Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The No.73 Routemaster bus makes its last run through the city this Friday night.

There is interest building on the bus blog to join it on its last voyage from Victoria to Tottenham and there is speculation as to the volume and types of people who might be there. It'll be an interesting experience in many ways. It's bound to be strange to be on a packed bus at that time of night (it departs Victoria Station at 00:53hrs) with passengers focused on the journey more than the destination. It's definitely going to be surreal, given I fly in that day from the U.S and also troublesome to be left in Tottenham at 01.47 (though I doubt I will get that far). I'll be the one squashed in a corner armed with a camera, notepad, whiskey and chocolate.
I'm looking forward to it.
Want to join me?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Nina and I are off to the 4S & EASST Conference 2004 tonight. We're giving a paper together on Saturday (even though the organisers refused to list my name in the programme), which is the last day of the conference (I hate speaking on the last day). It's called "BIT-work and other new media art practices." Here is the abstract:

This paper will look at the emerging conversations between sociologists and artists using new media. Beginning with a discussion of an early BIT intervention in a feminist technology symposium in San Francisco, the paper introduces the ways in which artists begin to use concepts of ‘the sociological’ in their work. The authors will focus on the more recent work of Thomson and Craighead, and their how their work might constitute an intervention in STS. The paper will challenge STS to think about its own sense of interactivity and agency through collaborations and conversations with new media artists.


Monday, August 23, 2004

Flabbergasting news: I just heard late last week that my research proposal to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) was successful. The proposal was to continue my work on photography online, and specifically on photoblogs. Was and now IS to continue that work. I'll post a small abstract from the proposal subsequently, so we all know what I'm talking about.

My thanks to the ESRC and to all the people who helped me write the proposal, including Nina Wakeford, Nigel Fielding, Vicki Alexander, Christine Hine, and Geoff Cooper.

The work is to start on October 1, 2004 and run for a year.


Saturday, August 21, 2004

In describing the framework of my bus fieldwork to an American audience yesterday (Seattle Intel Research lab) I used these comparative stats.

7 million people live in London
Just over a million people enter central London in the morning peak period (7-10am) everyday.
85% by public transport
12% by car
Bus patronage is rising at its fastest rate since the WWII
5.4 million passengers travel by bus every weekday
3 million passengers travel by tube everyday

According to the United States Dept of Transport and Federal Highways
Total number of workers in Seattle is 1.7million
71% of them travel into the city in single occupancy cars
12.8% in carpools
6.2% by public transport (buses and street cars)

And even more comparative data
US – overall only 7.5 % of people use public transport
Because the national average travel time by car is 24mins versus 47mins by public transportation.

These figures were useful in explaining why I was looking at public transport, why the bus is a unique field site for studying the interactions of a broad cross section of urban life and why London is an interesting location for studying the intersection of technology, mobility and place.

Only 13 more days until the No.73 routemaster is taken off the streets....so sad.