Six planning permissions for Ipswich

Planning permission signs punctuate the civic landscape. In each town they bear a different crest and address for the public to complain to. To misuse Felix Guattari they are the building’s “soul supplement”. Ghost-like they go mostly unseen or ignored but they can arouse ire in the populace. Walking around Ipswich you will see permission signs for new windows, for a change of use or an extension. Most are mundane but occasionally there will be plans for buildings for washing bodies or new places of worship. “Wondering Ipswich” is a series of speculative, even childish, planning permissions for various locations in the town centre. They include the installation of a particle accelerator under Christchurch park and a genetic petting zoo in the old art school. Each seeks to look beyond the everyday, to collapse fact and fiction in order to create a state of wondering.


Permissions2 from Alex Pearl on Vimeo.

 Planning Permission for Particle Accelerator, Ipswich 2018


As well as melancholia, there is no absence of humor on display here. In Wondering Ipswich (2018), the ubiquitous Mr. Pearl installed planning application posters throughout the town center for the construction of, amongst other things, a rooftop observatory (including planetarium and radio telescope) and a particle accelerator under the town's main park. Attracting the attention of local BBC Radio, an Ipswich councilor roundly condemned Pearl's actions, repeatedly stating: "I've never heard of Mr. Pearl." Impudently, Pearl recorded these words onto an edition of 20 novelty greeting cards and distributed them around the town.

Jonathan Field, "The Annual Ipswich Biennial", ARTPULSE MAGAZINE, 2018







Trips to the Moon, 2011, AA sign, Southend



Planning Permission, 2012, planning notice for erection of rocket gantry, laminated laser print, Bristol