I've been too exhausted, lately, to update this blog much, or write much of substance. Mainly from the stresses and efforts in trying to buy a flat, which is predictably quite hard work.
I have been keeping up with my two new-ish side-projects, on TV tonight and Popular Misconceptions, both of which encourage me to write small amounts of text in a set format on a regular basis, which is quite pleasing.
I'm still doing stuff at work on the Science Museum and Dana Centre websites, and a few projects in the pipeline, including what should be a great online physics simulation game for the new Launchpad gallery.
Despite the lack of time to do much outside of work though, I've still got loads of ideas, concepts and lines of research buzzing around in my head. In lieu of having the time to investigate and write about these properly, I thought I'd jot down some of these here. So excuse the braindump.
- I'm interested in the history of the Crystal Palace (from searching for a flat in the area). What were the exhibitions really like, and was it a theme park, an exhibition venue, an encyclopaedia of art, or some mix of the three, along with a bunch of other stuff? I've bought a few books and have started looking into local archives. It'd be great to do something with this history - maybe a website pretending it's still open, or an online annotatable catalog of where all the exhibits can be found now.
- Following on from that, I'm interested in the World's Fairs, which seem to have followed the London Great Exhibition, but then have been really persued by France, with a series of three major 'Exposition Universelle's. They even formed a Bureau of International Expositions, with a bidding process which makes it sound like the Olympics, but which actually seems to have become largely insignificant.
- I'm also thinking about a website idea I've long considered for news, whereby individual news stories from across the world could be strung together by a community of users, in an attempt to make sense of news stories that seem to start but never finish, or which fizzle out, or become intertwined with other stories. Imagine being able to subscribe to stories, in scales from 'the Northern Ireland peace process' to 'the Bob Woolmer murder' or even 'the pay dispute at my local hospital', and follow the pulses and rhythms of these ongoing news events.
- Collections by eBay. Museums historically collect stuff, even mundane, everyday stuff, in the hope that it'll be important in the future when the items becomes rare. Now that you can buy pretty much anything historical of mass-production from eBay, can we 'crowdsource' some of our collections, and simply buy and then sell objects as we need them for specific exhibitions?
- Typography on the web. Learning about the classical skill and art of typography, and how this can be applied on the web, is really interesting. Perhaps because it's about order and rhythm , which is easier for me to grasp than the more fluid skills of drawing and illustration.
- Parishes. I'd associated these with churches, but they're actually the lowest form of formal government in the UK. Except in London, where they were banned from 1965. But there are moves from the Government, and the Mayor of London, to bring back parishes for London, which could give each local area a small budget to spend and some form of direct democracy.
- Edwardians. The BBC Four documentaries on Edwardians have been excellent.
- Gilbert and George: just watched Alan Yentob's Imagine programme on this pair of artists, which was also excellent. The BBC website has a 'downloadable' (and print-outable) artwork from these artists, which was created during the programme. An interesting idea, and there must be more you could do with this.