The morning began eventfully enough as I was woken at 7:00am by a torrential rainstorm.  While in the shower, Kerrang FM gleefully informed me that there was a severe weather warning out for Birmingham, revelling in the regional motorway chaos.  Most excitingly, it appeared that the Hagley Road was totally closed (reach for those TomToms, people) because TGI Fridays had caught fire.  The phrase ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ has never been so apt, but it left me wondering why buildings tend to catch fire in heavy rain.

Hitting the streets expecting to see a scene out of ‘Children of Men’, I was disappointed to not to find any burning cars or floods on the way into town and arrived at the MADE offices 15 mins early.   Confused, I stood in the rain until I remembered what I usually do when confused and rang Phil.

The meeting went well, anyway.  Jane is really nice and helpful, and the work placement guy Matt (geography student from UCL) was also really into it.  For the sake of clarity and brevity I’ll bullet point our discussion…

1. The October lab/expo.  With the failure of the Arts Council bid we’re slimming this down and it now looks suspiciously like the event we originally had in mind back along. 

Thursday night= launch night.  Interviewees, friends, collaborators, and maybe some others. 

Friday lunch – afternoon= professionals.  Almost like an extended lunch meeting witht the exhibition there for afters.

Saturday = open doors to public.  Not sure about publicity yet…

The actual content of the expo comes in three parts: art (piccies, quotes etc), techie stuff (maps, interactive computer stuff, helmet cam wondering around digbeth), and analysis (actual results).

2. Legacy of Dan’s artwork / RG.  Jane suggested that it would be nice to produce some materials that would outlast the expo and provide a longer legacy – this could be postcards, foldable posters and so on.  We decided that Dan would probably have some good ideas on this when he gets back from the Lebanon.

3. Spring event.  This is now up in the air without the Arts Council funding, but MADE seemed keen to keep it slated.  It may take the form of an extended meeting / gathering, or a full on end-user event (see next item).

4. Kiddie bid.  Me and Phil will be on it in sept.  We discussed working the Spring event in as the opening end-user event of the Kiddie project to get some funds.

5. Canal pilot project.  Matt is all over this – he is even working in some theory on space and place.  Jane also offered to lend a hand with the surveying.  Obviously this is all contingent on the rain ceasing before the end of August…

6. Place theory.  Matt mentioned some of the De Certeau and Lefebvre that he had been reading and noted the pertinence of theories of space and place to the RG project.  He also mentioned the idea of ‘Map discourse’ and ‘tour discourse’, and the quote that mapping space prompts stories about place… we really should get him blogging here…

That’ll do for now, I’ll blog some more about the canal project some time soon…

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