Musings on the politics of space and the necessities of play…
Engaging with our environment is a challenging activity in the city. The city centre is a place of power and wealth and the austerity of many public spaces demand a particular type of public interaction.
However if our cities are going to be safe and more harmonious then arguably we should open up the ways in which we can interact with the city. I am taking my cues here from a couple of different sources. Firstly the argument that cities will work better if they incorporate play requires that people modify what they expect civic behaviour to encompass. Certainly the idea of parkour being an acceptable form of city play may also require city people to surrender their instincts about what they regard as risky or threatening behaviour. Our sense of propriety about how people should act is arguably a bigger barrier to the ludic city than architecture itself?
Skateboarding has long been an acceptable style and activity at large, but such tolerance is revoked when the activity encroaches into public space that is to be shared by workers and pedestrians. Skateparks are too noisy for city centres and are positioned on the margins. A recent trend has been to build skateparks which replicate the plaza styles of office blocks and shopping malls that skateboarder have been banned from. City space stripped from the city? A strange discursive loop (a environ is built for public use - potential is seen for play - play is outlawed - a specific play place is build that mirrors it out of its original context) then occurs.
Too often the play that is allowed in cityspace is simply the play of consumpiton. Drinking, eating, and shopping seem to be the chief ways in which people want to play in the city. Public parks for recreation are often excellently designed with a plethora of ammenities…but too often these are stadardaised and curtained off from the rest of the city. Shouldn’t a shopping mall or an office block be accesible for cyclists, skateboarders, joggers, and even for those who want to do parkour in their trasnit to work.
Perhaps the question about play in the city is better addressed simply as how do we, as adults allow ourselves to play?
There is plenty of great writing about the ludic city. Michel de Certeau’s ‘The practice of everyday life’ is in itself a playful work, but also pursue ‘the ludic city’ by Quentin Stevens.
- Reblogged from everydayhybridity
James Turrell, 2010, Within Without.
My work is about space and the light that inhabits it. It is about how you confront that space and plumb it with vision. It is about your seeing, like the wordless thought that comes from looking into fire.
— James Turrell.
- Source: nga.gov.au
You might have heard about a major solar storm that is hitting Earth right now. It’s the biggest to hit us since 2005. You’ve also probably heard a few people say, “I didn’t feel anything.”
As our friends at 13.7 explained earlier today, the storms have the ability to disrupt sensitive electronics and even the power grid. Usually none of those things happen. But, today’s solar storm did cause a bit of disruption.
As Fox Business reports, Delta Air Lines rerouted at least six planes that were supposed to cross the North Pole. —Eyder Peralta
- Reblogged from npr
David Spriggs, The Archeology of Space
“…Created through the combination of painting, drawing, photography, digital media and sculpture. Topographical cross-sections of a subject are painted or drawn onto sheets of transparent film. The sheets are then specifically spaced and hung apart to reveal the appearance of 3D forms in a state of suspension.”
- Reblogged from likeafieldmouse
Imaged Above: The slow-spinning X-ray pulsar SXP 1062 shines brightly from within the shell of gas and dust rushing away from the supernova that formed it. Image Credit: ESA/XMM-Newton/ L.Oskinova/ M.Guerrero; CTIO/R.Gruendl/Y.H.Chu
Astronomers have discovered a strange spinning star that appears to be older than the explosion that gave birth to it, scientists say.
The star is a pulsar, a rotating, super-dense core left behind after a massive star goes supernova. This pulsar, known as SXP 1062, is spinning quite slowly, suggesting an advanced age.
But the pulsar can’t be as old as it looks, because the star probably exploded less than 40,000 years ago, researchers said. They’ve just now begun delving into this newly discovered cosmic mystery.
- Reblogged from kenobi-wan-obi
A well-known exploded star that is pumping out powerful gamma rays may be the celestial smoking gun astronomers have in the search for the origins of some of the fastest-moving particles in the universe, a new study reports.
NASA’s Fermi space telescope has detected gamma rays — the highest-energy form of light — emanating from the shattered husk of Tycho’s supernova, a star that exploded in 1572. The find could help astronomers pinpoint the origin of cosmic rays, super-speedy subatomic particles that crash constantly into Earth’s atmosphere, researchers said.
“This detection gives us another piece of evidence supporting the notion that supernova remnants can accelerate cosmic rays,” study co-author Stefan Funk, of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University in California, said in a statement.
- Reblogged from kenobi-wan-obi
via David Young, via NASA (I think). So blue, the light; so red, the land…