Friday, August 20, 2010

This is where it starts

Why blog?

I have been contemplating starting a blog for some time. I hope that because it is public it will provide necessary incentive to organise my thoughts, and that due to its informal format, relative to other publication mediums, it will maintain a  flexibility conducive to tangential exploration.

As to if I have anything worth saying - well that is to be tested by this blog! I am not naturally an exhibitionist, but I do revel in politics and perhaps it is only possible to participate in our commodified contemporary culture through exhibition. As part of the Master of Architecture at UC, I am currently studying an architectural theory elective with Gevork Hartoonian that develops this discussion from Walter Benjamin's idea of exhibition value (political versus ritual dimension of art), and so will probably blog more on this topic later. Gevork's writings on Benjamin can be found in Crisis of the Object and Walter Benjamin and Architecture.

Mitchell Whitelaw, author of the teeming void and convenor of the Master of Digital Design at UC, points out that blogs are also a useful medium for driving networking and collaboration in disciplinary specialities. He believes that it is a critical part of professional practice to publish work and ideas to share with colleagues.

The impetus for starting a blog now is from Mitchell - as part of the Master of Digital Design I am studying an urban project unit that requires a blog record of project development. The project is to realise a light projection art installation in collaboration with the BEAM collective from the ANU Art School, hopefully with the partly demolished Cameron Offices in Belconnen as our site. This project can be followed with the label 8203 (the unit number).

I hope that I can get into the habit of blogging and that this blog can have greater breadth and longevity than just this first project.

Why x-polis?

Polis is a Greek term for a city state that incorporates concepts of the city, its governance and its body of citizens. As a blog title, it neatly both covers my interests in architecture and city making and relates to my home city Canberra and my interest in local governance and decentralisation. Clearly Canberra is much more than a city state being also a national capital, and anyway today all cities exist in a globalised context. However, there are many reasons to encourage local flexibility, massive participation and bottom up planning strategies - for me it is particularly about empowering innovation and diversity.

No comments:

Post a Comment