Crossing Lines meeting report, 6th May

The Crossing Lines group may be a bit of a mystery for most LIP members, so here goes an attempt to dispel that mystery. The group was formed by John Levett as a forum for LIP members and students in the Centre for Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths, University of London. It has since attracted graduates and interested others. Discussions and projects centre on the interplay between photography and various forms and subjects of social and political awareness, always with an eye to how the two can enrich each other.

Past and continuing group projects growing from Crossing Lines have included the Wings Project, the Swanscombe Project (documented more than once in fLIP), the Loose Traverse and Michael Mulcahy’s Transition Group investigating changes in the housing situation in London and showing its photo-evidences in pop-up exhibitions. Expect more.

The meeting of Wednesday 6th May saw four presentations. Discussion is normally quite searching so plenty of time is needed. The first was from Chris Burke: a set with topographic intention seeking impressions of outer suburban SE London. Then Javier Alonso showed a set of photos related to his studies of street musicians in London which sparked discussions of the control and management of urban space, the increasingly onerous legal framework surrounding this and the lives of the musicians themselves – so taking a kind of street photography rather deeper than the usual. John Levett gave a brief un-illustrated introduction to a potentially valuable book ‘Cartographies of the Absolute’ which deals with the difficulties of any medium grasping capitalism in all its mutating complexities – a difficulty which those of us who participated in the Swanscombe Project know well. Lastly Peter Luck showed a rapid sequence of many images from his project to walk across London recording the changing topography and functions of the metropolis. Discussions covered questions of scale, the coherence and veracity of the spatial sequence, and means of presenting a very long, linear project.

We will try to recount the activity of Crossing Lines rather more in the future though at lesser length than this time. All enquiries and proposals for inclusion in a session should be addressed to John Levett. The next meeting will be on 3rd June at 6.00pm in room 305 of the Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross SE14.

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