March 10th, 2017

Me and my camera in my home town, my capital city, my london

Now that is something I do understand.

This week’s photographs focus on unexplainable art I have recently ncountered on my travels through this city. The question is this: can art be art without meaning? Surely that is the requirement for it to qualify? But maybe the point of art is that it is indefinable. It slips through the cracks of our consciousness. We cannot always file it in our brains because it is unclassifiable.

I used to think that art was anything creative that was produced without the desire for financial returns. (That’s what I conveniently told myself anyway). Its existence was enough. It was free from the sullied hands of commerce and sought reward not in gold but in the human soul. In modern times, this is now very far from the reality for the Premiere league. Art is now one of the biggest commodities around and seems to be one of the few industries outside the city that is still raking in the cash.

As so many companies have been forced out of Soho because of extortionate rates the art world has moved  in. You only have to take a look at the square footage of the new Marion Goodman gallery off Golden Square to know that the art world is doing just fine. It makes you realise that this unquantifiable product of human expression, this abstract attempt to make sense of our world is obviously highly valued in today’s society. It is also apt that in these commodity driven times where everything is traded for middle men mark ups, even the industry devoted to the purist of intention has had its culturally enriching credits transformed into stock value and been rebranded as a luxury status symbol for the superrich.

The market worth of the art world does however show how important it is still regarded in society and how  much we must want it and need it and as soon many other areas fail to give us a sense of understanding of ourselves and the world around us, we turn to art, because it is in these fleeting moments of artistic appreciation and induced reflection that we get a brief calmness that allows us to feel like there is a purpose to it all. This is possibly incorrect and an inspired lie but it’s soothing nonetheless.

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March 9th, 2017

Me and my camera in my home town, my capital city, my london

Now this definitely confuses me. The two statements don’t seem to be related in any way. There is documentation that exists that argues the former and the latter definitely feels like it could be true but combined? What does it all mean? Also, anti-Reagan graffiti seems to be a little redundant in 2017 considering a) he’s dead b) has not been in power since the 80s. Hmmm…anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

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March 8th, 2017

Me and my camera in my home town, my capital city, my london

You can’t really go wrong with a giant metal stiletto. I love outsized objects. Always have. I’m just don’t know what it means…what is this sculpture trying to say? That life has a point? There are bigger things than us? Is it a symbol of the oppression of women and their subsequent fight for dominance in the gender wars? Could the artist just like over-sized items like me? The big question is does it require meaning at all?  Can art be art without meaning? If it can’t, what is it? Someone once said (have a great head for quotes but never remember who said them): “I don’t know what it is so it must be art”. Maybe the sheer fact that I am trying to work it out means that its purpose has been fulfilled. Maybe you yourself are now questioning whether a photograph of a piece of art even registers on the artistic spectrum at all and who am I to dissect someone else’s work? Like this giant shoe, you might just have a point…

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March 7th, 2017

Me and my camera in my home town, my capital city, my london

I have no idea what this is or what its trying to say. I don’t even know if the two items are connected. Is this street art or is someone in the council parking department getting creative? Maybe people weren’t reading the signs so they felt they needed to jazz em up a bit. Or maybe they thought it would be nice to be look at something artistic as your car was towed away. I’m intrigued but I really have no clue. Any ideas welcome…

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March 6th, 2017

Me and my camera in my home town, my capital city, my london

Get the fuck off me you cannibal freakzoid…you’ve already eaten my hand, what is the matter with you? Have some self-restraint.

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March 3rd, 2017

Me and my camera in my home town, my capital city, my london

short explanation of this week’s photographs:

oscar wilde said “we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars”, well I live in London where you can’t see the stars so I am looking in the gutter, because its closer and I can see it.

Longer explanation of this week’s photographs:

I am also looking down because right now I can’t face looking up at what is going on around me.

Since this year started I have tried to avoid looking at current affairs as much as is humanely possible as I find it depressing the way the world is turning. I have taken the ‘ostrich’ approach which in modern times means taking the bbc news off my homepage and doing my best to ignore everything else. I am aware this is in sharp contrast to the general swell of activity and politicisation going on around me. Even though many millions around the globe are waking up politically in the wake of Brexit and Trump, getting active, going on marches and trying to push an alternative agenda I can’t quite bring myself to get involved. I commend this protest surge and although it is great to see people waking up, especially in America, I am trying to induce a coma in myself.

To quote another quote: “Scratch beneath the surface of a cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist”.

I have been political all my adult life, and have campaigned and fought for many causes over the years but just as everyone else seem to be galvanising I have essentially opted out. It is incredibly heartening to see so many people getting riled up and wanting to fight this, and I do not want to be discouraging to anyone, I just feel that my personal participation is pointless.

You may possibly have noticed that I have been silent on the entire Trump rollercoaster of hell. This is mainly because there is so much coverage and opinions being relentlessly shoved in our faces I did not feel the need to add to the pile of bile being spewed out at every given turn. I also can’t bear to talk about him or even look at him, hence my attempt to cut myself off from the news because you cannot do the news at the moment without doing Trump . I don’t even want to look at the satirical memes or the satirical sketches. Its too grim to be funny and even if it the content I am watching is mocking him I still have to look at him. His ubiquity is overwhelming & demoralising it itself (not to mention nausea inducing) regardless of what he is doing. Me paying attention or talking about it is not going to get him removed so what’s the point?

I read that any headline with Trump automatically gets 40% more engagement than anything else right now so it obviously pays to have him everywhere but I don’t want to contribute to that coffer. President Clickbait has everyone hanging on his every word, both his lovers and his haters. Do I really need to be involved too just so I can get equally as annoyed and frustrated on a daily basis? I still believe he got so big because we paid attention to him so the only power I have against him is to ignore him and not allow his shite to infiltrate my world. Digital outrage, although a useful way to vent anger will not bring this man down so, again I have to ask myself, why do it?

The other quote lurking in the back of my head as I scan through the feeds is “opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one”. The internet has proved this in spades and it has also proved that no-one really listens to anyone else unless they are already in agreement with what they are saying. When did you ever read a comment on any feed that said “Good point. I never really thought about it like that. I will now adjust my view accordingly”.

What you will instead get is a lot of hostile hatred lashed out by anyone who disagrees with your chosen viewpoint. Apparently it is actually very hard for the brain to take on new information that it is conflicting with its established understanding. The brain is always looking to reinforce what it already knows and will go to great lengths to veto or zone out anything that doesn’t follow its pre-existing slant. So rather than a constructive dialogue it is just an endless stream of monologues, all convinced they are gospel. So the internet is basically like being a in room full of cokeheads – you’re just going to exhaust yourself trying to get your point past an impenetrable forcefield of sanctimonious egotistical I’m right-eousness. Again, do I really need to be there for that?

And due to the algorithm bubble effect of social media it is actually quite unlikely you will even encounter views that are contrary to your own. And this is also why I am keeping schtum. Why preach to the converted? If you are curious to my opinion on certain current and forthcoming matters, please assume the following: I believe in inclusion and fairness. I am against exclusion, persecution and inequality.

Without getting into the murky world of identity politics where everyone is really just fighting their own corner, I do not assign to any one group other than the section of humanity that believes that cooperation rather than competition is the best solution for harmony and survival. For me personally, hate fuelled society dividing warmongering is just not a productive contribution to the continuation of our species. And if we are to survive working together is the only viable solution.  However, if you believe different, I will make no attempt to convince you otherwise because a nature and history have proven that both methods work, just one is less cutthroat & less cuntish than the other.

This might all sound incredibly defeatist but I am choosing to detach myself from what is going on because currently I cannot do anything about it. And I am totally over being outraged by the actions of those in government.  The people who are attracted to power are the people who are the worst candidates to be in power because they actually want it and will do anything to keep it. So why get riled up when they constantly do things that are beneficial to them but contrary to the benefits of the majority of the population? We should expect it, not be horrified. It should be more of a shock when they don’t follow this simple self-serving practice.

So what can we do?  I have just read the incredible heavily prophetic graphic novel V for Vendetta which professes the virtues of anarchy to tear down the powers that be and start again in the hope that what will follow will be better. As V, the anti-hero of the story states: “Since mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so they took our power, by doing nothing we gave it away. With anarchy, from rubble, comes new life, hope re-instated.”

Want to be more pro-active than signing online petitions and liking posts? Want to put your  money where your mouth is? Start a revolution. If you don’t fancy something that radical all we can do is wait for the next elections, which is the only power we have to shift things at all…and basically just strap yourself in, because its going to be a bumpy ride…

I think I just need a break cos all this shit just ain’t going away anytime soon. I think it is also important to understand we always have a choice what we put in our heads. We don’t always have to succumb to the media machine. They want us to keep reading & consuming because of their ad revenue and that’s about it but we don’t have to comply. The human race used to live more parochial lives, more focused on the local and less on the global. Tech changed that but I think its frying our brains. System overload.

Maybe Timothy Leary had it right in the 60s..tune in, turn on, drop out.

Very appealing but times have changed. Maybe it was easier then as they didn’t have the internet in those days. Less bombardment. Easier to switch off.

Probably a more appropriate phrase for this day and age might be…sign in, scroll down, drop phone.

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March 2nd, 2017

Me and my camera in my home town, my capital city, my london

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