The Snowflake in Hell and the Baked Alaska: Improbability, Intimacy and Change in the Public Realm

Article 1 Dec 2000 jane

In Locality, Regeneration and Divers[c]ities, Eds Sarah Bennett and John Butler, Intellect Books, University of Plymouth

In 1993, on the very outskirts of Budapest, Hungary,  the ‘Statue Park Museum’ opened. It was born out of the idea of a literary historian who, four years earlier, had proposed that “all the various Lenin statues from all over Hungary be gathered” in a “Lenin Garden” (Szoborpark : 1995). Since 1989, heated public debate had raged over what to do with the statuary, memorials and monuments from the former ‘socialist’ period. In the case of Budapest, its elected Assembly resolved this by proposing a process in which the choice of statues to be removed or kept would be decided by each district of the city individually by referendum. Citizens would have one of three choices for each monument  : a) keep it in place b) have it destroyed c) contribute it to the Statue Park Museum.

To give an example, a 1951 4.3 metre bronze statue of a Ukrainian – Captain Osztapenko – of the Soviet Red Army, used to stand atop a 5-metre plinth on the Vienna-Budapest highway. Osztapenko had died there in 1944 from shrapnel wounds during a mortar attack, after having failed to negotiate German surrender to Soviet forces. The ultimate triumph of the Soviets over Germany and indeed Hungary, is embodied by the sculptor Kerenyi in his mighty representation of Osztapenko : he stands alert, muscles tensed, signaling distant comrades with a proud pennant. The guidebook explains that the original statue (along with many others) was “torn down during the 1956 revolution”,  but later, with the failure of that uprising, replaced. However, “over time this statue had matured into a symbol of farewell and welcome for travellers on the highway. In fact, it had become almost a friend. Young people hitching a lift to [Lake] Balaton would stand at ‘the Osztapenko’” (both SzoborPark : 1995). The social and cultural arguments to leave it there failed to swing the referendum. Now it towers over several Lenins, a Marx and an Engels,  and many memorials and tributes to Hungarian communism and its heroes in the Statue Park. The park was never completely finished, and has a distinctly eerie and unsettling air, whatever your politics. Many are the tourists who, for whatever reason, have bought the popular sealed tins labelled “The Last Breath of Communism”.

The choice to attempt a democratic process in such a situation was, arguably, more complex, volcanic, and divisive than if the new-born state had simply erased all cultural traces of former Soviet and socialist connections, as has been the case in so many former ‘socialist’ countries of Eastern Europe. The process surfaced a lot of pain, hatred and anger, with unexpected allegiances and unforeseen senses of ownership, often for non-ideological reasons, as seen in the case of Osztapenko. It is too soon to know whether this cultural process which was so deeply uncomfortable in the short term, has enabled the country to come to terms with its history more fully and profoundly than it might have done through overnight erasure. Has this culturally triggered debate laid to rest some of Hungary’s ghosts and deep wounds in a way not unrelated to what Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” has been tackling on a profound scale in South Africa ?  or Weimar’s recreation in 1999 of ‘Hitler’s  Art’ ?  Hungary is the only country in the former ‘socialist’ east that dared to investigate the popular significance of such symbols, and to do this through a street-by-street democratic process. Both these facts, I suggest, make the Statue Park Museum an extraordinarily potent realisation of the previously unimaginable.  As Tutu himself said in 1995 about world support for the ANC government  “People like us because we are improbable”.

Such histories are vital to the life-blood of organisations or groups committed to investigating processes of change away from dominating, seemingly invulnerable and permanent monocultures, in whatever socio-economic context.  In the England of a century ago, it would have been unimaginable to all but a few that Anglican churches would become so unattended that vast numbers of them would be turned into shopping centres, arts venues and flats in the last decades of the century.  Yet these very facts – whatever our ideological position on them – show us that to imagine beyond the seemingly invulnerable and permanent is an entirely reasonable act; furthermore, to place that proposition as common sense in the public realm can be a potent contribution to change. The ‘Lenin Garden’ proposal could have been perceived as an ironic joke, but, in this moment, lead to a profound civic process. The improbable can happen, and within this, there is a role for ‘inspired pragmatists’ (Vidal, 1997) who maintain the right to operate between the snowflake in hell and the baked alaska.

Along these lines, PLATFORM’s current long-term work “90% Crude” (1996 onwards) is investigating, through a series of projects, changes which can seem equally unlikely and unimaginable, especially with the alleged ‘triumph’ of capitalism after the fall of the Berlin Wall : the end of fossil fuel dependency, the reversal of climate change, the dissolution of globalised trade which distance consumers from producers, and the

disintegration of transnational corporate culture, all of which we see as acts towards “dismantling the master’s house” and, perhaps, a fitting act for people critical of their country’s former imperial status and its legacy.  The scale of the issues does not suggest to us that a mass response is the only effective strategy : far from it. There are many organisations and groups campaigning and taking action that reflect mass and collective opposition to globalised capitalism, such as has been seen in Seattle, Washington, London, Geneva etc., and whose aims could be summed up by Reclaim the Streets’ slogan  ‘Our resistance is as global as capital’.

Complementary to such mass activity are intimate acts of exchange and trust, proposal and re-imagining, where a belief in the integrity of such exchange and dialogue is paramount. This position refutes the ‘them bad, us good’ mantra that can result from certain ideologies of mass activity; it demands that seemingly opposed individuals look into each other’s eyes and recognise each other as people and not as representatives, however hard that struggle. From such a point, genuine investigations of and critical engagement with how each other has come to ‘represent’ certain value systems can begin ie. the political debate can arise with more sustainable profundity when its roots mutually recognise (but do not necessarily endorse) the personal. I will return to this point later. PLATFORM was founded in 1983, as a meeting place for imagination, discussion, contemplation and action. Involved in political theatre, peace campaigning, and left/green activism, the initial grouping attracted people from a diverse range of disciplines and experiences to create street-based interactive performance work which provoked debate and awareness on a variety of issues – from supporting striking cleaning staff at a local hospital whose services were to be privatised (‘Addenbrookes Blues’, 1983), to working with activists lobbying against the privatisation of a local historic community resource (‘Corny Exchanges’, 1984),  to protesting against the abolition of student maintenance grants (1985), to intimate performances exploring notions of personal locatedness, responsibility and belonging (‘Transformation’, 1986/7).

Since that time PLATFORM has evolved a complex interdisciplinary practice, influenced variously by artist and ecological thinker Joseph Beuys, ‘live art’ and ‘performance’ practices,  feminist theory and practice, the writer John Berger, the engaged and critical pedagogical practices of bell hooks and Paulo Freire, critiques of global corporate culture, and the wave of ecological and social practice artists and activists of the past twenty years (Becker:1994, Felshin:1995,  Lacy:1995, Littoral: 1994, 1998, McKay: 1996, Miles:1997, Kastner:1998). The group is artist-led – although those artists would also define themselves individually as teacher, naturalist, trade unionist, ecologist, activist  – and collaborates in its projects with people from a wide range of experiences and disciplines inside and outside the arts. This practice serves to challenge territorial notions of knowledge or understanding, and creates situations where recognition of common aims and desire for shared, although distinct languages is fostered. We believe this creates thought and activity which benefits from and honours specific expertise whilst broadening the sensibility and reach of the work and its participants.

The aims of the work are, through interdisciplinary creativity, to address and help reveal the interrelationship between urgent ecological issues and social justice, and to effect change through a fusion of the poetic and the pragmatic. Since 1986, the geographical location of the work has essentially been the metropolis of London – the city as medium, metaphor and actuality – but, just as London’s social and ecological impact is felt very many miles from the Lower Thames Valley, so the ramifications of the work are applicable beyond its actual locus. In its early projects, PLATFORM started out working mainly in open-air public spaces, with and for three kinds of people : i) passers-by ii) invited participants iii) self-selecting people who responded to listings and adverts. This agitprop root has a veracity to it, as the exchange of money does not enter the engagement : if we have not found a form which communicates, it is visibly obvious in such a context : the work is dismissed, or nobody stops or stays. If we have found a form, but the ideas are not thought through, it becomes equally obvious :  aggression or ridicule is invoked, or nobody engages. If we have found a form, but it only communicates well with a certain kind or grouping of person, then another set of socio- cultural issues about the exclusivity or targetting of our aesthetics and language becomes apparent and open to debate.

Working with passers-by has many unique merits for ecological practice, the main one being that passers-by already have a reason of their own for being in that place, which gives an independent meaning to their interaction. The reasons for being there may not always be pleasant to the person, indeed they may be afraid or disgusted; the visit may be a one-off, it may be chosen,  the quickest way from A to B,  somewhere to hang out, or somewhere to control, even intimidate.  One person’s alienation is another’s pride; one person’s disgust at or contempt for the state of the place is another’s sense of grief at what once was; one  person’s cockiness is another’s real or perceived fear of attack. Those who are not passing by is also at issue, and speaks volumes. Implicit in this analysis is the question of flora and fauna : what is the bio-diversity of this place ?  As passers-by we are all acutely aware of questions of ownership, feelings of belonging, and feelings of curiosity, affection or of fear. As passers-by we hold keys to the history and present of a place, and therein may lie indications as to its future.

To mark moving from a Brighton-based project back to London, PLATFORM’s 1989 project ‘Tree of Life, City of Life’ involved two artists first walking from the Channel to the Thames.  They then lived in a tall, seven-sided tent for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for ten weeks at five points on the south banks of the Thames from Wandsworth Town to Greenland Dock, recycling all their waste and noting the sources of their consumption as they went. This eye-catching exposure to the workings of the city, the nature that does or does not exist, the sounds and realities of traffic, led to hours of conversations, some brief, many in-depth, with random and invited people who were drawn to the tent and its inmates.  Some people stayed with the tent, some came to the next ‘camp-site’ and for some it was just an odd encounter that may or may not have remained in their minds. The most memorable and disturbing conversations were with local rough sleepers, some of whom had deeply observed the ‘normality’ and absurdities of the city over time, and had much to say about the life and ecology of the city in the broadest sense, as well as about the city as a place for celebration. The most memorable imprint of the inner city was the ceaseless explosions of the combustion engine, the twenty-four-hour a-day arrival and departure of consumables and waste, and the equation of the metropolis with the permanent extraction and burning of coal and copper to create light : the city as a floodlit, relentless, ingesting and excreting giant organism.

In the past five years, we have broadened the practice, and have come to re-frame the social aspects of the work and indeed ourselves through three interrelated notions of community : i) communities of interest, ii) communities of place, iii) communities of the dead and the unborn. Embedded in each concept is the crucial effects of time – evolutions of interest and commitment, shifts in allegiance to or ownership of place. It is the last two – communities of the dead and the unborn – which have helped highlight specifically the experiences and interests of forerunners, and of future generations. Thinking ‘generationally’ in this way is not to privilege family, ethnic or national structures or indeed exclusive, historic senses of community which can so easily be the resort of racism, but to encourage a way of thinking over and through time, and how we are each acting within that ‘life-cycle’ continuum – a profoundly ecological and indeed empathetic process, perhaps especially in a major capital city of a deeply materialist society.

This framing process begins with what we have come to call ‘listening’  projects, where germs of ideas are tried in the public or semi-public realm, in order to initiate discussion, to generate exchanges of understanding, and to see what ‘takes’. Such listening takes time, an aspect of life in the ‘rich’ world which has come to have a price on its head. Investigating communities of place (which includes the passer-by) involves being with the place itself over time : of moving from the concept of ‘site’ (with its scientific or ‘development’ overtones) to ‘place’ (with its overtones of history). To walk repeatedly at different times of day and night, to sit, to watch, to smell, to hear what can be heard or not heard, to be open and sensitised, to want to know even if what you find is not what you wished.  What would have been here ? What has been tried here ? What could happen here ? Who loves this place, who thrives, and who or what suffers ? And crucially, how do my own assumptions, prejudices and previous experiences affect my interpretation, my feelings and thoughts here ?

As interdisciplinary artist-activists, in order to develop a proposition, this kind of listening is vital to the long-term success of the work. After a period,  It is useful to move from the purest receptive mode of listening, to an active mode : provoking reactions which can then be heard, discussed. This then can test your receptiveness and the ideas among diverse publics, and can act, when successful, as lightning rods down which public ideas pass. PLATFORM’s projects often build on each other in this model – from receptive to active listening – and serves to build veracity and a sense of timing into the work. This twin listening keeps the work complex – sometimes bafflingly so – and rich. One could also say that the constant conversation between hopes, fears, and realities encourages a rooted balance between the improbable and the possible.

The 1992 project ‘Still Waters’, which proposed as common sense the recovery of London’s buried and degraded rivers, combined a sculptor with a green economist, a writer with a teacher, a performance artist with a publicist, and a clinical psychologist with an interdisciplinary artist to create a constellation of work and events taking place in four river valleys over four weeks.  The projects happened along the river-beds (now often roads) or river-banks, mostly in the open-air and all for free. A multiplicity of techniques and strategies were developed, each river project having its own distinct trajectory and emotion within the whole. This kind of work – involving walks, performances, installations, actions, mass water- dowsing, and discussions, from the financial centre at Bank, to Wandsworth Town, Herne Hill and King’s Cross – acted as a giant barometer for how numerous Londoners felt about living in a dry city, or a city with neglected waters; about who makes such decisions; about public imagination, and the desirability and possibility of a city whose rivers are flowing, cleanly; and lastly about political will : ‘if they (sic) can add another lane to the M25, then they should be able to unearth a river’, said one Farringdon Road passer-by.

In 1994, we received a call from the Planning Department of the Corporation of the City of London, who had heard a PLATFORM presentation about the democratic meaning of the unearthing of the river Fleet (London Rivers Association:1995). This resulted in a meeting, where a carefully prepared financial and transport argument was put before us,  followed by an estimate, in writing, from the City Engineer that the costs of opening the Fleet (which lies under Farringdon Road at Blackfriars), and tunnelling the road would cost in the order of £500 million. In the then active climate of anti-roads protests in the UK, the seemingly improbable notion of a campaign for the unearthing of the Fleet had apparently become possible enough to come to the attention of one of the most tightly controlled and policed zones in the entire city. The active mode of listening in the public realm seems for us to fall into five broad and overlapping strategies, buried in each of which is the notion of useful oddity and the interruption of norms :

i) Seduction. In 1997, as part of ‘90% Crude’, we worked with design students from Southwark College and an ecological architect to build the ‘Agitpod’ – a solar-powered, quadricycle-propelled, video and slide projection vehicle, which can take sustainable sound and vision to where it’s needed, without dependence on the national grid or a generator. The Agitpod has the archetypal attraction of the ‘go-cart’ (“Smiles per hour, not Miles per hour”), with issues of energy consumption and a challenge to mass-production inherent within it. Sleekly constructed from aluminium and marine-ply, the aesthetic is hard to attribute : this vehicle has done its work in the context of the Royal College of Art, the annual Hackney Show, Kingston Green Fair, or Sustainable London Trust’s ‘Gathering for Change’. Quite simply it is both fun and deadly serious at the same time : the fun draws people in, and organically from this arises a debate about values.

ii) Ritual. In the metropolis, one knows and (especially after a period of receptive listening), one sees that there are many people engaged in ritual or devotional acts in public on a regular basis, which are not done for public reaction, but as an end in themselves. Often done individually, occasionally in groups, these acts contribute to the fabric of the public city, and in more religious times and places, are much more commonplace and recognised. There is a strange power in realising that someone is engaged in such an act : firstly, it is beyond the commercial, and secondly, there is no requirement for an onlooker’s interaction or response (unless you feel sorely provoked). For PLATFORM, this archetypal act has an important place in making a discursive intervention in the public realm. Not only can these acts behave as metaphors for a possible future, but they can, if they work, leave vivid images in the minds and hearts of the viewer. This is unquantifiable – no audience analysis will be available from the passer-by on the bus. How can you track this ? However, to plant such images is to suggest meaning beyond publicity and marketing, and yet, acknowledges the gaze of others, contributing to the visual culture. Sometimes it may result in discursive engagement, but this is not the point.

Every lunchtime for two weeks, a smartly suited clinical psychologist cycled over from the hospital where he worked and ran from Liverpool Street Station to the mouth of the river Walbrook in the heart of the financial City at Cannon Street, wearing a cycle mask, balancing a briefcase on his head, stopping dead every so often, staring into space. When very occasionally he was approached, he would hand out a business card “Listen, You are Walking on the Walbrook”.  His distracted ‘normality’ cut like a knife through the crowds of business workers. He required nothing of them,  but his ritual highlighted their ritual. Discretely following him, others of us occasionally got into conversation with people. Some were disturbed, shaking their heads. Some thought it was hilarious. Some did the City thing : blocked out all disturbance or abnormality from their sight and memory. (‘Walking on the Walbrook’, 1992) Eight years later, a bargeman at Walbrook Wharf surprised us by recalling the daily performance “I thought he was going mad ! They are under a lot of pressure you know.”

iii) The Double-take or Trompe-l’oeil. The function of this is well-known from the visual subverting or spoofing of existing material such as the ‘detournement’ of the Situationists in the 1960s to the slick exactitude of organs such as ‘Adbusters’ from the 1990s onwards. This strategy has its dangers – chiefly the danger of the forgettable one-liner – but can be usefully provocative. The Effra Redevelopment Agency (1992) aped the design aesthetics and language of regeneration agencies that attempt retrospective public consultation. ERA, housed in a parade of shops in Herne Hill, informed its public that the local river Effra was to be dug up in its entirety, and the surrounding area (a mix of suburban villas and public housing) redesigned by 2020. Press conferences, public debates and more theoretical discussions were held which achieved the aim of making the word and river Effra  vibrantly live in people’s minds and hearts. The project was extremely successful in these ways, if deeply ethically problematic. People really believed that it was to happen. The project revealed alot about the state of our democracy : only one person out of the eight hundred visitors asked for substantive details on funding, timescales. Most people wanted to know about the re-routing of roads and how it would affect their homes. Some were delighted, and inspired, and wanted to get involved. Others were furious, and demanded to know how they were to be rehoused. Upon the closure and disappearance of ERA, the long- term validity and indeed integrity of this surrogacy strategy was closely examined, and led to heated internal debate.

The two imitation commuter newspapers ‘Ignite’ (1996 – 7) on the other hand, (parodying the former London freebie ‘Tonight’), was avidly taken up by 14,000 travellers keen for something different to break the routine of their journeys. The fact that its subject matter was about the impact of Londoners’ oil consumption on Human Rights and on Climate Change was only later to dawn on people. This project had a viral quality, slipping a proposition into the blood-stream under the guise of a safe publication.

iv) Revelatory Absurdity. This is best illustrated by the long-term project ‘Delta’ (1993 onwards) which is based on the River Wandle in Wandsworth, and which grew from the proposal that this once fast-flowing and important milling river could again generate power and inspiration for its locale. The Intermediate Technology Development Group, (who more usually work in Tibet, Nepal, and Peru), were invited to assess whether the much reduced river could turn the propellers of a micro-hydro turbine – a small-scale electricity generating ‘mill’. They found it could – enough to generate about 3 kilowatts of electricity to the user, which is enough to boil three conventional modern electric kettles. This amount of power, however, usually brings sufficient clean electricity to a whole village in rural areas of the ‘developing’ world. In London, the sculpturally-installed Wandle turbine would bring water-power to the music room of a local re-built eco-designed school, powering low energy light bulbs and ‘Delta TV’ – a video installation (using a 12 volt TV and VCR) devised and created by the St Joseph’s Primary School children during the accompanying education project.

The turbine and its output is absurd – in London. And a sustainable life-line in Nepal. But, its absurdity is its power, in that it potently reveals the very issue that it seems so pathetically to address. What we take as ‘normal’ in the ‘rich’ world, and what is being pedalled as ‘desirable’ in the developing world is dependent on the ravaging of finite resources, the scarring of the earth’s crust, the polluting of waters and air, displacing and exploitation of peoples, and the creation of mountainous toxic waste, encouraging rampant consumerism and profit-driven in-built obsolescence. This interdisciplinary project drew together an unlikely grouping of funders, from the then ‘Tory Flagship’ borough council of Wandsworth, the national and regional arts boards, and from the then Department of the Environment ‘Urban Programme’. It has spawned many further projects including RENUE – a £1.8 million renewable energy and arts initiative to encourage and inspire people along the Wandle Valley to re-imagine and re-design their relation to energy. This will include a solar-powered pub, solar-assisted school and college, as well as a ground-breaking, self-sustaining resource centre. RENUE has generated enormous interest from diverse quarters locally and nationally, and has elicited enquiries from as far afield as Nigeria, San Francisco and India. The project has had an effect far beyond its scale, partly due to the proposition that one sluggish river in inner London retains its motive, and emotive power.

v) Longevity. In these days of short-termism and quick fixes, where three-year funding has come to be seen as ‘long-term’, we believe that a key part of the work is to mean it, to stick with it, and to do it anyway, even on the tightest of shoestrings. To think long-term, to act long-term, even with insecurity. To be funding-driven, to set time-scales on the basis of money, is a danger, even if at times it becomes an absolute necessity.  We need to earn a living, but the original activist root has a stubborn grip. Between 1983 and 1992, PLATFORM members worked voluntarily, doing other jobs to support the work. Between 1992 and now, waging has been patchy, if improved. This is not so sustainable as life goes on, but the motivation remains the key. Short-termist financial underpinning can lead to short term thinking in the work. If the aims are to think and act ecologically and democratically, ‘over time and in place’, then this tendency must be combatted at all costs.

Taking long-term responsibility for the work affects working in the public realm, and gives off a different energy – the acts described above are not part of a consultation or ‘focus-group’ mentality. From such work have come not only insights and exchanges, but also long-term friends, collaborators and allies. The issues are not going away, and neither therefore is the work. We are still engaged in the question and metaphor of water in the city – nine years on. The current project ‘90% Crude’ is easily a ten to fifteen year project.

PLATFORM is at present beginning a new research project about transnational corporate culture within ‘90% Crude’ entitled  ‘Killing Us Softly’, which is investigating how such organisms foster detachment of ethical debate and emotional compartmentalisation in its workers, much as public boarding schools in England trained boys (and girls) to betray no emotion when administering the Empire and its progeny. ‘Killing Us Softly’ juxtaposes such corporate compartmentalisation with that of the bureaucrats who administrated the genocidal actions of Third Reich, and is engaging participants in this challenging material in a meditative, durational way. Such work is slow work, such work is not appropriate to the passer-by context. This particular work has moved away from the streets, away from the open air public realm, into an intimate performance space which demands an 8-hour period of time from participants. Future locations for this work are being explored : how would an eight-hour group meditation on such a subject feel and look if located in public view, at the meeting of Cornhill and Threadneedle Street, at Bank ? From the incidental meeting or vision on a street to an eight-hour commitment, stretches a continuum of meaning and influence which, we hope, is helping contribute to the democratic and ecological re-imagining of our city and region.

We are The City. We are the Passers-by, the Invited, the Responders to a Sign. We are the Community of Place, of Interest, of the Dead ,and of the Unborn. We are the Ignored and the Loved, the Alienated and the Included. We are with Voice and  Mute. We are Them and Us. 

However, we are also  – the three of us at present in the core group –  from the dominant class of Anglo-Britons;  we are committed to exercising the responsibility and the right to shift such values embedded within our culture from the patriarchal, the imperial, the disdainful, the erasive and the extractive to the co-operative, the consensual, the vigourously debated, and the maintained. The snowflake in hell is fleeting but powerfully vivid in its impossibility : it is hope against hope. The power of the Baked Alaska is that the ice survives that burning, at least for a period. The end of the snowflake may result in a trace of steam, but the end of the Baked Alaska is a confection that both deliciously defies and fully acknowledges the burning.

“There is a joy in the absence of book-burning. The design was drafted with this thought in mind : it aimed to break through the mine-field of objections, to achieve an accurate, objective presentation of the statues, free from any sense of barely concealed mockery. This is not a ‘joke-park’, it is absolutely not that – and it desired to formulate a critique of the ideology that acted as the midwife for these creations, through the totality of the park’s atmosphere…This park is about dictatorship. And at the same time, because it can be talked about, described and built, this park is about democracy. After all, only democracy is able to give the opportunity to let us think freely about dictatorship. Or about democracy come to that. Or about anything.” (SzoborPark:1995)

Jane Trowell, London, 2000


Becker, Carol, (1994) The Subversive Imagination, New York, Routledge

Felshin, Nina, (ed) (1995) But is it Art ? Seattle, Bay Press

Jaijee, Rose and Thomas, Kelli (eds) (1995), Rivers of Meaning, Getting in Touch with the Thames, London Rivers Association

Kastner, Jeffrey, (1998) Land and Environmental Art, London, Phaidon

Lacy, Suzanne, (ed) (1995) Mapping the Terrain, Seattle, Bay Press

Littoral (1994 and 1998) International symposia (Salford and Dublin) for Critical Arts Practitioners, organised by Projects Environment, UK.

McKay, George, (1996) Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance Since the Sixties, London : Verso

Miles, Malcolm, (1997) Art, Space and the City, London, Routledge

SzoborPark Museum, (1995) catalogue, Budapest.

Vidal, John, (1997) ‘Eco-Soundings’ in The Guardian, October 1st.


PLATFORM Projects mentioned in text 

Addenbrookes Blues 1983

Corny Exchanges 1984

Transformation 1986

Tree of Life, City of Life 1989

Still Waters 1992

– Listening to the Fleet

– Walking on the Walbrook

– Unearthing the Effra : Effra Redevelopment Agency

Delta 1993 – 2000

90% Crude 1996 – 2001

Ignite 1996, 1997

Agitpod 1997

Killing Us Softly 1999 – 2004

Focus Areas