The Quantitative Scale

To chart both the qualitative and quantitative measures of my “mandala,” I walked the circuit between each of the landmarks with the aid of a GPS device to track my location. I stopped every five minutes to measure five pieces of quantitative information. After collating and organizing this information, I then rebuilt the graph in three dimensions across the city, the locations of each point on the graph matching the point at which that data was gathered.


I had initially done these in a less clear manner (which I will upload soon) but for clarity, I simplified the color palette so that the the materials and data they carry are easily differentiable.

Find the rest of these images here.

Stoppages

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.

The Third Map

Third Map 19
Third Map 07
Third Map 16

A new third map, distinguished by “ley lines,” bounded by lines connecting Primrose Hill, St. Dunstan’s Stepney (via St. Luke’s Old Street), The Tate Britain, and the gallows at Tyburn.

Map with black, white, and gilt ink.

The First Map…

Second Map

In the footsteps of Iain Sinclair and Alan Moore, this is an updated system of geometric relationships across London. (Books Lud Heat and From Hell, respectively)

Sinclair based his pentangle on the relationships of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s churches (early 18th century), and Cleopatra’s Needle (installed in 1878).

Updated for the 21st Century, a similar pentangle can be formed with the modern composition of Ouroboros and Dividers: the London Eye.

Similar to pre-scientific shamanism, by gathering physical or symbolic elements from these places together and using them ceremonially, the system, and thus the city, can be (symbolically) transformed.

This system – the pentacle – has now been made obsolete… upcoming posts will develop the new system.

Shamanic Geometries + Synthetic Cosmology

Click Here to View Report

Click on the image to view my MArch Project Report.

Roccoco Crest

Further iterations of the formal language for the etchings and presentation of the pentacle.

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