Dun Manifestin’

Colony prototyping #1Image from Nikki Pugh’s CC images of her Colony testing…

The title’s a Pratchett joke. It’s the name of the mountain where all the gods hang out in his sort-of-comedy-fantasy Discworld. Not that I’m casting myself as a god in this reference, you understand. More I needed a title, and this kind of worked, whilst hopefully making those of you out there of equal dork status feel a warm ‘one-of-us’ glow in your collective bellies. Mmm. Glowy.

Manifest(o)in’ am I? Well, yes, collectively, with that there Nikki Pugh (and provoked by Paul Conneally); who I had the great pleasure to finally meet in the flesh last Tuesday. I’m rushing around like a very busy person at the moment – heading off to Belfast this weekend is knocking out a lot of my ‘doing stuff’ time – so I haven’t had time to talk about the Fierce evening of testing new work/ideas that I attended. It was really brilliant, though; I particularly spent the night with a vibrating gps creature, you can read more on that here. Anyway, as Nikki highlights over on her blog post, we were both struck, whilst being in each other’s physical presence, how lonely our practice can sometimes make us feel. Naturally our response was to write a SPLACIST/TECHNOSPLACIST MANIFESTO over googledocs a couple of nights later. Now all we need is to pretend that the next big revolution is all our doing, spend the rest of our days spilling wine over our faces, and we’ll already have outdone the Situationists by dint of actually having done some stuff.*   **

Anyway, head on over to Nikki’s piece and read her context to the manifesto. Or look a whole paragraph down to read the thing itself. Also: JOIN US.

In other news, you can see my face on this website, and I’ve been reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves in a vain effort to, as my supervisor put it, ‘learn how to punctuate’. Look! I put semi colons in this! I’ve moved into the over-confident sprinkle-it-liberally-and-some-will-hit-the-mark phase, I’m sure it can’t be long before I start actually writing Proper English.



We will own this city.
We will take it back.
We will link and shift.
We will affect and be affected.
We will look, and be seen.
We will expose and re-see.
We will glory in the moment, the collage, the marking and then passing on.
We reject the beginning, middle and end.
We reject your shopping centre, your pavement, your cultural quarter.
We will build our own constructs.
We will build our own bridges.
We will find the edges and push them.
We will fail spectacularly, vitally, elegantly.
We will span.
We will look up, down, under and behind.
We will leap.
We will invite others to do these things too.
We will make exchanges.
We will make adventures.
We will make beautiful moments.
We will reveal the ugly.
We will hold your hand.
We will whisper in your ear ‘let go’.
We will run, skip and jump.
We will be motionless.
We might dance.
We will dream.
We will be generous, but we may subtle about it, too.
We will reclaim the city, not for you, but with you.
We are you.


We will learn how to use the tools that make the things we want to happen happen.
We will help others learn wherever we can.
We will construct our manifesto – collaboratively – online, because the Internet is also a space :)
We will shift between space, online and off, taking on the form and the arena that suits us best.
We will bodily augment the layers of virtual space, story, marketing, capitalism, that exist in the city, with our own stories.
We will hold the data-harvesting done in the city in the name of ‘games’ (foursquare, loyalty cards) accountable.
We will find our own energy sources.
We will learn how to flex the central nervous system of the city – the data streams in its weather detectors, CCTV, red light cameras – for our own aims.
We will release all that we can via creative commons, so that they can be reclaimed, remixed, re-purposed.
We will cut, and we will paste.
“Plagiarism is necessary, progress demands it.”
We will pervade.
We will not be technosplacist when being splacist will suffice.
We will never underestimate the power of gaffa/electrical/masking tape
We will be artful. We will be skillful. We will fail usefully.


*and having females involved.

**I’m taking the piss, lots of my PhD is on the SI, please don’t come out of the woodwork now, Situationist sticklers.

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One Response to “Dun Manifestin’”

  1. Paul Conneally March 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    I’m liking it!
    I’m licking it!

    And an early splacist manifesto on the use of PowerPoint:


    We encourage all university lecturers, school teachers, business people and others to consign the PowerPoint presentation as most commonly currently used to the trash bin.

    The only time these p(e)rveyors of usually secondhand thought should use PowerPoint presentations are when they use a previously unseen randomly downloaded PowerPoint slide show to illustrate whatever it is that they wish to pontificate on to their captive audience.

    Students and other audience members should boo any speaker using a PowerPoint made by the speaker themselves or one that though not made by the speaker has been obviously rehearsed to by the speaker before hand.

    The use of dance, music, boxing or any other performative act is actively encouraged in place of PowerPoint presentations.

    Paul Conneally
    May 2010

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