Arts & Elbows

A catalogue of commentary on events in Thanet and occassionally the rest of the world.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Riding high on the crest of an imaginary wave.

For many who might use the internet regularly there's a slightly metallic distaste to it. From how much is nonsense, plainly incorrect or blatantly out of date but delivered at a relentless pace which exceeds physical movement of over five thousand miles per hour. And for what? Despite massive investments in all the right cables* the revolution of what was once commonly heralded as the Information Superhighway has so far had less of a positive educational effect than public library schemes from the nineteenth century. Plus libraries never tried to sell you this or that at every turn. Equally worrying is the willingness to accept the truth of something because it's on the interweb.
What's more surprising are some of the simply misleading items you might find by folk at the cutting edge of the highly professional. Over at Snohetta's website they're a trifle economical with the actuality in stating the budget of a cancelled project at eighteen million quid and being vaguely labelled as scheduled for summer 2007. There's a similar lack of mention of the cancellation of it on the project description, as on the news page. Well to say a lack on the news page is too kind because one of the two entries in English is a story from the enquiring journalistic mind of Health Club Management in stating "Work is now underway at the £25m Turner Contemporary in Margate, in Kent, which is scheduled to be opened in 2008."
Just why there might be a false report is beyond me, but I can't help wondering how much of that limiting of accuracy might have found itself presented as a reliable source for future clients? Along with just how trustworthy companies might be who would do that, especially when it involves public funds for worthy causes. Not really our problem though, but it'll worth watching just what happens with their latest commission for a Museum Complex on the former World Trade Centre site. Their hectic schedule must limit the time they have for accurately reflecting their business on their website.
Meanwhile in West London Spence Associates have long forgotten the Turner Centre having won a competition to design a "new vehicular and pedestrian crossing", a bridge to you or me, across the River Wear at Sunderland. Sounds very familiar despite being heralded thus "The competition sought the best conceptual approach for an original, unique, inspirational and iconic structure. The bridge will be a major, circa £43 million pound structure which will form part of the wider Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC) initiative. The bridge should act as an important gateway to the city centre, lead to urban regeneration and serve as a symbol of Sunderland moving forward in the 21st Century."
The judges did concede "...the Spence/Techniker design is a structurally challenging, complex scheme to deliver, but felt that its resolution would contribute significantly to the long-term future of the city."
Iconic building as flagship of regeneration? Structurally challenging? How did they think that up? What a top notch original idea, bound to work, and just forty million quid - bargain!

* Complicated technical term best left undefined.


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