Late last year I was asked to contribute to an ongoing project by artists Warren and Moseley called ‘The Utopian Talk Show’. This consists of events held at various venues at which a set of instructions have to be followed, food and drink are consumed and, most importantly, the invited guests read out a set of short extracts from utopian books and other sources (very broadly defined). These are set against a reading from Warren and Moseley’s own book concerning a utopian architectural project created for London’s Smithfield Market.
In addition to the readers present at each event, one other is asked to contribute remotely, via Skype. This was what I was asked to do for a Utopian Talk Show hosted at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo in December 2013. Unfortunately, because of the ongoing political instability in Egypt and because of uncertainty over funding, the event had to be cancelled at the last minute. This is a great shame because I suspect it would have had a particular resonance for people living among the competing ‘Utopias’ on offer there right now. By chance, however, my own contribution survived. Because of the often shaky nature of Skype connections at the Townhouse I was asked to create a prerecorded version of my readings as a back-up. These were made and sent off to Warren and Moseley shortly before the event was cancelled. Very generously they have added my readings to the collection they have been building up on their You-Tube channel. As a whole, the collection of readings makes a fascinating reflection on the evolution of utopian ideas and it is a great pleasure to be able to be part of it, albeit not quite on the way originally intended.
The full collection of readings can be found here.