Sheffield's famous Tinsley cooling towers will be demolished over the August Bank Holiday weekend, energy giant 'E.On' has announced, despite thousands of people had signed petitions to save the towers, which can be seen by motorists who use the M1.
The general publics efforts were so determined that they even filed for the two iconic concreate cooling towers to be classed as a piece of public art. This really could have worked, as they are the Sheffield equivilent to the Newcastle Angel of the North. It doesn't appear that there's much more that we can do. Eon are adamant that the towers have to come down, and have been unwilling to consider anything else all along. Nothing that we have done has changed that, not even the TV program on channel 4 or the radio interview on BBC Radio 2. The council haven't got the ambition or vision to see that these towers could be icons, that they could attract millions of people. Unless there's some sort of divine intervention, then, it looks like the cooling towers will disappear.
Thanks to the world wide web, we were able to keep the cooling towers up for a good 3 more years than planned.
I came to Sheffield, because I thought post-industrial banality was cool, now i'm way too cool for Sheffield....
Who needs Sheffield when you’ve got Saatchi &; Saatchi. Charles loved the way we wanted to gentrify some naff old Cooling Towers in the name of art; he thought that it would make the perfect spin for his high profile rape of working class culture. But alas our ideas proved too visionary for the South Yorkshire folk and we were forced to find a creative outlet at the top the dizzying artistic heights of the advertising world.
The so called ‘creative industries’ represent the vanguard of global consumer capitalism. Advertising, movies, pop tunes, i Phones, virals, pod casts, CGI, computer games consoles, HD ready tele-fucking-vision; all of this ‘creativity’ amounts to nothing more than a clever distraction; a sleight of hand to keep people passive while their lives are stolen from them in the name of profit and progress.
The cleverest trick of all is that those who work in the creative industries actually believe that they’re doing humanity a service, they’re like the Victorian gentleman who beats his wife and children ‘for their own good’ – talk about the blind leading the blind.
The most ironic moment for post-modern culture came with the release of the 1999 science fiction film, The Matrix.
The story was an allegory, a wonderful metaphor for consumer society, with a message that said ‘you’re being robbed of your lives by a mega-machine that offers entertainment in place of existence’.
Movie goers nodded in agreement and then paid the producers $460 million worldwide for the ‘pleasure’ of being entertained – you really couldn’t make this shit up! Post-modern, consumerist ‘Art’ fairs no better; where the avant-garde once sought to awaken society with satire and debate, Art Inc. seeks to placate the hoi polloi with gimmicks and fads.
The Saatchi Gallery even runs an X-Factor type competition on their website, asking people to vote for their next "Artist star" who has the X-Factor when it comes to work. I never really understood how that works, since alot of shit work with banal directives get picked up because the kids went to Goldsmith's or Columbia. What happened with trying to leave something noteworthy of our time?
The destroying of the Cooling Towers, as the point I made in my other post shows again that business trumps anything not equated with money and actually monumenting our very own 21st century existence. I'm not quite sure what we will remembered for? Sharks in glass boxes, tents with names stitched in them, big fuck off prentensious bullshit vasaline sculptures and annoying creymaster videos, bad art student paintings with no historical knowledge behind the idea of painting, global warming, a shit load of waste, malls and sale signs.
If that's not it, even my own existence is always completely in question (as it should, but this is not in a good way). If I can't relate or don't want to relate to this capitalistic asethetic, where good morals are somewhat redundant, where do I fit in? What can I offer if there are no takers?
All I wanted was for the cooling towers to stay, to show that "people power" actually makes a difference! And to maintain some historical and iconicity to Sheffield's slowly fading landscape as montomus architecture, and franchised crap takes over.
As it is, all we are left with is a physical reminder of the fact that it is an end of an era. It's the physical end of hope, the end of where the phrase "power to the people" used to mean something and once again I am left feeling disillusioned...
Post modernity, eh? The salt on the slug, that is for sure.
The motorway will be closed while the 250ft (76m) towers are brought down in the early hours of Sunday 24 August, for anyone in the UK.