Day one. How is it only day one? Looking back to those three days, that became five days, it seems to have lasted, well, an age. I think the very nature of situation meant that there was no down time, even when there was really nothing going on.
A strong metaphor for people’s reactions to The Dark Ages is the notion of reality tunnels. Everyone had there own Dark Ages story, many of them relayed so eloquently on Scaramanga Silk’s excellent site. Your Dark Age reality tunnel was very much defined by your job allocation. Ragwort Collectors collected. Cone repositioners repositioned. Badger Kull, err, kulled? The whole Rites Of MuMufication entourage of choir, priests, grave diggers, Koffin Karriers etc missed out on the wonderful ‘sermon’ by The Callenders and the screening of The Triptych, but they saw so much else that everyone else missed. The book stamping had felt like a glorious collective experience shared with a few hundred strangers, but on Day 1, jobs were allocated, the tribes were formed and the reality tunnels started to diverge and would remain that way until the glorious convergence around The Pyre.
This seems as good a place as anywhere to put forward another alternative interpretation of The Dark Ages.
When your Dad’s put on a nine hour play of Illuminatus! and then followed it up with the 24 hour long The Warp – which you both take the lead role in and later direct – how do you top that? Well how about a 72 hour long play, Welcome To The Dark Ages? Your main actor is your lead from The Warp and Cosmic Trigger.
Your props are made by the same guy who did them for Illuminatus!, using stuff found of the streets of Liverpool.
And your script editor is the guy who suggested that the story of The KLF is one where the people involved don’t realise they’re in it.
Inspired by Ken Campbell’s Four Choices Of The Artist and Alan Moore’s suggestion that art and magick are interchangeable, Daisy Campbell’s Choice Five for is
“to create a narrative so utterly complex and so endlessly self-referential that it becomes to all intents and purposes alive”.
Or “a narrative so self-referential and multi-layered that it essentially becomes a three-dimensional entity among a clued-in network of like-minded seekers.”
Sound familiar? As in, ‘yes that’s exactly how I’d describe Welcome To Ages’?
Anyway, where were we?
After a morning of Liverpool site seeing:
I made my way over to Constellations, The Baltic Triangle for about 1230.
Just to the side of that sign was a priceless BANKSY. I saw it and thought nothing of it. So it goes. Prior to the Job Allocation, I remember being a bit nervous and very thirsty. I started chatting to a guy called Drew. He had a camera and he ended up posting the definitive Dark Ages documentary.
Apart from a trip to the Liverpool Museum Of Music, the film shows my Dark Ages, just slightly to one side.
After an age of waiting by the bar at Constellations, we were ushered into the back room, to be greeted by Oliver, Daisy and several buckets. Footage from the back room was shown on Channel 4 news that evening.
I love this picture. In one frame we have:
Jeff Minter, legendary games programmer and resident of Oliver House
Bill’s own personal Dead Perch Menace
One third of The AMMs
And little old me.
Spot The Psychedelic Detective Agency.
So, I missed out on the Badger Kull Bassist, but I got the next best thing: Badger Kull Hard Core Fan. I wrote about that here. That covers the rest of the afternoon of Day One. Back in a bit with Day 2: The Hearing.
(I think most of the photos included are mine. If I have included one of yours by mistake and you’d like me to remove it, please let me know in the comments)
Other Dark Ages Diaries
Day 1: The Day of The Job
Day 1: Why Did The K Foundation Burn A Million Quid?