Reading: Capital Realism: Is there no alternative? - Mark Fisher
(Update: Just finished this and thought there was some really great points made. When/if I get time I’ll try and write about it - I did make a lot of notes…)
I did a bit of photography in London on Monday for a friend book launch. The event was really interesting, so I guess the book must be too. If only I had time to read it…
I see bears.
Exiting the Vampire Castle -
This summer, I seriously considered withdrawing from any involvement in politics. Exhausted through overwork, incapable of productive activity, I found myself drifting through social networks, feeling my depression and exhaustion increasing. December 06, 2013 at 12:15PM
My Hero. From here.
Trees are everywhere, but we only see half of them. The other half is entirely unknown.
Last night I went to see ‘Blue is the warmest colour’. We arrived at the cinema quite late so the only seats available in the small screening area where on the front row. The movie does feature quite a lot of hand-held camera footage, so for periods of the movie, especially the sequences set around dining tables, I felt quite nauseous. For the duration of these scenes I had to stare at the floor and concentrate on my breathing. The film is 3 hours long, which made staying the duration a feat of endurance on my part. Despite this, I am glad it stayed to the end.
As with all good cinema, I have thought about the movie a lot since. Themes and meanings continue to reveal themselves long after the event. Adèle, the lead, is revealed to be a primarily sensual individual - not predisposed to over analysing situations. She lives, for better or worse, in the moment. We are taken through here life from mid-teens to mid twenties. But I don’t want to talk in detail about events - For me the movie is not about individual events, although they are handled extraordinarily well by the all involved.
The main thing I want to say about the movie, and the thing I am struggling to identify as having experienced as strongly in other works, is the movies affective quality. I want to say ‘maybe it is something to do with the running time, or the camera work - the close ups of Adèle’s face, the tears and snot and hair, the colour palette, the use of blue, the art - painting and figurative - depicting the female form (of which the movie itself is a fine addition), the conversations, the meals and their reception amongst different groups…’. But of course, it is all this, taken as a whole, that make the movie so affective. Picking out one aspect seems reductive. It is much more than the sum of its parts. The movie is immersive rather than voyeuristic in that, in the hours and days after viewing, you understand the value of Adèle’s way of being. In this way it is transformative beautiful art.
I love this - I can see a variation on this that uses a lot of low cost 3D printed parts. Belt drive anyone…?
Tim Harford — Article — A universal income is not such a silly idea -
How much is that? It’s about £1,700 a month – over £20,000 a year. November 30, 2013 at 01:56PM
Meetings are ace - you never know what is going to come out…
I am such a sucker for this kind of work. Taken literally, I see it as a radical individualism. Always be outside.
There is a discourse around the role of meaning in design with which I am largely unfamiliar. It draws on some concepts common to philosophy, a subject I am more familiar with, but it is still difficult to grasp on the first or second reading. I find myself wanting to map out the theory - the actors, processes and terminology - which is reassuring since what I am reading likens all designs to diagrams or mental maps of ‘individuals or collective cultures’. Meaning seems like such a simple concept, and it may turn out to be so, but right now it is slippery.
Instead of designing for certain users, focus is shifted to the cognitive processes that underlie the reception of the design. I wonder what affect internalising this idea (as will surely happen shortly) will have, existentially, and on my practice. I can already see new mode of creating opening up - this is the excitement of concepts.
Much of my research into design processes and the constituent activities (be they explicit or tacit) describe trajectories from beginning to an end point - the finished article. My gut feeling is that this will not be much use. More interesting is the creation of something open-ended, unfinished, which leaves a space for the receiver⌃ to bring meaning to whatever it is being created.
⌃ The discourse around meaning uses the term receiver rather than user or participant. I like this so will stick with it for the time being.
View from the hill the other morning whilst trying to get a glimpse of Comet Ison, before it fell to bits.
Yesterday I set off walking to Nottingham. About 3/4 of the way there I popped into a pub for a sandwich and a drink. Never do this - It is difficult to carry on afterwards.
I’ll probably have to do the walk in reverse in order to complete it. Nicely psychogeographical tho.