After moving down to Oxford I did an update of my Birmingham Emotions conversational psychogeography project. That’s now quite simple as I have built a ‘happy monitor’ that can centre anywhere. I’m not as happy myself as I was with the results however, whether due to the increasing volume of the Tweets that it analyses or something else the rating doesn’t move around too much. Such was the problem I proposed in a very quick talk at Oxford Geek Night 27. Here are the slides from the presentation, I think the audio was being recorded and will add if I get hold of it.
I’ve already had a number of suggestions about improving the equation or analysis, if they’re code-able by me I shall try. If not I will have to ask for help…
On a side note, the whole idea of conversational psychogeography came to me when I was thinking of putting an emotional wellbeing indicator in the form of a light at the top of Birmingham’s Rotunda (see how it’s still unfinished right at the top. That was back in 2008, but it seems that London has finally installed something a little similar. Drat.
You can get twice daily Oxford updates on Twitter.
From 18th July until September the large glass edition of the Birmingham Music Map is going to be on display at The Public in West Bromwich as part of their Summer Exhibition. It’s free to visit and has a rather nice coffee shop-cum-bar.
Thanks to Jez from the Birmingham Music Archive for his continued support of this.
On the first day of April Danny Smith and I delivered a walking tour of the ‘back end’ of Birmingham city centre as part of the Still Walking festival. Ben Waddington the genius behind the festival asked for something that played with the city’s memes and myths, so that’s what we tried to do.
(photo by Simon Brettell)
As a result perhaps of the date not everyone was sure how true all of it was, but I can assure you the nuclear comms bunker with a billiard room is really there.
I’m currently knee deep in postcards, books about the seaside and still have sand in my good pumps. It’s nearly six months since I spent two weeks traveling around all of England and Wales’s surviving seaside pleasure piers and we’re about halfway through writing the book. It’s hard going, but fun. Here’s the picture side of every postcard we sent (one of each) to each of our funders—the trip was paid for by around thirty people, all of whom are awaiting publication with anticipation I hope.
But what was it about? Well, we were lucky enough to get the chance to talk to the great Andrew Collins and Josie Long on 6 Music, and that’s as good an introduction as any is likely to be.
Listen to Pier Review on 6 Music
And we followed it up a week later with another slot:
And we’ve also made our secret blog open to all, you can read some behind-the-scenes stuff now.
Forever? Lasted about three days.
Now that is what I call a map. Every pub in Birmingham as available from the Open Street Map XAPI (on 6/1/11), for use as a navigational aid.
Plotted as a mapless map with Maperitive, and text tided up in Illustrator, no data was added or removed (except for duplicate of ‘The Tennis Courts’ in Perry Barr, which is plotted twice on OSM).
Prints available , although you’re free to open, download, and explore the PDF.
Data and icon from and © Open Street Map under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 licence and as such the PDF/image here is too.
Next Friday (26th November) I’m doing a brief set as part of this Stand up Comedy thing.
I’ve not written the act, as such, yet—but it’ll probably be something to do with beards.
With the Birmingham Popular Music Archive I’ve been inviting the public to contribute to an online database of music culture in Birmingham, by placing venues, artists, people or anything they feel relates to music on a map. You can see and add your memories to the map, here.
An editioning of the results so far was commissioned in the form of the Birmingham Music Map as part of ‘plug in’ an exhibition at mac curated by Simon Poulter. The exhibition has now finished, and the artwork (printed on toughened glass and around a metre wide by 1.4m high) is looking for a new home. I’m happy for it to be displayed in any public place as long as they will display an artist’s card next to it and look after it — it would be brilliant if it was mounted somewhere appropriate, but if you’re interested please drop me a line at email@example.com.
If you’ve not got the room, poster/print copies are available, screenprinted on gorgeous white archival paper at B1 (707 × 1000mm /27.8 × 39.4in) in a signed and numbered limited edition of 100 copies.
Buy Now (£25 plus £5 postage and packing — recorded delivery):
Price for framed copies on application. Please email for details.
Some time ago I spent a a while collecting the wifi network names I saw while on my travels around Brum. It’s an interesting insight into the minds of those who set them up.
In New York for a week and without being able to afford to use 3G on my phone I was sniffing for wifi a lot — and again became obsessed with the names given to the wireless access. I tried not to let it overtake me though, so I only wrote down the good ones. NY’s grid system of streets would facilitate a great psychogeographic experiment of walking the grids and laying the names on a map — but until I get a chance this little snippet will have to do:
Of course, I’ve mocked this up, but you could at times see this many networks at once — and they were almost all locked.