On the first day of Spring 2016

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Crossing the celestial line, a cloud on the first day of Spring

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The Caskieberran water tank, is a structure etched in the memory of growing up in the New Town of Glenrothes.  At that time, the tank was a grey monolith constructed at the highest point in the precinct where we lived. (1). It towered over the landscape, a mystery in concrete with no obvious sign of entry or exit. What was it really for? – a question much debated in the school playground. Perhaps, like an iceberg, it was the visible component of a vast, underground structure that constructed the hippos and mushrooms that dotted our landscape.

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Or possibly, it was full of some mind-altering drug pumped through the water supply to create a compliant polis, bearing in mind that most folk had been transplanted from elsewhere in Scotland and thrown together on this greenfield site of former farmland.

By coincidence, a Proustian revisit, last weekend, coincided with the vernal equinox. That day when the Sun traverses the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth – the celestial equator – heralding the first day of Spring. As if on cue, a heat-beating-sun emerged overhead to project great swathes of light over the gleaming edifice of the water tank now painted brilliant white. Directly above, a spring-blue canvas hatched swirling wisps of translucent cloud. A cinema show of cumulus, breath and breeze playing out across the sky..

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[watching]

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A graffito at the base of the water tank anchors a nodal point in the time-memory continuum. Grey hued images from the past merge with the brilliant white and blue of the present moment. The wider thought as to what will be the defining colour of a world to come: breathing green; water constrained brown; carbon black? …

When the sun crosses the celestial line in future years, hopefully, we will have cared enough for our planet, to sustain the usual ciphers that announce the arrival of spring: hawthorn bursts, daffodils, bee drone, butterflies and chiffchaff song.  The reassurance of invisible cycles made visible, of a world continuing to turn.

And with an eye to those future first days of Spring, no matter where we find our feet are standing, there will be a nod to past turnings remembered.  Of a world at a point in the web of time. That cloud, on the first day of Spring, 2016; a landscape of concrete mushrooms and hippos; a gleaming white water tank; a farm and a New Town precinct both called Caskieberran …

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The colours of a world to come.

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(1) The housing schemes in Glenrothes were called precincts, taking their names from existing hamlets or from the farmland on which they were built such as Caskieberran and Rimbleton.

Now playing: Karin Krog – ‘Cloud Line Blue’ from Don’t Just Sing: A Karin Krog Anthology 1963-1999.

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Cut Curve Circle

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Cut

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the curve

…..and call of 

……….the coastline

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a cellular circle

……….an expanding

…………………….world

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Now playing: The Incredible String Band – ‘A Very Cellular Song’ from The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter.

Posted in Ephemera - Encounters, Field Trip, Happenstance, Observation, Poetry, Psychogeography, rag-pickings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

As For the Sea

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As for the sea. The sea is impossible to believe. Only by imagining it can you manage to see its reality

Clarice Lispector

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With one step, a stream is crossed

an eye on the upland hill.

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Nomadic waters falling

gathering, descending,

dreaming of the open sea.

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Imagine:

The sea as a source of comfort

The sea as a site of desire

The sea as a skin of violence

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We can imagine into being

red diamonds. Criss-crossing

but never containing

the sea

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Imagine if the sea was all we had

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As if crawling on surface tension

a skeletal remnant, ghost

of the Great War.

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Now, a living sanctuary – seabirds

come, seabirds go.

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Imagine a sea-skating insect – hatched

from a Miyazaki film.

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Imagine the sea rising to bleed into the sky.

What about us?

Where will we stand

When the ink smudged clouds

Fall into the sea?

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Flotsam & jetsam

Plastic shards

and dead wood.

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Between high tide

and low tide

A little more

short of breath.

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Photographs taken from Carlingnose Point, North Queensferry, Limekilns and Crombie on the Fife Coast.

Now playing: Sandy Denny/Fotheringay – The Sea

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Reading at DCA in April + Book Review

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photograph by Peter Goldsmith

Murdo Eason of the Fife Psychogeographical Collective will be reading from the recently published From Hill to Sea, Dispatches from the Fife Psychogeographical Collective. at Dundee Contemporary Arts  on Thursday 14th April at 19.00. The event is free but please book in advance.

Copies of From Hill to Sea are now available in the DCA bookshop.

The new exhibition at DCA is Grey Gardens. Featuring contemporary and archive photography, scale models and sculptures, Grey Gardens explores how architects and artists have tried to harmonise their use of concrete with natural landscapes from the 1950s to the present day.

The exhibition traces a line from Scottish modernist buildings by Morris and Steedman and Peter Womersley to the work of Italian architect Carlo Scarpa and the fantastical Mexican concrete garden Las Pozas, created by Edward James.

Scottish town art also features, from Brian Miller’s work in Cumbernauld to David Harding’s creations for Glenrothes. These unique environments will be revealed through photography and video from Guido Guidi, Colin McLean, Amanda Holmes and Avery Danziger.

Set alongside these will be works by artists Neville Rae, Smith/Stewart and Martin Boyce, who won the Turner prize in 2011 and whose work DCA curated for the Venice Biennale in 2009.

Full details here

Book Review

A review of From Hill to Sea has appeared on Metal and Dust.

We have only just become aware of this excellent site which explores hidden geographies, unexplored landscapes and unusual spaces.

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Above the City: Leaving / Returning

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a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time

Patrick Geddes

and the resourceful creatures see clearly

that we are not really at home

in the interpreted world

Rainer Maria Rilke – The Duino Elegies

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Above the city

as if the cloak

of air, on wings,

weighs too heavy.

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A need to

take flight,

defy gravity

soar, for

a moment,

and return.

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Photographs taken looking towards the roof of the City Art Centre, Edinburgh, 6th February 2016.

Watching the cycle of leaving and returning. Leaving and returning.

Now playing: Grasscut – Everyone Was a Bird.

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From Hill to Sea – Book Update

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From Hill to Sea: Dispatches from the Fife Psychogeographical Collective, 2010 – 2014 is published by Bread and Circuses Publishing.

After a successful launch at the Edinburgh Independent & Radical Book Fair, copies of the book are now available from Word Power bookshop in Edinburgh and by mail order. See the Publications page here.

Posted in Ephemera - Encounters, Ephemera - Signs and Signifiers, Field Trip, Folk-Lore, Found Art, Happenstance, I Remember, Observation, Poetry, Psychogeography, Quote, rag-pickings, Some Questions of the Drift, Sounds of Spaces and Places, Symbol, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Keep walking intently’

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‘Keep walking intently’

Takehisa Kosugi’s text score Theatre Music.

Text score from Michael Nyman, Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Second edition, 1999).

Now playing: Taj Mahal Travellers – July 15, 1972.

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