lørdag 22. mai 2010
Akerselva runs through the city and divides the area in two, one part west and one part east. The river is the origin of the area, the factories where here due to electricity (waterfalls, sewage, transport, etc.) and the housing areas got established on the outer boundaries of these. Today, the factories are outside of the city and the river is turned into a recreational area. The green areas facing the river inhibits a large potential for a more vibrant use, but one can only access the river from the eastern side, from the western side the riverbanks are gated lunchareas for the businesses residing in the nearby buildings. This denial of access turns the river into a view-something to look at but not to use.
Some parts of the city are more reluctant to have both a shift in appearence and tempo on the street. This must be said to be the fact for Grønland, here, more than any other place in the city, smalltime vendors tend to break the building envelope and decrease the barriers between private/ public through expantion of their businesses from inside the shops to the street. This unregulated use of public space may be looked upon as a commercialization of public areas (the streets should be a free space etc...) ,but, in this case I prefer to look at it as something that helps the streets to stay bizzy and vibrant, through this push/pull the shopowners contributes in giving the streets a constant reapperance. The actual use of space far exceeds the citycouncils regulated/designated use of the streets and contributes in keeping the city alive.
torsdag 20. mai 2010
In a cityscape, the secret getaways becomes important, this is the places where the "non-people" sleep, eat and live theire lives, under the bridge, in an abandoned building, between the roads and under the trees. Seeked out a few of these places and checked out the living conditions for these unwanted members of society...
Went around yesterday, made a mapping of the children spots, ie. kindergardens, playgrounds, park areas, footbal fields, "mystery" places etc..
What really hit me is not the lack of organized, planned places for kids to play, but, the area is full of hidden gems, small getaway places where the kids can hide, construct theire own reality and play alone and without interruption. Some would call this an hazardous freedom, but for these kids that are used to this area and its norms, its an adventureus world...
In connection with the celebration of 17.th of may, the whole of the Vaterland Parc went from beeing a drugspot to become an explosion of vivid colours, sounds, movements and joy. The tivoli came to town, an example of intervention through activity, presence and new buildings added to the site, introduction of a new program that totally changed the area. When the tivoli left two days later, the disorder re-established itself and everything went back to normal, the junkies found their old spot, the sellers theire costumers, the beggars theire patrons etc...
mandag 10. mai 2010
Started a new way to map the visual add-ons to the buildings in the area. Is there a connection between visuall add-ons (commercial signs, roadsigns, graffiti etc..) and tempo, temporality, action, etc...
A grid 1x1 cm is put on top of the 1:1000 map, each facade is thouroughly examined. The first column makes up the shopowners/buildingowners add-ons to the existing facade. This is put up in order to gain attention and costumers, the rule seems to be that the one that screams highest gets the cash. The actual number of signs makes up the hight of the column, one cm pr. sign. Secondly, the column shows the number of "official signs, i.e. the ones that shows important information regarding the actual use of the area, the rules etc., this is another layer of information and is put up with no other aim than to secure a well-functioning society/infrastructure. The third column on top shows the actual number of tags/graffiti on the building facades. These are made by people that seemingly has no right to the facade, its an individuals intervention on private owned buildings and this defragmentizes the boundaries between public/private. This is also connected to the broken window theories, can I through an abstract presentation of this data see more clues to how this relates to our interpretation of the cityscape?
torsdag 6. mai 2010
Oslo Prison is the biggest prison in Norway with 392 prisoners and 367 employees.
The prison opened its gates for its guests in 1844 and is built accordingly to the "Philadelphia System" which meant that the prisoners were isolated in solitary confinement. Nowadays this has changed dramatically and the system now operates with a totally different approach; "There is a greater tendency to keep prisons open [to the public] so that people can see inmates as human beings they can identify with," says Nils Christie, professor of criminology from the University of Oslo. Nowadays the government emphasize on seeing prisons as part of normal society and the need for reintegration into society rather than the need for punishment.
With such a massive building in such a central place, and the fact that out of Grønlands population wich makes up 7788 inhabitants, the inmates makes up around 5% of the total population (not sure if they are included in the counts or not, but, they are allowed to vote and they do live and have their adress there...) Every once in a while the prison opens its doors for the public- so called open prison days- and try with events like this to be a part of the neighbourhood. The prison is seperated from the area with a huge wall, even though the distance seems short the gap is long. In front of the prison is the most public area of Grønland and the only open recreational area, the park where people sunbathe and have barbeques in the summertime. This makes an interesting juxtaposition between the closed and the open.
The Guardian-article about political prison debate
Received the book you recomended; Practices of looking , an introduction to visual culture by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright, last night and started to read it this morning. This made me more aware of the fact that a lot of the secret information at Grønland is actually displayed visually allready and that a further mapping of this will enhance the project. The signs in the area differ alot from the rest of the city, the visual display speaks a totally different language than the "normal", mundane norwegian/american style and this may be the reason why we interpret the area more "foreign" than it actually is. So, this needs to be looked more into.
Picture above is from the entrance door at the Mosque, a different language, the door handels make an upside down cross-is it a secret message;take that infedels!
onsdag 5. mai 2010
tirsdag 4. mai 2010
Friction is the "evil" of all motion. No matter which direction something moves in, friction pulls it the other way. Move something left, friction pulls right. Move something up, friction pulls down.
In Europe, uprisings, riots and tense situations are quite common and is somewhat regarded as a natural way to protest. In our neighbouring countries, Sweden and Denmark, riots in so-called immigrant areas happens all the time, its a matter of letting the government know that they exist and will not tolerate the neglect of their presence. This is not the case in Oslo, the tensions are not existing in the same way, is this because its nothing to complain about or is the norwegian society so frictionless that it simply turns people from beeing active participants into passive observants.
I quote from my newlyfound favourite group on facebook;"Det er om å gjøre å være bevisst antirasist og si det til seg selv hver dag."
Nice thought but, if you get mad, why not be mad?
mandag 3. mai 2010
Could we look at cars as rolling, ephemeral buildings in the city, constantly changing the scenery, meeting points and sounds? In contemporary ecoarchitecture people try to brand cars as something devilish, but, as allways, theres plenty of sides to a story, a car is either a bad thing or a good thing, but, is simply a car. The problem occur when its to many of them and they become occupants, without them we might risk a flat cityscape excisting only of buildings and people, we need the annoyance of the car and the hidden potentiality wich comes from it.
Local knowledge is the most important feature for a criminal use of a city. In order to get in, do the job job and dissapear, the criminal must leverage their knowledge of their environment for their own protection. How to get through a building without using doors? How to use different parts of the cityscape as camoflage and protection, find out about the city´s weakness in order to avoid detection? One way is to hide, another is to cause a diversion/distraction.
søndag 2. mai 2010
Walking to school, I stumbled upon The Joker. He was lying trashed out on the street in front of me, a broken soul waiting to be picked up. Last night he was the midnight talker, The Jesterer, today he´s just a washed up joke. Many people exclude him totally from the game, but, to some of us, he is THE ONE, THE WILD CARD, the one we so desperatly bet all our guts on. The Joker can be extremely beneficial, or extremely harmful. He is THE SPECIAL ONE, there should be more of him lying around.
A library is said to be the archive of the common knowledge in society, the place where we stack up the the thoughts we want to secure for the aftermath.
It´s estimated that the worlds great libraries are doubling in size every 14 years, a rate of 14000 percent each century. Before the big fire in the library in Alexandria in year 30 AD, it contained 40000 books. In the early 1300s, the Sorbonne Library in Paris contained only 1338 books and yet was thought to be the largest library in Europe.
Today there are several libraries in the world with an inventory of well over 8 million books each.
The largest library in the world is the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
The British Library, the world's other great library, houses a collection comprising of 150 million items as against the 130 million housed by the Library of Congress.
However in terms of shelf space the Library of Congress shelves occupy a space of about 850 km while the British Library shelf space is 625 km long. The Library of Congress' collection of books is in the range of 29 million while the number of books of the British Library is about 25 million.
What we collect, archivate, and pass on is never the truth, its allways a subjective act.
Is the library just another place where we bury the lie?
The discussions around property are one of the most ambivalent in todays media.
Throughout history, mankind have used property as a hierarchical tool in controll of the masses-this is mine-not yours, stay in your place etc..
Traditional principles of property rights include:
1. control of the use of the property.
2. the right to any benefit from the property.
3. a right to transfer or sell the property.
4. a right to exclude others from the property.
Traditional property rights do not include:
1. uses that unreasonably interfere with the property rights of another private party.
2. uses that unreasonably interfere with public property rights, including uses that interfere with public health, safety, peace or convenience
With the technology of today the discussion is quite different, once something is digitalized it doesnt make sense to claim proprietary ownership of it-IT´S A COPY.
In the FLOSS system, it is a given fact that property is theft, you can only own the background content, i.e. the code, not the "final" product because this is everchanging, the traditional order and the barrier between product and byproduct is torn down.
In order to allow for invention, the traditional claim of the property must be revitalized, like a remixed tune, the "thief" becomes the developer.
How to deal with this in a city where the boundaries between yours and mine are the glue that holds the society together, that differentiates people and make them care for their surroundings. Are there any clues on the street, the interaction, that can inform us of another way of thinking? At Grønland, the idea of a controlled ownership seems to be less abundant than in the rest of the city, could this be because of the tempo, the compactness of people on the street and in the fact that people are more tolerant, the ephemerality is more visible, are the facades of the buildings and the air in this part of town more public here because of this? It seems at least that the traditional property view is less of an issue here than other places.
lørdag 1. mai 2010
Current estimates of brain capacity range from 1 to 1000 terabytes! "Robert Birge (Syracuse University) who studies the storage of data in proteins, estimated in 1996 that the memory capacity of the brain was between one and ten terabytes, with a most likely value of 3 terabytes. Such estimates are generally based on counting neurons and assuming each neuron holds 1 bit. Bear in mind that the brain has better algorithms for compressing certain types of information than computers do."
"The human brain contains about 50 billion to 200 billion neurons (nobody knows how many for sure), each of which interfaces with 1,000 to 100,000 other neurons through 100 trillion (10 14) to 10 quadrillion (10 16) synaptic junctions. Each synapse possesses a variable firing threshold which is reduced as the neuron is repeatedly activated. If we assume that the firing threshold at each synapse can assume 256 distinguishable levels, and if we suppose that there are 20,000 shared synapses per neuron (10,000 per neuron), then the total information storage capacity of the synapses in the cortex would be of the order of 500 to 1,000 terabytes. (Of course, if the brain's storage of information takes place at a molecular level, then I would be afraid to hazard a guess regarding how many bytes can be stored in the brain. One estimate has placed it at about 3.6 X 10 19 bytes.)"
Some years ago, the National Science Foundation made some statics about how many thoughts per day an acverage person has. The results vary a whole lot, depending on work, background, culture etc… We think 1000 thoughts per hour. When we write, we think 2500 thoughts in an hour. The average person thinks about twelve thousand thoughts per day. A deeper thinker, according to this report, puts forth fifty thousand thoughts daily. Reading other statics give us approximitly the same answers, the human brain thinks on average from 12.000-50.000 different thoughts each day.
Its also viable to think that the rate of thoughts has increased over the last century and this is due to the fact that life is getting more complex, daily routines more tight, and information needs to be processed much quicker. Another fact is the constant bombardment of the information that surrounds us, the new media hype. However, there seems to be few resources to support this, or discuss other possibilities. It seems that the thoughts are constant, the shift is only in the focus.
Observing a couple chatting at a cafe; every fifth minute or so, one of them constantly shift attention between the conversation and his cell phone. When one talks, its normal to glance away to look at the surroundings or other people every once in a while, but whats different now is the shift in attention, from a virtual conversation to a actual mode of presence. In how many places can we be at the same time? What happens when we have multiple attention points, dealing with more conversations at the same time, using different mediums to conversate? The intimacy of a conversation does not any longer require people to be next to one another. How to prepare for this multilayered communication?
Photographer Michael Wesley has been inventing and refining techniques for using extremely long camera exposures to take compelling photographs. Through the use of filters and a very small aperature (yet one that is standard in a professional camera lens), he is able to diminish the amount of light hitting the negative to the point where he can make the exposure last many thousands of times longer than we expect.In 2001, as The Museum of Modern Art was preparing for its ambitious construction and renovation project, it recognized in Wesely's work an unequalled opportunity to document that project in an artistically serious way. In August of that year, Wesely set specially designed cameras in longterm installations in and around the Museum, choosing his locations for the views they provided of the construction. Nearly three years later, the images are only recently complete, and their pentimento-like strata of transparencies and overlays render the construction project's evolution in time as a dense and delicate network in space. Through his work he captures the unstableness and constant rebuilding of the city and time, this process gives us clues to how time is relevant to change.
torsdag 29. april 2010
At facebook, a site dealing with "the love" of Grønland exist, people write about their love towards the neighbourhood, posting beatiful pictures to show the perfect multicultural world they think Grønland is. What we need is even more tension, what happens when we start playing a game with them, fooling around with their perception, will they even notice or care about it at all. My newly found friend at facebook, miss Lena Linares, will throw the dice and start the game, mohahaha
Two of the most feared public buildings in the city are located at Grønland. The Prison of Oslo and the Police Headquarters, in the first you end up if you fuck up, in the latter you end up if you fuck up a little. (Prison vs. Arrest.) They are out of touch with the sphere they coexist with, the scale is to big and they create a distance to the rest of the area, becoming isolated islands of power. The authorities will allways have this need of showing off the structures of power, but, in this case the distance tend to get a litle bit too much.
What are the implications regarding the governments negative charachter, when the authorities distance itself so strongly from the rest of the neighbourhood? The amount of money spent on police increases each year, the proximity wich comes with police foot-patrols gets decreased each year. Result; the broken window theory, mistrust towards the power, mistrust towards the ones that are their to secure equal right to society.
Trying to get into the debate about information, displays and whatnot, it seems like alot of people are aiming for a society where the most relevant is the ambient information. Dreams about dynamic signs with correlated data gathered from the local area, then displayed at larger than life billboards. This type of "information display" is just a hidden agenda for commercialization of the cityscape, it all ends up like a Hollywood flick, like in Minority Report, Tom Cruise runs around, bombarded by ads tailored to his place, time and identity, its a real world horror house.
onsdag 28. april 2010
the stash of hash...
Mr. Harry Jones...
need for speed...
the thrill of the pill...
After working at Grønland at a bar for quite some time I have made some interesting encounters with strangers, people I really dont wanna be friends with but at the same time needed to hook up with in order to see ”the secret societies”.
Last monday I hooked up with ”Mike”, a local heroin dealer, pushing at street level.
Mike is an infamous character working at Vaterland, one of the main spots for the heroin trade in Oslo.
Mike wanted to show me how the drugtrade worked and agreed to help me score some dope. Within the short period of an hour we bought heroin, amphetamine, funky blue pills and some hash. Due to implications on the criminal consequences, Mike was bying the dope while I was witnessing.
It was an interesting experience, now I got the first hand information I need in order to map this part of the chaos. Prices do vary, for a user dose of heroin the price was 250, amphetamine set us back a 100, the pills were 20 each and the hash was 100 a gram. The hard drugs was bought at Vaterland from a white dealer, while the hash was bought from illegal african immigrants innside the metrostation at Grønland.
Later we tried to score some khat but the somalies dealing the drug Grønlandstorget was suspicious towards non-somalians bying the drug, so the idea of bying this got abolished. I left ”Mike” with the drugs for him to enjoy alone, heading back to Bergen. Will hook up with him again and talk more about the trade, the the dealers and the customers when I return to Oslo for the second part of the analysis.
Even though the police do their best to stop this and interupte this type of affairs it was extremely easy to get the stash we wanted. A junkie is a junkie 365-24/7 so the business is never closed.
No matter what you think of drugs, I like the idea of a selfsustainable economy operating within its own context and by its own complex system.
NIVAs surveys from the water treatment plants in Oslo in 2007 indicates 15 cocaine doses per 1000 inhabitants per day. This gives us 8700 doses of cocaine in Oslo snorted up the nose every day. Cocaine addicts stand out from the users of heroin and amphetamines due to the fact that they often only use the stuff in the context of a party (some party everyday…). For the users of heroin the party is definitely over. It is estimated that between 8,200 and 12,500 inhabitants in Oslo is addicted to heroin and amphetamine and their injection of the drugs is extremely harmful to health.
An average user of heroin need on average 760 NOK a day to meet their as an amphetamine user can operate on 290 NOK. (Figures from SIRUS 2004)
- We are at Grønland metro station daily and arrest people. Steadily. Every day, all year round, 365 days a year, we arrest ten people in our circle of drug crime, "says Stølen, chief of police at Grønland Police Station.
Households in this country used in 2008 about 0.2 percent of the budget on prostitution and drugs, according to new figures from Statistics Norway.
SSB report an increase in imports of prostitution services to Norway during the period from 2002-2008, while in the same period there has been an almost unchanged value of what the SSB calling the Norwegian production. The services of the prostitutes have become cheaper in value, average price for a quickie on the streetmarket is 500 NOK, in the brothels the average is 1500 NOK, there are currently around 1,300 prostitutes in Oslo, all according to Prosenteret, the organization of the prostitutes.
37% of the population says they support a legalization of brothels in Oslo. (SENTIO)
In Oslo you can divide the prostitution market in 5 different categories;
1: Street Hookers
2: Brothels/ Massage Parlors
3: Private appartments
4: Escorte services
5: Hotels/ Restaurants/ Clubs
By 2009, the purchase of sexual services became prohibited by law in Norway, resulting in fines. This has had little effect on street prostitution and it is still very visible in the streets.
10 % of the prostitutes are ethnic norwegians, 90 % are foreigners, the biggest groups are Nigerians, Estonians, Thailandese and Bulgarians.
This is my record of the observation made 24.04.10, saturdaynight (primetime for drunks) and by googling the net, finding the brothels.
Facebook’s Open Graph initiative could conceivably create an Internet where digital music services will know each user’s musical preferences the minute they navigate to their site, and automatically cue up the playlists, recommendations and music geared toward them without going through today’s painful process of “teaching” the service to recognize their tastes. That’s because Open Graph is designed to track those tastes on every other site users are on. With Open Graph, Site A learns from the activity on Site B. That’s what’s missing today on the Internet and that’s what Open Graph is trying to provide. If we disregard the problematics concerning ones privacy and how the developers and owners of sites like this misuse this information to get more cash we see the beginning of a new form of recognition, a responsive system that changes accordingly to your taste and thus reinvents oneself.
mandag 26. april 2010
To ensure the existing vegetation to global disasters such as nuclear accidents, plant diseases and other threats that can destroy plants, up to three million different seeds are stored in the permafrost in Svalbard. The norwegian government have created and built up the worlds largest colection of seeds. Gene banks around the world sends duplicates of all of its seeds to Svalbard. Thus, seeds from around the world is secured for the future. The vault is built 130 meters above sealevel, if all the ice in the world would have melted, the maximum rise of the sealevel will be 75 meters, meaning the vault is safe. To secure all this seeds for eternity is then, as done here, an easy task, human kind have quite an understanding of the worlds plants.
Then, what about the types of information we want to store, like the technological one.
The short term storage is quite easy, the problem starts to occur when we need to save this info long term. The best solution so far is the archival quality compact disk, and this is expected to last for app. 100 years. The other way to deal with the long term storage is UVC (universal, virtual, computer) wich require data to migrate from one system to another, allways changing the storage room. So, the securing and storing of data has become a Sisyphys task, a continious rearrangement of the data, moving bits from one system to the next with no end in sight. Eternity has now become procedural.
Together, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 -- twin probes launched on September 5, 1977 and August 20, 1977 -- represent the most successful planetary exploration mission of all time. In their flybys of all the outer planets except Pluto, and dozens of other planetary bodies, the Voyagers set the benchmark in planetary exploration on an undertaking that has come to be deemed as one of NASA's greatest triumphs.
The two 1-ton spacecraft returned more knowledge-changing data than any mission before or since: stunning photographs that consistently revealed our solar system to be much more diverse, complex, and beautiful than anyone ever imagined, and a veritable bounty of scientific information to go along with them. On board each Voyager spacecraft is a time capsule: a 12-inch, gold-plated copper disk carrying spoken greetings in 55 languages from Earth's peoples, along with 115 images and myriad sounds representing our home planet.
Even now, both Voyager spacecraft are still communicating with Earth. Many of their instruments are still functioning, as the two spacecraft head in different directions out of the solar system on their Interstellar Mission. Voyager 1 has now passed the termination shock, where the solar wind abruptly slows down as it pushes against the interstellar medium. On the 17. of February 1998 the Voyager 1 took over for Pioneer 10 as the artificial body farthest from Earth. The distance of the probe was at the time of 10.4 billion kilometers, and the radio signals used 9 hours and 36 minutes to cover this distance.
This Guardian article reports on the Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Project.”Heading the project is Tokyo University professor Ken Sakamura -who, with the aid of the Japanese government, is well on his way to building the world’s first truly public ubiquitous computer network. It’s “an infrastructure for the 21st century”, he says, adding that it will see our everyday landscape guide us, inform us and generally hold our hand in an increasingly puzzling world.Sakamura foresees scenarios resembling those in the film Minority Report, where the hero passes intelligent ad boards and shops in the mall which acknowledge him by name and try to flog him stuff. However the real-life version, in Japan at least, will be less intrusive, Sakamura insists.
“With this system the user is in complete control. As a user of such a network we will see our enviros us,” Sakamura says. “We seek only to chip or tag objects and the environment, never people. With this system you can choose to read which you wish. The ubiquitous communicator - the pocket device you use to read the information around you - CAN ONLY READ AND WRITE, which means YOUR IDENTITY IS PROTECTED.”
This is an important fixture of projects like this, one must divide between protecting peoples private sphere and at the same time allow enough information to exist in order to make the complexity of it work.
Japan’s government sees enormous benefits from making every object readable this way. Improved guidance for the blind is one, painless interactive guidance for the tourists Japan desperately yearns for is another, and even salarymen and befuddled gaijin reporters trying to get around hostile cities will benefit from the scheme. Working with Sakamura’s outfit and Japan’s top technology companies such as Hitachi, the country’s Information Ministry has just spent ¥1bn (NOK 45millions) on a month-long field trial that covered several blocks of the famous Ginza shopping district.During the trial last month, PDA-style communicators were handed out to reporters and tourists, who were then free to wander around picking up information on their PDAs as they went.
Anyone emerging with a communicator at the Ginza metro station, for example, had a 3D, real-time image of the landscape above them beamed to their PDA, making it a cinch to see which exit you might want if you were headed, say, for the Mitsukoshi department store. Head towards the store itself and RFID tags in the building sense your presence then zap to your PDA a woman’s image welcoming you to the store. To learn more about this Tokyo landmark’s history, touch the screen.In the future, commercial applications could include pushing you news of sales if you have registered interest, or even digital money-off coupons to tempt you inside.Getting commerce involved is important, says Sakumura, as the cost of building the infrastructure will be gargantuan”.
Tokyo ubiquitous technology project