Flagon, Pluviôse, 228: Donkeys and baskets

Hi, sorry I don't have much for you this week. I was away at the weekend and I haven't really sat down and thought about much at all for the past seven days. Tom Armitage (he also has a blog) sent me an article about Disco Elysium which begins with a quote form one of the developer's (ZA/UM) founders on their name:
"It just looks hella cool, that slash there. It looks like the technical name of something that definitely exists and weighs eight tonnes."
As Tom said in his email: 'ZA/UM appear to be more rock and roll than I can conceive.' I guess in my own janky, inappropriate way I try to be a bit rock and roll. Maybe we could all try being more rock and roll.


I have the videos and images from What if Our World is Their Heaven to sort out and write up. This was the workshop slash studio that Natalie Kane and I ran with MA Graphic Media Design at London College of Communication. We looked at the cultural and political dimensions of 'automated image production and dissemination.' This is slightly selfish as I'm trying to kick off a research project at LCC on the same theme but it proved fruitful; the students really got on with it and pulled out a dizzying array of interesting projects and practices.

Anyway, I'm off to Edinburgh in 30 mins to do an event on speculative design at Edinburgh Napier's Creative Informatics Lab. I'm still not sure exactly what to talk about. The easy version would just be to go on about some work I've done but I don't know if people are interested in that. Then on Friday afternoon I'm back in London for the 'Designing for Alternative Futures' event at the Design Museum. Just check out the lineup on that. What a corker.

Things I Learnt This Week

This week I did make sure to note some things I learnt. 
  • I learnt what a freakshake was from a menu in a cafe in Bakewell. They are...  alarming. 
  • I learnt the etymological origins of the gay slang 'Twink' which is connected to the confectionary. I honestly didn't know. When you think about it, it's kind of obvious. 
  • Finally, in the podcast at the moment we're doing Sufi mysticism and Nasreddin came up who I learnt about from Slavs and Tartars a while back but h regaled the story of the basket and the donkey which tickles me (and because I can't find the original I paraphrase here):

    Everyday Nasreddin rode his donkey into the town and every day the customs officer inspected the donkey and Nasreddin's empty basket and found nothing Years later the customs officer – now retired – ran into Nasreddin in the market and asked him; 'I've retired now, you can tell me, what were you smuggling?

    'Donkeys and baskets.'

Night x