September 29th, 2005

operesque

Venezia 1

"Com' is that our hosts still have not looked at themselves - to part Paul Davis to which they have lost the suitcases and Momus that were destroyed from the travel - and instead the imperturbable students they are introduces you to the 9,09 antemeridian ones?"



Don't be alarmed by this garbled Google translation of the Teach Me Blog. I haven't really been destroyed by travel, but did feel pretty wrecked last night. I arrived at Marco Polo airport after spending most of the day between flights at Schipol Airport, not in itself an unpleasant place to while away the hours. I jumped into a vaporetto and chugged through the canal system of the world's most lugubriously, sinisterly beautiful city, tried to catch the Biennale show at the Arsenale only to find it closing, caught the wrong vaporetto and ended up on some little cul-de-sac island where the only thing of note was Peggy Guggenheim's villa, took the vaporetto back to Arsenale, failed to get my phonecard working, took ages to find my hotel, a hostel on Giudecca island which didn't seem to have an entrance, started getting a headache and familiar glaucoma symptoms that make me simultaneously super-hungry and completely nauseated by food, finally met up with my host Davide and followed him through a harrowing, fascinating, beautiful and otherworldly warren of narrow alleys in the Santa Margherita district, drinking spritz then trying (and failing) to muster the moral courage required to eat a pizza...



But today has been fantastic. The Teach Me building is buzzing with young creative people, there are design books, exhibitions, and milling workshops, including my own on stories, objects and sound. In the afternoon I led a team of sound hunters through alleys and over canals, and suddenly the spooky solemnity of Venice gave way to human-scaled vitality, amusement, the pure joy of a cafe, recently-graduated students chanting obscene rhymes about "Dottore", the commedia del' Arte doctor and his arse... and serene organ music wafting out of the churches. I'm making a podcast, you'll hear it all...