Sunday, November 04, 2007

New York as a Songline

Bruce Chatwin's classic book, The Songlines, was among other things, a reflection on a communicative genre that performed the function of map, history, social identity, and personal voice. There are many ways of making sense of the urban form as communicative. Tobias Frere-Jones recently conducted a walking tour of New York focusing on typography. Although only 23 people took part in person, we can get some of the experience on the web from Michael Surtees'post.

Jim Naureckas offers another set of tours that explicitly reference the songline metaphor.

The blog Acejet170 also focuses on typography in a way that often features compelling ways of looking at the urban landscape. These resources mean that for me walks in my neighborhood become a mosaic of professionally and vernacularly produced signs that carry with them messages about the traces of their history that endure today.

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