Stephen Fortune
Center for Cultural Studies

Still wavering between groups

I tried to contact scrap yards (1 to be precise, but got no answer)

Southend council were not in the office

I have discerned a desire on my part for the internet to provide the answers as that is easier than talking to people

Forgot to buy pedometer, now hinging on argos in southend having one tomoro!

Questions to ask park denizens tomorrow

Find non dog walkers and ask them what do they use the park for

Ask dog walkers do they ever come to the park for another reason?

Find out if any dog walkers drive from far away to walk their dog here.

Has anything really weird happened here?

Whats the best event that’s been held in the park?

Do they think that the donation/memorium benches are strange?

Try and find park staff about the shelterbelt, or discern who the best person to talk about it would be.

Dealing with the Rain

Observe areas where the rainfall is least prevalent, find out where is least affected

Reflections on NONgroup meeting

The focus on process fits well with me learning a different way to approach problems

Also the notion of mini sparks of ideas designed to interact with one another to hopefully combust into something will afford me an avenue to be creative

A little worried that learning to timetable will not actually occur within this group

The observe/think/act model, if implemented recursively and by several different people in different directions could lead to a snowball effect synonymous with an organic development of an idea

How NONgroup works with my SLC

My Objectives

Research Interests

I wish to keep my research interests as broad as possible, because the primary focus for me in doing this project is to learn how to open up a new space of thinking through research rather than trying to empirically prove or disprove a concept or frameworks validity. This group will enable a broadness approach

However there are two areas which interest me – movement and perception

Public parks as an immunising agent in the city environment they are structurally coupled with (i.e. this is how the renewal of parks is currently justified, and it adds a new layer to their historical raison d’etre)

Within this notion I’d like to play with the particular affects one experiences in a park that demarcates it from the medium or environment with which it is coupled, (different sense of time etc.)

Tied into both these ideas is an interest in exploiting or making palpable zombie signals and exploring the patterns of movements through a park


Develop a project that lets people view something familiar in a totally unfamiliar way/opens up a new way of thinking on an existing topic)

Learn to approach media and project processes from a more lateral thinking, defamiliarised perspective

To learn how to time manage an art project, or quantify the amount of time that a project will demand difficult to see how NONgroup will aid this

Base my research topic less on existing research in the field and more on long standing curiosities nongroup definitely allows for this to work

Learning how to work with the public on a project like this completely affords the opportunity for this

Learn how to work efficiently in a group with the feedback model and eventual aim to coalesce ideas this should allow for group negotiation

Find a way to distill concepts to their essence and make them comprehensible to all and sundry

Be prepared to have a concept fail. Affords definite scope for this

Resources and Strategies I will Use

Explore lateral thinking techniques and see how applicable they are to thinking about the park

Work with a group of people with a similar level of pragmatism (in terms of technological feasibility weighed against time available to us) but with a more daring spirit than me Of all the non groupers Manali and Lisa have daring spirits

Acquire greater familiarity with research projects which have aimed to open up a new area of thought, and understand the processes behind such projects

Talk to people in Chalkwell Park and (informally) see what their impression of the park is, and what they most commonly use it for

Conduct an objective spatial and temporal mapping of the park, perhaps using a pedometer or other contemporary devices to offer a different perspective on the park. Note the position of the benches, how frequently they are used. If a sufficient vantage point can be found on Chalkwell hall perhaps videotape movement through the park using time lapse videotaping.

Draw inspiration and methodological frameworks from internet and other similar resources, without resorting to derivative cut and paste methods

Guidance and feedback from tutors, take up suggestions without hesitation

Be completely open to class feedback and take up suggestions without hesitation

If scripting is required then internet forums and expertise from those in that area

If any new techniques are to be learned I will try and learn them in an open minded way, but with advise from experts

The proof of accomplishing this activity will be:

If I have managed to set up a live project in a public environment with people interacting

If I have learned how to work productively in a group of people

If I have a greater confusion or curiosity or open mindedness about media (a qualitative increase in lateral thinking)

If I develop a project that works in any manner possible, and preferably one that does not work in the exact way I thought it would it is pretty much inevitable that non groups outcome will be this

If I have learned to work in a less reductive or analytic manner

If I engaged in a series of successful personal and mediated (i.e. through project) interactions with the public

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