experience chapeltown:

the home of chapeltown union of psychogeographers on the web

Part 1 (2 to follow)

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The 5th Earl Cowper owned land to the east of Chapeltown Road; in the early 1800’s he sold fifty-five acres to a London bookseller for development. Sir Walter Scott, novelist, invested heavily in this (doomed) proposed building of ‘New Leeds.’ Charles Walter Scott, tobacconist and confectioner, of 3 Chapeltown Road, Leeds died on the 3rd day of November 1927, four years previously, Sculptor, Edward Caldwell Spruce passed away, having had a studio in Cowper Street. Spruce sculpted a memorial to Sam Wilson, chairman of worsted coating manufacturers Joshua Wilson and Sons; the memorial consists of several figures, one of which, Benevolence, bears a cross and cup. When not in his Cowper Street Studio, Edward Caldwell Spruce worked at the Burmantofts Pottery. The pottery ceased production in 1957, the year that Guy Debord et al introduced Situationist International. On August 24th of the same year writer, performer and all-round popular guy, Stephen Fry was born – shortly followed by the infamous musician Nick Cave on the 22nd of September. Incidentally September’s birthstone is the clear thinking sapphire, something which Albert Camus mst have had in abundance to win the Nobel prize for literature that year – “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”. The novelist, philosopher, essayist, playwright, and goalkeeper, preferred football to the theater, “I rebel; therefore I exist”. Three years later in 1960 he perished in a car accident, along with his publisher, and close friend. But what is a friend? “A single soul in two bodies.” Claimed Aristotle. Poetic sentiment, yet who was it that said “a friend to all is a friend to none”? Sole member of the London Psychogeographers Group (first refered to in 1957), Ralph Rumney, was also co-founder of S.I. Raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire; home to the Dean Clough Art Space where French artist, Christian Bolkanski has a permanent installation; ‘The Lost Workers’ is a homage to the redundant employees of Crossley Carpet Manufacturers. Boltanski, like Guy Debord, was born in Paris and will have lived under the shadow of the legendary Eiffel Tower – A structure containing more rivets than Paris does people; 2,500,000 metal pegs, compared to only 2,190,777 pairs of legs. However, our old friend Aristotle dutifully reminds us that “a great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.” Indeed, if rivets were cabbages, the tower would weigh 110,000 Tonnes more than total weight of cabbages and all other forms of brassica produced by Japan in 2008 – which FYI, was only a meager 2,390,000 Tonnes. Named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel, the tower it was built to form the arched entrance-way to the 1889, Exposition Universelle. The Exposition Univerelle – or World Fair – was held on the same year as the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fell. The French-Swiss structural engineer Maurice Koechlin worked in the service of Gustave Eiffel, but also lent his talents to the creation the armature for the Statue of Liberty. Awsome landmarks such as these do not only shape the visual landscape of a city, but also the effect the city had on the mind – the principle which, from 1957 onwards, became a key talking point within the Situationist international, forming the basis of Guy Debord’s writings on psychogeography. Also in 1957, on 3 April Samuel Beckett’s ‘Endgame’ premiered at Royal Court Theatre, London. One of the first moving images was filmed by Louis Le Prince in 1888. Roundhay Garden Scene’ was shot in Roundhay Park, which falls on the same bus route as Chapeltown itself. The film it was recorded at 12 frames per second. 12 multiplied 60 = 720. Divide this by 2 and we get 360 (360 being the number of degrees in a circle). Add to this 618, then 0.5 times by 2 we arrive at 1957. 1 plus 9 plus 5 plus 7 equals 22. The number of players on the pitch in an 11-aside game of football – provided of course, no one has fallen foul of the referee.

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