This is the first instalment of a conceptual writing project initiated by artist-led collective The Retro Bar at the End of the Universe.


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Millennium Square- Kenopsia

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I really felt it today walking through the town centre. The usual hubbub of voices was silent with only the sound of traffic bouncing of the buildings. The citizens that had ventured out moved quickly often with masks on their faces, there was palpable tension in their demeanor . It felt like anything could happen. As I approached Millennium Square, a place which is always filled with movement, I stopped short. Not a soul to be seen, only the quiet coo of a pigeon as it flew overhead. I walked into the middle of the square. There was something eerie about the large screen re-playing some Yorkshire propaganda from a time that felt completely different. I was the only person in that moment, watching this place that should be so full of people. This was a new feeling, and it hit me like a wave. I have never experience vertigo, and I don’t know if this is how it feels, but I had to go find a bench to sit down. My heart racing. I reached for my water bottle…

JB_LEDGER — 3 years ago

JB_LEDGER — 2 years ago

I wonder how big a P.R 'project', would be needed to place our spirits back comfortably behind the wheels of business as usual, once the imposed suspensions on 'normal life are lifted'; and whether they would even succeed. 'Behind the wheels' isn't so much a metaphor; it relates directly to one of the few experiences of this current 'suspension'; the significant drop in road traffic volume. Admittedly the 'work from home' or 'furlough' experience isn't universal at the moment, but it is certainly taking a toll on, a chunk out of, the work/life cycle in which most of us, at whatever level, are thrown. Driving yesterday I thought to myself that the only thing worse than staying in lockdown indefinitely, would be to be made go to back to living exactly the same as before. The thought didn't so much seem 'depressing' but more nauseating. Despite the upset and trauma this virus will undoubtedly roll out into may peoples' lives, if not most, I can help thinking this period will embed a sort of romantic feeling within us, the way one would feel through falling in love amidst an hostility. The separation of one from both these experiences, to return to 'normal' would create an ugly feeling within the gut; to be given what I want to call a romantic feeling, but what are more feelings of momentary escape from a work/life circuit, that even though we felt had to end, also seemed an eternal drudgery, will make for a sickly return. Since so many have not been forced to travel in the past few weeks, how will we experience it again when/if we have to, once again filling a roads and trains with those toxic work-a-day energies, again, forever?