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Co-created film project painting a portrait of a place and its culture, informed through a unique collaboration with local artists from Newcastle and Gateshead

In 2002 The Light Surgeons played two sell-out shows of their live cinema performance All Points Between at the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. The events generated such interest that the Tyneside Cinema invited The Light Surgeons to do a residency project in Newcastle.

Appling their self-sampling aesthetic, The Light Surgeons attempted to develop a different kind of film making and took their inspiration from the Surrealist parlor game of exquisite corpse. Their idea was to create a portrait of a city through a creative collaboration with its local inhabitants – artists, musicians, writers, photographers and animators observing and commenting on their own city.

The films structure would then evolve through a process of mass observation – each participating artist creating elements of the final collage that would represented a chimera of their city. The finished films were also remixed and performed live alongside the original musical scores composed for each film during the project.

The first experiment brought together a diverse group of twelve Newcastle based artists, illustrators, photographers and musicians who where found through an open call out. The project was run over a six month period through a series of workshops and creative sessions at the Tyneside Cinema.

People where encouraged to explore different aspects of the city through documentary recordings or any other medium of their choice. At the end of this process all the material was brought together into sections and then brought back to London to be edited into the final film.

The resulting film is a psychogeographical map of the city through interviews, field recordings, animations and audiovisual tracks. It reflects the city’s people: their hopes and cynicism towards their bid to become European city of culture, their military and seafaring heritage, and their love of football. It captures Newcastle’s fast changing architectural and cultural landscape at the start of the new millennium.

Film Duration: 28 minutes


Project Lead & Edited by:Christopher Thomas Allen, James Price & Jude Greenaway
Collaborating Artists:Christo Wallers, Jackie Scollen, Steve Bird, Laura Reid, James Postlethwaite, Huw Thomas, Michael Jeffries, Peter Clark, David McClure, Alex McGregor & Tom Bland

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