DISAPPEARING TOWNS:
In Search of Oldton

Tim Wright will be touring the UK during 2004 in search of Oldton and uncovering along the way the possible causes of its demise.

Working with groups and individuals he wants to build up a substantial online archive showing people taking their leave of a place or a person. Tim wants to elicit a range of personal stories about 'saying goodbye' and 'moving on'.

Through texts, pictures, videos and oral testimony, Tim and the people he meets will build up a digital archive of remembrances, tributes to numerous places and situations left behind.

These will then be edited and shaped so that they form the core of the Oldton online archive - a place where people from around the world will also be able to submit evidence in the form of short text descriptions, voices, phone messages, historical notes, photographs and video clips.

Between 1st April and 31st August 2004 a detailed picture of Oldton will emerge through a collaboration between Tim and his audience.

A map of the town will be deduced and drawn from all the submitted 'evidence'. And the people who have submitted evidence will themselves become the citizens of an imaginary town.

Through analysis and creative interpretation of this growing archive it will become possible to understand not only what Oldton looked like, but also why it disappeared; why day by day the inhabitants announced their farewells, packed up and left.

By the end of the project, Tim hopes to have co-ordinated the creation of a substantial online narrative about memory, loss and leaving, demonstrating how our cities and towns are at our mercy – how they shift and change and sometimes slip away entirely, depending on how we choose to treat them.