Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Re:::lay Nottingham : Bethesda

photography of Laura and Jeannie in Nottingham by Julian Hughes

Monday, 27 October 2008

Blog Project #2: The distance between you...

Think about someone you miss and describe the distance between you.
(What is it measured by? How do you see it? How do you feel it?)
Send your response as a postcard to the person you are thinking of, or if you rather, post it to us at:

Sorrel and Laura
C/O Thingland Studio
Oldknows Factory
Egerton Street

and we'll send you one back.

image: postcards created by Sorrel and Laura as part of To trail is not always to follow behind, 2007

Please add your answers through the comments option below or email us the response as a jpg to:

October 27, 2008

'toilet wall love letter'
submitted by Megan

(author unknown)

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Coming Soon

Our second Re:::lay performance, Bethesda : Nottingham, takes place tomorrow at noon. We'll be meeting our participants, Irene and Jeannie at their homes. Check back soon for documentation and a posting of Blog Project 2.

Sorrel and Laura

Friday, 24 October 2008

Destination Point and Translation Drawing

When Mik and Mike each reached their destination points, we put them in touch with one another by phone, asking them to describe the view of their surroundings as the other translated their words into a drawing. At the end of the performance-walk, each drawing (made on the outside of the envelope used to mail the transcriptions, numbers, stories, and artifacts collected during the journey) was sent to the other.

"Mike, we've reached our destination. You've found The Linconshire Poacher in Edinburgh."

The directions/ score passed on to Mike to follow were created on a journey from Walker St. in Nottingham to the patio of The Linconshire Poacher (a significant meeting place for Mik and Mike when they both lived in Nottingham). When following them in Edinburgh, they led us to a picnic table outside a place called The Black Bull.

The directions/ score passed on for Mik to follow were based on a walk from Edinburgh's Waverley station (the last place where Mik and Mike saw one another) to Cramond Beach (another place of siginificance for the friends).

Two days following the performance, just before I left Edinburgh, I met with Mike at the train station again. He had just received the package from Mike's performance-walk with Sorrel. We decided to return to the picnic table outside The Black Bull to open it. This is where these last few pictures are taken.

Mik, let us know when you receive yours too.
Thanks to both for sharing your experiences and stories with us.

Part 2: Mike- Walker to the Destination

"My role will be as your hands, your documentor. Whatever is collected or recorded we will send to Mik, so if you see or think of something you would like to pass on to him, let me know."

(phrases passed on)

"The next set of directions have been devised by Sorrel walking in Nottingham for you to follow here. After we find each landmark I will pass on the next direction."

(documenting security cameras)

"This set of directions will also be sent to Mik at the end of the journey, returning them to Nottingham."

Walk for Mike

"7. At the corner of the street bear left and head towards the autumn leaves."
"8. Cross the road you are on and keep going towards the shops with covered windows."
"9. Pass two signs that tell you how to behave."
"10. Head towards the building with rainbow colours on it; at the building turn right."
"11. Pass the marker of time we are both divided by and bound to."
"12. Now survey your surroundings for the tallest building in view; keep walking til you put it behind you."
"13. Follow the yellow lines uphill."
"14. At the crossroads (a system not designed by pedestrians), cross the road carefully."
"15. Now you want to take the slab stone pavement uphill passing a chicken and an old horses head."
"16. You are almost there-- take the next street left and left again and head for the red and gold sign."
"17. Take the next stairs down to your picnic bench. Here you'll notice birds fly constantly overhead. Sit and drink in your surroundings."

Part 2: Mik- Walker to the Destination

"The next set of directions have been devised for you by Laura walking in Edinburgh for you to follow here, as you find each landmark I will pass on the next direction. Mike has the same number of directions based on a walk i took in Nottingham, for him to follow in Edinburgh."

"We have left space on the page of the first directions for you to record the instructions I pass on. At the end of this journey we will send these to Mike, returning the route to Edinburgh."

Walk for Mik

"7. Walk to the end of the street leaving the sculptures behind you, where the garden begins turn left."

"8. Head straight past the bush with berries and a sign of higher education."

"9. Once you see three blue doors cross and head down hill (or right)"

"10. At the next driveway (after the rushing water) cross the road and follow the sidewalk left towards the patch of green."

"11. Pass the hall of mirrors and the master of the universe."

"12. Where the road zig zags turn right, looking for animals."

"13. .Keep straight till you hit the circle in the road cross left and head right."

"14. At the candy junction where the penny whistle stands cross right passing the trophy of honor and broken fence."

"15. At the next roundabout head for the houses and past two guards."

"16. Walk to the end of the wall covered in green and then hang right, when the wall opens up to show the sky you know you are close."

"17. Step on to softer ground and head for the blue; keep straight seeing the sky touch down to meet you."

For Mik, "the place where the sky touches down to meet you," was clearly the brow of the hill ahead of us on Mansfield Road. As we reach the brow, the sky itself stepped back to the new horizon beyond, but a church and grave yard took its place, maintaining the points connection with the sky (heavens).

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Part 1- The Meeting Point: 3pm, at the right-hand side of the train station, by the steps, facing the art centre

"Hello. Welcome to Re:::lay Edinburgh : Nottingham. This performance walk has been created with you in mind. These walks are taking place simultaneously. Right now, Sorrel is meeting Mik at the right-hand side of the train station by the steps in Nottingham."

Mike with Laura in Edinburgh

"To get started, we four will be following the same six directions [...] This journey will involve a lot of interpretation which we will discuss, debate and navigate together. Shall we begin? Let's text them to let them know we're ready."


1. Start by the right-hand side of the train station, by the steps, facing the art centre.
2. Turn right and walk to the end of the street.
3. Where the street end, cross the road, go left, then immediately right.
4. At the next lights cross towards the bank and head left down the street.
5. At the corner with the railings, bear right-- cross the street and head for the trees.
6. Follow the pavement to the next street and then call.

Mik with Sorrel in Nottingham

" Ok now we are here, we will call Mike and Laura. When I put you on, find out where he is and then describe for him your view."

Mik and Mike find themesleves at Walker Street in different cities; the wind intruding on their conversation as they describe their views to one another.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The meeting point; Re:::lay Nottingham : Edinburgh

Last night we contacted Mike and Mik to arrange our starting point with each of them for the Re:::lay performance-walk today. Here are the instructions we gave them:

We will meet at 3pm. I will be waiting at the right-hand side of the train station, by the steps, facing the arts centre. I will be wearing jeans, a black jacket, a brightly coloured scarf and have a blue umbrella. If you can't see me call. We will not be traveling by train; it's best to wear shoes comfortable for walking. (If it's raining I will have an umbrella for you too.)

From here our journey begins...

Saturday, 18 October 2008

to start with a question...

The first Re:::lay 1:1 performance will take place tomorrow 19/10/08, in Edinburgh and Nottingham with Mike and Mik. The journey and performance has been created specifically for their long distance relationship and the locations they are in (Edinburgh and Nottingham). To help us devise this piece, we started with this set of questions for each of them to respond to:

1. For you, what is a long distance relationship?

2. When did distance become part of this relationship?

3. How do you stay connected?

4. How much distance is there between you?

5. What does distance add?

6. What does distance take away?

7. What keeps it going?

8. Do you have a significant location you associate with your relationship - this might be the place you met or the place where you communicate from now, a place that reminds you of the other, etc. If so, where is it?

9. When was the last time you saw each other and, when you did, what did you do?

Their answers inspired the structure and dynamic for the piece. Check back for more details soon!

Sorrel and Laura

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Your View

With our on-the-ground work for Re:::lay started, we're turning back to the web to open up this project with you! We're inviting you to join us in exploring new and playful ways of experiencing distance and space while connecting with others.

Starting today, in conjunction with Re:::lay, we will regularly be posting questions and activities for all of us to respond to and share (we're calling them 'Blog Projects').

Check back regularly to see the latest postings. We're looking forward to your replies and the correspondence that unfolds.

Happy exploring and best wishes,
Sorrel and Laura

Blog Project #1: Your View

Describe your view of the horizon line from your window. Make note of the time and place where you write this. Then, share your description with someone you know who lives far away (this definition is up to you). Ask them to reply back with their own view.

Share a copy of your response(s) as a comment below.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

where do I start?

Yesterday was the first official day of walking research for Re:::lay, taking us to two different spaces to create a piece for our first participants, Mik and Mike, friends continuing to stay in touch over the last couple of years between Edinburgh and Nottingham. Laura is in Edinburgh and I (Sorrel) am in Nottingham.

Unlike Laura mentioned in her last blog entry, my first challenge was how to lose myself in Nottingham, a city I have lived in for well over a decade!

When I say lose I don't mean get lost so I can't find my way home but more; lose - so that I can absorb the streets afresh, letting go of the distractions of my own association, memories and familiar routes.

With a closer look, I realized my 'knowing eye' had been misnaming streets and dismissing others. Once on foot the distraction of daily jobs was certainly the first hurdle; how to walk through town without being drawn into shops for bits and pieces, that bag I really need or the stamps i meant to get yesterday! I found that it took huge discipline to ignore these pulls, almost denying my eyes their usual landmarks.

Keeping my nose to the ground I focused on the idea of Laura walking in Edinburgh, us both heading for the same location (a corresponding point on both city maps we had chosen to walk towards the day before).

I found my focus in keeping my attention on the present, aware of each step, the unfolding view and weather. This journey did take me to a street I have never walked down before. Its position and accent allowing me a new view of the city.

When I reached the destination, I called Laura to hear where she was, but midway through her description my phone battery died. I continued my walk, willing her to do the same.

The ground and air was damp with a misty rain (reminding me of the rain that we have been warned about by several of our participants). This rain is the type that just makes you soggy and your hair frizz but it also seems to make things shine, and as the daylight fades you see the lights caught by its wet sheen.

As I head through town with the light almost gone, I decided to walk up Queen Street, the very street that was the starting point for our first collaboration in 2006-- with me in Nottingham at the intersection of King and Queen and Laura in Toronto where her King St. West and Queen St. West also meet.

I paused at the bottom of the street behind a lady dressed in a raincoat and clear plastic hood. She was looking and standing where I wanted to stand and look up the street. We stood there for a few minutes. It was really interesting because we were both really looking, being really being present on Queen St. I took a picture and then I walked on. The rest of these pictures I took on that street.

I wonder how many times I have walked up and down this street without really seeing it?

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Nottingham to Edinburgh 08.50