I went to the Outernet the other day and I didn't hate it.
In the middle of Tottenham Court Road and Denmark Street they've knocked down some old buildings and made some new ones but kept most of the ones with all the guitar shops. On the other side of that they made a "digitally enabled streetscape" and it's controlled by Some Evil Corporation. I know, I know. Told you you were supposed to hate it. This Guardian review by Rowan Moore 'The day the music died?' is the vibe of most middle aged bloggers, I suspect. I mean, yes all that, but it's also some massive, massive screens you can walk through. Right there, on the street. Of course the architecture is terrible but what does that mean these days? He gets close to saying that but can't quite commit.
It’s certainly better that all this is here, and guitar shops kept, than that everything be swept away by a gigantic office block. If it’s brash, then so were the Victorian music halls and 1930s cinemas that are now dearly beloved items of heritage.
One man's brash is another man's dearly beloved heritage. Come on Rowan, you're so close.
I liked the massive screens a lot. At the moment they're just filler, the equivalent of gigantic screen savers. But imagine if they were a gig or a performance or even (heavens above!) some sort of VR Metaverse Web3 thing. That would be amazing.
Like the bits Vegas does really well, the visuals and the spectacle. Why should they have all the fun.
Es Devlin's set design for Beyonce's Formation tour.
Of course it won't be that, it will be massive banner ads for cars with seven year warranties while zero hour workers stand around the roped off vehicle parked underneath.
But come on, I have hope and optimism and energy and it's January 1st and I'm not letting go of that just yet.
Happy New Year. @ me.