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More Luminox notes

March 17th, 2007 (11:19 am)

The story has already been mentioned on the journals of emily_shore and dreiviertel, but must be recorded here for completeness. During my perambulation around Luminox on Thursday night, I saw and heard a young woman - 5ft10in or so, bouncily waved blonde hair, white jumper, a bit of black eyeliner and blusher - tell friends that "I don't know anything about Oxfordshire a thousand years ago, as Oriel was only founded in the fourteenth century." So Oxonian, and so college-centred, a statement I have not heard in a long time; it's the sort of thing which annoyed me when I was an undergraduate but where I now have enough distance to find it amusing.

Otherwise I forgot to mention the theme of industry throughout the installation, connecting fire as a primal, universal force (as seen in the sphere outside the New Bodleian) through the fiery symbol-inscribed pipes outside Blackwell's, to the engine chimneys exhaling smoke before they explode briefly with dragonsbreath flame. With the pendulum and water-engine Luminox depicts modern Oxfordshire as technological but (together with the 'scientific' symbols on the pipes) locates modern technological achievement as part of the same process of ingenuity as fire-making and forge-building.