Saturday, 11 July 2009

If I have found purpose in the head of a plant, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. (09)

I walked further into the realms of isolation, and stumbled across what can only be described as a giant's shoe. A great wad of tanned leather, torn from the foot of a colossal being. It made me think that I wasn't alone, and also how wasteful the human mind was, in that with this great expanse of perception and thought, every person has succeeded in feeling alone at some point in their lives. 

There are great microcosms of living organisms that surround us, sealed in like trillions of buzzing atoms in a jam jar. Sometimes it takes the remnants of living particles, or a metaphorical death for us to realise this. In this case the idle shoe of a giant.

I am reminded of a Jean Paul Sartre phrase, lodged in my memory. "If you are alone when you're by yourself, you are in bad company." 

Whilst still thinking about giant garments of clothing, I wondered where the raw materials would come from to make such expansive items.  

I decided not to dwell on it.

A large metal contraption awaited my eagerness. My distinctly human tendencies came to the fore and I wondered what the object was once used for. 

What purpose did it have? I thought, reducing its existence to a past tense of unimportance, instead of thinking, what is its purpose?

Surely, I am still seeing it, imposing my own interpretations onto this infinitely pacifistic object, thus it has a purpose and is serving it, and, in turn, has no purpose in-itself, only of-itself. Bloody Jean paul Sartre! 

I learn that there is nothing to learn.

'Purpose.' Noun. The reason for which something is done or created.

I am somewhat angered by this term. Although I hold a high regard for purpose within my own work, I am all too aware of its dichotomy. An entirely fabricated means of ogranising objects in terms of importance. Selfishness really; the underlying attribute of all living things.

There is evidently a distinction between biological purpose, and conventional human purpose. One is imaginary, the other is not. 

Camus, and his Myth of Sissyphus epitomises my thinking. 

The purpose of a wing is to make something fly, the purpose of an eye is to turn light into a computable image, the purpose of an ear is to convert waves into sounds. The purpose of the metal contraption was anything I implied.

I came across thousands of sprouting plants from up through the pleasingly spongey vegetation that quilted the floor, all sharing the same unconscious desire.

The purpose of the plant, as the purpose of the human, were identical, and forever pushing boulders.

I felt hungry.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The colour of death with gravity the artist. (08)

I came across an enormous fallen tree that protruded slightly into my chosen path. I felt a sense of annoyance but immediately realised the futility of being annoyed at a tree. It's roots were solidified and compressed by a mass of indecipherable bric-a-brac. Their ends arbitrarily angled like a tapestry of tiny ideas and muscle fibres, broken at the end. It was quite hard to believe that roots so small once held up this gigantic hunk of matter. 

I am reminded of a song by Modest Mouse entitled 'Gravity rides everything' and believe it to be quite befitting in this situation, and in every situation I have ever experienced in my relatively short life thus far. 

I think of the numerous years this tree had been resisting gravity, and find it easy to relate this to my own legs, which makes me appreciative.

It also reaffirms my indignant viewpoint of physics being an almighty bitch.

Like a child in a sweet shop, I saw another tree (Yes, I was in a forrest at the time) and became vigorously excited in my eyes. This tree looked remarkably like an elephant. A nice find, as I had recently watched a programme about elephants. Incidentally, primer grey is the colour a human body turns after death. Not to sound too pessimistic to most people, it is simply an interesting fact. I find it hard to understand the taboo nature of death and its characterisation of morbidity (as in abnormal or unhealthy) Surely appreciation of the ephemerality of the human interpretation of existence heightens conscious experiences.

I had a fleeting aspiration and hoped that my insides were warm like the colour of butter.

I caught a glimpse of the sun, a white aperture through an envious canopy, and I realise how small I am. 

The forrest was a desolate place and I had a quiet suspicion that I owned the world. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

White Cross : The universe smells like barbeque sauce (07)

White Cross. I have no idea where that is, except for being exactly where I was. I walk for a little while and climb over a fence into a field. 

I traverse the relatively flat terrain. The grass bites my feet and fills my shoes, which feels refreshing. Another two, similarly looking fields move under my feet until I acquiesce with a proverbial fork. I relish the opportunity of making a decision. 

Left or right?

I choose left.

An abandoned building is the first notable landmark. With door ajar, I gingerly peer inside half expecting to be greeted by....well, I'm not exactly sure. 

A flock of empty beer cans, a herd of plastic bottles, a bunch of cigarette ends and a gang of needles were the items that said hello. A little Narnia crack den, but apart from that, nothing to be too perturbed about. The building's name (or misnomer) quite clearly preceding it. It was more of an unenthusiastic building than a dangerous one.

I progressed into the woodland.

A faint wisp of barbeque sauce meandered through leaves and moths, reaching my olfactory bulb and tickling my hippocampus, stimulating a recent memory of grilled burgers. This was most peculiar. A bush stood isolated in the nearest opening. My curiosity drew me over the muddied ground towards it.

A dark singular brach jutted away from the thin main trunk, exposed to a curious eye. It harboured a secret galaxy of burning red bulbs of life and dust, light years away from each other, suspended in time. Isolated. It reminded me of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. This single branch, amongst all branches, attached indefinitely to the light filtering through the cone cells of my retina, stimulating phototransduction and caressing my optical nerve, electrifying neurons and shaking hands with my parietal lobe. A reflection of our own isolated selves. 

"The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent." 

- Carl Sagan. 

I continued on my way and reduced the universe to a memory.

Voyeurism and dog biscuits (06)

Two Thirty. My plan of getting on a bus has not yet materialised. Instead, I stood opposite a shopping centre watching people cross the road.

Interestingly enough, I witnessed an adult male, approximately twenty five years old, cross the road, finishing with a running jump onto the opposite pavement.

I found this to be partially inspiring and admirable.

Soon afterwards I sat on the floor outside a supermarket, and contemplated sushi and the voyeuristic nature my behaviour had recently taken. I took a photo of a security camera above me to commemorate this mind set.

I received a heckle from a chav who wrongly accused me of taking his picture. I come to the conclusion that humans, especially when a camera is involved, are easily provoked and inherently narcissistic in wanting (not to be) the subject of the photo. A case of reverse (or perverse) psychology. An almost insurmountably feckless attribute.

I find myself in the dog biscuit section of a small food market. I'm not sure what I'm doing here, but I enjoy the graphics on the packaging and I imagine briefly what it would be like to exist as a dog biscuit, particularly a 'Jumbone' as I am fond of the name. This existential quandary was fleeting however, as I quickly realised that life as a dog biscuit, although filled with contentment and indifference, would actually contain neither, as my ontological interpretation simply supposed that dog biscuits have synapses and a limbic system. Instead a 'Jumbone' contains: 

Rice flour, glycerin, sugar, cellulose powder, wheat flour, propylene glycol, sodium caseinate, natural flavor, dried meat by-product, potassium sorbate, vitamin A supplement, niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate, sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, zinc oxide, and copper sulfate. 

None of these ingredients contain a nervous system of any kind.

I buy water and a banoffee muffin. I make my way to the bus stop. Wait. The bus arrives and I get on. I buy a day rider. Wait. Then I get off.

Jesus did not own an umbrella (05)

Half past one. The day is still moist and the sky reminds me of the bottom of a shoe. I quietly laugh at all the people who have been caught out without umbrellas. Nothing much had happened, but I resist the temptation of rekindling a conversation with Stevie the buddhist monk. 

An elderly woman walks past. Her face looks like a used tea bag, but she means well. She asks if I'm doing my homework and tells me that I'm a good student, then swiftly asserts "But I'm not sure about your hat."

For an elderly lady, that was a rasping back handed compliment. I admired her honesty.

I walked past a lady playing a violin and into the path of an old man accompanied by his wife. Matching burgundy umbrellas. Comparatively normal.

Then the elderly man shatters, uncompromisingly, my preconception as he bellows out metaphysical biblical verse without the quirky, child-like enthusiasm of Stevie. (Unlike Stevie, it seemed as if the old man actually believe the shit he was saying.) Needless to say I wasn't amused.

He shouts about blasphemers and tells all that intelligence isn't necessary to find God (about the only thing he got right) But I couldn't help but become preoccupied with his umbrella; 

Rain, arguably the most common and ubiquitous 'act of God' ever experienced, should in fact precipitate rapture at being present during this miracle. Now, if you are of that disposition, would an umbrella simply be a way of outsmarting an omniscient God? The superstitious among you should surely want to embrace this cosmic perspiration, but instead you divert it. No doubt I'm just being pedantic. As the man said, critical thinking isn't a prerequisite for faith.

I walked closer to take his picture, and inadvertently stood next to who I presumed to be his wife, pacing back and forth, murmuring to herself. I wasn't sure if she was angry. I relocated to a safe vantage point to take more photos of her husband, a modern day prophet with a burgundy umbrella, stood in front of GAP, preaching to his invisible audience.

I was pleased that at this moment, religion was of the same substance as a wet biscuit.

I decided to go to Ainsley's for an iced finger.

Sweating out the universe. (04)

"This is a picture of the material universe. He points to a small dark bubble, encasing the eminent blue figure of Krishna. (He must know he's blue!)

"This is the universe we live in, the yellow surrounding is where God lives, and here are his many personifications." (Bi polar) Stevie pointed to a large lotus flower.

"This is where you can be most spiritual. This is a place you can actually go." 

I refrain from asking for a post code but do ask if I can get there with a day rider. Stevie doesn't laugh, just smiles. Perhaps I've been too presumptuous of our friendship.

"So... do you not think that the universe is expanding?" I ask, urging him to gloss over my social faux pas.

"The bubble..." He points " filled with water, and the blue figure with the orange pants (Krishna - but why are his pants orange? Why does he need pants?) is the creator of all universes (egocentric) and every time he breathes out, millions of universes expel from his pours, and when he inhales, all the universes inside the bubble go back through his pours."


"Do the universes not go through his nose when he inhales?" I ask scientifically.

"No, no" Stevie corrects me. "He breathes them through his pours."

Of course, how stupid of me. Omnipotence after all. (But then why the fuck does he need to breathe?)

"Ahh..." I undersand. "so Krishna sweats out the universe.?"

"Yes, yes" Stevie agrees.

"But, if you think of time" He continues.

I steady myself for another lyrical gem to be thrown down my ears and into my nervous system.

"our universe is so long because Krishna's lungs are so big so that they can house all the planets of our material universe, so he's only ever taken one breath so far."

I digest his words. We both smile.

I give him £1.10 for the book, and then depart.

It is 12, noon, and already I think my day has reached its pinnacle.

What would an omnipotent picnic look like? (03)

He turns the page onto the next illustration, now eager with his new sense of confidence after leaping successfully over the omnipotence hurdle.

"This is Krishna as a boy." 

My ears became involuntarily intent, hanging on Stevie's every word. I think to myself that he'd be a great orator, as good as Hitler.

"In this material world there is a place you can go and play with Krishna as a boy."

"Really?" I ask, as if there was a part of my that started to believe him.

"Yeah, in this realm you can play with Krishna, play football with him, or have a picnic."

At this point I had to interject.

Would Krishna be the type of God to enjoy a picnic? You know, given his genocidal tendencies and the omnipotence and that.

Preempting my question, Stevie releases an unwavering golden nugget of infinite wisdom from his, what can only be described as, diamond sparkling larynx, and into the air for my ears to dance with.

"The meaning of life is to have a picnic with Krishna."

Beautiful. Beyond refutation.

Stevie smiles, and I reciprocate, dumbfounded by his wisdom. And just when I think there can't be more gold dust such as this, Stevie turns to the next illustration...

Stevie the Buddhist monk, genocide and ice cream (02)

Immediately I bump into Stevie. His face, like a dinner plate of misguided exuberance, gleams in the rain and quietly startles me.

"Hiya mate, long time no see." He says.

I have never met Stevie before. I repress my inquisitive disposition and try to ignore his case of mistaken identity. "is it?" I ask.

I think silently to myself that Stevie was right in a way. In my twenty one years of never meeting him, it had been somewhat of a long time.

I continue snapping the Mr. Whippy sign.

"I'm a monk ya know?" Stevie states excitedly.

"Yeah?" I reply appeasingly, pretending not to have noticed the orange robe that reached down to his feet and the stripe of yellow paint on his nose, positioned neatly on his face underneath a grey Nike Air max baseball cap. A decidedly unorthodox garment for a buddhist monk. Then again, he is called Stevie and has a west yorkshire accent, so he isn't short on surprises.

He shows me his clipboard and proceeds to tell me about a number of monk related events he is involved in. 

I find myself warming to Stevie. He says I can have a gift, then produces a book from his satchel.

"Nice one." I said, flicking through the pages. "Some nice illustrations."

"All I need is a donation." Stevie adds.

"Oh, its not quite a gift then, is it?" I reply.

Stevie looked bemused and proceeded to stumble through his disjointed, but humourous explanations of the illustrations.

"This one is Krishna speaking to the king of the world in front of his followers because he hoped to become one with him." 

I couldn't help but think if Krishna knew he was blue.

"This one is of the emperor of the world and Brahman in the great battle to rid the world of all the evil rulers. There were rivers of blood." He says triumphantly. 

I bite my tongue.

"It only happened 5000 years ago" I bite through my tongue.

"But isn't Brahman omnipotent?" I ask.

This seemed to tear open the realm of space and time, suspending us both in perpetual motionlessness. However, it was merely a short pause as Stevie glanced at the My Whippy sign for an answer that wasn't there. 

"Yeah" Stevie answers conclusively.

"Hmmm..." I ponder. "Could he not have just thought the evil rulers away? ..why the rivers of blood and genocide? "

Silence again. Then a smile. 

"Why not?"

Ahh, the classic 'why not' argument. A fool proof system of dialectics. Stevie is brighter than his dim light-bulbed head would suggest.

Genesis in a bedroom and watching pavements move (01)

Tonight seems a bit mushy. I've developed indigestion and can't remember what day it is. I look on my Mac. 
Number six. Day number six. That'll do.

I'm feeling creative, and so decide that tomorrow, day number seven, I'm going to get the bus somewhere and take my camera, a note book and a pen.

With the residual lyrics of Modest Mouse entangled in my ear fibres, entering the fluid-filled hollows of the cochlea, stimulating the spiral ganglion, I know inspiration isn't far behind.

Day number seven started with a splash of sunshine and a downpour of rain, a smashing paradox that would unknowingly set me up for the rest of the day.

Briggate. Can't see the floor and the inbetweens of my toes are pleasantly moist. 

There is a carpet of liquid clouds gushing down gullies , falling through drains and bouncing off the pavement into vapour. I take a few photos of umbrellas and a definitively desolate Mr Whippy vender.

I notice a middle aged woman through the corner of my eye staring at me. Not an unusual occurrence given that I'm taking a photo of an icecream van in a thunder storm. "Your camera will get wet." She proclaims, matter-of-factly, seemingly oblivious to the umbrella over my head. I don't reply, and continue walking.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Poem : Meniscus Harmonia


wrapped in flesh,

attached like, 

two awkward parcels,

unveiling folded secrets,

and creases, 

like smiles, 

I cannot see.

(Poem for collaborative photography project : coming soon)

Poem : June 25th, digesting a takeaway, contemplating existence.

I want to relieve my existence

through a telescope of 

parallel time

and space rewound

I want to suffocate my thoughts

with whirling bubble bath trees

in a mountainous

foreign landscape

I want to run through 

a clothes strewn canopy

where light is dimmed

and feet are wet

I want to speak french with you 

surrounded by porcelain walls

of half filled coffee cups

floating on mold

I want to cover myself

in your synapses

and roll in

hot chocolate neurons

I want to slide down

the silver edge of a chinese takeaway

to make our lives beautiful

and not realistic

Poem : Glances

From obscure silhouettes

and a mimicry of Kupecky

she's perched in a forlorn join


spiraling dust from the gold 

matisse-like cigarettes 


making all else mockery.

Like a glimpse

of Notre-Dame in late afternoon

her mind glistens

as waters move dark blue


like eruptions at a taste

then gone

I suck my tongue


with lipstick on my face.