sean mcalister
@jason bruges studio @project context @matzine @musarc @meta architecture

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the fleet-ditch
21 November 2011

the stretch of fleet river, between holborn and the thames, was culverted in 1737. 
pope is so sharply funny, satirically damning of the fleet, a pleasure to read this extract.
how concealed from daily notice the fleet river is these days,
and how apt an intersection, the holborn viaduct.
an intuition; there is something buried here worth digging for.


This labour past, by Bridewell all descend,
(As morning prayer, and flagellation end)
To where Fleet-ditch with disemboguing streams
Rolls the large tribute of dead dogs to Thames,
The king of dikes! than whom no sluice of mud
With deeper sable blots the silver flood.
'Here strip, my children! here at once leap in,
Here prove who best can dash through thick and thin,
And who the most in love of dirt excel,
Or dark dexterity of groping well.
Who flings most filth, and wide pollutes around
The stream, be his the weekly journals bound;
A pig of lead to him who dives the best;
A peck of coals a-piece shall glad the rest.


photograph - a brickwork collage of the south-west viaduct gatehouse, 2011
image - a drawing of the fleet river by 'mr crosby,' 1844
text - an extract from the dunciad, alexander pope, 1728

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my plus one
14 November 2011

my date and i, we arrive at the wedding, 12th november 2010

my sister married a year ago, this month.
at the wedding reception i pretended
that my camera was a girlfriend or date.
the evident yearning for social,
and otherwise interpersonal intimacy,
through contrived anthropomorphising,
spins perversion, amusement and analogous-thought
into warm and shocking revolutions

performance artist, and good friend, kate janes explores similar self-aware, self-conscious things in her work.

photograph from kate's website

This work is called ‘Hostess’ and consists of a series of photographs of papier mache heads on sticks which are guests at a fantasy dinner party, where I am the perfect hostess, confident, witty and the centre of attention. This is in somewhat stark contrast to reality and these images depict an afternoon where I called the shots.

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holborn viaduct - gatehouse
3 November 2011

architect drawing of former viaduct building facade, facing farringdon road, 1870s

section of mid-19th century viaduct gatehouse building, later demolished mid-20th century, image from the london metropolitan archives

the ordnance survey 1st edition 25" map of 1873, apparently not to scale

stephen and i embarked on an archaeological voyage last night, with the holborn viaduct gatehouses centred in our spyglass. these images and captions are courtesy of the city of london planning department. i'm really excited by the prospect of a project here, so let this post act as a lite introduction to something much greater

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