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Megalopolis Manifesto- August 2017 
 

Megalopolis By Charlie Siddick


Working and habituating within a bustling Metropolis engenders a specific mode of living and experience. With the mass-migration of populations from rural areas to cities that we witnessed in the 19th century, and due to the unrelenting pace of industrialization and modernity, modern metropolitans worked hard to defend their freedoms and sense of individuality within this new environment of mass-homogeneity and anonymity. 
Georg Simmel discerned that "The deepest problems of modern life flow from the attempt of the Individual to maintain the independence and Individuality of his existence against the sovereign powers of society, against the weight of the historical heritage and the external culture and technique of life." This notion of a resistance of the Individual to being levelled, swallowed up In the social-technological mechanism is obvious today; our culture of social media has given life to a new form of self-representation, one in which the 'self' and its view of the world is perpetually being reformulated and reimaged, often at an alarmingly up-to-the-minute pace. 

With these new modes of self-representation and Individuality, the physiological foundation, upon which the metropolitan individuality is erected, Is the Intensification of emotional life due to the swift and continuous shift of external and Internal stimuli. Thus the metropolitan type (which naturally takes on a variety of guises) creates a protective organ for Itself against the profound disruption with which the fluctuations and discontinuities of the external milieu threaten It. Rather than reacting emotionally, the metropolitan type reacts primarily in a rational manner, and in doing so, has created a mental predominance through the Intensification of consciousness. With this quickening of experience and over-exposure to external stimuli It has become commonplace for urbanites to close themselves off from their outside environment and In doing so we lack appreciation for the great cities we habituate. 

During the period of industrialization and mass-modernity of the Victorian era, writers, artists, and 
scholars attempted to capitulate and accommodate this new form of living. Edgar Allen Poe
_- imagined London as a great hillman heart in his 
seO".inabMan-in the Crowd - {1840), witb_the, various -- catchment areas symbolically described as ventricles and arteries; the streets and alleyways were seen as pulmonary veins, which propelled and pumped the population through the city. At the same time, in Paris, Baudelaire conceptualized and coined the notion of 'flaneurie' a metropolitan- type who happily takes on the role of detached observer within the masses, "Jostled, pushed and shoved by the seething urban crowd, the city dweller must remain every vigilant, constantly on guard and alert. In the midst of the crowd, the individual is bombarded by a plethora of unassimilable stimuli.' Both writers Impress on their reader, the possible pleasures available to those who observe, "For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling In the throng, In the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite."- said, Baudelaire. 

In our modern and often depressing times, it is important to take heed of such notions; to open oneself fully to momentary and transitory experience. A way in which artists are responding to such modern conflicts, and more specifically, as a response to the plethora of information one Is confronted with on a daily basis, is to make art as spectacle. End up in the historical tradition of art as a form of protest and rebellion, making art which stands out and captures the imagination and attention of the viewing public can be a way in which artists respond to the struggles associated with urban living. It is in this way, in MEGALOPOLIS, that a group of young artists examines the pressures of living in London. 

By Charlie Siddick 
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Fresh Interiors- Sept 2015

 

Minimal abstract art


A carefully chosen piece of art can really enhance an interior by adding personality and a beautiful finishing touch. But finding the right piece can be tricky as there is so much choice and everyone perceives art differently.

I like stripped-down simple interiors and tend to use paintings sparingly. Depending on the room size, one or two pieces are more than enough. I would advise against the temptation to use art to simply fill an empty wall, consider: is the piece is adding value to the feel of the space as a whole?

Conceptual art with nice textures and patterns works perfectly in a minimal scheme. Being a self-confessed ‘colorphob’, I also tend to go for monochrome and natural tones.

Below are three pieces which caught my eye recently...
There is something really cool about this piece from Cred Roy. I like the subtle texture and soft changes in shadows which add a feeling of calmness to the piece. It would look stunning on a sharp clean wall looking bold and understated at the same time. (...) 

By Kashi Shikunova
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