August 27, 2009

(written today)

If the last few entries have been a little disconnected or truncated it is because I lost interest. The lack of internet connection didn’t help but the truth is I still had WORD which is where I write all my thoughts and then cut and paste to WORDPRESS. I am on an electric metre and if I haven’t fed it enough the electric goes off. It happens surprisingly often and at least WORD recovers the document. My greatest fear is that in the middle of an especially fecund entry, when suddenly all the little scraps of this and that began to merge and make sense, the electric would go off and WORDPRESS would refuse to acknowledge that my golden nuggets ever existed. Something similar happened once, a long time ago and no matter how many times I tried to write down what I had lost, it was never good enough, never as potent as the original lost text. Bullshit, I know but that was the emotional sensation and very real for me.

So, yeah. I had WORD. I didn’t have any WORDS. That was the point.

For about thirty seconds I did consider carrying on the ‘Camberwell experience’ post as if four weeks hadn’t passed by but my heart would not let me. Whatever else you can accuse me of, I like honesty. I might, probably will, write about my Camberwell experiences in time but for now all you need to know is that I passed the MA, had fun doing the show, got the certificate in the post and have not seen or heard from one person on the course since.

Ten weeks in the wilderness of no-net. Shit.

282 words



August 27, 2009

(written in July)

I have been without internet access for six weeks now. It should have been a disaster, with the MA coming to an end and all that stuff. As it is, it means I have been away from all the emails about trivial matters, off the marketing team and unable to bitch on the blog. All of which has meant a smooth, enjoyable end to the course.

Wider still, I have not missed email. I thought I would. There is more to life than being plugged into the net. I like it, don’t misunderstand me dear reader. I think that I had reached a point of addiction, some kind of unhealthy state where use of the internet was disproportionate in my life. Even though the computer has WORD and PHOTOSHOP and PUBLISHER, all applications that I do use in my creative life, since the death of the net access, I have barely touched them. As I am on the edge of being a ‘qualified digital artist’, something I have always disputed, here is the proof that I was right all along. I draw, I write. That is it. I am a digital artist in the sense that we are all digital. I think. There, finally, the result of two years long and hard study; we are all digital now. Make a tee-shirt.

Thirteen posts short of the magic one hundred; I have been asked by several people if I will continue with the blog. Of course! This has always been about more than the bloody course. I will probably link it or merge it with the peep website sooner or later, unless I retire from public life. Tempting. The odd thing is that I have never felt that I have an audience for the blog, this just keeps me happy. I know some people read it; some poor bastards have to for the course, though not for much longer. Is there life after the MA? Once you reach the peak, the air becomes thin and tiredness sets in. I’m clearly not going to find a ‘well paid job’ as I don’t fit into that world. I’m not prepared to bend over and take it in the ass for money. And other than money, what other reason is there to ‘work’? I am interested in doing a PhD but I’m not sure why. Just because. Is that enough of a reason? I fancy it.

Well, I like writing. I like writing about art. I have a weakness for essays and proper binding and so on; all I want is my name on a spine.

Is this enough to attract a sponsor?


My Camberwell experience

The weeks leading up to the show had been quite hurried. I felt a little distracted, unprepared. I wrote endless lists and made drawings of how the show might look. A week before going down, three days after two wooden units had been made to order for the space, I was told that I couldn’t have the planned room. It was an odd sensation, partly because I was not on the internet that often; no time to sit and shoot off a missive on ‘how much of a cunt you are’ etc. and so on. It is easy to be angry and difficult when you have the comfort of continuous net access coupled with alcohol. In the morning, at a friend’s house, under pressure to leave, the only reaction to the news is: oh.

The only real issue was that I had asked a friend to make two units for the room. These were supposed to go behind the glass windows to make a ‘cabinet’ for some cups and maybe a few bottles. This was vague thinking of the highest order and as with my plans for the show all along, subject to a change of mind in the slightest of moments. This is how I work. I doodle what I want the show to look like, write a list of what needs doing, delegate as much of the work as possible, procrastinate my own contribution to such a degree that I need to readjust my expectations continually; negotiating, cajoling and making excuses along the way.

This is how it works:

‘I need thirty drawings!’ Two weeks pass, during which time I have done six drawings. ‘I can manage with twenty!’. A week passes and I have managed another four, making a total of ten. It is now two days before I leave for London, I have no idea what space I have and I have very little time left to draw. ‘I can knock off another four, maybe, and then take the OHP….just in case!’ This I do. I end up using nine drawings. I selected. I curated.

794 words


August 26, 2009

(written in June)

I have had a week away. Not a sentence I have ever been able to write before. As a young romantic, I had three months away hitch-hiking around Europe but that was a youthful taste of adventure, not a break. It was work; I had a self-image to cultivate. I was the pasty non-smoking Kerouac. Who didn’t write, much. Or do drugs. Then. I was pretty clean for a bum.

I would never do the sun worshipping package holiday. Never, ever. Then again, unless you have first hand experience of something, I don’t think you have the right to sneer. And the holiday was free. And it was only a week, I think I could manage a week, and if nothing else, I could read or perhaps sketch. That was my rationale. The kids were excited about flying and swimming in the pool every day and lazing on the beach, eating in restaurants and so on.

So, that was that; a week of no internet, no art and very little contact with my real world. I thought beforehand that the timing was pretty lousy, just a week before the Israeli project, itself just two weeks before the MA show. I can’t go away and neglect all that. Well, I did. My mind was pretty empty beyond making the decision of whether to swim in the pool, stroll down to the beach or sit in the shade with my book; I chose to holiday with Alan Bennett and his childhood. Each day rolled into the next without much to mark the passing of any time.

I don’t have any profound statement to make. It wasn’t the tedious nightmare I had assumed it would be. Stripped of any cultural nonsense, it was a very simple week. I enjoyed it, as uneventful as it was. The truth is I might have got no more done in that week had I stayed in England. Of late, my arse has been dragging when it comes to making any work.

Most of the MA show is in place, a few loose ends need to be tied. As for the Israeli project, I am confident we have discussed enough, thought enough about the project to make some work. It is a little strange as I don’t feel any pressure about it, as if there is no expectation of anything from anyone. The Israeli Embassy in London is involved in the funding, as are local arts organisations. I think the show will receive a very limited audience and I really don’t care what the other participants, beyond my art-partner, make of my contribution. This means I can play, I think.

The Cupps came on holiday with me, some of them, not all ten thousand and they enjoyed it.

463 words