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.