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<nettime-ann> [site] Concrete Dialogues: The Beginning of a Different Ma
Patrick Pittman on Sun, 18 Dec 2005 19:13:17 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> [site] Concrete Dialogues: The Beginning of a Different Map of a Neglected City


Combining cartography and creative writing, Concrete Dialogues is a  
unique project that marks the beginning of a quite different map of  
Perth, Western Australia. Online and on paper, some of Perth's best  
young writers will take you on a journey into parts of the city  
you've never known, and show you some of the memories that shape a  
place in the eyes of the people that call it home.


Exploring the possibilties of locative media using a combination of  
open source mapping tools and satellite imagery from Google Maps,  
Concrete Dialogues is an exploration of familiar (and not-so- 
familiar) streets through creative perspectives, from far-flung cul- 
de-sacs to the hidden alleys near home. The project, in development  
for two years, allows writers to submit creative works based on  
specific locations to the website, which integrates satellite imagery  
and street map data to create an online map of the Perth Metropolitan  
region. From the Concrete Dialogues website, readers can then  
navigate the postcodes of Perth and watch their journey traced out  
behind them. As young writers publish their works online, the digital  
map will grow as a hypertext that explores new perspectives of urban  
spaces, and will allow the Perth community to respond to its own  

"The project was founded with two ideas in mind," said Patrick  
Pittman, one of the three-member team who put together the project  
over the course of two years.

"It is an attempt to find some beauty and some shared stories in a  
city too often dismissed as a dull wasteland of creativity and  
spirit, and to help build a community amongst emerging writers.

"There is a real poverty of opportunity for young writers in this  
city, and we set out with this project to bring as many talented  
people as we could together in ways that just weren't possible before.

"One of our writers described the project as a shared collection of  
electronic songlines and I thought that fit rather well. Anybody  
under the age of 30 can submit their own story to the site and become  
part of the larger tale."

Accompanying the launch of the site, the Concrete Dialogues Zine is  
making its own journey through the Perth metro area. Showcasing a  
selection of short stories and poetry from some of the best unknown  
writers in Perth, it can be found on cafe tables, in store displays,  
at bus stops, on train seats, in magazine racks and library shelves.  
This beautifully designed collection will be circulating haphazardly  
throughout the city and the suburbs; a careful eye may discover a  
copy near your own home. Each work within the Zine can be found on  
the website, so a reader can find it, read it and zoom in on a  
previously unassuming street, and perhaps uncover other works nearby.


The Concrete Dialogues project has been developed and produced by the  
Concrete Organisation, a not-for profit organisation focused on  
developing community arts and cultural projects, and stimulating the  
arts in Perth and beyond. The project is supported by ArtsWA, the  
Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding  
and advisory body, and the Department of Land Information, Western  

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