‘Sense and the City’ at the London Transport Museum

An enjoyable exhibition called Sense and the City is now on at the London Transport Museum, which explores new ways how our understanding, experience and perception of the city is continually re-shaped by the rapid changes occurring in technology and IT.

The same categories of space and time are radically put into question as the access and fusibility of information is massively altered and boosted by open data, smartphones, and a blizzard of new apps. It is noteworthy to realise how the unconstrained use of these devices make us think of the city, of its vastness and complexity, in a totally different way. It seems we can cover the city, physically and imaginatively, much easier and faster than before. However, the abundance and redundancy of data produced and incessantly consumed, add intricacy and diverse levels of meaning to our vision of the city.

A distinguishing feature underpinning any present project or prototype for future research – as the ones presented by the Royal College of Art – is the restless attention on every consumer’s feeling and perception of the environment which has to be shared and fall in the public domain. The only risk is to accumulate data over data just for the sake of it, and the question is whether out of this over-exposure to information and stimulus we’ll ever find a substantial thread.


Sorrows of the Moon: A Journey Through London

Hi everybody, my name is Elena and I have been working as an intern at Proboscis since mid June. On Proboscis’ website I posted some reflections of mine initially taking inspiration from a visual essay I am composing on the wall of the studio. The visual essay combines some impressions sprung from the observation of Proboscis’ work and some scattered ideas about geography and identity, the relationship between private and public spaces and the anatomy of the city. I’ll be posting some brief thoughts on inspiring books, remarkable exhibitions or curious places I think are worth sharing.

In response to Hazem’s post about Night Haunts: A Journey Through the London Night, I’d like to recommend another penetrating and poetic book which draws a personal trajectory on the map of London, that is Iqbal Ahmed’s Sorrows of the Moon: A Journey Through London, which explores petty story-lives of peripheral characters, often marked by resignation, loneliness, failure. This dominant tone of melancholy blurs and dampens the enthusiasm and the celebration of London diversity, underlining how the common destiny of the capital and of all the people inhabiting it for one reason or another is one of sorrow and isolation. Observed on a clear night from Parliament Hill, the moon, which acts as the unifying image across the book inspired by a poem of Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal , wraps and encloses the city in a fate of sterility and desolation.