April 26, 2016

Uncommon Building: Workshop

…fabrication, fabulation, artifical artefacts, artefactual artifice, use and value, measure of culture of value of measure, construction, contrition…..

Date: Tuesday 26 April 2016
Time: 2-6pm
Chairs: Dr Adam Kaasa & Dr Alice Honor Gavin

Dr Adam Kaasa (TM) and Dr Alice Honor Gavin co-convened a workshop intended as a collective excavation of a fictional structure.

Unknown to many – and of which little is known – is a building in Sheffield that may never have existed. It was bigger than a house, but smaller than a department store. Of those who thought they knew it once, most confirm it was “wild yet tender” in form.

We believe the building existed in the nineteenth and twentieth century, but as to when it began and when it came to its end, we cannot yet say. We do, however, know that there were two possible locations of the building in Sheffield. One was close to the train station. The other was not.

Because of the structure’s obscurity and urgent relevance, there is a growing call to submit an application for listing status from Historic England. Accordingly, we gathered a group of experts to compile a dossier in support of the application – a collective archaeology.

Expert contributors were invited to respond to one of the following questions as provisionally as they wished with an image, gif, clip, audio, or short piece of text, or performative proposition:

how did the building sound? 

what was its function? 

what can be said about the life of the architect(s)?

what did the original architectural drawings look like? were there changes?

why does the building no longer exist?

who — or what — died in there?

who — or what — was born in there?

what did the building believe in? 

what was the building called? did it have a name?

what was the building’s provenence? political? land?

what were its materials (that it was made of? that it made?)

what shadows did the building make?

where was it?

what languages have been spoken within it?

what can be said — or seen — of the building’s entrances and exits?

what kinds of radical institutions did the building host?

who inaugurated it after it was repurposed?

what role did it play in major political events?

how might it have changed our historical present?


Part of the ongoing theme for 2016 Writing Cities