Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bartleboothing

A while ago I found my old group emails sent from unreliable internet cafes in Cuba and Mexico during March and April 2003. It's a miracle they survived given both my personal and work laptops have died in the last 6 months, but they were still there in my yahoo sent file, rusting away. I somehow doubt my friends have saved them as great works of literature.

If I were to do such a trip again, I'd use a blog to keep the world (or at least those interested) informed of my progress. So I'm going to re-do my 2003 trip virtually; sharing it with whoever may stumble across this as I go.

The exercise is lightly inspired by the character Bartlebooth in George Perec's novel Life - A User's Manual who travels the world for 20 years, painting a picture every fortnight which is then turned into a jigsaw puzzle. Upon his return, he spends he next 20 years doing the jigsaw puzzles to re-create his trip.

I doubt I'll have the patience to do my Cuba and Mexico trip in real time - the goal is to get to know some blogger tricks; as well as maintaining a record of my trip for 'posterity' (whatever that means in the digital age). Knowing me, I'll be lucky to stretch the exercise over a week.

In my designs on posterity, I won't be mimicking Bartlebooth, whose paintings were ultimately returned to the place they were painted to be dissolved into blank sheets leaving no trace of his life's endeavour. Like so many 1s and 0s breaking up into the ether ...

5 comments:

Letizia said...

It's official then: this blogging bug is contagious! I'm honoured to be the first one to welcome you to the adventure!

Duncan said...

Thanks Letizia - and yes, i need to blame/thank you guys for getting me into this !

Matthew said...

I'll indulge you this one Dunc. It's about time we all started sending something in the other direction up the Internet.

Duncan said...

Too kind ! Does this mean you'll be dusting off some old Taiwanese stories any time soon ?

Laura said...

Hello Duncan,

Laura here, from Boston. I have bumped into your blog looking for buses in Mexico, and I enjoyed your entries. The buses are not for me, but to give some sound advice to my 22 yea old daughter, who *of course* will know what to do but I am anxious to help her... and to appease my motherly concerns.

Please let me know anything relevant (routes, safety, things to predict, to expect..or not!) about going from Merida to Oaxaca and from Merida to Vercruz by bus. Thanks a million! Safe travels and my blessings.

Laura