Colin Marshall sits down in Portland’s Montavilla with Kevin Sampsell, publisher of Future Tense Books, editor of Portland Noir, and author of the memoir A Common Pornography and the novel This is Between Us, forthcoming from Tin House. They discuss the meth crime to be found beyond 82nd Avenue; Portland from the vantage point of his childhood in Washington’s Tri-Cities; how he met other writers by publishing his own "lo-fi chapbooks"; how one forges one’s own unique voice by maintaining their not-giving-a-crap nonchalance; his chronologically un-pinpointable founding of Future Tense and its surprise success with Zoe Trope’s Please Don’t Kill the Freshman; writing as a kind of martial art, which develops you even if you start out flabby, and which demands its own kind of meditation; how he became a (more) serious reader at Powell’s Books; his love of southern writers, and more generally those who combine grittiness and heart; how unimportant he finds sense of place in fiction, yet how much praise he won for "capturing the Tri-Cities" in A Common Pornography; his technique of mixing the mundane with the shocking and hoping for the best; moving from the "no style" and short chapters of his last book to the longer chapters and conversational style of his new one; and the attractions of the Portland writing life, including having space to live and being in a place where nonfiction writers and poets might actually associate.
Tagged with “urban” (29)
Once long past, listening gave clues for survival. Now we listen unconsciously, blocking noise and tuning in to what we want to hear. Yet the unwanted sounds we filter out tell us a lot about our environment and our lives. Broadcaster Teresa Goff listens for the messages in our walls of sound.
As civilization has become more mechanized, more urbanized and more digitized, the amount of noise has increased in tandem. This noise, according to Garrett Keizer, author of The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book about Noise , "is a window for understanding some of the paradoxes and contradictions of being human." If you take the sum total of all sounds within any area, what you have is an intimate reflection of the social, technological, and natural conditions of that place.
Hildegard Westerkamp, a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, says that "Environmental sound is like a spoken word with each sound or soundscape having its own meanings and expressions." So when you listen to the noise, what does it have to tell you? "Noise is a pit of interpretation," says noise musician Brian Chippendale. Broadcaster Teresa Goff goes into the pit with her documentary, The Signal of Noise.
Back in June, I moderated a panel at the 2011 Subtle Technologies Festival. It was called How can we build a city that thinks like the web?, and included Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing), Mark Surman (Mozilla) and Sara Diamond (OCAD University). This week, on my CBC tech podcast, I’m really pleased to be able to play the full (1 hour ) panel.
China’s economy depends on a system regulating workers from around China and beyond. In Guangzhou, the migrant metropolis, Mukul Devichand hears stories of anger and reform.
High density living is great for the environment, right? But what does it do to our heads and hearts? The Australian psyche was moulded by the myth of the ‘wide brown land’, so what might life packed like sardines look and feel like? With the world’s seven billionth person about to be born, can we learn from the Asian megacity experience? And will we still be sharing a cup of sugar with our neighbours? As the population debate gets mental, we’re going in search of the soul in urban sprawl. A forum featuring Bernard Salt, Kim Dovey, Helen Killmier, and Sein-Way Tan, hosted by ABC Radio National’s Natasha Mitchell at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne.
THE ART OF THE WIRE: A DISCUSSION WITH CAST AND CREATORS. Check it out below as ROBERT CHEW enacts what PROPOSITION JOE would think of Barack Obama, and JAMIE HECTOR explains the back-story he created for MARLO STANFIELD, and writer GEORGE PELECANOS admits they could’ve done a better job portraying women characters, and FRAN BOYD — the inspiration for David Simon’s The Corner — explains love and redemption, and POOT … well, TRAY CHANEY will tell you that Poot is just Poot.
At this State of Design Festival event, Dan Hill discusses how cities worldwide are beginning to transform the urban experiences through smart digital services, to the benefit of all users of the city. He describes a world in which people will increasingly expect the normal urban experience – public transport, wayfinding, council services, urban planning and architecture, cultural activities and so on – to be as interactive as apps on a smart phone. Drawing from his experience with cities and urban developments globally (as a Senior Consultant with Arup), Dan Hill provides a user guide for the coming era of smart cities.
Presented by State of Design at ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne, July 2010
When you think of a city, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most likely it is the stuff that it is made up of: its streets and buildings, its parks and squares. But what sets a city apart, aside from its architecture, is how all that stuff is put to use. A city’s nightlife, a city’s cuisine, a city’s culture. In other words, what people make of the space they live in when they are at play.
Play isn’t limited to the ‘soft side’ of urbanism. In fact, it turns out a building isn’t some prefixed structure capable of doing one thing only. Adaptation and reuse continuously transform what a city’s architecture is for, often from the bottom up. In this way, a city’s people shape their homes as well, quite literally.
What is at work in this process of city transformation, is nothing less than play. In cities, just as in games, people and the space they inhabit shape each other. Thus, in our Western cities, where reuse is overtaking construction of new space, we are all becoming architects.
In this session Kars looks at how game culture and play shape the urban fabric, how we might design systems that improve people’s capacity to do so, and how you yourself, through play, can transform the city you call home.
Kars Alfrink is ‘Chief Agent’ of Hubbub, a networked design studio for applied pervasive games. Hubbub works with organizations to create games that take place in public space, engage people physically, and are socially relevant. Amongst other things, these games are used to encourage good citizenship and to facilitate cultural participation.
Besides this, Kars teaches at the Utrecht School of the Arts, where he mentors students who are pursuing a Master of Arts in Interaction Design or Game Design & Development. He is also the initiator and co organizer of ‘This Happened’ — Utrecht,a series of lectures dedicated to the stories behind interaction design.
In his spare time, Kars practices a traditional Japanese martial art, and tries to keep up with geek culture.
As the climate warms, oil disappears, and the economy shakes and shifts, how will our urban places adapt? Will density and communal living be important tools for human resilience, or will city life become costly and unworkable—or even unlivable? Listen to Kunstler share his forecast for the American city, elaborate on his feature in the July/August 2011 issue of the magazine, and answer listener questions.
From edge.org: http://edge.org/conversation/geoffrey-west
For the past few years Geoffrey West, a physicist former president of SantaFe Institute has been calling for "a science of how city growth affects society and environment".
After years of focusing on scalability of cities and urban environments, West, is now is bringing "some of the powerful techniques, ideas, and paradigms developed in physics over into the biological and social sciences". He is looking at a bigger picture and asking the following question: "to what extent can biology and social organization (which are both quintessential complex adaptive systems) be put in a more quantitative, analytic, mathemitizable, predictive framework so that we can understand them in the way that we understand ‘simple physical systems’?’
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