At the start of the 20th century, Leeds, like virtually all cities in the UK, is awash with the ruins of long surpassed industrial fortresses, relics of earlier epochs in the gallop of capitalist production, no match for its modern day demonic velocities. Peppered, it is also, with accidental memorials to long vanished communities, acts of unshakably heroic rebellion, and of unspeakably horrific oppression, and human-made structures almost entirely consumed and reclaimed by the flora and fauna that has gradually clawed its way back from exile. A wander along the canal or through Holbeck or certain parts of the city centre may reveal many such sites, empty buildings, lost archways, stone skulls set in walls, doors that go nowhere, tunnels, odd bits of rusty metal that seem to have no purpose, and outdoor escalators overgrown with moss like an Aztec ruin in miniature.
We grow used to living in an environment where functionality holds sway and in a city that is designed to fulfil the requirements of the free market, never the desires of its inhabitants. However, if we are prepared to search for them, there are countless places and spaces that have slipped the net. They either lie entirely forgotten and neglected or they are locked away from public view lest they fall into playful hands before capital has the chance to recolonise them.
The Group for Leodian Urban Exploration (GLUE) is a project dedicated to the subversion of space via the exploration of local places in which capital is temporarily absent or in which capitalist functionality is suffocated by the presence of the marvellous. It is our intention to mount expeditions of these places and to publish photographs and reports on their history, psychogeography, possible uses, potential for transformation, found objects, and anything else we might feel is important and/or appropriate.