Conflux is having their 6th annual Conflux Festival! The deadline for submissions is soon — August 15th. At last year’s Conflux we brought our “Drift Deck” technology and had a swell time! Several years back, we did WiFiKu — we walked the streets of New York City neighborhoods and digitally scanning for the names of WiFi “Hot Spots” (Hot Spots…how quaint) and constructed a visual map containing Haiku from these found names. That was back when wireless networks were not as quotidian as they are today and we were all trying to make sense of this new puff of network leaking out into the streets. This year — who knows?
CONFLUX FESTIVAL 2009
CONFLUXCITY CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Conflux, the art and technology festival for the creative exploration of urban public space, is pleased to announce the 6th annual Conflux Festival will take place from September 17-20, 2009 and will be hosted by New York University.
In keeping with its commitment to urban artistic exploration, community participation, shared knowledge, and critical civic engagement, Conflux will organize a user-generated open format event on Sunday September 20th, 2009 from 10am-6pm.
Through an open submissions process, ConfluxCity will provide a platform for artists, urban geographers, technologists and others to organize and produce innovative activities dedicated to the examination, celebration and (re)construction of everyday urban life.
Drawing inspiration from Burning Man’s creed of radical self-reliance and BarCamp’s philosophy of openness and participation, ConfluxCity will adopt an open-space approach in which participants will be expected to organize, promote, and host their own activities and events. To facilitate this format, the Conflux Festival headquarters and website will serve as a central communications hub directing festival attendees outward to individual event websites and locations.
To submit a proposal to participate in the festival, please see the submission guidelines at the Conflux Festival website: http://confluxfestival.org/2009/submit-a-project/.
The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2009.
A strange reveal within the historical layers of this New York City post office building. Changes in typography standards forced the new layer? Found here
Another form of layering within the infrastructure and architecture of the city. A new bit of building fitted upon the old. In this case, some fancy condo module plopped on top of an older light industrial building in Brooklyn, err….DUMBO.
NYC Highline Park evolved from an old abandoned stretch of train track that sits one story above the ground. An elevated light industrial infrastructure repurposed for public and pedestrian usage. Found hereabouts.
Still a very delicate, very monitored thing. Feels more like walking about a museum exhibit (don’t step there, for godsake! what’re you doing! stop that..!) than a park. Partially understandable, sure, but like china still which turns it from a park into something else.
Three curious examples of a kind of infrastructural sedimentation, found in New York City and Brooklyn. The first one shows a broken portion of a (ugly) sign that had been placed over the original art deco style lettering on a behemoth post office. The next is a (ugly) fancy condominium module that has been plopped on top of an old light industrial / warehouse building in the now Tony / over-the-top section of Brooklyn’s “DUMBO” (down underneath the manhattan bridge overpass) section. Finally, The Highline, a new urban park that was found within an old abandoned stretch of train track that sits one story above ground, along the westside of Manhattan, around Chelsea-ish.
The first example of the Post Office signage feels like one of those things where an old infrastructure is long forgotten and is then revealed and someone in the office of infrastructure, or probably a local resident with a civic interest says — hey, that old art deco chiseled into that building? It’s historical! And, it’s cool type. Lets reveal it all! And someone writes a little pithy, clever blurb in the “Around Town” section of the New Yorker, interviewing someone from the company that’s going to remove the old sign. I’d put a fin down saying that’s what’ll happen within the next 2-3 years. There’ll be some revival of sorts to continue this tendency in NYC of rehabilitating and making more habitable the city and its views. In any case, the layers here are quite a stark contrast it seems. I wonder why the sign was put up in the first place. Maybe it was easier to let the sign be dirty, as it inevitably will become from the street exhausts and so forth, because of its dark background.
This second example of historical and material sediment in Brooklyn shows a Continue reading Urban Historical Infrastructure Layers
I think I figured out why I enjoy this map by Jack Schulze and Matt Webb — it can possibly induce vertigo, which means it’s human, real and embodied. The rolling coasting perspective that deliberately distorts the island of Manhattan shows the city from a fixed point of view, but still showing no horizon. The map is not these flat views that we’ve become so accustomed to, floating above the ground but yet firm, and sure and secure. A little more awkwardness in points-of-view is called for, I think.
Continue reading Embodied Viewing Platforms
Curious strategy for preventing bumper dings — a bumper for the bumper, you might say. It’s the Mobile De-fender. (Get it? De Fender?) You will see material like this for preventing a lower category of bump, such as a “light tap” from negotiating a tricky parallel parking job, or even the deliberate tap to inch a car up a bit to fit better in the spot. As I was the victim of an a**hole who just steady backed up way more then he had to, willfully unaware that we were behind him, lights on and about 5 meters clear of him, steaming his ridiculous enormous 80’s Cadillac while we were waiting for him to vacate his spot, probably tipsy from a pitcher of beer at the Pizzaria we were going for family dinner, I can empathize with the necessity of additional rubberized armaments to prevent these kinds of minor dings. Fortunately, there was no noticeable damage — I think bumpers are pretty well designed these days to take a 3-5 mile per hour kiss.
Related somehow is this cobbler seen in Chinatown in New York City, working on fixing some woman’s busted heel or something. How is it related to the rubber bumper bumper? I noticed his materials — recycled rubber from a full tire (on the left, along the wall running into the frame) and a scrap of rubber from a tire on the right bottom. A resourceful, resource-reusing cobbler here. Bravo, I guess.
Why do I blog this? Observations of curious human improvisational practices for preventing abuse and renewing the use of their various mobile artifacts.
Continue reading Mobile Defense and Chinatown Cobbler
There’s a story here. The bottle smashed on the ground is a lovely blue-green glass with a Sake label of some sort on it, probably from the pocket-sized Sake specialty store 10 meters or so back down the block. I don’t know if the smashed bottle, and the janky protective garbage bag over the driver’s side window here have anything to do with one another, but I wonder..
Why do I blog this?Thinking about how fragments of past experiences leave lingering traces to be interpreted and pondered over. Nothing forensic. Just materialized historic traces.
Continue reading A Story In Fragments