Blog archive July 2003

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29.07.03 / 01

that dizzee rascal album is the most sonically original record i've heard in years. one gropes for reference points. it sounds like a nasty accident in a toyshop. beats skitter and thump, noises jangle and crash around dizzee's high-pitched paranoid yelp. rude bwoy stylings like ska gone wrong - an old skool mid-80s beatbox - UK garage twisted out of shape - but really this sounds like nothing else. a refreshing shock in a period of endless repro/retro. i'd like to know what timbaland and missy elliot think. highly recommended.

23.07.03 / 01

banksy show photos as promised.

20.07.03 / 04

btw that spirit of the new album by proost is what you want for summer listening. laid back dub with rosie's ethereal seductive vocals floating above. the songs are a very good bunch too. they managed to get some of doug gay's recent hymns on record at last - for instance i first heard 'in the east' at the 'east' service pictured on i suspect it was written for it. andy thornton's 'save my heart' is what i always thought of as the 'vaux song' - he wrote it a year or two back while he was a regular there. jonny's songs like 'my heart is restless' are frequently sung at grace of course. but it still all makes a pretty good chill-out album.

20.07.03 / 03

by nic from the same shoot as below:

20.07.03 / 02

have been looking into getting a digital camera, save on the time delay/scanning chores. trouble is my needs are unusual. at least 70% of my photographs are taken using a 28mm lens and ISO 800 film. and there aren't many digital cameras that give that combination. those that are are expensive.

20.07.03 / 01

went to see banksy's first show today. it only ran this weekend in a derelict warehouse in east london, but the publicity has been massive so it was pretty crowded. banksy did his first national newspaper interview and even appeared [identity carefully disguised] on national tv! as befits his status as the nation's favourite graffiti artist.

there'll be photos of the show here in a few days. it was in the tradition of london underground art events and raves - derelict venue, a sea of cool t-shirts and cameras, no clear divide between the junk you'd find in an abandoned building and deliberate installation-making. the work of course was very witty and amusing, but the graffitied farm animals had had to be removed because of the heat and the crowds trying to pet them. which probably helped the smell a bit.

16.07.03 / 02

My latest column for Movement magazine, 'Policemen & Shepherds', can be found here. i normally refrain from publishing these myself until movement itself has come out, but this is topical now [though i hope it'll still be of interest in the autumn!]

16.07.03 / 01

Strangely, given my blogging below, one of Tove Jansson's books for adults has just been republished [isn't late moomin adult enough?] 'The Summer Book', Sort Of Books. call the guardian book service 0870 066 7979 £6.99 with free UK p&p.

04.07.03 / 03

this gorgeous picture just in from nic - a reworking of an old vaux hit without all those fussy church surroundings :)

04.07.03 / 02

excerpts from junkspace by rem koolhaas.

'Junkspace is overripe and undernourishing at the same time, a colossal security blanket that covers the earth in a stranglehold of seduction... product of the encounter between escalator and air conditioning... Continuity is the essence of Junkspace; it exploits any invention that enables expansion, deploys the infrastructure of seamlessness: escalator, air conditioning, sprinkler, fire shutter, hot-air curtain... It is always interior, so extensive that you rarely perceive limits; it promotes disorientation by any means (mirror, polish, echo)...

Entire mountains are dismembered to provide ever greater quantities of authenticity, suspended on precarious brackets, polished to a blinding state of flash that makes the intended realism instantly elusive. Stone only comes in light yellow, flesh, a violent beige, a soaplike green, the colors of communist plastics in the fifties. Forests are felled, their wood is all pale: maybe the origins of Junkspace go back to the Kindergarten... ('Origins' is a mint shampoo that stings the anal region). Color in the real world looks increasingly unreal, drained. Color in virtual space is luminous, therefore irresistible.

Minimum is the ultimate ornament, a self-righteous crime, the contemporary Baroque. It does not signify beauty, but guilt. Its demonstrative earnestness drives whole civilizations in the welcoming arms of camp and kitsch. Ostensibly a relief from constant sensorial onslaught, minimum is maximum in drag, a stealth laundering of luxury: the stricter the lines, the more irresistible the seductions. Its role is not to approximate the sublime, but to minimize the shame of consumption, drain embarassment, to lower the higher. Minimum now exists in a state of parasitic co-dependency with overdose: to have and not to have, craving and owning, finally collapsed in a single signifier. Museums are sanctimonious Junkspace; no sturdier aura than holiness. To entertain the converts they have attracted by default, they massively turn 'bad' space into 'good' space; the more untreated the oak, the larger the profit center.

Junkspace is political: it depends on the central removal of the critical faculty in the name of comfort and pleasure. Politics has become manifesto by Photoshop, seamless blueprints of the mutually exclusive. Rabbit is the new beef. Comfort is the new Justice. Entire miniature states now adopt Junkspace as political program...

04.07.03 / 01

the latest copy of adbusters downstairs - is good to read. nothing i didn't already think, but *reinforcement*, y'know? like what right wing people get when they read the newspapers :D

but how come adbusters can now be bought in WH Smith's? in Ealing shopping centre? this troubles me, the way the sudden availability of my favourite hard-to-find clothing label troubles me. when something niche becomes ubiquitous, i ask myself - who made all those extra copies? in which factories? who financed the expansion? who made the distribution agreements? has adbusters become a piece of styling for the system it purports to criticise? another brand?

02.07.03 / 01

so here's my brighton pics.

first up, daniel's addiction. he wouldn't let me photograph his crack pipe.

c'mon ladies

this pub is a converted nonconformist chapel.

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