Blog archive April 2004

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25.04.04 / 03

i saw a photo of this in a newspaper and it really did look like something from an alt worship service. maybe we should declare her patron saint.

Yoko Ono 'Morning Beams for Portsmouth Cathedral' 16th April - 17th May

Morning Beams consists of ropes and pebbles and will be exhibited in the Nave where it will benefit from the natural light. It is an interpretation of light, which acts as a stream of consciousness reflecting down on the 'river of life'. The pebbles can be moved to signify that we are the masters of our own destiny and so able to change our lives.

Wish Tree will be in St Thomas's Chapel and is part of a series of works created in the 1990s in which she uses actual trees as the primary element. She recalls, "As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people's wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar." Everyone is invited to place a wish on the tree.

25.04.04 / 02

the dark - an installation/soundscape that one moves through in complete darkness. also in an online version. we're already thinking about an alt w rip-off.

25.04.04 / 01

so they finally closed the face. i'm one of those people for whom the face was a major part of my life - in my case literally a godsend, as i reconstructed my life and selfhood after a period of mental illness. i wore the clothes, bought the music, went to the clubs. it was my gateway to a lot of cool times, my apprenticeship for what i'm doing now in the church. i still have virtually all the issues 1985-1998 - after all, that's my personal history in there.

the face had that kind of effect on people, in times before universal style journalism and ubiquitous niche pop-consumer guidance. having been 'the magazine of the eighties' it might have died with that decade, but it found two new editors to take it to even greater heights in the mid-nineties. but when richard benson [theology graduate, much-quoted in alt worship] left in 1998 the magazine failed to renew itself. i stopped reading it, loads of people stopped reading it, it was sold to a mainstream publisher with a loss of credibility but they couldn't make it work. it closed last week, but it might as well have closed in 1999. shame, but nobody thought it would last so long or become an institution.

24.04.04 / 01

my week:

tuesday evening: lecture at the riba by landscape architect martha schwartz. she's the concept designer for the barclays HQ atria. my job this last five months has been to make those concepts happen.

wednesday: factory visit to architen landrell in south wales to see mockups of the hanging elements for the atria as designed by martha.

thursday: barclays site team st. george's day dinner all afternoon at the zinc bar in heddon street. then my employer pringle brandon's 18th birthday bash at victoria miro gallery. the yoko ono exhibition had gone, but maybe that's just as well. metropolis and the fifth element projected on the walls. free champagne, endlessly topped up. 250 people in black suits, at least half of them clients so we had better not misbehave too much. the inch-diameter banoffee pies were nice. and - thank goodness - a proper dj instead of a weak jazz band. polite inoffensive 'jazz' has been the curse of corporate events for years.

19.04.04 / 01

this discussion about blogging in the guardian amused me. so i had to blog it. i guess we all recognise parts of ourselves in there.

After a while you realise that you really are going to these places because you know they will make great blog entries.

18.04.04 / 02

here's the psalm i did for Grace psalms 2 service, in photo strip format and a separate window. it was a slideshow, i'm working on putting it into flash or as a quicktime movie but i just wanted to put the pictures up so i could look at them while at work.

18.04.04 / 01

Network Church 3 - through the wormhole added.

12.04.04 / 01

grace ran the labyrinth thursday, friday and saturday in st mary's ealing. the photos are here. 187 people did it in three days - which is more than some cathedrals managed on the tour! for once we had our publicity act together.

i've put a lot of other new stuff up on small fire - clearing the backlog created by the change over to a digital camera. i had loads of prints still unscanned, plus too many shots of early digital stuff that i couldn't find time to go through.

04.04.04 / 05

the packet gang: openness and its discontents
Openness - as an organising principle and political ideology - has become an article of faith across networked social movements. From its role as a central tenet of free and open source software production to its current popularity within activist circles, the concept of openness is attracting enthusiastic adherence. Here, as part of our series on the politics of alternative media structures, JJ King takes a less credulous view of what lies beneath the dream of organisational horizontality.

what's interesting is how this critique of openness as it operates in practice mirrors the frequent discussions within alt worship about hidden power structures, concealed agendas etc. it seems the problem is inherent rather than just a hangover of other religious systems:

The avowed 'absence' of decision-making bodies and points of centralisation can too easily segue into a concealment of control per se. In fact, in both the FLOSS model and the social movement, the idea that no one group or person controls development and decision making is often quite far from the truth. In both cases it is formally true that anyone may alter or intervene in processes according to their needs, views or projects; but practically speaking, few people can assume the necessary social position from which to make effective 'interventions'.

...decision making often devolves to a surprisingly small number of individuals and groups who make a lot of the running in deciding what happens, where and when. Though they never officially 'speak for' others, much unofficial doctrine nonetheless emanates from them. Within political networks, such groups and individuals can be seen as 'supernodes', not only routing more than their 'fair share' of traffic, but actively determining the 'content' that traverses them. Such supernodes do not (necessarily) constitute themselves out of a malicious will-to-power: rather, power defaults to them through personal qualities like energy, commitment and charisma, and the ability to synthesise politically important social moments into identifiable ideas and forms.

The core group, by virtue of being around longer as individuals, and also working together longest as a sub group, formed unintentional elites. These elite groups were covert structures in open consensus based communities which said loudly and clearly that everyone's influence and power was equal [...] We all joined in with a vigorous explanation that [...] there were no leaders [...] The conspiracy to hide this fact among ourselves and from ourselves was remarkably successful. It was as though the situation where no leaders existed was known, deep down by everyone, to be impossible, outsiders were able to say so, but communards were hoping so much that it was not true that they were able to pretend.

04.04.04 / 04

this is a blog entry header of a kind that doesn't happen very often.

04.04.04 / 03

i did the Book Quiz after Scott blogged it: "i thought daniel was kidding when he told me that this book quiz was only 6 questions and it would nail me the first time around."

for me it came back with

Watership Down by Richard Adams
Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

04.04.04 / 02

me, adam and mike from grace went to see the weather project one last time on Friday 19th March before it closed - which shows how behind this blog is.

My collected photographs are now here. i think we'll all miss it, although if it were always there maybe it'd lose its specialness. my favourite time was in the dead of winter at night, when it felt like a peaceful secret. bruce naumann is the next artist to have the turbine hall - but everyone acknowledges that the weather project will be a hard act to follow.

04.04.04 / 01

today is a date of a kind that doesn't happen very often.

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