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A rainy August day

Posted by on August 14, 2013 in High Cross House | Comments Off on A rainy August day

A rainy August day

This is my last official week at the House. It’s possible that I may stay a little longer as I prepare the sound installation which goes in the first week of September, but I may not. It’s a mild, drizzly August day: farmers who have not yet cut hay are now kicking themselves as they watch crops soak up moisture just at the time when moisture is not what’s wanted. Many have, however. We’ve felt surrounded by the noise of combines, and have met combines or massive tractors or massive lorries loaded up with hay just once...

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Tea still brewing

Posted by on August 9, 2013 in Art, High Cross House | Comments Off on Tea still brewing

Tea still brewing

Spent yesterday playing with various tiny modules and batteries that may ultimately fit inside a teacup to create my speaking cups. The little sound module I’m attempting to use seems to be notorious in not working, or in being very difficult – and so it is proving. It’s really quite interesting that in the day of ubiquitous information and the dominance of English (in language) and China (in manufacture) it seems almost impossible to find understandable information about this little module. I couldn’t get it to work – at all – and on further...

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Announcing the Tea Party

Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Art, High Cross House | Comments Off on Announcing the Tea Party

Announcing the Tea Party

No, not the ghastly right wing nutters in the US, but the emerging project for High Cross House. I’ve been searching since the residency began so find something that feels appropriate to the House. I’ve found this quite challenging, particularly as I think there has been a subtle but noticeable change of mood in the house since NT announced that they are withdrawing from their lease and closing the house in December. So I’ve spent some times wandering the downstairs (as opposed to being stuck in my bedroom upstairs) and...

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The culture of domestic architecture

Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Design, High Cross House | Comments Off on The culture of domestic architecture

The culture of domestic architecture

Interesting to look at the original plans for High Cross House.  Built in the early 1930s by a Swiss-American architect whose firm was based in New York, it seems very clear from reading the extant correspondence that the architect rarely – if indeed at all – visited the site of what I assume to have been a reasonably important domestic commission (although that is based entirely on lack of knowledge on my part). The commissioner had lived in the US during his most formative years and come to know and love the American expression of the...

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HXH – loss

Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Featured, High Cross House | Comments Off on HXH – loss

HXH – loss

The more I read, the more I muse on loss. I’ve always thought of the establishment of the Dartington experiment in the 1920s as an attempt to create a social utopia. It’s become clearer to me that this was always intended to be a utopia based on sound business principles, despite the hefty capitalisation provided by the deep pockets of the Elmhirsts. Moreover it was an attempt to use ‘traditional’ rural craft and skills in a sound financial context. This was not capitalism extant but neither was it an expression of...

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HXH – rainy and busy

Posted by on July 31, 2013 in High Cross House | Comments Off on HXH – rainy and busy

HXH – rainy and busy

It’s the first morning since I began the residency that I had to walk through the rain from the car park. Not much rain, but it feels like a bit of a shock when the weather has been so relentlessly summer. The rain appears to have brought out the crowds: the house is packed this morning. School holidays are now in full swing of course, so there are now family groups coming round instead of couples and DINKS on early holiday avoiding high summer prices. Am disappointed so far with the phone thus far.  Quite a lot of people have picked it...

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High Cross first shock

Posted by on July 26, 2013 in High Cross House, Place | Comments Off on High Cross first shock

High Cross first shock

Phone all installed and working.  We’ll see what ensues. Am now reading anything and everything I can get my hands on that might be of use in absorbing more about the cultural shock the house represented.  Read a very interesting article originally written for Country Life in 1932 which has been reproduced in numerous publications. It is a serious and thoughtful architectural critique that deals quite explicitly on one of the primary issues that represented such a shock. It is clear from extant writing that Curry as the client and Lescaze as...

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HXH phone install

Posted by on July 23, 2013 in High Cross House, Tech | Comments Off on HXH phone install

HXH phone install

After rather too long and way too much hassle with learning how to programme the Raspberry Pi,  the “Pi-Phone” has now been installed into the Study at High Cross House, ready to accept message from all who wish to leave one. More formally known as “The Message Phone”, this is an old 1960s GPO telephone with its insides replaced by a Raspberry Pi computer, which differ completely from the computers now a day, where people are able to play video games online and even make gaming trades in sites where you can trade skins...

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HXH Day 6: wires

Posted by on July 11, 2013 in High Cross House, Tech | Comments Off on HXH Day 6: wires

HXH Day 6: wires

Finally some progress with the red phone, now known as the Piphone ‘cos it’s a 1960s telephone with the innards removed and a Raspberry Pi installed inside it. The phone will now record a soundfile when you lift the receiver. There’s a red LED that lights up on the phone itself when the system is recording. This is based on the problems I encountered last time I built one of these, when I broke the first rule of interactive devices. As there was no indication at all that the phone was ‘doing’ anything, most...

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HXH Day 5.1: a busy day

Posted by on July 3, 2013 in High Cross House | Comments Off on HXH Day 5.1: a busy day

HXH Day 5.1: a busy day

It’s busy and buzzing today in the House and this somehow seems to make people more open and communicative. I’ve certainly talked to more people today than I have on any day thus far. Although it’s beginning to clear now, it’s been overcast and a bit rainy this morning, so that people have obviously decided to ‘do National Trust’ rather than do something more outdoors-y. The House of course has also been abuzz with the news that the Trust is abandoning their lease. I have no idea how many other properties...

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