Foundry

In the 1980s, Sheffield became known for its vibrant electronic music scene. Its luminaries drew on and made use of the industrial sounds that could be heard all over the city, emanating from the drop forges, works and foundries. Foundry – the most recent of the plastiCities projects – revisits the sounds of the city, in one of the areas most strongly connected to the now largely defunct industries which gave the 80s their soundtrack – Shalesmoor. The composers and researchers made a series of field recordings which have been archived as a sound bank for others to listen to and use. These materials also served as the basis for a series of seven commissioned sound pieces, which will be presented online and as a limited edition CD.

The compositions extract and re-frame quotations from the acoustic ecology of the area. They reflect months of deep listening and sustained attention to the sounds which are at once constant and everyday, but also, typically, ‘unheard’. Our aim is not to recycle these everyday objects and sounds. By re-casting ‘everyday sounds’ as ‘music’, by hearing harmony in the cacophony of rush hour, we are creating a space in which, quite simply, there is a possibility of imagining how all this might be different.

Chris Bevan, Amanda Crawley Jackson, Alex Gowan-Webster, Jonathan Higgins, Martin Hogg, Jordan Platt, Vanessa Massera, Adam Stansbie, Thom Wilson

plastiCities symposium – Programme and live blog

The plastiCities symposium on June 3rd has now sold out. However, there will be some free places after lunch, so if you haven’t reserved a place but would like to come along then , please do drop in.

To see our live blog of the day, produced by PhD researcher in French CJ Leffler, please visit: http://plasticities14.tumblr.com

PROGRAMME

10am     Welcome and introduction

10.10     Sara Parratt-Halbert (SEEDS)

10.40     Dr Tom Stafford (Psychology, UOS) and Dr Stuart Wilson (Psychology, UOS)

11.40    Coffee

12pm     Luke Bennett (Built Environment, SHU)

12.30    Complimentary lunch

1.30     Dr Adam Stansbie (Music, UOS)

2          Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson (French, UOS)

2.30     Coffee

2.45    Prof John Barrett (Archaeology, UOS)

3.15    Dr Chris Van Dyke (Geography, University of Kentucky)

3.45    Prof Martin Jones (Geography, UOS)

4.15    Discussion

5pm    Close

plastiCities – a free symposium, 3 June

plastiCities

Tuesday June 3rd 2014, 10am-5pm

G03, Jessop West, 1 Upper Hanover Street, University of Sheffield

Scientific discourses on neuroplasticity abound with metaphors both of (neuronal) landscapes and (cortical) ‘real estate’. This cutting-edge symposium brings together speakers from across the disciplines to explore the ways in which recent advances in the understanding of neuroplasticity might be used to construct new models for negotiating urban landscapes and temporalities. Our discussions will include a consideration of how brain trauma and cerebral re-organisation can yield new understanding and insight regarding the complexity and resilience of the damaged topographies that punctuate the post-industrial, post-colonial and post-traumatic cityscape. Thinking through the sculptural dynamic of cerebral morphology will also open up a debate concerning the ways in which critical methodologies from the arts might find their place in the sculpting of new forms of stability within the contemporary built environment, participating in the ‘real life’ making of cities, at both grass roots and policy level. This symposium is open to all and will feature a digital exhibition by Stuart Wilson.

PROGRAMME

10am     Welcome and introduction

10.10     Sara Parratt-Halbert (SEEDS)

10.40     Dr Tom Stafford (Psychology, UOS) and Dr Stuart Wilson (Psychology, UOS)

11.40    Coffee

12pm     Luke Bennett (Built Environment, SHU)

12.30    Complimentary lunch

1.30     Dr Adam Stansbie (Music, UOS)

2          Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson (French, UOS)

2.30     Coffee

2.45    Prof John Barrett (Archaeology, UOS)

3.15    Dr Chris Van Dyke (Geography, University of Kentucky)

3.45    Prof Martin Jones (Geography, UOS)

4.15    Discussion

5pm    Close

The event, which is part of the In the City programme organised by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sheffield,  is jointly hosted by occursus and the School of Geography.

To reserve a free place, please visit our eventbrite page

Quiet flows the Don (Тихий Дон)

Pauline, who’s 71, came up to Shalesmoor for the day from Maidenhead to try and find the places where her parents and grandparents lived. Her grandparents were Ukrainian Jews who came to Britain in the late nineteenth century. Fleeing persecution, they left their hometown of Novograd-Volynsk and sailed to Liverpool from Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea. Pauline doesn’t know how her family came to live in Sheffield, but told us about the large Jewish community that lived in the slum dwellings around Scotland Street at the turn of the century. Her father was born in 1902 and is buried in Sheffield. The family ran a grocers shop at 51 West Bar Green from 1910 until as late as 1951. She told us her memories of hearing Yiddish spoken at home, of chicken soup and matzah bread, and of the rich, enticing smells in the family shop. She told us that she remembered how, as a child, she would be given old Bisto posters and empty boxes, so she too could play shop. She used to love the Blue Riband biscuits she was given as a special treat and remembers the sound of the cellophane packet being torn to release its contents. We walked together to Allen Street, but the family home that once stood there has long since been demolished or destroyed. We couldn’t work out which school her father must have gone to, although we wondered about the Infants School on Blue Boy Street (so named because of the blue jackets that the schoolboys were made to wear). Pauline ran away to New York to marry her husband. When she told her mother she was going to start researching their family history, her mother warned against it, saying that there were ‘too many skeletons in the cupboard’.

It was a strange kind of serendipity that minutes before we met Pauline and asked if we could take her photograph for the (Sheffield) Don magazine, we had been discussing the fact that there’s also a River Don that flows through Russia and Ukraine.

The magazine, which we wrote, edited and produced in 24 hours, will be launched on Friday June 22nd. See here for more details and to reserve a place at the launch.

Shalesmoor portraits

On Saturday June 9th – Sunday June 10th, occursus/plastiCities worked with Article magazine to produce a 24-hour magazine that will be launched at CADS (Smithfield, Sheffield S3 7AR) on Friday June 22nd, 8.15pm.

These are some of the lovely people we met during the 24 hours we spent working on the magazine.

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Photos © Amanda Crawley Jackson 2012