Writings

A selection of essays, articles, conversations, book reviews and newsletters.

The Fairly Big Society

The Tories did not simply invent a half-baked cover story, they took other people’s ideas for a joyride, then smashed them into the dead end of their own ideology. The challenge now is to salvage what is worth saving of…

The Crossing of Two Lines

The essay which introduces The Crossing of Two Lines, the book I made with the artist duo Performing Pictures.

Commoning in the City

Two days of conversations about ‘the commons’ on an island in the heart of Stockholm set me thinking about what it means to reclaim ‘subsistence’ in the 21st century.

The Regeneration of Meaning

The consequences of an economic crisis can both lead to and be made worse by the crisis of meaning experienced by those whose lives it has derailed. Is it also possible for actions on the terrain of meaning to help…

Organisations That Matter

On the experience of creating organisations that are embedded within a community.

The Space Hackers Are Coming

On the emergence of a new kind of spatial agent, responding pragmatically to the constrictions and precarities of post-crisis living.

Words Which Matter to People

It is the second day of my journey around Europe, a journey in search of resilience, and I am in a park near the centre of Helsinki, asking the locals whether they can help me understand the meaning of sisu,…

Three Travellers

“I don’t think I was given the best careers advice in school,” he says. “There was no future in making things, they told us. If you were bright, you should go to college and study something like law.”

The Breadline

The breadline runs through the middle of the Kallio district of Helsinki. On Wednesdays and Fridays, when the Hursti Charitable Association’s regular food distributions take place, queues build up along the pavement of Helsinginkatu all morning. Once a month, there…

The Dark Shapes Ahead

The dark shapes ahead are islands. Beyond them the sea shines and the sky seems a soft reflection of its light, and beyond both of these, the faded darkness of the next line of islands. This goes on for hours.

In the Future, Everyone Will Be Powerful for 15 Minutes

Published in Despatches From the Invisible Revolution (PediaPress).  1. Rioters smash the windows of banks, the drum beats towards war with Iran, protests fuelled by social media take over the streets of another capital city. As 2011 reached its endgame, the…
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