Robin Ince, Stuart Evers, John-Luke Roberts, Matthew Crosby, Rich Sandling, Martin Austwick & Ben Moor
Dalston Boys' Club
Book habits. Costly business. In his 1946 essay, George Orwell compared the cost of reading with more proletariat pursuits and calculated his book consumption at 9s 9d a week. Equivalent to 83 Players Special, or four ounces of tobacco at the time. Which pursuit gives more pleasure?
Orwell defended reading as an inclusive and affordable recreation. In this battle of the fags vs. fiction, invited comedians, writers and performers will consider whether reading really is ‘a less exciting past time than going to the dogs, the pictures or the pub’.
And as well as food for the brain they’ll be food for the belly, and not just any old sandwich. Those of you familiar with Orwell’s essay writing will know the big man had a thing or two to say about what we eat and how we eat it. Well, Come Dine With Orwell, as we’ll be recreating a few of Orwell’s very own recipes for treacle tart, plum cake and marmalade. To his exact specifications.
There are 369 words in the first three paragraphs of Orwell’s paranoid dystopia , and, in an effort to come to terms with an expensive new camera, Aleks Krotoski took a photo of these words in succession every day of 2010. Over 12 months, she got lost in the visual semantics of Orwell’s prose, becoming half-woman-half-environment-scanner, pushing her mental health and her photographic capabilities to their limits.
Here, she exhibits the 14 of the 34 instances of the most dull and functional – yet arguably the most essential – of these 369 words: the word “the”.
Aleks Krotoski writes for The Guardian and Observer newspapers, and hosts , their technology podcast. Her writing also appears in Nature, BBC Technology, New Statesman, MITTechnology Review and The Telegraph.