Hi Everyone

It's Harold posting some notes up from fridays Ubania meeting at the Rochelle. Firstly, we managed it get 6 out of the 7 Urbanians at this meeting, which was great. The background to the meeting was the good news (for us anyway) that the dates for the Agri- project had been postponed till March.

So on friday night we met up at the space in Club Row that might becuase the site of our residency during the broadcast week. In the previous meeting we'd dicussed the idea of building a modular structure that would act as a base for the collective. Much of the meeting was spent discussing how this might be realized in that space.

Maki made some suggestions about building a structure that took advantage of the height of the room but also linked through the windows and doors the outside space, creating an outside platform or space that engaged with local audience of Arnold circus. Essentially its sounds like something that could be architectually playful, taking advantage of upstairs and outside spaces.

Harun talked about the idea of creating communal behavourial traits, through language and movement, but emblems like badges.

Other points of reference

*Creating elongated narratives/ durational performances.

*Specifying the audience, creating specific streams of communiaction for that audience, ie net geeks

*Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer, who made several expeditions, with various multi national crews. The Kon-Tiki being the most famous.
(check out the link below)

*Islands as a site and context for living and working, can be both paradise and hell. We talked a London's islands and the possibility of visiting some.

*Social housing projects, architecture and social planning. We've agreed to have day out for the group in January, which will included a visit to Thamesmead, the southeast London housing project made famous in A Clockwork Orange.
(see the Link for more info)

* Exploring the idea of time saving or sharing. one suggestion was to pre-record our 7 day residency at double or triple speed and then broadcast over the 7 day period in order to gain time.

* Create decoys and twins to allow more time to do what we really wanted to do.

There was of course more, but i think those were the main points. At a post meeting session at thee The George pub in Dalston. Maki, Patrick and I discussed the idea of setting ourselves some homework for the next meeting.

Our suggestion to the group is to bring in a visual realisation, drawing, map, photo of what we indiviually imagine the Urbania base in Club Row to look like. This will allow us to reach some firm discisions at the next meeting.

We also talked about group manifestos and maybe bringing in examples of those.

Lastly just remind Maki, you also mentioned a woman you know called Leila, who has a shop just off Arnold circus. You thought she might be a good person to meet.

Your comments and feedback are welcome, cheers.
Harold x

Thor Heyerdahl




Michael is an Australian pianist based in Munich. He has a collection of art books and catalogues, in particular of Michelangelo and Francis Bacon that he consults while practising. He talks about the visual language of music (Beethoven and Bach), the relationship between music and visual representation and how each in a sense completes the other.


Adam is the director of Grizedale Arts.
He talks about the Grizedale Collection housed in Lawson Park - mainly comprised of objects and artefacts selected for the farmhouse, useful and in use each item also has a larger significance and is selected according to site-specific criteria (such as  authenticity and local design), the point being also that the collection is also just 'stuff'. Adam then compares collecting with curating and discusses grizedale as a total environment.


Tom is a writer based in London. we visited him in the great arthur house, a modernist former social housing project near the Barbican, where he lives.
Tom talks about his library, in particular his passion for Tintin, Finnegan's Wake and Moby Dick, of which he made a large-scale drawing, detailing one of the chapters in the novel (the lea shore). He talks us through the drawing, which discusses the structure of the writing as well as connects it to prevalent ideas in postmodernism and his own work, such as repetition and the event.




Hi It' s Harold

I'm writing up some notes from the last Urbania meeting on wed 14th November. Three of us, Iris, Helen and myself met up at the Poetry Cafe in Covent garden, which is a great cafe, a real find!

Our discussions began with a look at images from the "Exit to Tomorrow" book , which looks at the golden age of world's fairs and Expos, I've already put some images up in previous blogs. In particular we looked at Moshe Safdie's 'Habitat 67' housing project for the Montreal 67 Expo. The project see's an extraordinary arrangement of apartment blocks, that create the impression of a modular concreate landscape.

One thing we all zoned in on was this modular arrangement played out in Safdie's architecture. Various parts linked and connnected to form a unit. We thought of various examples of modular structures, the international space station was one example, there you see NASA and the Russian space programme combined to form new entity.

We've been trying to resolve the problem of how get a group of individuals to come together and collective. What are the rules? How do we communicate? The idea of modular structure might offer us a tangiable answer. One of our central ideas for Agri project has been the notion that we will inhabit a particular area of Rochelle for the 7 days of live broadcast. Recently Michael Smythe (Agri project manager) suggested we use a space ajacent to where the main studios will be in Club Row.

I showed Iris and Helen some photo's of the space(i'll also post some on the blog), they were immediately struck by the possiblity of buliding a physical structure within that space which would take advantage of its height. We started to talk about the possibility of creating some kind of modular structure with separate pods for each of the members of the collective. The pod Units would be part of a larger structure and provide a base for the indiviaulas and the collective.

I think this proposal is very similar to the structure of the space station, with various pods allowing various autonomous activities to happen. But the physical structure would inform a working method that would allow members of the collective during the 7 day residency to explore iindivaually and collectively. Perhaps built into the strcuture would be a forum to showacse and feedback to the collective, invite guests, speakers, do workshops, experiments etc.

To use the space reference again, its a base station within planet Agri, the Urbanians become urban explorers going out examining and collecting, before bring that back to the base to share with the collective and Agri audience. I think Helen made some usefuil references to Ants and Bee hives as models of collective organisation.

Anyway, we felt it was a really enjoyable and productive discussion(which i haven't done justice with my babble)

What we wanted to do was to set out some points to the other Urbanians who couldn't attend. Get some feedback and reach a concensus to move forward.

so to sketcgh out some points;

* How do we feel about the proposal to create a physical modular structure within a space at the Rochelle? It would act as a base for the collective.

* Will we all work collectively all the time or will we have individual projects in addition to the collective's project? Do we have to set these ideas out now or leave it open?

* will we all live and work in the space? If so, how do we negotiate this?

* Do you have any suggestions for how this structure might operate or be organised?

* With regards to final Agri TV presentation, How do you feel about the idea of a series of short Broadcast interventions, like bulletins to punctuate the overall Agri project as opposed to a single broadcast presentation.

These were some of the main points for discussion, i may have missed some out. Iris or Helen please feel free to add and edit this section.

Hopefully at the next meeting we can can reach some conclusions.

Cheers Harold xx


Guestroom are making a series  of short documentaries about people's libraries, probably 8 films in total. Each film will be about 10-15 minutes long and they will be screened individually at different points during the live week. We have been visiting and filming people in their homes talking about their collections, systems of collecting and associated anecdotes.  We are making the films with people we know and we didn't film anyone with creepy obsessive collections, it is more about how people, artists in particular, work with their collections.