Archive for March, 2016

the opposite of the cloud

31 March 2016

Data of mine that has been lost and hence is in the anti-cloud, or is on its way there (for Pop My Mind):

  • Music and recorded Ipswich Community Radio Friday Breakfast shows on a thumb drive that stopped working one morning at the radio station, September 2016. All the tracks and most of the shows were backed up (hi, Izzy), and interviews are also available on Listen Again at the station, but there are a few solo shows that only I had.
  • Whatever was on that other thumb drive in the shape of a panda that I lost in Hamburg after staying up all night to make the early morning Gatwick flight to the Language in the Media conference, September 2015. Probably it was just old class materials copied off my 2004 Powerbook, half unreadable with bit rot. Or the missing Friday Breakfasts may have been on that one instead.
  • A paragraph for one of my never-ending projects. I know I wrote it in one of my several cloud accounts sometime in the last four months. I have reconstructed the main work that paragraph did, but the residue that I can’t find and can’t recall nags at me.


exhibition: cosmonauts

12 March 2016

Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age, at Science Museum, London, 18 September 2015-13 March 2016. Replica spaceships, relics and conceptual art, early speculative works. Some takeaways:


1. The lines of force that extend from satellites like Sputnik in pictures are actual antennas.

2. The Soviet space program relied on individuals (whereas NASA was always presented to us as communitarian). There was a Chief Designer and if that guy died, which he did, it set everything back ten years. That’s why the Soviets lost the race to put a human on the moon.

3. Although the actual engineering, including the Chief Designer, was secret, there was huge popular support for space exploration, going back to the 19th century Cosmists. I’m guessing some of the appeal was that it allowed people to be patriotic while dreaming of a new start in the far, far abroad at the same time.