Around Brighton

This Indian-style elephant sticker was on a lamp-post near my house.

The upper image is an advert for the Pavilion Gardens Cafe, which is apparently best represented by images of Jedward and Amy Winehouse painted onto milk-bottles.

Question: How come nobody told me that the garden at the Marwood was so large and so pleasant? I thought there was only the small area outside the toilets. I loved the art, particularly the portrait of Allen Ginsberg:


Miscellany: drawing carts, year zero and the vinyl Hoover

  • Toby Amies has put his radio documentaries online. All of them are worth a listen, but I particularly recommend 'Beatmining with the Vinyl Hoover' and 'The Man Whose Mind Exploded', the latter of which is a fantastic Brighton story.
  • Last weekend followed some advice from zenbullets and archived off my music collection, all 17 1/2 days of it. I currently have a more manageable 6 hours. It's proving an interesting experiment and I'm enjoying the music more.
  • Interesting rant by Stewart Lee about 'content', which contains some provocative points about the importance of medium. "The Tewa clowns would not be cross-platformed. Their content was developed for the pueblo square format and it would stay that way."
  • Lovely slideshow from Jake Spicer, showing an outdoor launch event for the Artists Open Houses that he was involved with.
  • Today's XKCD has some haunting alt text: "The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space–each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.

Psychogeographical Experiment: Blindfolded walking

Guy Debord defined psychogeography as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals". The discipline is a mish-mash of ideas and experiments, many of them contradictory or in violent opposition. One common aspect is the idea of exploring one's enviroment by the means of experiments and play.

For some time I've been meaning to try a number of experiments in Brighton. It's a place I know well and one that I love exploring. It is also a very playful city, sometimes seeming almost alive. Tonight, with my accomplice Dr Evil, I tried a first experiment, blindfolded walking.

The idea was quite simple, taking turns to walk blindfolded along the seafront, with the guide suggesting course corrections and helping to avoid obstacles.

The experience was intense. Time and distance were hard to estimate while blindfolded. Above the constant noise of traffic, one could pick out passers-by, the scampering of dogs, but very few details. The sea was so quiet it could not be heard above the traffic. Dr Evil wondered about "all the silent things that you are missing." 

Walking blind produced a strange relation to space. At first it felt as if one was just about to walk into something. It was very hard to judge how far away things were by sound alone. Time too changed, with the doctor estimating time passing twice as fast as it was. The subway was particularly interesting, as it distorted and focussed the sounds of the road above. 

Finally, in homage to the film Intacto (video here) we took turns running blind.

Afterwards we felt tired and also more alert. We found ourselves more aware of potential trip hazards and had to stop ourselves from warning the (now sighted) other. It was an interesting way to experience a quiet sea-front. We're hoping to try this again in the town one evening.