I was out walking on Tuesday, well, I stopped the car and clambered into a small wasteland, once the site of pigeon lofts. I left the car outside an evangelical church wondering if they had chosen the site because it was so marginal themselves. The path was hidden but I pushed through the bushes and entered a small clearing with assorted abandoned objects on the ground. I walked through musing that I didn’t dislike the place because of the mess, it made me comfortable in some way, it was interesting, there was an archaeological aesthetic that appealed.
I was thinking about collaboration again feeling there was something of significance in the mess that was around. It felt that there was collaboration between me and the litter, the litterer and I. The rubbish was thrown away, discarded condom packs, bottles, a sofa, nothing was placed, some of it was thrown from the road above, over the wall and gathered time immemorial at the foot of the slope amongst the scrub.
I carried on through the trees to my true aim, the pigeon lofts. They are difficult to access and quite dangerous to clamber around so decrepit is their condition, rusted nails and fallen structures lie on top of each other all covered with a clambering growth of nettles, brambles and cleavers.
I’d come here to see the graffiti and one piece in particular that I’d noticed before and thought was perhaps one of the early trial pieces by Phlegm.
What remains of my interest in spirituality could be expressed through ideas of collaboration. I feel that if I am somewhere with a question in my mind the place/activity offers a set of co-ordinates for me to understand the question, I just need to look.
That is both a description of collaboration and collaboration itself. I read the pigeon loft woods as an act of collaboration: myself and the litterer, phlegm and the loft door, rampant weeds and the collapsing structures. There was danger (of injury), difference (the broken, abandoned objects had all been left by someone) and fear (could I collaborate with any of them if they were really here).