time to turn off our christmas present to the street: white lights strung through the tree you can see from the moment you turn the corner. i love lights like this, clear white festoon lights at christmas are so elegant and beautiful.
time to turn off our christmas present to the street: white lights strung through the tree you can see from the moment you turn the corner. i love lights like this, clear white festoon lights at christmas are so elegant and beautiful.
while home for christmas, there was a minor clear out of ancient computer books. amused me to find the ‘using advanced graphics’ bookmarked. a little foreshadowing, perhaps?
having to drag myself away from the sun and fun to go back into the dark, sealed-off black box theatre i’m rigging for a phd experiment was far from what i wanted to do. gah!
celebrations, we are now a two tiered-cake-stand family.
even better: cake was a central feature. mmm.
my street barricaded itself off this morning and had a party. which is to say, some people got on the community tip, got something started, and something much bigger than that happened. i’m rather wowed.
spring, countryside, birds of prey circling the old church. aaaah.
first christmas in years to be enjoyed purely as such: no work, deadline, flight, something hanging over it. and doubly refreshing to be back in childhood christmas welsh valley covered in snow. ever an irony though: actually slightly less deep than in london, if better preserved. no toboggan, then.
note to self: nomatter how early you start a project to make january engagement to christmas time wedding time cards, it will still be hit or miss whether they’re ready before christmas. final score: wedding date unconfirmed itself largely rendering the whole thing moot. grrr.
which all adds up to being able to design and tweak in-situ, on-site. useful when curved surfaces are involved, and most welcome when on-site is in sardinia.
turned out, it wasn’t so far off the price of getting a vinyl sticker cut as buying the just-on-the-market hobbyist cutter machine itself. having the means of production: so much better. having the means of production so compact, you can fit it with the laptop as hand luggage? crazy times. especially when in the security queue at the airport you realise its basically a knife blade surrounded by electronics… not that they did, thankfully.
this is the view out the back of cardiff central station. in its own way, you couldn’t better it. the beer’s good too.
to cardiff for a day of meetings. intrigued by the architecture of the senedd when it opened and having an open return, ducked off from the station for an explore. the senedd is really quite a building - not so big or imposing, but amazing that you really can go in and watch the business of the assembly happen around you. and hearing a debate about broadband in rural areas unfold with members switching between welsh and english does drive the point home somewhat. although i suspect it would fall apart without the UN-style translators and earpieces.
the waterfront development as a whole doesn’t hang together so well, but this facade of the millenium centre is great, and i can imagine how impressive it must look lit from a bustling inside after dark. also good for funfair-mirror-esque self portraits.
after the out-and-out of glastonbury, balance through a quiet weekend of simple pleasures. making stuff, using your hands, thinking-through-doing; strawberries and cream. aaah.
as a child in bristol, the ss great britain was one of the things that defined the place. going back there with a young'un, a generation’s worth of restoration has transformed it. most spectacularly, it looks like it is floating in its dock but the steel hull is actually sealed in with a glass ceilling just a few inches below the waterline: gives a magic atmosphere down there.
somewhat randomly, i got to go up a london skyscraper and found myself in the 30th floor boardroom. still novel, being that high: london isn’t really built this way, and with ira bombs up went the chance enter them as the public long ago. even weirder: there was still two fifths of the building above.
off to butlins for a weekend of music, clubbing and being a punter. i was charmed by this mixing mp3 player (just writing ‘mp3 player’ feels weird) student-times housemate robin had. in an age of the everything-in-the-one-device-in-your-pocket iphone et al, this seemed a spot-on outlier, not to mention just right for our weekend.
oh the juxtaposition. thanks to ebay, i now have a typewriter that despite sharing the QWERTYIOUP really couldn’t be more different from the computer on my desk: while its not the 1895 of the listing, the heft and mechanics still boggle, with that victorian feeling of cast iron and oddly shaped gears still there in 1921.
as part of the opencity event, novak created the ‘uk game boy youth ensemble’ and out a workshop and got them to perform. in a library. with a PA. that more than broke the silence. this was a great moment, and the view i had from the balcony the photobank room was on made me happy for so many reasons:
as if to chide us for being inside glued to laptops for the weekend, the quad outside the workshop room is a vision of summer perfection. although cropped like this, london looks like america all of a sudden.
back in london. unmistakable. love it.
having seemingly spent all my photographic time in low-light, camera stuck to f1.4, i finally remembered there are times you want it elsewhere. hello starburst sun!
the other institution in dc that i loved was the metro for its concrete stations. each one fit for an ian flemming villan or spaceship interior, depending on your mood. simple and beautifully done, i wish i’d taken more time to capture it all: this was just a camera whipped out on an escalator.
if you’re in washington with smithsonian museum overload, the recommendation of the sackler as an oasis was spot on. super refined to the point where it even had barcelona chairs and a massive anish kapoor circus mirror ahem sculpture in its lobby. oh - and hardly another person, quite a change from the herds elsewhere.
one advantage of this whole reunion having started with five siblings in pre-partition india: barbeque means real chicken tikka
in america for family-in-law reunion. golf is the activity one afternoon. golf, is in fact, hilariously updated into a ten-pin bowling style experience: each ball must have an RFID chip, and the ‘course’ is in fact a driving range with targets that must funnel the caught ball past a sensor. so you just stand there being poisoned by the fumes of the overhead heaters while bashing your balls out there, and magically a score gets attached to your efforts. i would say only in america, but i’d wager this is everywhere now…
still coming to terms with this week: written 2000 words of research proposal, and sent it off with the odds-stacked-against-it chance to get the funding to do it.
I am setting out to use my personal practice exploring narrative, character and the creative user as a critical device to investigate and anticipate a culture increasingly recording and representing itself with digital media. The research is situated around the act of transformation between the recorded elements and cultural forms that seek to represent the life beyond those elements. The focus is how can this be achieved by a creative user who wants to share experiences, and what forms that may lead to.
…exercise extreme caution, one learns. getting anything between a rocket shooting up your chimney and dead embers is not so easy. looks pretty when it is tho’
out from the computer screen and walking to the bakery, the sun comes out and pow! the skies are dark dark grey but everything urban is floodlit white with long shadows. tower block and white crane are stunning. and to cap it all, perfectly framed by the most amazing rainbow.
run back for camera, obviously it has passed. the clouds are racing and changing all the time, see a few more flashes of sun, but nothing like that one. at least a glimmer of rainbow again when finally walking back, loaf in hand.
one for the memory…
i love it when you hit a snag which pushes you onto something far better than you originally envisaged. shelf too thick and overpowering the desk? thin it down paralleling the desk’s curved incision. feature from a flaw - i was going to say making a virtue of a necessity, but i just researched that phrase we often used back in the product design studio and found it doesn’t quite mean what we thought.
for the record, to be able to bend oak round a radius of 400mm without it snapping, a thickness of 2.5mm is what you’re looking for. snap. damn. hmmm. snap. damn. hmmm. snap. damn. hmmm. last piece long enough to do the curve: phew.
good new years project: build home office. go from temporary desk to designed setup. although i failed to anticipate that leaving your brush out in water overnight in the depths of winter might lead to this.
you can’t imagine how quickly those candles burnt down…
fine chop chop chopping… one of life’s simple pleasures. also a sign of possible ocd.
sarah in cyclist garb, not quite giving the right impression - check the headline
ah, carols sung by a choice voices. so uplifting.
so here i am throwing away the old once again - while editing your life never stops, these definitely slipped through some earlier sort somehow. lots of technical drawings from school. and here i also am using cad-for-the-masses sketchup software to doodle how i should build the home office. and looking from one to the other.
cad’s ability to not just be a drawing but “print” out the design to the real thing is the absolute paradigm shift righteousness here, and as time goes on it becomes more available at a consumer level… but as always, there’s a certain craft and a practical geometry that you only got with your pencil, compass and right angle. and poof! there it goes.
walking out the house it seemed obligatory go back for the camera: the tree outside the window was shining, the air was clear, sky blue… it was less about trying for a good photo and more just the knowledge that the leaves weren’t going to be there for long.
when i was 18 and worked in africa for 12 months, email hadn’t really happened, the internet wasn’t something you had at home. so i spent a year in that place, and was totally there - there was the distraction of an outside world, but only passively, once a week through airmail newspaper or occasional letter; my community, my world, the thing i could actively act within, was wholly there.
this i thought, as i got out the laptop on top of a cliff in french corsica, pointing the evdo stick across the waters to italian sardinia and the 3g networks i could hopefully get a line of sight on, to check email and post this… at once having a break from ‘life’ and definitely not.
still jetlagged and having spent far too much of the past three days in flight, had the surreal experience of chasing the sun back from eindhoven. saw it set while taxiing to the runway, took off at 7.35, saw the sun rise as we gained height and chased it over the wing outside my window to land at sunset, at exactly 7.35 british time.
1.normal person’s hand
2.my freak hands
3.normal person’s hand
conclusions: make more pastry, don’t go to siberia if i want to keep them
in the middle of religious fervour, a pair of bored bridesmaids. a lovely reception followed, but i only got there via the pure humanity radiating out of those two kids.
barbeque… with cake. mmm! 66 candles would have been pushing it, tho.
…and tim looking at the nth blackberry shot.
haven’t even unwrapped the kit zoom. want to see what f1.4 can do.
…and i think the answer speaks for itself. no cunning, just went straight to aperture priority, spun to wide open, and clicked.
goodbye canon s80. you weren’t as james bond wonderful as your predecessor, but you certainly did your service, going round the filename clock to 17k shots. imagine that in film, exposure bracketing or no.
happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me… happy birthday to me.
its actually a month after my birthday, but you’ve got to earn these things first. super excited to have a camera with a) excellent low light performance and b) a super-fast lens to complement (a) and allow real depth of field cunning. short of spending a whole whack more, i can’t see a better way of getting a camera that works in the kind of environments i find myself in, a camera close to the human eye.
the interesting take-away is this: forgetting the niche lens, the nikon d40 alone is cheaper than some decent compacts, and obviously takes way better photos. yes its bigger, but its really lightweight, which is half the issue.
tracer / cleaner combined. perfect.
sunday drive in the countryside around the airbase / gig. country fair. and then this, perfect size for a mac mini mod, and made where i was born to boot. so why oh why didn’t i buy it?
some things are a gift, even if everything is wrong
beautiful field-sound-crunch soundscape, this one.
can’t imagine a british rail inspired equivalent on a london toilet door. berlin also has posters glorifying their street cleaners, which is beyond being quite strange is social-cohesion master-stroke.
have been squatting on the living room table for months while building work was going on… but no more! finally, a home for this work. now, to make a proper desk and work out just where all those boxes go…
absolutely not what you want to see: your computer kernel panic during a live repartition of your drive. oh dear. that’ll be a multipass zero erase and restore from backups then. which would have been fine, if my eurostar hadn’t been leaving in a few hours for a week+ abroad where i would need my laptop in windows for vvvv at node08 and osx for on the road generally at node and mapping.
got to love the irony of my mac dying while preparing to put windows on it… as if it were windows, but no it was osx/hardware at fault.
why is it that whenever i sit down to do some work in a hotel (jp - whats on the screen…) i realise there’s a mirror a foot in front of my nose. have you tried to work with yourself staring back at you? grrrr.
do you know how much they charge to wash socks? or conversely, how much luggage space you’d need for three weeks worth of socks?
exyzt, ever the prototype, hq no exception. note to self: next time go with illustrator files and fabric, those cushion’s don’t come from the shops.
again from the train, that is, indeed, the fog on the tyne. so its not just a song after all…
if getting up at 5am to catch a train has ever to be done, make it a glorious morning like that one again. a foggy night turning to glimpses of cold misty landscapes, then riven with a thousand shade of rising sun finishing with a perfect wispy blue sky.
a little mind-sketch while breakfasting outdoors in february (meaning another jinxed summer?).
was on route to “collaborators: uk design for performance 2003 - 2007”, an exhibition hidden away so cryptically at the v&a its almost as if they didn’t want you to find it. i loved it though, plenty to peruse and be enthused by if you’ve got a multidisciplinary bone in your body.
up north at a welsh working man’s club. maybe its just me, but i was charmed by the ultra-polish ethic combined with dated statement of the obvious.
but instead dealing with the removal of chimney breasts, it was really aesthetically pleasing to see the texture and curving runs of the flues revealed. the photo can’t really do it justice, but hey: its all covered up now, history exposed for a blink of an eye.
its not a big one, but it will get you.
that would be the pipe bringing water into our house that i’ve just cut in two then. time to find out whether modern plastic plumbing is as easy as the website says it is. this is how dads get dad-skills, it all becomes clear.
there goes the perfect ceiling… plasterboard and all sorts ripped up to find out the water mains into the house goes through a hidden section of victorian lead piping that, of course, is leaking. strike one to the emergency dad callout services.
“SOLD”. And now with me in it.
had a perfect meal. trattoria, no prices, menu from the proprietor. and then, as if it couldn’t get any better, he totted the bill up and then rounded down to a square hundred. bravo.
and straight back out to bologna via an agonising day realising that the first generation iphone wasn’t in my destiny, damn that contract being a two year one not 18 month contract as i thought. so i’m now sporting an ipod touch as stopgap untill the 3g iphone arrives. its a very cool toy, and an mindblowing one when there’s wifi in the air. and quite handy when straight off the plane sunday night clubbing with new local vj partner inés, explaining the ford vj project with a video.
this signpost kinda sums up the impression i’m feeling this trip.
i cleared out my spam folder in january 2006. it kinda amused me seeing the number get bigger and bigger. then it looked like a race: will it get to two years or 10,000 first? well, i just noticed i’m well over, and its still november. i don’t know whats more sad, the world that seems to have no interest at innovating a solution, or me seeing just how many i get…
another of those hand painted hoardings, and this really is just a tiny slice of the wall. amazing / bonkers / just how do they do that.
…walking the few blocks back from the convention centre to hotel would actually have been quicker. by a fair chunk.
unreal, and seems to be the thing round here: hand painting building size adverts. they’re getting rid of the one on the left and painting in the one on the top right. although on reflection perhaps just as crazy as printing something out that big like i’m used to in europe.
all my stuff held in 60 square feet, i am now officially a man in a suitcase. 36 hours and counting.
and so it starts. back from last day teaching in newcastle means the first task of upheaval has to start: move out of much loved house, decommission the old. an odd shot to show, but i loved under the stairs: mountain bike and file server hanging there.
visited the ‘our friends in the north’ exhibition on the way out of newcastle, a retrospective of graphic design from the north east from the generation that straddled the analogue and digital divide. as such, it would be pretty hard for it not to be stuffed with good work, but the flipside was there wasn’t and obvious theme or progression. and a poster or two apart, the thing that lingers in my memory is the architectural space - an old railway building still with original timber - combined with the yellow ropes holding up many of the works. the photo kinda gets there.
…as this is one of the most coveted places to yachtie it up in italy. booked weeks in advance. anchor off and take your tender ashore say the guides. unless, seemingly, its late october, when you have the place all to yourself. it is also not what it was really like, as it was only this nice and sunny the morning we left - standard stories of rain and gales for most of the time we were there.
home of napoleon in exile, no less. i’ve actually cheated here, this is from the dinghy the next day doing a little exploring round the area - it was still grey and overcast when we arrived, but got this view we did as we came round in the yacht.
it wasn’t sunny, but it wasn’t blowing a gale and threatening thunderstorms either. just a nice wind to set us out into the sea and across to elba looming on the horizon. a fast and comfortable broad reach across the gap and a run around the island’s headland and into the nigh-on perfect natural harbour of porto ferrario.
…that’ll be why its windy then. and so more boat fixing.
after the off, behold the newness, two spinlocks, in all their fitted glory. well, it meant a lot to me. and they do hold the sail up.
and that wasn’t the half of the stuff that i hacksawed, filed, pipe wrenched, molegripped and whatnotted off the mast with increasing brute force and ignorance. angle grinder excepted, for which a separate post. anyway, it was kinda therapeutic. and made use of that mechanical engineering degree. a bit.
things you don’t want to do yourself, no. 857: take an angle grinder to the mast of a 40’ yacht, especially if its not your yacht. hence that’s not me.
…and back in time for a beer at sunset. more clouds tho’, the storm might be gathering..?
this would have been the start of two weeks voyaging in a yacht off tuscany, but despite the picture perfect weather the forecast was gales and thunderstorms. so out for a jolly…
quick snap walking down a random suburban alley. hello autumn.
the machine that got me through my engineering finals and design masters has performed its last task: having sat in the corner for years with some files on the hard drive locked off in some ancient format, they are now converted and archived off. leaving on pc, not even wanted by the recycling people, to turn off for the final time and hit the rubbish pile. it was in the first batch of computers to ship to the uk with windows 98, quite the mean machine in its time; well, it almost got to be ten.
flew back into london city airport, and straight onto the DLR and 277 bus for me and jasmin. felt instantly grounded looking out of the DLR’s newish extension to the airport, the east end’s crazy mix panning by under a dazzling cloud filled blue sky. although that, of course, is washed out in this photo to get some foreground exposure.
that was the view from the 28th floor of the mariott, halle 3.1 and its ford group stands centre stage.
out of the car brand party night, and onto the highly recommended cocoon club. on the vj tip, had been told of 360° immersive visuals powered by meso’s vvvv. so hoping to get some inspiring shots, the bouncer points to the sign and even suggests the battery goes to the reception desk.
brilliant club tho’, shame about the 8.30am start. last day of the show tho’
not only is it seemingly the done thing to either wear your suit to the club, or “dress down” by leaving the shirt and tie on but swapping out the trousers for jeans, but the shirt can even have your employer’s logo emblazoned on the collar.
…in eleven months. i wonder what that would have cost in 36 shot film rolls?
as found every night on the hotel pillow. was thinking that eating some sweets just before to bed probably wasn’t a good idea, then noticed they were actually sheep jumping over the gate… mind flashes to number 6 in the village, finding the drug laden hot chocolate each night, to send him to a sleep that won’t be interrupted by bumps in the night.
checking in at the hotel, and there is a table with a cocktail, ladel, and glasses just waiting to be filled. ha ha! a cocktail to toast this particular adventure… just that the thing itself really should have been out of a cauldron, with fire underneath, frog’s leg sticking out and dry ice billowing from it. weird.
mmm, i am finally converted to the cause of belgian chocolates. forget all those sickly fillings, its all about leonidas and this one in particular. saved for finishing the final task prior to flying out to frankfurt and the true craziness begins…
…to me, almost the point of going to such a festival, exploring woods set up with lights and ambient sound.
the old age couple sitting on their camping chairs at the edge of the car park seemed to think me taking this photo was quite odd. i thought it was quite odd of them to be sitting in the car park, not even facing the sea. regardless, i wish i’d come back and framed this so it was the sign with the icon, mini gold and waves… but you can’t have it all.
…and, quite spectacularly, the weather reverts to the stunning form it was on when we arrived, a week or so earlier.
striking the site. packing up mud covered equipment: urgh. thought of separating them later: double urgh.
…this was the most tuned-in kid, quite something.
i love the juxtaposition here. moonbase alpha meets gypsy meets bavaria.
…bunch of virtuosos that they are. and always good to catch up with old friends, harking back to uni days.
the destroyers, despite turning back once already, arrive and truly storm it…
“the committee” declare we can continue. and so we do. strange when a festival almost gets cancelled.
couture and able modelling by lucy loose
what more do you need in a label / in a glass.
perfect country evening: the mustills plus us lot head over the hill to the next village, mountain bikers joined by the electric bike brigade. sunset, beer outside, descents against the star lit sky. perfection.
not as in conserve, mind you. when careering around the wonderful hills round here on the beloved clockwork orange, you have to watch out for sheep traffic jams
…nature always finds a way.
and there really is fire in its belly
…just steam and soot, metal and mountain air. something to remember, sitting in front of the computer day in, day out.
near enough same spot, quite different shot
off to wales for the weekend. photos can’t convey just how scenic it can get. although driving all that way with a hole where the car radio used to be isn’t so fun.
well, its all happening on the other side of the atlantic. as a product designer obsessed with electronic products and aesthetics of use, to me its the jet pack my parents were promised.
a day of the city, first lunch sitting outside with london shining as the sun broke through the clouds. props to the royal festival hall’s refit, they went beyond tables and chairs by having bar stools propped up against a glass wall overlooking the thames. cunning. then onto tate modern and its ‘as if it were made for me’ global cities exhibition. and then when plunging randomly through ‘the city’ come across the swiss re at ground level, something i hadn’t before. the detail just reinforces what a stunning building it is. what i didn’t expect is to see out of the corner of me eye was the aftermath of some godzilla on a building… check the right hand side of the pano. i might just have to go back with proper camera and get a 360 here, everything is just too juxtaposed.
if you catch me in the pub in the next month or so, i’ll probably try to bore you to death with my thoughts on idealised public transport and barcelona’s bicing. tho’ there’s a veto on that this saturday: no talk like that on yer birthday, innit.
walking down a street in barcelona, glimpse out the corner of my eye a dotmaster. every time one gets sold, the price doubles. genius, tho’ this particular one isn’t the best. go to c6.org
so wandering round on my last day, i remember how rubbish shopping can be. lots of traping around not-quite-finding-anything, and wishing you’d actually just bought that first thing you saw, ‘cos it was quite good actually and sod the stupid price. to apply another conversation randomly had over sónar: if you can’t go back, the optimum point at which to commit to hiring a candidate, or in this case committing to a purchase, is 1/e, ie about a third into your shopping trip.
oh, and the really worrying thing was that out of the whole expedition the most exciting find was a wallpaper catalogue… really must be getting old.
and how was it done? genius: industrial liquid containers. glorified milk cartons. mass-produced, i’d bet they are a steal, and even beyond that, there’s probably some transport company somewhere you can rent them from..
…and you walk in, and realise that was only the front door. as if walking into the top of an ampiteatre, lo! there was kubic below, in all its glory. and quite something, you see it and just realise evidently this is how all nightclubs should be. as a vj, i was thinking forget videoscreens, just make the whole place out of these pulsating, glowing boxes. we just didn’t get tired of it.
…and so we got there, and it looked super cool but kinda small, and how is that queue going to fit in there…?
travelling-art-installation-cum-night-club kubic had landed in town over the sónar weekend, and sounded like the perfect afterparty, a place you could just sit back and soak it in as much as dance. through a surreal empty expo park we went, and under a massive solar panel saw what must be kubic, a small stack of glowing boxes against the void of the nighttime sea…
just what was needed after the onslaught that was three days of sónar, the kind of relaxed, exquisite meal that makes you want to abort all further plans just to go home and quietly contemplate all the tastes and textures. and irony of ironies, just when i had thought for the first time in my life lets not lose the evening searching for a nice restaurant and just go in the first place on the tourist drag, dr.mo arrives saying lets expore the sidestreets. two minutes later, we’re outside a haven of unpretentious taste, a nigh-on perfect place: restaurant somor rostro
if you have todd around, then it will be with elliot’s mycitymate.net guide downloaded on the phone in the one hand, and gps in the other.
in the museu d'art contemporani de barcelona bookshop, the two big vj tomes were prominently on display. which is both a super good thing for the scene, and personally pretty damn freaky to see yourself as an artist featured in such a venue.
turned round, and a foot at head height was exclaiming “i’m here! love you, bye now x”
i might be attending sónar years too late for the wonders of audiopad, but that doesn’t mean the installations this time around aren’t inspiring, and make my favourite part of the festival. the theme of magic and technology is a good one. simply put, thats the kind of thing i need to be doing.
shadow monsters is pictured, pretty much a perfect execution of a perfect idea.
one of the best stalls in the record fair was from birmingham, the city i left years ago for want of a scene bigger than one venue… times really do change. chris keenan aka prime objective, a vj and film maker who participated with the avituk2005 festival, was manning the stall. check his site, worth it for the homepage alone.
one of the more interesting friday sonar-by-day performances we saw today was nettle, dj rupture plus instruments colliding electronic with ethnic. hints of u-cef. not quite a transcending fusion tho’, the instrumentalists weren’t really taken out of their comfort zone so it erred towards some traditional tracks with a few beats behind.
pick up sónar pro passes, lose the bikes, talk avit backoffices. long story.
so sad to leave, and so, so, so beautiful
it was just so happy being where it was. on sean’s forehead, his hand, it really seemed bedded down for the night.
thwack goes gnat number 582373 at 80kph
a town with a wealth of riches?
in barcelona rendevous with todd thille / synesthete.com and sean of skynoise.net; hire mopeds, head upcountry with the mission to find eloi of telenoika’s country retreat. most importantly, via a maximum of crinkly bits. 2km of curves? bring it on.
7am flight to barcelona, staying with old friend elliot who is behind mycitymate.com. view out the window ain’t bad, and la sagrada familia just keeps on changing: crazy that a cathedral is still being built; crazier i could be an old man crowing about it to kids looking at the finished thing.
“danger: demolition in progress”
…well, memories will really have to be just that if the building goes as well as the creatures in it. sniff sniff.
i’m thirty in less than a month. i used to have a ritual, to watch 2001: a space odessey every year. rites of passage kind of stuff. but the late twenties went by… but here i am, one month under the bar, and 2001 is proving itself again, just a stunning work. inspirational. and essential.
awwwww. having retreated from the rain back to home, hear and bang and snap this. nice to have the 8mp original, one for a frame at the house.
saw the bassline circus at paradise gardens, my local park transformed into a free weekend festival by those lovely arts-funding folks at the local council. bassline have got a mini-paradise in certain ways, the big top infiltrated with club-culture-esque tracks and technology. i really enjoyed it, there were magic moments, but it seemed to be kinda stuck between being a circus show as in a sequence of stunts and piece of theatre, and didn’t quite pull of either as well as they need to be. what is really good, though, is that there are people out there actually doing it, and proving that there are environments that can deliver the potential. and hopefully down the line there will be a newer show, where they’ve been able to take a step back and make a show centered around a journey for the audience, rather than an assemblage of the troop’s latest skills. and there are two projects being worked on here that will hopefully see the light of day in a similar space…
..and the kylie exhibition. just shows how videos make tat look good. but the showgirl production is undeniable. 5 million on video equipment too, the biggest budget item. interesting….
after last year’s lugging-the-punctured-bike-five-miles-to-the-station particular kind of fun, when i got a puncture this time i just whipped out my new puncture repair pads and mini pump… and found the puncture to be the inner tube splitting itself in two: unrepairable. not fair! timing was good though, happening right by a cafe on a lock, and there was a bike shop in the town just 500m back.
summer has finally hit, and its no fun staying in playing on computers all week when you’ve got a lovingly restored mountain bike looking at you. so today was the freelance day off; left the house, pointed north on the canal towpath, and saw where it took me: urban escape. rode the length of the lee valley out into hertfordshire, and when it split, took the singletrack option. however, no mountains in sight, curiously enough just the stanstead express… rail links following the earlier river navigations, i pretty much rode to stansted airport, and was rarely far from those trains shuttling back and forth. rbn_esc: well, not quite.
so here i am editing on the latest apple laptop using the latest final cut pro, and yet as the flow of the work goes, it feels just like 2001. editing in fcp2 on my beloved tibook. however, thats not to say the edit is equivalent: this is a motion graphic’d promo piece in sexy hd. amusingly enough, not even my cinema display has enough pixels.
ah, the palm tree. surely the best pub ever.
…struggled out of super-comfy last night hotel bed to the airport, to find the flight delayed by four hours. urrrrrrrrgh. anyway, big props to all involved for a really well run festival with many delights. i had a great week and things have been pushed forward. onwards!
geneva turns out to have wifi in its parks. fantastic… unless your battery is dead. just need to have a powergrid in the grass now.
some beers in a sunny park / swiss flags all around
four days in non-stop festival mode: time for a break. bus to the end of the line, cross the border, and up la montagne.
…the home stretch, regent’s canal as placid as can be
…and a quick turn to the right brings tower bridge confidence and surveillance state paranoia…
cycling from saaf back to the norf after a birthday bash; taking in norman foster modernity and tower of london history…
back in england, summer sun and spring lushness. the leaves on the oak were verging on iridescent.
its not often you find a decaying russian sub moored, ignored, in a random dock upstream of amsterdam centraal,
mouse / fryingpan / deluxe but delayed lunch / ruben and his boat (hello!) / crazy project talk / red light in daylight / open sea (as it goes) / russkie sub / giant arrows / skatepark in a warehouse roof / goodbye ruben / hello barney and the guardian / tripped the light fantastic / all night long
nice one jilt, a perfect day.
easter monday being the most quiet night of the year it seemed, there was nothing to do but drop the backgammon challenge: an end-of-job epic all of its own. and those freaky dutch rules.
there was a glorious easter sunday sunset, waiting for the tram. we’re at the loop at the end of the line, somehow very fitting for our bubble of motor show unreality. 15th day in a row, one more to go.
…raw herring, that is. allegedly very good for hangovers, welcome in a town such as amsterdam. the motorshow version probably wasn’t the best introduction.
the rai’s totem from the back of jilt’s bike, sitting on the pannier ‘dam-style. although we did bust the rim. or it bust itself. or something like that…
a steadycam operator on an all-terrain segway type thing… you can imagine the cool shots made possible, but it looked straight out of some robocop/terminator future. and, of course, i want i want i want.
you can’t escape: poster on the way to the rai in amsterdam riffing off house prices in london? eh?
the widescreen cropping does no favours for this shot, buts its a massive totem full of corporate logos outside the rai exhibition centre… with id&t as the top most hoarding, who are not some multinational corporation but the biggest clubnight promoters in town. not quite what you’d expect.
inside the stedelijk museum, a glorious red filled passageway. minutes later, a new image for the desktop and a sequence for a visuals loop. on that tip, the main exhibition was ‘mapping the city’: perfect for a urban obsessed visualista
first lunch in amsterdam: now thats my kind of pastry. as it turns out, its the name of the bakery, so thats somewhere i have to go find…
walking along, worked through the night before, unusually crisp day, look up, phonecam in pocket: for once, it wasn’t the sleep deprivation.
…but i love the photo, whatever it is. it was late, things had got blurry, and the order of photos points to it being at the indigo club. such is going out with a digicam =]
what you can’t see there, is the words ‘traffic police’ on the car. but eventually we got driven home, i got this from the flat, and thanks to the unrivaled powers of elif, the charge sheet was ripped up. not your average night.
because that would have just been too unreal; it just doesn’t happen that one promoter phones another when you’re with them in istanbul saying the klf are playing a secret gig at the opening night of a new club.
crazy. and that is pretty much side on.
traditions to be upheld, february or not: christmas dinner with schoolfriends. funny how good roast potatoes seem to have swapped priorities with booze as the years have passed.
is that when you finish working on the materials at 7am, and have a few hours to kill until the presentation later that morning, you can go out and take photos in the new found winter wonderland. this is my local, and more a visual joke than photo, but hey.
‘things i will never tire of’, #38395: that spark and ass is written all over berlin. superhero vj name, nah, an ass =]
it turns out that after a year, all the keys on an edirol pcr-30 will just stop working. just like mine did. mixed reports about getting them back, oxidising contacts type rubbish. so i thought i’d see if i could extract the useful knob-and-sliders bit and shoehorn them into some improvised box. file under: in progress
ring in the new. a thoroughly modern macbook pro, lets see how it compares to its heroic predecessor, my worldly rev-a titanium. props to rob stearn’s ‘weapon of choice’ and iain bank’s culture ship names for triggering the thought-train. names are important!
ps - its been interesting times this past month or so. haven’t quite been up with logging these things here, so here are eight posts dated as they happened, but written today…
so its officially winter now. a day or so back, it was warm leaving the house in the morning, and freezing leaving work. or more accurately, it was warm-for-the-time-of-year.
time for stew. beef and ale with horseradish dumplings. oh, and where are those gloves…
on king henry’s mound, say no more, was a telescope worthy of jules verne[^1]. and it was free, no ugly coin slot, bequeathed by a couple who used to roam the park. respect.
[^1]or at least, the visual representations of his books, on reflection. oh, the irony.
ah, tis a green and pleasant land. a clear and crisp start to november, in richmond terrace, looking out from london, a beautiful place to see it.
…and this is after. iWeb has cropped it, but where the rainbow lands on the left hand side, it was in front of a dark glass building, crazy to see the colours against the black back.
its quite a journey, up the spiral staircase inside monument, and quite an experience up there - especially if it turns to a storm. this is before…
perhaps this kind of place is a backpackingesque cliché i wanted to happen, but man, if you want pho, out of the whole trip this is where you want it. and the beauty of piping hot soup as the national staple is you can have it anywhere, and put anything in it, without fearing the consequences.
just as impossible to capture as the wacky-races of the roads, is the streetlife and markets. impossible to describe. suffice to say, not sainsburys. and if you can’t capture commotion through the lens, at least you can get some circles/composition… hoi-an, as the fish comes off the boats, is a feast for the eyes.
was shade-bathing under those palms when the air suddenly got fragrant… sandlewood smells turned to choking as the driftwood piles were lit - more aftermath of the tornado being dealt with quickly and efficiently. it also made for a spectacular sunset as the beach stretched into infinity with these piles burning all along.
ah, the old macro shot of the lotus flower in buddist temple grounds, eh.
you could stand on a street corner in vietnam transfixed for hours. it’ll all go horribly wrong when people can afford cars, but as of now everybody is on scooters and its just a whirlwind dance of everybody, their mother, and the kitchen sink. completely impossible to capture, but here’s a consolation shot of a few square feet of ice. missed the double mattress, the many pigs, plates of glass, gas tanks, planks sticking out for feet on either side… even a tree held upright.
camera and head: hold onto the moment. the memory of swimming out in halong bay will definitely be keeping me sane in the coming year.
also another shot that the default widescreen crop hasn’t done wonders for. iWeb feature request: panning around within the mask, strangely ommitted so far.
theres just something about the combination of these chinese characters, helvetica, the tiles, and the ‘pure’ name: central.
courtesy of new toy: after much despair looking for a equally cunning replacement for my old digital camera, found the best reviewed ‘prosumer’ compact on end-of-line sale in a hong kong shop. incidentally, the sign for the shop extended diagonally across the street intersection and was, literally, longer than the shop was deep. canon powershot s80, a solid buy, should always be able to sell it on if a future samsung nv7-alike goes wide angle.
first time to asia: hong kong for cousin jeremy’s wedding. definitely tasted the new china, just couldn’t get over the feel of urbanisation there: here is the view out of our hotel window. it was like having a window as wallpaper. and thats a crop, too.
just too good - having used an ikea clothes hanger-cum-rubberband-rifle-remake, what is the prize? an ikea tape and instructions on how to fashion your own rosette.
its a strange day when you look at what you and your lady are reading for fun… and find they’re both developers books. suffice to say, programming in objective-c isn’t quite as much fun as the developer’s bible, but then again when the summer has included bulgakov’s the master and margarita nothing can quite compare… satan kicking up a ruckus in atheist 1930’s moscow. with a talking, cigar smoking black cat. and historical passages involving pontius pilate.
this week’s ritual, walk down the canalside park and watch sunset against this bronze clad hall-of-residence-par-example
shadow and light through trees, leaves fluttering… gaze captivated: its summer
riding a bike from bow to kew is long, but its the traffic that really kills it - there’s no bike motorway. rush hour just makes it painful. no taking the bike on the north london line at that time either, so what else could there be? ah - house to house via the canal and river paths. may have taken twice as long as you wind about this way and the other, but it was a pleasure to ride… and allowed me to watch the sunset, not the car in front.
how did i fix my camera? by dropping it on the kitchen floor. i’m curiously outraged yet delighted.
i have a lovely kyocera sl300r, a ninja spy camera from the design gods. then it’s exposure suddenly lost the plot, bright sunny days became near black through its lens. six months later, with the surprisingly capable camera inside my sony ericsson w800i phone holding the fort, i finally trawl the internet thinking there may be a firmware flash for it. deep in a japanese website i find it… load it… flash it… to no effect. a beautiful brick. so, its not software… its got to be hardware. and what can you do with a micro-engineered, sealed product? drop it. i put it in its semi-soft case, and dropped it flat on tiles. and the damn thing was back to normal. six months out of action for want of a drop? i know i didn’t drop it around when it went wrong. don’t believe it. but hurrah!
maybe you had to be there, but this made me laugh. so well to-do round that part of the north downs, even the burnt out cars are quads.
i’ve resurrected my old, beloved, mountain bike (clockwork orange, lotus colours, perfect), and finally got out of london on a solo, soul day of me, countryside and not much else. too many quaint picture postcard scenes to mention, but here, a spot of perfection. not a sign of civilisation to be seen, and a descent into the woods beckoning.
somehow combined an unnatural trend for waking up at 7.30am and just getting up and on with things (three weeks now - crazy, but going to bed when you’re tired has to be key in there somewhere), with spending most nights at the pub. louis was 22, then burning man planning, then my roof leaked, then it was a job interview, then it was brussels inspired community drinks, then lara’s birthday, then up at 8.30 for my day off to meet mark, have breakfast out, introduce him to vjing, then meet adam curry et al in the pub for a podcasters meet up - all about jo and kosso and the def leppard tour connection - and then more pubbage with still-standing marathon runners. can i go to bed now?
a double-take moment at the hospital. a front door where there should be a lift: where’s dirk gently when you need him?
i just had to share this, girlfriend and blog separate or not. so, she has to spend a week in a hospital ward. out of the whole of the NHS, where does she land? in a room by herself with the view of choice. check it.
artist hospitality, northern style: fish and chips on the pier. damn fine. nourishing ‘northern sole’, warm clothes, bracing wind, and a victorian seafront just round the corner. surfers, even. james came out from the chippie ecstatic - he’d just heard someone place an order with “fish and chips twice”, instant timejump.
event, deadlines, stress, allsuch over - time to escape the urban condition, honour the title of my piece. the 2020 crew catch the metro to “the coast”… and the sign even says that. its an escape one-two, in fact… airport or coast. i like.
breakfast on the day of 2020 at the council cafe set in the manor house cunningly just down the road from the two-up-two-down terraces i’m staying in. no escape from the cctv iconography though, from dreams of cctvs cameras outlined in vj clips to these in the landscaped gardens. somebody thinks painting them green makes them invisible, acceptable?
ok so nothing too extravagant, but had a day when a salary certainly helps.
saw cirque du soleil at the royal albert hall, had a three course meal, and rounded it all off with brokeback mountain at the cinema.
really interesting seeing ‘alegria’ then brokeback mountain. worlds apart, and for me, the film was far the better… which is kinda against the point of going to see a live spectacle. the cirque du soleil show was stunning and quite amazing, but didn’t go anywhere, was all for the moment. i guess with all the production they invest, i was expecting something to hold it together, or at least accelerate towards a grand finale. brokeback mountain is quite the opposite - quiet, emotional, it stays with you.
its all more experience pushing me towards the idea of visuals with meaning, there’s a definite parallel between cirque du soleil and visuals as eyecandy…
just had one of those days that feels like a week in itself. got up, got on the train, wrote a job application, arrived in birmingham, had a two hour meeting with lawyers, left that and met max and had a coffee then a pint, got back on the train, arrived in kentish town, spent the evening immersed in my audiovisual project with a musician, then missed the last tube back home yet miraculously the double nightbus challenge worked a treat.
lots to follow up. urgh. and this all isn’t helping my cold…
the photo is from the new costa coffee shack in the bullring, its quite an amazing little construction, not just sculptured but with a beautiful use of materials. the pub after, the rainbow, is a perfect place too, and even had a massive munchbreak-esque band setting up for a two day gig…
saw mode selektor at the rex with jess and co, and had a funny conversation about performance… where we’ve gone from orchestras to the single dj, and from instrumentalism to, er, dancing: mode selektor flip faders as they bounce around, its not quite the same thing.
and no matter how many laptop live sets i see now, in my head its still a battle as to just what a live, solo, audiovisual performance could or should be… but there’s only one way to find out, and its going to be march 4th.
walking around montmartre - a rite of passage for me, you know you’re in paris then - checking old haunts from holidays past i saw this stencilled in the pavement… much in the vein of one of the animations in rbn_esc: ‘who watches the watchers’
…but oh la la the world needs to rediscover the spirit these were made with. it touches my soul. the stations of the jubilee line extension hopefully will last like these have, utilitarian monuments to a richer world.
…that i seem to get most work done on trains? anyway, eurostar all good. i hate airports. out the house, on the tube, onto eurostar, a la metro et voila. makes paris probably easier than newcastle, where i’ll be in a few weeks performing the audiovisual premiere of rbn_esc. this narrative lab presentation will be online soon, for you budding vj theorists.
so there i am walking down the street where i’d left my parents car… just that it wasn’t there. eeek. jump to the next day, and i was following the sign on the lampost in that photo to the levon road car pound. stunning sunset, which was nice, having to pay 200 quid to get your car out of the point, not so nice. i live in a residents parking area, but don’t have a car. so whenever i hire/borrow a car/van, i play this game of certain times on certain streets. suffice to say, it beat me. whats annoying, is that there’s nothing i can really do about it, as i can only register a yearly permit to a specific vehicle, rather than blessing my temporary motor with my residency.
so there’s a start to having a photo diary of sorts, a few months all blogged in one day. lots missed of course, but its nice to look back, especially if you have my lack of a memory. this was christmas eve, by the way. borough market on the way to work, stollen from flourpower is something no christmas should be without.
max in town with surge, crazy jazzsters. of course, nothing will ever beat the first time you saw them play in some back alley birmingham way, but such is life. also supercool that alex and zoe were there too, its been too long.
i live just around the corner from chisenhale gallery. it can get a bit bonkers in there. which is a good thing.
romanian folk by brummies in the notting hill arts club. where its at™
leighton is there on the left, max’s flute is just poking into the shot on the right.
one - two - three - aaah. uncle toby, baby jasper.
tamara, the lovely hairdresser who understands, went for the shortness this time. why does it only look like that in the place? i blame the bike helmet.
i hate shop bought mince pies. thick and soggy. thankfully sabzi, the coffee shop that devours my salary, got some good ones in. these, however, are my own. thanks to brother tim, i now know how to make minces pies from scratch. and they rock. i love mince pies.
digitonal played an oldskool rave set from their abletony noodly laptop live goodness… and it rocked. or raved. anyway, i’m raving about it. need to speak to them about a track for the rbn_esc audiovisual performance.
…when rescuing data off your archive drive. strangely, later it got better and sudo ditto got everything. for which i will be sacrificing a goat to the gods that be later.
inally got my fileserver - a blue and white G3 stacked with drives - back together after the archive disk fiasco. four drives, three bays. so i’ve squeezed a drive into the zip bay, which means its probably going to overheat anytime soon (but at least its just the system disk), and i couldn’t use the ata connector just lying there as the 1st gen B&Ws have a bad ata controller… so it now looks like a bad PC, with a modder cable stretching all over the shop.
bad, bad design case - the G4 was so much better. oh, and can i now open the side door? not all the way, the cable’ll break out of the pci card. sheesh.
horrible it is to mention, but the truth of the history requires it.
or not, as this blog will likely turn out. more likely a way of forcing myself to caption some of those photos that capture life as it zooms by.
this one, kinda sums up the lulls of the past few weeks… webserver down, imap mail down, archive hdd down. its been tedious.