SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

October 2013

Urban Provocations 1: Chapel Street

Walker, A & Barfield, R & Davismoon, S 2013, 'Urban Provocations 1: Chapel Street', exhibited at: Ellis Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, from 10/10/2013 to 24/10/2013.


Chapel Street: Urban Provocations 1 is a collaborative work which records a ‘walk’ along Chapel Street in Salford, United Kingdom in the summer of 2013. It is being generously hosted by the Department of Fine Art, Carnegie Mellon University at the Ellis Gallery from 10–24 October, 2013.


The purpose of Urban Provocations 1 is to explore, in a spirit of psycho-geographical playfulness, the post industrial heart of the old city of Salford. We hope that it will ‘provoke’ comparison with locations in Pittsburgh and celebrate the tenacity and beauty of these city centres as well as highlight some of the challenges resulting from long periods of industrial and economic decline.


The exhibition has been created by senior researchers at the University of Salford and is intended as an immersive experience in which visual, aural and literary aspects combine to provide a focus for further development.  Allan Walker and Raz Barfield, artists who work as part of Eyecon, a digital research publishing unit, have produced a randomly self-generating image sequence integrated with a soundscape composition from local ‘found sounds’ created by musician and composer, Steve Davismoon. This work is accompanied by two written texts: one by Martin Hall which places Chapel Street within a context of urban otherness through Foucault’s Heteretopia and an archaeology of its conditions in the 19th Cetur as described by Engels; and the other by Huw Morris who uses Calvino and Debord to explore imaginable and Situationist implications.


The exhibition builds on discussions by Martin Hall during his visit to Pittsburgh in 2012 relating to the role of universities in engaging with local and regional issues. Our intention is that the exhibition and accompanying lecture will stimulate a response and initiate joint design processes between UoS and CMU dedicated to exploring ways in which we can support our respective cities and contribute to their cultural and economic regeneration. As such it is the first stage in stimulating ideas for the development of joint projects. 



Publication Details

Exhibited Name
Ellis Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, USA

From 10/10/2013 to 24/10/2013.