Blog and online portfolio of Ian Pollard

Bloom as Flâneur

“He turned away and sauntered across the road. How did she walk with her sausages? Like that something. As he walked he took the folded Freeman from his sidepocket, unfolded it, rolled it lengthwise in a baton and tapped it at each sauntering step against his trouserleg. Careless air: just drop in to see. Per second per second. Per second for every second it means.”

{Leopold Bloom; Lotus Eaters. pp.68. Ulysses.}

“Man as civilized being, as intellectual nomad, is again wholly microcosmic, wholly homeless, as free intellectually as hunter and herdsman were free sensually”

{Spengler Vol.2 pp.125}


In Joyce’s Ulysses we follow the peripatetic Leopold Bloom, our most ordinary hero, as he walks though the streets of Dublin in 1904. It is in Ulysses, through Bloom and his unstructured perambulations, that the reader is brought to experience a domestic psycho-geography of Dublin which parallels Odysseus’ epic journey through ancient Greece. In Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, the valiant hero Odysseus travels for ten years, following the fall of Troy, to reach his home; Ithaca, and his wife Penelope.  Bloom is on epic journey too – although he is not aware of this – as he lives through the course of a single day. Ulysses is an encyclopedic glossary of a city, and its human geography, and Bloom is our conscious guide.

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Filed under: Cartography, History, mat.zine

Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground.

An annotated version of a piece recently published  in mat.zine 07 – ‘The Hourglass Issue

Voyagers' Golden Record Cover | Image ©NASA


“I am currently 13 hrs 11 mins 23 secs of light-travel time from Earth”

{Voyager II, midnight, 20th January 2011, travelling at ~55,690km/h}

Having come across the ‘@Voyager2’ feed on twitter, I was presented with the first line of text above – an intriguing semi-human communication.

Reading the text, while this years perigee moon shone brightly in a clear winter sky, I was reminded of the golden record which the spacecraft Voyager 1 and 2 both carry. Each is an identical gold-plated copper phonograph containing material curated by a group led by astronomer Carl Sagan. On the records they chose to put a selection of natural sounds from earth, recorded greetings in fifty-five languages, and a unique playlist of music from around our world. A collection of images and written messages from then U.S. President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary General Waldheim accompanied the audio material, which were ‘written’ onto the phonograph in binary code.

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Filed under: History, mat.zine, Music, , , ,