Day-to-Day Data
Richard Dedomenici
Title: Nail Salon Belt
Location: Installation at Danielle Arnaud contemporary art

Richard is creating an installation documenting his research into the theory of the Nail Salon Belt. The theory states that at a certain distance from central London, running the length of the border between the 0207 and the 0208 telephone codes, a much higher than average number of nail salons exist. Richard will present a film showing his progress on the famous walk around the 0207 and 0208 border when the data which lead to his groundbreaking theory was collected. The results will be displayed as a wall-based diagram of the Nail Salon Belt and a text-based report of findings.
images from the Nail Salon Belt walk
images from the Nail Salon Belt walk
In 2001 I began a walk around the border of the 020 7 inner-London and 020 8 outer-London telephone code areas. I ascertained my route by noting the telephone numbers on shop signs, in phone boxes and by knocking on people’s doors. I noticed a higher than average concentration of Nail Salons along the route, and although my walk remains incomplete – partially due to the writer Iain Sinclair stealing my thunder by walking round the M25 – I have developed a theory that, at a certain radius from the centre of London, a Nail Salon Belt exists.

In the same way that the Van Allen Belts – bands of ionised gas surrounding the Earth – protect our planet from harmful radiation, I hypothesise that the Nail Salon Belt is all that prevents my hometown of Watford from getting sucked into the urban sprawl of London. However, concerns exist that the high frequency of Nail Salons on the border of 020 7 / 020 8 are economically unsustainable, and that erosion of the Nail Salon Belt is inevitable. The recent reclassification of Watford Station by London Underground from ‘Zone 6b’ to ‘Zone 6a’ seems to suggest that such damage could already be affecting London’s pull on Watford.

Urgent data must be collected to prevent imminent disaster. Hence for Day-to-Day Data I propose a comprehensive survey of the Nail Salon Belt

Initially, my intention was to collaborate with a programmer to develop an automated ‘bot’ to trawl business directory data held on, and combine it with the mapping power of to generate automated Nail Salon Belt data which could then be streamed in real-time into the gallery space. However, for logistical reasons, data will instead be manually gathered and displayed using some little flags, a big map, and a copy of the Yellow Pages.

Nail Salon Belt is the first project I have undertaken which combines geographical mapping and cause and effect. Previous works include successfully disproving Chaos Theory by dressing up as a butterfly in New York, and a failed attempt to turn back time in Central London by travelling anticlockwise on the Circle Line for 43 hours. I’m currently undertaking a study into the feasibility of blowing up the moon.

Richard Dedomenici
April 2005

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