Monday, July 13, 2009

Iain Sinclair and Corridor 8 launch at Urbis

Ever wondered whatever became of that whole SuperCity thing? Ah, doesn't the very phrase make you yearn for a faraway time when Manchester's urban march seemed unstoppable? When the pots of money to build fantastically coloured and fancifully designed buildings upon acres of scorching urban blight seemed bottomless? When people camped out overnight to simply have the chance to buy an upside-down terrace or a scandalously overpriced flat in an aged tower block with a twee ladies' name in Salford and it seemed perfectly normal? Well, almost.

Things are rather different now. But here comes Corridor 8. It's an arts annual billed as "The new cultural voice of the north." It will showcase "the best in contemporary visual art, architecture, writing, photography and more." And issue 1's theme is ... wait for it... SuperCity. And as much as I don't really dig the whole SuperCity concept, I very much dig what writer and psychogeographer Ian Sinclair wrote when Corridor 8 commissioned him to create "a literary documentary that explores the ordinary and extraordinary lives and landscape of the North."

I got a sneak peak at this piece the other day and I have to say, it is just wonderful. It made me want to go out and buy everything he's ever written (if you have the same reaction, a friendly Sinclair scholar I met recently says to start with Lights Out for the Territory). It's the best kind of poetic ramble through our city, through the idea of Manchester and through Sinclair's mind-bogglingly overstuffed brain: ‘Wandering Deansgate was like finding yourself in the middle of some dark fantasy for which you had no instructions. Cliffs of unreason. Deansgate as a river of human traffic, the Irwell its liquid margin.’

And the really good news is that Sinclair will be talking about the work at the Corridor 8 launch at Urbis this Thursday at 6:30 pm. Places are limited, to register email si at Though a little bird told me someone might be liveblogging the event if, like me, you can't make it. What's more, a modified version of the piece is available as a podcast you can download from the Urbis website, and listen to on the hoof. A route map should be up there shortly I'm told.

So now I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Corridor 8. Look out for it later this month.


Susie said...

Hey Kate - there is a map - it's going online on the Urbis site really soon, so I hear...

Kate Feld said...

Ah, I felt sure there would be one. Will change, thanks.