5.17.2010

embodied Tim Knowles

Here's a fun post I found on F.A.D. (Free Association Design).

The post is about an artist named Tim Knowles and his work exploring and experiencing the city and space more broadly.

I like the long exposure adventures across fields at night.
And the windwalks he takes and subsequently maps.
More Tim Knowles and a whole whack of interesting projects here.

Dude draws with trees!
That's all I have. Time for shower and bed. Suffice to say lots of people are searching for their bearings in the world, trying to represent themselves and their embodied wanderings. My data collection continues apace and given all the juicy creative outputs that are around, eventually I'll come up with something to do with it!

Oh, and clown is fun. I need to come up with a 1-2 minute presentation for Wednesday. Nothing yet, but something clever this way comes no doubt.

5.12.2010

and that other thing

First this link. It's a show entitled Whose Map is it? I don't know the answer, but it's a bunch of people subverting "the socio-political structures and cultural hierarchies that traditionally inform mapmaking." Sounds like something I'd try to do.

Anyway...someone should send me to London.

Also, for those who follow the ol' tweet machine I promised a tale from yesterday that I forgot to include in my thrilling recounting of my walk.

Leaving the practice space I saw a pretty lady across Ossington, heading north while I strode south.

I crossed the road and as I did I glanced back, catching her making a similar neck rotation (romantic notions just ooze from my word choices).

Who knows why I caught her eye, the point is it happened. And yes, she might have been looking past me, but what's the point in assuming that?

The glance-back-sync-up is always fun, although I never know quite what to do with it.

In this case my response to the situation was two-fold. Step one involved mumbling babe, babe, babe under my breath as I continued walking, passing other people on the sidewalk. Step two was me thinking I should probably look back again, because if one glance-back-sync-up is fun, a double whammy would probably be ├ępoustouflant (it's French, look it up).

So I looked, and I couldn't see her because the girl who I had just passed, while mumbling babe of course, was blocking my sight line. Also, lady the deuce doing the blocking had turned to look at me for my second glance-back-sync-up in a row.

Two in a row!

So what if the second was unintentional on my part. She now has a tale of passing romance to tell, or she's writing an entry on her blog...The Weirdos I See Outside CAMH.

5.11.2010

a walk

Just walked Daydream to band practice in Clint's space. It was my first time going there and it's pretty fantastic. Apparently formerly a wood workshop, with low ceiling and a general crap feel, now, and increasingly so, a cool venue with proper ventilation, sound-proofing and a middle of upgrading feel.

I'm now having ideas for a show I could put on. I still don't think my performance is anything people would make a special effort to come to, but I'm thinking if I can get a few more of my maps finished, and some maps from my collection presented/mounted, I might be able to at least provide the backdrop for an interesting spectacle.

Nothing much to say about the walk except for a few things.

One: Daydream's off the cuff suggestion about me getting a pedometer makes me think I should get a pedometer. Easily incorporated into my data collection which is right now a lot of words. I can send daily ped.dates on twitter or here. Ped.dates being updates but for your feet and from the future.

Two: Bought some scooby road atlases.

Three: Drum circle starts tonight apparently, despite the rain. I realized it's just a group improv activity where group-think is responsible for what's happening, when to speed up, stop, etc.

Four: Stopped to watch a ladies softball game. It's interesting to watch people playing in the cold rain for no 'reason'.

But they have plenty of reason, of course. It's their thing. The thing they do to get away from work or family or whatever. They hit the ball, run the bases and cheer each other on with classic phrases like 'good eye' and 'way to waste that one', as well as a never-ending stream of platitudes telling whomever that they're doing great.

It's nice.

And it's interesting, seeing those ladies. Ladies whose body types would leave me, in passing, assuming little more than a walk from the couch to the fridge as exercise for the week. Let's be happy we aren't all so judgmental. They swung with intent, ran the bases, played hard and then, I assume, went home cold, wet, but surely satisfied.

People are weird.

Tomorrow if I see one of the softball players I'm likely to look past without a second thought. But tonight, with the steady rhythmic worship of the drum circle coming from the dog bowl, their patch of illumination in an otherwise dark, cold park drew me in and I watched. Pitches hummed, bats cracked balls, the rain was back-lit as it fell through the lights, while the team in grey had a tidy inning, scoring 3 runs.

5.10.2010

space and time

Went to Kingston this weekend on a spur of the moment road trip with Entire Cities. They really need to update their Myspace.

Anyway, post show, sitting on a porch, time and space struck me. As in, I have spent a lot of my life in Kingston. I have walked through the park I was looking at too many times to count. I even have a vague memory of attending a party in the house I stayed on Saturday night. Yet sitting on that porch it was all different.

It's true, I have geographic knowledge of the city and it grants me an ease of mobility I would be without if it was first time visiting. But all the extraneous things - emotion and life...context - are different and that makes the place unique to this visit.

A memory of wandering to the farmers market through the park on a Saturday morning holds a different meaning in my life than this Saturday did; observing the same park at 3 in the morning after driving from Toronto, watching friends play a show, lugging a guitar amp from the bar and having a shared futon to look forward to upstairs.

Different.

The next day we went to a new little grocery store at Barrie and Clergy that specializes in local nummies. The building a dirty convenience store when I inhabited the geography last. Ms. Kelly, who was kind enough to let us hunker at her place the night before, works there, so we all trundled over to carry out chairs, set-up tomato plant displays, and so forth. The place has the same swinging, prison-like solid slab of steel for a door, but inside instead of under-priced pop there were enormous carrots and the best custard doughnuts I have ever eaten.
Space and time, time and space, and enormous carrots.

data maps of the Brit election

See how much fun data can be!
The Guardian has made these awesome maps with their data.

They've also done some fun stuff with the data and listed it here.

Or if it tickles your fancy you can get an entire spreadsheet with all the data here. Votes, swing that took place...anything you could want!

My data collection is coming along. So far a bunch of street names, but it's a start.

Also, isn't The Guardian just an awesome news entity? The things you can do with a little distance from the market and its profit generating mindset.

(Also, more here.)


5.09.2010

Bhutan jacket

There was a guy wearing a Bhutanese jacket at No Frills today.

That is to say it was a jacket coloured as a Bhutanese flag and it said Bhutan.

I tried to take a picture but was being watched too closely. Also, I was there late and didn't want to waste time lest they close the shop as I was choosing between tins of beans.

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck may be finally trying to make contact.

Call me Dragon King!

5.04.2010

tracerouting with gps

This video was done over 5 years and 8000km by a cyclist who had a GPS affixed to his person at all times.


Originally found here.

Pretty neat.

I have some ideas about making maps based on my movements throughout the city.

Initially they were about tracing my meanderings onto an already drawn map, but that quickly shifted to something like this where the city, or at least my city, emerges from a blank canvas. The second idea seems much more suited to encouraging discussion on what a city really is.

Can you consider it a part of your city if you've never seen it? Maps give the impression of knowledge...how is that knowledge compromised by walking a street again and again? Never having actually been somewhere? Only having driven a road, never walked? ...And so on.

My mapping project also leads to all sorts of fun considerations around how to map my movement. Just a foot map? If it includes cycling or public transit how are those recognized? Do I try to draw the map to account for speed? For time travelled? Distance? For experience and depth of engagement with a route or destination?

I think the solution to all that might be to simply start a journal, or just have a sheet of paper on my room wall where I make notes whenever I get home. Recording my movements, modes of transport, experiences had or shared...whether I was walking alone or with others is a good stat too.

Or I could cease being Ludditic and get a GPS machine of my own...along with a notebook for all the mushy non-scientific stuff.

Anyway, the point is collecting the data.

And the video also made me realize why facebook, google, etc are all excited about data. Data is the hard part. Once you have it, there are all sorts of things you can do with it, but you have to collect it first. As I consider this project the data collection is the part that strikes me as daunting...the aftermath of expressing it in whatever form or forms, that's just exciting. There are so many ways to go about it and if I mess it up or do something I don't like the data will still be there.

No one will possess more data on me than me!!! I'll commercialize it and make so much money.

Clowning tomorrow. Also a full day at work. Good times I hope.