Blog archive November 2006
[note that anna asked us all not to take photos during the service to prevent distractions or holdups]
it was a very good time.
photos here. this is a good one to view as a slideshow since there are 46 photos taken from the beginning to the end of the gig [the last photo is the end of the last song]. wish flickr did full-screen size slideshows. you need the full size to feel like you were there.
some older grace technology in the grace tech set on flickr, in reverse chronological order now back to 1999. amazing how clunky the new stuff of five years ago looks now. all that is solid melts into air. the other change is the way things are now silver or white instead of black.
...and the other change is in the technology used to record these things. looking back now at those old photos is decisive - i realise how much better, in the end, digital photography is.
you'll be wondering why there are photos of green park tube station on my flickr. well, various tube stations are having their wall tiling replaced atm. this is generally a good thing, but i was horrified to see the jubilee line platforms at bond street attacked with a pickaxe. the 1970s jubilee line stations bring a welcome note of intense colour into the tube system, and i had assumed they would be safe - there are plenty of dingy corners to be tackled first. it may be that this is just part of the general refurbishment of bond street station - but still, why?
so i rushed off to photograph green park jubilee line platforms before the vandals got there too. it's perhaps my favourite place on the whole network - you will see that it's influenced my colour sense - in particular, the original smallfire site, with the blue section titles taken from the bond street platform tiling!
the laminate elements at green park are getting tired, especially the yellow, and i hope that whenever they refurbish it they'll do a sympathetic restoration and not rip it all out for the standard white tiling. many early stations are classed as heritage - i hope that this 1970s work can be seen that way too.
i've been photographing the technology used at grace services, as a matter of record and because it's visually interesting. i'm going to see what i can find from earlier years to add to the set, as a record of how things have changed. certainly the slide projectors have long gone. mike even baulked at being handed a cd last night - it had to go into a laptop and thence into an ipod to be cued.
and then there's technology as ornament. wonder if i've got a good photo of our pair of mac classics? we stick them on altars for decoration - they can only handle a couple of words or a logo in black and white.
photos of last night's grace service which was about listening - to each other and to god.
an enjoyable evening which put me in a place of peace and quietness. i realise that that doesn't happen very often. was good to see old friends there too. i've missed a lot of grace services this year - march i was in austin, april i was visiting my father in hospital, may i was at his funeral, october i was in melbourne.
...so to chill out on my own for a few days after the flat upheaval i took the train to st. ives.
got round to visiting the barbara hepworth museum and garden. i'm not a huge fan but the studio and garden were lovely - i thought, this is a model for church - a place with beautiful objects, chairs, garden, you get a guide, there's one or two books to read, the garden has a circuit and gathering places - would be great to do a communion in this piece with the central 'stone' as an altar [it has a circular recess in the top surface to put bread and wine in]. no doubt some diagrams will appear in a presentation.
cheryl picked me and cathy kirkpatrick up from melbourne airport, straight off our planes, and drove for 5 hours along the great ocean road to reach the twelve apostles at sunset. we were there for an hour or so as the sun sank into the roaring ocean and the light changed, and then the penguins came up on the beach.
i have to say this was worth any amount of driving to get to, in its scale and magnificence, an oceanic grand canyon. many thanks to cheryl for her heroic effort in getting us out there and back to melbourne again around midnight.
after getting back from melbourne i spent a week sorting out my flat, turning it into something more like a home. something more comforting to come back to after a day at work. one casualty of the process was my january 1996 power mac 7200/90 and its SCSI accessories - monster scanner, 10Gb hard drive that's bigger than my 120Gb firewire one. the apple laserwriter went a few years back.
the 7200/90 was my first home computer - at the time it was far faster than the work computers which were 66MHz compaqs. see i kept the faith, buying a mac at apple's lowest ebb. and then i had to get a modem to be part of grace! and negotiate phone line usage with my landlady. up to then my net access had been at cyberia, the world's first internet cafe, which happened to be near my office.
[rather amusing australian 1994 review of cyberia: "I can really see it working in Fitzroy and Glebe"]
[1995 cyber cafe guide says cyberia "has had more media coverage than a small war"!]
[the cyberia clientele were a mixed bunch. it became the hangout for 'cyberpunk'/technopagan goth types of spectacular appearance - i remember a bunch of businessmen walking in, turning pale and walking out again. what was i doing? buying fonts, which then came on a floppy disk snailmail from the US]
i've kept a copy of netscape 3.01, just for nostalgia. those big clunky toolbar buttons with words on. and system 7.5 always carries for me a sense of doing something for the first time. checking the shareware on this month's macworld cover floppy.
massive update to smallfire, which had been neglected for most of this year. the actual sets of photos will now go on flickr, which is easier for me and allows people to see bigger pictures. smallfire still carries the thumbnails for browsing but then links through to the flickr set.
i couid do away with the thumbnails too, now that it's quick to jump to a page full of images and jump back. smallfire was designed for the days of dial-up - thumbnails meant you could browse before committing to a five-minute download, and the photos on the event pages are limited in size and number to what was tolerable on a 56k modem five years ago. i still think lightness is a worthwhile discipline - there will always be moments when access is poor or time-limited.
i'm wondering abut starting a smallfire group on flickr, so that others can throw their photos into the pot in an easily found place. the problem is that as far as i can tell flickr groups don't allow photos to be added as sets, which means contributions get jumbled up as a stream of single images. contributors would have to be disciplined about naming and tagging their photos.