robertogreco + bradleygarrett   6

The Ghost Grid of California City — Medium
"What happens when you go to places and there’s nothing there, no surge of the response — awe, enjoyment, whatever — that you expect to have (or feel you are expected to have) in a certain locale? This had been the concern gnawing at me just a week before Brad suggested this trip, back home in London, looking at my air miles and holiday allowance yet feeling deeply unenthused at the prospect of a week trawling around Istanbul or Budapest on my own. What’d I do? Look at noted landmarks, feel uncomfortable sitting in cafes with no purpose, and watch the 15 hours to bedtime stretch tirelessly ahead. I’d tried travelling like this before. One time in Venice I blacked out on a bridge over the Grand Canal rather than deal with the day ahead, and got rushed to hospital on a speedboat. I didn’t much want to repeat that, and had been grateful when this California invitation came.

Wayne said that, well, when you go to a place there’s always something that happens. It might not be what you expect or want, you might not really like it, but one way or another you will respond. So you might as well work with that.

The story of California City I’d been sold was one of nostalgia for California optimism and the Space Age, for a 1950s modernism that believed cities could be planned and rationalised and perfected. We know that they can’t, now, but there’s supposed to be a kind of poignancy at the generations before us who believed in the future. I didn’t feel that twang. But for all that (and the hangover) I’m glad I was there. This road trip was driven by many things, but Brad and Wayne’s generosity and enthusiasm in showing me their California mythos was a big part of it. The hope that that mythos might be there, might be tangible for a moment — that’s a dream worth having dreamt.

California City was supposed to be the “the map that precedes the territory […] that engenders the territory” — Nat Mendelsohn’s dream of a hyperreal Los Angeles. For Baudrillard, simulation reveals the “desert of the real”, its absence — but what’s left when the simulation isn’t there and never got built? Just desert dust."
jayowens  2015  californiacity  mojavedesert  california  waynechambliss  bradleygarrett 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Venture Ethnography 1: a bi(bli)ography « Justin Pickard
"Project Cascadia is the test-case for a cluster of ideas I’ve been playing with for the best part of five years. A chance to break out my signature obsessions …

Hauntings, world expos, gonzo journalism, science fiction, systems, geopolitics, utopianism, virtuality, globalisation, the sublime, resilience, collapsonomics, aesthetics, architecture, environmentalism, infrastructure, design, futures studies, sovereignty, atemporality, risk, the nation-state, the uncanny, Americana, technoscience, cyberpunk, multispecies ethnography, fiction, capitalism, the human senses, counterfactual history, media and cyborgs (and media cyborgs)

… and nail them to the mast of a weird and interstitial sort of boat; a soupy, hybrid writing practice that would combine the best of ethnography, journalism and science fiction.

In lieu of a biography, then, I’m offering a bibliography. Five years of my brain, in books, articles, essays, and blog posts…"
urbanism  jgballard  richardbarbrook  marcaugé  warrenellis  jenniferegan  bradleygarrett  donnaharaway  naomiklein  brunolatour  ursulaleguin  ianmacdonald  suketumehta  chinamieville  jimrossignol  michaeltaussig  huntersthompson  adamgreenfield  brucesterling  thomaspynchon  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  cityofsound  danhill  davidgraeber  matthewgandy  williamgibson  corydoctorow  douglascoupland  michaelchabon  jamaiscascio  laurenbeukes  journalism  mediacyborgs  cyborgs  geopolitics  aesthetics  utopianism  risk  atemporality  sovereignty  sciencefiction  cyberpunk  technoscience  ethnography  capitalism  globalization  collapsonomics  resilience  writing  projectcascadia  bibliographies  2011  justinpickard  bibliography  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
The Adventurers Club | Place Hacking
"Exploration is not a process of learning something new as much as a process of rediscovering what you lost. As the polar explorer Erling Kagge has pointed out, we are all born explorers. Our first acts as new beings in the world are acts of discovery. We try risky things, we overextend our imaginations, we venture out, we are often pushed back. We learn through failures as much as successes."

"What I love about exploring with these three is that we always leave with a suitably rough plan. A lot of what we encounter and embrace is spontaneous discovery and that, to me, is the heart of exploration,  pushing our edge. The world offers us endless opportunities for discovery. We have been conditioned to overlook them in our need for efficiency and productivity. … Finding the exploration you desire necessitates closing your browser, packing a bag and heading into the world. You must plunge into action and cut new edges at your personal desire lines."
adventures  whatislost  2012  bradleygarrett  productivity  efficiency  action  noticing  deschooling  unschooling  conditioning  spontaneity  discovery  exploration  urbanexploration  placehacking  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
BBC Radio 3 - Between the Ears, Invisible Cities
"Inspired by Italian writer Italo Calvino's novel "Invisible Cities", on the 40th anniversary of its publication, this Between the Ears explores the hidden, fantastical and surreal stories caught between the cracks of the modern city.

With contributions from writers, urban explorers and mapmakers we explore the imaginative possibilities held within cities, their secret folds. How does the layout of a city's streets, underground passages and the glittering spires of its skyscrapers capture our desires, our fears and our memories?

From the ghosts contained in a cavernous lost property office deep underground to the view from the top of an abandoned warehouse - what impression does the structure of a city leave on its inhabitants?

See also the Sunday Feature: Suspended in Air, which explores Italo Calvino's writing.

Produced by Eleanor McDowall"
2012  invisiblecities  urbanexploration  placehacking  memories  bradleygarrett  rebeccasolnit  eleanormcdowall  pdsmith  cities  urbanism  urban  italocalvino  bbc  from delicious
june 2012 by robertogreco
Climbing a Shard of Glass | Place Hacking
"As I climbed up on the counterweight of the crane, my breath caught. It was a combination of the icy wind & the sheer scale of the endeavor that shocked me. Marc was looking down at London Bridge station and whispered, “the train lines going into London Bridge look like the Thames, it’s all flow.” Slowly, I pulled myself to the end of the counter weight and peered over the edge. Indeed, we were so high, I couldn’t see anything moving at street level. No buses, no cars, just rows of lights and train lines that looked like converging river systems, a giant urban circuit board…

Later, standing next to the Thames, staring up at the little red light blinking on top of the crane, it seemed unimaginable that I had my hands on it just hours earlier. Ever after, whenever I see the Shard from anywhere in the city, I can’t help but smile. Unlike when I was up there, shaking with fear taking this self-portrait. You’ve got two months to get yours before the tower tops out. Act before you think."

[See also: http://www.theworld.org/2012/04/climbing-the-shard/ ]

[Update: see also Matthew Power's piece: http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201303/urban-explorers-gq-march-2013 ]
placehacking  urbanplay  urbanism  urbanspace  bradleygarrett  2012  flow  abovethefray  scale  theshard  urbanexploration  urban  skyscraper  london  matthewpower  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco

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