Cover and sample spreads from Weymouths Volume 12—1,485 Colors.
330 pages of color pixels randomly extracted from photographs taken in March and April 2012 at—
- Chesil Beach
- Nothe Parade
- Jordan Hill
- Maiden Street
- River Wey
- King’s Statue
- King’s Cove
- The Canoe Room
- House Rock
The pixels are organized in quartets, as quintets (with the addition of background pixels), as groups of 10 in spreads, in nine chapters of 165 (organized by location), and all 1,485 colors in the full volume.
To wander, to ramble, to roam.
Perched Blocks, Erratic Block Large masses of rock, often as big as a house, which have been transported by glacier-ice, and have been lodged in a prominent position in glacier valleys or have been scattered over hills and plains. An examination of their mineralogical character leads to the identification of their source and, consequently, to the path taken by the transporting ice.—Text-book of Geology. Archibald Geikie Macmillan and Co. London, 1882
Weymouths Volume 9—40 Views of House Rock. 100 pages plus cover.
Weymouths attempts to portray place and identity as endless, multiplex constructions, unlimited by reality or imagination. Every instance—each memory, text, image or encounter that I record in these books—contributes to a constantly connecting (and expanding) view of the past and future.
One place that this plays out—albeit in the language of machines and bots and the crowd at large—is Wikipedia.
“Weymouth can refer to” appears at the top of this Wikipedia page (and at the top of every Wikipedia disambiguation page). At the bottom of these pages: “This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title.” This is where sense is made on the web—where meaning focuses and expands.
It’s how the crowd understands “Weymouth.”
There are Weymouths in New Jersey, Massachusetts, England, Nova Scotia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Barbados. 19294 Weymouth is a main-belt asteroid, discovered in 1996. Tina Weymouth was the bassist for the Talking Heads.
I’ve grabbed all 82 of the images from all 33 articles, and all of the user-supplied metadata associated with each image. This pile of content is gathered into Weymouths Volume 2—Weymouth can refer to.
Here are all 33 Weymouths, according to Wikipedia today.
- Weymouth, Dorset, England
- Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (UK Parliament constituency)
- Weymouth and Portland
- Weymouth Bay
- Weymouth Beach
- Weymouth Harbour, Dorset
- Weymouth Harbour Tramway
- Weymouth Pavilion
- Weymouth railway station
- Weymouth Quay railway station
- Weymouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Weymouth, Massachusetts, United States
- Weymouth Township, New Jersey, United States
- Weymouth, Tasmania, Australia
- Weymouth, Auckland, New Zealand
- Weymouth, Saint Michael, Barbados
- Weymouth F.C.
- Weymouth College
- HMS Weymouth, several ships
- 19294 Weymouth
- George Weymouth, English explorer
- George W. Weymouth, American politician
- Katharine Weymouth, publisher of The Washington Post
- Lally Weymouth, American journalist
- Richard Francis Weymouth, English Bible scholar
- Tina Weymouth, bassist for Talking Heads
- Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath, 3rd Viscount Weymouth
- Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth
- Weymouth bit
- Double bridle or Weymouth bridle
- Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
- Weymouth Wildcats
- Weymouth Sands, a novel by John Cowper Powys
An incredible find last night. I was looking through the 1844 Geology of Weymouth book and it mentions, in a footnote, the recent discovery of the Roman temple at Jordan Hill in Weymouth, England. I had wandered up to Jordan Hill in March so I followed the “link” (which was simply a reference to “the November proceedings of the Ashmolean Society”) and sure enough, found it on Google Books.
This is such a good one. Will probably become one of the twelve books. It fits in perfectly with the theme of larger structures and the retrieval of less visible histories.
“(A)bove these ashes was a double layer of stone tiles, arranged in pairs, and between each pair was the skeleton of one bird, with one small Roman coin: above the upper tier of tiles was another bed of ashes. Similar beds of ashes, alternating with double tiers of tiles, (each pair of which inclosed the skeleton of one bird, with one copper coin,) were repeated 16 times between the top and bottom of the well: and half way down was a cist containing an iron sword and spear-head, and urns like those in the cist at the bottom of the well. The birds were the raven, crow, buzzard, and starling. There were also bones of a hare.”
A Dr. Buckland suggests “that this building may have been a temple of Esculapius [Asclepius, god of medicine and healing], which received the votive offerings of the Roman families and invalids who visited Weymouth for sea-bathing and for health.” Bones of young bulls were also found nearby.
Spreads, round 2.
These are more final. Getting ready to send a test file to the printer on Monday (300 pages).
The thread that creates Weymouths Volume 1, The Interviews is my conversation with Jack in Weymouth, England, which references and then connects to my conversation with Jim in Weymouth, MA. But at the heart of the book is the flow of the River Wey itself, its formation lovingly detailed in the geology lesson by Jane. Jane’s section is another branch of the interviews — Jack, Jim, Jane and Geoffrey — all touching, mashing, looking at and flowing past one another. The book (and the river) bring them together.
Weymouths, the twelve volumes:
River The Interviews
Light Color Index
Erratic 40 Views of House Rock
Memory The Benches
Image The Postcards
Burial (Preservation) The Canoe Room / An Agreemt Betweene ye Inhabitants off Wamouth concerning there Land sold now to ye Towne off Wamouth, 1642
Strata Geology of Weymouth, Portland and Coast of Dorsetshire, 1884
Disambiguation The Twenty Weymouths of Wikipedia
Sea Loss of the Catherine, 1846
Ship The Coming of the Hull Company, 1923
Moon Moonfleet, J. Meade Falkner 1898
Puritan The Maypole of Merry Mount, Nathaniel Hawthorne 1837
I’m inside the book now, the first volume of Weymouths. These are very preliminary spreads—so preliminary that they’ll probably have changed when we see them next. But I’m excited to post these things in formation, before they become too precious.
These are the interviews. Jack, my guide in Weymouth, England, provides the overarching narrative. My conversation with Jack is the main thread through the book and other voices enter and exit. I’m letting the voices co-mingle. Sometimes they’re near each other, to suggest a kind of relationship. At other time I’m more forcibly mashing them up, encouraging the narrative to shift out of time and place at specific moments, to open up new spaces.
I’m putting together some color palettes for the Weymouths books. These are collections of individual pixels sampled somewhat randomly from photographs I took in Weymouth, England.
- Stones on Chesil Beach
- River Wey
- Stone façade on Maiden Street (with a cannonball lodged in it, fired during the English Civil War, 10 February 1645)
- Ancient Roman stone from the temple ruin at Jordan Hill, 4th century
- Stone on the back side of the 1810 seaside statue of King George III
- House façades and trim colors on the Nothe Parade, compiled from 32 photographs
I’ve collected some incredible texts. Plus, 700+ photographs captured in both Weymouths. The challenge now is how to structure the content. What form do I give it. I’ve got so many ideas (too many).
There’s one critical question that I’m struggling with, and that is what “shape” to give the project. How imaginary a landscape do I create? Do I splice the texts together and describe something totally new (a new voice, a new place)? Or do I let the voices clearly stand on their own, doing a direct kind of work — referring to “existing conditions” in a more documentary way. Both approaches suggest new landscapes, but in the former I would explicitly build an imaginative work (rather than leave it to the audience, in the latter, who may or may not do the work themselves).
I made three recordings and they’re now completely transcribed — every minute, every yeah, so and umm.
1. Jim (Weymouth, Massachusetts)
Jim is a ninety-two year old WWII veteran from the area and “curator” at the Weymouth Historical Society, which is housed within the 1763 Jason Holbrook Homestead. I recorded his very personalized two-and-a-half hour tour and the transcript is a rambling journey through the rooms of the house (and into American history).
2. Jack (+ Geoffrey) (Weymouth, England)
When I was in Massachusetts, Jim remembered that a married couple from Weymouth, England had visited the Holbrook house last fall. I photographed the page where they signed the guest book and contacted them via Facebook, which led to a meeting at the Old Rooms Inn in England. Jack graciously allowed me to record his impressions of life in Weymouth, which turned into a fascinating, wide-reaching tour of the town. At one point we were joined by Geoffrey, a former astrophysics professor from Oxford, who overheard our conversation. He shared stories too.
3. Jane (Chickerell, England)
While in Dorset I stayed with Jane, a geography teacher, in her historic house a few miles outside of Weymouth. Jane generously shared her home, meals and stories with me, and I immediately made a new friend. One morning, standing over a detailed map of the region in her kitchen, Jane started describing the geology of the area — and more specifically, how the River Wey was formed. I stopped her and made her start again, so I could record it, and the animated transcript is fantastic. It’s a short lesson in local geology but a pivotal point for me, where larger structures are revealed.
The interviews themselves are wonderful and each voice could become its own book. There are various ways I could combine photography with the transcripts and I have no doubt these would be engaging works.
Or, I could take it further.
As an experiment, I used chance operations to combine the three voices into something new. We leave the three characters behind; this voice is more unconscious, referring to internal and external structures in and around both Weymouths. It starts to suggest a more open, imaginary view of the landscape.
As you can see, we took the doors down. You’ll gather from my accent that I’m not a Dorset person, I’m Scottish. So look, you’ve got this huge ridge — most of the dining rooms, you probably remember, they had swinging doors. Oh right, you walked along the front and they had springs here and here, so that the door would open either way. Yeah we’ve lived here 26 years, and we love it.
So this is to the east, we took that door down. But the mechanism we took out, the job, I worked for the ministry of defense — the UDOD — and in this part of the country there was a navy base, in Portland. And so you’ve got this chalk, this chalk ridge coming all the way along here. So going from the kitchen to the pantry to the dining room the door would swing in and out. Yeah it’s all gone, there was a big MOD, Navy, yeah, the underwater workers establishment was down here, research was down here, anything underwater was down here. And it skirts to the north of Weymouth.
This was just a closet, a clothes closet, and it’s all gone now. And it just basically runs in a straight line. We have a safe in there, all our valuables. But that’s what brought me down here — Portesham and Abbotsbury comes out on, to the west of Abbotsbury where you’ve got a real…all the cliffs…a lot of the original. We have the original diaries and things. And I’ve retired down here now. Yeah, this is Chesil itself. This is Chesil Beach but the cliffs actually meet, meet the coast.
Yeah, so she says don’t stop the car, they were so, their crew went to Europe on trips. And then where it hits the clay, it comes out, and there was some iron railings beside the bridge. Another room! This house is bigger than it seems. Can you see the water starting there? And then it all comes down.
One approach is more documentary; the other more Cage’s Alphabet. Both, poetic. Hmm…