They have been a little less omnipresent since Matilda (massive alternative terrain of love and direct action) there we are told one ran off to Rawmarsh in Rotherham to get over a break down, leaving the other in Sheffield, for a while pretentiousartist.com continued but they have re-branded themselves here we talk to underclass rising about their old habits, that some name urban exploration..
Alright, what is Urban Exploration:
To us Urban Exploration is discovering what lays in our derelict society behind those closed doors and tucked away areas of our towns, cities and countryside. You can find military ruins and bunkers from the World War II and the cold war, abandoned mental asylums and derelict industries, an absence of the current order.
These places are unlikely to be seen by the everyday public and as redevelopment occurs these places will be lost forever, taking their history and secrets with them. Ignorant people stereotype “Urban Explorers” as young teenage males with nothing better to do than “break into buildings”.
You are not teenagers, so just why do you creep about empty spaces, is it not also illegal?:
We have been at this for over 20 years, only the advent of being involved with Access Space and the use of digital cameras, have we began to document what we do. It began with a need for somewhere to live in the form of Squatting, we were sussed in that area and it is much the same, a civil matter with the owners of the empty space (not all are like property owner G. Duniec) sometimes we bump into the Police and security which why we have the legal disclaimers there at underclassrising.net, simple answer would be to check it out and read up, you can also download the info as a pdf (which we have kindly provided for you).
There is a big urban exploration movement, do you consider yourself to be a part of this?
Yes and no, there are people we respect such as the man involved with this place highroydshospital.co.uk and as with all movements, there are ego trippers and elements we’d sooner have no dealings with, in words it can be useful to be part of a community as it gives you info, access points, that kind of thing but as an Anarchist I simply fail to fit in, or even desire to fit in to be honest. This said, we have met some real decent folk and had a good old laugh.
Urban Exploration hit the Newspapers Last Year, and others for climbing The former Tinsley Cooling Towers.
We very much disagreed with Go on the cooling towers, as we have been at this for 20 plus years it was apparent the cooling towers were not going to be saved, they became a magnet for urban exploration and late one night three people climbed them, some more the following weeks, well done is what we say, but the Sheffield Star and The Police looked at it another way (well, they would) and there is some bullshit still flowing about how people got on site during demolition, we feel just a little blissful thinking on their part. As we know the site and was also there on the night, all we shall say further not at all possible, and if proven wrong erm well done.
Your time on page 3 of The Star and other local news:
There was a building, we had been looking at for a year, (one in Rotherham took us three years to crack) and we passed one day, an open door, before then we had made some ill thought out moves we can tell you. So here we are an open door, we walk into a time warp, normally the space is empty trashed etc., here it was as though 5am people had just walked out.
We walked round, talking and working out what to do next, we came back took some images, and locked said door for our own access point. Then 9 people met, it was simple document as much as we could, word come back the owner was outside and had called the Police time to leave, which we did (no Police) on leaving the area an hour on we passed a Police Dog Van, and others looking for us no doubt. Next few days, the owner contacted the Media told a load of lies, we contested them very successfully so we feel, now the building is left to become a dangerous structure as Duniec has done with a lot more of his buildings. He demolishes them and builds bland student flats, but good news has reached us he and others are facing hard times due to thier credit crunch, it has never been such a golden time for urban exploration. Watch This space.
You say you are Anarchist, what part does this play in what you do.
“Anarchism, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government.” Emma Goldman
At this moment in time we like to go under the name of underclass rising who are a mixed bunch, between us we represent most of the various ‘flavours’ of anarchism; class war, anarchy-syndicalist, eco-anarchists, marxist- autonomists, stirnerites, tolstoyans, mutual-aiders, punks, etc. we meet for drinks, parties, walks, discussion (OK, fights) and activism on a (sometimes) regular basis.We don’t think that a website is ever going to change the world and we’d encourage anyone living in south Yorkshire to get off their are and get physically involved in anarchist politicised us an email wordwarfreeatrisedotnet for more,otherwise we will see you on the streets.
The re-branding of yourself, do you ever stay still.
No we keep on moving, evolving changing to everyday struggle of life, for us there are no real plans, our weeks are now a little organised, Monday administrate day, Tuesday urban bucolic exploration all depends on what info we have, is there access? etc. Wednesday is mucking around the city of Sheffield eating cake, drinking coffee and just posing, Thursday is more administration, updating of the web pages, that kinda of thing, Friday is meetings with people, phone calls and just why is there a planning application for this? Another side of us. Oh it’s the weekend, time off from being unemployed, the weekly struggle of grind and play, if it stops becoming a joy then it stops.
Your photography is rather good but why so much, do you not edit?
Yes we do edit a lot these days, take a look at the former pretentiousartist.com everything went up due to free server space, but we was deluded that it was good. We met Dan Sumption and others, and we now do edit, he bought us a pro flickr account, helps us with our hosting, and introduced us to wordpress home of our blog updated every day with thoughts rants poems, anti capitalist propaganda and owt else we might feel like adding.
Is there any influence in your works and your poliltic?
Yes from Dr Seuss, to Emma Goldman, Ice Mother F-in T, Jello Biafra, Metallica, Kid Acne, Lord Phlegm, Rocket One, it goes on.. Oh yes Brian Ellis, Foster and Freenoise play their part in our influence. check us out at underclassrising.net, we are on facebook myspace, flickr, all over the place and we also do some street art interventions when we have the time, there are rumours of some new stickers, the last lot caused some pain and confusion, just how we like it, if we are not offending you, spending too much time in pleaseing you, then we have done something wrong.
What’s your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Oh it has to be the credit crunch, cities that are derelict with less people are cool, the refurbishment of Park Hill (we were some of the mothers who got it listed). Trees, all the green space around us, sounds like every other reply. The Peak District, what remains of the Brutalist Architecture, and laughing at pissed up students, it brings us joy.
Good advice you wish you had been told, any thing you have given a listen too?
Being banned from Access Space (thanks James Wallbank) was in hindsight a very real positive, it lead to Matilda, though one of us had a break down due to that place, we learnt a lot by the mistakes, and never would we work in that way again. Meeting Heather, the space and time she gave us both to fuck up come back and think erm all right 25 year old you have this game of life sussed, T. Goddard an argent mother who tells you what you should not listen to. Dan Sumption to much of a grounding influence, too loving, too kind just a wonderful bloke we all need a Sumption in life. Making mistakes, is how we learn round here, facing those fears, why else would you go through 6 years worth of pigeon shit, in a catacomb to see a derelict church? I know we do not listen to people, but one last thing check out underclassrising.net before you think about or do any urban exploration, we are good at it through making crass mistakes no other reason.