Westfield Stratford City drift (with rotting meat and Olympic village vertical slum)

Yesterday evening I got a call from artist Bob and Roberta Smith asking if I fancied exploring the new Westfield Stratford City that had just opened that day down the road from Leytonstone. I quickly grabbed my minidisc recorder and a mic and off we went.
Bob then played out the entire disc live and unedited on his Resonance fm show, Make Your Own Damn Music. This is a sample of the broadcast.

Cyber Busy-bodies or enabling community engagement?

I was interested to see the Fix My Street site linked on the new Labour blog thing Labour List. Basically you just put your postcode in and report any problems you see in your area – marking them on an annotatable map e.g. street lights not working, remove graffiti please (nice that this is one cyber forum where manners are still the norm).
In 2004 I met the Urban Planning Department in Wycombe to discuss the derives we were doing in the area – particularly the algorithmic derives that led people into areas where they wouldn’t normally wander. We pitched it as a way of fostering a renewed engagement with the local environment, of increasing civic pride. The planners and environment department read this as an excellent way of getting people to photograph and report fly-tipping and graffiti rather than the mass exercise in psychogeography that I had envisioned.
Fix My Street therefore has me caught in two minds between being beguiled by the poetry of low-level community concerns and the fact that the site seems well used and disappointed that the entries aren’t more guided by ambiences and that there aren’t posts along the lines of ‘strong resonances of the 16th plague pit in Lever Street’

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