Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Celebrate the First Sunday of the new decade with The LRM

Dear Friends, faeries, flanuers and fellow loiterers

I write this far away from home but I wish I was there. I found the ice redefined the city – forcing me to find new routes with a focus on texture to preserve my tenuous sense of balance. Shiny new paving slabs are bad, grass and gravel better.

I hope the season is bringing you what you desire, and that you found some genuine sparkles of magick amongst the tawdry tat. For me all that glitters is friendship and I would like to thank everyone who made 2009 such an inspiring and fun one for the LRM. A review of the year will appear on the blog sometime in January – I can’t bear to write it yet for who knows what adventures await in the next few days? The loiterer never stops looking…

In the meantime my applause and love goes to many - I hope you know who you are – and especially Alan whose beautifully curated derives this year have been a revelation. I eagerly await the marvels 2010 may bring us all – we have some new tricks and yes, there will be an expedition on the First Sunday in January.

Of course as we greet the new year we must also say farewell to those who have gone to loiter in the great beyond (no, I don’t know what I mean by that either; forgive me I have the lurgy and have overindulged on medicinal whiskey, but I know I am not the only person who misses loved ones at this time of year when advertisements implore us to merely buy and be happy) May the Circle be Unbroken indeed…

In keeping with a time for celebrating and commemorating we’ll be meeting in the café in Urbis at 2pm on Sunday 3rd January – I suggest you get there early and enjoy the fascinating exhibitions whilst you can. Our derive will reprise the tactics of the metaphysical treasure hunt with a few twists – please do join us. I promise despite my maudlin ranting there will convivial company, much pleasure and fun to be had.

It’s true The LRM have had run-ins with Urbis in the past; it hasn’t always lived up to its potential – but it has bought many glorious sights and important debates to our city and is a Good Thing we don’t want to see close. My personal highlights were the Emory Douglas retrospective, zinefest two, that beautiful syd barrett lightbox I spent so long staring at and of course their support for TRIP. I’m not mentioning Reification: The Tony Wilson Experience

It is a sad day indeed when money speaks so much louder than art. What does culture mean in Manchester today? So much for original and modern. We have wrapping paper but precious few public venues for challenging art and debate. No, I am not saying football isn’t culture; the LRM have always celebrated the vernacular but this, like so many of the official ‘visions’ for redevelopment of our city show a total lack of imagination which borders on criminal negligence I think.

Some poor souls have asked what’s the point of a museum of the city; it’s true the secrets of the metropolis do lie all around us every day and goodness knows exploring by doing is at the very heart of the LRM. The streets can tell many stories – and so what better object for study? The city is the heart of modern life. We need wider perspectives, room for pondering, arguing, daydreaming, learning through the work of others. Galleries, museums, libraries, social/community centres; these places are sexy, necessary, cauldrons to inspire and conspire and create. Plus I remember being sad and poor and lonely and free access to these things saved my sanity and possibly my life.

I fear too for the future of community work and all those charming emo* kids who colonised cathedral gardens and made their own special place in the city. *apologies if this is the wrong term, I am old and have no right understanding the vagaries of youth fashion but my they look glorious

How can we, as citizens, influence the development of our city and create space for art, creativity and conversation? There are other battles being fought for public space to at the moment; loiterers are active in campaigning over Birley Fields, Chorlton Meadows, Swallows Wood, Woodbank Park and more so that is more than a rhetorical question.

I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions and the LRM operates on our own time scale but it feels like the right time to reiterate some of what we stand for, in 2010 and beyond the LRM pledges to
• Stay interesting and resist the grind of commercialisation and recouperation
• Keep finding new ways of looking at the city and collecting the myriad mysteries it holds – there is not one Manchester but many layers…
• Remember the streets are ours for play, fun and creative mischief
• To offer anyone with an open mind a chance to wander with us in an atmosphere of tolerance, discovery and respect for all

We shall carry on building the city of our dreams with every step and finding treasure in the Mancunian rain – please join us for a walk and a brew; you never know where it might lead….

Love and power to you

Morag xx

Thursday, 3 December 2009

larkin about and decembers derive

dearest friends and flaneurs

forgive the brevity of this communique (some may breathe a sigh of relief of course) but my internet is broken and (not connected) i am about to bury myself in flour and chocolate

the lrm are delighted to be taking part in larkin about this saturday (december 5th) at the green room - a day dedicated to turning the streets into a playground see http://www.greenroomarts.org/archive/events/larkin%E2%80%99-about/ or the rather more up to date facebook group. they still need volunteers to help with some of the games others have designed so please let them know if you would like to take on that role.

for our contribution the lrm have combined three of our greatest loves - manchester, cartography and vegan cake - to create, yes, a giant cake map of manchester. please come and visit us in the bar area from 12 noon until we've discovered the edible heart of our city. although tickets are required for the rest of the festival it is free to pop in and enjoy a sweet treat with us

our scrumptious diorama is also an almost scientific consultation tool: we want folk to tell us why the scoff the buildings they do - is it love and a desire to consume glory or hate and a drive to destroy. Perhaps its just your curious about what urbis tastes like....

these shenanigans will shape this months first sunday derive. we will be exploring the passions that shape our city and the relationship between psychogeography and cake. we'll be meeting 2pm on sunday (december 6th) in the downstairs bar of the cornerhouse on oxford road and it would be splendid to see you there

if you need any more information about any of the above, or want to join our creative bakeathon tomorrow night please DON'T email (due to those unforeseen technical problems but please call / text 07974929589

glittery love and frosting
morag xx

ps we will be unveiling a new, prizewinning version of our favourite CCTV bingo at larkin about on saturday too

Monday, 23 November 2009

The LRM's Giant Cake Map Needs You!


Dear friends, faeries and fellow loiterers

I’m delighted to say The LRM will be Larkin’ About at The Green Room on Saturday 5th December during their rather splendid festival of play http://www.greenroomarts.org/archive/events/larkin%E2%80%99-about/ (there's a facebook page too)

Contrary to our usual shenanigans we will actually be staying in as the city fills with frolics… imagine Manchester as a giant game board…a hidden world of splendid silliness materializing on the streets… we will be sat in the bar conducting a very important piece of cake erm public consultation via our giant cake map.

The LRM create the city of our dreams with every step; now we’ve combined three of our greatest loves – Manchester, cartography and vegan cake – to create a DIY map where you can truly shape redevelopment. Please come along and play with us; devour the buildings you dislike and help us find the edible heart of our world.

We would love you to get involved (and actually really need a hand if this is going to happen) . There are a few ways you can help:

1) Are you feeling arty? We need someone to draw a large scale map for us to make sue the cakes are in the right place
2) Fancy a bakeathon? If you want to help make 300 cakes – or can make some to bring on the day – please get in touch
3) What building would you like to eat? Ideas needed for your most loved and loathed buildings in Manchester – suggestions very welcome as are picture you have taken of them
4) Help out on the day – spend a bit of time talking to folk, explaining the game, distributing cakes and cards (or just pop over and say hi and let us know how the games are going)
5) If you have a car then a lift on Saturday with all the cakes would be wonderful

Volunteers get free tickets for the whole festival and any expenses paid plus my adoration and, well, lots of lovely cake and a chance to be part of loitering history.

If you can help with any of the above – or have an idea that you think would make the Cake Map even more wonderful – please email loiter@hepzombie.co.uk or call 07974929589

There will also be a new version of an old favourite specially commissioned for Larkin About: yep, CCTV bingo is back – and with the proliferation of friendly neighbourhood cameras your chances of winning a prize and out staring the evil eye has never been greater.

Glittery love and mischief baking
Morag

PS There will still be a First Sunday expedition on 6th December – more details to follow

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

stoats rock

http://bit.ly/109ddZ i do love a mustelidae (no, its not psychogeography but a love of urban wildife and americana music are key to my personal ethos. and it made me laugh)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

November's First Sunday

This Sunday (1st November) meet us at 1pm outside Manchester Central Library (St. Peter's Square) for a seasonally themed walk involving a hunt for hidden treasure, Guy Fawkes and Norse gods... We'll be taking a tram to the starting point (2 stops away) so please bring some loose change.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

this sunday, 18th october

we'll be meeting 1pm by the electronic destination boards at piccadilly station for robyn's australian adventure. Apologies for lack of paragraphs in the previous email

Thursday, 15 October 2009

This sunday: manchester to perth and beyond

Dear friends, leaf lovers and loiterers

I hope you are basking in the gorgeous glow of autumn, it’s taken me many years to appreciate this time of year (a long time for the back to school September dread to fade) but my love of it now was surely inspired by the quality of light, the colours are so vivid I’m sure something extra terrestrial was occurring over the rooftops last night, just stunning. It seems like a season of revelation; as leaves fall so do barriers and new vistas are revealed all across town. Have you seen what’s happening at the back of Cheethams or on Miller Street? Time travel indeed.

Massive thanks to Alan for his inspiring and inspired curating of the previous two first Sundays, any derive incorporating haunted houses, rose hips, and occult smoking paraphernalia has got to go down in LRM history as a rare treat. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for November. On a personal note I have relished the opportunity to take time out. Going away meant my heart could leap with joy coming home. I’ve been rekindling my love of music and sitting on trains and plotting some delightful new shenanigans (of which more soon). I’ve also discovered the joy of proper cider but that is another story.

Anyhow I promised an October triple whammy and now I break the one email a month rule to bring details of parts two and three, both collaborations which remind me there are myriad ways to walk the city and that kindred spirits abound, often loitering in unexpected places
The LRM have received a postcard from a friend which you can see at http://www.postcards4perth.org/ It reads "Hi Everyone, I'll be up in Manchester on the 18th. Can you pick me up from Piccalilly Station at 1pm? We cam make our way on foot from there, right? See you soon. x robyn."

Robyn (who made an excellent hunt sab during the fox hunt) elaborates “What do Manchester England and Perth Australia have to say to each other? You might be surprised. Come on homeward bound walk from the re-branded centre out to towards the protagonist's suburban Salford family history. This will be a walking conversation where the narrative flow has been dreamt up by a tourist, so who knows, you might become the guide...

This walk will form part of the research I'm conducting for my PhD project. I'm examining Perth's relationships to other cities within lived experience. I'd be delighted if the LRM or anyone interested would like to come along to share stories of their Manchester and co-construct this trans-urban journey” Please do join us on this continent crossing adventure, I for one am very excited.

Our comrades at The Escape Committee are plotting a minor cultural revolution on the last Sunday of every month; they want to banish boredom something The LRM wholeheartedly endorse. I actually find boredom really hard to empathise with as an adult: so many books and pavements and hills and songs to explore. Anyhow, they have invited us to join their crusade and we rarely turn down an invitation so here’s the plan (in the loosest sense of the word. No bullet points will be used)
Sunday October 25th we will be ensconced upstairs at The Britons Protection (aka my favourite pub in Manchester) from 4pm. An open invitation is extended to anyone who wants to find out more about The LRM, who we are and what we do. If we can procure a projector (can anyone help?) it would be splendid to show some films at this point too.

At 5pm there will be a short introduction to The LRM and psychogeography, no powerpoint I promise, and then an open discussion about future plans, so many inspiring people have half whispered ideas at the moment it would be splendid to see if collectively we can make them happen. Please don’t be shy, if you have been dreaming of a derive or some subversive shenanigans come along and share in a supportive space. At 7pm ish we’ll set off to explore the secrets of the city… all will be revealed on the night but it will be dark and probably daft.

NOTE: anyone being disparaging, lacking an open mind or blatantly ripping decent folk off during the roundtable will be dealt with. I am still reeling at the amount of ugly, nasty, narrow minded people who invaded our beloved city last week. They challenged my belief in the streets being a place for everyone: I don’t want fascists on the march anywhere and the LRM has a zero tolerance policy for racists, misogynists, homophobes and any fuckwit who seeks to curtail another’s freedom. I’m sorry if you think that conflicts with our treasured freedom to play where we choose and do what we wilt, maybe it does, but we are all contradictions and I am bloody angry that such evil exists.

Constructive ways to transform hurt into creative resistance are especially welcome, but so too is anyone who wants to help build the city of our dreams one step at a time or who just simply wants to play out and discover magic that thrives in the mancunian rain.

Please stay safe, look around you and enjoy the view. It can be a beautiful day

With love and pumpkin pie

morag xx

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

cctv analysis

in the times, not another leftycommiehippypinkoparanoid rant!
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6871833.ece

Friday, 9 October 2009

this weekend

interesting open archeology in manchester this weekend http://www.manchesterconfidential.com/index.asp?sessionx=IpqiNwY6JWTrKHqiNwF6IHqi#18430375

plus the mancunian way is closed and makes a delighful place for a nighttime stroll.

on the down side the fascists are coming to town tomorrow and we will not be welcoming them. Our streets are for everyone, except those who spread hate and vile racism

“Maybe I should talk to you about fascism. It is a big word and it hides in some pretty little places. And it is nothing in the world but greed for profit and greed for the power to hurt and make slaves out of the people. Fascism and freedom are the only two sides battling.” Woody Guthrie

Friday, 2 October 2009

October's First Sunday

Hello Friends,

This month we will be entering the "Gates of Hell" in search of ghosts and Celtic water spirits - a true life MR James tale revealed... Join us for a supernatural exploration of the Fletcher Moss parsonage gardens in Didsbury followed by a wild food forage around the Mersey flood basin. A refreshing change from our usual urban escapades - time to breath some fresh air and get your shoes muddy!

Meet outside "The Didsbury Inn" (M20 2SG) at 2pm on Sunday 4th October - for those who have never visited this suburban idyll, it's just past the centre of Didsbury village on the 42/142 bus route and not far from East Didsbury railway station.

Further news on some more exciting psychogeographic events happening this month to follow...

Thursday, 1 October 2009

more stuff to read

congratulations to a couple of friends of the lrm for nominations in the manchester blog awards - the ever inspiring manchester zedders http://themanchesterzedders.wordpress.com/ and the charmingly wonderful shrieking violet http://www.theshriekingviolets.blogspot.com/ (which is now available in zine form too). Some more cracking reads are also shortlisted but they are our friends who we play with and thus we want them to win!

also, and unrelated but worth a read if you are unfamiliar with the background to psychogeography its Guy Debords theory of the derive http://library.nothingness.org/articles/all/all/display/314

dancing in the streets

This was written by Nathan Payne and shared here (with permission) because it illustrates how public space is under threat everywhere and our dear red caps are not the only petty beurocrats at work. and becuase it made me laugh

an interesting thing happened the other day, Andrew & i were playing on the street in Brooklyn, on Bedford & N. 7th streets, and we got a few songs off before the cops showed up, and while Andrew was playing "Cure For Pain" the cop summoned me to his car, and i walked over and he asked a couple questions, and no we didn't have a permit (do they ever get bored, asking the obvious?), then he said we could continue if we turned off the amp, and went on to explain that if he allowed us to play with amps, then pretty soon other people would show up with amps, then he went on to describe this really utopian-sounding situation in which people of all types and styles and genres would start coming out of the woodwork to perform on the street, except he used this utopian ideal as a justification for shutting us down.

as he was describing the situation i kept thinking, that sounds great! but he was taking the other track. if we let you guys bring some melody and beauty to the street, the normal garbage-truck and ambulance sounds would soon be drowned out by infinite varieties of street performers cultivating an interesting cultural center right in the middle of everybody, for its own sake and at no cost whatsoever to the surrounding community, bringing in thousands of dollars a year in added revenue and fostering a culture of artistic support, a situation as un-American as Castro. now come on guys, GET REAL, don't you have to GO TO WORK?

yes i do, officer, because these aren't skills you're witnessing here, anybody can do this, and why should i employ my personal skills at the service of my own hunger, when i can sit on a telephone for 40 hours a week or push boxes around in a warehouse? o yeah that's right, cuz you can't tax cash in my hand for work in your face.

America is a cop utopia.

MAP Archives online

The MAP (Manchester Area Psychogeographic) archive IS now back online and some mighty fine reading can be found there. Cheers Alan. Any chance of the forum rememerging?

http://www.twentythree.plus.com/MAP/index.html

If anyone ever fancies helping sort The LRM out a more coherant online presense I would be very greatful, i know we celebrate the ephemeral but be nice if our flotsam and jetsam were not all strewn in a corner of my bedroom, theres a fair bit of material I've amassed now despite myself

Thursday, 24 September 2009

In town this weekend

Manchester anarchist bookfair on Saturday
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/manchester/2009/09/438091.html
No official LRM literature but I will be contributing cake and i'm especially interested in the anarchy and archeology workshop.

Music, words, good people, games and more cake on Sunday
Its Dales extravaganza at The Britons Protection 4pm - 9pm and its the start of something big. this is what he says

For some time now I've been meaning to organise something for that period on a
Sunday afternoon/early evening when the horrible dread of Monday descends and
the prospect of being plugged back into the work machine for 5 days seems to
suck the air out of the world (if stuck here, remind yourself of what Sunday
evening felt like as a teenager!). I also promised a very fine local band that
I'd put on a gig for them after they played an acoustic set at a charity wine
tasting I put on last year. They are Ivan Campo and have a really good
reputation and following (they've also been picked more than once as a support
act for the mighty Liverpool band Shack).

Date: Sunday 27th September

Time: 4pm till 9pm. Wow, you can have a lie-in, do lunch(might I suggest, as
always, Cafe ModPop) AND get off early if you wish! How user-friendly is that?

Venue: Britons Protection, Great Bridgewater Street. Follow the tram lines along
the side of GMex (or whatever the f*** corporate name it has now) and you're
there.

Ivan Campo plus Black Jack Barnet plus other acts tbc and DJ the Magnificent
Martin the Mod. Joke competition and a raffle(fantastic prizes-ish..) and vegan
cake/sweets/stuff (although please be aware I am not putting this on as a
strictly vegan event). Compered by a wanker(that'll be me then). Does it get any
better?

Three quid on the door. Loads of beautiful warm friendly human people on the
other side of that door.

This is the first in a series of events. Be in at the start.

Make Sunday History.

If you're at either please dont be shy, come and say hello xx

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

more stuff to read

It was good to see MAP (Manchester Area Psychogeographic) getting credit where it is due in The Mule article,they were a big influence in the early days of The LRM and continue to be heroes. Sadly much of their work isnt available online at the moment but a couple of peices lurk amongst the many treasures and bits of tat at www.uncarved.org - warning do not enter unless you are prepared to spend a bit too long looking at a computer screen. I especially like the zombie article

the madness of cityco

There still paper copies of the rather ace latest edition of The Mule newspaper floating about town, it includes an article looking at the issues of public space highlighted by The LRM whilst getting lost last year

http://themule.info/article/the-madness-of-cityco

the same page (on print, sorry couldnt find it online) also features a peice by Alex aka bored in the city about psychogeography. Most welcome and interesting reading, whatever psychogeography is a key strength is how it has evolved to be interpreted by diverse voices although i do think a total lack of reference to the situationists is a little remiss. I'd love a wider public debate about what 'community engagement' means within an academic/artistic context... hmmm... watch this space.

useful mapping

although its the last day of DSEI its salutory to ponder on what goes on in our name and neighbourhood
https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/manchester/2009/08/436864.html

i love radio

and this looks (sounds?) like a really interesting programme and a great site of wonders
http://www.speechification.com/
and yes, there will be a review of Iain Sinclair in Manchester soon too

Friday, 4 September 2009

September First Sunday

Hi all.
Here's a message from our (temporary) fearless leader, Alan for this month's first Sunday dérive:

God Save King James the Third!

This Sunday the LRM will be recreating the sights and sounds of the Manchester of 1745 when we rediscover the fabled events surrounding Bonnie Prince Charlie's brief sojourn in our fair town. Join us outside Sinclair's Oyster Bar / The Wellington Inn in the Shambles (opposite Selfridge's) at 2pm on Sunday for a tour of Jacobite Manchester from the Old Salford Bridge to St. Ann's Square and finally to Scotland! Show your support for the Young Pretender by wearing a white cockade or your finest tartan.


See y'all there (the noo, etc)
Love,
Seán

September's First Sunday Walk

God Save King James the Third!

This Sunday (September 6th) the LRM will be recreating the sights and sounds of the Manchester of 1745 when we rediscover the fabled events surrounding Bonnie Prince Charlie's brief sojourn in our fair town. Join us outside Sinclair's Oyster Bar / The Wellington Inn in the Shambles (opposite Selfridge's) at 2pm on Sunday for a tour of Jacobite Manchester from the Old Salford Bridge to St. Ann's Square and finally to Scotland! Show your support for the Young Pretender by wearing a white cockade or your finest tartan.

Morag will be taking a well earned break this weekend so please don't call the LRM hotline.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

the bench project









Things I learnt during the bench project
There are more cleaners working in piccadilly gardens than i imagined
Ditto evangalists with home made leaflets about salvation
Women were happier to talk to me but much unhappier about being photographed

Things I knew already but it was good to be reminded of
Pigeons are ace
Manchester is full of lovely people who respond to a smile
The surreal is everywhere and folk are full of interesting stories

Questions raised
About public space,surveillance and voyeurism
Am I art?
How can we fix a social care system that fails many vulnerable people

Highlights
The many wonderful, random overheard quotes
Tom the free hug guy
Adele who was celebrating her MA
The portable pasty picnic table
Many inspired outfits (don't know how many were inspired by pride)
Messages from people watching the tweets unfurl - gillibobs said it was 'like watching an audio book slowly unfurl

Conclusion
Essentially I proved, and thoroughly enjoyed, that one can explore the city by sitting still. At the end of the day I felt elated and totally knackered but would love to do it again - any takers for a 24 hour shift?

Thanks
to everyone who helped made the day so special and especially to tom, alan, sean, dale and maureen for their support, conor and all at the space is the place, and of course the pigeons for sharing their city with me

Relive the action (and see photos) at www.twitter.com/spaceplace09

Septembers first Sunday is going to be a timetravelling spectacular with multisensory treats... Alan and Sean are organising something truly spectacular. I'm really sorry to say I will miss it but I must be elsewhere. Watch this space for details of when/where to meet xx

Thursday, 27 August 2009

art shenanigans this weekend

get off the streets and onto the bench...

the lrm have been asked to participate in 'the space is the place' which is being organised by conor who some of you will recall from TRIP (and the pub!) last year. http://www.ncad.ie/gallery/space_place.shtml

Its rather short notice but the plan is to re-materialise the bench project for at least the duration of the gallery opening but probably 12 hours on saturday (for logistical reasons i am not up for a 24hour stint this weekend) and twitter reports and pictures so they can be exhibited in dublin in real time.

here's the blurb from last year:

The Bench Project
A day in the life of street furniture of How to Explore the City Whilst Sitting Still… Morag was trying to deal with the contradictions inherent with organising a festival of walking whilst it hurts to stand up and decided to take loitering to its limit and make a city centre bench her home for 24 hours. Well, the view is bound to be better than the telly. Please come and say hello, have some cake

i'm taking some fairy lights and cushions and a picnic and a portable blackborad to make the bench more hospitable but looking for other ways to make it more interesting,(aside from the inevitable debate about public space and surveillance) i quite fancy making it the premise for other interventions. The problem is i can't think of any.... thoughts much appreciated....

and if you arent shambala-ing/AR gathering/prideisaprotesting/climate camping/bank holidaying please stop by... its not as exciting as all those other lovely things happening on saturday - but i am dead nervous and don't just want to be a random bitter eccentric sat on a bench all day!

for the location of the bench please text 07974929589 or you can follow the action via the all new (and probably temporary) lrm twitter feed, imaginatively found under thelrm

the lrm: an apology

to everyone waiting for a reply to an email or text or comment and to all the blog posts pending. i really appreciate everyones queries and comments but i've not been terribly well of late and its proved a bit tricky juggling everything. as many of you may be aware i have a full time job and a serious music habit to juggle as well... normal (ha!) service will be resumed shortly. If anyone does fancy helping with admin stuff or giving me lots of money* so i can loiter full time please don't be shy (*not lots really but i do have to pay rent)

there are some exciting things brewing: a new LRM era is about to begin with a bench... xx

sexy geography



Don't forget today is the day for concrete alchemy... i do love the mancunian way

there is also many other public events around the royal geographical society conference, i've been putting posters up but not sure i have remembered to blog...i went to the session People’s Plans: opportunities for radical planning in the 21st Century yesterday and it was really interesting, met some very inspiring people...

upcoming events at Ida Kinsey Village Centre
17 Guide Post Rd., Ardwick, Manchester, M13 9HP

as part of the Royal Geographical Society annual conference, 2009 -
the participatory geographies working group (see www.pygywg.org) are organising the following sessions outside academic conference space, to encourage wider public debate on issues of critical geographical relevance ~ everyone is welcome to come along!

Thur. 27th August: 2.30 – 4.20

Inconvenient Truth: the imperative for Geography to do something urgent about climate change
for more info contact Sophie svw05@aber.ac.uk

4.50 – 6.30

Fuller Geographies: a session of radical, bold, brash, perhaps blunt, but bloody inspiring public geography!
for more info contact Kelvin kelvin.mason@cat.org.uk

6.45 for about an hour (?!) followed by refreshments

pygywg AGM ~ members discuss the future of the group
NB membership is open to all and free!

Fri. 28th August: 11.10 – 12.50 then 2.40 – 6.30

The right to stay put: contesting displacement in urban regeneration / development schemes, sessions 1- 3
for more info contact Chris c.allen@mmu.ac.uk or Lee l.crookes@sheffield.ac.uk
or Stuart S.N.Hodkinson@leeds.ac.uk or Tom tom.slater@ed.ac.uk

Sat 29 th August: 10.00 – 12.30 then 1.15 - 6.00
The right to stay put, session 4: roundtable, field-trip, films and evening social

details of the Royal Geographic Society and the wider conference can be found at www.rgs.org

more on the right to stay put

This is a general invitation to all those interested or active in urban resistance to gentrification, displacement, mega-developments and privatisation to participate in our event - The Right to Stay Put:
Contesting Displacement to Urban Regeneration and Development Schemes - as part of this year's RSG-IBG Conference in Manchester in August.

The Right to Stay Put: Contesting Displacement in Urban Regeneration

Friday 28th and Saturday 29th August

Venue: Ida Kinsley Village Centre, 17 Guide Post Road, Grove Village, Manchester M13 9HP

A Participatory Geographies Working Group event as part of the Royal Geographical Society / Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference - see www.rgs.org

Free admission / open to public

Description of event:
It is now 25 years since Chester Hartman first advanced the notion of the 'right to stay put' for lower income group struggles against gentrification. Since then, gentrification and related processes of privatisation and marketisation have become integral to neoliberal urban strategies across the world. Despite this proliferation, academics have generally responded poorly to Hartman's call to arms. Rather, as Slater observes (2006, 2008), gentrification research has generally lost its critical edge, and from some quarters gentrification has even been celebrated as beneficial to incumbent low-income groups (Freeman, 2006; Vigdor, 2002). This is not our experience and with this session we seek to restore Hartman's principle to the heart of gentrification research by inviting contributions from activist geographers in the widest sense of the term (academics, teachers, housing professionals, campaigners, trade unionists and ordinary residents) to share and exchange their experiences, insights and methods to better defend people's 'right to stay put'. In the spirit of making geography 'relevant' beyond the policy-academy complex, the session will have a practical orientation and will offer reflections, stories, tactics, lessons and strategies for developing successful urban resistances. The aims are to: (1) share experiences and develop practical knowledges about what works in urban resistance; (2) create an educational space for encounter and dialogue between those involved in similar critical work and activism; and (3) start to develop an action research network and a knowledge/resource base for wider dissemination.


A variety of speakers will recount stories of regeneration and resistance from around the world, including London, Berlin, Zurich, Mumbai, Istanbul, Toronto, Dublin, Chicago, Glasgow, Melbourne, South Africa, Möllevången as well as addressing questions of building (un)successful local and global networks of opposition and creating alternatives.


The event will have 4 main sessions:

Sessions 1-3 will take place on 28th August. Session 4 will happen on 29 August.

Session 1 (11am-1.40pm) explores gentrification and displacement in action.

Sessions 2 (2.40pm-4.20pm) and 3 (4.50pm-6.30pm) explore resistance in action.

Session 4 (10.30am-lunch-3pm) explores how we can develop local to global strategies, networks and alternatives and will be split between papers and an open roundtable 'working' discussion. It will be followed by a tour of Manchester's urban development and struggles, and then a social-benefit event in the evening with films.


Full details, including venue directions and programme, on www.autonomousgeographies.org/righttostayput

Details of the other amazing Participatory Geographies events being put on at the Ida Kinsley Village Centre during the RGS-IBG conference can be found here: http://www.pygywg.org/news/rgsibg2009.htm

Session Organisers:
Chris Allen (Manchester Metropolitan University), c.allen@mmu.ac.uk Lee Crookes (University of Sheffield), l.crookes@sheffield.ac.uk Stuart Hodkinson (University of Leeds), s.n.hodkinson@leeds.ac.uk Tom Slater (University of Edinburgh), tom.slater@ed.ac.uk

Dr Stuart Hodkinson
School of Geography
University of Leeds
LS2 9JT
0113-343-1820
s.n.hodkinson@leeds.ac.uk

Friday, 31 July 2009

August Communique: A summer of rage, rain and concrete alchemy

Dear friends and fellow loiterers

I trust this finds you in fine fettle. Thank you to everyone who took the time to get in touch after last months communiqué to say how much they supported the idea of unity amongst those who love the city and the need to redefine risk.

I also appreciate those who criticised me for idealism; yes The LRM does have unrealistic aims but at the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker (ah recuperation! If only the bards of Paris 68 copyrighted their work) “Be realistic, demand the impossible….I take my desires for reality because I believe in the reality of my desires” but we are not a band of naïve hippies: far from it.

A basic tenet of The LRM manifesto is of course that webelieve there is magick in the (increasingly apocalyptic) Mancunian rain but also that advertising, blandness, commercialisation and gentrifiication make us sad. And frankly, recently I have been crying many tears of rage for what is happening. To quote a friend ‘sometimes this city needs a slap, not a hug’. Truly I believe direct action gets results and we ignore the dark side of the force at our peril.

For all its regenerated glories Manchester has many areas full of social deprivation and retains a woeful record on public health. I’ll get round to putting some statistics up on the website soon: suffice to say the post bomb nirvana never materialised for most residents but I guess you know that already. If you can’t wait for the synopsis email me and I’ll send you links for some jolly reading.

On a personal level this has also been a time of pestilence and heartbreak for many loiterers myself included. I have been reminded once again that there is strength in comraderie and just, well, doing stuff. I truly believe most things are better after a cup of tea and a wander across town. With the modern plagues of home entertainment and cars and headphones we increase alienation and become weaker and ever more isolated. One of the things I love most about First Sunday is the way it brings together so many disparate people, all inspiring in different ways and creating new connections, new ways of travelling which subtly changes the synapses of the city.

August will see a different kind of derive: one based not just on creation but also on destruction, on the metaphorical level at least. Often one requires the other and we should not be scared to acknowledge hurt, anger, sadness and fear: this is the first step to transformation and joy. Politics is in the streets and change is in our footsteps.

Please join me on a cathartic stomp this Sunday, August 2nd. We shall go abanishing and vanishing and conquering – afterwards when we have our traditional post walk pint we can discuss what we can do to improve things. Self pity and whining is NOT the loiterers way: anger is an energy and we will harness it somehow….

We’ll be meeting at 1pm in The Britons Protection, Great Bridgewater Street (its child friendly) probably in the back room or beer garden if it’s sunny. A fortifying drink is recommended as we may well enter alien territory for The LRM: 3 years of exploration and we have never once ventured into the dreaded Arndale Centre.

If you’re new just look for the short lass with pink hair. We’ll be off about 1.30; the route will be devised using arcane methods: please get in touch or arrive promptly if there is a site you especially want to visit or rant about and we’ll try and include it. I would love to know what (and where) you hate in and about Manchester, although of course no-one is obliged to share,

Please note I am not advocating any form violence, damage, disrespect or criminal activity: The LRM has always been and remains a law abiding and peaceful group. Everyone is welcome as long as they respect this and the rights of other loiterers. Remember also you are responsible for your own safety; please look out for everyone else too. This shouldn’t need saying: there have never been any problems with any loiterers but of course I am aware this email gets forwarded far and wide and I want to make this absolutely clear.

I hope you can join us, it would be splendid to see you. If you can’t make it on Sunday some kindreds also have some interesting events coming up this month. There are more Street Training sessions at Cube – see their website for booking details - and the wonderfully titled walk The Mancunian Way: The Alchemy of Concrete takes place on 27th August.

This walking tour offers an unconventional perspective on the geographical and cultural impact of the Mancunian Way on the city and its people. It starts with a short introductory presentation at Manchester Metropolitan University at 3pm, followed by the tour itself which lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours. At 6pm, as part of the URBIS Urban Research Forum, there will a public debate about the Mancunian Way and the impact of postwar Modernist planning and architecture in Manchester.

Email Steve Millington (s.millington@mmu.ac.uk) for further details. The event is designed to coincide with the annual Royal Geographical Society Conference which is taking place in the last week of August; there is some other great stuff happening around then too so do keep a look out.

I am starting to think about dropping the psycho – its meaningless – because geography is quite sexy and sensational enough. Oh yes.

With glittery love and creative rage

Morag x

Thursday, 23 July 2009

a message from hulme community garden centre

we have two upcoming important events at HCGC.

First up is a consultation event this Friday between 2.00pm and 4.00pm, here at the Centre, with Manchester Metropolitan University in regard to the proposed new campus development of Birley Fields.

This is YOUR opportunity to find out exactly what’s going on and a platform to engage with the University and Manchester Council and get your views heard. We’re hosting this event because we want to provide a forum for debate and we urge anyone and everyone to turn up here on Friday and get your point of view across.

HCGC has obvious concerns about the environmental impact of this development so I know we have a few issues to raise but there will also be a wider impact on the area and we want as many people as possible to have their say and get the answers they need. This is our opportunity to get involved in what’s happening in our area. Please forward this to all your networks and let’s make sure local communities have a voice.

Secondly, we have a FREE event about CODEX. What is Codex. I hear you splutter? Well, it affects the food we eat and could have a massive impact on our lives very soon. Run in conjunction with Alternative Answers this event will feature talks and a film about Codex before going on to learn what individuals and communities can do about it. The event is on Saturday 8th August from 1.00pm until 4.00pm.

Friday, 17 July 2009

a picnictastic artarama of a weekend




It is boring to talk about the weather but forgive me just this once if I say I am hoping for a sunny weekend. A couple of our favourite co-conspiratoprs have organised events that sound splendid and will be so regardless of the rain, but there’s no denying they will be most delightful if soggy sandwiches can be avoided…

First up on Saturday those lovely land girls and single cell are hosting Picnic “showcasing the talent of Manchester’s rising stars and highlighting the lonely plight of forgotten wasteland, inspiring public recalamation of urban green space" Hooray for that we say.

Look for the bunting in Hulme between Bonsall Street and Rolls Crescent (near Old Birley St) between 3 – 5pm. I believe the 1940s theme means costumes are encouraged and plan b in case of emergency (or torrential storms) is decamping to The Yard Theatre.

Wear your socks and sandals with pride, prepare to extol upon the virtue of scones. There will be cakes and lemonade galore, acoustic music, comedy and poetry from Julie E Gordon, Quiet Loner, Paul Leeming, Dominic Berry Aidan Jolly and band plus art activities, rounders and more... Fundraisind for the Swat Valley Crisis Appeal

On Sunday we are thrilled to be accepting an invite to the first Manchester modernist society tea party

“being a most cordial invitation to luncheon in the grass, in the shadow of Gustav Metzger’s Flailing Trees, Manchester Peace Gardens, St Peter’s Square, Sunday 19 July from 2pm, and then on to Procession: An exhibition at Cornerhouse, 4pm- 6pm.

Manchester is currently in festival fever with music, exhibitions and activities literally spilling out of the buildings and into the streets. It’s the perfect opportunity for even the most jaded of city dwellers to re-invigorate those humdrum routines, find new nooks and crannies lurking in the familiar and examine the everyday landscape we all too often take for granted with a more curious eye?

What better way we thought to enjoy the dying embers of the festival and reflect on the installation’s poignant message before its removal to the Whitworth Art Gallery than with a spot of afternoon tea under its temporary shade; our own modest celebration echoing the doubtless more lavish Festival Feast taking place round the corner in the Albert Square pavilion!”


See www.manchestermodernistsociety.org for the full text (and erm where we procured the wonderful picture above from)

So – a weekend of inspiring people, subverting public space, first class art (well, apart from those flailing trees of which more later) and scrummy cake. Sounds like heaven in a wild city to me and will hopefully banish my childhood conviction that to picnic meant sitting in a car at the bottom of beachy head looking at the sea and feeling sad.

Friday, 3 July 2009

July Communique: joining the dots and celebrating the city

Dear friends, foes, faeries and fellow loiterers

Merry July! Apologies for my recent tardiness regarding the blog and late notice of the forthcoming First Sunday. As some of you know June was a tricky month for me; but I have emerged battered and bruised and still breathing (sometimes that is no small triumph) and as ever during the tough times some truths emerge amidst the clichés and the pain.

Very little can’t be relived by a stroll through the city (I can suddenly hear Petula Clarke singing through the ether) and the intergalactic bonds formed by comrades in loitering are a tremendous source of strength and inspiration. Thank you all.

I’ve love to know what’s been happening with you and in particular your thoughts on a few questions I’ve been pondering: Where do you feel safe / unsafe? What is your favourite psychogeographic art? How should The LRM evolve? How is technology helping and hindering your sense of space? Answers on a postcard or in an email please…. Also, massive thanks to the ever inspiring Alan for curating June's splendid adventure. If you have an idea for a First Sunday please do share and we can make it happen.

The LRM will be embarking on something of an art crawl this Sunday, joining the dots between a few of the many exciting creative endeavours lighting up the city at the moment.

We’ll be meeting at John Rylands library café (on Deansgate) at 1.30pm I suggest getting there early to have a look at the splendid sounding Mapping Manchester: Cartographic Stories of the City' http://tinyurl.com/nqczhq Mmmm maps... how they limit and liberate and intrigue….

Then we’ll be (very promptly on this occasion) heading out to enjoy Procession http://www.mif.co.uk/events/procession-2/ which one of the LRMs heroes, Miss Euphemia P Niblock describes as the highlight of the (Manchester International) festival surely...art, the everyday, plus a little bit of flaneurie = an archaeology of now!! perfect...

At 2.30pm we will reconvene under our beloved giant map in Victoria Station. This is one of my favourite places in town; I love the energy of railway stations and the million stories you can glimpse (or invent) in the bustle. We may be a little late so if you are lost or unsure where we are do please ring/text the hotline 079 749 29589 and remember our ramshackleness is part of our charm.

The ensuing derive will be tactile, sensuous and playful: I want to concentrate on the senses that we tend to ignore or repress when traversing the city. And no I am not being perverse: this will be a walk, as ever, suitable for all ages and dispositions. It seems to me society as a whole is becoming over cautious; fear of fear is a dangerous enemy to the loiterer. Chance and chaos and risk can be liberating and beautiful: let’s be delightfully silly and concentrate on touching and feeling and being joyous. Consensual hugging is optional but very welcome.

This is not an official event; we have no corporate sponsorship, no membership fee, no tickets, no exclusions, no copyright notices, no insurance policies and no dogma. Ignore me if you like but please remember advice given by some of our illustrious forbears ‘Forbidding is not allowed’ and ‘As long as it harm none’ between those two sages lies the heart of The LRM.

Our wander will finish at CHIPS so we can be dazzled by Trade City, Contemporary Art Manchester’s launch event. Pedants may note we are not embarking on a true derive because the end point is defined but I say so what. We have no idea of what the travelling will entail and the journey can still be sweet.

I daresay then we shall find somewhere to share stories and imbibe refreshing beverages. Even as we revel in the art there will doubtless be despair at the redevelopment of Ancoats and debate on the contradictions inherent within the LRM; so resolutely embedded and in love with the city and yet hating so much of what is happening to it. It’s a shame The City as Gymnasium exhibition at Cube isn’t open until 9th July; I think there will be much to savour there too especially Lottie Child’s Street Training.

I hope one of the subtexts of a walk between and betwixt spectacles will be a rallying cry for solidarity amongst the many artists, organisations and individuals whose work overlaps with ours.

We may disagree on many things – I am a contrary bugger and lest we forget the LRM is about revolutionary fun and wants nothing less than the city of our dreams - but like a giant Venn diagram at our core we are all exploring and celebrating Manchester in its multifaceted and frustrating and wonderful glory.
The city is big enough for us all and I despise the insidious sense of competition certain quarters encourage; but of course I reserve the right to expel corporate whores and untruthful prophets when The Loiterers Republic of Mancunia is finally established!

Just time to heartily recommend a couple more kindred’s who I can not envisage ever banishing: The fledgling manchester modernist society http://manchestermodernistsociety.org/ is blossoming into a Very Good Thing and the next issue of The Mule newspaper (its full of proper, inspiring, trustworthy journalism) will include an article about The LRM and how playing in the street became subversive. http://www.themule.info/

I do hope to see you Sunday or perhaps in one of the secret grottos I’ve taken to hiding in of late. No of course I’m not revealing where they are - it wouldn’t be a secret network then would it - but there again is the paradox: most sacred LRM spaces may feel private but are very public. The portals are there for anyone to discover if only they are looking the right way….

Glittery love, power and joy

Morag x

Sunday, 7 June 2009

World Naked Bike Ride

Hi all,

I'd like to take this chance to give all you lovely loiterers the chance to loiter on bicycles - without your clothes!

Manchester's section Of the World Naked Bike Ride will be on Friday 12th June, at 6pm from Whitworth Park.

All the details you need are here:
http://wiki.worldnakedbikeride.org/index.php?title=Manchester

Be there or be decidedly overdressed!

Love,
Seán

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

June's First Sunday Walk (and Picnic)

Hello fellow loiterers!

This month's walk will be a game of two halves - starting with a short tour of Peter Street and Quay Street, taking in some of the most interesting buildings and stories Manchester has to offer, followed by a walk along the old straight track (dare I call it a ley line?!?) from the Central Library to Platt Fields. This half of the walk will take us through various zones - the entertainment, academic and curry zones - each with it's own special ambience. We'll end the walk with a picnic at the Platt Fields FEAST festival: Click Here Keep your eyes peeled along the way - there will be a game of I-Spy with a special prize!

Meet outside the Central Library (St. Peter's Square) at 1pm for the Peter Street and Quay Street tour. If 1pm is too early for you we'll reconvene outside the Central Library at 2pm for the walk to Platt Fields.

See you all on Sunday! A don't forget to bring a picnic (and a bottle or two!)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Mapping Dangerous Spaces

An interesting symposium in that london on june 1st

flyer: http://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/events/mds/mapping-dangeous-spaces-cpf.pdf
programme: http://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/events/mds/mapping-dangerous-spaces.pdf

yes, its next monday.... and i still havent finished my paper.... here's my abstract....

Getting Lost in Manchester

Abstract by Morag Rose

The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement) is a Manchester based collective of artists, academics and activists interested in psychogeography and public space.

In June 2008 we facilitated Get Lost, the de facto fringe festival for MMU’s TRIP (Territories Reimagined: International Perspectives) conference. The month long programme included walks, talks and artistic interventions aimed at engaging communities in exploring Manchester.

This bought us into conflict with Cityco, the quango who manage Manchester City Centre. They claimed we were a health and safety risk to the public and needed £2million insurance to be allowed on the streets. Furthermore they threatened us with arrest for criminal damage, expressed concern we may encourage homeless people into the city, told artists they needed a license to ask questions and warned of the sinister implications of our public critique on CCTV. We challenged their arguments with relish....

This paper explores the obstacles encountered and places them in the context of Manchester’s post bomb neoliberal redevelopment. Increased surveillance and restrictions are imposed as a result of the agenda to create a clean and “safe” city for consumers. It provides a clear and alarming example of the conflicts between civil liberty, state bureaucracy and capitalism as it addresses why playing in the city become so subversive

Theres lots more interesting stuff there too. Please come and say hi if you're in the vicinity. I'm rather amused the programme gives me a totally made up job title - i guess loiterer isnt enough for some folk.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

i went to sheffield yesterday and was struck by how it the most clearly signposted english city i can think of. maps about every five minutes walk apart and many arrows pointing towards the heart of the city. what does this mean for loitering in south yorkshire? hmmm. anyway i was on a quest to see my favourite band in the world - the handsome family - and tonight they will be playing in manchester, at the ruby lounge. its not stricly psychogeographical, although they do conjour up magical realms, but i can't quite put into words how much i love them. come to the gig, it will be ace.... x

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

SPEAKERS CORNER APPEARS IN MCR

MAY 15th 8.00pm

Manchester has a fine tradition of orators, thinkers, dreamers, dissidents, mavericks and mischief makers of all sorts – ours is a city full of art and magic and fury and ACTION.
The LRM want to revive our cities proud tradition of street corner revolutionaries and reclaiming public space for discussion and debate

Our speakers corner will be materialising this Friday thanks to Single Cells audacious Guerrilla Busking spectacular (part of Futuresonic and more details can be found here http://www.singlecell.co.uk/ )

Step up and have your say… share a bright idea or a burning desire …demonstrate your mastery of polemic and help us start to set the world to rights

Please come and find us 7.30pm in The Britons Protection – we’ll be moving out in the open for 8.00pm

For more information and to guarantee your voice will be heard please email loiter@hepzombie.co.uk or text 079749 29589

A message from MCC

MCC Launches On Thurs 14th May with an event as part of the Futuresonic fringe

Their splendid byeline is 'Art and Labour's Cause is One' Walter Crane, The New Era

They say "Collective creative community is both an on-line portal that connects artists and a physical space ‘collective hub’. MCC will exist to encourage collective ideas"

They are meeting Outside Urbis 10.00pm for a "Sky Lantern Lit Recession Procession" to the party venue. R.S.V.P please by email to m.rainey@urbis.org.uk - there's guaranteed entry with food to the launch event on the night for all reserved places.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Many thanks to everyone who made the bank holiday weekend truly awesome, as ever i am going to say reports will appear soon and mean it sincerley but then get caught up in something else...i had fancied a wee break now as i'm tired but the news that manchester is to be the site of the ID cards pilot is truly insightment not to sleep.

this weekend there is a rather charming pro-capitalist march for anyone who fancies getting dressed up for a bit of situationist inspired mischief - have fun and cheer macdonalds on very loudly for me if you get there http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/manchester/2009/04/428242.html
http://www.beyondtv.org/nato/crap/craps.htm

Friday, 1 May 2009

May Day Minifest: Loiterers of the World Unite!

Dear friends, faeries and fellow loiterers

I hope this finds you in a good place. I just wanted to send you a quick reminder of our May Day Bank Holiday shennanigans

Tomorrow is the Great Urban Fox Hunt – a giant game of hide and seek – more details are below, please let me know if you want to join in as there is, unusually for The LRM, A Plan. Not a route, of course that would be silly, but we do indeed have A Plan. Incidentally case anyone is in any doubt WE ARE NOT HARMING ANY ANIMALS. Hunters are scum. Loitering hurts noone and leaves no trace save the ephemeral nature of our stories

I am also very excited about Bank Holiday Monday May 4th; One of my all time favourite musicians the wonderful Chris Mills will be playing a special concert live in my living room…. Wooohoooh…. support will come from the splendid Quiet Loner …. High quality entertainment guaranteed The party is on May 4th (Bank Holiday Monday) from 6pm; the music will be done by 10pm because of buses and work and suchlike.

There will, of course, be scrummy cake and lots of tea but please bring your own booze. A proverbial hat will be passed round to pay for the artists so please be generous. If you need the address or more information just holler. Please RSVP if possible so I know how much cake to make

Of course between Saturday and Monday lies the first Sunday of the month, our traditional day to gather. It’s wonderful going for a walk with people; my heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has ever joined in with one of our derives. It truly wouldn’t be the same without you.
However, loitering is not to be confined to first Sundays and it does not require company; indeed some delicacy and discretion can be lost in the crowd. Sometimes the chatter and the bustle, no matter how inspiring, can drown out the daydream and scare away the imaginary realm. Loitering is truly a state of mind that we can all master; I don’t want to tell you where to go and if I try then please, don’t listen to me.

Bearing all this in mind I humbly suggest this months first Sunday derive should be a DIY affair. Please don’t think me rude or lazy for suggesting this, although to be frank I think I’ll need some solitude and rest in between two amazing and gregarious encounters.

I’m rather taken with the idea of the city, indeed the world (hello Steffi synchronising with us in Bonn) being full of disparate flaneurs all united even in their isolation. The theme I shall be focusing on with my personal meander is nature; it’s so abundant and beautiful at the moment as finally celebrate Beltaine.

The canal seems a good place to start; it’s biodiversity is breathtaking and water always makes me feel calm. If you choose to go on a walk please share a few words for the blog or a picture for flicker. If you don’t fancy a stroll Subversive Spaces finishes its tenure at the Whitworth on Monday; it’s highly recommended.

I hope to see you Monday or Saturday or indeed we may even collide on Sunday; serendipity is a curious thing

With love and guitars

Morag x

THIS WEEKEND minifesto

Don't forget the amazingly splendid house gig / party extravaganza on monday

sundays derive will be a DIY affair - watch this space for details

Tomorrow is of course the great urban fox hunt, instructions below....

Dear loiterer

Thank you for signing up for the great LRM urban fox hunt. Here are your rules of engagement

If anything is unclear please call / text 07974929589 for clarification, also please use this number if you have to leave the game early or cancel (just so we don’t spend ages looking for you when we never stood a chance!)

At 2pm hunters must be at their designated, unique starting point (this will be sent to you in a separate email to preserve an air of mystery) They should don their high visibility jacket and begin the chase. If possible they should cry tally ho! or alternatively blow a whistle, or kazoo or other small instrument if available, although we do understand that may not be possible without alarming bystanders. Your first task is to find your fellow hunters….

Hunters must stay within the area outlined above and must be careful at all times to stay calm, courteous and mindful of the dangers of the city. Engagement with the public is encouraged but please don’t run, shout, ignore traffic or behave in a vexatious manner.

REMEMBER: If you see the fox you may not apprehend them until you have sufficient other hunters with you; 8 is the magic number when mob rule begins

When you see another hunter – identifiable of course by their jacket – the appropriate greeting is a cry of tally ho! or a note on your instrument/whistle if you have one. If your call is reciprocated you have found a kindred. How you proceed together is up to you of course but remember you can not catch a fox unless you are in a group of 8 hunters.

The fox(es) will be going about their daily business in perfectly reasonable manner. They are of course normal people, albeit sporting fluffy ears and magnificent tails; they don’t deserve persecution and can’t comprehend the hunting mentality. They will be in public view at all times; wandering feely in parks, squares, shops, cafes, galleries and generally enjoying the city. They may not hide away from the gaze eg in changing rooms or toilets.

To catch a fox they must be surrounded by a circle of 8 hunters and one must touch their tail; the fox must then surrender their tail and indeed their liberty.

At 4pm the game is over. If the fox(es) are caught much earlier we may have a second round. If any hunters or foxes are still on their own they should proceed to the library steps where will we gather to decide where to go for our post game celebrations.

I hope this makes sense! If not, or you need to collect a map or jacket please ring the hotline: 07974929589 and I’ll get the stuff to you. This is also the number to call if you get lost or confused or need any help.

Please be surreptitious and don’t wear your jacket before 2pm (unless of course you are cycling into town!) You can’t be sure who’s watching and discretion, as they say, is the best part of valour. Also, and this is very important: PLEASE RESPECT THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME AND DON’T TRY TO CONTACT OTHER HUNTERS TO TRY AND FIND THEIR STARTING POINT OR PLANS. If you know anyone else who wants to play please ask them to get in touch before 1.30pm so they can be given a location of their own.

Please remember this is an experiment and thus The LRM have no idea of the outcome although we anticipate ramshackle beauty and a glorious confusion through out our beloved city…..

I look forward to playing with you tomorrow

Love and giddy excitement

Morag x


PS The game area

Due to technological incompetence I have not been able to create an online map so it’s a DIY job I’m afraid. Here are the boundaries, walking in a clockwise direction. I suggest this map http://www.manchester.com/images/sections/travel/maps/mancmap2.gif but obviously any will do.

The bottom right point is the corner of Mossley Street and Princess Street, the line goes up John Dalton Street and then right along Deansgate till you reach Hunts Bank (nice name, yes that is deliberate) then turn down Todd Street and down Corporation Street then right along Withy Grove, skirting the outside of the Printworks and then go up Shudehill. Cross only at the traffic lights… the northern boundary is Thomas Street which isn’t marked on this map: it has Rambo’s tattoos, The Chinese Arts Centre, Odd bar and the old pink post office on it. It intersects with Oldham Street and this is the easterly edge; go down, through the middle of Piccadilly gardens and back down Mosley Street to the starting point. Perhaps its my imagination but I think the resulting shape is rather foxy, don’t you?

Thursday, 23 April 2009

don't believe the press

there's a lovely wee peice about 'the new psychogeography' in this weeks New Statesmen; I'm rather chuffed The LRM get a mention alongside our friends the manchester zedders. I like the context given and the fact i dont get called a twat, I'm also amused by the erroneous mention of kazoos.

http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2009/04/psychogeography-city

May day min-fest of music and merriment


The LRM cordially invite you to Three Games for May, a mini festival turning the city into a giant playground and reclaiming Bank Holidays from shopping and chores. Please don’t leave town for a minibreak and join us for some creative mischief instead….


O Saturday May 2nd – The Great Urban Fox Hunt – a giant game of hide and seek exploring how we move across the city, where prying eyes can’t reach and the power bestowed by a high-visibilty jacket. Note: no actual foxes will involved because real hunting is for evil scummers.

At two o’clock hunters will don their luminous amour and begin to track down their prey from their own unique starting point. They must observe rules alien to their species and remain at all times courteous, on foot and within the law. Before they can apprehend their target they must first locate a critical number of brethren: just one hunter is no match for a majestic fox and until they have strength from the mob they may look but not touch.


The fox must remain in public view; they can wander anywhere within the designated boundary as long as they are not hidden from sight – so for example they may visit a shop or café but can’t hide in a cupboard. Both the hunters and the fox are encouraged to talk to bystanders, enlist their help and beware of surprise tricks and traps on the streets they roam… At approximately four o’clock the trumpets will signal the end and all shall proceed, in victory or otherwise, to somewhere pleasant for refreshments and to exchange tales of derring do.


TO PLAY: Please send an email saying tally ho! to loiter@hepzombie.co.uk or text the same to 07974929589 and we’ll send a map and full instructions. Also please let us know if you happen to have a stash of jackets we can borrow


O Sunday May 3rd – First Sunday.


There is much to celebrate and explore this month: Beltaine (again), Discoflux, May Day and the amazing nature blossoming all along our canals. Frankly I’ve not come up with a focus yet and will doubtless be rather preoccupied (and knackered) with the other shenanigans so if anyone has been nurturing a plan for a derive you’d like to share this would be a wonderful time to do it; I for one would be very grateful. Please do get in touch if you can help and I’ll make sure the full might of the LRM is with you. If there are several offers we can allocate future months too so please, don’t be shy.


O Monday May 4th – A splendid chance to hear some excellent music in a unique environment (doors open 6pm)


One of my all time favourite musicians the wonderful Chris Mills will be playing a special concert live in a living room somewhere down home on the range.…. Wooohoooh…. support will come from the splendid Quiet Loner and probably mystery guests…. High quality entertainment guaranteed!


There will, of course, be scrummy cake and lots of tea but please bring your own booze. A proverbial hat will be passed round to pay for the artists (suggested donation £3 / £5) The music will be done by 10pm because of buses and neighbours and work and suchlike.


PLEASE RSVP BY EMAIL TO loiter@hepzombie.co.uk IF YOU PLAN TO COME, there is limited capacity – plus I need to give you the address and make sure we have enough cake. Do pass on this message to let other lovely people in on the not-so-secret secret house gig of the year (no wingnuts will be gained admittance)


I hope to see you soon; in the meantime please take care and enjoy the bluebells

Glittery love

Morag x

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

tonight's the night...

woooh - its the great CCTV cabaret.... show starts 7.30 at the briotns protection... please come early if you want to be sure of a seat and some cake... and don't forget to come in disguise if you can, just in case

links to the films shown and info for further action will appear here sometime later this week when i've recovered from all the shenanigans x

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Great CCTV Caberet


Subvert: Surveillance – The CCTV Cabaret

Tuesday April 14th 7pm at The Britons Protection (show starts 7.30)

A night of ace music, short films, comedy ranting and miscellaneous shenanigans about public space, civil liberties, the database state and more.

Prepare to laugh, cry, sigh and get angry...

The superb Quiet Loner will be playing a special themed set, and other musical delights will be provided by The Shrieking Violets (gorgeous lofi pop thrills) and You and Boo (yummy wonky folky loveliness)

PLUS

O a fine selection of short films from around the world for your entertainment

O visuals from urban explorers - Manchester's hidden secrets they dare to uncover

O info from No Borders, No2ID, MAA, the LRM and more (bring stuff to share if you have it) about what is going on in Manchester

O biometric data raffle, free DIY camouflage kits, nice cake and other surprises

Entry Free / donations – all proceeds to Manchester No Borders

from our squatterly lovely social centre comrades

the batle centre is back!!!!

the building we squatted last year for theautonomous days of action and april 12 demo is now open as a social centre....a year on the council still havent done anything with it!!!!

gig 6th april, vegan food, free shop.

PARADOX - Germany
MAFAFI -Scotland
UNCLE MEAT AND THE HIGHWAY CHILDREN - Manchester

vegan food from 6pm, bands from 830....batley centre, chichester rd, m15 5pa..near loretto college, hulme...85/86 bus from town.

messages received


A message from MCC (no, not the council, but I'm not sure they have decided what the acronym does stand for)

Tomorrow at the Britons Protection 7.30 there's a meeting for everyone
interested in a FutureSonic Mapping Event for May, basically this meeting is to
look at a creative mapping event and the interactive cultural map part of the
MCC portal website. Everyone is more than welcome.

Also big thanks to Sara for the derive report / exhibition review - I wanted to snaffle these words for the blog because they uncannily echo my own thoughts (dyswid?!)

The only thing I would add is that its worth going early to try and get a ticket to Gregor Shneider's Kinderzimmer. I was sceptical but found it truly disorientating, surprisingly disturbing and ultimately very inspiring.

Also a sub theme for me at the moment is daft signs being bossy, faux intimidating or just stating the bleeding obvious. I spied a prime example today whilst trapped in the MRI labyrinth. Danger of second rate public art be heeded indeed!

Subversive Spaces @ Whitworth Gallery

Seán and I visited the exhibition on 10 March - we had a very rare child-free day. It was excellent, thought-provoking and absolutely fascinating.

I wasn't so sure about all the stuff relating to explorations of hysteria - but I could definitely understand the work of the artists relating to enclosed private spaces. These are supposed to be our comfort zones, the protected spaces where we feel safe. For anyone who has experienced abuse or violence within the home or felt besieged by hooligans chucking eggs and insults at your windows, those spaces are not the haven we feel they ought to be.

I also found the explorations of "unheimlichkeit" fascinating. It's the feeling of the uncanny, of suddenly encountering something odd, out of place and unexpected in a familiar and comforting setting, capturing the shiver-down-the-spine moment or the feeling of deja vu, the "glitch in the matrix" that there's something not right here.

Another thing that caught my eye was the work relating to the "renovation" of Paris, and the destruction of the old Les Halles marketplace to make way for the Georges Pompidou Centre. The situationists, surrealists and flaneurs of the time felt keenly that this was part of the city's repression of working class spaces under the guise of beautification. The parallels between this and the "gentrification" of our own most beloved Northern Quarter hit me instantly. Again, it's the repression, the squeezing out of the underclass by the bourgeois.

I also love, love, love the short films of Francis Alÿs. He views walking, strolling aimlessly, as a resistance to the "speed culture" of our modern world. His film of himself walking along drumming on railings, streetlights and parked cars (running off when he set off an alarm) filled me with a childlike glee. I wanna do that. Seriously - I want to do a percussive derive around Manchester. I want to know what a streetlight sounds like, I want to beat out a rhythm on a litter bin and the bars in front of shop windows. I wanted to go out and do the same right then!

Yesterday's Dérive was very much inspired by Francis Alÿs' films. We often concentrate on the visual aspects of our surroundings and how this makes us feel, while neglecting the aural landscape. This walk gave us a chance to explore the soundscapes of the area around the Whitworth Gallery while adding to the noises ourselves. We had a fabulous time drumming on bins, rattling along railings and barrier fences. We discovered the most delightful sounds by rattling a stick along the tubluar steel rods of the spiral staircases of buildings in the Science Park. We also discovered a very odd sound emanating from the car park barriers near the Ducie. The visual treats we discovered on the walk can be found on the LRM Flickr site - we saw amusing signs and pretty flowers as well as fascinating graffiti.

Love and sparkles
Sara

Friday, 3 April 2009

please post this far and wide....







The LRMs Springtime Treasury


Dear friends, dreamers, mischief makers and fellow loiterers

I hope this finds you in the finest of fettles.

There has been much to celebrate this week as Spring has finally sprung and several of the LRMs favourite feast days needed commemorating – Beltane, All Fools Day, my Nan’s birthday, the anniversary of the Diggers on Saint Georges Hill…. I walked through the graveyard on my way to work this morning and there were bluebells and daffodils scattered amongst the headstones; a truly beautiful sight and a sign we’ve made it through another winter.

It feels important to focus on the positive, the sacred and the kindred at the moment because I’ll confess I’ve been tempted to dwell on grim thoughts; it’s hard not to sometimes and we can’t simply ignore those who seek to repress our rights, to keep us moving along a narrow path, shopping and consuming and believing lies and brooding on our superficial differences.

Walking and playing should not be subversive and shame on those who wish to make it so. An open mind, a questioning spirit and a desire to explore our city are wonderful things; these are amongst the values shared by all those who join with The LRM, although we are a diverse bunch and disagree on many things from the Beetham tower to Girls Aloud our hearts are true and debate is what makes the post derive pint so much fun.

We’ll be gathering this Sunday, 5th April outside the Whitworth Gallery at 2pm for a wander encompassing all this and more. It seems to me the world makes more sense when walking and listening to the stories of the city, multiple and marvellous and contradictory as they are. Let’s make every step a journey towards the Manchester of our dreams.

I’d also like to invite you to join the LRM for some very special events that take us beyond First Sunday so come one, come all and experience a cornucopia of pleasures


Subvurt: Surveillance – The CCTV Cabaret

Tuesday April 14th 7pm at The Britons Protection (show starts 7.30)

A night of ace music, short films, comedy ranting and miscellaneous shenanigans about public space, civil liberties, the database state and more. Prepare to laugh, cry, sigh and get angry...

The superb Quiet Loner will be playing a special themed set, and other musical delights will be provided by The Shrieking Violets (gorgeous lofi pop thrills) and You and Boo (yummy wonky folky loveliness)

PLUS
O a fine selection of short films from around the world for your entertainment
O visuals from urban explorers - hidden secrets they dare to uncover
O info from No Borders, No2ID, MAA, the LRM and more (bring stuff to share if you have it) about what is going on in Manchester
O biometric data raffle, free DIY camouflage kits, nice cake and other surprises

Entry Free / donations – all proceeds to Manchester No Borders

The LRM are also planning Three Games for May, a mini festival turning the city into a giant playground and reclaiming Bank Holidays from shopping and chores so please don’t leave town for a minibreak.

O Saturday May 2nd – The Great Urban Fox Hunt. Note: no foxes are involved.
O Sunday May 3rd – First Sunday Derive (any suggestions welcome)
O Monday May 4th – a not very secret actually secret gig by one of my favourite ever musicians Chris Mills

More details will follow soon on http://www.nowhere-fest.blogspot.com/ where I have also posted news of many events our friends are organising so please do have a look. Sorry for my tardiness in not updating it more regularly, it is a horrible modern cliché to say I’m busy but the truth is loiterers belong on the streets, in the sunshine and not behind screens.

On that note I shall take my own advice and go for a mooch to see what else I can discover. If you’re feeling lost and need more info on the above please email loiter@hepzombie.co.uk, call 07974929589 or join the dreaded facebook group

I hope our paths collide soon, on Sunday or at Subvurt:Surveillance or somewhere random over the rainbow

Glittery love

Morag

PS I unreservedly apologise to anyone who feels I have been inciting criminal behaviour by encouraging people to look at (gasp) CCTV cameras. Have you seen those terrible, scaremongering and factually unverifiable billboards? I am it appears a terrorist for daring to even notice them. actually I withdraw that apology. I’m unrepentant and refuse to stop thinking. Please, don’t be scared. Come out and play instead.

Chorlton Green fair and a tribute


Manchester vegan society will have a stall full of - oh the joy - vegan cupcakes at Chorlton Green Festival tomorrow. Its one of many delights more details here http://greenchorlton.org.uk/


I also wanted to add a tribute to a lost loiterer and friend. As many of you know Sarah Richards died earlier this year. She was someone who did stuff and was very kind to me on many occasions. A lovely peice about her appeared in the gaurdian yesterday in a rare case of a newspaper getting every word right http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/apr/02/obituary-sarah-richards

Urban Earth: an urban adventure comes to manchester


URBAN EARTH is a project to (re)present some of the world’s largest urban areas by walking across them. The length of the walk is decidedby the size of the urban footprint while the route reflects the city’sdistribution and levels of deprivation. Adventurers capture the city in anyway they choose, talking, sharing and creating as they experiencethe city from the perspective of a pedestrian.


URBAN EARTH walks have taken place across Mexico City, Mumbai, Theis,Guadalajara, London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Bristol and now Greater Manchester.




WALK ACROSS GREATER MANCHESTER


Start: On Saturday 18 April at Mark Lane, Shaw 17:30 or meet on the 16:54 train from Manchester Victoria to Shaw.


Finish: On Sunday 19 April at Heald Green to meet the 06:12train to Manchester Piccadilly.


Alternative: The main walk is 34km overnight and will take 12 hours. For anyone who is unsure they want to walk this far you are more than welcome to walk half of the city with us. Deansgate station is around half way and we will be having a decent break here until 23:30. Join or leave us at this point if you fancy a 17km alternative.


For more information, to say your coming or ask any questions visit
http://urbanearth.ning.com/ or


I Bike MCR

The I bike Mcr annual festival is in full swing (is that the right verb? hmmm) and a big cheer to them - although they may move somewhat speedier than a loiterer on foot we are surely kindred. Join them for films, games, chat and of course lots of lovely rides....

http://www.ibikemcr.org.uk/?q=annual-festival-2009

a big cheer especially to the critical mass crew and much love to our wheelie chums

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Don't be scared, come and play

The LRM invite you to help us Subvurt Surveillance at the great CCTV cabaret




Tuesday April 14th 7pm at The Britons Protection (show starts 7.30)

A night of ace music, short films and comedy ranting about public space, civil liberties, the database state and more. Prepare to laugh, cry, sigh and get angry...

The wonderful Quiet Loner will be playing a special themed acoustic set, other musical delights will be provided by the shrieking violets (gorgeous lofi pop) and you and boo (wonky folk loveliness)

PLUS
O a fine selection of short films from around the world for your entertainment and delight
O visuals from urban explorers - see manchesters hidden secrets
O info from no borders, no2id, MAA, the LRM and more (bring stuff to share if you have it)about what is going on in manchester

Entry Free / donations

The picture comes from the lovely remixes of the terrible, fear mongering and factually unverifiable new transport police "anti-terrorism" posters which i found here http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/26/remixes-of-the-paran.html theres a rather more rational critique than i am currently capable of here http://www.spyblog.org.uk/

Friday, 27 March 2009

adventures ahead

The great LRM CCTV cabaret aka subvurt surveillance is go go go..... 14th April at the Britons Protection... full line up to be announced Monday.... in the meantime if you have any films, music or pertinant rants on the subject to share please get in touch.... also if anyone fancies designing a flyer that would be ace.... we are also planning a very special may day bank holiday festival including the great urban fox hunt (no foxes will be involved so keep calm and carry on please) and a very special secret gig by one of my favourite ever musicans...so erm sorry i've been tardy with the blog but lots happening behind the scenes as they say....love and defiance becuase an open mind, questioning authority, resisting paranoia and showing interest in the urban environment does not make you a terrorist... M

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Blackburn's historic stance on the art of loitering


Stumbled upon while working in Blackburn. What an invitation! Hope it inspires an outing...
Best wishes from Germany,
Kaspar

Monday, 2 March 2009

conjuring ghosts?


a testament to the power of sean's supernatural musical abilities

filling the void





Yesterday was one of the silliest and most profoundly fun derives we've had for a long time.
Prior to an amble up the leaking canal we circumnavigated Ilva, a haunting monument to capitalist folly. We then went underground to the cavernous car park where The LRM orchestra made its debut performance. All put in sterling work but particular praise must go to Sally on improvised percussion and Sean who actually knows how to play a tune. Inspiration to pick up random instruments came from a similar performance by The Tsunami Victims Orchestra at Proflux lat year.
Yesterday's show to nobody was about revelling in the racket and utilising the empty space. We played for about an hour before a very nice man in a high vis jacket came and told us we had to move or he would get in trouble with his boss. We did of course acquiesce as the LRM are polite and law abiding at all times; we know our rights and vigorously assert them whilst pointing and laughing at absurd bureaucracy but we are never ever rude and don't outstay our welcome.
That bloke in the yellow jacket is surely a contender for the most boring job ever - guarding an empty shell. (or is it? why are the lights all ablaze and the bunker kept serviced and ready for action?)