"What makes a good bookshop? Should second-hand be in the mix too? Is a café important? How do you incorporate digital? Foyles’ clarion call at the Bookseller’s FutureBook conference in London last week seeks to answer some of these questions.
The retailer has joined forces with the Bookseller to invite customers and industry experts to help design its new flagship on Charing Cross Road, which it will move into in early 2014. With discoverability of increasing importance, the timing couldn’t be more apposite. Everyone is agreed that bricks and mortar bookshops are under threat, but what elements are needed to make a physical bookstore survive in an increasingly digital world? ...
'Foyles has to create something that gives people an experience,' said former London Book Fair Director Alistair Burtenshaw. 'It has to be a destination store, a shop in which people want to spend a considerable amount of time. It has to be an environment that adds value. When you make it a more personalized experience, you are happy to pay more."
(Roger Tagholm, 12 December 2012)
"Science-fiction films tell us as much about the time in which they were made as the future they project and between the two moments – the one specific, the other nominal (1984, 2001, etc) – a sense develops of their qualities of prescience and allegorical vision. The enterprise of proposing a world-to-be is always a hostage to the future's fortune. The law of diminishing returns that applies as regards special effects bears this out. How soon before Matrix-era 'bullet time' looks as dated as Douglas Trumbull's 'star gate' pyrotechnics in 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)? Which may explain why Alphaville hasn't aged as badly as other examples of the genre; it finds its 'special effect' in the specifically cinematic resource of light.
But this light, let's remind ourselves, is the light of the past brought to bear on the presence of the future now. Would it be going too far to suggest that, in adding the dimensions of past and future to the present of 1965, Godard was able to set the controls of his particular time machine to withstand the very test of time? There's no shortage of films that seek to travel in time following Alphaville, from Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982) and Mauvais sang (Leos Carax, 1986) to Gattaca (Andrew Niccol, 1997) and Dark City (Alex Proyas, 1998). There is also the developing genre of what critic Jonathan Romney has named 'steel and glass cinema' which he describes 'as cinema set in the recognisably contemporary urban world but framed and shot in such a way that it becomes detached, not unreal so much as irreal, bordering on science fiction', examples of which include Elle est des nôtres (She's a Jolly Good Fellow, Seigrid Alnoy, 2002), Demonlover (Olivier Assayas, 2002), Cypher (Vincenzo Natali, 2002) and Code 46 (Michael Winterbottom, 2003). Romney claims Alphaville to be 'the mother' of such cinema and with good reason. In the forty or so years separating Alphaville from Demonlover it has become evident that the no-place of Godard's dystopia, with its labyrinth of corridors and lobbies, was already one big non-place in waiting. The presence of the future that Godard was keen to capture back in 1965 has since taken shape as a global nonplace crossing continents and time-zones. 'It may be that we have already dreamed our dream of the future', J.G. Ballard has mused, 'and have woken with a start into a world of motorways, shopping malls and airport concourses which lie around us like a first instalment of a future that has forgotten to materialize.' Or, to put it another way, Alphaville exists. Everywhere."
(Chris Darke, Vertigo Magazine)
This is an edited extract from Chris Darke’s monograph on J-L Godard’s Alphaville to be published by I.B.Tauris in 2005. Chris Darke is a writer, critic and lecturer on the moving image. His book of selected writings, Light Readings, is published by Wallflower Press. He is also represented, with his film study Chris on Chris, on the DVD of La Jetée and Sans Soleil. See also pages 26 and 38.
"The IO_Dencies project is an interactive art installation that has been conceived by the art group Knowbotic Research of Koeln, Germany and is beeing designed by the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany. It is an eScape which sees itself as a collection of interfaces and intersections. The interaction of people within IO_Dencies creates an networked solution of a textual discourse.The user is not represented by avatars, but is represented by the visualisation of his/her browsing activities in a virtual information space. The space is populated by documents that are localized within the space. The processes within the space are made available through a force field that is based on the constituents and their properties within the space."
(A. Schiffler, D. Schwabe, 29.4.1998)