Over the past three years, I’ve gone on multiple flights with the LAPD Air Support Division, during both the day and night; my goal was to understand how police see the city from above.
I documented these flights through hundreds of photographs—many of which can be seen here—as well as in my forthcoming book, A Burglar’s Guide to the City.
However, an excerpt of that book has also been adapted for this weekend’s New York Times Magazine, including a look at Thomas More’s Utopia in the context of the LAPD, the navigational “rules of four,” and a look at the array of technical devices installed aboard each police helicopter.
The Politics of Enthusiasm: An Interview with Geoff Manaugh
By Simon Sellars • Nov 7th, 2006 @ Ballardian.
Geoff Manaugh is a writer and essayist whose work has appeared in Contemporary, Space & Culture, Blend, Lumpen, Inhabitat, WorldChanging, the Oyster Boy Review, the Urban Design Review, Subtopia, Vector, things magazine, and The Allen Ginsberg Audio Collection (a short essay in the CD liner notes). He’s also a contributing editor at Archinect, and Senior Editor for David Haskell’s Urban Design Review. And he’s the main man behind BLDGBLOG, a blog devoted to ‘architectural conjecture, urban speculation and landscape futures’. BLDGBLOG is very popular — it’s namechecked in the current Blackberry Pearl ad campaign featuring Douglas Coupland. It’s also wildly divergent, eclectic and challenging, and it never fails to command the attention, as Geoff examines the built world from all angles, and even from the upper atmosphere (via Google Earth), leaping around from posts on London’s subterranean system of drains, sewers and bunkers to whole suburbs thrown into space; from Indian superhighways to acoustic landscapes; from cathedrals made of magma to ‘psychovideography’; from military urbanism to sustainable urbanism; from derelict utopias to 3D models of plate tectonics.
SIMON: What motivated you to start a blog devoted to “architectural conjecture, urban speculation, and landscape futures”?
GEOFF: I was reading Super-Cannes, writing my own first novel, recovering from abdominal surgery, and auditing a university course about Archigram, the 1960s British pop-utopian architecture group; those things just came together somehow – and, one morning, on a whim, I started BLDGBLOG. Now I work on it almost constantly. It’s been two years.