Our studio is currently focussing on retrieving specific examples / ‘situations’ involving codes (social, conduct, legal, regulatory, etc) from our experience of visiting Hackney Wick and the surrounding area last week.
This specific exploration looks at a historic event (Lammas Day, 1837) – that revealed a specific code about land use and human activity as directed by the temporal (in this case, a certain date in the year). I am interested here in how the production and use of space is affected both by social class, and the calendar…which itself is derived from a host of other social, cultural, religious and natural codes.
Lammas Day, 1837 – Temporal Change of Activity
Right up until the early parts of the 19th Century, the London Borough of Hackney was very much a rural place. By law, local landowners were allowed to farm – and recieve a return from – common land until the 1st August (Lammas Day), after which commoners could turn their animals out and take possession of anything remaining.
“There is a strong principle of English justice tied up in this – “debts and unresolved conflicts must not be allowed to linger on” past the quarter sessions.
It was deemed that however complex the case, however difficult to settle the debt, a reckoning has to be made and publicly recorded; for it is one of the oldest legal principles of this country that justice delayed is injustice.”
On the Way to the Postmodern – David J.A. Clines