The Welwyn Garden City Project.
Originally conceded in the Spring of 2007 as a site-related research undertaking: the Welwyn Garden City Project remains yet unrealised. Initially inspired by a strong interest in the architectural movement of the middle modern period; the garden city movement gave a frame for investigation with all its inherent social / political signifiers to utilise as subject matter.
I started off by visiting some examples of said movement; Hampstead Garden Suburb, Letchworth Garden City and of course Welwyn Garden City. The interest in this model of town construction was always in relation to how a city (such as London) proliferates and tends to dominate cultural production.
I walked around the towns, I would try to immerse myself into the social fabric, and I would set up stalls and give away free tea and coffee yet I was always aware of my position as artist.
Deciding to concentrate on just one of the locations Welwyn Garden City was chosen for its aesthetic qualities, for the long, symmetrical perspective one was given, and for the well kept hedges that echoed so much of the utopian feeling from which the city was created. At this point I really wanted to create an event or a recording of an event that related to this somewhat lost or rather 'relocated' utopian vision.
Upon another visit to the city and another free tea & coffee stall, I considered that my actions were running parallel to that of a church fete of some kind. Ironically churches surrounded the area in which I had put up a stall; 'there must be someone or something to work with here'. I got in contact with various choirs in the area and this was the start of the unrealised event.
I had put out some advertisements in local Internet music forums to rally up some young musicians whom ideally would be residents of Welwyn Garden City to rehearse with a choir and eventually end up performing a song written by a band called the Members in 1970s called 'The Sound of the Suburbs'. The idea behind the song was to reiterate the relation between mine and WGC's position to the Capital and its ability to transmogrify social interaction into a value system of social capital.
The project in essence seeks to be finished yet is knowingly subject to change; using the Unrealised Projects will allow a large part of the work to be frozen. Static, the project will need the viewer to complete it while simultaneously in another space, the work, or rather the enquiry would continue. This discrepancy between the stillness of the frozen document and the vigilance of the continued practice is what gives such an undertaking a synergistic effect.