poem

I scream when I close the curtains, just silently, I have a little fit at the cloth.

Inside the flat, when I pass the front door I give it the finger.

I drum frantically, alone in the toilets, hyped up on work.

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Art, reading, writing

I’ve been out to the shops to buy some books and magazines to try and get back into Art.

One thing I had forgotten about it was how expensive buying all this stuff is. Better find a library that holds this stuff.

I picked up a copy of Theory in Contemporary Art: From 1985 to the Present to start with. I dithered over whether to get this or New Philosophy for New Media which looked like a book in my area of interest but Theory seemed to be better value and easier to read.

I can’t help but think that this is a really naive thing to do, getting back into Art will be better accomplished in other ways than just buying the requisite books. But to be honest I’m not really sure what to do, I’m just feeling my way.

I also bought Frieze and Map magazines. Frieze was always a bit too eclectic when it first started. I subscribed for a number of years but it never really dealt with things that I was particularly interested in. This edition, though, has some kind of review of how many people think art has changed. Nothing like a sound-bite for an easy read. I got Map for no other reason than that it just looked interesting.

UPDATE: How about that, Map is “the new contemporary art magazine from Scotland.” They have a slightly ropey website, not the best navigation.

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musical mentors

in the last post I mentioned that there had been a number of people at certain stages of my life who had formed my musical preferences in a very apparent way. They would be (in roughly chronological order):-

My parents (classical music) (age 0):-

  • Beethoven

Aron (Belgian New Beat/Goth/other) (age 16):-

  • Front 242
  • Nitzer Ebb
  • Leather Nun
  • Fields of the Nephilim
  • Sisters of Mercy
  • Mike Oldfield

Adrian (new wave/post-punk) (age 17):-

  • New Order
  • Joy Division
  • REM

Jason (electronica) (age 22):-

  • Autechre
  • Scanner
  • The Black Dog

joy division – new order – skalpel

new music Friday.

Just got these in the post from rough trade:-

I’ve been into New Order for years, I was introduced to them by my friend Adrian, I think, who was one of those people who formed my musical taste at a particular time of my life (18 in this case). (Subject for another post).

This was at the time of the release of True Faith and the Substance compilation (1987). I knew and had loved Blue Monday, one of only a few tracks that would energise me into dancing at parties as soon as the hyper-distinctive intro beat kicked in. And on listening to Substance I realised that there were a number of other singles that I had liked over the years but hadn’t realised were by New Order, so Substance was something of a revelation for me.

A Summer job working as a data cruncher and trainee drafter for a local architect – left alone, one-finger-typing local authority data into a DOS prompt – the radio playing what I now know to be Bizarre Love Triangle (1986).

Later Adrian lent me a tape of Joy Division material which didn’t strike the same chord with me but I quite liked the driving bass and drums of some of the songs (oh yes, Warsaw!).

I’ve been through two copies of Substance now and was hoping to get it on CD with it’s recent re-release but I missed it before it went out of print (apparently). But with New Order winning the godlike genius award they’ve released Singles to add to their list of compilations, so I’m happy to listen to that.

However, Substance wasn’t just about being a compilation of New Order’s singles. It was a) the twelve-inche versions mostly, which physically are lovely objects, so substantial compared to singles, and b) the concept of one tape holding a-sides and a second holding the b-sides was a great concept. It brought the b-side into parity with the a-side; from what seemed to be an after-thought in most bands minds, to a special track in it’s own right; given that many of New Order’s b-sides were alternate mixes of the a-side, gave the track a whole new meaning.

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tha futur

I really hate talking about what I would like to do in the future, because talk is cheap. That said…

I’ve been thinking about going back to college. Why?

  • to add direction to my life.
  • to re-discover things that I’m interested in and excited about and that I’ve forgotten since I was last at college.
  • to develop these things into something that I will want to and be able to continue doing after I leave college.

I’ve been looking at Art History/Theory Courses. Why?

  • My BA is in Fine Art.
  • By the end of that degree I had developed into some kind of conceptual artist (funny story, but not for this post).
  • After I left I was unable to continue this – I’d not laid the necessary ground work for a long-term artistic career, I’d not chosen a particularly easy route to take, and I didn’t have the motivation to make it work for me (I’m not judging the activity in itself at this point as I think that would be irrelevant to the discussion in hand).
  • As a result I don’t draw/paint sculpt particularly well, I have few technical skills to develop a more traditional artists’ career. Nor would I want to.
  • Therefore I would like to strengthen my intellectual/artistic background to help lay some ground-work for whatever I might end up doing.

Before I can start one of these courses there are a number of things I need to do first:

  1. Improve my writing.
  2. Write more about what I like.
  3. Do more research about what I like.
  4. Improve my objectivity.
  5. Read up on Art. Pick up the reading lists from the courses I’m looking at.
  6. Get up to speed with contemporary art. Subscribe to some magazines.

partially deaf

I’m partially deaf. I went through a battery of tests at Addenbrooke’s Hospital earlier this year (including a very scary MRI scan) to see if there were any physical problems that could be dealt with in any way. The tests didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary – my hearing in my right ear is just deteriorating.

I’ve been given a hearing aid and it’s ugly! ugly! ugly! and I’m too vain to wear it out of the house. The best thing about it is the case that it comes in. It’s a small ring case covered in black velvet-like material. Inside, the hearing aid sits on a black cushioned base and the top is lined with white silky material with the words “National Health Service” printed in Gill Sans (all caps). The Gill Sans makes it feel very 50s in style – an era that’s always appealed to me.

Putting the hearing aid into the case ruins it completely.

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