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Category Archives: theory

I recently watched Solaris (1972), the original Russian version and Solaris (2002) the American version.  Both are based on Stanislaw Lem’s science fiction novel, Solaris.  The 1972 film is extremely long but a much more satisfying experience, asking lots of interesting philosophical questions.  The 2002 version seems to have lost much of the quality of enquiry and become just another ‘tale’.

Visited an exhibition called Abstract Remix at The New Arts Project, London.  From the press section of The New Arts Project website,

“Emma Hart and Mat Collishaw: this week’s best UK exhibitions”

To me this reads as Emma Hart and Mat Collinshaw are recommending Abstract Remix rather than their exhibitions being recommended by Jonathan Jones of The Guardian.

Most of the artist’s use slick modern materials like epoxy resin.   A big surprise was that Markus Linnenbrink’s artwork Whatevawillbe had indentations rather than projections. Did I like this exhibition?   I was attracted by the colours of Linnenbrink’s art which were very bright and appealing but most of the work had a rather ‘manufactured by machine’ appearance that I didn’t like.   I prefer stuff to look more man made and the process more obvious.

Also went to see Chris Olifili, Weaving Magic at The National Gallery.  Having seen the BBC Imagine programme about Olifili conceiving and realizing this work I was keen to see it for myself.  Here it is:  very reminiscent of a stained glass church window.  Strange references collide.  Christianity – stained glass windows.  Hindu – the drawings on the walls and Tapestry weaving – medieval European.  All made by someone who is of Nigerian heritage, brought up in the UK and lives in Trinidad!  A real cross cultural mix that has been realized into something magical.


In considering my response to The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray I’ve been participating in some Implicit Association Tests.  Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control.


The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report.

Among the various tests that I have taken I’m really surprised by this result.  I was encouraged by my scientist father to study Geology.   I have always loved this subject and still do.  My understanding of science is that it is the closest thing that we have to the absolute truth.  It was quite a shock to discover than many people do not share this point of view.

Is my strong automatic association for Male with Sciences and Female with Liberal Arts due to nature or nurture?


I’m currently reading The Strange Death of Europe, Immigration, Identity and Islam by Douglas Murray.  Review will follow when I’ve finished reading the book.

Visited the National Portrait Gallery on Friday to see:  Howard Hodgkin Absent Friends and Michaelangelo & Sebastiano at the National Gallery.


Leos triplet – image shamelessly stolen from watchthisspaceman!

Nearly got tripped up by a Howard Hodgkin TV program but then I realized that it was a repeat from 2006!



The sun has parallel rays – needs tweeking!

27 days left to watch Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories on BBC 2 Iplayer.  I find Rego’s work quite fascinating and the story of her life is equally interesting and astonishing.  Both narrative and symbolic you would think that it had no place in the post, post-modern era.  The TV program was made by her son and quite a shocker!

Lowenna Waters wrote a review for The Telegraph newpaper:  “Throughout her life art has been her weapon, her strength and her voice, her power. She has used drawing as a way of expressing the truth about a situation, her real thoughts and feelings, whereas in real life she has capitulated and avoided conflict, she says.”

‘All about my mother:  the demons of Paula Rego – by her son’ is the title of a review written by Juliet Rix for The Guardian newspaper.  Juliet concludes that the motivation for this film was to get his mother’s attention just as he had tried to do via drawings when he was a child.

Rego suffers from depression and this seems to be the only thing that she feels ashamed of. Paula Rego, Works on Paper:  The Depression Series were produced in 2006-2007 as she drew her way out of an episode of depression.  That’s the power of art as therapy.  Her candidness reminds me of Tracey Emin.


Work in progress – going all Turneresque.


Going backwards to go forwards! I need to re-establish the fine grid.

I was listening to the radio yesterday evening and came across FutureProofing on BBC Radio 4.  This weeks programme, a repeat, was about Art.

“Art may not survive the 21st century as a separate, meaningful category – according to one of the UK’s foremost art teachers.”  That teacher is Professor Richard Williams of University of Edinburgh who is head of History of Art and teaches ‘contemporary cities’. Everybody has access to digital technology and can produce ‘art’.  If everyone is an artist where does that leave art?  Apparently art as a category has only existed for the past 150 years according to Williams.

Apparently the internet unframes art.  Critical theory is now investigating artists strategies of dissapearance, using for example, unsearchable names on the world wide web.  This leaves us spectating ourselves!  NON ART (28 minures in).  I’m at the forefront of this!  There is an interview with Dianne Bauer, about 3/4 way through who says that wonder and the sublime can only be found in science.  Bauer implies that the art world is completely disenchanted.

Check out Bauer’s Fixing the Future it all ties into speculative realism.  I need time to check this our properly.


Testing Derwent Waterbrushes. I reckon that these brushes are pretty good. I’m going to have loads of fun using them.


“If you have a good theory, forget about the reality.”


Zizek would vote for Trump!  Here’s why.

Apparently he’s been banned by The Guardian!!!  Nine minutes into the lecture, Slavoj Žižek – What the Liberal Left Doesn’t Want to Hear (Nov. 2016).

Slavoj Žižek: ‘We are all basically evil, egotistical, disgusting’ published in the Guardian on 10th December 2016.

What’s going on?  Is he or is he not banned from publishing in the Guardian?


BBC 4, Storyville, Zero Days: Nuclear Cyber Sabotage programme available to watch online for 28 days.  This is a fascinating and scary story about cyber warfare. Stuxnet malwear was created by American and Israeli intelligence agencies to attack  part of Iran’s nuclear capability.  Digital code causes mayhem in the physical world.  Stuxnet escaped into the wild and was detected by another American agency amongst other people.

Zero Days: Nuclear Cyber Sabotage reminded me of Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia by Roger Caillois.  Cyber warfare,  where the malware starts attacking it’s creators.