When the circus leaves town: a virtual exploration of traces of the two London mega events

Jonathan Gardner (UK)

What remains in the aftermath of a temporary event like a festival, sporting spectacle, or exhibition?

How do both planned and unplanned event ‘legacies’ play out?

Explore these questions and more by experiencing two virtual tours taking in the history and archaeology of two London mega event sites at Crystal Palace Park, Sydenham and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford.

Using Google Tour Builder, you can explore these huge festival sites from the comfort of your own home along a route that takes in some of traces they have left behind. At each stop you can click to watch a short video or, alternatively, read the transcript and view images, as well as exploring the contemporary landscape using Street View.

Each tour is about an hour long, but you can take in as much or as little as you like. At the end of each tour there are links to further information.

A (virtual) walk around Crystal palace park, click here to launch the tour

This tour presents the history and archaeology of the Crystal Palace Park in Sydenham, South
London. This enormous park was once the home of the famous Crystal Palace. This
building was originally constructed in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851, but move
here in 1852 and reopened as a strange mixture of museum and theme park. The site provides
an excellent example of the varied ‘afterlives’ of temporary events and how their traces can
linger over the long-term.

A (virtual) walk around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, click here to launch the tour

This tour explores the history and archaeology of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London (the main site of the 2012 Olympic Games) from prehistory to the present. It takes in archaeological discoveries made during preparations for the Games as well as exploring the rich heritage of the area prior to the event, and discusses post- ‘legacy’ developments.

NB: Please note these tours will not work on a mobile browser so please view on a laptop or desktop computer. Please disregard the reference to the Q&A session in the tours (this has already taken place). Any errors within the content or presentation of the tours rest solely with their creator. Use of Tour Builder is according to Google’s Terms of Use and Terms of Service.

Please direct any technical queries or questions to jonathan.gardner@ed.ac.uk

Rubble Rubble: mapping waste stories

Jonathan Gardner (UK)

Share your varied experiences of waste materials, and landscapes transformed by waste, on an interactive map. These can be added until the live discussion event Wednesday 28 October 16:30-17.30 (GMT).

Waste materials such as rubble, garbage, spoil or slag have been used to transform landscapes for thousands of years. Sometimes this is an intentional and creative act such as reclaiming land using demolition rubble, or recycling materials into new structures. At other times such transformation is more gradual and is more of a ‘by- product’; for example when plants and animals colonise a spoil heap and it comes to be valued as a natural heritage site. In other cases, individual fragments of waste like a chunk of a demolished building or piece of garbage can end up being protected and curated as heritage, with waste materials acting as representatives of distant times and places.

With this in mind I want to hear your tales and anecdotes of waste materials and waste-modified landscapes and share them online during festivalCHAT!

Some inspirational questions to get you started:

> Do you have a favourite brick?
> Do you wonder if that prized possession you lost years ago still lies buried somewhere in a gargantuan landfill?
> Is your house built on reclaimed land and, if so, does this bother or reassure you?
> Have you ever rescued something from a demolition site?
> Do you treasure a piece of a ruined monument or nostalgically curate a chunk of your first flat?
> Have you ever seen garbage magically transformed into ‘heritage’?

What do I have to do?

All you have to do is add a ‘story’ to the map about a waste object, material or landscape (or some combination therein) which can be in the form of a few lines of text, an image with a caption, a video or something else.

The Rubble Rubble Padlet map link to access and share works best on a desktop or tablet scale browser rather than a phone).

Made with Padlet

Click on the pink + button to start and then choose your rough location, add text, and upload any files you like. You can have as many posts as you like and you also link them together using the options button (the ellipsis … symbol on the top right of your post).

Your posts will then be shared online with festivalCHAT and you can share the link further afield if you like too. Here’s one I made earlier!

Images can either be uploaded (keep them to around 0.5mb max if possible) or linked to (e.g. from within google drive, Flickr etc.). If you don’t have an image consider linking to a creative commons image online (be sure to provide attribution in the text box if required).

You can either include your name in the post or choose to submit anonymously. You can also email me submissions (please include a rough location if doing this) and I can post them on your behalf.

What will happen then?

Anyone with the link can post to and view the Padlet map. You can post without logging in or you can choose to create an account if you wish to edit your submission at a later date.

The Rubble Rubble map will be accessible and editable for the duration of festivalCHAT and beyond. I will also host a live discussion during festivalCHAT (28 October 16:30 GMT) where I will discuss your submissions (and some of my own) and introduce my new project. If you attend the live component you are also very much invited to discuss your submission in person too!

This activity is held to celebrate the launch of my new research project Reimagining British Waste Landscapes funded by the Leverhulme Trust and Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh).

Please contact me with any questions: jonathan.gardner@ed.ac.uk

DISCLAIMERS: please read in full here if you want to take part