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Yesterday’s man
2008-09-04 10:39:20 - by Nicolas Malevé

PNG - 145.3 kb
Yesterday’s Man

In the framework of The City as Commons in a Divided World, the Kaai Theater presents Yesterday’s Man described as:

" [...] the voyage of a stranger who’s confronted with an ever changing city, Beirut. The project is based on the hypothesis that every city has another city beneath it, and below that another and so on. From time to time, and for unknown reasons, fragments of these hidden cities rise to the surface, confronting the present in the supposedly new city; they appear brusquely or hesitantly and sometimes with harshness and cruelty. "

A collaboration between Rabih Mroué, Tiago Rodrigues, Tony Chakar and Thomas Walgrave. The performance will take place on the 11th of September 2008 at 20.00.
Read more

Bruxelles Social
2008-08-18 13:01:00 - by Pierre Huyghebaert

Le site Bruxelles Social offre la visualisation sur cartes de nombre d’acteurs sociaux à Bruxelles, avec une base de données très riche allant des structures d’hébergement jusqu’au agences de logements par exemple. Basé sur Urbis et développé par le CIRB, la navigation requiert -pour l’instant- l’utilisation de trois fenêtres : requête, carte et fiche détaillée.

En effet... Il me semble, on pourrait concevoir les gens comme des mains.
2008-08-13 15:54:09 - by Nicolas Malevé

... le problème d’une analyse, c’est peut-être pas du tout de faire une "psychanalyse", mais de faire par exemple, on peut concevoir autre chose, une "géo-analyse".

- Et une géo-analyse c’est précisément, ça part d’une idée suivante : c’est que les gens, que ce soient les individus ou les groupes, ils sont composés de lignes. C’est une analyse de linéaments, tracer les lignes de quelqu’un, à la lettre, faire la carte de quelqu’un. Alors là, la question même : est-ce que ça veut dire quelque chose ou pas ? Évidemment elle perd tout sens. Une ligne, ça veut rien dire. Simplement faire la carte avec "les espèces de lignes de quelqu’un" ou d’un groupe, d’un individu, à savoir qu’est-ce que c’est que toutes ces lignes qui se mélangent. En effet... Il me semble, on pourrait concevoir les gens comme des "mains". Chacun de nous c’est comme une main ou plusieurs mains. On a des lignes, alors ces lignes ne disent pas l’avenir parce qu’elles préexistent pas, mais il y a des lignes, bon, de toutes sortes de natures, et entre autres il y a des lignes qu’on peut appeler de bordures, de pentes ou de fuites.

- Et d’une certaine manière vivre, c’est vivre sur - en tout cas aussi - c’est vivre sur ces lignes de fuite. Alors c’est ça que j’ai essayé d’expliquer, mais chaque type de lignes a ses dangers. C’est pour ça que, c’est pour ça que c’est bien, c’est pour ça que c’est très bien, on peut jamais dire - c’est là que je me sauverai - le salut ou le désespoir, vient toujours d’une autre ligne que celle qu’on attendait. On est toujours pris par surprise. ...

Extrait des cours de Gilles Deleuze donnés à l’Université de Paris 8. A lire et écouter ici.

software commit visualisations
2008-07-22 11:02:46 - by Nicolas Malevé

Codeswarm by Michael Ogawa.

«This visualization, called code_swarm, shows the history of commits in a software project. A commit happens when a developer makes changes to the code or documents and transfers them into the central project repository. Both developers and files are represented as moving elements. When a developer commits a file, it lights up and flies towards that developer. Files are colored according to their purpose, such as whether they are source code or a document. If files or developers have not been active for a while, they will fade away. A histogram at the bottom keeps a reminder of what has come before.»

http://vis.cs.ucdavis.edu/ ogawa/codeswarm/

The code:

It is worth looking also to the VIDI group of which Ogawa is a member.

Thanks Wendy for the info.

Enclave / Exclave
2008-07-16 18:54:08 - by Femke Snelting

This well-known border curiosity can be observed in Baarle Nassau, the Belgium-Dutch village that managed to make an unresolved border conflict into a tourist attraction.

"In 1995 a remeasurement of all the borders of enclaves according to modern exact standards was completed. This gave rise to some problems of this kind. In at least one case a house would have had to move from Belgium to the Netherlands. The inhabitants did not want that to happen, but the solution was simple: they moved the front door of their house."


(thanks Nik Gaffney for reminding us)

Shrinking cities
2008-07-07 19:45:33 - by Nicolas Malevé

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Shrinking Cities
Project Office Philipp Oswalt, Berlin/Researcher Tim Rieniets, Tanja Wesse (graphics), Berlin
Title: "World Map of Shrinking Cities 1950 - 2000"
Graphics, 2006
(c) Project Office Philipp Oswalt
Whether in the USA, Britain, or Belgium, Finland, Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, or China: everywhere, cities are shrinking. The dramatic development in eastern Germany since 1989, which has led to more than a million empty apartments and to the abandoning of countless industrial parks and social and cultural facilities, has proven to be no exception, but a general pattern of our civilization. Shrunken cities contradict the image, familiar since the Industrial Revolution, of the "boomtown", a big city characterized by constant economic and demographic growth. Shrunken cities spur a reconsideration not only of traditional ideas of the European city, but also of the future development of urban worlds. The drastic changes in cities caused by shrinking thus present not only an economic and social, but also a cultural challenge. Urban shrinking can hardly be affected by city planning, and it brings numerous problems. New types of cities arise; we do not yet have ways of thinking or of using their specific character.

A project initiated by Federal Cultural Foundation

Denis Wood on maps, neighborhoods and pumpkins
2008-07-02 12:14:10 - by Nicolas Malevé

From the archive of This American Life’s radio, a wonderful broadcast described as:

Five ways of mapping the world. One story about people who make maps the traditional way—by drawing things we can see. And other stories about people who map the world using smell, sound, touch, and taste. The world redrawn by the five senses.

Especially moving is the interview of Denis Wood who creates maps of Boylan Heights, Raleigh, North Carolina, his neighborhood: a traditional street locator map; a map of all the sewer and power lines under the earth’s surface; a map of how light falls on the ground through the leaves of trees; a map of where all the Halloween pumpkins are each year; and a map of all the graffiti in the neighborhood

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Pumpkins map, by Denis Wood

More images

I couldn’t resist to make a partial transcript of the interview. Here it goes:
Denis Wood: I have a map of the pumpkins that were on the porches at Halloween.
Ira Glass: What does it tell you?
DW: That’s actually a very interesting map. I like to relate it to the map that shows the number of times each residence was mentioned in the Boyler Heights newsletter in the past 25 years
IG: You made a map of that?
DW: Yes, you take all the newsletters and you just note every address that appears in it.
Wether it appears as the name of a specific individual in the neighborhood or as address and you just do frequenties attached to each one of the residences. And the thing that strucked me about that map when I first did it was that some locations, some dwellings ... are frequently mentioned no matter whoever lives in them and I imagined that who were going to be movers and shakers in the neighborhood pick homes that are in important locations in the neighborhood are architecturally significant or historically significant
IG: They have just got more money
DW: Believe me, money is what’s behind both the pumpkin map and that map.
IG: As you told me this, I was thinking where are the pumpkins? Where is the greatest proliferation of orange pumpkins.
DW: Oh that’s not what the map was. I photographed the pumpkins face and then I printed them black on black so you see the eyes and the mouths of the pumpkins on the black background
IG: So the map of the pumpkins is a map where there are just little eyes and pumpkins mouths floating by the houses which have them
DW: They are just floating on the black background just like the traffic lights were floating...And the map of the traffic signs is just traffic signs, there are no streets or anything. On the map of the streets there are just streets, on the map of the trees there are just trees. And what you do when you go through these maps is you begin to build up even though it is never said a kind of structural knowledge that you take away as a kind of resonance of that neighborhood. You know the idea that we have to have the pumpkins drawn against the streets only makes sense when you don’t have any other images. As soon as you have other images, you say oh my... look look look where these pumpkins are, they are just exactly where, and I here answer your question, exactly where people are mentioned all the time in the newsletter And if you go away to the edges of the neighborhood where people aren’t mentioned in the newsletter My good they don’t have pumpkins on their porches
IG: So the people mentioned in the newsletter they tend to be people in the bigger homes
DW: Yes, they do.

DW: [I made maps of] patterns of leaf light in the neighborhood light coming through the leaves of the trees in summer time
IG: What does that tell you?
DW: They are what it is to live in the neighborhood. the neighborhood is experienced as a clutch of patterns of light and sound and smell and tastes and communication with others

DW: But I guess, what I am pushing for here is selecting subject for cartographic display that are other than these that are typical
IG: it almost sounds like you are trying to create a ... novel
DW: I am
IG: but with pure symbols of map
DW: yeah. why not?

note: I found the link to the broadcast on the excellent Perrygeo weblog

Number two is out ! Nummer twee is uit ! Le numéro deux est sorti !
2008-06-25 14:01:14 - by Pierre Huyghebaert

[ EN ]

The new towards publication is out.
It contains :
- a history of the project including the numerous workshops and talks that happened the last two years.
- the schemes, ideas and plans for Tresor, a route accross free softwares for a subjective and collective cartography
- an overview of the maps collected in the framework of our nascent atlas of the subjective maps of Brussels

Using the tools and ideas explained in the Tresor section of the publication, we produced the cover. The code we have written at this occasion as well as an explanation of the process is available here.

Special thanks to the PEPRAV network for making this second publication possible and to Rafaella for her wonderful redactional work, insights and energy.

This publication is released under the terms of the Free Art License and you can download it here (45 Mb).

[ NL ]

Sinds enkele dagen is de tweede editie van onze tweede krant verschenen in een oplage van 3000 exemplaren. 8 goed gevulde pagina’s zijn het resultaat van meer dan 9 maanden voorbereiding. De grotendeels engelse inhoud bestaat onder andere uit :
- hoogtepunten van twee jaar activiteiten
- een selectie uit onze atlas
- een verklarend schema van het Tresor software-platform
- alle posts die op dit blog gepubliceerd zijn verwerkt in een cover-beeld

Gepubliceerd onder de Free-Arts licentie
Je kunt de krant ook downloaden (45 mb)

[ FR ]

Notre deuxième journal est sorti à 3000 exemplaires de chez nos fidèles imprimeurs depuis quelques jours. Plus de neuf mois de préparation pour un huit pages bien tassé.

Au sommaire, principalement en anglais :
- Le point sur plus de deux ans d’activités
- Une sélection parmi notre atlas
- Un schéma explicatif complet de la plateforme logicielle Trésor
- Et une couverture qui reprend tous les post publiés sur ce blog depuis le début !

Publié sous licence art libre il est aussi disponible au téléchargement (45 Mb).

The power geometry of it all
2008-06-10 21:59:49 - by Nicolas Malevé

A Global Sense of Place – by Doreen Massey
From Space, Place and Gender. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1994.

Imagine for a moment that you are on a satellite, further out and beyond all actual
satellites; you can see ’planet earth’ from a distance and, unusually for someone with
only peaceful intentions, you are equipped with the kind of technology which allows
you to see the colours of people’s eyes and the numbers on their number plates. You
can see all the movement and turn in to all the communication that is going on.
Furthest out are the satellites, then aeroplanes, the long haul between London and
Tokyo and the hop from San Salvador to Guatemala City. Some of this is people
moving, some of it is physical trade, some is media broadcasting. There are faxes, e-
mail, film-distribution networks, financial flows and transactions. Look in closer and
there are ships and trains, steam trains slogging laboriously up hills somewhere in
Asia. Look in closer still and there are lorries and cars and buses, and on down further,
somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, there’s a woman - amongst many women - on foot,
who still spends hours a day collecting water.

Now I want to make one simple point here, and that is about what one might call the
power geometry of it all; the power geometry of time-space compression. For
different social groups, and different individuals, are placed in very distinct ways in
relation to these flows and interconnections. This point concerns not merely the issue
of who moves and who doesn’t, although that is an important element of it; it is also
about power in relation to the flows and the movement. Different social groups have
distinct relationships to this anyway differentiated mobility: some people are more in
charge of it than others; some initiate flows and movement, others don’t; some are
more on the receiving-end of it than others; some are effectively imprisoned by it.
In a sense at the end of all the spectra are those who are both doing the moving and
the communicating and who are in some way in a position of control in relation to it -
the jet-setters, the ones sending and receiving the faces and the e-mail, holding the
international conference calls, the ones distributing films, controlling the news,
organizing the investments and the international currency transactions. These are the
groups who are really in a sense in charge of time-space compression, who care really
use it and turn it to advantage, whose power and influence it very definitely increases.
On its more prosaic fringes this group probably includes a fair number of western
academics and journalists - those, in other words, who write most about it.

But there are also groups who are also doing a lot of physical moving, but who are not
’in charge’ of the process in the same way at all. The refugees from El Salvador or
Guatemala and the undocumented migrant workers from Michoacan in Mexico,
crowding into Tijuana to make a perhaps fatal dash for it across the border into the US
to grab a chance of a new life. Here he experience of movement, and indeed of a
confusing plurality of cultures, is very different. And there are those from India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Caribbean, who come half way round the world only to get
held up in an interrogation room at Heathrow.

Or - a different case again- there are those who are simply on the receiving end of
time-space compression. The pensioner in a bed-sit in any inner city in this country,
eating British working-class-style fish and chips from a Chinese take-away, watching
a US film on a Japanese television; and not daring to go out after dark. And anyway
the public transport’s been cut.

Or - one final example to illustrate a different kind of complexity - there are the
people who live in the favelas of Rio, who know global football like the back of their
hand, and have produced some of its players; who have contributed massively to
global music, who gave up the samba and produced the lambada that everyone was
dancing to last year in the clubs of Paris and London; and who have never, or hardly
ever, been to downtown Rio. At one level they have been tremendous contributors to
what we call time-space compression; and at another level they are imprisoned in it.

Amphibian organilectric
2008-05-23 11:16:21 - by Nicolas Malevé

On theweblog of Yolande Harris, you will find the details of her project Satellite Sounders, which «maps» satellites positions into audio.

Here is a note she wrote to explain her ideas on mapping

by "mapping" i refer to decisions of how to transform data into sound

this is a relatively simple example:
GPS data is limited in its ranges and frequency of change
the sound is limited by the computing power of the small device

i need identify the prominent characteristics of movement and change in the data and map this to suitable changes in audio. but to do this I need to have an idea of the density of the soundfield I will make, how perceivable changes in data will be, how the characteristics of movement will be traceable in the final sound.

the data has specific numerical ranges and limits. the sound is only limited by human hearing range and distortion of the audio signal. so choices have to be made at the specific level of numerical transformations into audio processes and the final audible result will be particular to those choices.

the sonification of data implies an obligation to choose sounds, and engage in the sonic as composition and as a field of emotive potential to the listener, basically pure sound overlayed or underlayed with patterns of meaning that may or may not be apparent in the audible experience.

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