Walworth II: Two Hearts in Example by the London Archaeologist.
The effect of the tube on our impression of the city is huge, hard to grasp, surface space no continuum but a network of interlocking ripples, densest in population around round the stations, thinning out between, and set off by occasional thundering, lights flickering, in the silent darkness below.
And then, anyone seeking to pin the area down with its architecture is confronted by a variety greater than many others better known. There are, there, some of the most attractive of the LCC style estates at their heyday, interrupted by the odd sudden Georgian square, even a church by no less than John Soane. Amongst these are warehouses, workshops or indeed a large park, frowned over by some of London’s largest tower blocks, loosely in the Brutalist style, and to be called equally accurately beautiful, indifferent, or shocking, terrifying, so sublime, in the sheer indifference to human need, flitted with glimpses of an early twentieth-century suburban vernacular looking lost to have found itself so far in, and traversed at its centre and borders with ribbon, again in the Georgian style.
So the visitor must never try to look for the heart of this area any more than of any other, but rather a system of hearts, some pumping objects, some stories, some traffic, and others, for instance, those atmospheres our awareness of which comes and goes.
If Architectural Rescue saves our objects, ensuring their healthy circulation, Craig’s trade’s connections themselves, his window where they come to be made, remade, and extended.
The video reveals skateboarding to be not only a sport for the bored, but a method, methodical, a means of experiencing the city, the boarder in fact a flaneur on fast forward, having swapped the absinth for controlled self-admistered adrenaline alone, speed the new slow, the wheels as much a pretext as Nerval’s lobster, of dipping out of the ordinary flow, inventing a new city where at last nothing is as it should be, where movement never leads to progress, must always be repetitive, obsessive, seeking a perfection that ends in itself alone, where bench backs are roads and roads go up walls, where wall tops are banisters, but to slide down the street, bins are bounce boards, bollards bridges, and bridges, little lines between life and death.
Networking, Craig explains with a smile to an older woman who looks admonishingly at him as I pass, someone he clearly knows, and it’s true, but not as many might know it – network being no term for business here, other than the business of life to form relations, which come here to refresh themselves, to extend, branch out, and reconnect.