Monday, April 29, 2013

Mapping (Me)lbourne Week 2 individual writing/collaborative poem

At Flinders St station I
jump over the ticket barrier
without glancing around

As I wait
a man appears,
with him a small child
who holds a
bright, purple balloon

Outside my blinkers
two men are bleeding

A woman paces anxiously
screeching into her mobile.

The rest is the quiet hum and shuffle
of people in transit.

What they order at the food stores…
How they have their coffees…

At Flinders St station
I saw a bride cry
in the toilets

The balloon began to
detach and fly  from the child
and enter the crowded atmosphere

A funny rhythm, a funny dance,
rusting residue from people’s shoes

I long to twirl
in the ballroom above

At Flinders St station, I wait
and sometimes, I run.

Memory Maps Project: University of Essex and V&A

"A new genre of literature has been emerging strongly in recent years. It doesn't belong automatically on any particular shelf in a bookshop, or to a particular category in a library catalogue. Writers working in this vein are exploring people and places and the relations between them, and in order to do so they combine fiction, history, traveller's tales, autobiography, anecdote, aesthetics, antiquarianism, conversation, and memoir. Mapping memories involves listening in to other people's ghosts as well as your own. Dérive - the French for drift - characterizes this approach, rather than more purposeful terms like quest or research, though memory maps demand processes of investigation and endless curiosity and an impulse towards wonder. Memory mapping grows out of daydreaming, reverie, and the unbidden images that come up in the mind. This is writing as fugue, as enigma variations, as rapporteur of what Antonio Damasio has called 'the movie-in-the-brain', that is, the phantasmic flow of consciousness. A dériveur arrives at 'astonishment upon the terrain of familiarity,' writes Robert Macfarlane, and becomes 'more sensitive to the hidden histories and encrypted events of the city' - or the country."

From here

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Investigation Flinders St Station

The writing exercise we began last week, 'At Flinders St Station, I...." sparked conversation about the iconic Melbourne landmark, and in particular the 'memory made into myth' ballroom.
Upon further investigation, i found this Behind the Clocks
The Station used to be the heart of Melbourne, and it is only fitting it is mentioned, as we begin our discovery walk of  Melbourne for the Mapping (Me)lbourne project.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mapping (Me)lbourne: Week One

Once upon a time mapmakers thought the world had edges. Beyond the edge the maps were inscribed with the words: Here be monsters! Where are the monsters in our maps of Melbourne? Where are the enchanted areas? 

This was the first workshop in the course. Eventually we are going to create an alternate map of a corner of Melbourne, but first things first. We had ace cartographer Martin Von Wyss talking about traditional map-making. He talked the group through a range of maps (see photos here)

For our first exercise we each drew a short map of "How I got here". We looked at some examples of artistic maps, talked about psychogeography and why as humans we have the urge to record, catalogue, track etc ... Finally, as a group, we drew a circle around an area of the Melbourne map - keeping Signal well within it - our walk will take place somewhere within the confines of this magic circle.

Homework was a creative writing exercise, a continuation of this line: 

At Flinders Street Station I ...

Mapping Melbourne is a creative writing/mapping course created by Lisa D'Onofrio and Simmone Howell. It will be run at Signal throughout April and May 2013. Information here. For all enquiries contact: writeasrain (AT) zoho (DOT) com or simmonehowell (AT) hotmail (DOT) com

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Walkable Cities

In his book Walkable City Jeff Speck comes up with a  “General Theory of Walkability, which explains how, to be favored, a walk has to satisfy four main conditions: it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Each of these qualities is essential and none alone is sufficient."

More on walkable cities here

Our Mapping (Me)lbourne project
 starts today. Is Melbourne a walkable city?

Stalkers, Drift & Dada Excursions

A great list of ten art-walks by Carrie Marie Schneider here

Vito Acconci, Following Piece (1969) Mixed media, 30 inches x 40 inches

Melbourne Memory Maps part 2 - Thake & Garner

Nice things happen when you google 'Melbourne Memory Maps'  - one, you get some photographs of Eric Thake from the State Library Collection including evidence of a bird's-eye view of Melbourne mural that is alas no more and two, you find a blog run by someone whose writings you previously enjoyed in a weird anthology about Melbourne architecture.

Here are Eric Thake's memory maps:


And here are the Urbanists:

I liked this post about a mental map of Melbourne's inner north as written about in Helen Garner novels. i can remember when I first moved to Fitzroy I did a lot of bike-riding and site-spotting. I lived in Fitzroy from about 1991-95 give or take a year - and it's like a nostalgia picnic every time I go back.