Stream

An almost daily dump of observations, quotes, travels, and consumed culture.

20th Feb 2020 2:40 pm #

I've been busy documenting my favourite projects from the last two decades — an interesting process that I'll write about soon. All that matters right now is I can finally share my work.

I'm available for client projects big or small. I'm also open to local or remote full or part-time roles. If you think I can be of service, let me know.

17th Feb 2020 11:05 pm #

Screamadelica

Andrew Weatherall died. It's so obvious to think immediately of Screamadelica, but it's a masterpiece. His masterpiece.

I'm reminded of sixth form, September 1991; someone put Screamadelica on the common room stereo — VERY LOUD. Everyone paid attention because it sounded like nothing else (an experience repeated with Nevermind later that same week). Screamadelica remains a perfect encapsulation of the era, and a testament to Weatherall's confidence and vision as producer.

I'm pretty sure he was on the lineup at those Brixton Academy all-nighters I went to, but those memories are hazy. Much clearer is the sunny Summer of 1990 and the joy he brought to World in Motion. There's also Smokebelch II, the main reason I wore out Cafe del Mar volume one.

This is a great tribute from Petridis.

12th Feb 2020 11:50 pm #

London again. With COVID-19 in circulation, we're cautious. Touch something; apply hand sanitiser. Touch iPhone; remember iPhone is basically a portable germ bank; reapply hand sanitiser. Repeat.

Spent the evening in Froth & Rind, Walthamstow's cheese and beer shop. A valued friend celebrating her 30th birthday with a cosy, after-hours lock-in. Good people, interesting chatter and, unsurprisingly, a lot of cheese and beer.

5th Feb 2020 12:35 pm #

I'm looking for new projects and I can help with:

  • Web and product design;
  • UX ideation & prototyping;
  • Design research & audits;
  • Kirby CMS builds;
  • Writing of all kinds;
  • Event planning & curation

My public folio isn't quite ready yet, but please email simoncollison@gmail.com if you've the confidence to get in touch without reviewing my work.

4th Feb 2020 6:30 pm #

Conference tasks persist, but I'm busy preparing ground for whatever comes next. My priority is documenting a breadth of work for my almost-ready Projects section. Alongside this, my visual thinking workshop is starting to take shape.

In other news, poor wee Bearface had his dental op today. Two extractions, tartar and plaque removal; a general mouth MOT. I hated leaving him at the vets, but he's back home now, wobbling around in an anaesthetic and morphene stupor. They shaved patches on his legs (to get fluids in, I assume) and it looks like he's got baldy white knees. Ridiculous creature.

30th Jan 2020 9:55 pm #

It's Thursday evening and I've been Smashing Magazine's Person of the Week for almost four days. Which is nice.

29th Jan 2020 5:50 pm #

My rant about Medium.
My rant about Medium.

Although it's a week since New Adventures, there's a pile of stuff to take care of and work rumbles on. In truth, I could work on it all day, every day, but I doubt anyone will pay me to do that.

We're now collating coverage, listing very generous write-ups from attendees and the first few speaker decks. We've published our editorial and all the Q&As with speakers and volunteers — I like this one full of book recommendations. Most notably, Jeff Veen has today released the first episode of Presentable Live, recorded live on our stage.

I've offset the flights of our three international speakers. The total emissions were 5,292kg of CO2e, and that cost $122 (£94) to offset using Aircare. The beneficiary is a project planting biodiverse forests in Panama. We've pledged to perform an evaluation in response to our Climate Impact Policy, but that will take a few weeks. What I can say is that I felt incredibly happy to honour my commitment to offset those flights.

Finally, I was reminded of last week's on-stage, off-script rant about Medium, thanks to a stenographer Andrew, and a photo from Robb Owen.

28th Jan 2020 12:00 am #

The new Radiohead Public Library keeps pulling me back in, revealing old favourites and new discoveries from every corner of their career. It's a particular thrill to rewatch this performance of Paranoid Android.

26th Jan 2020 11:35 pm #

Saturday and Sunday have been magnificent, well-deserved lazy days for me and Geri, with Bearface relieved to see his humans back on the sofa.

We caught up with the January basho. Wonderful to see Tokushōryū — a veteran only recently back in the top division — claim the championship; an upset of Leicester City proportions. Felt a bit sorry for surprise runner-up, Shodai, as his moment came and went. Good tournament.

25th Jan 2020 10:00 am #

I've no intention of leaving noticable gaps in this Stream, but we've just come through the other side of conference week. Our fifth New Adventures has come and gone, and we're utterly overwhelmed and exhausted. I'll write in more detail about the ups and downs when time allows.

19th Jan 2020 11:35 pm #

Went to Showcase to see Weathering With You, the latest anime from Makoto Shinkai (his Your Name is one of my favourite movies). Sadly, I just couldn’t connect to this disjointed fantasy or its central characters — an extremely emotional teen boy and his doomed weather witch crush. That said, it was another visually stunning and superbly detailed love letter to Tokyo. A very wet Tokyo.

14th Jan 2020 11:55 pm #

Geri and Brain.

First day off for ages; a long-booked day trip to London. After a lazy amble around The Science Museum, we had the worst flat whites ever poured at the usually reliable Caravan, then headed to Kings Place for one of its Nature Unwrapped events.

We began with a cosy dinner at the Rotunda, then settled into the beautiful wood-panelled Hall One for an intimate lecture with Mr. Universe, AKA TV's Professor Brian Cox.

Bookended by Jack Liebeck and Friends reciting Vivaldi, Brian waxed poetically about the seasons and the passing of time. Afterwards, Geri passed time by stalking the exit, awaiting her TV boyfriend.

She beat everyone else to Brian because she scoped the joint, planned ahead and was more committed. In less than 60 seconds she got her pendant signed, showed him her illustration, discussed a mutual friend, and got the selfie.

We laughed all the way home.

12th Jan 2020 11:50 pm #

I delivered the first issue of my rebooted newsletter, highlighting a few things I wrote in 2019 and general updates regarding my web redesign and rebuild.

11th Jan 2020 4:50 pm #

My newsletter is waking up from hibernation. If you'd like to receive an infrequent roundup of things from my world, please subscribe using this boring form.

10th Jan 2020 11:05 pm #

An emotional day. Privately, we've asked a few friends to help us with something. It wasn't easy; I'd hoped never to ask for the kindness of others in that way. My friend, Marc, immediately reassured me that it was the right step. "Only fools don't ask for help," he said.

9th Jan 2020 6:50 pm #

After a long week of requesting, condensing, editing, sorting and organising an event’s worth of information into rectangles, we’ve finally sent the New Adventures magazine to print. We’re both frazzled.

6th Jan 2020 11:25 pm #

Today, we launched our detailed climate impact commitment for New Adventures. We had hoped to share much earlier but there were numerous obstacles, especially when trying to win over venues and sponsors.

I think we have a solid policy in place and we're heartened by the very positive response this received today. Clearly, there is a desire for conferences to produce less waste and rethink the goodie bags.

3rd Jan 2020 11:55 pm #

New Year's Day was relaxing, but 2nd January saw me initiate the big push. It takes six months of steady work to organise this conference, but 80% of todos can only be todone within a hellishly compacted last three weeks.

I was back at my desk with a resolution not to stress out too soon. The very first task spiralled into an array of micro tasks, and each of those into a lost count of barely trackable nano tasks.

I can't focus on one thing because all the possible things are simmering. I must swiftly and calmly guide each new piece of confirmed information into its right place within a particular note or list or system or tool.

Three more weeks of this. I desperately hope it's worth it.

31st Dec 2019 2:00 pm #

I’ve just posted my annual year in music and year in running. I've also detailed a busy year in side projects and written my first year in review since 2013. To finish up, here's the best TV, films, books and art I enjoyed this year.

TV shows

  • Chernobyl, HBO/Sky
  • Watchmen, HBO
  • Erased (live-action series), Netflix
  • Everybody In The Place - An Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992, BBC
  • Rilakkuma and Kaoru, Netflix

Film

  • Shoplifters, dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • The Irishman, dir. Martin Scorcese
  • One Cut of the Dead, dir. Shin'ichirô Ueda
  • Maradona, dir. Asif Kapadia
  • Apollo 11, dir. Todd Douglas Miller

Books

  • This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division: The Oral History, by Jon Savage (post)
  • Convenience Store Woman, by Sayaka Murata (post)
  • In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki
  • How to See the World, by Nicholas Mirzoeff
  • The Social Photo, by Nathan Jurgensen

Art

  • Guernica, Pablo Picasso, Reina Sofía (post)
  • Don McCullin, Tate Modern (post)
  • Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi, Richard Serra, Reina Sofía
  • Art in Real Life, Olafur Eliasson, Tate Modern (post)
  • Other Spaces, 180 Strand

29th Dec 2019 11:50 pm #

Vaughan Oliver died. Revisiting the unmistakeable identity he gave to 4AD artists like Pixies, Lush, Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil transports me to my teens. I hear the opening rumble of Debaser, or plunge into the ethereal space of Song to the Siren. This is a fantastic interview.

We enjoyed a relaxing potter around town, including a records haul from Fopp and Rough Trade, followed by coffee and chatter at Outpost. Hockley looked as good as anywhere in the crepuscular light of a rolling sunset.

I wrote about my year in personal projects and the progress I've made.