City inspection walks have been simultaneously happening in London and Vilnius for four months in a small community of neo-futurists. These months neo-futurists were gleaning and sharing with each other site-specific observations, memories, global fears and collective dreams.

movement & infrastructure

  • walk very slowly (1 step in 10 sec), speed up, walk as fast as possible, find your own pace 
  • connect your walking path with the existing transport infrastructure (follow a bus or train line, walk around an airport territory, etc...)

keywords: movement, rhythm, pace, body, infrastructure, slow, fast, transition

gleaners & pickers

  • take a walk in a group of 2-3 people  
  • inspect ‘’leftovers’’ and misfits of the districts
  • find what you want to glean or pick (physical objects, captured situations or both) 
  • try to imagine what kind of narrative these objects/situations could
    generate (in a form of a timeline, keywords, what-if scenarios, visual stories, new spatial situations and etc.)
keywords: gleaning, picking, “leftovers”, misfits, displacements, “out of context”, temporary, surplus...

human encounters

  • Join the group walk guided in London and in Vilnius and get to know better other neo-futurists.
  • Observe different human encounters, routines and urban situations, which emerge in Naujininkai / Nine Elms.
  • Write a short urban tale based on your site-specific observations and imagine what kind of new human encounters and rituals can emerge in the future. (How will we communicate? How will we appropriate public spaces? How will the change of urban landscapes affect human relations? What will remain valuable for future human co-existence?)

keywords:  encounter, language, rituals, connections, human/non-human relations, repetitive acts, routines, future communities...

Outtakes from the word sculptures (group walk and writing workshop in Nine Elms with Will Jennings)

From 1750 to 2100...

Gemma, 1750

1: Sitting next to the river, that gently ripples on its way from Streatham Hill to the Thames, Gemma thought about the sad changes that were happening to her beloved marshland. The river was dirtier than before. Dust, oil and excrement were creeping onto the streets in a way she’d not seen before

2: They are standing at a cross road thinking whether to cross the river here, or keep walking along the river bank.

3: Thames River. Empty. Dirt. She looks around and notices a person. They chat for a while.

4: They quickly run past a few srangers, the pace of their walk increases. It smells. The river smells. They want to get home soon.

5: She felt and smelled the river, and the strong smell of timber.

6: Not anyone she knows can swim. She doesn’t know why you’d need to. Maybe it would help if you worked on the river. But definitely not if you’re rich, you’d get someone to swim for you.

7: In the middle of nowhere, they were carefully trying to create a new vegetable. They attached a cutting from a pumpkin to a courgette. Who knows, maybe something will grow out of it.

8: The water washed. A boat, a small rowing boat, slowly washed towards her. The man onboard called out, and Gemma helped him bank onto the shore. He nodded approval, and she walked on.

9: I love the birds on the river. The wildlife around here is always alive with energy. I hope it never changes. It can’t ever change.

> > >

Alisa, 2021

1: They are sitting at a table with others writing, as they see a girl with a Pret coffee passing by, overhearing a conversation. The sun comes up and goes, and there are some gusts of wind from time to time.

2: At Vauxhall Bus Station, construction workers keep 2 metres distance. Pigeons. Starbucks. Plastic plants. Grey, red.

3: Alisa walked through St George’s Wharf’s windswept colonnade. That pub, the one with the emanating sound of low-covid relaxation, the one she once had an awful date in. It had been cold and wet, and he was just the worst misogynist ogre. The place, she thought, reminded her of that miserable encounter.

4: It was Friday afternoon, and construction workers were having their beers in this brand new, small, green island of the new development. They looked cosy and communal, just the opposite to the rest of the place.

5: She walked by the embassy. She hated this part of the walk. A gust of strong and cold wind almost blew her hat away.

6: The swimming pool bridge has opened. A bit of green grass has ripped off. There is a constant sound of construction sites, and she was reminded of a place she doesn’t want to come back to.

7: She stood by a giant gold turd. It felt like 2020-21 in just seven words.

8: The St. Michael LT 328 boat. She thought it would be safe to be on that boat, to be safe when London gets flooded.

9: Each time she comes back, something new revealed itself, is unpacked, is unwrapped. This time it is the restaurants. What will she see, she wondered, when she comes back a later time.

> > >

Ksenia, 2100

1: She thought what a bizarre situation would it be if Bonnington Square was actually flooded. Then she notices a gardener who goes to trim grass next to Nine Elms, where the squatters live.

2: It’s the Spring Tide today. People are rushing towards a high rise building – the Heavenly Gardens, as they call it. Ksenia is standing on a roof, watching the crowd.

3: And the concierge, an aged man, was trying to sand and clean this oval entrance, now weary and brown from the rain. It used to be white, 80 years ago.

4: She had been reading a history book about what this place had once been like. Apparently the Thames was smaller then, and that tall wall which now blocked her view of that famed river wasn’t there. Now her eye was forced inland, away from the Thames, the distant sounds of weapons reverberating off it softly.

5: This is where the American Embassy used to be. Now it is abandoned and squatted. You can see how the nature has overtaken it, there are even deer walking around.

6: Ksenia stood right below the pool. She was waiting for someone to give her some papers, the boss probably forgot there was a pool – she looks up and sees five sets of feet pressed against the crystal clear glass. Weird.

7: What was this? She wondered. Some kind of dark brown, turd-like extrusion. Kids were jumping over it, like an obstacle. The anarchist flags fluttered from balconies. The squats were by now 8 storeys high.

8: Those three chaps had gone, she was alone, listening to the water around her boat. “Will I survive the storm?”, she wondered.

9: Well, here we are. London flooded. Battersea in the sea.

events of togetherness

  • Take a hybrid walk (virtual & physical) in a small group and guide
    each other in Vilnius and London through your camera lense.
  • In your group find a connecting place to meet (location examples:
    urban voids, busy parking lots, rooftops/underground spaces) and think
    about what kind of act togetherness you want to share. 
  •  Observe how the relationship between you and your walking partner
    evolves while walking, during the short act together and the second
    part of the walk.
  • Write a short story describing your event of togetherness.
  • Make a hybrid map of your route in two cities.

keywords: virtual, physical, hybrid act, event, togetherness, play, empathy, proximity, care, attachment...

city inspection / phase 02:

July - August