that the book she is reading is called ‘Overcoming Anorexia’ [and] it is now clear to me why. I feel really sorry for her, she’s obviously so ashamed of it, as she has covered up the book cover with white paper. It also deeply saddens me, coming home from Manchester, slightly more sentimental than usual due to alcohol intake. Manchester will always be [a place] connected with my own anorexic spell, due to having to leave [a course I was studying in] the city due to it. As she reads a chapter on the damages it does to relationships, I am reminded how I never truly overcame it, I just channeled the obsessive behaviour into other things. But it’s still there, only skin-deep. The young woman probably has parents going prematurely white-haired due to this thing that has inflicted their daughter in this violent world”.

47. 20.08.2014 (2)

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27 August 2014

“Bus stop outside district hospital. [I always feel there is] a lot of really unwell-looking people within our borough. Across the road are posters for last Monday’s Jarrow-inspired march to save the NHS (from privatisation). In some ways it is one of the [only] visible signs of class politics within a town of this size”.

51. 27.08.2014 (2)

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2 September 2014

“Sat in cafe [close] to the cathedral. Two males sit in front of me. [They are] loud, and aggressive in tone – especially the one who’s back is facing me. After being audibly subjected to it, it is apparent that they are capitalist gangsters – no doubt about it. Discussing dark deals. The man doing most talking is of Asian ethnicity, but with strong West Yorkshire accent; the other is an obese white man, with terrible skin on his face. I feel offended by the money amounts they are talking about, and intimidated by the main-speaking-man’s warnings to the other man that he will get himself killed if he isn’t careful, and that he himself is prepared to kill for business”.

54. 02.09.20142

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4 September 2014

“On Trans-Pennine train, I sit facing a young man of near-Asian ethnicity – wearing sunglasses and white earphones. Despite his ‘westernisation’ and my general blaming of Western forces for the rise in extreme militancy in the [Islamic] group ISIS, I can’t avoid the irrational fear brewed in everyone’s mind by the thought-masher that is the mainstream media. “What if he cut my head off on the train?” my reptilian brain-part asked my other brain-part. I felt so bad for having these thoughts. He got off at Huddersfield. I just fear that the [mainstream] media’s making everyone’s minds harbour such thoughts – it can only make the world a nastier place if so”.

57. 04.09.2014

58 59

60

Want to get out of tourist area on the docklands as soon as I find myself there. Just have no interest in the gimmickry of it. Union Jacks and Beatles’ memorabilia; a mixture of things associated with Britain/Liverpool re-appropriated into the conservatism of making everything into a tourist spot. Isn’t it odd how many sites of former industrial/political strife have since been ‘re-developed’ into meccas from tourism and consumerism?”

61. 04.09.20141

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“I realise we have taken a different rail route back into Manchester, due to unfamiliar look of route. Settlements begin unexpectedly quick [again, after exiting Liverpool]. Due to this, I almost fool myself into thinking that maybe there’s an urban sprawl/city between the Manchester/Liverpool sprawls that I’ve somehow managed to erase from my memory”.

64. 04.09.20141

Recent mapmaking. (2014 so far, through maps)

I’ve begun including a few photographs within my (what I still reluctantly call -as I’ve not found a better word for them yet) psychogeographical maps.

13th May 2012

“Street Art-clad entrance into Victorian storm tunnels, before they descend under central Leeds. Perhaps the element of urban decay is what prompts us to talk about the rise of capital flight from urban areas in the future, alongside the rise of ‘disaster capitalism.”

6. Leeds May

6. may 13

17th June 2014

“Waiting to cross the road and notice man stumbling down Huddersfield Road. He looks severely distressed. Can’t tell if it’s emotional, pyshical or both. He looks extremely impoverished, possible addiction problems. He stumbles onto road, rush hour traffic has to stop, and he stumbles onto the next road. I turn around dreading I’m going to see him run over. It’s as if he’s lost the will to care. Can’t help feeling that I’m seeing many individual tragedies of neoliberalism’s race to the bottom.”

7. map 17 june

24 June 2014

“Passing homeless person on Division Street. Dave says there was a program on TV recently confirming what I have thought: that [cases of] homelessness has exploded in Sheffield. I never used to notice it 4 years ago. Now it feels like a city close to a social time-bomb.

9. 24 June

30 June 2014

“Large juxtaposition between aspirational, digitally-utopianised imagery, whilst old men sit and watch the demolition [going on] beyond the imagery. Is there really enough people in this area [who can afford to shop at extortionate upmarket shops] to justify this total gentrification of Leeds?”

11. map 30 june1                                 12. june 30 (3)        13. june 30

8 July 2014

“Trees growing from disused railway line momentarily give me impression of a city abandoned by humans, and lush plant life taking over”

15. map 8 july16. 8 July

12 July 2014

Pro-Scottish independence sticker of gas/electric meter (?) at bottom of Victoria Road. It says ‘End London Rule!’ My first thought it “we’re all [as in the rest of England] with you on that!” I’ve noticed a lot of pro-Scottish Independence stickers posted around this end [north] of Barnsley – a Scottish/Yorkshire link trying to be harnessed maybe?”

17. map 12 july1

                             19. P1010156       18. july 12

15 July 2014

“Aspirational poster of good-looking couple pillow-fighting next to private apartments. I always find this advert offensive, even as its believability fades as it gets bleached by the sun.”

20. map 15 july

21. 15 July

22. 15 July (2)

19 July 2014

“Can’t ignore rolling news bulletins flying past on big screen in Wetherspoons. It’s all about responses from nations regarding the Malaysian passenger plane being brought down by a missile in Eastern Ukraine. It starts to make me feel unwell – the unending possibilities of consequences that can crush your well-being.”

24. 19 july

1 August 2014

“6 Chimneys Wetherspoons, Wakefield. The only place I found to sit and have a coffee. Sit across from young man, wearing vest, on his laptop. [See him] trawling his Facebook and Hotmail accounts, no doubt feeling the need to keep up to date with things and search for opportunities. It is something an increasing number of us are familiar with, including myself; the low-paid, precarious, or unemployment mass all trying to better their predicament through the network – an endless, relentless searching and (virtual)door-knocking.”

25. 01.08.2014

5 August 2014

“Listening to the Louder Than Bombs compilation, The Smiths, in roads/landscapes akin to the ones I used to walk/cycle through whilst I was in my early adulthood. It reminds me of how, despite it being a difficult time, I still had hope for life/the future.”

27. map  5 August

28. 5 August

11 August 2014

“Head to Baby Jupiter, a pub [I frequented] often in the early recession days. Near-past friendship groups. There’s a little glass jar on the bar; “help us from going bust”. This is the most ‘Retromania’ bar I can ever imagine. Yet, right now it feels like a comfort blanket, immune from time”

30. map 11  August

12 August 2014

“The long urban walk begins to [blend together] with my long urban walks in South East London. I think about how Manchester is portrayed as ‘Coronation Street’, but is experientially very akin to gritty South London.”

33. map 12  August35 36   37

16 August 2014

“Suddenly notice cars, and realise the seeming ‘place of safety’ is within grasp. Forests, especially dark, near impassable ones, warp [your] sense of time and distance. My wrong turn [within] it has felt like an hour, when in reality it’s only be 25 minutes. I have sweat dripping from my forehead.”

39. 16.08.2014 (3)

17 August 2014

“Two very tall policemen surround a poor-looking, possibly malnourished teenage male, outside [the train] station. Whatever he’s done, he now looks noticeably scared. A nearby person says “haven’t they got anything better to do than to pick on a boy?”

39. 17.08.2014 (2)

18 August 2014

“Barnsley library now literally one big heap of rubble. What a waste. It almost looks like a dark monolithic construction. From here [viewed on Shambles street] it is placed right in front of the town hall – it almost looks like an attempt to rebuild Barnsley’s past landscape of spoil heaps.”

40. 18.08.201441. 18.08.2014