Goose, golden eggs, butcher’s slab:
The creative class’s collective nose senses a town that’s relatively cheap, not too big or impersonal, has a decent location, nice ‘real’ buildings, ‘real’ experiences. Gradually, then in increasing numbers, we colonise it. We help make it live and work. Then what happens? The property developers and the leisure industry moves in….

“Developers in Brighton and Hove are engaged in a frantic scramble for land that has seen some of the city’s prime creative spaces sold off for conversion into luxury homes. The closures have led to waiting lists of up to six years for the handful of remaining art studios, and an exodus of artists and craftsmen to other towns on the south coast.”

I suppose we could think of this using an ecological metaphor; as a plant which has now grown, flowered, shed its seed along the south-coast, and is now withering. Will web-boards, e-mail and some occasional networking meetings be enough for the town’s exiled creative class to sustain the day-to-day interactions, chance meetings and ‘client-friendly sea-front’ which Brighton’s streets once provided? Maybe. Another way of looking positively at this is as a useful contemporary British success-story for the “artists as gentrification pioneers” theory of urban regeneration; encouraging other towns to build Cultural Quarters, Artists’ Studios, Media & Creative Industries Incubators and the like. Although these schemes are often half-hearted because they’re driven by council officials who imagine they can go ‘straight to the leisure industry’ with only a nod towards any real long-term colonisation by artists & creatives. But I wonder; if a place had a real and dynamic comittment to creatives and had advance notice of gentrification elsewhere, then might it offer generous ‘relocation grants’ to displaced artists from places like Brighton? And thus get itself a ready-formed ‘creative quarter’ full of experienced creatives in as little as 18 months? Actually; I seem to remember my friend Pete’s old mates, Montage Video, telling me a few years ago they’d been covertly approached by the North East Development Agency to relocate to Tyneside. At the time we chuckled and considered it a no-hoper, despite the grants on offer. But that same area is now the favorite to win the Capital of Culture 2008 prize.

Koans + Generative Flash:
I’ve been tinkering again with my new copy of Flash MX (mentioned here 18th May). Today I’ve made a basic but rather interesting (I hope) work. It uses javascript to link up one of my music files to a Flash animation. The generative musical notes then ‘drive’ graphics within the Flash file. It’s just a rough proof-of-concept alpha at the moment, and a lot more can probably be done. Like making the blocks of colour into fade-in-fade-out motion-trails, interactivity, etc. Anyway; it’s only 26kb in size, so please take a look. But before you do; please first make sure you have the latest free Flash 6 player (about 380kb) and the latest free Koan 8 player installed. Then….

–* go here *–.

Save the world from mangled e-mails:
Now you can. NTK reveals the existence of a free little plug-in for MS Outlook Express. It re-formats OE’s e-mail quotes to something sane and standardised, whenever you hit “reply”.

Last week I bought a huge bag of red radishes from the supermarket. Only 19 pence, from the discount table. ‘Exotic veg’; or so the label said. They were sprouting just a little, and I thought; ‘I might be able to plant them in the garden and thus get more radishes through the summer’. No such luck, according to the collective wisdom of the net; radishes grow from seed or not at all. So I’ve been eating the things all week.
Sorry, but this is a weblog; so I have to write about my breakfast at some point, it’s a tradition 😉