Monday, March 31, 2014

My City is not Your City

UnSYSTEM: Wiki page on open-source cities.

Related? Brighton talk next week on an API for a city.

This week's purchase: Paris as Gameboard - Man Ray's collection of Atget's photos exploring another Paris.

What role do/can surrealism, psychogeography, street photography and haiku play in re-admitting and re-building the urban world? How can we reshape our economies, our lifestyles, our dependencies, through picking apart the routes we take every day and the cracks we prefer to ignore?

Here's one of my favourite graf pieces in Brighton:


It's on my way to work, if I choose to go up these steps. I doubt many tourists have ever seen it. But it exists. With a pipe through the middle, and surrounded by steps. It is beautiful. Legally, the steps are private property - there are warning signs.

(Digression: See the Sinna One site here.)

Are data, photos, haiku all just shards and aspects of how each of us see this single city, like the angle of incidence each of see a rainbow at? How can I be sure that if I go for a walk with you, we go for the same walk? Or more importantly, how can I be sure we go for a different walk?

What messages do we leave to each other? What subconscious signposts and invisible guides do/can we embed into the paths we take? How can I tell you which way to go; what I felt here; who I am now because I was here?

And to bring it back to where I set out, how can we make a better world from it?

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