Tag Archives: Installation art

Perfect Blue Buildings

(OK, the buildings aren’t blue, and the song’s lyrics aren’t relevant to the content of this post, but I was trying to find a California song title and was getting bored of looking…)

A quick look at the place we’re working in. I can only take pictures of the outside, because some companies aren’t too keen on photos being taken inside, in case you accidentally capture something on a whiteboard that could be useful to a competitor.

Apparently these buildings used to belong to Sun Microsystems. Most of the interior is much as you’d imagine a Silicon Valley office to be:

  • most of the desks are in cubicles. I can see three other desks from mine, if I turn around. If I lean back in my chair I can just catch a glimpse of people walking past;
  • free tea and coffee (a selection of each); free snacks (pretzels, cookies, cereal bars, noodles, etc.); free soft drinks;
  • some “interesting” furniture… or perhaps it’s an art installation. This office has some benches that look like they’re made of cardboard versions of those expanding tissue Christmas decorations that everybody used to have;
  • social area, with pool table, table tennis, and air hockey. I haven’t dared try this yet, too much danger of broken windows;
  • unusual names for meeting rooms. This being a company that deals with catastrophe insurance, the meeting rooms have names like Peril, Catastrophe, Earthquake, Liquefaction, Epicenter… best of all, Godzilla!

The last photo is nothing to do with the offices, it’s just a photo of this evening’s starter to show the sort of food that we’re having to suffer. I hope you all feel sorry for us.

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Posted by on Thursday 8 November 2012 in California


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Last time it was for art; this time it’s for charity

programme cover

Spencer Tunick programme cover: one of those is me! (Photo credit: Pickersgill Reef)

Early one Sunday morning, seven years ago, a group of people were walking around Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside without any clothes on.

Nothing particularly unusual in that, you might think, but this wasn’t the tail end of a stag party that got a bit out of hand. This group consisted of about 1700 people, and I was one of them.

A friend and I had been “volunteered” by someone unknown to participate in the Spencer Tunick art installation for the Baltic Arts Centre, and we decided that we might as well do it anyway. It turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable, and definitely something that we’d repeat given the chance.

Obviously, when we found out about the North East Skinny Dip, aiming to raise money for Mind, it didn’t take much for us to be convinced to join in. Although I suspect that Druridge Bay in late September isn’t going to be as warm as a sunny morning on the Quayside, especially when it also involves getting at least waist-deep in the North Sea…

Read more details and sponsor me here.


Posted by on Friday 14 September 2012 in Uncategorized


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