Thursday, 29 December 2011

"Sweetie, darling"

Oh how i've missed having Patsy and Eddie on the tv. The 90s styled,  drug taking, constantantly drunk, money spending, head-in-the-clouds couple provided such good tv and in a strange way i kind of aspired to be like them because they just had so much fun.

Well, a couple of months ago I watched a programme about 90s comedy presented by Saunders, and she hinted about another episode of Ab Fab.

So finally they returned to our screens on Christmas day, Eddie head-to-toe in denim and Patsy pulling spliffs out of her chignon. How nice to have them back...

Watch now on iPlayer!

The Future is Virtual

So as part of the Imagine series of BBC there was an episode called Books- The Last Chaper? (this is just a long to some info about the programme, i don't think it's online to watch anymore?)

Yes, the end is near for printed books. Book shops are already shutting down as people buy online mostly, and soon printers will no longer be needed as all of our books will be able to be bought online and read on a machine.

They predict that only in 10 years’ time, out of a group of 200 people reading, only 10 (I think that’s what they said- maybe 20) people will be reading printed books and everyone else will be reading e-books.

Although I can see the practicality of the e-book, I just cannot imagine a world without paper books; to hold in my hand, carry around with me and yes- smell. Which is something mentioned on the programme, until Alan Yentob cleverly suggests there will be an app for the smell of a book…

(Also, won’t lots of people lose their jobs if we stop printing books? Isn’t the government trying to increase growth in employment?)

What I dislike about e-books is that it just doesn’t feel real. If technology stopped working, and we only had e-books, we’d be left with no books (I realise this is unlikely but still). And I love magazines! But digital publishing is becoming more common. What about CD’s? Records? Will we only recognise music as a format on a computer in the future? Some twat on the programme talks about people who like printed books being the same kind of people who still like vinyl- “does anyone actually like the scratchy sound of a record anyway?” YES! YES THEY DO!

“Technology broadens our mind but shrinks our world.”

How many things can we compress into virtual nothingness until there is nothing left to actually touch, hold, smell?

Charlie Brookers’ Black Mirror covers very cleverly issues surrounding the development of technology and the internet. As if one day it will be too much and become self-destructive. (episode 2)

In the second episode 15 Million Merits everything in the characters world is virtual, and the main guy (Posh Kennith from Skins who is so good!!!) is desperate for something real. Will we reach a stage where we yearn for something physical and real as everything around us is virtual? 

                                                         Virtual food in 15 Million Merits

Please not in my life time. Even if it means I am the crazy, old lady with a library of books and a dusty collection of CDs, I’m not letting this one go…

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


"NOWNESS previews the latest in fashion, art, cinema, entertainment, culture, music, gastronomy, design, travel, and the world of luxury."

Through a friend, I was introduced to an artist called Christine Sun Kim
. On the website ( is a video of her working and experimenting to produce her artwork. Film made by made by Todd Selby (see link below)...

As a deaf person, Sun Kim is concerned with sound and ownership of sound, exploring issues she has experienced throughout life. Here is a still from the video;

I am completely in awe of sign language and could watch her sign for hours! I really like the idea of making sound that you can't physically hear but that you can feel and therefore develop your own interpretation of sound.

Sunday, 11 December 2011


Bit of a late entry...

                              Over the summer I went to the Saatchi Gallery, and as usual rolled my eyes at most of the art except one, my new favourite piece of art...

Richard Wilson, 20:50 

Down in the depths of the Saatchi lies a big room full of oil and yes- it's art! But i love it! The first time i went to the gallery i didn't walk down to the bottom floor so actually missed this piece (a mistaken i often make in large galleries) but after hearing about its existence from friends i saw it for the first time a few months ago.

The piece made in 1987 and has been exhibited in every Saatchi gallery since 91', it is the only permanent piece in the gallery and has looked incredible in each different space. 
I'm not usually drawn to pieces like this; large, installation, not a huge amount of concept. However, there is something so simplistic and visually beautiful about it that contradicts the medium used (oil), i could stare at it for hours. 

Wilson is concerned with aesthetics, perception, form and this piece requires architectural concerns such as volume, illusionary spaces and auditory perception. The oil is recycled engine oil and the name of the piece of supposedly about the viscosity (resistance of fluid) of the oil. Quite a straight-forward, obvious name for a piece which, I like.
The piece poses beautiful aesthetics against hazardous materials which I feel is quite a relevant juxtaposition in art, often explored in a tacky way such as using litter to make sculptures (a common topic on Foundation- recycling bla bla bla).
The piece is viewed from a little balcony type-thing and it is hard to tell where the wall stops and the oil begins as it is so still, but if you blow very carefully you can see the ripples in the oil. Reflection is a beautiful thing to explore within art and Wilsons done it perfectly.

 I took a picture of my reflection in the oil- not sure who's waving...

Richard Wilson 20:50 is at the Saatchi- forever! (Well for a while anyway...)

The man on the train back from Brighton...

Me and Sophie met a man on a train coming back from Brighton and he told us four stories;

(As much as i could recollect and interpret...)
Prison With The Mirrors
There is a prison for criminals, where every wall has a mirror so you can always see who is behind you. Mirrors, reflections for protection. But the mirrors and constant reflections start to make the prisoners and workers insane, until eventually the prison with mirrors, meant for protection, becomes a prison of insanity. 

Don't Forget The Chocolate
A man travels over to England from Ireland during a war. He needs a place to stay, and knocks on a woman’s door asking for help. Before he says anything she presumes he needs a bed, somewhere to rest, and decides he can stay if he does some housework. She puts him up in the shed, and he helps around the house with different jobs. Slowly, they fall in love. As Christmas arrives, supplies are sparse due to rationing, but he gives her some chocolate. It isn't much, but the woman is overwhelmed with happiness by how special the present is considering the current times. 

The Saturday Robberies
There was a man who lived in a normal house with a dog, and worked at Sainsbury’s. (Not sure why he specified Sainsbury’s...) Every Saturday he would go out and rob rich people. He stole so much money, one day he realised he didn't need it. What did he need material things for? So he gave it all away to people who needed it. He stopped his Saturday robberies and continued his job like normal, which he found funny. No one knew it was him, no one knew what he did, or who he is.
(Note how the character is suspiciously like Robin Hood...) 

Until this next story he had told us that none of them were about his life. That he had written them and travelled around on trains telling them to people. But he did not want to get them published, he saw no reason why he should...

The Dodgy Fortune-teller
There was a fortune-teller who used tarot cards to tell peoples future. But many times he lied, and many times he upset people and did wrong. He felt guilty and went to Jesus; "help me Jesus" he said, dropping his cards to the floor. So Jesus told the fortune-teller to pick up his cards, and live life through him "I come first". From then on he continued to make up for his mistakes, making corrections and living life for Jesus.

It then became apparent to us, and the man revealed that all these stories were parts of his life and he had made mistakes, and turned to Jesus who had helped him, showing me his copy of the New Testament which he has in his coat pocket.

He described life as pictures, some of them funny, some strange or sad and some very beautiful. But he only showed us the pictures he wanted to, the stories weren't his whole life, only what's on the surface is what he chose to "show" us. 

Then as it was getting to his stop off the train, he said actually- life is a bit like a train. You wait for your stop to come, and when it does, someone says "excuse me, it's your turn to get off". Then he shook our hands and left.

Although it was kind of hard to understand him because i think he was drunk (holding a Special Brew can), he didn't invade our space or say anything offensive or even annoying really. He was articulate and interesting and even though I’m not sure that these stories aren't already existent it was an interesting encounter for a train journey...