Tuesday, August 7, 2012


After a year when there have been no updates to the FoTSN blog I had begun to think the project stalled or even abandoned. However when I saw Sanderson and Ball at Limehouse Town Hall for one of their rare live outings as Storm Bugs I was surprised to hear that plans were afoot to rent studio space “and get the project finished”.

There was much talk of texts being read to camera and even designs for a more developed musical element “a concept video” no less. I broached the subject of how the project had developed since we last met, as it was still unclear to me as to whether FoTSN is to be a remake of the original Apostrophe S project or a film about the remaking or possible remakings. Perhaps unsurprisingly the answer “both” came back.

As the evening wore on though I did get a glimpse of some possible structure to the project. Sanderson waived round a copy of Finding your way on land and sea by Harold Gatty. I am familiar with Gatty’s work reprinted in several volumes with similar titles, which essentially offers an insight on how to navigate terrain without map or compass. Gatty draws on techniques used by indigenous people such as using sound, smell, wind direction as a means of orientating oneself.  Gatty’s text is quite sober and practical; keen to dispel any motions of some primitive sixth sense. In doing so it recognizes however that the conception of space as understood or explored by indigenous people may well differ from that in the west.

At the point in the conversation I was able to introduce some of my own recent reading in the area in particular a paper by By Claudio Aporta Inuit orienting: Traveling along familiar horizons. Aporta’s analysis of indigenous people navigate and orientate themselves in space is not fundamentally different from Gatty’s however another dimension is introduced  that of memory and emotional attachment. With the addition of memory and a sense of place that builds on generations of knowledge and travelling cognitive maps “a person’s organized representation of some part of the spatial environment” (Downs and Stea 1977: 6) become memoryscapes.“Quite” said Sanderson, “indeed” said Ball but “we are not making a film about indigenous memoryscapes’ but “rather” interrupted Sanderson excitedly “how media representation of space can create something akin or analogous to an indigenous memorysacpe”. “If” said Ball seriously (or as seriously as he could be after goodness know how many beers) “ media and in this instance the original film of Green on the Horizon act as the fifth dimensional element to create”, “a memorymediascape, a sort of kinematopography” interrupted Sanderson. “A little cumbersome perhaps” said Ball “but essentially yes”.       Marcus Lumen