I've got a deadline tonight so naturally I spent the afternoon wandering about town, playing with the digital camera Carrie has lent me. I'm supposed to be getting a photo moto but there seems to be endless confusion over it, hence the borrow of an actual camera instead. The reason for upgrading my moto is so that I can do digital photos for the blog without either carrying yet another piece of hardware about or drawing attention to the act of photographing.
There is a lot I'd like to write about the idea of lomography and blogging, and about the act of documentation altering the object being perceived. This was the idea at the heart of History 101 after all: how the 'documentary arts' - film, photography, even painting and history - have a quantum physics element to them (Schrodinger's Box Brownie, if you insist). However, I do have to get this work done for the deadline, so instead here are a couple of the photos I took today (click to see full image).
These are taken in the underpass I go through every day on the way from home to the city. The underpass and the bridges right next to it are a boundary: walking through them I move from a personal to a work mentality. I've always found the underpass a strange place. There are three routes through it: to the city centre (green), to the bypass (blue), to the river (red). Where all three meet is a circular tiled space, sometimes used by buskers for the amazing acoustics. I swear I have occassionly heard strange machinery sounds when I'm at the very centre of it, like some underground pumps.
The red wall this message has appeared on is a specific spot to me: just before Christmas, I was walking through and realised that there was an old dosser lying on the floor and a young dosser standing over him saying "just give me the money". Like others, I almost walked by but then turned around and stopped. Asked what was going on, told the younger guy to back off. Another passer-by stopped when I did and the apparent mugger backed off. Then at the end of one of the other passageways I saw a young family calling the police. Now this message, this call to action, has appeared on the wall. It feels very strange, as if the site is starting to build up a new resonance. Whilst taking the photos, I noticed that everyone slowed and read the message. One woman laughed out loud, saying it was fantastic. Doubtless the council will get rid of it in the next week or two, as it's defacing the gloomy red seaweed.
The other photo is from a stairwell nearby and I just liked the use of stencils and tags. And that it could be any city, rather than Exeter. Carrie just (lunchtime, 19th Jan) sent me a link to the Exeter Stencil archive, which documents some of the best stencil and freehand graffiti in the city (including the S T O P on the steps up from the red arm of the underpass).