Tag Archives: London

Writing on the wall…?


The cost of human irresponsibility… [John Callaway 2019]

Some time in the 1970’s I remember watching a TV programme called The Stone Tape”, a BBC drama by Nigel Kneale. The basic premise was that stone blocks can store sounds and images from an earlier time. A team of scientists working in an abandoned mansion to develop a new recording medium discovers that one of the rooms, considered for decades to be haunted, may be made of a type of stone that can store sounds and images.

Quite possibly informed to some degree by The Stone Tape Theory, which suggested (amongst other things) that there is an “ether” and “vibration” around certain objects and structures that causes “memory transference” of the past to human beings sensitive to those vibrations. Moist rocks seemed to be the best conductors of this old energy in these theories – such as dank old abandoned buildings as well as forests and rivers – but the conditions under which such a Stone Tape may ‘replay’ and how much it records, or chooses to play back, is a mystery….

There’s less of a mystery to this piece of art work that I happened upon in the Leake Street Tunnel a few months ago. Probably painted over by now…but something that may come back and haunt us a few generations down the line…

And the quote, which I can’t find a citation for, and therefore probably the artist’s (PAD?) words, bears closer scrutiny…

“The cost of human responsibility is the exhaustion and extinction of others…”