August 10, 2009
Crowbars and Teaspoons (or) The Winning Snarkmarkitect
Wow. I want Snarkmarket to be all of these things and more. I’ve picked the winner, but first, a review:
I think echan’s vision probably comes closest to the actual San Francisco apartment of my dreams:
One wall is lined with a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf complete with ladders (a la Mr. Penumbra). There are nice, large tables (the kinds intended for group study in college) at the bottom level.
For the exterior, I imagine the building wrapped in copper (something akin to the DeYoung), which is already developing a nice green patina from the city fog.
And of course Tim is right about this:
There’s a library (where you check out your own books), and a letterpress (to print broadsheets and pamphlets and collaborative novels), and people leave messages for each other on the communal computers. Only some of them specify a recipient. Most are for anyone who discovers them.
Now, as a hobbit, I find the idea of an ever-growing thicket very appealing:
The structure of the space is organic; it looks like the wood of a log cabin, but if one looks closely, the “wood” it is actually moving. The entire structure can shift shape and grow with the ideas and creativity born within the space.
And likewise, I love the mythic evocation here—it’s almost, you know, The Song of Snarkmarket, by Malory or someone like Malory:
Some say its origins were in an ancient Roma meeting area and others say the great Roman empire. Many insist it began as the lands of a great knight. A story about human contact with other worlds arose — probably due to the unique capabilities of the citizens… human but linked in a communicative, generative web of visual and textual imagery… a cloud of knowledge and possibility. But, go there yourself. You will see that Snarkmarket clearly exists in ceremonial time.
Then of course, there’s the wandering Snarkmarket, by land…
The set up is always the same, three guys with laptops and projectors and a lighting system. They come in, close the blinds and get to work repainting the area with light.
…or by sea…
…a flotilla of hand made boats manned by pirate intellectuals, navigating the magnetic currents of the seven seas by the single rusty needle of a lost and found compass.
And I have to say, I really liked Dan’s vision, which encompasses not only Snarkmarket but, er, the entire internet:
R, M, and T spend their days watching stuff fly through the tubes. Once in a while, something strikes their fancy and they grab it (with blacksmith’s gloves of course), throw it to the work bench, strap it down (some ideas have some fight in ‘em), and make some modifications.
I think of Snarkmarket, the physical space, as a place with a hidden entry—not like an ultra-hip speakeasy, but like a secret room in the library with a too-small door or a curtain that says, “SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY.”
And then, a room full of people in gloves, pulling wondrous things out of crates, some armed with crowbars, others with teaspoons. A mechanized activity, like a Fritz Lang dance number. But every few minutes one of the people pulls something really wondrous out of a crate and shouts and holds it up high, and everyone else pauses, looks over for a minute, or crowds around or starts yelling too, and the scene turns into a frenzy of delight. A few minutes later, the machines start up again and everything is back to business as usual, like nothing happened.
Crowbars and teaspoons! Yes! What says “bigger and more humble” better than crowbars and teaspoons?
Nice work, Nina. And thanks for the visions, everyone.
Because actually, you see, I tricked you. These snarkmarkitectural renderings aren’t ex post facto descriptions. They’re blueprints.
Matt, you get the projectors. Tim, we need a “SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY” sign. Me, I’m going to go find a thicket.