Edinburgh Zine Library
This week, for inspriation, I visited the Edinburgh Zine Library, housed in a section of the city’s Art & Design Library within the Central Library building on George IV Bridge.
A Drama in Time
Underneath a railway bridge on Edinburgh’s Calton Road is the unlikely home of an illuminated neon artwork called A Drama in Time (2016), commissioned by the Edinburgh Art Festival and created by artist Graham Fagen.
Quote from the Edinburgh Art Festival website: “A Drama in Time takes inspiration and its title from pioneering environmentalist and city planner Patrick Geddes (1854—1932), who worked to improve the living conditions of the citizens of the Old Town. He aimed to achieve such improvement by bringing nature and humanity together, suggesting that ‘a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time’.”
I like this idea that cities are more than just a physical location, they exist in time as well as space. The “drama” aspect could also be interpreted in different ways.
Evening session where we were given the opportunity to briefly discuss our individual projects to date.
Peer session 17/06/22
It was useful to compare notes with Lorri, who, although she is looking at a slightly different topic, is also working on a project that follows a very personal narrative and talks about a sense of place.
At present, I’m still not 100% decided on the final design output, but have been considering creating a (fan)zine, specifically focussing on collecting memories of Studio 24. Talking over ideas has been really helpful – and threw some things into the mix that I hadn’t thought of. Some considerations that came up in conversation include the idea of a high end, polished, minimalist design approach, versus a lo-fi, analogue, visually “busy” style, using hands-on techniques like collage, photocopying, scanning and drawing in an interesting way. This could even be down to the construction methods employed, like using hand stitched methods for binding.
There is also the possibility of making something with an audio element, because after all, the project concerns music. One option I’ve thought about is creating a short video trailer to showcase the project output, using visual storytelling to explain it and help set the scene musically.
I also recognised the need to clarify what’s required in terms of evidencing my interviews and transcripts thereof for submission. After checking, I now know I can add edited versions of the transcripts as appendices to my critical report document.
Desire Lines is the result of a meeting of Edinburgh’s creative minds in 2014 to advise on a review of the council’s cultural policy, asking the question: “what makes Edinburgh a culturally successful city?” This prompted a set of calls-to-action, with a view to harnessing and promoting the city’s cultural assets, improving inclusivity, providing the best possible platform(s) for culture to prosper year-round, and allowing the area to continue to foster creative talent in the city.
This week I decided to revisit some of my previous research on zines from earlier modules. I found it useful to look back on several of the resources I had discovered previously with fresh eyes, and in the particular context of my final major project. The entire ethos of punk (as a movement) and DIY culture is intrinsically linked to independent music venues. Zines began as an alternative way of publishing, a way for subculture communities and marginalised groups to disseminate information and have their voices heard.
In working on my critical report, and reviewing my research overall to date, I recognise that my project is in fact deeply personal – Studio 24 for example is very much a part of my own history, and I feel this is something I should be explicitly acknowledging when writing about/discussing my work. In the same vein, I read a Studio International interview with Laura Oldfield Ford, where she discusses the concept of being an “embedded subject” in the context of her psychogeographical work, as she is not an outsider looking in:
If you look at it in academic terms, I suppose I’m an “embedded subject”, meaning I am absolutely of that terrain. I am not an objective outsider coming to observe: I am drawing on experience and memory, collective memory, tuning into the currents embedded in the walls. And it’s not about belonging to a community in a bourgeois sense of owning property or investing in a particular geographical area, but being part of a nomadic movement: belonging everywhere and nowhere, being connected by experiences of precarity, transience and anxiety, while also being emboldened and invigorated all the time by flashpoints of militancy and euphoria. (McLaughlin 2017)
CULTURE EDINBURGH. 2015. ‘Desire Lines: A Call to Action from Edinburgh’s Cultural Community.’ Available at: https://cultureedinburgh.com/sites/default/files/2019-01/DesireLines_booklet_SCREEN.pdf [accessed 14 Jun 2022].
EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL. ‘A Drama in Time – a Visual Poetry Resource.’ Available at: https://www.edinburghartfestival.com/the-festival/learning-engagement/teachers-resources/a-drama-in-time-a-visual-poetry-resource/ [accessed 14/06/2022]
EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL. ‘Graham Fagen: A Drama in Time, 2016.’ Available at: https://www.edinburghartfestival.com/event/graham-fagen-a-drama-in-time-2016/ [accessed 14/06/2022]
KINSELLA, Warren. 2005. Fury’s Hour: A (Sort-of) Punk Manifesto. Toronto: Random House Canada.
MCLAUGHLIN, Rosanna. 2017. ‘Laura Oldfield Ford: “I Map Ruptures, such as the London Riots”.’ Studio International [online]. Available at: https://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/laura-oldfield-ford-interview-i-map-ruptures-london-riots [accessed 21 Apr 2022].