Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Alison Lapper Pregnant


Another wet day. After gym, took the tube into the West End for some shopping. I stopped at Piccadilly with the hope of seeing the faked spaceship crash near Pall Mall, as well as the Alison Lapper Pregnant statue erected on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square last year. I missed the former, but was able to circle the plinth seen above. I hope that when "she" is taken down in 2007, she is moved to a ground-level site where she's more approachable. I saw a TV documentary on Lapper last year in the lead-up to the unveiling and was impressed by this very determined, very centred woman. The artist's statement at the base of the plinth reads 'To me, Alison Lapper Pregnant is a monument to the future possibilities of the human race as well as the resilience of the human spirit." - Marc Quinn.

On the train in and out, I was engrossed in the opening chapters of Charles Stross' Accelerando, a very entertaining novel in the subgenre of Singularity fiction. You can quickly fry your mind reading about the "what's around the corner". These chapters evoke a life between Kurt Andersen's Turn of the Century and Neil Stephenson's The Diamond Age. The protagonists of these tales are the technocrats who ride the wave of change. I think more and more of those who come late to the party, who can only try to be dignified in the face of these changes - changes which may make the social shifts of the industrial revolution seem like a summer squall. If there is a social signal in the ascension of Alison Lapper to a plinth in a square heretofore populated by statues of naval & military heroes, how does it carry forward into the future? How do we make this new technology responsive to the general populace in a humanising way? Posted by Picasa

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