Saturday, November 26, 2011

Iain Sinclair lecture

"Any kind of structure I make is like a walk. I don't know quite where this talk will resolve itself. It is like a journey, it detours, it comes back on itself. There are some key things, lizards are waiting over us. It all interconnects in interesting ways, or it falls apart."

iain sinclair - stroom den haag - 25012011
Iain Sinclair at Stroom, Den Haag, Netherlands, 25/01/2011
I made a recording of the talk and you can find it here on

A few points I wrote down from the talk:

  • Does not use powerpoint. Artificial reality is already too much taking over. People believe that computer generated images of “grand projects” really exist. Writers have to create countermyths against this poisonous imagery. Graffiti artists put up counter-images against the Olympic blue fences.
  • The Olympic toxic dispersal cell mishap. Poisonous soil mixed with Japanese knot-weed. Will create triffids.
  • Holds expeditions to investigate topographies under sentence of death. Memory traces. Landscapes invaded by the machinery of global capitalism. Unnecessarily destroying the local while putting up signs like : “ improving the image of construction” and “we are creating a legacy”.
  • A columnist goes into prisons and asks what the inmates are reading. They are all reading David Icke. The wold is controlled by lizards. Looking at Rupert Murdoch you might think he is one of the lizard people.
  • William Burroughs might also be one of the lizards. He became so rarefied from his years of drug use. He went to a sweat lodge and the evil spirit of American capitalism left his body in the shape of a helmet. He made painting by shooting a canvases.
iain sinclair + wilfried houjebek - stroom den haag - 25012011
Iain Sinclair and Wilfried Houjebek at Stroom, Den Haag, Netherlands, 25/01/2011
Report of a visit to William Burroughs:
  • Late afternoon, strong October shadows, goldfish flick across the surface of a pond. A cat watches from the windows of a red clapboard bungalow. The writer William Burroughs is at home, sitting near a table, a drink at his elbow. Lawrence Kansas, nowhere. The locations and accidents and that’s what he says: “Property prices are favorable”. He does some pistol practice and he takes his aches and pains to the sweat-lodge, otherwise he doesn't go out more than he has to. There are helpers for that. There is nothing to say that hasn't been said before. “ This is when they’ll come” Burroughs thought “one endless American afternoon”. Waiting for the sun to sink, waiting for the moon, his hand closing around the glass. An unidentified car making a right turn. He'll notice them, quiet enough for that. Hear what they say, the absence of a convenience store, hear the banalities they say. The rustling of a map coming out of its plastic holder. The electric window, the heavy click of a secret camera. He always knew it would arrive like something out of Hemingway. The killers. Hemingway is good on death. The men in the car would have a cover story that stood up, they would have proper documentation. They would be fixed up for an interview. An that's why these days Burroughs preferred to talk on a telephone. Do it that way, keep chance out of the equation. How it was at the beginning, two nondescript Caucasians. The one in a black coat and the other with a snake tattoo on his left arm “Your name?” Burroughs said. [...]
The lecture includes many other themes: London - council politics - Christopher Wren - change - Rodinsky's room - a dream hospital - conceptual architecture - Will Alsop's mega-city vision - his free bus tour across the whole country - how magically different small parts on England are - the demise of real libraries with real books - the damage done by the London Olympic projects - prohibition of photography - future ruins - mausoleum plan for Winston Churchill - predictive fiction of J.G. Ballard - archaeology in reverse - ghost bicycles.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for providing this tremendous recording. Iain Sinclair was clearly on good form that night.