The first part of this month’s session was given over to a discussion of the future of The Crossing Lines Group & how we go about our business. It’s important to be aware & acknowledge that the Group is whatever the Group make of it. We gave a hat-tip to the history of Crossing Lines since its creation eight years ago & how that ‘era’ had passed. However, its spirit is still around & the quality of the business that we engage in is entirely down to us as a collective & each of us needs to take responsibility for the content that we produce & confront.

We also need to challenge ourselves & each other & be vigorous in our responses. We also need to stay aware that the content of our discussion has a life outside the seminar room & doesn’t have to die once the lights go out.

To confirm that we have vigour in abundance we also had presentations from Rosanna Goodchild & Allan Grainger that threw up a multiplicity of challenges,

Rosanna Goodchild presented work derived from detours of Bristol. Previous showings & discussions of Rosanna’s photography has been very site & person related. This presentation focussed upon a variety of detours of her home city &  reflections upon it. It gives us an opportunity to reflect upon the myths, legends & validity of urban ‘deviations’. One of the legends (myths?) of Bristol lay in the pursuit of Banksy. Rosanna was left in pursuit or in discovery. We were left unsure. Someday maybe.

Allan Grainger introduced his contribution thus:

I have an idea for a presentation whereby one image is shown and a discussion might ensue around the notion of how it might be possible to ‘read’ an image by it’s ‘internal structure’, as well as from an external theoretical point of view.

As visual urbanists can we find a way in which to convey the theoretical discourses of other disciplines within a visual – if not should we give up the visual and become writers? My contention is that the impact of the digital era has not as yet been fully embraced by contemporary practitioners, who in many cases are still wedded to the practices that defined the analogue period.

We left with the understanding that understanding still lay in the future.

John Levett