SLOW AV Festival

SLOW (AV Festival)

Critical writing: Iain Sinclair & Chris Watson
15 March 2012 to 27 April 2012

In the run-up to London 2012 with its motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger” AV Festival 12 presented an alternative, slower paced and relaxed rhythm to counter the accelerated speed of today. Titled after ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible), by pioneering artist John Cage, the theme explored how artists have stretched, measured and marked the passage of time. Some works lasted the full 31 days of the Festival, others were infinite in duration or moved imperceptibly slowly: 14 seconds became 31 minutes, an hour became 24, and participants ‘dreamt’ in a 12-hour sleep concert.  WALK commissioned a series of essays about each of the walks and I was asked to write two (these can be found on the right hand side of this page as downloadable PDFs). I also asked photography students from the University of Sunderland to record each of the walks. Some of these images can be seen below. For more details click more information.

The programme included urban walks in Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle, and rural walks in Teesside and Upper Teesdale nature reserves. It culminated in a large-scale mass participation Slowalk on Newcastle’s Quayside with Hamish Fulton, which marked the end of the Festival.

 

Iain Sinclair: Middlesbrough Talk

Thu 15 March, 6–7.30pm 

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

 

Sinclair is a leading writer, filmmaker, poet and psychogeographer, renowned for his walks in the borderlands of cities, derelict sites and urban redevelopments. His solitary walk in Middlesbrough was the focus of a public talk at mima. Sinclair previously walked the M25 to write London Orbital, and his new book, Ghost Milk, is a road map of post-Olympics landscapes.

 

 

Chris Watson: Teesside Sound Walk

Sat 24 March, 11am–3.30pm; Sun 25 March, 1pm-5.30pm

Seal Sands Nature Reserve

 

Watson is one of the world’s greatest sound recordists, famed for capturing the natural world for Sir David Attenborough. This sound walk encouraged participants to listen, not just to hear, this unique post-industrial environment. The walk was timed on an incoming tide to allow the slow tidal rhythms reveal seals and migrating birds.

The programme included urban walks in Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle, and rural walks in Teesside and Upper Teesdale nature reserves. It culminated in a large-scale mass participation Slowalk on Newcastle’s Quayside with Hamish Fulton, which marked the end of the Festival.

 

Iain Sinclair: Middlesbrough Talk

Thu 15 March, 6–7.30pm 

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

 

Sinclair is a leading writer, filmmaker, poet and psychogeographer, renowned for his walks in the borderlands of cities, derelict sites and urban redevelopments. His solitary walk in Middlesbrough was the focus of a public talk at mima. Sinclair previously walked the M25 to write London Orbital, and his new book, Ghost Milk, is a road map of post-Olympics landscapes.

 

 

Chris Watson: Teesside Sound Walk

Sat 24 March, 11am–3.30pm; Sun 25 March, 1pm-5.30pm

Seal Sands Nature Reserve

 

Watson is one of the world’s greatest sound recordists, famed for capturing the natural world for Sir David Attenborough. This sound walk encouraged participants to listen, not just to hear, this unique post-industrial environment. The walk was timed on an incoming tide to allow the slow tidal rhythms reveal seals and migrating birds.