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Friday, April 04, 2003
Subversion

The artist Mel Chin's In the Name of the Place (undertaken with the GALA Committee) was one of the best pieces of under-the-radar pieces subversion in contemporary television. Undertaken in the days before the ubiquity of the web could turn a typing error into a potential corporate disaster (update), or an unthinkingly forwarded email into a global meme, there's surprisingly little about the project on line.

With the help of the show's set decorator, Chin infiltrated the plastic world of the soap Melrose Place, transforming props and backgrounds with highly politicised slogans and symbols that would never normally be allowed on television. These included the words 'human rights,' 'turmoil' and 'chaos' being inscribed in Chinese on the side of takeaway food packaging, weaving the chemical structure for the RU-486 'abortion pill' into a quilt clutched by a pregnant character, and 148 other artworks (more info (pdf)).

Elsewhere. Oval Mansions was once a great squat, overlooking South London's famous cricket ground, and organised enough to have its own residents' assocation and art gallery. Now 2m will buy you the lot (pdf): expect it to be knocked down and replaced with some ghastly flats. Unrelated: a new issue of Born magazine, including the wonderful 'Letters to a Lover' (which has more than a hint of Nick Cave about it).

News you might have missed: 'Caravan park 'Christ' draws the faithful'. Only three years old, but a strangely innocent tale of a streetlamp, wooden fence and a dappled reflection. Less innocent and actually rather awkward in its lethal combination of cute and sappy: the Defender of Freedom figurine, meticulously crafted by hand (aren't they always). Computer graphics: the Eiffel Tower deconstructed. Need links? Enter the Blogging Ecosystem and see who thinks highly of you.