misfits, miscreants, square pegs in round holes... or perhaps round pegs in square holes? Three artists cast distorting eyes over Trafalgar Square, presenting twisted geometries over 12 panels of the London Lomowall during the The Lomography World Congress. (17. - 23. Sept 07). by Manu Luksch, Bill McAlister and Mukul Patel.
Manu & Mukul run following workshops during the Congress:
A. Articulated Architecture
A man, a plan, a canal – Panama?
The towpath of Regents Canal is a thread through London's past and a route along which can be glimpsed its future. Here, houseboat meets loft, cycling commuters meet police helicopters, swans cruise around drowned motorbikes, willow trees weep over rusty locks, and the water reflects Victorian warehouses, Hitchcock's studios, and hypermodern
skyscrapers. This is the city as perfect stage.
Artist and canal-side resident Mukul Patel takes Lomographers on a 6.5km walk along the towpath from Angel, Islington, passing through leafy moorings, construction sites, industrial zones, artists' quarters, the oldest public park in London, an eco-centre, and battlegrounds of the Far Right, ending up in the bizarre new financial
centre of Docklands.
Along the way, acclaimed contemporary choreographer and martial artist Saju Hari makes short site-specific
dance pieces at spectacular locations.
Lomographers are invited to use Saju's intervention as a point of focus or contrast, a framing device, a source of motion blur, a body against which to measure buildings. Collaging dance and architecture, the
workshop/walk spawns new narratives of the city.
(Saju and Mukul have collaborated on several contemporary dance pieces).
B. Big Brother City
1. smile! 2. shoot back!
With its 5 million CCTV cameras, London is the most surveilled city on
Earth. Londoners are more or less continuously filmed from the moment they step out of their homes: rushing to work - and crossing at red?, on the double decker - peeping over the seating neighbour's shoulder into their newspaper?, at the cash point - cursing the queue ?, at the corner shop - picking up the extra pack of ziggies?, or in the leisure club's pool - swimming off that chocolate bar?
Artist-activist and film-maker Manu Luksch abused the CCTV network to make FACELESS, a science fiction film shot entirely with existing cameras. Over a five year period, Manu acted out scenes under CCTV cameras around London; the recordings were then recovered under the Data Protection Act. CCTV controllers erased the faces of other parties in the frame to protect their privacy as required by EU law – this is the real basis of the fictive ‘facelessness’.
In the 'Manifesto for CCTV Filmmakers', Manu describes the essence of the art of unearthing surveillance recordings, of how to tap into the 'closed circuit' of the gazing apparatus.
The Big Brother City workshop entices an introduction on the state of surveillance in London and a cam-spotting walk. Manu will share her secrets on how to spot even the most camouflaged camera, and chat about her experience of being a a 'data subject' in London. Once aware of the uncountable ever-hungry peeping lenses it might change the way you look through yours. Wear your best Colgate-smile on the tour-de-cam from the East End through the City and down to the Thames - and shoot back!
For the urban tour, Manu adds an 11th rule for Lomographers – every image must contain a CCTV camera in the frame. But given the density of cameras in London, this is hardly a restriction!