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Nascent City

About the project

The first record of the City was somewhere around 1999 - I was overcome with fever, trying desperately to watch the newest episode of Friends that my mother had on the television. I recall dipping in and out of sleep and being distraught with visions of tall concrete pillars and the terribly loud sound of rocks scraping on rocks. I had tried to draw it after the fever subsided but I was unable to capture it, instead I used it in a creative writing project that I had in school.

According to notes and journals kept sporadically throughout my teens and early-20’s I had several more occasions where a fever took me into a labyrinth of noisy concrete pillars. It then began to filter into my regular dreams - Short vignettes of traversing the so-called alleyways, entering empty facades of buildings I recognized and always within the window of twilight. When I started to realize that I was often waking up after dreams in this place, I recorded them more frequently mainly out of interest to see where it went.

Over the next decade or so, I managed to record a lot of mundane journey throughout this City that was seemingly never-ending in every direction my dream avatar went. I was also lucky enough to jot down the rare occasions where dreams became nightmares and I happened to glimpse underneath the facade of the City. After I was introduced to the works of J. G. Ballard and Guy Debord, I started to incorporate aspects of Psychogeography into my life in the hopes that experiencing my environments differently might cause a shift in my perceptions and in turn, my dream state.

The City was essentially a place out of time and space, as I never recognized it as home but rather, if these places were relocated to a storage closet and jumbled together with no second thought. One particular example was the St. David’s Shopping Centre in Swansea, twisted into the stark, brutalist style of the City, it’s warren-like pathways twisted around on themselves while visible balconies and windows were designed never to be reached. Upon revisiting my home a couple of years ago, I was upset to see that this area was partially demolished to make way for another empty car-park.


I was not completely alone in this place, there were others on their own journey. I call some of these the ‘Custodians’ because they went about their way without seeming to provoke or intentionally terrify, they were also the first to arrive before the rest. The Custodians floated around silently and were often discovered in various ways of lacking an arm here, or a leg there or one of many variations on that theme. There have been some moments where I came across people birthing out of the surfaces of the tall buildings, or getting stuck during the process of the body forming with horrific results but I don’t yet know if these are the same as the custodians, or something else.

Another character I’ve come to know as Tower was seen on two occasions and both times were undoubtedly nightmares. Almost as tall as the buildings, it filled the pathways with its dark fabric-like body. The Tower was vaguely humanoid but its head was sharpened to a long point and it lacked arms. It lumbered through the cramped pathways while the sound of horns heralded its arrival.

I haven’t experienced the city for some time now although I hope it’s not the end just yet. This was one of the reasons I decided to build what I knew so far, it’s been with me for so long that I feel the need to immortalize it in order to understand it.

April 2019