I have a photo essay up on the JPG magazine site here.
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
I need more chill time. This past weekend alone I've spent an disproportionate amount of time on the subway and trains. I haven't needed to leave Tokyo, but I have needed to almost circumnavigate the city.
Draft three of the novel in progress has begun and I am thinking about changing the title, but I will decide when I finish for real. The photoblogging is going well, and maybe I was a wee bit harsh on myself when I decided everything was crap.
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
You were all fantastic, you lovely people who saw my photographs. I will definitely be repeating this even though it was anxiety-inducing (Will people come? Will they like them? Will they be annoyed, even though I can't see why?)
I want more people to do the same. It was great.
Here is my other post about this.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Just a reminder that, weather permitting, I will be showing some photographs somewhere in Yoyogi Park, probably near the Meiji Jingu end, from the late morning or early afternoon. Don't be expecting Atget opulence - it's me and a washing line. But if you see me, stop and chat, we might have a laugh.
Sunday, 20 September 2009
I finished the second draft of Novel In Progress! Am really chuffed! Still more to do, but now I can really get on with reading the copy of V (the novel by Thomas Pynchon, not the book of the old TV series) that I got out of the library. I could even, dare I say it, study some more Japanese.
Saturday, 19 September 2009
I can only apologise to the seven people who read this blog regularly for the lack of posts recently. Part of the reason has been work and being busy, another part my camera mania (which was somewhat dampened by a load of films that turned out crap yesterday) and another, good reason, is that I have only about 1000 words to go until I finish the second draft of the novel in progress. Yes, wow! I am giving myself an internet break seeing as I have typed about 1,500 words this evening, so just to let you know I haven't been a total slack git.
I thought this was a pretty picture which is why this post is blogged from Flickr
and not tagged yet.
Friday, 11 September 2009
I did a bit of thinking about this here, and also with my friend, and Embarrassing LPs co-conspirator, Pete.
In the very near future, things will change for the arts. They will go back to a feudal-era, folk-art model. We are seeing the beginnings of this now. It is not difficult to imagine.
Digital data belongs to nobody. Once it is out there on the internet it is there for the taking. Send something to one person and you are relying on their compliance if you wish to keep something out of the public domain.
To this end, the busking and/or local band model will become the business model of choice, and digital audio will become flyers for an event. Bands will charge people to see a concert. If prices get too high, people will stay away.
Manners are not shared but rely on consensus. 'Theft' may not always be theft. Curiosity is beneficial to artists because it has the potential to increase their paying audience. Fans will buy music from their favoured artists because they will feel like giving the artists reward for their work. Like Radiohead's In Rainbows experiment. If artists wish that no derivative works be based upon their art, it is just that: a wish. They will relinquish control as soon as it is in the public domain. Corporations tend not to use Creative Commons licensed content that prohibits corporate use because they fear negative publicity. They can afford to pay and everyone usually has a price.
Only hard copy items will hold monetary value. They will be limited edition, sometimes one of a kind. Anything that can be replicated, at home using budget equipment, will be. This is why paintings and sculptures will always be cherished objects. It is why digital photography will never be cherished.
Due to the nature of data being a public domain free-for-all, people will only produce art for the love of it. It may be funded by sponsors - who will usually be friends - who wish for something interesting to occur. Compare this with the local band(s) clubbing together to rent a PA and charging a cover on the door to cover the cost of PA rental. This is not what the past looks like but also the future. If you like art, you will be co-operating and or assisting financially.
Travel writing will not be sponsored because the individual has the benefit of travel, a perceived luxury. Perhaps international journalism will continue, sponsored by news agencies and/or subsidised by foreign/multinational organisations. Blogs of quality (i.e. not this one, which is a personal blog which rarely, if ever covers anything remotely newsworthy) may supersede the foreign correspondents.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
With climate change, perhaps we will have 'heat island' forecasts on the internet for our cities.
Selfishly, I'd love it if Tokyo had such heat island forecasts. It gets really hot here, and humid too. I'd love to know just where the cooler areas are in given areas of the city to plot the coolest way to work or something like that.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
This is possibly going to be a very la-di-da post, but you can't say I didn't warn you.
I was thinking, yesterday, about art galleries. I was thinking about the multitude of tiny galleries we have in Tokyo, where untold numbers of unknown artists exhibit their work.
I know the internet will probably not (or shouldn't) replace the gallery as the primary, optimum viewing space for art but in a world where user-generated content is king, will events like the Brighton Flickr group flashmob exhibition become more common ways for emerging artists as well as interested rank amateurs like myself to show their work?
I have to say that the model above greatly interests me and I am very interested in showing my work on a public holiday in Japan, 23rd September, in a public place and I have chosen Yoyogi Park.
The internet is a 'free' virtual space. For a physical exhibition, the use of 'free' physical spaces is necessary. This could be park, meadow or pavement. The model of graffiti - using any space may be more important to the artist in the age of the internet: showing work in prohibited spaces and sacrificing that work as lost when the owner of such space removes it or co-opts it (c.f. the work of Banksy). All that may exist of the original work is memory, video and/or photographs.
I personally think that this is an exciting time for art. It could even be the end of the 'serious' artist with shit work. In my opinion, there are a handful of artists who wouldn't be able to survive if they weren't friendly with certain critics. There's not much new in modern art, but anything that's good but understated tends to get shoved to one side in favour of sensationalist artless bollocks. And don't even get me started on the dearth of (post)modern painters.
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
I can't sleep with all the anger.
I got an email two and a half hours ago saying the company I do freelance work for once a week is going out of business due to the staff resigning over not being paid. I am sympathetic to them.
"It is now the company president's responsibility for paying teachers."
Will be going to the bank tomorrow, and hopefully negotiate a new contract with the class I teach. I hope they got their money back from the company. And why should I feel bad to be the one to talk about money when it's possible that essentially I taught them for free? (EDIT: I didn't. The new company paid me, which is pretty damn amazing, actually.)