THROW A LEFT THROW A RIGHT was a collaborative project by David Berridge, Hyun Jin Cho, David Johnson and Pippa Koszerek. The project took the form of an essay and image based on a trip to the Langdon Hills plotlands site in Essex. The article first appeared in *Periphery, a printed newspaper and web publication produced and distributed in Great Yarmouth by YH485 Press. The original brief for the project was as follows:
Each contributor will be allocated one page, to include an image of their choosing plus 500 words of text. Both image and text may be found, appropriated or produced by the contributor. The text and image pairing may be related or incidental and the theme of periphery can be interpreted loosely. Contributors are welcome to collaborate with one or more persons.
*periphery will be launched to coincide with the opening of a four-day programme of moving image works by local artists to be broadcast on the giant televisions along Great Yarmouth seafront 17th-20th September 2009. *periphery will be printed on news rag as tabloid-sized edition of 1000 and made available to buy for the price of a Sunday paper in selected bookshops and online. Fifty editions will be used as chip wrapping in selected outlets throughout the town from Thursday 17th September 2009.
The project was later presented and discussed as part of the London Fields project on 29th August 2009, curated by Harriet Blaise Mitchell. Our contribution comprised the following/ text/score which is reproduced here with the intention of initiating further explorations of any kind that its words may prompt.
THROW A LEFT, THROW A RIGHT
*Substitute [text] with your own script.
A reading group visit to the ruins of Dunton Plotlands [22 May 2009], a self-build community of holiday and permanent homes created by families from London’s East End between the 1870s and 1940s until the land was placed under compulsory purchase order.
GROUP MEMBERS [Berridge, Cho, Johnson, and Koszerek], [DOG WALKER(S), MUSEUM ATTENDANT, EX PLOTLANDS DWELLER]
Reading material [The conspiracy of good taste, Szczelkun; Cradle to Cradle, Braungart & McDonough; Arcadia for All, Hardy & Ward; Species of Spaces, Perec], empty food cartons, carrier bag, cameras, tripod.
(Centre stage – Farringdon Station, London.) – DAYBREAK
A group [buy return tickets, coffee & baguette] and board (stage front) platform 1.
(Backdrop- changing scenery.) (Audio – train rumble, conversation with four voices.) Discuss: how a reading group becomes a text. What, where & how to read (Context/ Place). [“We did not know what life was about, what work meant, how to find it, and how to behave or use our minds once we had found it. We were unequal to the task of fitting into an urban society.” (Hardy & Ward, 202)].
(Traverse periphery of auditorium – Laindon Station – Dunton Visitor Centre)
The group discover an unmarked shack that is falling apart. Between dilapidated shed and ruin it is reminiscent of allotments – those sanctioned urban-rural idylls.
An antique Tesco carrier bag from 1988 is discovered (Re-vision scene: the plotlands, a history not only of its past inhabitants but also its transitory visitors.)
The group continue onwards.
GROUP MEMBER: Excuse me , do you which way the visitor centre is?
DOG WALKER: Throw a left, throw a right, then straight ahead.
(Stage right – Show home.)
A prepared speech by the MUSEUM ATTENDANT at the one remaining and restored house, THE HAVEN, followed by an improvised conversation between the GROUP MEMBERS, MUSEUM ATTENDANT & EX PLOTLANDS DWELLER.
(Off side – Accidental pulpit)
GROUP MEMBER: Staircases. We don’t think enough about staircases. Nothing was more beautiful in old houses than staircases. Nothing is uglier, colder, more hostile, meaner, in today’s apartment buildings. We should learn to live more on staircases, but how? (Perec, 38)
(Stage Left – Ampitheatre.)
The group stage their reading group [camera and tripod are set up, a series of packaging boxes are placed and replaced in time to several readings. “The tree is not an isolated entity cut off from the systems around it: it is inextricably and productively engaged with them. This is a key difference between the growth of industrial systems as they now stand and the growth of nature.” (Braungart & McDonough, 78 & 79)]
(Curtain down – Laindon/ Fenchurch Street.) – EVENING
This new wave of East End inhabitants close their day’s holiday with conversations about their next projects.
**Your enacting of this script may result in: an episode of dark tourism/ an expedition to a site of social history/ a stereotype of artistic activity/ ruin idolising/