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Showing posts from August, 2012


Thankfully I had help from a couple of people when editing down a series of new montages to submit to Format and their FACTORY 2013 open exhibition, which means I'm now trying to find a few sentences to big them up...

'Words are flowing out like
Endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe'

(Making) an exhibition of oneself

Looking back

Oops - Carbon 60

Listening to Howard Kroto talking about the research that led to the discovery of a new form of Carbon molecule, Carbon 60, (which has the same resilient geodisic structure like a soccer ball and which has the potential to be many times stronger than steel while a fraction of the weight - a bridge from England to France being viable, for instance) he asserted the role chance plays in research and science funding that is too specific will miss the real breakthroughs - which come about from being open to mistakes and accidents.  When I'm editing I make mistakes pretty regularly and so knew exactly what he meant, it's when doing something wrong that something unexpected reveals itself, and is often more interesting than the original idea being worked on.  I'm not sure I have the 'vision' to recognise anything of real significance and seem to waste a whole lot of time and effort travelling down cul-de-sacs.  I only know they are cul-de-sacs, though, when I get to the e…

That tart Jo Spence

At the Tramsmitter/Receiver touring collage show at the Usher Gallery, Lincoln yesterday there were several 'Public Images' pieces by Jo Spence (panels laminated and pinned to the wall through eyelets at the corners),  I was very interested to read about her reaction to being dressed up in a tarty way at a Terry Dennett workshop:

'Being made up by someone else is sensual.  I was not allowed to look at myself until it was finished.  My 'tartiness' upset me initially.'

She returned to this again,  Mark II tart, as she describes it, and

'felt the release of incredible tension... this open flaunting of sexuality released pent up anger about various things I had suppressed in myself.'

I think (and recognise) her empowerment, that became clear after she had passed through the initial experience of both shame (derogatory associations) and indignation (at being 'reduced' to sex object), both on a personal and political level.

There is a psychological a…

Man on Fire

Director Tony Scott died yesterday.  A few days ago I'd ordered a DVD of one of his films, 'Man On Fire' and it arrived this morning and I just finished watching it and the accompanying documentary.  What I'd previously assumed was relentlessly spectacular editing turns was partly done in camera, with hand cranked cameras that were operated at varying speeds and sometimes wound back and double exposed.   The resulting jerkiness is very effective.

It's a lush, beautifully staged and shot film with a split narrative, the first part character led and centred around a redemptive relationship (like an art house film) which U-turns into an almost mainstream violent revenge movie.  It's familiar but strange, and a remarkable achievement.

Cabbage soup

After the torrential downpours in the last few days, followed by baking heat this weekend the world smelled strange yesterday evening, sort of like cabbage soup.  Today it was back to its normal aroma, though, rhubarb leaves and snail shells.

In the distance at the moment is an expanse of brilliantly lit cloud.  It always makes me imagine I'm living somewhere surrounded by snow-covered moutains, something more immovable than anything that exists in a city, even one with a nine hundred year old cathedral.  And somewhere out there climbers are ascending those slopes, crunching over smooth snow and ice.


Squished world

Susan Lagoreci had her cool artwork on Lloyd Cole's Antidepressant CD in 2006.  I met him after a gig in Lincoln a few years later and he mentioned wishing he'd bought something of hers before the prices went up.  She's extraordinary, I expect they are far more now : D

Hollywood Blvd.
colored pencil on paper
2' x 4' 2010

Her blog is deffo worth a look, too.

We are just following procedures

An anti-war whistle-blower granted asylum in the Ecuador embassy in London, and placed under seige by British police.

Striking South African platinum miners (seeking £200 per month) machine-gunned down.

A girl punk band in Moscow sentenced to three years after performing an anti-Putin protest.

Law vs Justice in the 21st century. 

The Israeli bombing of Iran should be starting soon, as predicted by former American army colonel, Douglas A. MacGregor, to synchronise with the American Election.  To time with the run-in and ensure backing from rival candidates hungry for pro-Israel votes (and boost donations).  But not too early as to disenchant the wider electorate as a consequence of any backlash post-thrill of the initial decisiveness and devastation heaped upon a non-compliant rag-head enemy.

The logic that Iran should not be allowed the bomb (were it to actually be developing it - cue some dodgy intelligence reports guaranteed to be true coming this way soon), maintaing Israel's m…

Floor space

Big prints have long been the norm in art photography, for various reasons, but I've never been particularly keen on having big prints of my own photographs.  Until last week when there was a Photobox FREE big print offer. Photobox are always doing offers but this was a really good offer, too good to miss.  The obvious problem of what to do with a big print is whether to buy a frame for it... or just leave it on the floor in a spare room.


You have to now fear for Ecuador, its leaders and people at what they can expect at the hands of the United States and its crony, the British Government.  The most powerful have proved again and again they have long memories and few scruples when it comes to revenge.


Over my bowl of cornflakes every morning I read and re-read 'The Story of Philosophy'.  Being able to retain little means I can start completely fresh every time I go back to it and be amazed all over again.

As Team GB's Government, in a post-Olympic spirit of fairness and world solidarity, threatens Ecuador in order to ensure that the US eventually get their hands on Assange for spilling their dirty little secrets (while forgetting to prosecute anyone for those human rights abuses), the quote from Aristotle I came across resonates down through the millenia.

'The weak are always anxious for justice and equality.  The strong pay no heed to either.'

 * * *
Yesterday on Burn photography website I came across a Latin American photography project by Joao Pina:

“Operation Condor” was a 1970s secret military plan sponsored by the United States during the Dirty War years, which aimed to eliminate the political opponents to the right wing military regimes. It took place in …

FACTORY: new build

middle of the afternoon

Sunday afternoon and the time had come to 'sneak in'.  I sometimes get more nervous than others and this time I was pretty nervous.  I went round through the 'back door' as usual.  Through shoulder high nettles and thistles (pricking and pumping formic acid even through my clothes) until I was soaked in sweat.  I saw a vehicle and assumed it was security parked up. It was probably hard to stay awake on a warm August afternoon.  I still felt very nervy.
Making it across an overgrown, circuitous route to the far end of the site I tripped out of a copse almost into the path of a young guy.  To use the most over-used word of the British gold medal athletes, 'unbelievable'.   I just said hello and turns out he was a young guy doing research on the impact on the local animal populations.  He was annoyed that birds were dying, 'someone's shooting them'.  We wandered along together for a while, accidentally herding some 'Hawaiin geese' in front of …

america before daybreak

Waking up at 5 am, it's warm and looking out of my bedroom window I know what it's like to live in Santa Barbara, USA.  I never suspected that it could be so lovely. 

Photography resources on the web

These are my two favourite sites at the mo:

DLK COLLECTION - an anonymous and independent, comprehensive and authoritative write up of every photography show or auction that happens in New York.  Astonishing in both how much is happening and in maintaining what is a brilliantly executed and essential resource to the rest of the world.

HAVEANICEBOOK is a project by Yosigo and Salva L√≥pez who make videos of their photo books. This not only means you don't have to have access to a great photography bookshop to get to see a wide variety of books that you are considering buying and you have someone turn the pages for you while you look.  (They also choose great backing tunes, too.)

Factory: components

Image making

The 200 m Olympic final was extraordinary.  Not so much for the race but for Usain Bolt having fun before and after the event. One of the best moments was when he borrowed a camera and the photographed became the photographer.  It reminded me of an interview with Albert Camus on BBC in the 70's when he persuaded them that instead of asking his opinions that they turn their 16mm film camera upon themselves.

inevitability of life

... solitary, sat on a little bench, a plank on two stacks of bricks against a wall, a folded sheet for a cushion, early afternoon sunshine, the flow of air through the trees, eyes closed and the unexpected steady tolling of a distant church bell (which I've never heard around here before) fading and swelling on the ebb and flow of air, a cocophany of dogs in neighbours' gardens wears itself out, a single propellor aeroplane, men playing sport, and the breeze blowing across my face, the birds quietening, a bee, the lazy flap of bed-linen on the washing line.  Eyelids open to discover the bursting light on dark leaves, orange and yellow flowers my mum planted two decades ago, folding into lavender, she used to pause here, too. I know when my life is almost over, feeling those last hours or minutes slip away, these miracles will be longed for most of all.

Question marks

All the recent montaging and editing fell apart a couple of days ago, it just wasn't good enough.  In the evenings after getting home from work and having a bath and making something to eat I'm sleepy and it feels like trying to find a way forward is almost impossible.  The olympics are definitely inspring, though.  It's all about keeping going, putting the effort in.  Success or failure, what else is there?

For athletes before their events is the question mark and with making a picture there is some opaque question mark, not knowing if what you are looking at works or not.  Like with competing the answer reveals itself in time.

Big TV

I am glad I finally got a big TV just when the olympics started. The European football and then Wimbledon were OK but nothing special and a small CRT TV was fine but the OLYMPICS,  I'm blubbing every 20 minutes. So are all the competitors. Winners, losers, the presenters, the crowd, everyone watching, we're all crying. The noise in the stadiums, for the swimming, the cycling velodrome, the athletics, everyone in the country is mental, it gives me a bit of a headache it's non stop, a rumbling cheering roar sound with occasional explosions of hysteria. And that's just me on my sofa.

As for South African athlete Oscar Pistorius who has no feet and who made it to the semis of the 400m (he didn't make it to the last eight unfortunately tonight). People without any feet usually stick to the paralympics and don't take on the world's top runners but he was a contender.

 And Usain Bolt won the 100m final. Again. Legend.

45 degrees