Internet Art-Rachel Greene
Shadow of a Mouse-Donald Crafton
Trains,Planes and Automobiles
Well, it’s not really a monthly summary, more like a summary of events from the past week. I’ll begin, since last Wednesday it’s been very ‘science fiction’ for me. Moving from one continent to another at a speed of 900 mph in two flying contraptions, enduring confined space for a total of about 16 hours is very unsettling. My living and sleeping pattern goes topsy-turvy and for a brief spell I find myself totally out of sync with society. I’m seriously considering using another airlines rather than Emirates. I always seem to be hanging about waiting for my connection in Dubai for hours on end. Then, I usually land in Tokyo at around 11:00 pm so by the time I’ve reached the city centre at midnight, it’s absolute bedlam! Jam packed trains and one Jonny foreigner armed with a cumbersome sunny, yellow Tripp suitcase. I reach my apartment at about 1 am and the marathon has ended. I’m shattered. Anyway, as I will be back in the classroom soon I’ve tried to be a productive as possible, even if under severe jet lag. I’ve been out filming and snapping away with my point ‘n’ shoot. I feel creative again, a bit more settled, head clearer, more focused and with realistic aims (sort of).
This morning while returning from a shoot, I took a few snaps of public train notices. One for general train etiquette(left) and the other for Priority Seat users (right). The graphics are very simple and the communication is crystal clear. The illustrated figures are very similar to the pictograms used for the 1964 (Tokyo) and 1972 (Germany) Olympics. However, I’m surprised why the mobile phone graphic hasn’t been updated. I always look at with curiosity. There is an irony here, the Japanese (I’m generalizing as usual) don’t really consider anything antiquated with an aesthetic quality. When something is a few years, it’s passe and should be chucked. So it’s interesting how designers have definitive images for technology or industrial design that are still used today. Away from design, notice how there is such a contrast with train etiquette between Tokyo and the London. No using mobile phones on trains in Tokyo whereas it’s permitted in the UK. I wish we could adopt the same etiquette in the UK. Being able to read and listen to music uninterrupted would be bliss. ‘Please sit close to others’-Interesting! Don’t enforce that rule on The Tube,for God’s sake! Too many nut cases use public transport!