Blog archive May 2005
i just noticed something...
the email button on the CV site homepage links to steve@smallritual.COM which i don't own. maybe that's why i never got a job that way. oh shit.
i just rediscovered my first two websites.
Another City is a piece of alt worship history. It was an attempt at a series of collaborative Millennium events by the alt worship groups of London and their friends, to take place during 1999. I somehow ended up as co-ordinator - my first big job in the alt worship world and the foundation of my position there since. We drew up a great programme of events, but most of the groups could not commit to times/dates/venues in time to get any publicity done, so the series got pushed back to the second half of 1999 and then cancelled. The one thing that emerged - at the point where we cancelled the rest of the series - was the Labyrinth at St. Pauls Cathedral, which had been slated for June and then September, and finally happened in March 2000.
Oh, and Abundant discovered St Peters Kennington Lane while searching for a venue, and started Vaux...
The website was my first, done in an add-on to Freehand called Insta.HTML that eventually grew into Dreamweaver. It turned your graphic file into web pages, but the code sucked, so I had to learn HTML in order to correct it. the rest follows...
btw if the pieces of Another City seem out of alignment try reducing the text size in your browser. this was before style sheets!
I also found my CV site [resume to you yanks] from july 2000, made the same way. looks damn sharp - but that's what happens if it's all images. i was touting for a job outside architecture - didn't get one though :_(
note that smallritual hadn't happened yet [though i had the domain], and smallfire had only just been launched - it had that TV graphic for no more than two months before the brown/orange version came along.
Some incriminating photos of today's aspirational grace planning meeting in Esher. we're doing what other bodies might call a 'church family weekend' but that's too fluffy a description for us to acknowledge ;) . the idea is to spend some time together out of the usual rut of service planning, to take a longer and wider view of what we do and instigate some changes in how it's structured. it's been a productive day, we seem to have the bones of a new approach. now we're back at the bakers planning in outline the next year's events.
st. mary-le-bow crypt cafe pics in photo albums. for those who want to start something to inspect the premises. nice bit of sixties concrete. nice food.
have broadband again, so it won't take me all evening to do stuff now.
not wireless yet though. hardly worth it to go five feet.
just booked flights to sydney for two weeks in june. am going to see cathy kirkpatrick and andrew lorien. they've been begging me to come ever since they were in england for greenbelt 2001 [middle photos].
i got a call from a headhunter today. while he didn't have anything to particularly tempt me, it was grossly flattering. and leverage against my [current] employers - better give me that pay rise! wonder who's been putting my name about?
some things are beyond satire...
Distraction Free Worship
EasyWorship is designed to easily display songs, scriptures, videos, and alerts to your congregation with little or no distractions. This is accomplished by utilizing two ordinary video cards with one of the video cards displaying the control screen and the other card displaying to the congregation. This allows the operator to control all aspects of the service and only show the congregation what they need to see for effective worship.
vaux have just announced their closure after seven years of controversial creativity. there will be a greatest-[s]hits service on 5th june and a celebratory buffet on 3rd july. the usual fatigue/dispersal reasons are in play, but they also want to move beyond 'the service' and explore other routes.
i just bought a new domain newbrutalism.net - don't go, there's nothing there yet - for a project that's been growing in my head for a while. The New Brutalism was an architectural movement, and in the end just a stylistic label - brutalism, small b - of the 50s-70s. When I was first interested in architecture as a teenager, the only books I could get from the local library were from the 60s, so 60s architecture and theory became formative for me - which has always rather set me apart from my contemporaries since this stuff was already out of print and out of fashion before we were students, and has not yet come back. recently i've been hatching plans to photograph various brutalist buildings, and i finally got my POV sorted today while examining the terraces of the National Theatre [any photo project needs a POV].
but i was weirded out to find that the New Brutalism is now a] a band and b] a poetry movement [sort of] based in Oakland CA. This article seems to be the best explanation for the poetry/blogging side of things, and i can't resist a couple of quotes [ok this is the original location of the quote for good manners]:
Top Ten Myths about the New Brutalism
10. In order to become a New Brutalist you have to kill a librarian.
9. Every New Brutalist poem must contain at least one of the following words: teal, monocle, isotope, Minotaur, caryatid, integer, palimpsest.
8. New Brutalists and Creep Poets are mortal enemies who stage secret underground "rumbles."
7. "New Brutalism" is an anagram of "lesbian war drum."
6. James Meetze likes to be called "Li'l Tiger."
5. If you go to Starbuck's and mention New Brutalism, you get a free latte.
4. Joshua Clover wanted to be a New Brutalist but was rejected because of "the way he dresses."
3. Negotiations are under way for a WB series starring that one guy from that one show.
2. Making it known that you're a New Brutalist is an effective way to get laid.
and ... the number one myth about the New Brutalism...
1. It's people—the New Brutalism is made out of peeeooooppppllllle!
Bill Marsh again on assembly poetics:
"The logical endgame of assembly poetics is that (and this is the best part) it constantly disassembles and reassembles itself and thus rarely resembles a poetics. Those who have missed or mourned the absence of a discernable poetics among the tribe's most recent emissaries may do well to consider the "shape-shifting" character of today's assembly workers and their associated assemblies. If you happen to be at the right place at the right time, you may catch a glimpse of what you're looking for, but don't expect too much. The vision will be fleeting, an illusion of sorts, and what's more the people around you may have an entirely different sense of what they just saw, and there will be much excitement but little agreement."
the latter part ["if you happen to be..."] should be a header on alternativeworship.org.
i came across the editorial from eye magazine winter 1998 again this morning. it still seems to me to be articulating a vitally important concept for new forms of church, so if i've quoted it before i'll quote it again:
...playing can be a re-enactment of fundamental ways of learning. In some ways, actively solving a riddle can result in a more persistent experience than just memorising an answer. To design with this deeper meaning of play in mind, one has to look at not just the paraphernalia of play, but at the structure. Arranging information in a manner that enables the user to play with it in meaningful ways brings with it a rather different approach to the discursive or narrative structure behind the design.
A designer... would not be formulating fixed answers any more, nor providing established and singular paths through a narrative or an argument. One could say that the 'problem-solver' of old would now put solving the 'problem' in the hands of the audience, the reader or user. Designing in this context would mean making the design playable and the rules transparent...
...a controlled kind of open-endedness and an insightful use of play can benefit even the most hardcore purpose-oriented interfaces or designs. Far from being elusive or dysfunctional, the 'indeterminacy' that characterises play can help a reader to concentrate on the connections between data - when the answers are not given, the questions become of paramount importance.
Play and exploration are closely linked. When designing from an exploratory point of departure, an essential part of the act of signification shifts from author and designer to readers, who become players - and 'winning' becomes understanding... the reader has to analyse before they can move on in the narrative or argumentation.
...To play is an intrinsically critical operation that questions all information the player is confronted with. The player asks: what if? And moves on by trial and error. Questioning the meaning of things and situations, considering the possibilities for alternatives, checking the obvious against the obscure, all are essential to play.
...Enhancement of the message can sometimes mean that the message is made less accessible instead of directly proposed... it is the path towards it that can contain the most valuable information... the real message, then, is how you access it.
I often think theological colleges ought to be reading design books and magazines, because these are the places where the construction of culture is analysed.