A friend of ours Billy Campbell that you may remember from his amazing videos of the hidden Botanic Gardens Train Station and St. Peter’s Seminary is continuing his pursuit of exploring with his new company Blind Spot Gear. With his passion for lighting up the history that surrounds us it’s easy to see how it can become contagious. Here is his initial letter explaining his motto Explore. Light. Live.
“History is dead!” that phrase is etched on my memory because It was at this point I rose in outrage and left that lecture hall never to return. Apparently, he had proceeded to say that it had died towards the end of the last millennium. But why should I mourn the closing of a club I was excluded from since birth?
As far as I can make out BIG history is dead, but it still blocks our view. Reach for a machete and join me in hacking away at its shins. With it gone, we will see clearly. History, that is, our history , is hidden in every city throughout the world, in alleyways, parks, buildings and train stations it whispers to us the stories of the people who have come before. This is a history of people like us, “ the common man.” They knew they were weak in many ways, but in other ways strong: this is the power of real history; it is true, strong, everyday; it is relevant and it gives us power and dignity. It does not support the vanity of tyrants, so Julius Creaser, Henry the VIII and Napoleon go f**k yourself!
At Blind Spot Gear, we have stumbled across this history, and in many ways it is what we have been seeking all along. Our bruised and battered city screams from the top of her lungs; her history is hidden in the abandoned house, the abandoned hospitals and the derelict amusement halls, she is anything but an abandoned city. This has created an urbex (urban exploring) fascination that inspires film, photography and art.
These are modern ruins; this is a slightly contradictory phrase, but that is the key to understanding their historical fascination. They are not dead fragments of a previous society or civilisation; they are glimpses of our current way of life: merely rewound 20 or 50 years. They, not only allow us to feel an intimate human connection with those who have come before, but also they beg us to think about where we are going next.
This is why we live our life by these three words.
Explore. Light. Live.
By Billy Campbell