When the House Is Built, the Scaffolding Can Be Taken Down


sent as issue 25 of crossed lines, my occasional newsletter. I started my first blog in an internet cafe in Xinjiang. It was early 2004, I was teaching in a language school set up by a man named David, who was younger than I was, smoked a pipe and talked like he’d walked straight out of a 1930s movie version of England. (In fact, he came from one of the English port dynasties, grew up...

How I Became a Cyber-Womble


This is James Wallbank’s story of founding Access Space, based on an interview I did with him for the ‘Steel City’ special issue of PICK ME UP zine, 28 October 2005 James and his friends wanted to make art with computers. But they didn’t have any money. So they decided to see what they could do with PCs other people were throwing away. Now they run a free “media lab” where...

How To Bring a Building Back to Life


Published in the ‘Steel City’ special issue of Pick Me Up zine, 28 October 2005 I’m not sure quite how it started. There was a huge empty building in the middle of the city, an old cutlery works. One guy with a recording studio on the second floor, and the rest of it just mouldering away. Then the G8 Justice ministers came to Sheffield. Lots of people who didn’t really know each other...

How to Get 800 People to Come to a Protest Picnic


(and get it in the papers and on the radio and telly) Published in the Pick Me Up zine, 24 June 2005 1. START WITH A GOOD IDEA. Try it out on a few people. It’s got to catch their imagination or it won’t work, whatever you do. 2. CLEAR YOUR DIARY. A lot of work in a short time generates more energy than a little over a long time.  With a good idea, lots of people are going to help you...