Swandown is a travelogue and odyssey. A poetic film-diary about landscape and culture. It is also an endurance test and pedal-marathon.

In the spirit of Dada and Bas Jan Ader it will be undertaken on board a plastic swan-shaped pedalo resulting in the production of a feature film inspired by both

‘Fitzcarraldo’ (Werner Herzog) and ‘Burden of Dreams’ (Les Blank).

In the summer of 2011 I will pedal from Swan Lake in Hastings to the Angel Islington in London. I will sleep with the Swan and eat with the Swan and each day will bring new encounters. The journey will take over a month; an unbroken 200 miles, into the English Channel, along military canals and rivers, beyond the Thames basin and into the very heart of London via Olympic Territory. It will be filmed as both a documentary and performance piece.

However for the time being I would like to embark on a different journey that prepares me for the enormity of such an undertaking. Therefore I propose to produce a Map, which plots the proposed route that the Swan might take through a series of walks. The project is called Swandown - Ordnance and Surveying.

For Swandown - Ordnance and Surveying I would be accompanied by the Psychogeographer and writer Iain Sinclair and we would collaborate on the production of a Map. As well as a limited edition bespoke artwork the Map would enable us to make clearer our intentions for the film. The mapping would work as a toe-in-the-water-appetite-wetter for the bigger picture. Both projects however might best be described as ‘odyssey into real life documentary’.

The Map might be seen within the context of Ed Ruscha’s Bookwork ‘Every Building on the Sunset Strip’ (1966), which folds out to a magnificent twenty-seven feet. Our Map would also prove unpredictable; full of text and prose and images pertaining to both the walks and the film.

 

Swandown - Ordnance and Surveying would also explore some of the ideas and themes behind the Film. In the form of an imagined unfolding list: