The first Visual Assembly should have been so different.
We should have been gathering in person, sharing ideas and physical space. Breathing each other’s air as we made our marks on the ground in West London.
But for us it was a virtual assembly, with Nika and David interpreting our discussions on building a City of Care.
I think that night we drank too freely of Care and Freedom, for we soon had a city of pandas on waterslides, such was our joy at the prospect of reimagining the world. With childlike disregard for common sense we made a home too daft to even be utopian.
But rebuilding society has to start somewhere, right? And the power of the Visual Assembly was evident. David Wengrow kicked us off with untold tales of ancient, urban, egalitarian Ukraine, pulling the rug from what we ‘know’ of how we live. An anthropological opening of the imagination it perfectly set the scene; gave Impossible permission.
And as we talked of turning carparks into homes and where to plant the bamboo trees our artists in the field were marking out our plans in real time. Chalking, spraying, making links – recording, ordering, making sense – at least it seemed so as we spoke.
But what did Portobello’s market folk see when turning up the following day? Mysterious markings on the ground, a secret code, a missive from another age. A vision of a world not ours, as strange perhaps as Auroch on the walls of Lascaux Cave. A glimpse of somewhere else, a different time and place.
Where next? Who with? What will we dream?
Charlie, Clare and Clive