In 2006, Mark Power embarked on a trip across England with friend, collaborator, and poet, Daniel Cockrill. Stopping at a range of towns and cities along the way, they set out to better understand the rise of nationalism in the United Kingdom, as well as notions of ‘Englishness’, a subject that was widely discussed in the media at that time. Power explains: “As time progressed we witnessed our country slide into recession and the government introduce austerity measures, although little seemed to alter in the fabric of the landscape.” Although their project was concluded in 2010 with an exhibition in London, it wasn’t until 2016 that the pair decided to self-publish the book under the title Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment.

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