ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


1 Comment

#Author-story ~ Contemporary Writer #3

John Berger, born 5th November 1926, died 2nd January, 2017

berger-cw-authorstory-img1

There’s something in this page shown above that is very resonant of work seen during British Art Show7 in 2011, particularly those shown at Nottingham Castle. So maybe one day I’ll tie up some loose threads and get something down. For now, this post is a re-working of a draft from January that was almost lost to the ether in some kind of failing / crash.

Why ‘Ways of Seeing’?

[Originally, I drafted this writing for an ‘Authors who made history’ post for BW so this fact was pivotal:]

For many years now, John Berger’s book, ‘Ways of Seeing’, has been on the compulsory reading list of almost every British art and design course. I’d either somehow missed that fact back in my art student daze, or glanced it over and dismissed it out of hand. During a W.E.A. class a few years ago now (how time flies!) I spent a while browsing this book in the gallery reading room. I still couldn’t quite see WHY is it such an important text in relation to appreciating or creating art? Sadly, I remained completely oblivious to his other works as a poet, writer and artist until researching for this post following news of his death.

I appreciated it- ‘Ways of Seeing’ –  better, from a distance, via some limited preview chapters in an online PDF. The book was developed following the BBC’s four-part television series presented by John Berger and credited with changing the way the nation received, or thought about, art and art history.  I had never even heard mention of the television programme until I saw it was the basis of the book. Apparently the programme may be available to purchase as a video download, although even so these days UK viewers will still need a TV licence. I don’t know if that means such products are with-held from consumers elsewhere in the world.

It’s said to be based on and influenced by Walter Benjamin’s essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction[wikipedia link].

“The most uplifting thing about Ways of Seeing is Berger’s optimism about the age of the mass-circulating reproduced image, which, back in 1972, meant images in newspapers and magazines, on advertising hoardings and television. These days of course it also means on Facebook, Instagram and the internet at large. …”

[quoting Jonathon Jones in his article discussing Berger’s language of images at The Guardian, published 3rd January, 2017]

Here’s a small excerpt from page 150 of Ways of Seeing, where, in relation to publicity, Berger tells us:

“…The world smiles at us. It offers itself to us. And because everywhere is imagined as offering itself to us, everywhere is more or less the same.”

In the BBC Radio 4 programme, Front Row, broadcast 3rd January 2017, writer/broadcaster Lisa Appignanesi and art critic Richard Cork discuss Berger’s work (audio file still available to listen at time of writing opens, at approx. 21minutes with an audio clip of John Berger speaking. The second link skips to that segment, or to see programme info and listen to the whole 28min+ click the first link.

 

After serving two years with the army from 1944 to 1946, assumedly compulsory conscription, in the late 1940s Berger trained as an artist at the Chelsea School of Art and the London School of Art; he exhibited in London and taught drawing until 1955. His first novel, ‘A Painter of Our Time’ was published in 1958 and his first published collection of essays, ‘Permanent Red’, in 1960. Among other awards in his lifetime, he is probably best known for controversially donating half his Booker Prize fund to the Black Panther Party after his novel ‘G’ was selected for the prize in 1972.

“For me there were too many political urgencies to spend my life painting. Most urgent was the threat of nuclear war – the risk of course came from Washington, not Moscow.”

John Berger quoted in an article by Michael Glover published at the Independent on 3rd January, 2017.

There are lots of articles about John Berger to be found online and the British Library archive for John Berger and the wikipedia entry for his bio and list of works could keep me (or you) .out of mischief for an interesting while enough.

I haven’t yet bought a copy of ‘Ways of Seeing’, I’m still thinking about it, maybe until one shows up at a knock-down price I can’t refuse. I did however buy Berger’s 2016 book, ‘Confabulations'[ISBN:9780141984957], published in October by Penguin shortly before Berger turned 90 years of age, sadly not in time to help the old man out with some return. I might well journey in exploration of those delightful writings, and more, another time.

A final quote to close, from the first page of the text in John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, at page 7:

“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight.” [John Berger, Ways of Seeing]

 

 


5 Comments

RBRC 2017 – restarting ‘The Zen Gun’

Hoping my WordPress doesn’t crash this time (almost twelve hours later)! I’m having some helluvatimes with all kinds of issues again right now. Not WP issues, just generally! Anyway…

Mliae’s Recycled Book Reading Challenge

I’m going to try and keep up with this this time round! Here’s a book I have read before, a long time ago now. I restarted it a couple of times already. (I should really try finishing the new book I started reading before I get back to this one!)

sam_2751

I’m not going to try and write ‘book review’ type posts, I’m no good at them for one thing! I find it incredibly difficult to not only be comfortable to read but also to hold a book to read and then to even remember the storyline enough to keep reading linear texts! I tend to dip in and out and read fragments of all sorts rather than read properly. But I loved this story the first time round. I never even knew what a chimera was until I read this. The American version of this book has a different cover and looks stupid! It also looks like there might be some factual discrepancies around potential misrepresentations or questionable representations. The English author of this book is reported to have died in 2008 of bowel cancer.

“Under the vast spans of Archway City all apparently was at peace. The sky boulevards, beneath which gentle clouds floated, sparkled brilliant as ever…

But within that tranquil architectural grandiosity was an atmosphere of uncertainty and dismay…

…Still, it was lucky they had not bought in the two Star Force fleets, as had been planned. With one on the side of the Council and one on the side of the Biotists, well…”

 

[fragments extracted from pages 120 to 121 of the UK edition of ‘The Zen Gun’ by Barrington J. Bayley ©

 


4 Comments

Another post in/for a Brave New World?

Where is everyone? Busy celebrating inauguration? I was very glad to see there is still somewhere that LOOKS like Washington – and not surprised to see it so quite quiet. Quite surprised to see that an apparent extortionist can actually proceed to such circumstance. Maybe I should be begging forgiveness for my bare English cheek but I wouldn’t waste my breath! That man has no authority whatsoever in my mind’s eye and I shouldn’t waste my breath even giving him a mention! I do try to remember he is just an old man from another place, a father and grandfather. Just a man. Shoddy as any other. And worse besides…

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m just a shoddy woman too! But I’m not a bully like some appear to be – and I won’t put up with it either!

I assume to be as entitled to freedom of speech and creative expression as previously but…

This is what happens when my energy supplier blocks my online account and forces me to trek to the store to get prepaid electricity to feed to my meter. I bought newspapers. Just in case the world collapses overnight and there might never be anymore. And I’ve been using my Facebook as if it’s a blog in the most unwise ways lately – like answering that ‘what’s on your mind?’ question … in bits and pieces and all at odds, with…

In some parts of the world,for many people, their world might have collapsed. Anytime between now and then…

Not so long back, pre-November 2016, online news headlines was suggesting that the British public should NOT be going online, as if there were some great threat and that we should only be receiving our news from our newspapers. How do you get a newspaper if you can’t get out to the shop and WHY would anyone not wish to check the propoganda campaigns against other sources for some measure of reliability? Not long after, and having ignored the ‘stay offline’ suggestion, there was a more sensible headline about hoax news stories. There seemed to be plenty of them. For decades.

I should get about reading blogs more. But everything’s changed at WordPress. A reflection of how the world has changed? How the poor have no equal rights even to an online blogging platform that previously encouraged amateur use, simply as humans, blogging for enjoyment and community and a sense of being human, connecting with other humans.

All of a sudden there’s this ‘premium’ with the ‘best for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs’ slant to it. That’ll get a lot of us Brits in trouble as hobbyist-bloggers, just passing time. When it’s your only way of having ‘social contact’ with the outside world it’s a very precious thing. In some cultures we’re not worthy enough for their sense of elitist privelege and should be weeded out – is how it feels. Maybe that’s why Brits should have been staying offline? Until it’s safe? Or what was there to really be scared about and why should we hide our online natural selves when propoganda instructs us to do so? The real world seems far more dangerous and abuse usually occurs from someone known, rather than from strangers.

Apparently we can ‘build a business website in just 10 days’ and with no offence intended to the Blogging U team, there’s a lot about that notion that flouts English Law and risks devastating deprivation to UK bloggers who might then be assumed to returning £250 weekly income as a minimum. Some of us blog to learn and practise and communicate and would NEVER wish to ‘monetise’ our blogs with advertising revenue. [If that’s what monetising a blog means, because there’s no clear info anywhere.] Some of us are fussy. Monetisation? That’s not BUSINESS!

I’ve not seen any statistics for quite a while, but a couple of years ago something like 94% ‘small businesses’ were failing within their first year in Britain. That’d be for these vague ideas of how easy it is and for inappropriate ‘support’ from Employment Services. Wondering how many made it to their second full year?! No doubt online service providers are getting more than their fair share of the blame for that too – although individuals should always accept responsibility for their own choices and actions. It’s been an oppressive and pressured experience for many tens of thousands of UK welfare claimants to ‘just start a business’ while set up to FAIL and having no viable alternative choice.

It maybe ok in some parts of the world to ask for donations as an individual in need too. But in the UK it’s illegal to beg, or even to give to someone who’s starving, homeless either money or food, or we risk a fine or arrest and a criminal charge. Crazy as that seems. I tend to ignore that law on the rare occasion I get anywhere, but with due care. And aware of the risk for myself and the other person. But I don’t have an active PayPal account and so can’t even buy anyone their coffee online and no way I’d risk that charge! And it’s a bit sickening seeing (local) professionals with a salary asking visitors to their website to donate by PayPal when you were expecting to find a method for giving an item for their art project!

Now it feels like it could be risky even visiting to read some blogs I’d normally visit, for the association with other individuals engaging in what might be entrepreneurial or professional writerly progressions. I’m not knocking them at all and mean no disrespect.

SAM_2477.JPG

My poem inspired after reading Cid Corman in SloPo last week and doodled this alternative presentation of it, just for fun. [I don’t write poetry often. I’m not a writer.]

But my blogs here are my personal creative space. If whenever i were to start self-employment, there’s no way I’d be bringing it into my personal /our community spaces.and it’s gonna take me maybe about five years to regain my health and maybe get my own Empty Plan together somehow in the meantime. There’s a lot of very complex issues to take into account. And I know it might not look like it, but still…once upon a time and every fairytale begins and ends in a nightmare of a tale.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

memento

sam_2674

I bought this in Radford in a junk shop  almost 30 years ago – glad my housemates didn’t think it worth stealing when they ransacked my room while in hospital having my caesarean not long after (and glad I took my ID etc with me too but didn’t stop them causing shit later!

A couple of weeks ago at BW, Pam raised a prompt topic that is difficult to leave alone. I made a start at one of my other blogs here with  a post series in waiting for ‘The Memory of Things’.and thing is, I might have been posting still for transcript with my sketches of Snarl/Gnarl city girls sculpture I went to see once upon a time. But my electricity provider is being hopelessly problematic and today it’s been a whole week since alerting them to the need for help as a disabled customer. They know all this and can leave me for a week making a couple of days electricity last. It doesn’t help my health at all. I know that seems really selfish while millions are having to manage with far less in devastated circumstances!

So I’m still failing better than ever and will bigots and prejudiced twots please take a look at their own failings before judging and condemning innocent paying customers unfortunately dependent on so called welfare. Currently still at risk of the culling spree our government and local authority and public/private enterprise staff seem compelled to inflict. hopefully I can manage to make a call but I’ve been awake all night and might not make it with no coffee. Interference with even my grocery shopping and stores willing to deliver a camp stove but only if you can go in to collect the small gas canisters while bedbound is just flipping ridiculous!

AAAAH! England is such a shit-hole! No human rights for anyone unless they’re either a criminal OR if they can afford legal services! Anyone never read the Beveridge report? reads just like everything they say about Hitler! And now I won’t be able to post the student news cutting about the devastation we caused to Germany in WW2 while I mustn’t mention Hitler again?!!!


1 Comment

Whatever is this Dark Net thing?

I know I’m a silver surfer when I have no idea what such things as ‘the Dark Net’ mean! I could try and guess. I sometimes wonder if it’s just the huge wodge of tagging some people apply at their blog posts to deter the search engines from picking up their stuff. I’d hedge a small bet (a spent match! not a button nor bean!) that I am most likely incorrect.

This is not a dark net. This my beautiful bathroom window by natural evening light. (It is an authentic eco-house for real! And I am grateful, of course!)

SAM_2598.JPG

And that [above!] is the best shot I got of the moon in ages. Taken from the inside, naturally. Not using flash, no lighting, just the moon lighting its way, piercing my dark net – you can see it needs a wash perhaps, but you need sunlight to see it and i’m waiting for the cleaning fairies springing along. Surely.

I am aware it is not a good photo, conventionally. But I love it as ‘documentation’. Is my excuse.And. I have worse subject matter of similar shit nothing alike ‘photography’.

I avoid conventions. Mostly. I just can’t do can do kind of things …

It was either a full moon this evening, or it was almost a full moon. Scientifically, I’m often a day ahead or behind the actual day. Similarly i’m usually naturally awake for sunrise at solstice a day or four ahead of the given day too. I don’t mind when I see a sunrise as long as I see one, or some. (Paganism is rooted in ancient native enslavement, so I just don’t believe…! I don’t mean to be offensive with that remark for being so pale!)

Seeing sunrise, the more often the better, however mundane and unspectacular my actual view of it might be. It’s just in the moment. It’s all there really is that ever seems anything of value at all, the wonder of mundane moments. There is nothing in the world worth more than one of those ‘wow’ moments as the field of light suddenly changes everything before your eyes, (but that’s not mundane, that’s glorious!) or the glimpse of light or shadow from a bird enters the interior space through a closed window and makes you jump of a sudden right out of your skin. that’s not mundane either. It’s nature’s reminder to not be scared of anything.

I didn’t imagine the phases of the moon seem to have passed double-speed. Did I miss understanding the ‘supermoon’ a few weeks back too? Only seven days ago I caught the halfmoon in a snap. Or is it usual this time of year for a half moon to take  a week? I should’ve paid attention better at school, apparently. But we keep getting history all wrong and passing it off as fact so who’d care about natural sciences and stuff when we could just be told and then so BELIEVE…

SAM_2445.JPG

Right up my street, with a tiny half moon, a straggle of hair? left, and luckily not a cracked lens! You can’t quite see that half-moon, but it was! (5th January, 2017, away to shop!)

We do seem to have bypassed winter, unless it’s just around the corner awaiting Eastertide. Or maybe I hibernated and everyone pretended to still be having that Xmas thing really just so I didn’t miss out… but I’m not going there, so until Easter…

Don’t get me wrong we have had some ice – I got to see all of less than one days worth so far this winter of this much significance…

SAM_2440.JPG

A stalagmite type icicle … how? Jack frost stay round my yard all night making that happen for me? Trickster dumpstering over the fence adhering it to the lid? Goodness knows, the cctv saw nothing that night! Otherwise: just my compost bin supporting ramshackle fence

I like rubbish to snaps, but that ice soon melted so no need to break it off. Very glad I don’t have a windscreen to scrape. I’ve noticed poor fellas doing that maybe three mornings so far, over 12 weeks (months numbered?) – but twice just for frost and a bit over dramatic and not quite matching terrain. Maybe they faced a different way. They were the other side, a bit down the beaten track at some small distance.

Rattling on, I seen the weirdest excuse for art somewhere this evening [says she whom makes rubbish excuses for art and creativity here! there! not at all all over!] and I wish I could remember but my history’s cleared again! it is a sod! when that happens… oh yeah, dodgy rattle tails and unethical pictorial use – except it looked like plastic or dough construction toy and more than a bit deer, at a guess. You’d have to hope no-one nowhere in the world would be such a desperado as to excuse ‘art’ for such animosity and selfish ignorance. [Says… !] Even the suggestion is offensive.

Oh and some funny Weber reminders with not enough full stops. Then there was the reminders of newspaper balls and composting – guess that’s why my bin lid in this post has to have a place!

Today wasn’t uneventful. Particularity. Spelt it wrong! Particlary. Peculiarly. Oh my days! I will remember! The sky changed more quickly than I could keep pace and it never stops. There was no rain, just the threat of some. Momentary. Once upon a time…

SAM_2573.JPG

If you visited my yard, you might never believe this really is my very own view! (unedited snap taken 11th January2017, from my doorstep)

 


1 Comment

#author-story ~ contemporary writer #2

sam_1145

One of my blurry British landscape photos snapped while journeying by train [Spring,2016]

Christmas brought sad news via online media of many deaths, among them the passing during Christmas Eve after long life of the author Richard George Adams (b. 9th May 1920, d. 24th December, 2016). The Guardian obituary published on 27th December seems a quite well-written  and respectful tribute with lots of links for further reading:

“Despite being published as an adult book, Watership Down won the two most distinguished children’s book prizes, the Carnegie medal and the Guardian children’s book prize, … Watership Down was not just a book of its time; it is now firmly established as a classic and has sold more than 50m copies worldwide.

Adams spent approx. two years writing his manuscript from the spoken tales he made up to entertain his children while journeying. It was eventually published in 1972 after many rejections, apparently due to its length of over 200,000 words and perhaps also Adams’ ‘harsh vision’.

The story became immensely popular (in the UK) after the animated film version was released in 1978 with a cinema rating of ‘U’ – this has apparently been the cause of ongoing complaints and any re-release after 2016 will be uprated to a ‘PG’ [Parental Guidance, for upsetting scenes and containing ‘an expletive word’].

Richard Adams had previously served in the British military until 1946, graduated and achieved an M.A. in 1953, and worked for the British Civil Service until he devoted his professional life to writing from 1974 following the success of his first published book.

Wiki links: Richard Adams; Watership Down (film).

 

 

 

 


2 Comments

new #Authorstory post from Pam at blogging101alumni

I don’t know why my laptop is blocked from viewing our group forum site but can only guess it might have something to do with current tech vulnerabilities or something. Anyway, as all my devices are legally purchased and legally owned, registered, etc and all the etceteras, etc. etc…

So, I enjoyed reading Pam’s latest post yesterday for #authorstory, before the blockade set in (again!) and it was an intriguing read about an American author I never encountered until now. [I can still see this from my tablet, only use that for gaming and news app and reading the Qu’ran app I downloaded for comparitive reading, still owning a bible I bought myself as a child and still hold dear, rather superstitiously]. Hopefully the viewing public aren’t subject to the access restriction that my browser here has been limited by. [My java is off to prevent malicious software on some sites, including my mailserver, for capitalising/commercial/criminally-motivated action outside of my control other than to disallow java running!]

As I’m unable to acknowledge or comment in discussion at Blogger’s World, I thought I’ll just post something here then. Of course, i’m ballsing it up as per flamin’ usual! [And hopelessly letting myself down with ill health as soon as I committed to posting a ‘regular feature’ here too… “…best laid plans of mice and (hu)men!” springs to mind…]

I don’t have a pic of the author to share, perhaps because Pam’s chosen author is a contentious subject [link= wiki page for Adela St.John] perhaps of potential criminal investigative issue, I should avoid trying to share any internet images of this author – it’s a couple of years yet before US copyright law allow online public availability of Nora’s early writings so there’s no free online examples of her work. Clearly publishers copyright restrictions wish to prevent readership of the late Adela St.John’s  writings. I should make clear that my writing here is based solely on my own subsequent explorations and not reflecting or derived from Pam’s own study, her articles always being reliably sensible and well-sourced and cited. I haven’t checked Pam’s cited links yet and tend to delve deep into search results for the less ‘optimised’ results… I’m also aware, as are many, of the murderous criminality of some publishing moguls and so avoid conventional publishing as a matter of life and death… even Sid and Nancy fell victim, though who’d care about daft punks?!

Some brief exploration around the female writer known affectionately as ‘Nora’ to her eminent criminal defence lawyer (single) father turned up some fascinating histories. From the various information available publicly online I seem to have found a published item that might be a ‘bounty call’ targeting Nora’s father Earl Rogers; criminal formal academic/critic-led deridation of Earl Rogers – that happens so often and contributes to so much falsehood in formal study becoming fact; (and then the fascinating case his own daughter brought against him to commit him to an assylum, and his successful self-representing defence); and for the author featured, reported significant change in writing style in comparison from Nora’s writings before what some call WW2 and after; and it seems quite clear when ‘seeing through photos’ that Nora may have been replaced by an impostor. From my own native English (mis?)understandings of ‘second world war’ histories, including the impostors and usurpers who sought political immunity elsewhere while escaping the ‘urban myths’ of  alleged hitlerite actions, I’d probably be better to write no more just yet here on subjects such as this that I actually know very little or nothing about… 🙂

Obviously, trying a creative writing class with a focus on fiction wasn’t a good idea as I got trolled again it seems. But then again, I’ve been unfortunately acquainted with some very ugly criminal-minded female trolls in my time in my own local community. They’re never the individuals you might expect, always presenting more nicely and respectable than  poor scum like me. Never mind, we probably all know some, whether we’d wish to or not!

So, that’s a cheery post for not yet quite in a crimbley-frame-of-mind yet, but I’ll get there by round about the 27th or so, though really it should be around the first sign of snowdrops… back soon, hopefully 🙂