Asylum posted on Vimeo

I’m very happy that the collaboration with Chris Petit, Asylum, has been posted on Vimeo. People have frequently asked about this, the third of our four films for Channel 4, and the most elusive. It’s the one we were most satisfied with (or least displeased). It feels like the right moment for the resurrection. Asylum was an essay on the edge of disintegration, in advance of global pandemics. It is about the loss of cultural memory and the fragmentation and distress of digital imagery. Mainly, it’s good to have glimpses of the writers who need to be remembered and valued: Ed Dorn, Michael Moorcock, James Sallis, Marina Warner. The film also draws deeply on the editing intelligence of Emma Matthews and the animations of Dave McKean.

Link to the video:

The Falconer on Vimeo

The Falconer, technically, was an advance on The Cardinal and the Corpse. This time there was no industry crew. The shoot was very much free form, going off wherever the story took us, fuelled on cultural appropriation (in the best sense) and creative paranoia. It was always intended as part of a wider project known as ‘The Perimeter Fence’, a recalibration of lives and productions lost in the margins. An alternative (and electively unreliable) series of histories, rewritten and subverted to aim at a higher truth. The progress of the film was scored by a complex network of (provoked) creative tensions: between the ostensible director Chris Petit, for example, and the former director (and self-proclaimed shaman, conman, story-teller, falconer) Peter Whitehead, between the scrupulous editor Emma Matthews and the artist/animator Dave McKean (whose brilliant inserts and interventions were microfilms on their own). As the production evolved, it was taken over by the presence of Whitehead, who always held out one more story to tell, one more startling revelation. Revelations backed up by a buried archive of feature films, documentaries and home-movie footage.
Channel 4, back in the day, responded positively. The Falconer was singled out as a new way of working: distressed and ‘painterly’ textures, hints at conspiracies, basic equipment, no crew to eat up budget. The consequence was more commissions to operate in this way – but not for us, for younger, less bothersome and cheaper hopefuls.
Dr Michael Hrebeniak said: ‘The Falconer is probably the most talked about film ever made among the psychogeography crowd… Maybe we should keep it a secret?’
Not any more.

London Orbital posted on Vimeo.

In many ways this was the easiest ‘sell’ of the group. The book of the same title, written in parallel with the film, could be described in a single sentence: ‘A walk around London’s orbital motorway.’ London Orbital was the only one released (by Illuminations) as a DVD. It offered itself to academic usage and it fitted quite comfortably within the emerging discipline (or brand) of psychography. The narrative was about endless, the slow-cinema of pedestrianism, noticing everything, and the reverie and drift of driving without stopping.  The only exits being into 19th-century fantasy and horror.  The two Thames crossings, east and west, had their pull: Bram Stoker in Purfleet and JG Ballard in Shepperton. The DVD as a package had several advantages, as Chris Petit pointed out. One of the extra features covered the A13 exhibition at the Wapping Pumping Station – and exhibits that linked exploration of the Thames Estuary, its container dumps and landfill, with my great-grandfather’s surveys of an Amazonian tributary. It’s obvious now that my recent book, The Gold Machine, was germinating, like everything else, around the fringes of London. As I state in the book: “The jungle begins in London.”

“Travellers should look for the man at Panopolis”

The last word & testament of CHRIS PETIT, ‘Coming Down In Berlin’, will be available ONLY at London City Airport on Sunday May 21 between 12:30 and 15:30.
Travellers should look for the man at Panopolis with a copy of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte’s The Book Is A Ghost, and approach him with a request for ‘End Times Healing’.

The cassette is a numbered edition of eight. Any remaining unsold at 15:30 will be destroyed. £5 each.

more info:

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MoL film night – tickets still available

The Test Centre reopens this Thursday, with a pop-up shop and exhibition curated by writer and filmmaker Chris Petit. This will be the second of five weeks of exhibitions and events running at F in Stoke Newington, London, between 24th October and 24th November. Week One, curated by Iain Sinclair, was a great success, marked by the memorable launch of his book-length poem RED EYE.

The Test Centre during Iain Sinclair’s curation
Week Two, curated by Chris Petit, will be the first physical manifestation of his Museum of Loneliness project. The shop and exhibition will include an underground gallery of audio detritus, a 1960s stereogram playing MoL audio, a specially refurbished dolls’ house of memory, a collection of 100 numbered books from the MoL’s ‘fragments of the lost library’, executed books, stone faces, MoL pamphlets, rare DVDs, a collection of text experiments, signed first editions of Petit’s novel Robinson, and paintings by Emma Matthews.
As part of Petit’s curation, there will be two film events in the upstairs space at The Test Centre: an installation in collaboration with Mordant Music, and a screening of rare Petit films:
Chris Petit and Mordant Music installation | Saturday 2 November
Continuing the collaboration which led to the recent LP Museum of Loneliness, in this one-off event Chris Petit’s unseen film What She Did On Her Holidays will be projected alongside footage from his multi-screen installation Flying Down to Rio, with a specially-arranged soundtrack remix by Mordant Music.
Price: FREE, unticketed. More event details HERE.  |  Doors: 7.30pm
The Museum of Loneliness film night | Sunday 3 November
Notoriously difficult to find, Chris Petit’s film Chinese Boxes (1984) has at last been located for a rare screening. Presented as part of Petit’s Museum of Loneliness project, it will be shown alongside his equally unseen Dead TV (1999) and a collection of recent MoL film fragments. The films will be introduced by Petit, who will be present for a Q&A session after the screening.
Price: £6 online, £8 on the door  |  Doors: 6pm  |  BUY TICKETS
All of Test Centre’s publications with Petit will be on sale, including the vinyl LP Museum of Loneliness, Test Centre’s magazines featuring Petit (where available), and GOOGLEmeGOD. Also available will be a number of publications produced especially for the shop – a bootleg version of the MoL pamphlet ‘The Clock’, co-written with Iain Sinclair and previously only available in a very small edition, ‘The House of Memory’, combining the complete catalogue of Petit’s lost library along with The MoL Diaries, and a portfolio of double-text experiments. A limited special edition of ‘The House of Memory’ will also be available, containing extra rare material.
The shop and exhibition will be open from Thursday to Sunday each week, between 11am and 7pm.


Week Three will be curated by Test Centre, and will bring together the work of a number of Test Centre associates. With sound and image the week will expand upon the history and releases of the label / publishing house so far, using spoken word records and other recordings alongside artwork from our magazine.
As part of this curation, there will be a special event to launch Iain Sinclair’s new book American Smoke:

Launch of American Smoke by Iain Sinclair + 70×70 film screening | Friday 8 November
In association with 70×70, King Mob, and Hamish Hamilton.
To celebrate the launch of Iain Sinclair’s American Smoke (Hamish Hamilton), Test Centre and F have combined forces with 70×70, a curation of films by Sinclair on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Screenings of Patricio Guzmán’s documentary Nostalgia for the Light (2010) and Francis Alÿs’s Tornado (2000-2010), will accompany the publication of a book in which Sinclair engages with the memory-filled landscapes of the American Beats. The films will be introduced by Sinclair.
Price: FREE, unticketed. More event details HERE.
For information about events coming up at The Test Centre, please visit our website. More information is also available on Eventbrite, where you can book for all ticketed events: . The venue’s capacity is limited, so book your tickets now to avoid disappointment!
F is located at 110 Stoke Newington Church Street, on the corner of Yoakley Road. The entrance to the shop and gallery is on Yoakley Road. VIEW MAP