post industrial zones

Dubious & formalised, as in Bilbao’s ex-docks or Sheffield reinvented as an apres-steel boutique: from industry to heritage industry. Wreckage needs to be real. It needs to be free. The central, inevitable & useful thing about a bent & rusty girder sticking up out of an overgrown cooling pond is that it’s a bent & rusty girder sticking up out of an overgrown cooling pond. Anything else is so pathetic: cleaned up, saved from itself (separated from the entropic processes it was always part of) & fit for a place on the mantelpiece in a nice front room. That teaches us something about the sublime in general: ie, really, it’s the Black Spot, the beginning of the end. So try & avoid capturing, recapturing or–especially– “celebrating” it. The urge to convey the authentic glee & terror of the post industrial wasteland is the beginning of the processes of romanticisation, postmodernisation & domestication. From the raw horror of a working blast furnace, through the uncanny of that much rust, to the kitsch. We need to live in the ruins; forget them; then live through them all over again, as whatever the landscape makes of them. Anything else is the media souvenir.

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9 Comments

Filed under empty space, landscape, lost & found, predicting the present, the postmodernised landscape

9 responses to “post industrial zones

  1. You just destroyed conceptual and found art. . . and possibly the writing of profiles about living artists and authors. A bitter-sweet triumph, then!

  2. can i bung this up on facebook, please? – regardless of what mr. foster says

  3. uzwi

    3beeches, be my guest if you give me link & credit.
    nigel foster: maybe not so bitter :-)

  4. Simon

    There’s not much point just posting ‘exactly’ is there? But…exactly.

    I think Iain Sinclair sometimes flirts with Romanticism when describing shitholes as places to walk through and think and ‘feel’ in rather than somewhere where other people just have to live.

    (Still love his prose though.)

  5. Pingback: Thought-bombs « Snarkmarket

  6. MichaelO

    The sublime cannot be coerced into enduring, its reduction and domestication begin at the exact moment you’ve realized it’s no longer threatening your meat or your psyche. It finds a fresh new venue to terrorize you.

  7. Daniel del Valle

    This post reminds me of Buenaventura Durruti,, “We are not the least afraid of ruins.”

  8. we don’t really want to be homeless but we want to walk in the places of its dreams
    we don’t want to take trinkets from the event but we don’t want to forget either
    we don’t want to truly be uncomfortable just terrorized occasionally
    have I got that right?