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  • in reply to: Fr Pat Noise Memorial #777654

    Pranksters and hoaxers, is it? Facing charges for defacing public property, eh? Perhaps we should erect a battalion of Fr Pat Noises on Spar shopfronts and see how quickly the DCC acts.

    The Irish Times article caught my attention for its claim that Fr Pat Noise arrived in 2004 – a claim that was also put forth in an Irish Independent article from 15 May 2006. But, as befits an urban legend, there appear to be wildly differing reports on when the plaque first arrived. Has it actually been confirmed that the plaque appeared three years ago or is this just what the RTE video footage claimed? After all, can you really trust the testimony of a couple of chisel-wielding pranksters?

    Also, you have to love how in every article, the clock is always referred to as ill-fated. Cut and paste journalism? Cryptomnesia? Or just, ahem, linguistic continuity?:

    ‘The plaque was placed in an indent left when part of the ill-fated Millennium Countdown clock was removed.’ (Irish Times, 22 May 2007)

    ‘The fake plaque, which was installed in the space vacated by the ill-fated Millennium clock, went unnoticed’ (Irish Independent, 15 May 2006)

    ‘…meet the same fate as the ill-fated Millennium Clock.’ (Irish Independent, 10 November 1998)

    ‘workmen putting the ill-fated clock… in the water’ (Irish Independent, 10 December 1996)

    in reply to: Stencil Graffiti #735097

    Perhaps it’s my own fault for including this in a thread dubbed ‘Stencil Graffiti.’ Perhaps I was fully prepared for another barrage of civic-minded individuals lashing out against at the so-called handiwork of lesser organisms such as Grift who — I don’t think anyone is defending these cretins, by the way, it’s simply an easy reference point– litter the land with their crap. But I am curious to hear opinions on the Sherrif Street public art project, which does bear reference to the style and spirit of non-sanctioned graffiti everywhere, if a far cry from it in execution:

    The blue tracing outline of the bridge (pictured toward the left of the image) is particularly interesting in that it loosely references stencil graffiti in technique… it also reminded me of the work of a street artist in Brooklyn named Ellis G who outlines the shadows of common objects in chalk on pavements throughout his neighborhood. While some may not call it art, it’s undeniable that his work brings a little smile to people who are strolling through the streets and are distracted by the sight of these manipulations of environment. Plus, it’s ephemeral. Washes away by morning, along with it the memory. Images and link for the curious: here.

    Thoughts? Or if I have interrupted an otherwise enjoyable bout of vandal-bashing, then carry on.

    in reply to: Re-open Broadstone!!! #724989

    Rail hub or no rail hub, it — whatever it may be — can only be an improvement on Broadstone’s current abyssmal state. Notice how elegant it all looks from afar: the monolithic heft of granite, imposing yet lonely there on its hill, inviting you to take a closer look. So you approach, winding your way through the carpark, swerving to avoid bits of broken glass from beneath your bicycle or under your shoes, and take a moment to admire the detailing on the frieze, so far so good, until your admiring eye drifts down to human level. There the proliferation of rubbish, riff raff, bottles of Beck, aluminum cans, cigarette boxes, mangy mattresses, spools of barbed wire, torn clothing, disused and rusted bits of vehicles and chocolate wrappers strewn all about is so appalling that it brings all admiration for its architecture, all debate about what this beautiful building could be to a screeching halt. Gentle reader, a dramatization:

    From this:

    to this:

    After ten minutes, I couldn’t bear to look either.

    Some other thoughts on this are over on the Constitution Hill thread (and excellent, less dismal pix and info on Broadstone in Paul Clerkin’s writeup ), but indeed, the entire area surrounding Broadstone is an example of such potential being left to rack and ruin. I’ll sidestep the transport argument for now and stick to the basics. Step 1: pick up rubbish. Step 2: dismantle medieval barbed wire. Step 3 . . .

    But I’ve had enough humanity for today.

    in reply to: Stencil Graffiti #735083

    @ctesiphon wrote:

    Of those 6 pics, the only one I have to guess is the last one- is it the boarded up building with the funny shopfront under the bridge behind Trinity on Pearse Street?

    That’s the one!

    Great article on Banksy. Thanks, ctesiphon. Now that’s how I prefer to encounter my blistering social commentary: in print form with a cup of coffee. But that’s just me. Perhaps I need to dust off my anarchist’s handbook and revisit my recipe for Molotov cocktails.

    For a slightly different (and more nuanced) take on the subject, there was a great bit in the New York Times’ 6th annual Year in Ideas issue about a British artist who uses what’s often termed ‘reverse graffiti’. It may or may not be art, but it raises interesting questions about the ethics and aesthetics of altering public space:


    The original link is here

    Some images of Curtis’s work and others at Spacing Wire

    In terms of stencil graffiti/art/vandalism (take your pick), is it mainly the choice of location that is problematic? Hoardings are OK but stone is out? Or is it primarily a question of permanence and materials, e.g. would a chalk drawing on stone be less offensive? Or is it just a question of the image itself, where one person’s idea of a cool piece of art is another’s asinine guff? Returning to the example in the north docklands, would something like the Sheriff Street bridge project have more value for the city because it was granted permission first? It’s easy to slam flat-out vandals, easy even to slam Banksy. But figuring out what is pleasing about these bits of unexpected art– that might be harder, and more worth the debate.

    in reply to: Stencil Graffiti #735081

    And then, for those who like to rail against the destruction of our social fabric and the scourge of vandalism (I do like to offer a bit of something for everyone), some more ‘traditional’ (AKA non-commissioned, done on the sly) stencil graffiti. Clearly, the worth of these (is it art or vandalism?) is always up for debate, but I think it’s interesting to note the ways in which artists can use shape, color and image to ignore, complement, or work against the fabric of the built environment.

    There’s something ephemeral about these images that endears them to me, whatever their ‘worth’ as design or ornament. Because they are nothing more than a coat of paint, they can easily be glossed over, leaving nothing remaining but their memory. They aren’t selling anything to me. They don’t bully me into a point of view or badger me to buy a product. They aren’t (like the tiny message in the crosswalk in a previous post) endangering my safety. And I know one day they’ll disappear and end up in the great cow parade pasture in the sky. But until then, love them or hate them, they exist. Part of the city that fell through the cracks, transient landmarks.

    The camera fella pops up in several locales throughout the city, including a triptych on Pearse Street I have somehow missed in this particular gallery.

    Like Banksy, only without the blistering social commentary. Or is there a blistering social commentary shrouded in the Asian-nurse-with-bear that I am somehow missing? Ah, hell. I knew I should have paid more attention in my semiotics class.

    And if you don’t like them (or happen to love them), feel free to treat this as an addendum to the ‘How Well do You Know Dublin’ thread. No politics or palaver, just good old fashioned city scavenger hunting. Where have you seen these characters last?

    in reply to: Stencil Graffiti #735080

    Red glowsticks, green LED, purple-lit underground carparks. Seems that there’s an itch (one might call it a manic urge) to bring some color to the docklands. There’s loads of attention being heaped upon the Martha Schwartz plaza in Vegas, I mean, Grand Canal Dock south of the Liffey. Anyone seen these yet on the northside? These pieces would appear to be part of a large commissioned public art project, though I wasn’t able to find any specifics on the artist from a preliminary search. I know the DDDA had named 6 artists last year to participate in a public art scheme in the docklands, and proposals for the artists were due in Autumn 2006. This would appear to be a brainchild with some funding behind it.

    There’s some excellent subtle stencil work done on the blue wall to the left, outlining the shadow cast by the Sheriff Street bridge. The juxtaposition of bright color with crumbling rusted dockish imagery is pleasing, and at least (unlike the light-a-thon south of the river) it goes to sleep at night.

    Then, for something a bit more ‘old skool,’ complete with some shape revisionism in the foreground:
    (Sighs of relief on all sides that GRIFT seems to have kept his/her aerosol trigger finger in check. . . so far)

    If anyone knows more of this project, I’d be interested. I tried but, ahem . . . no dice.

    in reply to: Pearse Tower to be demolished July 10 at 12 noon #743770

    @paul h wrote:

    I would love to see this particular area of ballymun develop as some sort of artistic haven
    If they could keep this block, i’m picturing it brightly painted, artistic types hanging out, with a real bohemian
    feel to it. Like a mini greenwich village(nyc) of the 60s and 70s.

    Although it is hard to imagine this in ballymun, for obvious reasons

    It’s worth imagining. In this age of the office block, boutique hotel and toytown apartments, redeveloping Ballymun into artists’ housing would be an amazing use of space. Space for artists to live and work (as opposed to some flash-in-the-pan new theatre or whatever) seems completely alien, if not anathema, to the agenda of most urban planning. So it’s refreshing to see this floated about as an idea.

    Westbeth in Greenwich Village is the perfect model of this. This site, the former Bell Labs, was converted in the ’60s into artists’ housing, which includes a gallery, studio, and performance space. Photographer Diane Arbus, as well as Merce Cunningham and countless other artists, lived and worked out of Westbeth. It remains functioning as such to this day. Demand for the housing, which allows artists to pay rent based on a sliding scale according to income, was so great that they finally closed the waiting list this month– last I heard, the wait list for interested parties was twenty years long. 😮

    There’s some history of the building here, as well as some nice shots of the space dating from the ’30s (when the old high line railroad, now long defunct, ran right through the building) up to the present day. It’s such a shame there aren’t more spaces like this. As the cost of living in cities continues to escalate– in Dublin as elsewhere– there’s simply no other option for artists and writers and other starving artists other than scuttle off to the outskirts. Now if you’ll kindly excuse me. . .

    : manifesta, tormented by visions of utopian urban planning, scuttles off to the outskirts :

    in reply to: Shopfront race to the bottom #776046

    Death to the old order, to local character, to the bourgeois boulangerie. Bravely we shall usher in the new generation of crap, of poets praising the mucky neon street glow of Spars and Centras. When the poets die, we will cast the wrecking ball upon their houses and name bridges after them. Bravely, boldly, let the vitrolite glow. Death, death to planning and reason!

    Give me convenience or give me death!

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #776792
    hutton wrote:
    I see theres a big piece in Phoenix magazine on it (page 5, under the heading “councilors taken for a ride”)]

    Originally posted in PHOENIX MAGAZINE


    A REMARKABLE row has emerged in Dublin City Council over a contract already agreed by officials with advertising firm, JCDecaux, in what has been described as a “free bike” scheme for Dublin: that is “free” in exchange for 120 billboard sites. So controversial is the scheme that denizens like Bertie Ahern – as a Drumcondra resident – has objected to it.

    While media reports have concentrated on the bicycles, the real story is that councillors are outraged at the deal being already agreed by officials, with councillor Tom Stafford’s criticisms of the plan as a “terrible, terrible application” typifying representatives’ views.

    Councillors were simply not aware of the scheme’s details – that is until 70 simultaneous applications to erect billboards was made by JCDecaux during December, with another 50 in January. These roadside units are to display adverts on one side, with “civic information” on the other – and all to be located on public footpaths.

    Strangely there has been no Environmental Impact Assessment, nor a council motion selling public land – while councillors are also puzzled as to why, if the council is to be a beneficiary, that the applications were not addressed to Bórd Pleanála.

    More interesting is that by virtue of the project being applied for as more than 120 individual applications, it would cost over €25 grand for total adjudication by the Bórd.

    However, Executive Planning Manager Ciaran MacNamara has been busy at council meetings defending the “public realm enhancements”. Describing the proposed billboards as a “new departure for the industry”, MacNamara claims that along with the 500 rental bikes, the city will get 4 public toilets, “a family of way-finding signage”, and JCDecaux would reduce their current billboards by 25%.

    Yet despite the contract having been already signed, MacNamara is refusing to release it to councillors on the basis it as “commercially sensitive” – with councillors now resorting to FOI requests.

    Mr MacNamara also claims that “very few” objections had been received; maybe he didn’t see the one from Bertie Ahern, or from Tony Gregory, or the one from Councillor Larry O’ Toole. Councillor Tom Brabazon has been very busy getting in a dozen objections – while dozens of other interests have also objected, such as Dublin City Business Association whose members – Arnotts, Clerys, and Eason’s – have all filed objections.

    Then there’s the Dublin Transportation Office’s submission regarding the 70 15-feet high “metropole” applications, which states “the DTO is totally opposed” as illuminated signage “is considered to be a safety hazard”.

    Now councillors have begun to do their own sums regarding the advertising revenue potential; Tom Stafford estimated €13 million per annum – which over the 15 year terms is over €200 Million; i.e. enough to buy 2 million bikes…

    Anybody feel as if they have been taken for a ride?

    [align=center:315qm129]* * *[/align:315qm129]

    Taken for a ride? Goodness, I’ve no idea what happened to me. Last thing I knew I was sailing around the streets of Dublin on my ‘virtually vandal-proof’ bike. Then I woke up with a massive head wound with not a soul around but this cluster of huge glowing ads for deodorant featuring sweating male athletes and scantily clad ladies, from which I smartly intuited that surely, surely I had ended up (somehow, someway!) on the northside. Now if only there was ‘a family of way-finding signage’ to help me get back home! Oh, how convenient, I see they’ve provided some for me. Thanks, JC Decaux. Wow. Once again, you’ve thought of everything.

    ‘Public realm enhancement’. . . ‘commercially sensitive’ . . . ‘a family of way-finding signage’ . . . If that isn’t the wooly rhetoric of sheep’s clothing, I don’t know what is.

    Boo, hiss.


    in reply to: New building beside City Hall #724634

    @ctesiphon wrote:

    And manifesta gets quoted again! 🙂 Ever thought about writing headlines for the Irish Times? They seem to like your style.

    Twice in two articles!

    Perhaps you would be so kind, ctesiphon, as to direct the editors of the Irish Times to my influential text, Will Somebody Please Call Christo?: Manifesta’s Compendium of Irish Snarkitecture? It’s chock-a-block with bits of snark and wisdom collected over my career and can be liberally quoted from royalty free. It works especially well embedded in otherwise perfectly reasonable, erudite articles such as Frank McDonald’s essays and/or dissertations in need of that extra je ne sais quoi.

    Good to read McDonald’s perspective on this building. Yes, this beast has been picked on in a previous article in the same newspaper, but I don’t think the opinion is in any way cannibalized or redundant, unlike some of the identikit Press Release Journalism (TM) that’s been coming out on the JCD free bikes/ad scheme. In terms of content, it doesn’t focus on the problem of scale, as phil rightly pointed out, though I did learn some facts about the building beyond how ugly it is. The misguided underground ‘Window to Bloomsday’ room, for example, is a great example of planning gone wrong– especially poignant since that fellow in the RTE clip seemed to point to that underground feature as one of this building’s (few) redeeming as-yet-to-be-realized qualities.

    Agreed with Shane on the praise of both Archeire and FMcD– McD’s work is consistently enlightening and deserves to be more readily accessible to the public. I’ve been hoping to see Destruction of Dublin come back in print as well. By the by, if anyone can help me track down a copy, I will gladly throw in the Compendium free of charge…

    in reply to: Dorset St (Upper) #715887

    Oh, I see I’ve created unneccesary panic again. Don’t listen to me, I’m just a classic example of what happens when modifiers mix and a glass-half-empty mind takes over. I read hutton’s post:

    @hutton wrote:

    permission has already been granted (on the 8th) to whack the house.

    and saw this: (on the 8th) = whack the house
    instead of this: permission has already been granted = (on the 8th)

    The record will likely show that planning permission to knock the site was granted on the 8th of Feb, not that (as I assumed) the site is going to be demolished on the 8th of March. If someone passes by the throng of weeping Sheridan acolytes/protesters on their way home from work, please tell them I’m sorry. They can unchain themselves from the building for now.

    in reply to: Dorset St (Upper) #715884

    Is the Sheridan house going to be demolished tomorrow? Wasn’t the 8th the day of the chopping block or has some angel of infinite mercy and reason swooped down overnight and convinced the DCC to halt this?

    I’d say it’d be worth going in overnight and doing a salvage job the way they saved the door of 7 Eccles Street (from Ulysses fame) back before it was wrecked to make way for the hospital, only what’s left to salvage– a hunk of corrugated metal? They couldn’t even bother to keep the plaque.

    Regarding the proposed development for 12-13 Dorset Street, it’s nice to see the DCC’s henchmen, Insult and Injury getting on so well. Apparently they decided to come out of hiding from their HQ in the Henrietta Hag and this was their sick idea for a follow-upper. Hate to see what’s next on the hit list. Probably another Protected Structure.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #776778

    Hoardings along the roadside, apart from being dangerous to motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians (as if we could ever hope that reasoned argument will prevail on this front), are quite possibly the most asinine form of advertising known to mankind.

    It was a novelty in America during the Great Depression when Burma Shave set up roadsigns along a rural highway in Minnesota. These billboards, usually five or six to a crop, spelled out jingles that took the average driver about 18 seconds to read and usually had some amusing pun or rhyme. This eventually spread throughout most of the 50 states and generally cheered people up from the fact that they had no job, no means of supporting their families, and were lucky to be scrapping round in a vehicle that doubled as a home. Surely not the preferred method for grabbing peoples’ attention in this time of the Celtic Tiger!

    They started to dig these things up in the 50’s when someone decided it wasn’t worth it to pay farmers for land rental. Cigaratte giants Phillip Morris bought out Burma Shave in 1963 and sensibly set about a more lucrative form of advertising that spoke to the changing times: subliminal advertising and lacing their products with fiberglass and cocaine, I mean, nicotine. Come on, JC Decaux and M6 Media. No one wants to see more of this crap by the side of the road. This is the 21st century. Can’t you control people’s thoughts through mobile phones by now?

    Something for nostalgia’s sake– to be inserted inside the new hoardings we’ll soon be seeing by the roadside:






    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #730345

    The Stonehenge of O’Connell St? Look at the way they’re huddling round the trap door in that first photo. I’m surprised this hasn’t led to a new thread of speculations on ‘Underneath Dublin’ (and the ice cream factory under the Liffey!).

    GrahamH wrote:


    It was a concern that they hadn’t returned so long after the completion of works]

    Because why do something right when you can do it wrong just as easily? Inscribe that in Latin and you’ve got yourself a new motto, DCC. I bet it sounds really good in Latin. Still, it’s great to see the restoration work done on these. Glad the structures are back, albeit in the wrong place. I did like the composition of the four of them guarding the trap door to the hidden underground tunnel network, I mean, sewer.

    Beautiful photos and research, Graham. The book’s coming out… when?

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #776750

    Memo from JCDecaux:

    Substitute ‘free bikes’ for ‘Trojan horse.’ Watch what happens.

    in reply to: Dorset St (Upper) #715868
    hutton wrote:
    Looks as if Goldhawk/ Phoenix was on the money about O’Toole afterall. But where was he when objections were being lodged]

    Thanks for posting this, hutton. Agreed. O’Toole’s article on the Sheridan house makes for a nice eulogy, but it would have made a better protest song.

    So the Record of Protected Structures: legally binding or just a polite suggestion? It seems easy enough, as we’ve all seen, to steamroll right over it. Why is this so?

    It raises the question– on perhaps a grander scale– of what the role of public protest is over buildings and space, whether protected or unprotected. Why the formal fee to object? The implication that money buys influence is certainly in keeping with the way most of the world works, but it doesn’t make it right. Though on the bright side, it does make corruption easier to spot (we can all think of those infamous projects that lodge dozens of planning applications, hoping to make it completely cost-prohibitive to object). But really, why?

    And in terms of forums (like newspapers, like this discussion board) that encourage the so-called free exchange of opinion, one has to wonder. Does whistle-blowing without the proper authority to enforce ever have an impact? If so, what are some of the success stories and more importantly, why do we think they worked? And whether an earlier O’Toole article would actually have had influence over the DCC’s decision– I’d like to think this is the case, however idealistic. It’s the least a writer can do in the world.

    in reply to: Dorset St (Upper) #715862

    A look at the corrugated, er, improvements on the Sheridan building. Who is responsible?

    Back to the news coverage:

    @hutton wrote:

    Developer makes play for Sheridan’s birthplace

    From The Irish Independent Sat, Feb 10 07

    A DEVELOPER plans to demolish the birthplace of 18th century playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan and replace it with an apartment block.

    Planning permission has been sought from Dublin City Council by Shane Murphy, with an address at Malahide in Dublin, to demolish the playwright and Whig MP’s former home at 12 Upper Dorset Street. Mr Murphy wants to build nine apartments, including a luxury penthouse suite.

    A listed building, the house is currently in a dilapidated condition and two of the upper floors have been demolished. A conservation report attached to the planning application calls it an “eyesore”.

    I’m disturbed by the suggestion in the article that it’s okay to demolish a building because, after all, a conservation report dubbed it an ‘eyesore’. I’m sure the conservation report had more to say on the subject, and perhaps it even bothered to list some of the architectural merits of the building… not the least of which is that this is on the Record of Protected Structures. But alas, such limited space in the Irish Times!

    You have to wonder if such ‘improvements’ as the corrugated steel were made to make this building even more of an eyesore. Because apparently, it’s an appropriate conservation practice to just tear something down the worse it looks.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #776717

    Surely it’s an improvement to see the giant hoardings go, but where’s the benefit in replacing them with a horde of little hoardings? Crap is still crap. Whether it’s one heap of 18 sq m crap or crap parceled out into 70 bitty .295 sq m pieces, I still don’t want it. If anything, dividing up the scheme as such only spreads the rubbish around. Great—instead of a heap of it all at once, we get the equivalent of Mars wrappers and crisp bags and Red Bull cans scattered throughout the city—where it won’t be so obtrusive!

    OK JCD, try out the bike stands, go on and put up a silly ad or two if you must (ads or ‘civic information’ are the listed possibilities for ‘the product’… I wonder which will win out?), then leave the streets and public spaces alone. Please?

    PS Unless by ‘heritage trail plaques’ you mean more cheap record albums plastered on walls around the city: ‘Bono bought sunglasses here in 1982.’ Because I think those would be really useful.

    in reply to: Olympia Theatre Portico #748438

    @StephenC wrote:

    What a bizzare reason for not going ahead though…no granite! Do you think a member of the public could get access to the Marrowbone Lane Works depot where all the old paving is rumoured to lie…gathering moss as it were.

    They have to be hoarding it somewhere!

    You know, in more uncivilized times medical students used to hop into Glasnevin to rob bodies for anatomy research (hence the cemetery’s watchtowers, in case ya didn’t already know). So in that spirit, if it’s time for a bit of granite resurrectionist activity, I’m in. I’ve got my pith helmet around here somewhere…

    in reply to: O’Connell Bridge House… #713460

    Guinness it is! Excellent sleuth work, Graham. Trawling tourist photoblogs in the name of architectural veracity… I am humbled and awed by your renegade tactics. Thanks for the info.

    And cool picture of the, ah, ‘Guinness Building’, Morlan. Spiderman always gets the best city views, the crafty bastard.

Viewing 20 posts - 21 through 40 (of 58 total)

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