Andrew Black and Keir Milburn discuss 'On Clogger Lane'

Part of Margaret Tait Commission

1 March — 31 December 2024


An online discussion between artist Andrew Black and writer, researcher and activist Keir Milburn is now available to watch. Their discussion, introduced by Benjamin Cook (Director, LUX), revolved around the issues and themes explored in Andrew’s Margaret Tait Commission On Clogger Lane’ and coincided with an exhibition at LUX, Andrew’s first solo presentation in London.

On Clogger Lane’ is an experimental documentary. Named for an old road now submerged beneath a reservoir, the film meanders through the Washburn Valley in Yorkshire. It explores the infrastructures of capital on land overshadowed by a monstrous surveillance station, flooded and dammed, haunted by accusations of witchcraft, and populated by the traces of many generations of past inhabitants – from prehistoric carvings to the Victorian graves of child labourers.

The film incorporates newly-recorded conversations with Sylvia Boyes, Anne Lee and Lindis Percy, local women who have been involved in opposing the activities of RAF Menwith Hill, an American-run signals intelligence base near Harrogate – and British and US imperialism in different capacities – over decades. Further contributors are local people whose connections to the valley tell complex and interlinked stories of industrial exploitation, social history and folklore – farmers, antiquarians, dowsers, grandmothers, Quakers and Communists. These oral histories are accompanied by an experimental score by Leeds improvisational band Vibracathedral Orchestra, as well as synthesised Medieval song and archival sound and film from the Yorkshire Film Archive. On Clogger Lane’ explores the meeting points of passivity and protest, public and private, past and present, all coincident in the same patch of ancient land.

Live captioning for this discussion event was provided by 121 Captions and BSL interpretation by Altan Maidrig.

LUX Scotland commissioned Keir Milburn to respond to​‘On Clogger Lane’. You can read or listen to Keir read his commentary,​‘ONLY THE MINERAL REMAINS’, below.

Andrew Black

Andrew Black was born in Leeds and has lived in Glasgow since 2009. He was on the committee of Transmission gallery in 2016 and 2017, and in 2018 took part in the Experimental Film & Moving Image Residency at Cove Park, and the Autumn Residency at Hospitalfield. He recently completed a commission with Atlas Arts as part of the Plural Futures Community Film project on the Isle of Skye, exhibited with Aman Sandhu as part of Glasgow International Festival in June 2021. Black’s work was recently exhibited at Centre Clark, Montreal as part of The Magic Roundabout and the Naked Man with Aman Sandhu. He is the recipient of the Margaret Tait Commission 2021, a LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Keir Milburn

Keir Milburn’s most recent book​‘Generation Left’ has proven highly influential, provoking debate across several countries on the generational divide in politics. He co-hosts the popular #ACFM podcast on Novara Media which explores the link between music, the weird, left-wing politics, and experiences of collective joy. As a member of the Red Plenty Games Collective he also designs and runs political strategy games and uses game play to research common political imaginaries. Finally, he is co-director of the think tank Abundance, which focuses on designing and implementing Public-Common Partnerships, an alternative model for the ownership and governance of assets. Abundance is currently participating in eight projects seeking to establish Public-Common Partnerships or related public-community action models in locations spread across urban and rural settings in several different countries.

Closed Captions

Signed in BSL

Part of Margaret Tait Commission

The Margaret Tait Commission is a LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, with support from Creative Scotland.

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