Geometry Selection Rubric with Stoppages

Having determined the system through the previous mapping, I then walked the system to understand it quantitatively and qualitatively as a route, not just as a series of points.

The final route is 19 km. This diagram registers the first walk of the system against the geometric “ideal” geometries laid across the city, similar to Marcel Duchamp’s concept of a “Stoppage.”


Diagramming the System

Previously I mapped “ley lines,” as popularized by Watkins and Street, and invented some of my own.  I was interested in the dialogue between conspiracy and coincidence, similar to the consipratorial note / shopping list in Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum.*

While many ascribe to ley lines a spiritual significance, the idea that the alignment of the features and edifices of the city could be just coincidence is powerful by its own right.  So, with irony in method, but trust in process, I diagrammed the spatial relationships between these sites, keeping in mind their symbolism and “meanings.”

The extent of the system was defined by starting in connecting points from the centre outward, and ending after the points stopped intersecting.

Diagram of All the Ley Lines

Diagram of Leys through Locations of Churches (as identified in source materials)

Diagram of Leys through Locations of Churches (as identified in source materials)

In addition to Primrose Hill, five other sites kept recurring through the operation. Clockwise from the top, they are St. Luke’s Church Old Street, Christ Church Spitalfields, the Swiss Re Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the London Eye. Primrose Hill and St. Paul’s are both significant sites in William Blake’s cosmology, and Nicholas Hawksmoor was architect or part-designer of St. Luke’s and Christ Church. I saw each of the modern buildings as a symbol of each of these figures.

In addition to being a new addition to Watkins’s “Coronation Line,” the London Eye can be seen symbolically as an ouroboros: the snake eating its own tail, which is symbolic of eternal return – like Blake’s ever-turning dualities. The Swiss Re tower, is a modern symbol of Hawksmoor: an obelisk which echoes his design of the spire at St. Luke’s Old Street.

Blake and Hawksmoor Sites

This set of sites then constitutes a “mandala” and through quantitative and qualitative study, knowledge of the system is built.

*Foucault’s Pendulum was a work of fiction as commentary upon the earlier Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which rocketed to international fame by positing a conspiracy involving the Merovingian royal family without any scrutiny of the sources of the information, which turned out to be completely spurious.