Monday, December 04, 2006

Why I like Germaine Greer

Plain English? Naah, it's the details, innit.

As the discontinuity concept is fundamental to understanding what the best of today's artists are up to, it's worth explaining again. Art detaches itself from the unsynthesised manifold by a number of strategies. It may take refuge in a dedicated space called a museum or a gallery, where it may not be touched or moved. It may be surrounded by a barrier, put upon a plinth, enclosed in a frame or a moat of white paper - whatever. To understand this is to understand why installation is such an important consideration in the contemporary art project. It was Kant who explained that the art object exists only as the concept of itself, all its other sensory qualities being associated with pleasure or desire and therefore ulterior.

I can still remember the excitement of reading the Critique for the first time 50 years ago, and basking in the glow of Kant's beautiful mind. Chrissie and Ben can take their Golden Bull award and stuff it.

the full monty ...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Summer with Monika

Dir: Ingmar Bergman, 1952

Not a thriller by any means, but a deeply charming film. Scenes of the Stockholm archipelago are marvellous, with the elements and seasons standing in as the Chorus as this quotidian drama/soap opera gracefully unfurls. Oh and a nude bathing scene during the lovers' sojurn by the shore, which we can all aspire to.


Monday, July 31, 2006

Images, science, art

I think I've written before about science images as art. Sometimes I think that curators of certain of these collections get too involved in the gee-that's-nice reflex, rather than reflecting on whether the image communicates something to do with the research as a result of its visual qualities, or despite them. I've been dissapointed by some such UCL competitions before. Not because of the lack of ingenuity of the image-makers, but because of a lack of overall definition of the goal of a successful research image that also is art. To my mind, there is a sweet spot where the two qualities support each other.

Apropos of nothing really (I saw it here), here's another striking collection, supported by the Wellcome Trust. This particular image is a nettle leaf. It looks dramatic, certainly, but that quality lets you understand how the thing works. Exactly the sort of art/science symbiosis I have in mind.

Perhaps because it's taking a narrower sample of work as a base (medical/biological microscopy), the criteria seem to be tighter, and the whole exhibition more satisfactory as a result.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunset Picnic

Originally uploaded by Drift Words.
A chance to see Simply Red, very nearly. Which is to see it was more about the Pimms and picnic than the performance itself.

Enjoyable enough, though we did feel like anthropologists. I thought to myself "these are really not my people somehow". If I ever did run into a field full of my people I might be terrified. I have a feeling that they tend not to gather in large crowds though.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Yes I know the tour is hollowed out crap, but bikes are still beautiful, and they inspire strange beauty like this, concerning a publicity-shy but influential frame-builder:
This may explain the profound obscurity surrounding the life of Alvin Drysdale the man, about whom almost nothing may be found among the vast reaches of the Internet in 2006 — while photos and descriptions of his bikes pop up everywhere an algorithm can invade. The few assertions we can be relatively sure of:

Love that "everywhere an algorithm can invade". For the assertions themselves, you'll have to go to the source. Allez!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Being Silly is Silly. And Not Clever.

A big hello to both my readers. I just want to tell you about that I'm still alive, but I want to tell you about this.

Take care everyone.

Update: Doctor 1.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Press power dear. Behind the screen on the right.

Press it again!

Press it for a second or so!!!

Oh for gawds sake let me do it!!!

(Leaps out of bath).

oh you're right, it doesn't seem to be working.

Shroud of iMac

Fortunately, my dead iMac might only be resting, as it may have succumbed to a common enough power supply fault. Having gone through the support wizard, and poked around inside in the approved manner, and come to naught, I've driven it down to a nearby repairer. This could be a long week ...

Update: it lives! And Flickr has gone to "Gamma". And Firefox pops another update!
All at once!


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Running stuff on my other blog

This is just a courtesy post in case you are reading this for the running training journal.

If I write any more running-related posts (and I might, since I'm getting back into it now), they shall be over on my other blog "Repulsive Monkey" (Taichi, learning Chinese, and Running). The common theme there is Getting Better at Doing Things, whereas here you have the beachcomber's art of Picking Things Up and Looking at Them.

I have worky-work-work blogs, but they are somewhere else. Go and look at the sidebar for details, or see my Suprglu page.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Interesting. Pandora is another music recommendation service (does music streaming for subscribers). They have a parameter-based approach – they call it the musical genome – in that they split apart the attributes of an artist along defined axes (The Cure, for example, is "electro, post-punk, melody-led etc"), unlike, which seems to be more about plain old correlation coefficients. Also, less social and more straight-ahead commercial. US-centric, which kills the idea of giving them money for now. Though generally pretty nice.

First seen on Vanillasky.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bleep bloop boink

Music, genre-ified, through a Katamari-like Flash mangleiser, with added Roobard and Custard. From Auntie!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Here's a thing ...

... you know how having an ipod really bumps up your music-appreciation muscles. I reckon I've got to the end of that cycle now, having loaded pretty much all my CDs on to my now ancient 4G pod, and worked out why I wanted that music in the first place.

Now, not only do I want a bunch of fresh music, but I'm always on the lookout for good recommendations. That's why I was so pleased with myself for getting my head around After I play 300 tracks I will have a Neighbour, and I can see what they like. Here's what I like. It's like Flickr for music!

Monday, March 20, 2006


Originally uploaded by Drift Words.
The previous pic was probably my yearning for an irretreivable summer, surrounded by nothing but warm air. Dreadful dead lines of winter still overhead, though a few springing buds can be seen at ground level. Here I'm in the transporter module taking me to Planet Smoke for another push at the rockface.

Monday, January 16, 2006