Commission

Adam Chodzko

The Mysterious Return of the Fleet Spring Heads

Adam Chodzko, The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads, Estuary 2021. Photo: Rob Harris

Adam Chodzko, The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads, Estuary 2021. Photo: Rob Harris

Adam Chodzko, The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads, Estuary 2021. Photo: Rob Harris

Adam Chodzko’s The Mysterious Return of the Fleet Spring Heads is a science fiction audio walk carefully leading its audience on a special route in and around Northfleet. It’s a journey of strange inward and outward transformations through a place in an intense state of change. Diggers are busily reshaping Northfleet’s landscape, erasing the last traces of its cement industry and mutating the identity of its community.

Leading you through this unsettled landscape, The Mysterious Return of the Fleet Spring Heads ‘augmented reality’ soundtrack guides you to perceive new relationships between place, mind and body through its composition of vocal narration, instructions, music and sound.

The Mysterious Return of the Fleet Spring Heads is a revised, updated and restaged version of The Return of the Fleet Spring Heads – a work originally commissioned by Cement Fields as part of Estuary 2021 and presented during the festival in May and June 2021.

Both iterations of the work are an attempt to preserve what is disappearing by enhancing collective memory – each participant becoming a custodian of the soul of the Northfleet landscape. Every experience of the walk is unique as the radical transformations of landscape escalate hour by hour. Many of the narrative’s visual references, once true, are now buried under piles of rubble, as the bulldozers work to alter the audio’s truths, turning them to fiction.

Presented as part of Ebbsfleet Citizen Archive, Cement Fields’ community-led project capturing and preserving the varied stories and histories of the people and places of Ebbsfleet, Greenhithe, Swanscombe, and Northfleet as the area goes through a significant moment of change. The Mysterious Return of the Fleet Spring Heads culminates a series of walks that have explore these locations over the last 9 months.

The Mysterious Return of the Fleet Spring Heads was commissioned by Cement Fields and supported by Estuary Festival. Ebbsfleet Citizen Archive is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported using public funding by Arts Council England. With additional support from Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Gravesham Libraries, Dartford Museum and Libraries, and Kent Archives.