Thursday, 16 July 2009

Hey, you.

When I'm not out there, single handedly undermining the entire field of psychology, I've found a little time to do other things.

No particular order:

  • Submitted illustrations for Awkward Magazine.
  • Wrote a dissertation: Crafting Grotesque Surfaces - Blood, Skin & Synthetics in the work of Eva Hesse, Orlan and Laura Splan.
  • Moved back to London; I live in an estate maisonette surrounded by pretty Georgian townhouses. It reminds me to keep my place.
  • Get rejected from a lot of jobs; but there is hope that I might become a PA in a fashion design agency. This relies on if I am stylish enough. Cue brass band and party hats.
  • Cut my hair & coloured it grey. Ultimate success.
  • Graduated University with first class honours.
  • Cooked awesome meatballs for an American hardcore band called Logic Problem.
  • Been to a lot of shows.
  • Disliked a lot of shows.

  • There is some other stuff too, but why bother?

    You might be interested to know that I have recently started posting on tumblr; I find it... Better? I can host images there, and it seems pretty swell so far.

    Follow me there, at the celebrated Biannual Heist Review.


    Tuesday, 3 March 2009

    Gimmie gimmie gimmie...

    grose bush by hyperhaus

    I'll be attending the Conference On the Idea of Communism at Birkbeck later this month. Rather giddy about it; doing some pre-there reading to synch myself up.

    University is, as it consistently has been, underwhelming. Very often I think of it as a monetary fee I agreed to in order to somehow meet my partner, who was introduced to me by a University friend. This introduction is worth the debt; as is the random, unrelated situations which come from being in this location rather than this institution. IHTFP.

    Why are people bothering me about the images & interpretations of the Rorschach test cards? I believe the term I should use in replying is 'get bent'.

    This video makes me gay (for my partner). Does watching it change your ability to be psychologically evaluated? Please complain like a wimpazoid in the comments.

    Finding patterns out of nothing is not solely basted on some deep inner psychological flaw, but rather in response to every other image we've experienced within our lives in the formation of our personality. We've already seen all this ink.

    Gorse is my favourite flower of the moment. I have a single gorse bud, pressed and dried, which was exchanged between my love and I on boxing day 2008. Being as I am poor at expressing my sentimentality, I keep it hidden secretly in my notebook; yellow, like the little paper frame I made to keep Ese-E's photograph in over my desk. Gorse also smells of coconuts/vanilla. How awesome is that?

    Wednesday, 12 November 2008

    // way down low

    University has taken me under
    like a submarine.
    Only occasionally do I come up
    for a breath.


    Wednesday, 27 August 2008

    Les Bicyclettes de Belsize


    Les Bicyclettes de Belsize; a short musical. London in the idealistic swinging sixties - boy rides bike; boy crashes into billboard of a girl; boy falls in love with billboard-girl; meanwhile billboard girl is lonely at the top & wants to show a man she's worthy of love; boy meets billboard girl by chance; she's taken away by photographers for fashions shoot; boy rides bike across London, finds her, they frolic in the park.

    Aside from a very intriguing opening shot, which pans over the rooftops and upper windows of Hampstead, and the vaguely ominous overhead shots of the boy riding his bike through the streets, this short is... Baffling. It's definitely one of the stranger pieces of cinema that I've seen recently; like a bad attempt at the whimsical realism of early French New Wave, only Les Bicyclette manages to be both stuffy and vapid at the same time.

    It's stuffy, in that it makes no attempt to question the roles of Boy & Girl; he expects to get her and she expects to be got - there is no tension, no emotional chase, and not even any passion - the characters don't engage with each other, but it doesn't seem like an intentional choice. That leads to the vapid air; their relationship, like their place within the 60s London they inhibit and their role in the film, is superficial - they have no depth, and instead act as visual markers for the swingin' London subculture aesthetic, who act out expected roles of boy/girl in love archetypes.

    Most interesting is the aria that the Boy sings after he has crashed into the billboard that shows a picture of her face. Ultimately, he says he's fallen head over heels in love with you (billboard-girl), while placing flowers upon the area of the billboard that he damaged. Funnily enough, the area is a basket of flowers on a bike - and the flowers he puts on the painted flowers are, I believe, plastic.

    After depositing the flowers, he continues singing and caressing the printed billboard girl-face; professing his love over and over -- then getting back upon his bike, he heads rides over to a Printers shop; there, he rips open packages, finds a portrait of the Girl, and sits in the shop window, staring lovingly at the image of the Girl. After a cut away to the Girl, where she sings a song about wanting to show a man she's worthy of love, the Girl walks out into the street and sits down in front of the window where the Boy was staring at her photograph. It's only after a few moments that the Boy realises the real-girl is outside; he then turns, and they try and kiss through the glass of the window.

    I can't quite articulate why I find it so off putting, but the whole Boy falling in love with the Image of the Girl is just... Well, off putting.

    Ultimately one loves one’s desires and not the object one desires, seems like a suitable explanation for the film -- only it's so wrapped up in it's own shallowness, that the film doesn't leave itself to questioning the intentions of its characters.

    Although, perhaps this lack of depth is expressed, if not from within the actions of its characters, but instead within the title song of the short musical;

    Turning and turning the world goes on
    We can't change it, my friend
    Let us go riding now through the days
    Together to the end, till the end

    Les bicyclettes de Belsize
    Carry us side by side
    And hand in hand, we will ride
    Over Belsize
    Turn you magical eyes
    'Round and around
    Looking at all we found
    Carry us through the skies
    Les bicyclettes de Belsize

    Spinning and spinning the dreams I know
    Rolling on through my head
    Let us enjoy them before they go
    Come the dawn they all are dead, yes, they're dead

    Les bicyclettes de Belsize
    Carry us side by side
    And hand in hand, we will ride
    Over Belsize
    Turn you magical eyes
    'Round and around
    Looking at all we found
    Carry us through the skies
    Les bicyclettes de Belsize

    Thursday, 21 August 2008

    J & the Job Market

    I woke up today and realised I am terrified, in regards to my future prospects as an adult. I feel that I will never be able to get out of debt, or own property - but most of all, I worry that I will not be able to get a job once I graduate university.

    There's only 10 months left before I graduate; I've got to write 10,000 words on ??? (aesthetics, women, class, film - how's that for specific...) and produce a piece of work, installation or video or whatever I wish, for which I am not too worried. While it's not easy, school work, it's at least something I understand.

    When I graduate from my BA, I had aimed to go on to study an MA. Right now, the most intriguing course is Aesthetics & Art Theory @ Middlesex - but I'm just not sure. First, if I'd be accepted with a (projected) 2:1 in experimental video from a third tier art school - and second, if I would be able to afford it at all.

    Even if I start an MA program, it will most likely have to be part time - so regardless of if I get in or not, I will need to find a job, so I can continue renting & eating food & buying books.

    Having watched my partner unsuccessfully spend the last four months looking for a job, only to end up temping for his mum -- and to have also spent the summer looking for extra work, I dread diving head first into the English job market next year.

    My partner and I were having this conversation yesterday; Oh God, I said - horrified, I'm going to have to work in T.V., then with sceptical consideration, But the money's okay...

    Tuesday, 19 August 2008

    Haven't we played enough charades?

    A Mental Health Foundation poll of 2,000 British adults found a third are cutting back on going out with friends due to limited funds...

    Celia Richardson, a spokeswoman for the charity, said: "As the economic slump begins to affect everything from food prices to mortgage repayments, this research shows that financial worries are a source of stress for many...

    "But people are making changes to the way they live - like growing their own fruit and vegetables, and walking and cycling more. Not only is this evidence that people are adapting well to change, but some of their altered habits are actually good for mental health.

    "For many people, particularly the younger generations, this may be the first time they've been surrounded by worrying talk of serious recession. By spending less, people can help themselves avoid serious debt, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

    "But they need to replace shopping and spending with other activities they enjoy and shouldn't isolate themselves from friends."

    She advised people to find cheaper ways of socialising, such as playing games with family and friends like charades in the living room or Frisbee in the park.
    via the BBC

    ::indiscriminate screaming here::

    Tuesday, 10 June 2008

    You're my guitar hero...

    Nellie Bly

    Annie Oakley

    Ada Lovelace


    I worry about the lack of contemporary female heroes in my life.

    When I was in second grade, I did a presentation on Nellie Bly -- I even had this awesome hat that I thought was super historical, but was most likely just an absurd mess of netting and felt that my mom thought was funny.

    Although the book my school gave me on Nellie Bly was, well, for second graders, her story has always stayed with me. I just thought she was, and is, so god damned awesome.

    Her esposé of neglect and abuse at the Women's Lunatic Asylum in New York both fascinated and horrified me as a child; but it didn't surprise me, as far as I can remember. It seemed to make sense that authority, when unchecked and unobserved, would be cruel to those who they thought were weak and troublesome.


    Annie Oakley and Ada Lovelace are to be spoken of another time...


    PS: I finished my 2nd year of University with a 2:1 -- I think in American inequivalent, I'd be at 3.8 GPA? I'm not entirely sure; but I don't care, because whoo, 2:1! Fools!