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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Just finished my re-read of Nihil Unbound by Ray Brassier. It didn’t get any easier to read second time round.

“All philosophies are mental fabrications.” ― Nāgārjuna, but what about science?

I’ve returned to experimental drawing using graphite on a gessoed canvas base – my touchstone when I start to feel a bit lost (together with gazing fondly at my fossils!).

spiders-from-mars-drawing

A rock collected on the South Coast of the Isle of Wight, near Grange Chine – but what is it? It’s not calcareous, I’ve just tested it with HCl.

IOW-rock

Pebble within a pebble – recycling geological style!

pebble-cut-out

Yesterday I visited a local art exhibition. There are some extremely talented artists exhibiting with this group.

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Just paid a short visit to the Isle of Wight. I finished reading The Rings of Saturn whilst we were there. I’m not sure what to make of this book – it just seems to be a meander, like surfing the world wide web, held together by a walk through East Anglia. Like Stuart Jeffries of the Guardian I didn’t find The Rings of Saturn a depressing book. I didn’t find it compelling either. Perhaps indifferent is the correct description of my response to this fictional/non-fictional book.

Best part of this trip IMO is the fantastic geology of the Isle of Wight. Brilliant outcrops of Lower Cretaceous sediments and Chalk – loaded with fossils the most notorious being the fabulous dinosaur fossils found on the rapidly eroding south coast of the island. Need to pay a visit to Dinosaur Isle on our next trip.

We also visited Dinosaur Expeditions CIC at Dinosaur Farm, Military Road, Brighstone PO30 4PG where we found a new exhibition being installed – it should be opened officially soon.

Reading The Rings of Saturn by W G Sebald.

Starting a new painting/drawing using the picture of strange artifacts in an astronomical image of Castor and Pollux.

Went to the textile designer Kaffe Fassett’s exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Very busy colourful textiles – embroidery, quilting and knitting. Now I realise why I’ve never knitted any of his patterns. The colourful patterns are just too much for the human body!

Then went to The White Cube Gallery, just down the road from the Fashion and Textile Museum. Here the work of several interesting artist’s is currently being exhibited. The main exhibition, in terms of size and volume of work was Julie Mehretu, Liminal Squared. Very large but interesting multilayered paintings, referencing chaotic ‘maps’ of urban areas. Also exhibiting are Matthew Booth, Erin Sherriff etc.

Paid a quick visit to The London Glassblowing Studio which is also located on Bermondsey Street.

Just cycled 33 miles mostly along one of the National Cycle Routes. This must be the most bonkers way of getting from A to B. Trying to follow the route was a nightmare. Parts of the route are cobbled together from roads, bridleways and cycle paths. This National Cycle Route is a meandering post-modern mess IMO!

Had another look at Saturn last night. Possibly the best view so far – the planet was higher in the sky.

photo

Image of Saturn taken through telescope eyepiece

Telescope partially set-up able to see Saturn last night – very exciting! Saturn’s ring was very clearly visible. Saturn is between 84 and 68 light-minutes from Earth, depending on where it is in its orbit. Also identified stars Arcturus and Spica in the constellations Bootes and Virgo. Identified the Plough and the star Polaris.

Starting a re-read of Nihil Unbound by Ray Brassier. I find it an extremely difficult read but important because of its ultimate message simplified HERE. “[E]xistence is worthless,” he writes, “and nihilism is … the unavoidable corollary of the realist conviction that there is a mind-independent reality which … is indifferent to our existence and oblivious to the ‘values’ and ‘meanings’ which we would drape over it in order to make it more hospitable.” (Brassier)