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Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

Film Poetry and Authenticity

In Art, film, filmmakers, poetry, Uncategorized on August 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I am not talking specifically about lo-fi filmmaking – with enough conviction you can shoot on anything – truly poetic cinema transcends its medium.

For me, the idea of ‘film poetry’ is intrinsically bound up with authenticity; contrived, conceited and overtly self-aware films will struggle to communicate with the same depth and pull (one constantly being reminded they are watching A Film). Authenticity is humbling, engaging (effective as any scriptwriting formula) and altogether human.

Eschewing tackier modes of delivering a narrative in favour of creating something truly personal is difficult – can feel downright punitive (certainly if you’re as doubtful of yourself as I am when working creatively); easy to become disenchanted early on. Over-analysis is the enemy of free-rolling thought – I find it most effective to Stop Thinking So Hard (especially during the early stages of an idea). We have more preconceptions than we realise.

I ran my first filmmaking workshop last month and assaulted my audience with a deluge of instruction for some time before realising I was making the same mistake I’ve made for many years in writing and shooting films – doing can be writing, writing leads to doing-to-writing-and-on. This doesn’t (necessarily) mean shooting. It means submerging oneself utterly in the experience of the film during its creation – being honest to it. ‘Knowing your film’.

If you know your film, you’ll make your film, because you’ll be very aware of any development towards your film that isn’t your film. A purity of vision, I guess… perhaps this is film poetry?

Keep the (urban-walking) faith!

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Guest blog by Tina Richardson, University of Leeds

This blog will provide basic instructions how to carry out a dérive, while at the same time attempting to keep within the theme of your blog. So, in between a guide on how to do a bit of psychogeography, there will be some images of Leeds taken on my own dérives, along with their relevant postcodes.

LS4 Kirkstall Electricity Substation

In The Theory of the Dérive the Situationist Guy Debord provides extensive instructions on how to partake in a dérive (drift). The dérive involves moving through the city in a new way by creating different paths by chance. There are a number of methods of doing this, and new ones can be invented, for example drawing a map of one city on top of another and attempting to follow that route. In terms of the philosophy behind it, Debord says: “Progress is nothing other than breaking through a field where chance holds sway by creating new conditions more favorable to our purposes.” (1996: 23). This purpose being to challenge capital as it appears in the form of the spectacle: “The spectacle is not a collection of images, rather it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images.” (Debord 2005: 4).

LS6 Arndale Centre, Headingley

Abdelhafid Khatib, described the dérive, thus: “At the same time as being a form of action, it is a means of knowledge […]” (1996: 73). For the Situationists it was important that these walks could not be considered a “journey” or a “stroll”. Despite the fact that a playful element was deemed essential, those taking part were expected to be conscious of the environment, especially in the way it tied in with a critique of capitalism. Urban walkers were encouraged to be aware of “fissures in the urban network, […] microclimates, […] administrative districts, and above all the dominating action of centers of attraction” (Debord 1996: 22). It was the domineering appropriation of space by capitalism that troubled the Situationists so much, they believed that people did not live in the city but in the hierarchy formed through the urban environment.

LS11 Subway in Holbeck

The Situationists attempted to rearrange the material matter that appeared as urban décor, and even if they could not do this in concrete space, they had every intention of changing the psychic space of urbanism. These dérives became ‘moments’, or situations: “The ‘moment’ is mainly temporal, forming part of a zone of temporality, not pure but dominant. Articulated in relation to a given place, the situation is completely spatio-temporal […]” (Situationist International 1996: 101). The Situationists project directed at urbanism was about seizing a moment in time and space and attempting to change its aesthetics for a short time. They were conscious of the effects that the environment have on the individual, and wanted those on the dérives to be both aware of this and at the same time attempt to let notions of the dominance of the capitalist city be temporarily stemmed. The dérives were considered a process of surveying space and consequently enabling a new narrative to arise from it.

LS18 Empty Shop in Horsforth

Situationist Psychogeography Methodology

  • Chance, randomness
  • Playful but constructive
  • Need to let-go and be conscious at the same time
  • Spatial field: single city, neighbourhood, or defined region
  • Be aware of: liminal (threshold, edge) spaces and interstitial (in-between) spaces
  • Recommendation: 5 people max
  • Usually limit number of hours and define that as a single derive

Examples for planning a route…

  • Turn left, then left, then right
  • Throw dice (attach criteria to numbers)
  • Draw the outline of one city over another (Situationists)
  • Follow subconscious urges, free from the voice of reason (Surrealists)
  • In pairs: one blindfolded (enables other senses to operate better)
  • In a group: one person writes a place of aesthetic interest on a piece of paper, folds over, and hands to the next person, etc. Plot the places on a map and visit them in turn.

LS12 Bridge and Pipes in Armley

In 2011 I took a group of design students at the University of Leeds on a psychogeographical trip to Armley in Leeds. In preparation for the walks I created these two blogs, which you might find interesting/useful:

Armed for Armley – Part 1:

Leeds Industrial Museum Reconnaissance

Armed for Armley – Part 2:

A Psychogeographer’s Aesthetic Response to the Leeds Industrial Museum Grounds

Thank you for inviting me to write a guest blog.

Keep the (urban-walking) faith!


Tina’s website: schizocartography

Particulations: psychogeography blog


Debord, Guy. 2005. The Society of the Spectacle (Detroit: Black and Red).

Situationist International. 1996. Theory of the Dérive and Other Situationist Writings on the City, ed. by Libero Andreotti and Xavier Costa (Barcelona: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona).

Interview with the curators of “Under Light and Shadow”.

In Art, Community, Curiousity, Democracy, discussion, Edinburgh, film, free screening, Interview, Leith, poetry, poets, thiscollection on June 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm
the shadow of two curators of thiscollection's summer 2012 exhibition.

Photo by Ruei Yen and Xara Vlaxou from their flyering album on facebook.

Thanks to Fiona Grieg, freelance producer, we can listen to the enterprising young film curator programmers, Hara Vlahou and Ruei Yen discuss their experiences organising “Under Light and Shadow” their personal interpretation of This Collection’s poems and films to date.

Listen to Fire Horse findings on here.

The event is happening this Saturday June 23rd at Out of the Blue Drill Hall 2-7pm.
There are limited spaces for the free filmmaking workshop with the very talented and funny Oliver Benton from 3-6pm. Register here!

If you are interested in presenting the assortment of collected wonders and running workshops or discussing the methods or materials used in this project feel free to contact

New Beginnings

In activism, Art, Community, Curiousity, Dérive, Democracy, film, film artists, films, poems, poetry, poets on June 11, 2012 at 1:30 am

This Collection : Collaborate Create Curate

This Collection is very fortunate to be collaborating with the very talented Anni Poppen of NEOI along with 11 other Non Profit Organisations from around the world.

Anni Poppen, is an award-winning graphic designer from Hampshire, IL who currently lives in the vibrant college town of Champaign, IL. Through her work as a graphic designer, musician, yoga practitioner, and environmental advocate, she was drawn to implementing a flexible business model that would uplift NFPs and small businesses while allowing her creative freedom, travel, and volunteer opportunities.

We’ve been working together since the end of May and every step of the way, she has been supporting This Collection’s move towards a more open web presence and coherent design to showcase work done so far.

We’re looking for

Guest Bloggers to share:

  • film poetry that inspires,
  • filmic reflections on the city through poetry walks
  • dérives based on This Collection poems or films as impulses
  • tips on how to develop film poetry and
  • exciting experiments that explore the relationship between text and image.
  • Sites, journals, blogs who share the same ethos of open accessible art interventions involving film, poetry and observations of a place.
  • Advocates of film poetry as a medium of expression
  • Community based initiatives that celebrate literacy and everyday art practice against all odds.

Ongoing call for curatorial experiments based on works done to date, we offer:

  • Access the films collected to date
  • Access our social media channels and
  • Support from a wide range of filmmakers or poets involved depending on the nature of the proposal.

Anni is helping us package the site and web presence to help others use This Collection as a resource more readily. We are very grateful for her hard work, creativity and marvellous spirit and humour for this new beginning.

For more information contact Stefanie: filmthiscollection[at]

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2012 at 12:57 am

Fascinating initiative by two refreshing postgraduates, This Collection is happy to celebrate a renewal with their unique installation interpretation of the works to date and a free filmmaking workshop run by Oliver Benton. For more details visit their blog and watch this space!

Under Light and Shadow

Under Light and Shadow is an alternative film event organised by Reui Yen and Hara Vlahou, postgraduate students of Msc Film in the Public Space, as part of  final project.

Inspired by This Collection, a project related with film, poetry and the city of Edinburgh, the event bases on This Collection Archive in order to have This Collection keep on growing and living under the vibrant city Edinburgh. Filmmakers adapt poems from This Collection Archive and translate  words into visual language. The short films screen in loops within five hours. Therefore, viewers can join the screening anytime they wish to. Instead of having a conventional screening, the event constructs a space as video installation. A filmmaking workshop go with the screening is also aim to provide a chance to express yourself with your mobile phone camera or digital camera.

The event will be free admission. Based in the core idea…

View original post 49 more words

Tuesday afternoon Creative Writing Workshop @ Gorgie City Farm 17th April 2012

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm
Filmmaking enthusiasts welcome to explore Gorgie City Farm as a location for future productions, meet the poet and other creatives. Juliet Wilson’s poem “Animal Haven” is about Gorgie City Farm. She’s returning there in April to offer a creative writing workshop!
So for anyone out there who would like to write a poem (or anything else!) about Gorgie City Farm, here’s a link to the details:

Please Save “The Welcoming”! Thursday 9th Feb 930am @ City Council Chambers St, Edinburgh

In activism, Art, Community, Democracy, discussion, Edinburgh on February 8, 2012 at 7:20 am

credit Will's class


The Welcoming – Grant Cut

The Welcoming has not been recommended for the next batch of funding from the City of Edinburgh Council.
If our grant is cut, The Welcoming is in danger of closing.

We are having a deputation to the City Council, Chambers St on Thursday 9th February at 9.30am. Please come and support in our protest about The Welcoming grant cut!

Also please forward this note to all your contacts, and your local councillor and MSP.

If The Welcoming closes, Edinburgh will lose:

a unique, vibrant and highly cost effective project for newcomers to Scotland:
– training and preparation for migrants, refugees and minority indigenous groups for life in Edinburgh
– provision of a wide range of classes in English, employability, wellbeing and Scottish culture
– 650 classes a year, 6 days a week and over 60 volunteers
– a prime focus for integration, wellbeing and cultural interchange


Watch our new film here:

The Welcoming Association, Tollcross Community Centre

117 Fountainbridge Edinburgh. EH3 9QG

Tel: 0131 221 9756