Archive for October, 2008

October Walk with Loiterers

a yellow thingby marie

This isn’t really a zedding. There was no a to z. Liam wasn’t with me so I feel a bit unfaithful adding it to our blog. But somehow it was zedding, just as you can be following an a to z without zedding you can take the awareness that characterises zedding into a different form of exploration. The other Sunday I decided I would go and meet the nice people at the Loiterer’s Resistance Movement. Liam was in Birmingham so I headed off myself. In the the John Rylands Library Cafe I introduced myself “my name is Marie and I loiter” We went off to loiter in a group, before we left we were each given a word, we were to look for a secret that connected with the city and it’s people with our word. I had “yellow” which seemed to make yellow stuff more vibrant.

Us loiterers found a cage for cars and some people danced on it.

Mix your colours a yellow sign a car cage loiterers walk on cages for cars

We stopped out side some offices and disobeyed a sign. I have some sympathy with whoever works in the office and has smokers chatting outside their window. I say get the smokers away from my kitchen window and back in the pub. Has anyone noticed how the smoking ban is changing the feel of the city, more people on the streets, more shelters outside bars, more mess in the streets as no one cleans up cigarette butts. How is it changing the atmosphere of your city?

We went into a soulless car park and looked at the view from the window where the lift stopped on the 20th floor. You couldnt see from the actual 20th floor in the big soulless room for cars which disappointed me. Liam and I discovered the joy of multi story car parks way before we discovered zedding. Go to the top of the car park by Birmingham Snow Hill station – it’s worth it.

loiterers rebel empty souless space view from top of car park a window

Then we… er… loitered a bit. We stopped on the bridge for a while and told stories about the river.

loiterers like giant puddles loiterers loiterers stop on bridges and listen to stories loiterers look through letterboxes in derelict buildings

We found a secret door, which is pleasing to loiterers. Through it I saw some boots, which are pleasing to loiterers, we also found a giant sycamore helicopter sculpture which one of the guys climbed.
boots in secret garden ..Salford Cathedral by Secret Door.. giant sycamore helicopter.. big yellow banana

I choose to draw people’s attention to the yellow banana, because I had the word yellow. But I chose the banana rather the yellow signs I’d seen telling me to go somewhere, exhorting me to buy something, yellow things with no mystery and no soul. People had chosen to put the big yellow banana out of their window and we will never know why. And that’s about people making a city interesting, by being interesting, by creating moments of serendipity for other people, people making the city beautiful.

I had some other thoughts from the experience: How different it was to explore in a group. Liam and I don’t attract attention, no one wants to know what Liam and I are doing. We are anonymous explorers, we can get in hotel lifts and go to top floor for the joy of peeking out onto the city as the sun fades and the lights come on. Two people doing nothing doesn’t invite comment, when 20 people do nothing does it make it something?

And thoughts about public space and sacred space, how sacred space is public space and what does that mean for the explorer and those who hold it sacred? But that’s for another day.

October 13, 2008 at 11:20 pm 3 comments


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