DISSIMILAR is an artistic collaboration by artists
Alastair Cook and James Norton.
DISSIMILAR create artworks in photography, film, sound and painting which explore artistic languages surrounding the subject of the human in the landscape. DISSIMILAR regularly collaborates with composers, poets and other artists, making artworks that visualise aspects of our urban landscape from alternative perspectives, questioning our relationship with the disintegration of our urban world.
DISSIMILAR is an Integrated Artists project.
Integrated Artists is a creative production company directing and delivering projects across the cultural sector. Integrated Artists work with cultural institutions such as The British Library, Southbank, The Poetry Society, The National Trust, The Science Museum Group, Scottish Poetry Library, The Museum of London and The British Council.
Other Integrated Artists projects include Filmpoem and Documenting Britain.
“The earth beneath your feet feels solid there. It is not. Somewhere there the land is hollow. Somewhere beneath, is being constructed, something. We’re not supposed to know.”David Rudkin - Pendas Fen
On the edge of the River Lea in East London a solitary archaeologist discovers an Anglo-Saxon helmet. This find unleashes a haunting darkness buried within the neglected landscape. Disturbed by an inscription on the helmet he returns it to the last Saxon King’s legendry resting place.
“Perhaps it's that you can't go back in time, but you can return to the scenes of a love, of a crime, of happiness, and of a fatal decision; the places are what remain, are what you can possess, are what is immortal. They become the tangible landscape of memory, the places that made you, and in some way you too become them. They are what you can possess and in the end what possesses you.”Rebecca Solnit
“There is a distance between us, a morning breath. Your hair falls as you roll away, deep in sleep. I close my eyes and listen to my blood, interrupted only by the rhythm of your heart.”
Fragile was shot on location in Moulin in the Highlands of Scotland.
"You ask how to get back to your house from here, aware a man is dying in the background, a desire to fall backward into sleep overwhelming. He tells you that he’ll be going to get cigarettes and it’s on the way home, so he’ll show you. He stands and speaks to his friend and they are gone. You are told they have gone to get cigarettes.
The man is dead now, the white sheet covering his face, the focal point of everyone’s attention, whether looking or looking away. You walk back through the square, dampened. People are milling now rather than standing, moving away from their focal point, quiet. You find out that he was twenty-five and that his friends thought he was fucking around. He was having a stroke, a massive coronary. It’s three-thirty in the morning."
Venice was shot on Kodachrome Super8, in the Veneto and in Croatia.
"Your society is protected by democratic structure, policed by uniformed citizens. There is another protection, a sanctuary into which no uniform will enter. Within the four walls of the church, community gives freedom. Unwritten, unspoken but understood universally, your society provides you with somewhere to rest. You wait, sweating within the vast black and gilt interior, incense burning your nose. You stand and move to the door where they wait. You are detained, restrained, thankful only for the brief respite."
Verlaten was shot on location in Amsterdam; Alastair lived in Amsterdam
for a period and as a city its influences permeate this work: relaxed
but tense, open but closed. Leaving, abandoned, forgotten.
Verlaten screened at the Word of Mouth Film Festival in Edinburgh.
“I feel a ripple in my spine, traditional fear: haunches, hands to head breathe breath. I feel my hands dampen, I see only my feet and I want only to run, to rid myself of fear.”
Fear was shot on location in The Black Isle, on Scotland's north east coast. Fear follows our protagonist through a beguiling but darkening landscape, until he finds a sanctuary to sate his fear.
“Stationary on the surface of the world, your brain is empty you are bored. Stimulus is required now. You’ve held off too long, waited on too many trains, arrived late and left early. Time to arrive in a different place.”
Crossing was shot on miniDV in Scotland's industrial central belt. Crossing screened at the Word of Mouth Film Festival in Edinburgh.
“Lifting himself up carefully, he felt his way to the door, sparks of bright pain puncturing the black. He flicked the switch. Eyes shut, he listened to the building. He heard the boards expanding, warming under his feet. The dull pulse in his head slowed. He held fast to the door frame and breathed in. Light cut a knife behind his eyes.”
Exit was shot on location in a derelict Royal Mail sorting office in central London. Exit screened at the Word of Mouth Film Festival in Edinburgh.
"Go home, now, stranger, proud of your young stock/ Stranger, turn back again, frustrate and vexed:/ This land, cut off, will not communicate/ Be no accessory content to one/ Aimless for faces rather there than here.”
Excerpt from The Watershed by W.H. Auden
"The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf/ Clutch and sink into wet bank. The wind/ Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed./ Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song."
Excerpt from The Waste Land by T.S Eliot
Silvertown was shot on location in the wasteland surrounding the Royal Docks at Silvertown in East London and screened at the Word of Mouth Film Festival in Edinburgh.