Recently I was luck enough to buy the first book published by the Patching Zone, a creative spin-off of the V2 Institute in Rotterdam headed by Anne Nigten (“lucky” here means that I managed to get the last copy in our local bookshop, and a minute later saw a guy asking for this book – I could be on his place!)
Patching Zone is an interesting creation, escaping any definition; it reminds me the way how Lily Allen explained what kind of music she wanted to buy in her brilliant LDN – “Have you may be kind of soft panky electronica, like grime, but sort of new age grime? May be kind of broken beat, but sort of dubby broken beat kind of grime? No?”
Lily got kind of ‘No’, but we are getting kind of soft ‘Yes’ with Anne and her team; to tag this posting, I have to use all the categories I predefined for the blog: Art, Design, Ideas, Future, Game, Technology, Spaces, Experience. And yes, Book too, and I still tempted to use XYZ. A ‘transdisciplinary media laboratory’ is how it’s called officially.
The book (Real Projects for Real People, Vol 1) looks like a diary of the projects the lab was doing last two years, a collection of cases – of collaborative research, of street intervention, of new media technology in the city, and all that with some efforts to reflect on these new practices.
Few of these projects were new for me (I listen to a few presentation by Anne and other Patching Zone folks), but being bound into one volume, they got a very different weight. A well worth volume to read, if not to have. Speaking about weight, it is perhaps the only negative comment about the book – it is the first for this lab, but it continues a series of books published by V2 and NAi as the publishers, thus follow their disastrous style: very heavy, with sick glossy papers that start falling off before you even open the book. But well, one can forgive them this horrible printing; their content is usually superb, and this volume is not an exception. Kudos, Parching Zone!
PS: Need to add that all the pictures are from the book, expect the photo of Anne Nigten; the later I took from the Flickr of Premsela Foundation.