Archive for the 'Thomas Ruff – Potsdam Seidlung' Category


June 23, 2009

Berliners can fly over to England and experience the English Ruhr Gebeit. There is no example in England of a landscaped steelwork symbol of deindustrialisation as in Germany.

Decline of English cities is marked in the physical disappearance of factories, and fragmentation in inner cores. Some cities and towns have fought back like Sheffield by investing regional development grants to transform the inner city as with Sheffield tram, Hallam University and Sheffield railway station. Newcastle’s money went on Jesmond, the ruling middle class district linked with Newcastle United season tickets, stem cell research and Newcastle University buildings. The people are still poor in Tyne Dock, Percy Main and Scotswood. In cities like Manchester and Leeds having their own critical mass civic rebirth has occured. The Bull Ring Birmingham is the only obvious landmark in in Birmingham but Birmingham will suffer due to the colapse of the motor industry. Wolverhampton exists mainly as a railway stop in to Wales and a racecourse. The Black country is latticed with a network of canals with tourism and building development potential. Liverpool though isolated is reborn through the building of a private city within dark collonial buildings.

Coventry is only changed by the Motor Museum (a collection of all English cars and cycles) whilst Litchfield, Daventry and Tamworth are unchanged. Royal Leamington Spa, Kennilworth and Warwick are historical towns to the south of Birmingham. Gloucester, Cheltenham, Worcestershire and Evesham linger in a time wharp.

Sunderland, Middlesborough and Hull suffer isolation and the steel industry landscape is under threat on Teeside.

There is a pocket of resilience west of The Pennines from Leek, via Macclesfield to

Stoke on trent, Corby in Northamptonshire, Burnley, Scunthorpe, Halifax. Loughborough and Bradford all appear as figments of an industrial past.

Some satelite towns like Swindon and Basingstoke are in decline.

England is a collection of sick urban spaces trawled by zombies looking for something to do.

There is no initiative to even build English bicycles. Cycles have need of no fuel, are environmentally harmless are not noisy and require only a flat thin surface to traverse. 100s of cycles could be made instead of 1 car. Henry Ford’s car after all was only a motorized wagon.