Friday, December 31, 2010

Ley Land-i

Turn off the A228 at Cuxton and proceed along Bush Road. At the junction take left fork, sign posted Luddesdown. Follow this lane and watch out for the signpost indicating Great Buckland. Before reaching Great Buckland there is a 'no through road' sign to the left. This is the lane leading to Dode  which is on the right after half a mile or so.

The mound stands at the end of a ley-line which stretches to the east for some 10 miles, exactly upon this line stands three Pre-Reformation Churches, two Roman sites, a Bronze Age Burial Ground and two of the "Medway Megaliths", the Coffin Stone and enigmatic Little Kits Coty.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Script for a round table discussion

Chair: Marcus Lumen (ML)
So the first two parts of Apostrophe S - Green on the Horizon and Hangway Turning were shot on Super 8 and then edited on video. Why didn’t you just shoot directly on film or video?
Professor Ham (PH)
As both works were funded by small grants from South East Arts it would have been financially possible – just, to shoot on 16 mm and equally we could have used a video camera and kept everything digital...
Professor Cheese (PC)
…well electronic rather than digital, but yes we used the Film Co-op’s slightly dodgy Nizo 801 Super 8 camera and then transferred all the footage onto Umatic at this little place in Barnes…
…Glentham studios…
Yes that’s right Glentham studios, we transferred everything to Umatic and then took the time coded dubs down to Brighton. Free off line editing was a perk of the South East Arts award and then from that we compiled an Edit Decision List. The final three-machine edit took place at the Fantasy Factory back in London. So it was quite a long-winded process.

So why go to such lengths?
Well long winded as it was it was still considerably easier than trying to edit the tiny Super 8 frames and it gave us a lot more flexibility than working on 16 mm.
With 16 mm if you want to repeat a section or change the speed or anything like that you can of course use an optical printer but it is far easier to manipulate the footage once you’ve transferred it on to video. On video you can really begin to play with the film.
So it was a practical and aesthetic decision?
Very much so. There were of course a few other people using the same Super 8 onto video technique as well. The so called new romantic Super 8 crowd and of course Jarman and… 
..and Cordelia Swann – but making a film on video was still not accepted it was an awkward position
Awkward in that it in terms of distribution it positioned the work somewhere between the Filmmakers Co-op (LFMC) who pretty much distributed works on film and, London Video Arts (LVA) who distributed video art.
Those two organisations were quite separate at the time weren’t they?
The LFMC and LVA had developed distinct and complex: histories, aesthetics, working practices and identities and they defended their particular territories.
So a video that had been shot on film did not sit that comfortably at either address?
Fortunately Jez Welsh at the Film & Video Umbrella decided to include Green on the Horizon in the Electric Eyes touring package and so we sidestepped all of the “is it a film or is it a video” issues but with part two Hangway Turning, the Co-op took the tape but did nothing with it and LVA refused it on the grounds that it was a film so I had to send it off to festivals myself.
And did they have a problem with the film/video thing?
On the whole no, not at all it was quite, er popular.
In a way though you can understand LVA turning it down as using Super 8 inevitably gave the works a filmic quality and the nature of the camera work and pace of the editing owe much to cinema and little to video art.
Didn’t Jeremy Welsh’s in the Electric Eyes booklet describe Green on the Horizon as being like Mission Impossible or a TV programme of that nature.
Well he said that it had something of that flavour of a Mission Impossible and that is definitely one element in the mix, but only one…
…There was definitely a small screen influence but this is combined with
frequent nods to experimental film practice.
Hangway Turning also makes allusions to TV but more to documentary with its accounts of ghost sightings and other paranormal activity around Blue Bell Hill in Kent.
As we were saying before using film and then editing on video made it easy to repeat sections of footage and sound – for it to be looped, treated and replayed. A kind of post-materialist approach.
Well I’m not sure about post – materialist, but the experimental element in both works is certainly self-conscious or perhaps knowing (makes gesture).
I’ve always felt that Structural Materialism with its preoccupation with the anti-illusory follows the same trajectory as Greenbergian thinking.
You mean in terms of self-reflexivity?
Yes that and the medium specificity though in this case we are talking film rather than canvas but, if you put some of the Greenberg and Gidal writings side by side they read almost identically.
…But there is a fine line between self-reflexivity and knowing. The first is seen as good modernist practice the second as possibly kitsch. Particularly when you start mixing in other elements like easy listening music and TV references.
So Apostrophe S commits the sin of being a touch paordic in both its experimentalism and TV pretensions?
(Laughing)… Yes parodic is a good way of putting it rather than kitsch indeed had they been more kitsch and worn a boho art school bravura then possibly they would have found a home in the new romantic film…
…Quite. But seriously both pieces (Green on the Horizon and Hangway Turning) frustrate expectations in terms of conventional narrative construction and experimental practice never allowing the viewer to sit comfortably.
So this is the awkward thing again.
Well I struggle to sit through either (laughing) but sure in their own ways both pieces make promises and then fail to deliver - but that is part of the intention. With both mainstream narrative and experimental practice you get a sense of closure – even if with the latter it is a kind of dystopian alienated closure.
In the case of Apostrophe S you are left hanging.
Well on that note perhaps we should move to watching an extract….

To be continued.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Several artists and independent filmmakers such as Tacita Dean, Ben Rivers, Adam Chodzko, Stephen Sutcliffe and Matt Hulse have taken up the mantle, presenting elements of a folk or rural culture in their films. This work however does not exist without precedent.  In decades past, Bruce Lacey and Jill Bruce and performer/filmmakers the Neo-Naturists have evoked pagan histories, and if we include those who excavate the sublime and psychogeographic qualities of the rural landscape, then there are also films by David Hall, Steven Ball and Philip Sanderson, Renny Croft, William Raban and Chris Welsby.
- William Fowler, 'Absent Authors: Folk in Artist Film', Sight and Sound, August 2010

[Green on the Horizon is] An exploration of a bleak and mysterious marshland by a young woman on a bicycle who navigates this strange territory with the aid of a portable tape recorder whose prompt functions as an audio or guide book. Not quite a treasure hunt, the goal she seeks seems unclear, the journey is perhaps a self-fulfilling exercise. It has some of the atmosphere of a television thriller, a home movie Mission Impossible at whose outcome we can only speculate.
- Jeremy Welsh, 'Electric Eyes' programme, Film and Video Umbrella, 1988

Short cuts make long delays. Green on the Horizon makes a wonderful diversion.
- Steven Bode, City Limits, London, 28 April, 1988

There is a lot accidents involving cars in the area


'To take the idea a bit further, I have a friend who lives in Kent who is a medium and I was invited down one Friday evening in early summer to place called Kits Coty.

The Blue Bell Hill area around Kits Coty is notorious for its road ghost phenomenon, even hundreds of years ago there are tales of cart horse riders being accosted by an old crone (she last seen by a motorist late one night very near to Kits Coty a few years ago). There is a lot accidents involving cars in the area plus a helicopter belonging to the the Kent Air Ambulance crashed nearby in the 90's.'

this is not a game or competition...

Most speculation about this is that what people are witnessing is the ghost of Judith Langham.

"Other reports tell of a phantom hitch Hiker thumbing a lift and getting picked up by the Lower Bell pub on the same road and putting the world to rights all the way to Maidstone... before vanishing right from the seat."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Write Off

BRIDE-TO-BE SUZANNE BROWN - due to be married at the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady, Gillingham, on Saturday - was still in a coma last night after a smash at Bluebell Hill on Friday which killed two of her friends and seriously injured another.

Her fiance, R.A.F. photographer Brian Wetton at Woodlands Road, Gillingham, waited all the week-end at the West Kent Hospital, Maidstone, for her to recover consciousness. A Roman Catholic Priest, Father Gregory Moore, was called to her bedside. Yesterday her condition was said to be "very poor".

The dead girls were 23-year-old Patricia Ferguson, a teacher of Fair View Junior School, Wigmore, who lived with her brother in Malvern Road, Gillingham, and 22-year-old Judith Lingham of Banks [sic] View, Albany Road, Rochester.

The fourth girl in the car, which was driven by Suzanne, was 23-year-old [sic] Gillian Burchett of Borstal Road, Rochester, who was said yesterday to have shown slight improvement.

The crash, between Suzanne's Cortina and a Jaguar driven by Mr. Harry Backhouse, of High Street, Chatham, occurred near the Lower Bell at Bluebell Hill at about 11 p.m.

Miss Sheila Baird (28), of Curzon Road, Chatham, the passenger in the Jaguar, was also taken to hospital and yesterday her condition was said to be improving. Mr. Backhouse (29) was allowed to go home after treatment.


The wedding of Suzanne and 23-year-old Brian was to have taken place at mid-day on Saturday. Friends of the couple had to turn guests away at the gates of the church. The reception was due to be held at the Prince of Wales Hotel, Chatham.

Suzanne, who comes from Adelaide, Australia, and Brian had booked passages to Australia where Brian was hoping to start a photography business. Both were Roman Catholics and Father Gregory led the morning mass in prayer for the couple at a Maidstone Church on Sunday.

Miss Ferguson, whose parents live in Dunfermline, Scotland, was in her third year as a teacher at Fair View and yesterday headmaster Mr. C. H. Burrows said: "The whole school has been deeply shocked by this news.
"Pat was a friendly, popular type of girl, well liked by both the children and the staff."

Miss Ferguson was also a member of the Rainham Amateur Theatrical Society.

Miss Lingham, a London stockbroker's secretary, was a former Gravesend Grammar School girl and a committee member of the Good Companion's Club, Rochester.

Her father, ship steward Mr. Eric Lingham, had left for Hong Kong on Wednesday last week and as soon as the news reached her home a message was radioed to him.

Yesterday his daughter Katherine said that he had replied that he hoped to get home in time for the funeral, which was expected to take place early next week. An inquest is likely to be opened this week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

'are contained on the tape which you will find in the blue rucksack'

Observations on this changing landscape are contained on the tape which you will find in the blue rucksack

These should help you when crossing from one sector to another

The recordings are in no apparent order

and, must be used at your discretion

Green on the Horizon

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Yes I can bug the table

The Crash

The original works remain somewhat enigmatic, the intervening years have done little to explain their existence. They are themselves therefore unexplained phenomena, like the phenomena that was their ostensible subject. The very fact of revisiting the project, the act of reenaction, the possibility of the remake, are all propositions that will call into question the efficacy of the original project. Like the ghost it is elusive, and how much is the revisitation, like a seance or an exorcism, likely to summon up or evict the spectres of meaning, intention or significance.

A Postcard from Boxley Hill

A Postcard from Boxley Hill