Point of N 1
Magazine for Culture and Design
The London Issue
A rt Direction and Editor in Chief
Manuel Bug Print
G-Medien, Lohr am Main Bookbindery
Gustav Bauer, Würzburg Paper
Munken Polar 240 g / qm Munken Print White 15 115 g / qm MultiArt Gloss 90 g / qm RecyStar Nature 115 g / qm
James Bridle Leslie Chapman
40 – 45 60 – 61
Photo Credits Fonts
Moderat, 2015 (Fabian Fohrer & Fabian Huber) Beirut, 2014 (Luzi Gantenbein)
Google Photo Sphere Tadeo Sendon Lisa-Marie Kaspar
Cover / 9 / 10 27 74 – 77
University of A pplied Sciences Würzburg Faculty of Design Lecturer Christina Hackenschuh Winter Term 201 6/1 7 7th Semester
Point of N 1
Magazine for Culture and Design
The London Issue
Editorial Introduction 8
The Truth About Living In
London Google Earth VR 20
Abbey Road Crossing Cam
Tim Murray-Browne Vir-
tual Worldbuilding Charlie 34
Hawley All Cameras Are 40
Police Cameras Analog 46
Electronic London Duggie 54
Fields What Are You Doing 60
After The Orgy? Ditto Press 64
Captured On Film Ben 76
Rider The Counter Press 80
Peckham Disposable 88
Camera Collected Objects 92
Point of View
Table Of Contents
Editorial Due to globalization and the spread of the Internet our world gets more and more connected. At the same time we progressively distance ourselves from the people around us. Those two facts seem to have one common cause: technological progress. In the last 20 years we experienced many new possibilities to access information and communicate with each other. With every new piece of technology we are seemingly brought closer together. But big parts of reality get filtered through digital devices to a point where it's just a simulation of human action and interaction. This results in the loss of connection to the physical world we live in. The simultaneous connection and disconnection through digital progress seems like a paradox . A paradox is a statement that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, leads to a self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion. Some logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking. en .wikipedia.org /wiki /Paradox
That's not to say that digital progress is inherently bad. There are plenty positive examples for useful technology. But we can't control this progress and that's why we need to think about the context in which we use those new devices. The first issue of Point of View wants to examine the pros and cons between analogue and digital experience realm. Where are digital tools help- Each issue of Point ing people in their everyday of View will tackle life? What kind of experience an interesting and relevant topic from is only valuable in reality? different perspectives on the basis of a major city.
The city of London sets the scene for this experiment. First the city was visited only through digital media. After that a physical travel to London took place to experience it in reality.
This coverage is deliberately objective so that everybody can form an opinion based on the gathered material.
Point of View
Point of View wants to take a closer look at the human perception. What are the differences between digital and analogue regarding our everyday life? As the city of London is the main focus of this issue, all of the following content has some connection to the capital of the United Kingdom. Point of View deals with the difference between analogue and digital reality, therefore the structure of this magazine also ranges between those two sides. The content gradually moves from the digital into the analogue view on the city. Color is the main indicator for the kind of information which is displayed. The color red marks digital content and the color blue marks analogue content. Over the course of the magazine red marked content is oftentimes some information from the Internet while blue marked content is a personal thought. Point of View starts out with the digital journey to London in form of Digital Fragments . Those are observations made while experiencing the city through digital media. The central section consist of interviews, features, articles and essays which all touch on the general theme of the magazine. Eventually there are Analogue Fragments which consist of personal memories from the actual journey to London.
Point of View
The Truth About Living In
London Google Earth VR 20
Abbey Road Crossing Cam
(16:12:28) Stranger: hi (16:12:33) Stranger: how are you? (16:12:38) (16:12:41)
good thanks where you from?
(16:13:20) You: since when you live in london? (16:12:46) Stranger: spain but living in london (16:13:27) Stranger: july (16:12:50) You: oh nice (16:12:53) You: do you study there? (16:13:40) You: was it difficult to get an appartment? (16:13:03) Stranger: i am learning english (16:13:10)
(16:13:43) Stranger: (10:13:50) Stranger: what's it like to live in london? (16:13:59) You:
so hard it is very expensive how much do you pay?
(16:14:03) Stranger: why/
I spent approximately 8 hours to find people from London to talk to me via webcam .
a room about 500-600
You: i always hear that life in lÂondon is very expensive
(16:14:24) Stranger: yes (16:14:33) Stranger: like everything, not only rent (16:14:39)
You: that's the price for a single room?
(16:14:44) Stranger: (16:14:53) Stranger:
yes a single room sorry i am looking for cybersex
don't you want to talk a little bit?
(16:15:05) Stranger: (16:15:12) Stranger:
no sorry have a great day man
(12:18:26) You: (12:18:32) You: (12:19:01) You:
hey how are you? hello?
Webcam has been disabled due to connection issue.
The text-based video game Hampstead was released in 1985.
It was named after the wealthy north London suburb. The aim of en.wikipedia.org /wiki / Text- based _ game the game is to climb the social ladder while your only form of control are text commands. A text game or text-based game is a video game that uses text characters instead of bitmap or vector graphics. Text-based games were a popular form of interactive fiction in the 1980s.
To get mobile, socially and physically, just use the simple compass directions north, south, east, west. Sometimes you can go north-east, north-west, southeast or south-west. You will also occasionally need to go up or down. All these movements can be abbreviated thus: N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW, U, D. This system applies whatever your mode of transport is, be it foot, bicycle, train or car. There are places where transport is essential and places where you are better off on foot. Apart from movements, most of your commands will be in the form of VERB NOUN. You will frequently wish to pick things up or put them down, e.g. GET KEY, DROP KEY. If you want to investigate your surroundings more closely, SEARCH ROOM / OFFICE / SHOP, or whatever the location. www. mocagh .org /miscgame/hampstead - manual . pdf
You need lots of imagination and luck to make progress in Hampstead. I wasn't able to finish the game and watched www.archive.org/details/zx_Hampstead_1984_Melbourne_House a walkthrough video instead.
A walkthrough of the ZX Spectrum game, Hampstead. www.youtube.com /watch?v= gB D N Si M H3w U
The truth in london So, I'm going to talk about how life in London is really like! I'm going to make a honest video, I'm going to make it as honest as I can. ↙
A very honest video about what life in London is really like. Hope this helped you :) Any further questions below! Subscribe to my channel for more ›a German living abroad‹ videos!
At least I hope I can paint a realistic picture of what life over here is like. ↙ Since I've been living in London I have never had enough money. ↙
www.youtube.com /watch?v= 460gTwngwkw&t= 1 28s
Comments hen you describe everything you W can't afford it sounds like you want to be rich! Unless you're a millionaire you will always have to be careful on how much you spend and not go to restaurants and bars and concerts and trips and go shopping all the time! That's life! :-D
ondon is expensive to live, a small L apartment in London to rent is about the same price as renting a 3 bedroom house in Nottingham. Think that is the biggest mistake people make, when they move to the UK they go to London. But if they look outside London or further North they will find living is alot cheaper and affordable.
I consider having enough money as being able to live a very good life in London, meaning that being able to go out and eat out and meet your friends, go out for a drink, maybe go to the cinema maybe go to a concert or a festival, pay your rent, pay your food and pay your bills at the same time. I have never had enough money to do all of that all the time. There are moments where I need to save a lot of money to be able to afford to live in London. ↙
I do work in an office and I earn enough money, but it's still not enough. ↙ I still haven't reached that point in my career where I feel I am super confident I can save money on top of living a life and kind of you know having a great time all the time. I am not there. ↙
I need to cook a lot at home. ↙ Is London dangerous? ↙
Right now I do wanna say it's not. ↙ Even if you live in Brixton or any other »dangerous« area, it's not really that dangerous at all. ←
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G o o g l e v
r Google Earth VR lets you explore the world from totally new perspectives in virtual reality. Stroll the streets of Tokyo, soar over the Grand Canyon, or walk around the Eiffel Tower. This virtual reality app lets you see the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cities, landmarks, and natural wonders. You can fly over a city, stand at the top of the highest peaks, and even soar into space. store.steampowered .com /app/3 48250/
You can use the 3D controller to fly yourself around, or drag the sun to get a different sun angle, or see the stars at night above your chosen landscape or city. Google has chosen to give you a non-human scale, so when you are viewing places like cities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you feel like a giant who can reach out and hug a skyscraper, or give a hug to Half Dome or the Matterhorn. www. gearthblog.com /blog /archives/201 6/11/google- releases-google-earth -vr- htc-vive. html
12:25:11 www.abbeyroad .com /crossing
Tim Murray-Browne Vir30
tual Worldbuilding Charlie 34
Hawley All Cameras Are 40
Police Cameras Analog 46
Electronic London Duggie 54
Fields What Are You Doing 60
After The Orgy? Ditto Press 64
Captured On Film Ben 76
Rider The Counter Press 80
Point of View
Tim Murray-Browne is an interactive artist who mainly focuses on installation and live performances. His work often responds to movement and sound.
Due to scheduling conflicts I unfortunatly couldn't meet Tim in person. That's why I chatted with him via the messaging-software Skype .
www. skype.com What is your background in terms of design and art?
At school it was a mix of maths, music technology, psychology and photography. After that I studied Maths and Computer Science at Oxford University. In my final year there I designed an algorithm which automatically composed music. On the back of that I started doing a PhD in the engineering department at Queen Mary University of London where I mostly worked on how wider social and cognitive factors can shape someone's experience when engaging with an interactive music system. So even though I was in an engineering department, it was a lot less maths oriented than most of the research being done there. So you have more of an Computer Science background and never got a specific design education?
because of the different timescales in which things happen. When you are coding it takes you a long time to create something but once it's finished it can be repeated endlessly. Whereas in the choreographing process, new ideas can be instantly tried out in the studio but a lot of work happens later in rehearsal to perfect things, at which point the interactive systems need to be finalised. Are there any analogue Âi nfluences to your working habits or is your whole work done digitally?
I keep trying to find ways to take notes digitally because I use an actual notebook to write down my thoughts and it's a big problem if I lose it. What I've come to terms with is that I don't sketch very much. At early stages I mostly write down and talk about ideas. Often they get developed by writing proposals which can shape the idea or pull out a particular aspects of it. At the end of writing a proposal I get a stronger sense of whether it is a direction I want to develop the idea in. Sometimes at the end of writing a proposal, I no longer like what the idea has become so I drop it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but that is still a productive process as it helps me narrow down what it is that is driving the idea. How much are you dependent on digital devices for your work and in your private life?
If I had to have only one digital device it'd be a laptop. I think I could certainly live without a smartphone but I do use it in my everyday life. Not so much for social media but to listen to music or text certain people. To be honest I find social media challenging because I get bored quickly with all the content.
Yeah I guess so. Essentially I was never really trained in design beyond High School so it was more like learning by doing in that field. How would you describe your work process, especially when you're creating something mainly through code?
I think to some extent my work process is always evolving. Much of my work is dealing with the emotional impact you get from space and how that's shaped by music or light. And I think when I start my work process there's a combination of experience and a concept of what I want to explore. Opportunity is also an important factor because there are always tiny fragments of ideas and when an opportunity arises those ideas start to grow. Recently I've been collaborating with dance artist Jan Lee and that really shaped my work process Dancing to the sounds of the street in Archway, on a sunny day. as well. One thing we found out very This phonebox had no telephone, but lots of flowers. quickly was that the process of creatwww.youtube.com /watch?v = cQ N1jmLwHoo ing dance is very different from coding
A collaboration with the artist Jan Lee, This Floating World is a dance solo performed in an interactive environment of computer generated visuals and sound. www.timmb.com / this-floating-world
Do you see a danger in the increasing use of digital devices?
I think I really see the danger. Nowadays technology is so pervasive yet still so much more basic than human interaction that there's kind of a distortion of reality happening. A really interesting person who thinks about this is David Rokeby . He talks about how an interface is a sysDavid Rokeby (born Novem- tem that decides how a person can ber 14, 1960 in Tillsonburg, Ontario) is an artist who has interact with a computer. So in a been making works of electronic, video and installation art since 1982. He lives sense it's a model of what a person with his wife, pianist Eve Egoyan, and daughter in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. is. I think that's an really powerful en.wikipedia.org /wiki /David_ Rokeby idea especially if you look at Facebook for example. The essence of Facebook is a user Âinterface that models who a person is in a particular way. And that's fine to some extent but when that one model becomes so dominant across everything I think there's a danger. Point of View
Virtual Manuel Bug
In the last years there has been a rapid advancement in the development of virtual reality. While technology is exploding, the prices for VR-devices are constantly declining. What are the risks and chances of these innovations? Options Right now there are all kinds of VR-devices on the market and they differ in price as well as quality. The cheapest option is to buy a Google Cardboard which can be used with any smartphone. Playstation also just launched it's own relatively inexpensive VRglasses. And of course there are the desktop-class VRheadsets which can only be used with a high performing PC. The two frontrunners in this sector are the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. Opportunity The evolving field of virtual reality offers a lot of new possibilities for designers to tell stories in a different way. While creating a realistic environment is certainly an interesting aspect of virtual worldbuilding, the real challenge is designing something which is fundamentally different from reality. There are no laws of physics in virtuality and you can build something no human has ever experienced before.
Get it, fold it and look inside to enter the world of Cardboard. It's a VR experience starting with a simple viewer anyone can build or buy. Once you have it, you can explore a variety of apps that unfold all around you. And with plenty of viewer types available, you're sure to find one that fits you just right.
vr. google.com /intl/en_us/cardboard/
Immersion To simulate reality to a human brain, a VRexperience needs more than engaging visuals. The more you get physically involved into a virtual world the better. Grabbing something with your hands or actually walking on virtual ground makes the experience feel more real. Developing The creation of virtual worlds is nothing new. The same software which is now used for virtual reality has been in development since the start of the century. Software like the Unreal Engine or Unity 3D have originally been utilized in the Game Industry. Those development environments work with objects and coding language to enable the designer to build his vision in three-dimensional space.
Point of View
Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies and used to develop video games for PC, consoles, mobile devices and websites. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_(game_engine)
I used the HTC Vive for my first dive into virtual reality. The two applications I tested were very different. First I got a glance at some of the worlds most astonishing landscapes and cities with the Google Earth app . After that I went into a cartoon world while playing the game Accounting . While the Google Earth experience was impressive, it never really felt like a different reality. I think mostly because you just flew through a world which didn't apply to any rules of physics. Accounting on the other hand was way more immersive, despite it's cartoonish look. After you're ad justed to the graphics, it feels like a real place.
Setup The setup for the HTC Vive seems complicated at first but if you got enough space and the right hardware there is not much that can go wrong. Besides a high performance PC you only need the headset system. This obviously includes the headset, two controllers, the link box, lots of wires and two base stations. The base stations have to be in high places and angled towards your play area. Then you connect the link box to your PC and connect everything. After that you can start downloading games via SteamVR . SteamVR, made in cooperation with smartphone company HTC (the headset is called the HTC Vive), is the culmination of years of research into VR at Valve. www. pcgamer.com /steamvr- everything-you - need -to- know/
The revolutionary, landmark Disney cult film TRON (1982), with its astounding CGI and computer animation, was one of the first films to visualize another world. It also took advantage of the video-gaming craze of the early 1980s. In the story, video-game arcade owner/hacker Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) was transported inside a mainframe computer world. Writers/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski's hyperÂ kinetic The Matrix (1999) illustrated how to superbly combine amazing action scenes with an intelligent storyline (a modern-day updating of the man vs. machine tale). It examined the nature of reality in the external world seemingly uncertain, in which reality was a computer simulation, and the actual Earth was scorched. www.filmsite.org /sci-fifilms6. html
Problems The most striking problem for VR-devices seems to be the virtual reality sickness . It can be compared to motion sickness or seasickness. Especially early developer editions of VR-glasses caused this problem because of too low framerates. Today's devices don't have it to this extent but it still exists. Another alarming issue is the so called post-VR depression. The more you get accustomed to the rules and physics of a virtual world the harder it is to go back to reality.
Virtual reality sickness occurs when exposure to a virtual environment causes symptoms that are similar to motion sickness symptoms. The most common symptoms are general discomfort, headache, stomach awareness, nausea, vomiting, pallor, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, disorientation, and apathy. en .wikipedia.org /wiki / Virtual _ reality_ sickness
Outlook The game industry is only one of many possible areas where virtual reality can be useful in the future. Product designers or architects could watch their working prototypes in a simulated environment. There is also the possibility to maintain machines from anywhere on the planet in real time in the context of Industry 4.0. But one of the most impressive and also frightening outlooks is a connection between virtual reality and the internet. This combination could be an alternative to the real world which has everybody connected in a digital environment that simulates reality.
Point of View
Charlie Hawley is a video artist who is mainly focusing on music videos. He often uses digital distortion to create an unusual and striking aesthetic.
What is your background in design?
Before I came to London I went to Falmouth University in Cornwall. During my three years there I was mainly doing experimental documentaries. Do you think university helped you in creating your own style?
Yes, absolutely. University was a great place to be and I always regarded it as a platform to experiment. It is a platform rather than something super useful. I just went there to do art while trying out different things. How would you describe your work to a blind person?
I would say I'm creating things which aren't there from things which are already there. In one of my recent videos I took a really thin slice of tomato and stuck it to a window so you could still kind of see through it. I think I'm often making something odd from something recognizable. It's abstraction. It's trying to find something new and interesting in everyday things. Does the city of London influence your work? Yes, of course. You are a product of your surroundings and there's no further surrounding from Cornwall than London. When I came to London I was just absolutely overwhelmed. I hated it for the first six months. But then I made so many new friends who influence my work and give me valuable input.
Is the input from people in London different from the input you got at University?
I think so. Falmouth is a very creative University, so there are lots of creative opinions flying around. But in London I started talking to people in the Âťreal worldÂŤ and they just look at things differently. I think you see people's tastes more when you don't exclusively talk to film students. In a way it's more valuable when people without a film background are saying why they do or don't like something.
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Point of View
Do you have any role models or people who are Âi nspiring you and your work?
Chris Marker is the first one who comes to mind. Chris Marker (29 July 1921 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 29 July Sans Soleil is without a doubt 2012) was a French writer, photog-
one of the greatest en .wikipedia.org /wiki /Chris _ Marker films I've ever seen. And also Dave Hughes who created the TV series Off the Air on Adult Swim. It only airs at 4 o'clock The series is presented without explanation or narration as a showcase of surreal footage arranged in the morning so the around a single loose theme and blended without only audience it has is pause into a single continuous presentation. en.wikipedia.org /wiki /Off _ the_ Air _(T V_ series) people who are waking up in front of the TV. It's also a bit fashionable because it uses datamoshing and glitching. rapher, documentary film director, multimedia artist and film essayist.
Would you compromise your work in order to be more financially independent?
I've had a couple of runner jobs on film sets and none of them were even close to enjoyable. I never stayed in those jobs for long and it's part of the reason I'm a freelancer. My goal is to develop a style as a filmmaker and get people to pay me to do work because of that style. But I guess even as a freelancer you sometimes have to compromise your work when your client has a different opinion.
Yes, it's something you have to do if you want to make videos. Being solely responsible for all of the production by yourself is a lot to deal with. So as soon as someone pipes in and says I don't think this is right, you have to have a meaningful conversation with that person. And at that point you just have to negotiate and collaborate with them.
www.cargocollective.com /jegmig films What's your relationship to music and sound?
I guess there's some really strong similarities between video editing and music editing. I think I could really get into music in the same way I'm into film right now. In the sense of playing and experimenting with sound rather than trying to make songs. Would you describe your workflow as more digital or analogue?
What I do is not really based in analogue. It's more like seeing the digital workflow as analogue. Glitching and datamoshing are kind of a translation from the digital into the analogue. You take these bits of video and put them through different codecs and if you can read this digital language you can start to mess with it. If you watch a datamoshed video you see the codec reinterpreting the original video. You see nothing new, it's just reevaluating itself and I think that's interesting. I guess the only analogue part of my workflow is the preproduction because at that point I decide what media I want to use to be digitally edited.
Until recently Charlie worked at Bar Stor y but he quit because he wanted to concentrate more on his Âc reative work.
What is the difference between analogue and digital?
One of the most beautiful things about analogue is that you don't always know what you're going to get. In a digital medium there are always parameters whereas an analogue medium has a lot more tangible ways to interact with. But there's a kind of analogue characteristic in the digital method of datamoshing because you also never know what you're going to get. How do your working habits look like? Are there special methods you use to be creative?
It's really chaotic. I got an archive folder on my desktop that I update regularly. Then I start throwing clips from the archive into my timeline and use every effect in the book on them and wait until it looks great. You just kind of play until you find what you're looking for.
Point of View
Bar Story London SE15 4QL 51Â° 28' 10.387" N, 0Â° 4' 11.812" W
How would you describe the process of finding beauty in glitches and errors which are regarded as failures?
Maybe I like it because it doesn't work. I think every time I do a project I want to progress. So the most interesting thing is to make something work that didn't work last time. It's a bit like seeing the errors as a way to success. Do you set yourself parameters for your aesthetics before you start a project?
I guess when I start off I set myself a brief of aesthetic. For example I want a certain amount of colors in this or I want there to be more block shading. But I don't think aesthetics are the most important thing. It's more about the way the visuals are making you feel.
All Cameras James Bridle
This essay is the first of a series of reports from The Nor, an investigation into paranoia, electromagnetism, and infrastructure. On the morning of Thursday, 30th October 2014, I set out to walk the perimeter of the London Congestion Charge Zone, a journey of some twelve miles around the centre of the city. I began at King’s Cross, and walked widdershins, down the Euston Road towards Paddington. At its Western end, the Zone’s edge turns down Edgware Road, runs down Park Lane, Grosvenor Place, and Vauxhall Bridge Road, before changing course again across the river towards Elephant & Castle, Tower Bridge, Spitalfields, Shoreditch, and returns to Kings Cross once more by City Road. For reasons that will become clear, I did not complete this walk within the day. I did however document the portion which I undertook – roughly, half of the total – in the form of 427 photos of surveillance cameras. I photographed every camera which I saw, which could see me (consider this a gross underestimation of the total). You can explore all of these photographs at […] this interactive map .
The Congestion Charge Zone covers the area enclosed by the Third London Wall. This Wall continues the transformation, begun by the Second, from a physical into an electromagnetic entity. It is made of bits, electrons and radio waves, becoming less and less visible even as it becomes more pervasive. The First London wall was built in the late 2nd century by the Romans, in response to a political crisis. Following the murder of Pertinax in 193 – the Year of the Five Emperors – the Empire split into civil war. Clodius Albinus, governor of Britain, allied with Septimius Severus, commander of the troops in Illyricum and Pannonia, but soon turned against him, proclaiming himself Emperor with the support of the legions in Britain and Hispania. When Albinus narrowly escaped assassination by one of Severus’ messengers in 196 he put himself at the head of a 150,000 strong army and ordered the construction of fortifications around the city. Albinus did not last long: sailing to Gaul, he met Severus’ army at Lugdunum (modern Lyon). In short order he was defeated and beheaded, his headless body tossed into the Rhine, and the head sent to Rome as a warning to other usurpers. The Romans and their successors rebuilt and refortified the Wall for the next thousand years. Enclosing some 330 acres, the Wall forced all visitors to pass through seven narrow gates which connected the city to the Roman road system. Following the Blitz, the remaining fragments of the Wall were among the highest structures still standing in the City, and can still be found extant at Barbican and Tower Hill. The Second wall was erected some 1800 years later on the orders of the City of London Police, following the bombing of the Baltic Exchange in 1992 and Bishopsgate in 1993. Rather than the Kentish ragstone which made up the First Wall, the Second Wall was built
Point of View
All Cameras Are Police Cameras
of sentry boxes and roadblocks, with access streets narrowed to chicanes to slow vehicles at designated choke points. (As with the redesign of Oxford Street following the Gordon Riots of 1780, and in contrast to Haussmann’s strategy in Paris, London pioneered the use of congestion as a tool of state control, which, if nothing else, is true to the sclerotic nature of the city itself.) The Second Wall, commonly known as the »ring of steel«, extended only slightly beyond the boundaries of the first, as the new loci of value, the towers of global finance, were broadly contiguous with older forms of wealth and power. In 2003, following the September 11th attacks on New York City, but preceding the 7 July 2005 bombings on London itself, the Police described the likelihood of a terrorist attack on the city as »in evitable« and widened the ring slightly, but ever since the 1996 bombing of Docklands it had been both obvious and inevitable that a physically static Wall would not be sufficient. Instead, the wall must expand, and diffuse. Much like its predecessor, the Second Wall still stands, but it has been entirely subsumed within the territory of the Third. Its sentry boxes are frequently left vacant, its gates left open. The only permanently operating components, its video cameras, form an inner processing ring reinforcing those of its successor.
The Third London wall – that which surrounds the Congestion Charge Zone – was completed in February 2003, and extended the traditional zone of the Wall from the financial district of the Square Mile to the West End, the commercial and entertainment district. In this manner it follows, predictably and admittedly somewhat belatedly, the expansion of capitalism itself into the realm of everyday life. The core technology of the Third Wall, again pioneered but only partially implemented by the Second, is Automated Number Plate Recognition, or ANPR. Installations of over 800 ANPR cameras record the unique ID of every vehicle which enters the Zone in vast databases for later analysis. When the Wall was initially constructed, the public were informed that this data would only be
held, and regularly purged, by Transport for London, who oversee traffic matters in the city. However, within less than five years, the Home Secretary gave the Metropolitan Police full access to this system, which allowed them to take a complete copy of the data produced by the system. This permission to access the data was granted to the Police on the sole condition that they only used it when National Security was under threat. But since the data was now in their possession, the Police reclassified it as »Crime« data and now use it for general policing matters, despite the wording of the original permission. As this data is not considered to be »personal data« within the definition of the law, the Police are under no obligation to destroy it, and may retain their ongoing record of all vehicle movements within the city for as long as they desire. The ANPR cameras which operate on, within, and beyond the boundaries of the Congestion Charge Zone capture several pieces of data at once, in two forms. The first is raw information: the unique plate number of the vehicle tracked, the date and time of the tracking, and the location. The other two are images: a cropped image of the plate itself, for supporting the automated »read«, and a wider image of whole vehicle at the moment it is tracked, which may also include other vehicles, the roadway, the driver, passengers, and passers-by. The gradual vacation of the human sentry boxes of the ring of steel, and their replacement with the automated eyes and minds of the ANPR system are mirrored, out of sight, by the replacement of rooms of watchers with databases, and of cartographers with LIDAR systems atop cars, and sensors aboard satellites in low earth orbits. Watching robots, camera drones, these seeing systems operate continuously, beyond the range of human interest and endurance. And they operate, always, from above, giving them the privilege of surveillance. Surveillance images are all »before« images, in the sense of »before and after«. The »after« might be anything: an earthquake, a riot, a protest, a war. Any system reliant on flow, which is all networks from vehicle traffic to commercial supply to video feeds to the internet itself, views disruptions within the same negative moral context. Surveillance images attain the status of evidence for unknown crimes the moment they are created, and merely await the identification of the moment they were created for. Automated imagery criminalises its subject.
Suspicion is a global variable. Once triggered it bubbles upward through the entire system. Walking down Park Lane, I was accosted by a man in a suit who demanded to know what I was doing. He took out his mobile phone, pointed it at my face, told me he was going to »circulate my description«. Shortly afterwards, a colleague of his physically restrained me and called the police. Both men worked at the Grosvenor House Hotel, whose cameras were among those which had been trained on me as I walked, and so are included in my documentation. When they arrived, the police officers explained that carrying a camera in the vicinity of Central London was grounds for suspicion. I might be a terrorist who posed a threat to the good citizens of London – my own city. Equally I might be casing the joint for some future crime, studying its defences in order to circumvent them. Carrying a camera thus justified the suspicion of the security guards who stopped me and performed a citizen’s arrest, detaining me until the arrival of the police. This suspicion in turn justified the actions of the police, who threatened me with arrest if I did not identify myself and explain my actions. For carrying a camera, I was told, I could be taken to the station and charged with »Going Equipped«, a provision of the 1968 Theft Act which determines the imprisonment for up to three years of anyone carrying equipment which may be used to commit a burglary. Of course, the threats of the policemen were utterly baseless. Of course the use of cameras in public, as dictated in numerous statements by the Metropolitan Police themselves, is not, and should not be construed as, a crime. But, as anyone who has ever encountered the police in an analogous situation knows, the law comes a distant second to the exercise of power itself.
Welcome to Insecam project. The world biggest directory of online surveillance security cameras. Select a country to watch live street, traffic, parking, office, road, beach, earth online webcams. www.insecam.org /en /bycity/London /
The British Security Industry Authority (BSIA) estimated there are up to 5.9 million closed-circuit television cameras in the country, including 750,000 in »sensitive locations« such as schools, hospitals and care homes. The survey's maximum estimate works out at one for every 11 people in the UK, although the BSIA said the most likely figure was 4.9 million cameras in total, or one for every 14 people. Simon Adcock, of the BSIA, said: »This study represents the most comprehensive and up to date study undertaken into the number of CCTV cameras in use in the UK. Because there is no single reliable source of data no number can ever be held as truly accurate however the middle of our range suggests that there are around five million cameras.« He added: »Effective CCTV schemes are an invaluable source of crime detection and evidence for the police. For example, in 2009 95 per cent of Scotland Yard murder cases used CCTV footage as evidence.« But Nick Pickles, director of the privacy campaign Big Brother Watch, said: »This report is another stark reminder of how out of control our surveillance culture has become. With potentially more than five million CCTV cameras across country, including more than 300,000 cameras in schools, we are being monitored in a way that few people would recognise as a part of a healthy democratic society.« »This report should be a wake up call that in modern Britain there are people in positions of responsibility who seem to think ›1984‹ was an instruction manual.« www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/101 72298/One-surveillance-camera-forevery-11- people- in - Britain -says- CCT V-survey. html
Point of View
All Cameras Are Police Cameras
The Fourth London wall will be made of transponders carried in the vehicles themselves. Various forms of these are already on trial in the United States, where the E-ZPass system has migrated from toll bridges and tunnels and out into the wider city, where it can track the passage of vehicles with radio waves. The introduction of diagnostic data ports in cars has lead to the uptake of consumer monitors which also transmit location data, as do many common GPS systems. These systems will soon be formalised in the eCall platform, which will be mandatory in all new vehicles by the end of 2015. It is also being seen in the development and deployment of roving ANPR, fitted to every police vehicle and soon onto the bodies of council operatives themselves. Finally, the Wall loses all physical definition, becoming a truly ubiquitous zone, rather than a fixed barrier. As the intentionality of the camera’s image disappears into automation, and the Wall becomes ethereal and obscure, so the image itself dissolves, replaced by data. Cameras no longer see in pictures, but record and process information: the string of numbers on a car license plate, the dimensions of a human face, the IMEI of a mobile phone, the infrared reflectivity of plants, the depth and tonality of a voice. Around the time of the Fifth Wall, the system (which once contained actual human sensors, men with spears atop its ramparts), will regain the ability to see individuals. At first, this will be done through the medium of mobile phone tracking, which is also already present within the Zone. The swift shut-down by the City of London of the Renew ›spy bins‹ which tracked the movements of passers-by belies the widespread existing implementation of the system in shops and retail zones across the city, continually monitoring the movements of shoppers and passers-by.
At the same time, camera systems deployed at the airports in the outer reaches of the zone have already developed the ability to read human faces, irises, expressions and gaits in exactly the same manner as their ANPR predecessors, and build unique, storeable profiles from them. While it's always amusing to think of how such systems could be evaded through the use of masks or disruptive patterns, it should be noted that Section 60AA of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, deployed across Central London on the night of 5th November 2014, gives the Police the right to define a zone in which anyone refusing to reveal their face may be imprisoned for up to a month. Each Wall, and the Abstract Wall in its totality, is a model-mirror of social processes. As the Third Wall is the natural product of the expansion of financial systems and logics from the banking sector into every other, and the Fourth Wall addresses the mechanisation of the supply chain and the domination of logistics systems, so the Fifth goes hand in hand with the rapidly expanding privatisation of public space, the latest weapon being deployed against Londoners’ lingering desire for the freedoms of city life.
I finished my walk at Vauxhall, as my detention on Park Lane had cost the better part of the early afternoon. I hope to complete the walk at a later date. The decision to stop was made, appropriately enough, in the shadow of Vauxhall Cross, the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. The blazing red spot on the map, denoting a concentration of cameras, is accounted for by this – and by the far more mysterious building at 1 Bessborough Gardens on the other side of the river, blank-faced, festooned with cameras, whose neighbours regularly complain of electromagnetic interference. For contrast, see the statistically unlikely dearth of cameras shown in the area south of the Grosvenor Park Hotel, on the lower half of Park Lane. Of course, there aren't fewer cameras there. It's a high-risk area. An area attractive to thieves, and terrorists. But when you've been physically restrained by blank men in suits, lectured and threatened by police officers, you really just want to get away from there as quickly as possible. When you get in trouble for looking at the cameras, you stop looking at the cameras. But you should really be looking at the cameras. One of the defining characteristics of the Wall is that it is not, and cannot be, voluntary. While some of the strategies listed here are based on cooperation with the Wall system (tachyometers, navigation and checkin apps, fitness monitors and wearable computers), these are always the accompaniment or introduction to mandatory systems, and are best seen as elective, collaborative trials rather than early adoption or individualistic disruption. Each successive Wall is only erected when the relevant technologies and social systems have arisen that no longer depend on consent.
Comments »The poor are collectively unseizable. They are not only the majority on the planet, they are everywhere and the smallest event speaks of them. This is why the essential activity of the rich today is the building of walls — walls of concrete, of electronic surveillance, of missile barrages, minefields, frontier controls, and opaque media screens.« — John Berger »Ten Dispatches About Endurance in the Face of Walls« (October 2004) Comment by M — November 7, 201 4 @ 6:50 pm
Was Albinus’ head thrown in to the Rhine or the Rhone? Comment by Michel — November 10, 201 4 @ 1 2 :43 pm
Michel – Good question. Lyon is on the Rhone, and a bit more research suggests that that is where he was put to death / killed himself. In my defence, multiple sources state that his body was thrown into the Rhine. This was Severus’ domain of influence, so he might have ended up there, but. Here's a source for the Rhine , but here's one for the Rhone , which does seem rather better sourced itself – and more geographically likely. Comment by James Bridle — November 10, 201 4 @ 1:13 pm
The Sixth Wall will be built from the things you wear on your body and arrange on the shelves in your bedroom. Nest, QOL, Hue. Automatic. Smart TVs. HAPIfork. Vessyl. Autographer. Memeto. Glass. Dropcam. Jawbone. Fuel. Withings. Fitbit. Healthkit. Little policemen in your pocket, little policemen on your skin. The Sixth Wall will be made of intelligent dust which settles in the folds of your clothes and communicates your position and heart rate to orbiting satellites. London’s citizens will dream, and the images of their dreams will dance on the telescreens of Piccadilly Circus, and be found wanting.
This article was originally published online in The Nor, a series of essays commissioned by the Hayward Gallery by James Bridle . James Bridle is a British writer, artist, publisher and technologist currently based in Athens, Greece. His work covers the intersection of literature, culture and the network.
www.shorttermmemoryloss.com /nor/201 4/11 /07/ all -cameras-are- police-cameras /
Point of View
All Cameras Are Police Cameras
www. booktwo.org /james- bridle/
Johny Davies is the founder of the experimental underground label Analog Electronic London which explores the mixture of analogue and digital sound.
Tell me a little bit about your label and the artists on it.
Analog Electronic London is run slightly different than a regular music label because we do everything in-house. We cut the records ourselves and the distribution and sale is done either via SoundCloud or through specific releases in record shops we work with. The label came about as an idea when I met a guy from Romania called Danny who is a street artist. As we got to know each other we found out that we both share a preference for lo-fi and minimal sound aesthetics. So we decided to do a few releases together and see where it goes from there. We also got Monty the Fly and two up and coming french lads called Loop Exposure on the label and their sound is really fitting in with what we want to do.
Electronic music artist collective and label. Minimal. Lofi-hifi. Field recordings. Vinyl. Tapes. Plate reverbs. Tape Delays. ATC speakers. Noise. Ambience. Groove. Love. Fear. People. Solitude. Fcuking scenesters. Chaotic. ADHD. Dance floors. Fields. www. soundcloud .com /analog _electronic _ london
What do you and your label-mates do for a living?
For me cutting other peoples orders for vinyl pays the rent and the label. Danny is a really famous street artist back in Romania and is also quite linked with the Ro- What's the general notion behind Analog Electronic London? manian techno scene but he's not working full time in music. Monty the Fly does mixing and mastering services for other people besides his own productions. The guys from Loop Exposure are quite young and they're really picking up at the moment and want to pursuit a career in music.
The idea with the label is the balance between analogue and digital. For instance we sample something on to a cassette tape and it got so much hiss but if we than layer something really clinical and digital on top of it the two amplify each other. We're also using electronic devices and try to artificially humanize the sound through editing and shifting the elements just slightly off the grid.
There is not much information about your label on the internet. Do you intentionally maintain a low profile?
Yeah, it's a deliberate ploy that we try to keep everything low-key and fairly hard to find. There's a huge ego in the minimal scene and we try to counter that by doing something on a really small scale. The idea is to put out only 20 copies of each release and by that we can release things we love and also keep our costs low.
Johny pressed one of Analog Electronic London's songs from Soundcloud on a vinyl record and gave it to me.
Do you also try to create a certain exclusivity through that?
Yes but I don't think the exclusivity is to benefit our own ego. It's more for the person who shows interest and is willing to cope with our musical output. I will always cut another copy for someone who's interested in our music. How does the future look like for Analog Electronic London?
How does the city of London shape your sound?
As I said I like to keep things cottage and small. When I'm old I just want to look back and say this is a really nice body of work with music I really enjoyed.
I think the diversity of London and especially Peckham shapes our sound. There's obviously a very clear Romanian influences mixed with straight up London techno sound.
What's your personal musical Âbackground?
I played the violin since I was three years old. Later I was also singing as a chorister in one of the Cambridge Chapel Choirs. When I was 14 years old I got an Atari 520 ST and started to write electronic music on that. I bought a pair of turntables and started djing with 16 and never stopped since.
Do you have a certain subject or a specific sound in mind before you compose a new song?
It varies. Sometimes I just sit down and experiment and build something from scratch. Other times I collect some field recording and use them as a starting point. But I always try to have a concept behind the music. Even if that concept is just limiting myself to certain equipment to be more creative within those limitations. But there's always something personal included in the music. When I look back at some of the earlier stuff I made, I can map my moods pretty accurate through the music I created.
Original model with 512 KB RAM, external power supply, no floppy disk drive. The early models had only a bootstrap ROM and TOS had to be loaded from disk. en.wikipedia.org /wiki /Atari _ ST
www.soundcloud .com /analog _electronic_london /label -showcase- live- on - balamii
Point of View
Analog Electronic London
What are the differences in quality when you release something analogue and digital?
I'm not one of those analogue purists who say vinyl sounds best. Their favorite sound is certainly on vinyl but if you want to get the most accurate copy with the least changes from the source to the output signal then do it digitally. Vinyl is very restricted to the amount of stereo it can accurately portray. As you get closer to the middle of a record the more distorted the high frequency gets. People always say I hate the iPod because you just put it on shuffle and that ruins the journey the artist has chosen for the album. But the artist doesn't genuinely chose the track-order if it's being cut on vinyl. That order is chosen by the Mastering Engineer who puts the singles on the outside of the vinyl because that's the place where they sound best. There's a lot of misunderstanding in all of this. When you press something on vinyl the dynamic range get's compressed and that certainly does add harmonics and character to the sound which people love and sometimes consider as ÂťbestÂŤ.
Point of View
Analog Electronic London
www. soundcloud .com /analog_electronic_london /catgut- pressure-johny- davies-201 6-cut
Are your ambitions sometimes holding you back?
I think every producer fits on one side of a spectrum. You're either too obsessed with your work and don't release it until you think it's perfect. I'm probably more towards the other side of the spectrum which means I'm releasing stuff really quickly just to get it out there. To me there are pros and cons to each side. How would you describe the Âťsoul of a songÂŤ? Is it something which can't be achieved digitally?
That's a really tricky question. There are a lot of songs that I've written which were solely digital and you can tell it by hearing them. I'm not sure if I really like them and they are certainly not the ones I release. I just think there has to be a human element to connect with people.
Do you like doing live sets or do you prefer working on music on your own?
I'd be lying if I say I don't enjoy the rush of doing a live set. But it's more like the icing on the cake. The hours you spend collecting records and all the influences in your life that are put into that piece of music is what makes it special and meaningful. What do you think about the digital consumption of music over the internet?
I love Spotify. I like being sat in my armchair with the app on my phone and just listing to music. As long as you're enjoying what you're listening to it doesn't matter in what form you consume it. As a collector it's nice to own a piece of vinyl but sometimes it's more convenient to listen to something through digital media.
Johny has been working various jobs before he started his label including the small shop where he's pressing vinyl for everybody who's interested.
Point of View
Analog Electronic London
Duggie Fields is an artist who lives in Earls Court, London. His conceptual artworks are created with both digital and analogue techniques.
I met Duggie near his appartment at Earls Court in Kensington and Chelsea .
Earls Court Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 51° 30' 0" N, 0° 11' 24" W
On what things are you working on right now?
I'm between paintings. I finished one paining the night before my studio got occupied by construction workers and there's a thought in my head of something I'd like to get done on canvas but I'm not sure when I can start with it. There's also a film that I've been working on since about five or six weeks. At the moment it has a good beginning and ending but it doesn't hold together very well. How long are you usual working on a project?
There's no usual because I let my work form itself through me. Sometimes I spent six months on a project and sometimes six weeks. I used to say I was lost at the end of a paintbrush and now I'm lost at the end of a mouse just as much. How and when do you have breaks from work?
I go out regularly to interrupt my work. Not at any fixed time because each form of work has it's own timeframes. The computer might need to process something which can take five minutes or two hours. The painting needs to dry which can take two hours, too. So there are natural breaks. How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I don't do art, I do life. I make things that other people define as art. It took me a long time to call myself an artist. I called myself a painter for many years because that's what I do. But it simplifies things for other people if you call yourself an artist. I didn't start out in life to be an artist. I just made things. Do you see yourself as an extension of your art?
The art is an extension of me. I make things that allow me to carry on existing. The things that I make interact with me and change me. What's the difference between working digital instead of analogue?
To me it's physical different. On a computer I sit down and after a while it's exhausting to my body because I'm always in the same stance. Painting analogue is very physically demanding in a different way because I have to manipulate my body around where I want to paint on the canvas.
You studied architecture but dropped out after one year. Did you feel at the wrong place?
The first day I was there they told me I was at the wrong place. All the students were sent outside to sketch Soho Square and when we were finished we got a public critique from the architecture staff. They viciously criticized everybody and saved me for last. When they looked at my painting they said: »This is a fabulous drawing. We really like this but it's absolutely useless for architecture. You should be in art school.« So they initially made you feel that you don't belong there?
Yes. But I did quite enjoy being there. I learned a lot and got attached to various ways of working that still effect how I work today. In many ways I got more out of my two terms in architecture school than I did in several years of art school . Fields briefly studied architecture at Regent Street Polytechnic before embarking studies in 1964 at the Chelsea School of Art for four years. en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Duggie_Fields How do you start a new project? Do you develop a concept or is it more like an experimental process?
It's a mixture of both. Sometimes I know what I want to do and it's just there. Other times I don't have a clue and I start all sorts of things. I can tackle the same subject many times and it doesn't work and then at an opportune moment it does work. Can you tell me a little bit about the shift of your work process when you started working digitally?
In the beginning I did my studies on draft paper with grids and layers of tracing paper. When I got my first computer I discovered that you can work with digital layers and grids much more comfortable and that you can paint absolute straight lines this way. So suddenly I had this tool with which I could produce my studies for canvases much easier. From that on the computer became part of my creative process and later became a tool to create work itself.
How do you decide which kind of media is needed for a specific work of art?
I often start with writing down some words or a little scribble on paper. After that ev erything goes through the computer even if it's later going to be on canvas. I think I know quite early if an image is going to end up on canvas but I often reject that idea during the course of working on it. Then it might end up being used digitally. It's a process and I don't know which way it's going.
What is your inspiration today? Is it any different than twenty years ago?
Yes and no. I have a history and that history has grown and informs everything I do. I've revisited a lot of my past through remaking it digitally. You once said »Painting is the more sensual act«. Do you think computer generated art does have less »soul«?
Duggie told me about the constant changes in his neighborhood. It especially bothered him that all his favorite coffee shops have closed recently.
I think it's just a different physical process. Regardless the work tool it's always me working with my mind and my hands. But the process of sitting still on the computer isn't particularly sensual. Otherwise hand painting is very time consuming so working digital is often a faster process. What are the programs you use to create your digital work?
I work with Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and also a few different audio programs. I often crash my computer because I got them all open simultaneous.
Point of View
Those are all programs that many designers use. Do you feel connected to that world, too?
Yes, I do love design and I also made all sorts of design myself. I did furniture, t-shirts, badges , mugs and cushions for example. So you could say I'm sort of a designer. Do you think there's a separation between art and design?
There are so much things which are called art just because they exist in an art gallery. It's not necessary what I would call art but because it's in an art gallery I'm told it is. So I think there is also good and bad design inside and outside of the art world.
de. pinterest.com /pin /3 63947213 607993907/
What do you think about computer-generated design and art? Are you interested in programming?
I don't know how to program but I'm open to be taught. I'm not very good at learning things on my own but if someone teaches me how to do certain things I often include them in my work process. But I've giving up actively looking for it because it keeps me from making things. Do you think there is a difference in the effect which digital and analogue work is generating on the viewer?
Yes. You can see an analogue painting in one glance and by it's nature you see it from beginning to end. On the other hand there's moving image which depends heavily on the medium it's displayed on. If you watch it in the cinema you'll probably see it in its entirety and if you watch it on a smartphone it's more likely that you stop it at some point.
What do you think about the process of releasing content through digital media like you do with »Just around the corner«?
I only really started taking photographs since I have a mobile phone. I had cameras before but they all had viewfinders which inhibited me. And once I got on Facebook I started »Just around the corner« Social documentary diary, photographs taken on mobile literally just around the phone by Earls Court based artist Duggie Fields. www. blurb.com /b/2060035-just- around -the- corner corner. Then I was getting more followers and strangers approached me on the street because of it. Those things obviously were an encouragement to keep on going.
Point of View
What are you Leslie Chapman
Ever since the 1992 games in Barcelona, the idea of »legacy« has played a crucial role in the process of hosting the Olympics. How has London faired with the aftermath of the 2012 games? The title of Jean Baudriallard’s essay on obscenity is pretty fitting when you think about the aftermath of the 2012 Olympics: »What are you doing after the orgy?«. It seems absurd, because how can there be an after? Of course there was the build up (foreplay) and the event itself (orgasm) but how could anyone in the midst of such revelries think about the aftermath? In a different context the question becomes »What are we doing after the Olympics?«. Of course there has been thought about legacy and how to avoid the fate of the 2004 Olympics since the bidding for the London games began. But as Slavoj Žižek pointed out in his book »The Sublime Object of Ideology« this is a »non-knowledge«, which could also be described as a disavowal. »I know full well … and yet I act as if I did not know«. It's been four years since the London Olympics but the venues of the games still exist. So what has happened to the now renamed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park?
Jean Baudrillard (27 July 1929 – 6 March 2007) was a French sociologist, philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer. His work is frequently associated with postmodernism and specifically post-structuralism. en .wikipedia.org /wiki /Jean _ Baudrillard
The Olympic Park sits in a weird dead zone. To the south are waves of top-down New Labour developments stretching to Westfield, the Stratford tower blocks and the Millennium Dome. To the west lie the gentrification districts of Hackney and Shoreditch. And to the north, the city disintegrates into the suburbs, industrial estates and Lands of Leather. The Olympic Park sits in the eye of the storm, surrounded by canals, parks and marshes the size of Hampstead Heath. It is almost disturbingly quiet. There is not much more than a Tesco Metro for miles.
Our move to the new Stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for West Ham United and its dedicated personnel.
On the weekends, crowds descend to the nearby street food market. Every second Saturday it is also besieged by West Ham fans, who now call Olympic Stadium their home. But during the week it's basically just London's quietest park, full of builders, joggers and cyclists.
www.whufc.com /club/recruitment/about- us
This text was originally published online in Touching the Real , a Psychoanalysis blog by Leslie Chapman. The content has been modified and extended. www.therapeia.org.uk/wp/touching-the- real -2/what-are-you-doing-after-the-olympics/
Point of View
What Are You Doing After The Orgy?
It was a fitting finale to the greatest Olympic Games the world has ever seen. A Great British celebration crowned a magnificent fortnight which has put a proud host nation on top of the world. Our greatest team of athletes led from the front, winning an astonishing 29 gold medals â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest haul in more than 100 years. www.express.co.uk/news/uk/339448/Didn-t-we-do-well-Spectacular-farewell-to-the-greatest-ever-Olympic-Games
The only sound I heard while visiting the Olympic Park was the noise from the nearby construction sites.
Point of View
What Are You Doing After The Orgy?
Ben Freeman is the owner and founder of Ditto. His studio in Shoreditch serves as workspace, publishing house, exhibition space and event location in one.
Ditto is a very specific publishing house. How did it all come together?
I've been interested in publishing long before I went to college. I started making fanzines when I was 11 or 12 years old. When I went to college I kind of remembered that I really liked creating fanzines and magazines and so I started doing that again. At the end of my bachelors degree and during my mastersÂdegree I started publishing a fanzine and worked on different magazines. All of that together led me to start Ditto. Do you think your studies prepared you for your working life?
Not really, because I didn't study publishing. I did quite an experimental communication design degree so it didn't prepare me at all but that's not what it was for. After that I went to the Royal College and you could kind of decide what to do there, so I was doing more publishing. I would also think a lot about the critical framework around publishing during that time. So you learned most of the things you needed to know by just doing it?
Yeah, just doing it but also talking a lot with other people. Before I went to college we never talked about anything, we just did stuff. Then after I went to college we talked about everything and I learned how to think about things properly.
google. localdataimages.com /800_W M/2270/22708875.jpg
What advice would you give young people who want to do publishing?
I think there are two good approaches. One way is just trying to make money, which is fine. Some people just find a place in the market and they start publishing books and magazines for a specific group of people. The other way is to do what we do, which is just doing exactly what you want and being really honest about that. We don't really think so much about money or the market. On the other hand there are people in publishing who make magazines and don't think about the fact that it's the same as lots of other things that already exist. This approach is not going to make money and it's not original. How important is originality and the fact that something has never been done before to you?
It's more about our personal interest. It wouldn't be true to say something we did has never been done before. Probably everything that we've done has some relevance to something that Âalready exists. But it's not the same as anything that already exists. A good example for that is the book Skinhead: An Archive which we did. Skinhead: An Archive is a landmark new publication and exhibition exploring one of the most controversial, misunderstood and radical subcultures. Designed by ÂJamie Reid and published by Ditto, with printed material curated by Toby Mott, the book examines this multi-faceted culture through the filter of printed material, zines, posters and films. The book is divided into sub-sections looking at the original iteration of skinhead, the fascist interpretation, the socialist counterpoint, queer skinhead culture, exploitation literature, skin girls, and everything in between. www.ditto- london .com /1 62 -2
How do you acquire new business? Is it just natural or are you actively looking for interesting work?
It's mostly natural. We are specialized in subculture and experimental fashion photography so the world that we work in is quite small. And because we're established in that world we find out quite soon if someone is interesting to us. Which part of your work is it you have the most fun with?
Probably the most fun part is art directing photoshoots. Especially if it's on location because you go on an adventure with a bunch of talented people and have a really good time. But lots of other things are fun as well. For example when we have launch partys for an publication or a music event that we organize. And I also enjoy the creative process and working in teams. So there are lots of different things I like.
Ben told me about an Ditto-hosted event called »Doom Yoga« which is basically a yoga course with heavy metal music.
Your publications all have a distinctive style. Is this mostly because of your personal taste?
Ditto is basically me and I have a quite specific taste. It's not really narrow but I have certain interests and if you look at everything we do it just shares a common theme.
Point of View
It seems like you have a fascination with printed objects and also analogue workflows. How and why is that?
I'm not a print obsessive person and I don't think print should be protected. But I like physical objects, especially as art objects. So I'm glad that publishing has gone mostly digital because now the physical objects are often of a higher quality. Ben's fiance is a ghostwriter for Âdifferent authors and sells millions of books mostly trough online Âdistribution. How do you decide if something needs to be published in a physical form?
I think there's a slightly commercial imperative. We make money by selling products so I'll always try to make some sort of product. But I don't think about it that much. We just tend to see everything that we make as a project which involves all kind of different things like events, films or t-shirts that accompany the publication. As somebody who's trying to run a business it's good because we can make money in all this different ways but it's also benefiting the project because it exists in a bigger world rather than just an object. How much of your everyday work is analogue and how much is digital?
Right now almost nothing that I do is really analogue. We've been printing for six of the seven years that Ditto is in existence and for five of those years I was personally printing. I like to make things with my hands but it's not very sustainable and I didn't want to be just a printer. Do you think it is a good or a bad thing, business wise, to have such a specific style in all your publications?
I think if you are a design studio it's better to have a diverse range because that way you can have lots of different types of clients. What I do is quite different. People would ask me to do something because they want it to look like something I do. In this sense I'm more of an art director, so for me I think it is a good thing to have specific style.
What are the characteristics a publication has to have to be published by Ditto?
I used to have this ambition that people look at the things we do and say »I don't know how they did that« or »I couldn't do that«. That's changed a little bit. Right now I'd say the main characteristics are talented, a bit weird, original and culturally aware. How much are you involved in the creative decision for a publication?
I'm very involved. There's only one person we publish where I don't really get involved at all and that's James Unsworth because I completely trust him. To everybody else I'm a massive control freak.
After the wildly successful (and now contraband) Ninja Turtle Sex Museum, the notorious James Unsworth returns with this new body of work entitled ›Dead Boys‹. Published here at Ditto, the book explores typically grotesque and explicit scenarios in a vivid day glow colour palette. shop.ditto- london.com/products/dead - boys-james-unsworth
Point of View
Do projects sometimes fail because of arguments between you and the artist?
It's quite rare that projects fail but arguments are very common. I argue with people a lot and I think I can be very difficult to work with. What makes a printed object special to you?
I think it's always a combination of the right paper, ink, print process and design. All of it goes together. But for me there's not one correct formula to make something special, it's just the right combination. What do you think about online inspiration blogs like Pinterest or Behance?
I think Behance devalues the job of a graphic designer because you see design work without context so you can only judge the surface. But I definitely use Instagram or Pinterest, especially for project research. But it's often quite abstract and we use it more like a mood board.
www.instagram.com /ditto_ london /
What is it that fascinates you about subculture?
I think it started when I was like 8 years old. My father was a pilot and he was always going to America in the 80s. He'd come back with all this weird stuff that I totally loved. Later in 86 or 87 I started buying Heavy Metal Cassette-Tapes and initially I was obsessed with the imagery on the Albums. Then I also got interested in the people who listened to it. I think I just love weird stuff and subculture is the best place to find this stuff.
Point of View
Captured Lisa-Marie Kaspar
Lisa-Marie Kaspar is a film photographer from Germany. She captured her impressions of London on film and shared her thoughts on analogue photography. Lisa first got in touch with analogue photography when she was studying in Mainz in 2012. Her first course started with analogue black and white photography to learn all the basics like aperture, shutter, speed and exposure compensation. But the real fascination for the analogue emerged when they started to make prints in the darkroom. »It was a whole new experience for me and changed my view on photography«, Lisa said about developing film for the first time. In 2013 Lisa switched universities and began her B.A. in Communication Design in Würzburg. By that time she also decided to shoot exclusively on film. There are different reasons why she made this change. First off there is the actual setup and thought process behind taking photos analogue. »I love that everything is completely on you, you choose the camera, the lens, the film, thereby the colors, the ISO, you choose the aperture, the shutter speed and so on. This makes you think more about the actual photo you want to take, it makes you feel more calm.« With the spread of digital cameras there are only very few people who still rely on analogue technology in this field. But Lisa thinks there are many important differences between the both that you just can't ignore it. »You learn to trust yourself more and really just press the shutter when you think it's worth it. I also love the exceptional quality of film. You won't be able to copy this feeling and these colors with digital cameras. To me, it is pure magic when the light exposes the film. I don't know why, but shooting on film feels more natural to me.« And even though many would argue that the biggest plus of shooting digital is that you can take as many photographs as you like, to Lisa the opposite is an advantage. »I honestly love the fact that you don't have an unlimited amount of exposures you can take, because you start to calm down and focus more on what you're going to take a photo of. You take less photos of the same subject, you make a selection beforehand.«
Point of View
Captured On Film
But not only personal preferences play into Lisa's mindset when it comes to photographing a subject matter analogue. It can be a powerful conceptual tool, because analogue photographs generate different emotions on the viewer. »If you took a photo of the same subject with a digital and an analogue camera, I bet there will be differences. I believe that the feeling of film is different from a digital sensor, may it be the colors, the grain or the depth of field. Naturally, it also depends on the person looking at the photos, as everybody looks at things in their own way.« In today’s society there is a great desire for nostalgia. This is especially apparent in the use of filters in apps like Instagram , because many of those filters try to imitate the
www.instagram.com /lisamarie_ lmk
feel of analogue photography. This is something Lisa was initially annoyed by, but came to understand and respect in a way. »We should see this rather as a compliment towards film photography instead of complaining about it. Many photographers prefer the digital workflow, but just love the results that film photographs give, so why not combine these things?« Lisa sees only a small downside when you shoot on film and it's actually the only digital part of the process. She often scans her photographs and afterwards edits them on the computer. »There's often dust on the negatives which I need to remove in Photoshop and this is so time consuming. I really hate that!«
Lisa told me that she often builds up a strong relationship to her photographs during the slow process of developing and scanning them.
Point of View
Captured On Film
Ben Rider is a freelance illustrator and teacher based in Hackney. His love for analogue printing techniques gives his work an raw and unique style.
Tell me a little bit about your education in art and design?
I first went to college when I was 20 years old and dropped out in the first year. I think I was just too immature at the time. Then I worked for a while and went back to college when I was 25. I did my diploma in graphic design because originally I wanted to be a graphic designer.
How much of your work is done analogue and how much digital?
It can vary but there is always something in my work that is done analogue, wether it's a small or a big part. The actual screen printing of an artwork is always 100 % analogue. But I'd say in the entire work process it's mostly 50:50. What's the digital influence on your work?
What happened after that?
After I left college I had been constantly applying for graphic design work but not getting any. But while I was applying for those jobs I was doing freelance illustration work, prints and exhibitions. Currently it's quite similar but developed, now I'm focusing on freelance work, exhibitions, teaching and stuff like that. How would you describe your working habits?
I don't think there's a habit because it always depends on the nature of the work. I'd definitely say I'm busy and motivated. Do you have regular work hours?
I'm at my workspace four days a week and typically till it's quite late. I like working in the evening because it's a bit quieter at that time. The rest of the time I'm working onsite somewhere or teaching depending on what I'm working on. What do you think about the process of working analogue?
I have a deep love for the analogue and it's really satisfying for the soul. I also just feel much more comfortable working analogue. For example when I'm drawing something I prefer doing it by hand instead of using a Wacom Tablet. I also like the aesthetic of it. There's nothing wrong with digital but I'm personally more drawn to organic, analogue work.
In some ways it eases the work process for me. If I'm making a collage it's easier to resize things and you can interchange stuff much faster. How do you get inspired and how does it influence your work? I'm inspired a lot by the flea market around the cor-
ner. I love it because it's pretty unique. I'm inspired a lot by beautiful decay, so things like finding a fake toy, a mis spelt or rusty old weathered sign inspires me a lot. And I think this inspiration shows in the gritty aesthetics of my work.
www. hackney fleamarket.com
Do you also use the internet to get inspiration?
Yeah, the internet is great. I used to visit websites like ffffound or Pinterest which worked for me for quite some time. But those sites haven't been as easy and fluid to use recently. The last couple of years I use Instagram a lot because it's easy to follow people you like and seeing what interests them.
Ben showed me how he composes his artworks with different layers for the print process.
With which part of you work do you have the most fun?
I love all of it. From the making of an image to the actual print process . But I must say printing is what I probably have the most fun with. It's very satisfying because it's the part where all of your work is coming together. Do you think there is a difference between exhibiting your work online instead of on site?
Yeah, of course. When I place an image online it sometimes can't quite catch the colors. The colors on a actual print are just a bit more vivid. But I think there's nothing bad about looking at it online, it's just a matter of personal preference. How much are you dependent on digital devices?
I used to rely on making really crappy maps drawn on a piece of paper and I'd never find the place I was looking for. So Google Maps is really handy in that regard. I don't even have my phone on me right now, so I guess I'm not that reliant on it. But I'm definitely checking my emails and Facebook quite a few times a day.
Point of View
The Counter 03/01/2017
The Counter Press is a design studio and private press based in East London and run by graphic designers David Marshall and Elizabeth Ellis.
The Counter Press is a quite unique design studio. Can you tell me how it all came together?
The Counter Press had very humble origins. David and I are both graphic designers and we work a lot in agencies on corporate branding. As with many people, we got an itch to explore something creative outside of working on a Mac. And so we took a short letterpress course with Kelvyn Smith which inspired us to continue with letterpress printing somehow. This began with a small platen press in a sorry state and a very small amount of type. One press led to another, and another, and more type was bought. Before too long we both had too much equipment to keep in both our homes. And so a workshop was needed which meant more space to fill with more presses, more type. And slowly but surely the press has grown to where we are today, allowing us to create both personal work and also client work using traditional techniques in a contemporary way. What is your background in terms of design education?
We both studied graphic design at university, David at Staffordshire University and I studied at Edinburgh College of Art.
It's not that dusty old stuff or nostalgia floats our boat particularly, it's more about how we can create something new from this wonderful old process that gets us going. This doesn't mean that everything we do requires hours of hand typesetting and ink on rollers; we haven't forgotten the computer entirely. Occasionally that means we might be talked into combining letterpress with more modern methods where the project requires. www.thecounterpress.co.uk/about/ Can you describe your creative process when you start a new project?
Everything must start with an idea. We often sit in the pub discussing thoughts or sketching things out in pencil. We tend to avoid using a computer in our design process for our letterpress work. From here we will take our sketches into the studio and start to experiment with type. This might lead us in another direction altogether or everything might come together as we've sketched out. Then it's down to typesetting, imposition and printing, which depending on the project can take a few hours, days, weeks or, in some cases, months.
What is the most fun part in your work?
Where does your fascination for analogue workflows originate?
We like the physicality that wood and metal type bring to the design process. Holding the type in your hands, moving it around piece by piece, building up a composition bit by bit is both challenging and satisfying. You feel a greater connection with the design and the output. By using the traditional letterpress printing techniques we feel the work is more crafted and thoughtful, but we always aim to steer away from nostalgia in what we do.
The process is very varied so there are many enjoyable parts to the work just as there are as many challenging parts. That said there is always a feeling of delight the first time you see the first print pulled off the press â&#x20AC;&#x201C; until that you don't know exactly how the piece will look. It's only once everything has come together on press that you really see the result of all the work you've put in.
Analogue aesthetics are often simulated digitally. Is this comprehensible to you to some extend?
Simulating something digitally to give something a sense of the handmade or authenticity often does quite the opposite, creating something disingenuous and is at odds with the authenticity that was originally craved. More often than not it's a money and time issue but I'm more likely to have a greater affinity to a brand or design that had taken the time to truly craft something. Something that can be digitised afterwards rather than trying to replicate it via digital means. Can you describe the aesthetics that all of your work shares?
A combination of contemporary and classic – each piece of work has a different thought behind it but the way we use the type creates a common thread through our portfolio. We tend to be drawn to creating balanced contrasts: a headline in a Grotesque wood type with a traditional serif, a bright highlight with soft neutrals, a bold statement with an expanse of space. How much of your everyday work is doing analogue work and how much is digital?
Currently we are taking on a combination of both; we take typographic commissions and these tend to use letterpress printing as their starting point. Afterwards the artwork may be digitised for longer print runs, for instance in packaging or magazines. However we also have clients who have come to us for design that doesn't warrant using letterpress. It's about what's right for the project. Can you describe the different feeling of working on something with your hands instead of working on the computer?
When you're working with metal or wood type you have much more of an appreciation for the type, the craftsmanship. You have a closer connection to each letter and it gives you much more of an understanding of using type and really thinking about spacing around the type. Once you do something it's a lot harder to change than simply pressing ›undo‹. There is a special emotion that people have for handcrafted or analogue things in general. Do you think this is a result of our society becoming more and more dependent on digital devices?
I think digital has certainly inspired a lot of people to want to re-connect with more handcrafted processes. There is an growing appreciation and desire for things that aren't just immediate and digital. But there have always been people who have appreciated skilled craftsmanship, there just wasn't such a digital world to juxtapose it against at the time.
Point of View
The Counter Press
What makes a letterpress print special? Is it the process of making it or the result in itself?
I think that any print be it letterpress, screen print or an etching, have a sense of the craft behind them. You can see the ink, you might be able to feel an impression and often it's something you can't do yourself. It also helps that prints made through a more hands on process are part of a limited edition rather than having the option to print on demand. It makes you want to keep them longer. There are less and less printed products today. Does this development frighten you?
With print budgets being slashed printed items are becoming more interesting and exciting. If you've got money to spend on a piece of print then it's worth making it beautiful or worthy of being kept. Just look at the independent magazine market – experimenting with design, print and production is a huge part of what makes these covetable. Print's becoming less throw away and more appreciated which is not frightening in the least. Do you think there is a difference in the effect which digital and analogue work is generating on the viewer?
I think both are very relevant, it comes down to using the right medium for the message. And that may or may not cause the viewer to have a different reaction. For us digital is much better for quicker consumption whereas printed matter is something you can take your time over. How much are you dependent on digital devices for your work and in your private life?
We'd be lying if we said we weren't hugely dependent these days. We're constantly connected to people on our phones or on social media. We use laptops on a daily basis for work when it's needed, for emails, for research. We might love typesetting by hand but we try to avoid being complete luddites!
Peckham Disposable 88
Camera Collected Objects 92
P e c k h a m Rye Lane London SE15 4ST 51° 28' 11.392" N, 0° 4' 6.244" W
Peckham is a very multifaceted
istrict. The streets are colorful d and the residents couldn't be more diverse. Different ethnicities and subcultures live together peacefully.
For casual London travelers Peckham isn't a household name but the district in south-east London is definatly worth a visit.
I documented London through the lens of a disposable camera. That way I tried to limit my output and get a glimpse into analogue photography.
B A 92
A few random objects I collected during my visit to London.
E Analogue Fragments
A free subway newspapers B beermat from Spiritland C case for Oyster Card D badge E photo booth portraits F Tate Modern shopping bag G ICA day membership H Boost chocolate bar I bag from the House of Parliament