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Showing posts from January, 2012

This to that

In the plant room of the building next door

Full of air-conditioning and heating ducts, water pipes, IT cabinets with soft machine noises and the rustle of air and liquid moving, a subterranean room encased in breeze blocks

Self-portrait as dust

I changed the vacumn cleaner bag in the garden yesterday, then brushed the filter.  There was quite a lot of dust lying on the path by the time I'd finished.  When I saw it later it occured to me that as dust consists largely of shed skin cells, and as I live on my own, then the dust lying there was in fact me.

"The percentage of the dust in your home that is actually dead skin cells is approximately 75% to 90%.

"30,000-40,000 skin cells fall off you per minute, and on average 8.8 pounds of dead skin cells fall off your body per year."

stats: (not sure how reliable they are)

Standing in full view in the OOF zone

Mostly people take take photographs wanting them to be sharp, with no trace of camera shake or an out of focus lens.  But plenty of photographers appreciate the quality of 'bokeh' and deliberately use out of focusness.  One of the less known themes of Ralph Eugene Meatyard's work was his late 1950's-1960's 'Zen twigs' series.  He was more famous for family snapshots where everyone wears horror mask - but for me these blurry black and whites are just as memorable.  John Blakemore explored similar effects around the same time, sometimes in colour. (Yes, the book arrived this morning.)  So when I got home from a trip to town with a new (£5) red dress  today I thought I would also try to make use of bluriness - as somewhere to look out at the world from while remaining hidden.

Joe Deal

Joe Deal was one of the contributors to the 'New Topographics' show in 1976 curated by William Jenkins - the show that hardly anyone visited but which ultimately impacted the way a whole wide tributary of art photography has looked ever since.  Now I am buying books not dresses I finally ordered one of his books - not that there are many out there.

That 1976 show was held in a room at George Eastman House in Rochester NY.  As a conscientious objector Joe had previously been assigned several years earlier to work there as a janitor and guard.  He 'specialized in depicting how the landscape was transformed by people', though in his case he described his viewpoint as that of a neutral observer rather than a critic.

John Blakemore

John Blakemore was one of the few mid-20th Century British art photographers who seemed to ignore the resistance to the medium in this country and dedicated  himself to photography.  Born in 1935 Dewi Lewis have recently published 50 years of his work.  Interestingly it was the recoil from the trauma of divorce that inititated his early, great B&W landscape and still life work.  (A strikingly similar story is behind Masahisa Fukase's Karasu's compulsion with photographing Ravens.)

As a pictorialist he is totally unfashionable.  His nine-year-long obsession with tulips produced works not disimilar to the lush sensuality of Edward Steichen or Andre Kertesz.  The last time I saw any of Blakemore's work exhibited was in a little library gallery somewhere (Derby, probably) several years ago, and the images were small colour snapshots taken in his garden.  They were extremely modest with minimal concern in their curating and easily overlooked or dismissed as of no consequenc…


New build homes

DIY and gender

I remember a report last year that showed women had overtaken men to become the larger market segment for DIY materials.

Suitably impressed today I attempted to fix a tap spindle and a spark plug.  Actually the tap had been dripping when I attempted a fix a few months ago - which resulted in successfully eliminating the drip but also any flow of hot water to the bathroom sink altogether.  I've been using a container and filling it from the bath hot tap as a temporary measure ever since. But today I tried again and using a load more resin seem to have sorted it this time.  That inspired me to then check and adjust the spark plug gap on my trail bike, for the first time in 8 years.  I didn't test if it fired up afterwards as that's more than enough DIY for me for this year.  I need to wash my hair and put on a dress.

Over identifying with value brand products

Inside Out

Self-portrait with blue tint (inkjet fail)