'Star Gazing Walk'
18:00 - Starting point: 140 Lewisham Way, London.
20:00 - End point: Greenwich Observatory, London.
A fictional text was developed relating to specific locations on a route that took the pilgrims from Deptford to Greenwich Observatory. The pilgrimage emphasized a playfulness towards location, science fiction and local stories of mystical phenomena, functioning as a fictional narrative and changing the location and objects into a place of mystery.
Let’s start with death and work backwards.
I found the body first thing in the morning. It lay there on the ground with it’s face down, surrounded by the shrapnel of its own end. For a minute, I think about ignoring it and walking away, letting the next person to walk by deal with it. Then my conscious comes over me, and feeling sorry for the next possible discoverer, I decide to clean up the mess. I carefully lift the body and discard it in the most appropriate manner. When I come back to clear the rest of the remains, I discover the imprint of its face in blood on the ground. Its killer silently approaches the scene and stands opposite me with a proud glint in his eye, ‘I am king, yes I am king’. This was always the way with his attacks, they were merciless, brutal and bloody and there was never any sign of remorse. I always ended up having to clear the remains…like an accomplice of sorts.
In this world, a person’s maximum age is strictly legislated: twenty one years, to the day. Our age is revealed by a crystal embedded in the palm of our right hand that changes colour every seven years, yellow from 0-6, blue 7-13, then red 14-20. It finally turns black at 21 when we reach our last day. On this day, we must undergo the ritual of carrousel, in which we are willingly vaporised and ostensibly ‘Renewed’. We’re told to accept this promise of rebirth, but I am one of those who believe that it’s a culling system as a way of population control.
As a result of our controlled lifespan, some of us resort to obsessive hoarding of every day objects, rendering them as meaningful by attaching significance to them as part of a collection. This is done in hopes that it will protect us against loss, protect our memories or ward off our own pending death. These collections become fortresses of memory. Others deploy more spiritual methods, building shrines, totems and monuments believing that if they pray and meditate they can draw a cosmic life force to the earth that will one day rescue us from our own destruction. The result is a glut in the world of a set of non identical objects and experiences. A gathering up and convergence of cultural artefacts, each producing their own authority and weight.
As with each of these murders, I clear the remains into a pickle jar and add it to my collection…