timscience: (rings)
Oh God our anniversary trip was amazing. Wednesday, To Queen Elizabeth Hall (South Bank) for Planningtorock and Light Asylum. Have I mentioned how much I like Light Asylum?

Thursday, back to the Queen Elizabeth hall, for this:










A Room For London is astonishing and beautiful and wonderfully detailed and full of books (Conrad, Ballard, books on architecture and sailing and colonialism and post apocalyptic). Anyway it turns out it is TOTALLY OK to get hammered on champagne and go out on the lookout (the high roof at the top) at midnight.

Friday we took a wander round the South Bank (after staying in the room for as long as feasible, because really we loved every second we were there)and went to Animal Inside Out at the Natural History Museum (which now (the museum, not Animal Inside Out) seems to include an escalator ride through the Earth's bumhole) and the Heatherwick Studios exhibition at the V+A. They built the Olympic cauldron, and also this:



It was the most amazing time.
timscience: (sundial)
While the rest of Oxfords was at Truck, we went to the Milton Keynes International Festival. We'd been a couple of years ago and liked it then. This year, on friday only, we had the chance to have a go on Jeremy Deller's Bouncy Stonehenge. It was that or the Mystery Jets. I think the choice was clear.


Bouncy Stonehenge


Distance shot


Slightly smaller version round the back of the shopping centre


Boat in the shoppng centre made from Significant Pieces of Wood. It needed to be craned in.


Glowing time portal thing in Campbell Park. Not part of the festival, just part of general MK futuristic weirdness.


Grotto of glowing vests. Part of the Fire Garden.


Moving fire sculpture. The fire garden was hard to light (there had been a downpour at about 6.00) but spectacular once it got going.

All images and more from Jeremy's Flickr here.

Milton Keynes is great.
timscience: (sundial)
OMG. This still exists - everyone assumed it had gone when the flats containing it were demolished but the whole thing was secretly removed as one piece and is now in a specially commisioned building in Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

It will reopen to the public in spring next year. See it if you can, it is a thing of astonishing beauty.

timscience: (redarmygaysup)
So we went down to London Tues and yesterday to do some Christmas shopping and drop in on J's sister and family. We also visited "Building the Revolution" at the RA, which BTW we totally recommend. Apart from the exhibition of avant-garde Soviet architecture, there is also a 1/40 scale replica of Tatlin's tower.

The Dramatic Silhouette Shot done by my camera having an issue with the lighting conditions:


What it actually looks like


Human figures show scale of planned tower i.e. fucking huge.


Bonus pic! Yuri Gagarin statue on the Mall behind the Admiralty Arch.


We also saw this:


It is called "A Room for London", it's on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the south bank, and you can stay there overnight. J and I are totally going to go for it when the bookings open.
timscience: (spacehero)
Yesterday we went to Milton Keynes. We were planning to go to Ikea* but got diverted by the Milton Keynes International Festival.

Now, I sometimes, half jokingly, refer to Milton Keynes as a futuristic paradise, and my friends assume I am taking the piss. But really, I'm not. It has space, trees, you can easily walk or cycle in it (the traffic and pedestrians are kept separate) and housing is relatively cheap and seems spacious and airy (yes, I have been inside some of the flats and houses). Some claim it has no character. This is not true. There is nowhere else quite like it. All it lacks is a monorail**.

Anyway, the festival. First up, the Architects of Air with Mirazozo:






Mirzozo is a walk in air sculpture. It fills most of a car park outside the station, and has half a dozen major domes of different colours, and dozens of little person sized alveoli. At the end is the tree which is the green pillar like affair in the upright photo. For scale, you cannot get your arms round the tree trunk.

Pics do not convey the sheer joy of it.

Inside, an older gent overheard J talking about Colourscape and Eggopolis (which I hadn't seen) and we got chatting to him. He turned out to be the designer. Win!

We then walked to The Magical Menagerie, which is a carousel built by the same people who did The Sultan's Elephant and La Princesse. I'm sorry I didn't take any photos but I was too busy operating the tail of the GIANT BUFFALO OF DOOM while watching a small child on a prayng mantis. But it looks like this:


Oh, on the way we also stopped for delicious and very cheap Dim Sum from a place that presumably usually caters the offices and were amazed at the concept of "passing trade". So I guess that while you can walk MK easily, not that many people do.

Finally we saw Asleep At The Wheel in which an artist had staged a Ballardian apocalypse inside an abandoned Sainsbury's. It was meant to carry an environmental message (like, maybe, you should walk more in Milton Keynes) but I'm afraid that all we could think of was making out in the back of one of the cars. I'm sure J.G. would approve.
The photos are very unclear and have no sound (Schaefer is mainly a sound artist) so again they don't give a full picture of its awesomeness, but, to give an idea of its scale, each of those little pairs of lights is an actual car:



We got home to find an article in the Guardian*** extolling the virtues of MK and noting that the shopping centre is now grade II* listed. And rightly so.

Anyway, all this is still on and will be until next Friday (Mirazozo) and Sunday (Asleep at the Wheel). The Menagerie hangs on until 8 August. So I urge you to go if you can find the time.


*To look at beds and wardrobes. We found a bed but they no longer make the wardrobe.
**Also, I lived in Dunstable, just down the road, for fifteen years. Dunstable is a hellhole. Milton Keynes is where you go to escape from Dunstable.
***With additional blurb by Owen Hatherley who, as well as being the direct inspiration for "The Modernist Disco", is fast becoming the go to guy for modernist architecture. If you haven't read his book, it's definitely worth a pop.
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