R U I N S a n d C E L E B R A T I O N This 'Stand up, dear city' workroom was all about traces and cheer. We looked at the process of ruination, focusing on how it demonstrates an inevitability to the ‘natural process’ of things . Within the workroom their seemed as much a nod to humans’ ambitious, boundary pushing, progressive spirit that fuels the desire to build bigger and better, as there was comfort knowing that eventually many things will 'lose out' to nature. In amongst the cranes and sleepers we searched for both conflict and amity and questioned the value in what is 'man-made' and what is 'natural'. Throughout the walk we looked for the dystopian, mocked up grand buildings, just in order to tear them down. We sided with the ‘natural’ side of ruination, planting seeds to speed up the process.

  • The ambitious, boundary pushing, progressive spirit that inhabits our desire to build bigger and better will eventually 'lose out' to nature. Ruins are not symbols of our short-sightedness or misplaced endeavour but demonstrate more an a inevitability to the 'natural process' of things. They are cathartic symbols.

Quotes to include on page:

'Ruins change so fast that one cannot keep pace: they disintegrate, they go to earth, they are tidied up, excavated, cleared of vegetation, built over, restored, prostate columns set on end and fitted with their own or other capitals; fresh areas of ancient cities are exposed, scattered ruins assembled together in railed enclosures, ruin-squatting populations expelled from castles and abbeys, walls repaired.'(Rose Macaulay)

‘Buckmaster tried to point out to Halloway how the Twentieth Century had met its self-made death. They stood on the shores of artificial lagoons filled with chemical wastes, drove along canals silvered by metallic scum, across landscapes covered by thousands of tons of untreated garbage, fields piled high with cans, broken glass and derelict machinery.’

'Halloway was fascinated by the glimmering sheen of the metal- scummed canals, by the strange submarine melancholy of drowned cars looming up at him from abandoned lakes, by the brilliant colours of the garbage hills, by the glitter of a million cans embedded in a matrix of detergent packs and tinfoil, a kaleidoscope of everything they could wear, eat and drink.’ (JG Ballard)

'It was hard to tell the new highway from the old road; they were both confounded into a unitary chaos. Since it was Saturday, many machines were not working, and this caused them to resemble prehistoric creatures trapped in the mud, or better, extinct machines – mechanical dinosaurs stripped of their skin.' (Robert Smithson)