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Simon Faithfull Orbital

London and its surroundings are defined by the gravitational pull of the city’s center. Inhabitants of the South East understand space in terms of a series of concentric circular zones. The city’s influence has grown outwards equally in all directions - until recently unchecked. As such the circular routes that have been imposed upon this area assume a mythical status.
The Orbital Motorway, the North and South Circular and the Circle line are modern phenomena. Once, a map of the city built upon the spokes of a hub was sufficient to make sense of the urban sprawl, but in a post Newtonian universe it has become necessary for traffic to orbit the nucleus in a series of energy states. Speeds gradually decrease the closer to the centre you travel so that a circumnavigation of each route takes roughly the same time. To plot the path of journeys started from one latitude on each shell would produce something analogous to the sweep of a radarscope or the hands of a clock.
Orbital No 1 visualizes this internalised model of the city. Three circular journeys will be completed and recorded in real time on digital film from a first person perspective. In the early hours of the morning a fast car carrying a camera recording the gliding orbit of a near empty M25, in the orange glow of street lights a motorbike records the complex urban circuit of the North and South Circular and in the permanent harsh neon and blackness of underground the view from the cabin of train is captured.
The three images of continual movement towards an infinitely receding vanishing point will then be combined in three concentric rings. Giving a glimpse of the dizzying energy states that define the contemporary city the final film will be a kind of moving Mandela, an image analogous to the concentric circles of Dante’s heaven or hell.

Location - St Mary’s Church. Central Ashford
Time - 7 July 2007 – 7 Aug 2007