I'm mostly an open content geek: recording all that can be in the digital memex (i.e the Wikimedia universe); mapping and walking in Fremantle (for OpenStreetMap); striving for a bit of simplicity; and now and then building bits of wooden furniture by hand.
I’m printing index sheets for the FSPS photos, so that each streets’ group of photos (e.g. Ainslie Road) in the archive folders is divided by a set of A4 colour-printed pages with thumbnails of the photos. These don’t actually have each photo’s URLs or filenames, which I’ve been a bit disappointed about, but it does have the URL of the street’s page. That is enough to get pretty close to an individual photo, and I think it’s good enough. If I were starting this project again I might do things a bit differently, but I’m far enough in now to want to maintain consistency.
I tried to write about last night at the bowling club, but the WordPress app ate my words without saving a draft. I’d had too much beer (and then mulled wine) for the words to have been any good anyway, so no matter.
I’ve started uploading a few photos to Commons, firstly of the Substation building:
And then of the bowling club.
It’s not a particularly interesting building, and none of the members I spoke to seemed very worried at its demise. The new clubhouse will be bigger and better and generally sounds more exciting.
It was lovely hanging out with the people there, and hearing their stories about the history of the club.
The initiative by the City of Fremantle and other local councils to introduce a percentage for the arts scheme has been good for WA artists and the public, but it comes with the risk that the lifespan of some of the artworks will be relatively short if they are attached to buildings.
Take the great Rick Vermey art within the LIV apartment building at Queen Victoria Street. Nowadays buildings are considered to last for about 50 years before being replaced by more modern structures, e.g. the Queensgate and Myer buidings at Kings Square. If the LIV buildings get demolished in 50 years that would also be the end of the Vermey artwork and that would be a real shame and a loss for future generations.
The same applies to the Loretta Grant artwork on top of the Quest Hotel in Pakenham Street and the round artwork on the building on the corner of Bannister and Pakenham streets by Tom Mueller.
The percentage for the arts scheme states that the requirement for a public art contribution can be waived by the City of Fremantle where the same value of artwork is incorporated in the development, clearly visible to the general public.
It worries me that many outstanding new artworks in Fremantle, created as percentage for the arts, will not be preserved because they are incorporated in a development and not free standing in the public realm. We have a duty to share our cultural riches with future generations!
This is an interesting point about the short projected lifetimes of buildings. Fifty years doesn’t seem like a very long time to expect a building to last. But perhaps it does make sense: maybe the cost of building something to last 100 years (say) is more than twice the cost of building something twice? Or is it just a case of people now offsetting that cost onto people in the future?
I always feel sad when I see a building in Fremantle demolished. Not just demolished, but in the modern way of completely and utterly erasing its presence from the landscape: every skerrick of its fabric removed and the site raked clean and level. I know it’s easier to build new things that way, but it does seem to mean that there’s no accretion, no embedding of (small, incidental) bits of history in the places. Sometimes developers put an intentional relic in, like the weighbridge from the CSR refinery, but it just looks silly.
One makes enemies for life when one ignores the North Fremantle community, so I’d better give a plug for the catering at the North Freo Primary School at Saturday’s FEDERAL BI-ELECTION DAY, after I did the same for the Freo Primary School. It’s not a competition, so people in those areas please supports the P&C of these schools, and others such as the Beacy Primary, close to where I live! Vote for Labor’s Josh Wilson. He is a good bloke!
The Freospace blogs for Ficra and Gibson Park have gone offline. The former I guess because they’ve merged with the Fremantle Society, and maybe the latter is just not active at all? Would have been nice to at least put a notice up on their sites explaining what’s going on.
When the sun gets over the yardarm here (when it’s about level with the top of the Port Authority building), it gets into my eyes and I have to close the blind. So, does that mean it’s beer o’clock? Probably not, but it must surely be time to skive off on some nice code that makes sense and feels calmer and more testable? I reckon so.