billingham / november, 2019

On my first weekend in the US, I took a town car from Manhattan to Newark airport. As we hit the Turnpike’s miles of steel and brick and smoke, (think: opening minute of The Sopranos) I joked to the driver, a middle-aged Russian man, that it felt like home. It took me the rest of the drive to explain.

The look and feel and talk of hard industrial graft is deeper in my system than anything the chimneys spewed out. The bridges and old works may be steampunk, but take the trunk road to the coast at night, and the lights lay bare something that forces itself beyond modernity. And, dear god, did we have sunsets.

Which is just to point to this interview with Ridley Scott, in the knowledge that, like him, I’ve seen the first light from the flaring.