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The Remote Viewer: Windows on a Lost City

A Light Night 2018 event exploring our lost city through photography and sound.

The Remote Viewer presents two contrasting views of a Leeds which no longer exist. The video installation uses images from Godfrey Bingley’s archive in Special Collections.

The work explores the photograph as representation of loss. See Godfrey Bingley’s idyllic views of Headingley before its rapid urbanisation. In contrast, view Leeds Corporation’s record of a condemned slum on Quarry Hill.

The original images used date between 1888 and 1910. The lost cities they represent seem very different as we discover the scale of urban transformation that has taken place. Through rephotography techniques the modern city is re-haunted by a change we can no longer fathom.

The video installation is accompanied by sound, recorded at various stages of the image-making. Sounds include those captured while scanning the glass plates, walking the two areas looking for the disappeared streets and the sound of the camera itself, recording the new views of Leeds.

The artist and researcher:

The Remote Viewer presents Michael C Coldwell's work with the archives. It is the culmination of his practice-led research into hauntology. He is an audiovisual artist and PhD student at the School of Media and Communication.

Light Night Leeds is an annual free multi-arts and light festival that takes over Leeds city centre for two nights in October.

Image credit: Stills from The Remote Viewer by Michael C Coldwell, 2018