Between us, and added up in a great and strange equation, we have known Karen and Jon for, let’s see… [(Ben met them as a ‘very serious’ studio holder, in 1999 = 9) + (Megan met them at the Bill Fontana PV in the Dark Arches in 2005, = 3)] = 12 years. Wow, that’s a long time, who would have guessed?! About two years ago when we got very obsessed with Berlin and spending many long hours, fingers glued to wordpress we somehow managed to drop into conversation with Karen and Jon about Berlin, traveling, Leeds, and being glorified geeks. And, since then we have found that there still is not enough time to get the whole conversation in. Especially as Megan has started to add football to her list of obsessions.
Because we absolutely love talking with you guys, and because you made us leave our ‘new parenthood cocoons’ to become artists again, in order to work on another leg of The www.DoGoSee.com Project with you, we were pretty excited to crystalize your stories about Leeds and Berlin on our site.
Here are some of the great things/places/moments you’ve told us about: Karen Watson & Jon Wakeman talk of the memories of Leeds.
We came into conversation with Dr. Axel Lapp through a recommendation from Karen Watson & Jon Wakeman of ESA, Leeds. As a curator, publisher, art critic, editor and writer who happened to have lived in both Leeds and Berlin we thought, “Wooaaaa Axel - let’s have a chat.”
The www.DoGoSee.com Project started in Berlin. Neither of us had ever been there, the Berlin Biennale was on, the curators looked exciting, the idea of a show with no fixed abode was fabulous, and we just wanted to go to this incredible city and soak it up. But we had no idea where to start, and that is how this site came to be, through people contributing to the blog; telling us what to Do, Go, and See.
Since our insight into Berlin, the project has evolved to document our journey, our networks, and it chronicles our steps to integrate into a city.
Speaking with Axel allowed us to step into the past and re-live, re-question our journey in Berlin, and our status in Leeds. Having lived in both cities, and by maintaining contact with friends in Leeds and Manchester, Axel explained his ties or affections with Leeds and Berlin while discussing the change that two very different cities have undergone in his time.
Steve Mosby started blogging us what to Do, Go, and See in 2006, sending us to the train station to capture the rush hour and to the Hugo Boss in the city centre which once upon a time was called “Duchess of York: a small, traditional old pub that, in its time, was host to acts including Nirvana, Green Day, Oasis and Husker Du.”
He is author of three novels The Third Person, The Cutting Crew and The 50/50 Killer. We are awaiting the release of a fourth soon! Though all locations in his books are fictional he draws inspiration from Leeds. For Journey: Departure Lounge he read from his first book The Third Person. He is referring to O’Reillys Irish Pub, on Boar Lane, which no longer exists, and other locations in Leeds which you may find familiar.
Sarah is a Leeds based artist. She has lived in Leeds for most of her life and writes about her experiences in various locations in the city. She first contributed to this site in 2007, leaving a couple of suggestions that had us traveling around Armley to discover the past, looking for trout, and trying to find a pungent smell in an old stairwell. For Journey: Departure Lounge we asked her if she could recite a few of her poems for us.
The markers on the map identify the approximate area described in her poems.
Running alongside the development of East Street ArtsJourney: Departure Lounge we are developing a new stage of The www.DoGoSee.com Project. This is the beta launch of an audio map of Leeds and Berlin. Previous participants in the project have been contacted to record narratives of the city. The sound clips will be available to download via mobile phone making it possible for you to roam the streets and hear a tale, or two.