mandag 31. januar 2011


Seasonal occupants/ Follow the leader

When it rains it pours-rephrase that in a nordic manner; When it snows it builds. The police regulations state that the building owners themselves are responsible for keeping the boardwalks clean and free of ice while the city itself is responsible for the streets and walkingzones in the innercity. This mixture of public/private shared responsibillity has given the city a look which at best can be described as a quilted blanket, the minimizing of walkable areas caused by the power of nature is acting as the biggest occupant of public space but at the same time it is still acting as a live tracer; the routes people take and the decissions they take on theire way through the cityscape leaves a walked impression of the choiches beeing made, or, does it mean that the first person who walks through the streets after heavy snow makes decissions for everybody else to follow the next couple of days, ha, what made him a leader.

Enough is never enough..

Approximetly two years ago, chief of police; Arnstein Gjengedal promised the public to keep the streets of Grønland drug free, or as he stated; Enough is Enough! Like all other daring statements its a failure, or as I stated myself on this blog half a year ago; a user is a user 365,24/7. In a city there will allways be secret transactions and secret locations for doing illegal bizz, the only thing we can change about this is the way we regard this, if we chase these people away from a known locality theyll just find a new place for theire activities tomorrow. Whats bugging me about this is not the dealing of illegal substances, nor the appearence of the buyers/ users but, the media plays a big role in portraying the reallity of a neighbourhood; the constant focus on the problems instead of having a discussion around solutions. This link is from yesterdays aftenposten and is about the war on drugs at Grønland. Last year 737 persons where comprehended, half of them more than once. One out of two has either been rejected as an asylant or is living here without proper permit. 136 of them is enrolled as asylants, and for the rest, the story goes on…
According to the police; people from Algeria, Nigeria and Somalia are in the top three ranking of the arrests, these three countries are among the worst on the UNs list of Living Conditions (Somalia is not even on the list due to lack of data..).
Last year, the police expelled 189 of the arrested people in this neighbourhood back to theire country of origin. The questions that should arise then is not if these people are criminals or not, (of course they are when they have broken the laws), but what we should question is rather WHY they are there, on the streets, pushing dope under the bridge. There is a reason for everything but whats the reason for the constant witchhunt on the users and buyers and the will that some journalists have in making Grønland appear more dangerous than it really is? I know that rain sells better than sunshine, lets not hope that this also accounts for stigmatization…

A Maniacs Maze

Sometimes the fixation on different themes can lead you into unexpected findings like this one; Herman Webster Mudgett (its in the name really), better known as Dr.H.H.Holmes is known as one of the great serial killers of America, confessing 27 murders but belived to have killed as many as 200.
Whats interesting about Mr. Holmes is neither the murders nor the notority of the crime, but its the intricacy of the house (known as the haunted castle) he built in Chicago.The building was an imposing structure of three stories and a basement, with false battlements and wooden bay windows that were covered with sheet iron. There were over 60 rooms in the structure and 51 doors that were cut oddly into various walls. Holmes acted as his own architect for the place and he personally supervised the numerous construction crews, all of whom were quickly hired and fired (or killed), discharging them with great fury and refusing to pay their wages. Holmes repeatedly changed builders during the construction of the Castle so only he fully understood the design of the house, thus decreasing the chance of being reported to the police. The first floor of the building contained stores and shops, while the upper floors could be used for spacious living quarters. Holmes also had an office on the second floor, but most of the rooms were to be used for guests - guests that would never be seen again. Evidence would later be found to show that Holmes used some of the rooms as "asphyxiation chambers", where his victims were suffocated with gas. Other chambers were lined with iron plates and had blowtorch-like devices fitted into the walls. In the basement, the "doctor" installed a dissecting table and he constructed his own crematory. There was also an acid vat and pits filled with quicklime, where bodies could be conveniently disposed of. Despite the nasty fact that this house was the last haven for many people its still a story about architecture in the highest degree; a house designed for a purpose and satisfying the needs of the builder...

tirsdag 25. januar 2011

Back in the days, we had fun..

In 1905, just days before the great earthquake/ fire in San Francisco which virtually destroyed all the buildings in the city. This movie is capturing the chaotic, undisciplined streetlife, buzzling and vibrant compared to the restricted/ regulated scenes that was recaptured in 2005.
Like all people know, were safer now but, oh, its less dazzling for your imagination aint it?

A side by side comparison of the three main films of "A trip down Market St", done in real time each film starts at the correct point on the journey. The fourth is a 35mm hand cranked camera that filmed the scene in B&W along side the modern technology of the colour H.D camera in 2005.

The Labyrinth of IKEA

Came across this article in the dailymail the other day which thrilled me a little bit, lately Ive been intrigued by labyrinths, the enigmas of space, wich steps will lead you where, what decissions does one take, subdivisions of space and the entanglements we people tend to get caught in. Its about how the designers at Ikea have turned theire warehouses into massive labyrinths (not unlike the movie "The Cube") and totally have taken controll over the looted costumers. Not surprisingly, it works pretty damn well.
Exploration of these possibilities entails discovering previously unknown territory. By further studying the layouts of computergames such as Dungeons Masters and other likes (personally I know squat about computergames, but, its nice to watch theire layouts and willingness to establish new turfs, hierarchies and enigmas, so, I might be gamer one day) Ive tried to look into different ways to take controll or, the opposite- give the users a variety of choiches, and because of this one can find out
how they allways create new rooms and worlds to discover and thus make the player ( in a cityspace we would call him user maybe..) receive an "award" for his curiosity and his willingness to explore new territories.
However, for all this to feel like an accomplishment, there has to be a meaningful effort on the part of the players and a challenge on part of the DM. There can be no real exploration if the map isn't large enough or complex enough to allow failure, as in certain areas being missed. If encounters are presented one after another, there is no challenge and no accomplishment in this respect.(so they claim- I state: what happens when someone overrides this and doesnt play accordingly to the rules, i.e-in real life urban place its easier to make interventions.)
Will look further into this and see what happens when the well calculated rules of these games are transfered into a cityscape...

mandag 24. januar 2011


Hibernating means to pass the winter in a dormant or lethargic state. Animals that hibernate store body fat when food is plentiful. When food is scarce, they hibernate, living off their stored body fat.
Polar bears do not overwinter in dens like brown and black bears. Hibernation in the true sense of the word does not apply to polar bears.

Only pregnant females enter dens to give birth where they stay until the cubs are big enough to trek.
To build her den, the female scrapes a tunnel into the snow and digs two chambers, this technique is closely related to the igloos of the eskimoes, a shelter constructed out of snow to give protection from the snow, this is the ingenious part of it, turning a negative factor into a protective one.
Most polar bears remain active throughout the year.
They have the ability to reduce their metabolic rate when food is scarce and adjust it again when food is abundant.
Male and non-pregnant female polar bears do not hibernate, but can switch over to a "Walking Hibernation" when there is not enough food.
They slightly lower their body temperature and decreased heart and breathing rates.
This physiological act is unique to Polar Bears no other bear can do leaving the polarregion as a new Transilvania full of walking deads,
i.e. the zombie bears.
Since I have been gone for so long in a hibernating state its now time to get back in the game and do as the polar bear, lower my bodytemperature a little bit and start hunting in the streets of Grønland for scraps and hidden tales, so, now its on again.
All this talk about polar bears, hibernation and igloos leads me to my next point;
The climate outside this time of year is quite different then what it was when I started my Grønland project and I will use the next couple of days to examine the effects of snow, low temperature and the difference in tempo that applies to these seasonal changes in the cityscapes.