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Showing posts from April, 2013

Lewis Baltz in the middle of the night

I drempt of Lewis Baltz last night.  I was in a busy indoor public space when I overheard he had cancer.  I was with my nephew (when he had been aged about 4 or 5) and he saw the effect that had on me and ran off to see if he could find Baltz and a few minutes later re-appeared on the far side of the room with him, both smiling.  Baltz was wearing a sequinned shirt and black flared trousers (very camp 1970s look) and appeared completely relaxed, gracious and with a delicate sensual vitality and warmth, a love of life.

I awoke from this dream and it was first light.  I went to the bathroom to have a pee,  overwhelmed with the need to not go back to bed but go look at Lewis Baltz photographs.

(Important technical note: In the dream the shirt Baltz was wearing was white, the sequins were larger and also covered the arms)

yellow (pink)


Wounded Knee

from BBC website:

"A 40-acre parcel of land that's part of the massacre site is up for sale, and its owner has given (the Sioux) until 1 May to come up with the $3.9m (£2.5m) asking price.
If they don't, land owner James Czywczynski says he will be forced to accept one of several offers he has already secured from commercial buyers, who may attempt to capitalize on the land as a tourist attraction.

"Almost as soon as the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee was over, the battle to define what happened on that bleak December day began. 

"For decades afterwards, the official line from Washington was that the actions of the 7th Cavalrymen were heroic.  The White House and its allies in South Dakota had invested much political capital in seizing tribal land for US use, and using the army to quell Native American resistance. "

Walking through the English countryside

I sometimes think (usually in the depths of winter each year) how in the faraway summer of the year ahead that I will go off somewhere and spend days walking across miles and miles of the pretty English countryside.  Up hills, down through valleys, around lakes and through woodlands and little villages with old churches, clambering over stone walls and somewhere far,  far away in the shade of a tree stopping to eat a sandwich and drink a can of Tango.  - But having just walked less than ten miles today, nah.

 There were communists and socialists and methodists and quakers and buddhists and muslims and feminists and trades unionists and trendy people and shabby people (me), people walking their dogs or with push-chairs, leggy women TV producers,  smiling old ladies, couples holding placards and holding hands, kids on bikes, - and endless numbers of photojournalists, students and activists with cameras. I take a lot of self-portraits but I've never been photographed so much in my …

The tyranny of our democracies

Politicians in the West have been queuing up to express sound-bites of righteous indignation about chemical weapons having possibly been used in Syria this week by Assad's regime.  Drones, those Nazi V2-style weapons of murder seem immune from criticism as far as they are concerned and they are now operated from an airbase five miles from here.  People who are sat with playstation style controllers are judge, jury and executioner in Afghanistan,  and presumably after killing are free to nip into town to do a bit of shopping if they are not feeling too tired after.  The moral hypocrisy never ends.  Perhaps it will put David Cameron in the running for a Nobel peace prize of his own, like Obama's.

Veteran peace campaigner Helen John, a Greenham Common protestor against the siting of US nuclear weapons in the UK in the 1980's (a movement that was one factor that perhaps helped encourage the Thatcher government to negotiate an end to the Cold War with Gorbachev), has returned t…


I have no idea what this derelict building was for in its former life, although I'm guessing it was originially there (in the middle of nowhere) for some 'official' purpose judging by its utilitarian design, the communal toilets and these rows of uniform (torn out) windows both front and back. Trees have encroached right up to the walls suggesting it was abandoned at least 20 years. A single storey block hemmed in by railway lines, woods and a ditch, with two feet of water submerging the floor at one end -  a scene experienced as a true Tarkovsky moment.  There was a thin decaying mattress and some faded food packaging in one room suggesting that at some point someone had been sleeping rough here, maybe five years ago.


Flora Borsi

Website here

Thanks, MM for the link  : )

Orange food

Colour Landscapes

I was just looking through some photos taken a couple of weekends ago, of a little copse at the end of a nowhere path behind a bowling alley that leads pretty much nowhere on the edge of town - there were some scruffy trees but it was full of rubbish chucked or blown there.  Hm, my photos were rubbish, too, but the idea was to position a different colour at the centre of each frame and eventually edit a sequence of several shots that effectively recreated the colours of the rainbow (ROYGBIV) out of bits of garbage - rainbows over pastoral landscape scenes used to be a painting tradition in 18th and 19th century English art.  Maybe when I get another camera and lens I might go back and try again, see if there's something in the idea or not.

Die Saure Sahne

Charlie White: Teen and Transgender Comparative Study series

Teenage girls and transgender MtF Article here
Charlie White website here

From Roski School of Fine Arts, USC: "Charlie White's Teen and Transgender Comparative Study, 2008, parallels two puberties: one biological, the other chemical/surgical. Over the course of a year, White worked to identify teen and male-to-female transsexual subjects who, when viewed together, would create a visual bridge between female adolescence and male-to-female sexual transformation. The Study is part of a larger project titled The Girl Studies, which includes a 35mm film titled American Minor and a series of short animations titled OMG BFF LOL."


I cut back a lot of plants in the garden a few weeks ago but only today noticed some rusted keys lying in the earth beneath the pointy stalks left of one of them.  My immediate reaction was to go show mum (as they would have been hers), and looked forward to hearing her surprise (and seeing her smile) to know where they had been found.  But a fraction of a second later, between standing up and starting to turn to go back to the house, I remembered that - of course - she had died several years ago.


There is a dog that barks all summer long in the back garden of a house up the street.  It started up again today so winter must be over.  It's quite a monotonous daily work-out for its lungs and unfortunately lacking in any interest - whereas a dog I heard recently sounded so like a wooden post being hit with a mallet it was amazing. I'd prefer the mallet dog - if I had a choice.

As for dogs barking in the distance, I remind myself that if it happens to be what I was listening to in the last few minutes of my life, inanely fuffing away, (the dog, not me, though actually...), it would probably be verging on the miraculous in its beautifulness and preciousness.  But I would prefer birdsong - if I had a choice.

I took photos of stuff last Saturday and Sunday then put my camera on eBay and it sold in an hour.  Here's the last shot I took with it.  Lens removed, body cap on.

Marcus Bunyan: 'Liberator' (2011)

From his Vertical series

Jordan Baumgarten: Average Americans of the Right Type

From Flak, a photographer depicting American masculinity, website here

Thieves like us

After using google satellite views to investigate a place to explore today I dressed for winter and unexpectedly it was a summer's day.  After six hours wandering around my clothes were soaked, and not from falling into ditches (managed to ford three today without slip up, including one using the pole-vault method).  I was gonna take some photos of trees at a swampy woodland I thought I could get to but also try and find an entry point into a scrap metal yard - that proved really tough work but I found a way in eventually (admittedly thanks to some thieving that's been going on - skinny thieves judging by the gap that had been formed between metal fence bars).  Work had just finished there (I had heard crashing sounds all afternoon) and there was CCTV, but at least there was no guard dog roaming around.  I'm surprised the shots aren't blurry (maybe they would be better if they were) as although I had VR on there was a fair bit of shake.

Then home to make soup.

room art

Adam Dade and Sonya Hanney's art practice involved secretly dismantling every item of furniture in hotel rooms and stacking it in the centre of the room, then returning everything to exactly the same way it was before so their intervention was hidden.  Going by the hassle involved in just placing the mattress that I had been sleeping on up against the wall to use as a background I suddenly began to appreciate what an effort they were making.

the passenger