Sunday 31 January 2010

Bringing Together The Conversations

It's not often I feel like reposting something across multiple blogs, but the latest piece I've put up on the Dark Mountain blog feels worth flagging up here.

There are two parts to it - the first takes on a question posed to us by Matt Sellwood from the Green Party. He goes along with much of what Paul and I have written, including our attack on environmentalism which perpetuates false hope. But, he asks, how do we avoid the renunciation of false hope becoming "an excuse for having given up on any change being possible at all"? This feels like a question it's time to get stuck into.

Which brings me to the second half of my post - a video dialogue with Vinay Gupta of the Hexayurt Project. Those who've followed what I've been up to over the past year will know that Vinay and I have collaborated on all sorts of stuff - not least, the Institute for Collapsonomics - but this is the first time we've put ourselves in front of the camera for any length of time. The 35 minute discussion ranges around the relationship between villages and cities, taking in John Berger, Alan Garner, Ivan Illich and many other of the writers and thinkers I bang on about - as well as the relationship between culture and technology, the future of science fiction and much more.

So I invite you to head over to the Dark Mountain blog, read the post, watch the video and join in the conversation.

Thursday 7 January 2010

Temporary School Reunion

Remember the Temporary School of Thought?

A year ago, an amazing collection of people gathered in a huge squatted townhouse in Mayfair and held a three-week long free university, with classes in everything from welding to maze-making to how to think about infrastructure and the case for and against art school.

If I hadn't gone down to the Temporary School, most of the things I did in 2009 would never have happened.

It was there that I met Vinay, Mike and the rest of the crew that became the Institute for Collapsonomics. Conversations during those weeks led me to start writing Social Media vs the Recession and The Future of Unemployment, and from there to the beginnings of Signpostr and Space Makers. And it was Steph, one of the organisers of the Temporary School, who co-piloted the Treehouse Gallery in Regents Park, where I spent much of last summer.

The Temporary School was a magical time and space - so when I realised, earlier this week, that we'd reached its first anniversary, it seemed like a good idea to organise a Temporary School Reunion.

This has been thrown together very quickly - but then, that was the spirit that made the original Mayfair school work. It's all happening this Saturday - 9 January down in Brixton.

In keeping with the Temporary School spirit, the reunion will make temporary use of an empty space - this time, one of the shops at Brixton Village/Granville Arcade - the indoor market where Julia and I have been running the Space Makers project over the last few months. We'll be in Unit 40, on the back row of the market, kicking off at 11am on Saturday and running until the market closes at 6pm.

The schedule is still coming together - but Vinay will be giving an updated version of his famous Infrastructure for Anarchists talk at 3pm. And I'll be on at 4.30, giving a very long perspective on the crisis of the university, inspired by the later writings of Ivan Illich. If you want to offer a workshop or lead a discussion, leave a comment here - or just turn up before 11am on Saturday morning and we'll find you a slot.

Next door in Units 41/42, there will be public rehearsals of masked improvisation from theatre collective Firstborn, as part of the Space Station festival - with a performance at 4.30. While a few doors down, the Okido Doodle Shop will be running events for kids.

Whether you were part of the Mayfair School, or only read about it in the papers, come along and help us rekindle some of that spirit. Hopefully it will burn as brightly through 2010 as it has over the past twelve months.

Speaking of keeping warm - we recommend you wear warm clothes and, if you can, bring a cushion or a folding seat! Some seating will be provided...

* For more on the history of the Temporary School, check out this post.

* For directions to Brixton Village/Granville Arcade, go here - it's only three minutes from Brixton tube.

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This blog was my online home between 2006 and 2009. Today, you'll find me scattered across the internet. To start looking, go to my personal website:

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