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Unruly Pitch

Project: Other


A collaboration with Chris Speed, Chris Barker and Anais Moisy. Commissioned by John O'Shea for the National Football Museum exhibition Out of Play through a residency with the Uppies and Downies mass football game in Workington.

Unruly Pitch is a new project to digitally map one of England's last remaining mass-football games. Using GPS devices, the movement of players is recorded and visualised revealing an intense game without rules, using the streets, becks and woodland of Workington as the football pitch.

To make the work we invited six Uppies and Downies players who were willing to be tracked with a GPS watch. The only way to attach the watches was to their ankles which would leave their hands free to grab the ball in the scrum. We also filmed parts of the game using a GoPro camera from the Lancaster University mobilities lab. After the game we interviewed four of the people we had tracked, asking them to describe the game and what it meant to them and to Workington. The final work is in three parts, an embossed replica football, a map of the unruly pitch that the game was played over, and a video using the animated GPS data to reveal the close up video of the action in the scrum.

Blog post by Anais Moisy including the video work.

Thanks to: Glen Adams, Jamie Beaumont, Joe Clark, Richard Hodgson, Andrew Mitchell, Dean Norris and Nathan Shepherd.
Effective start/end date1/03/1516/11/15

Research outputs