Monday, February 29, 2016

UK Party Political Leadership and Red 246

Nobody said being a leader is easy or fun- the spotlight has moved from Labour's beleaguered leader (it's a word that is compulsorily attached to statements about  Corbyn)

I read recently that Jeremy Corbyn the (current) leader of the Labour party in the UK has adopted something of a 'Bunker Mentality' reading only the papers he's favourably reviewed by (not too many) and going to events where others attending want to be seen in 'selfies' with him - it's probably not true but it still has a ring of truth about it.

Sadly I think Corbyn is a failed experiment he's no Bernie Sanders and despite his pained expressions the situation he finds himself in is much of his own making - Ken Livingstone as elder statesman of the self destruct wing of Labour has mused  that Corbyn's Shadow Chancellor would replace Corbyn on a sudden departure - this is not necessarily a good thing
Is it the  DC Comic going Whaam?

But JC's problems are nothing when compared to those of DC.

John Major will be smiling his enigmatic smile as he sees the usual suspects forming an (almost) unified group around Boris Johnson.

The problem as I see it  is that leadership relies on support cascading from the top, many of Cameron's cabinet colleagues  have now broken their  link with the leader and revealed that although he may lead many choose not to follow - in fact the appeasement he's offered to 'rebels' is now looking like it has merely delayed and fuelled the open warfare it was designed to defeat - oh dear me.

Red 246

Strange sometimes how you can create a whole story or scenario from a snatched image - there's one here perhaps.

Congratulations perhaps?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

First World problems and Red 247

First World problems (1)

An outside bath says more to me
I was with a bunch of people meeting as part of an initiative around selling - the conversation was somewhat  alien to me, although I do find things are not always to my liking I can come to terms with the amount of choice there is with coffee in London and am not overwhelmed by the problems of finding outlets that struggle with re-usable cups - get over it.

First World problems (2)

I recently noted a Tweet decrying the standard of the poetry on the London Underground-it resonated with me when I saw in an inappropriate setting on the concourse of Paddington Station a  statue commemorating Brunel (by John Doubleday decried for a Beatles statue too)  to me unimpressive and not sufficiently well positioned.
Brunel deserves better

I think there is (me included) too often an acceptance of the second rate in works, be they written or visual that are deemed to be 'free', they are not free and they should be of the highest standard being inoffensive and mediocre is not what we should put out there - sad to say it might be a bit moan-y but it needs to be said - those selecting such works might not be the people best suited to do this.

Red 247

Here's (to me) an example of Art for the public that's good (in central London) it wasn't chosen by a committee and it's mainly red  (look at the top and bottom of the 'can' though- it really works).

A better example of Public Art

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The destruction of our High Streets continues and Red 248

Look out across the London skyline centrally and even on the peripheral, chances are you'll see building work with a crane or two - well what say do we have in the ongoing re-imagining of our neighbourhoods and environment?
21st century development  -Please not on the (my) High Street

To my mind Ealing has seen more development than is good for it and the idea that there has been connivance between council and investors to destroy our heritage fills me with dismay - why on earth does council leader Julian Bell delight in giving Ealing a 21st century High Street when the price is destroying the one we have without consulting the electorate?

We're encouraged to join debates on many things that seem (to me) to be peripheral to our lives but when it comes to ur High Street lip service is paid to democracy with 'exhibitions' of photo-shopped and airbrushed  images of a shopping utopia - where's the real consultation?

Has Consultation has come to mean nothing? the hollow use a chance to tick a box as investors provide more urban blight and a smoke screen of so-called Affordable Housing?

I'm not sure how much central governments squeeze on councils ability to raise funds is having on the Green-lighting of major projects by councils but I fear it might be part of the overall calculation

Regardless I don't like the way the plans have been accepted with such haste if you want to get your opinion registered why not have a look here (The London Standard has a poll)

Red 248

Here's a development of worth-  look at how the great playwright is denoted  

Saying hello to a minimal Shakespeare  (5 solid shapes)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Arts Stuff on the media and Red 249

Two nice arts programmes to watch at present - thanks John for pointing out to me the recent Artsnight which visited Tate's Modern and Britain in London and with a touch of First Dates looked at visitors getting something from the works .
Art observed

The other is Waldemar Januszczak's  take on the renaissance (Renaissance Unchained)  - have watched part one - he's a force of nature and the insights offered are good ones. 

And Separation

The BBC had an interesting couple of programmes on the subject of people and their pets -Dogs Vs Cats, one of the things I liked about it was the study of the anxiety felt my dogs in particular following separation, what it brought home to me  is that it's a subject that's painful for many of us throughout our lives  and certainly one that we may repress (as I can describe with my new engagement with Psychoanalysis) - perhaps we need more that looks at the

Red 249

I was given this near Bond Street  - think it's something to do with Men's Skincare..
Sometimes inspiration is proffered unrequested

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Public sculpture, public artists and Red 250

Ahead of meeting to look around the Performing for the Camera Exhibition at Tate Modern (more on this later) I saw, for the first time just off Paternoster Square the statue commonly known as  'Angel's Wings' (Ave Maria Lane - no 9 in this list ) it's an impressive sight - unusually for a piece of art it is said to  work  as a cooling mechanism for a power substation.

What I liked about it is that although it fills the space it does not appear crowded - the material used really reflects the light well too.

Oddly, later  my companion for the exhibition tour and I spoke about the mooted Garden Bridge project  it like the sculpture (and the Olympic 2012 Cauldron) are from the Thomas Heatherwick design practice a powerhouse  for practical creativity (the Boris Bus/New Routemaster is another of their designs too).
The presence of this guy make Angel's Wings look like a Pink Floyd Album cover  to me

Ben Wilson

Also crossing the river to the Tate Modern it was a treat to observe Ben Wilson working to maintain his small works on the Millennium Bridge, a delight to engage with him and find in him a friendly  and approachable man.
Ben Wilson - A man and Artist preserving and maintain his works on the Millennium Bridge London

Red 250

Not too far from the Tate Modern on the Southbank there's a stretch with some fine old buildings by the  Golden Hind II - here a pub that looks almost Dickensian.

A traditional watering hole

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hanwell Hootie 2016 and Red 251

Local Music

It's really nice to be able to mention a relatively new annual event here The Hanwell Hootie which is running on Saturday 2nd April this year.

The event was created in memory of Jim Marshall (Aka Father of Loud) founder of Marshal Amplifiers in 2013 it's a local company famed for their  world beating musical amplifiers.

There are all sorts of initiatives going on where we (collectively) live - these are often the sort of things that can lead to an improvement in our sense of community and interactions with those around us.

Happy times will inhabit our memories - and the reasons for these events are part of a narrative - they also feed into the idea that pleasure is not jus about purchasing and consumption -please support if you can.

Red 251

Looking at this I'm reminded of 1970s public sector workers strikes - it feels like a long while ago.

Red for Biodegradable

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Looking at Carl Jung and Red 252

Yesterday the Philosophy and Psychoanalysis session was centred on Carl Jung and the course leader Scott made clear that his own view of Jung was more limited than his of Freud.

Being self reflective, a critiscm of myself in looking at the history of ideas is that I'm easily drawn to the personal circumstances of the players in a way this is perhaps excusable when looking at  Psychoanalysis.
There are a number of books on Jung

What I had gathered from the preliminary reading ahead of the Monday session was that there had been a painful acrimonious split between the Austrian Jewish Freud and the younger Swizz Gentile Jung - it seemed like a messy divorce where long buried differences were probed and agonized over.

On listening to that (for me) reliable source of background information the BBC Radio's In Our Time I found out far more on the story around the split between the two.

[There's also an extensive interview with Jung on YouTube]

Jung became something of an anointed (by Freud)successor to him as leader of the 'Freudian school of Psychoanalysis - Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud  formed a strong personal and professional relationship. It's said that when they first met (they had communicated ahead of this meeting) they spent 13 hours together without break such was their 'meeting of minds'.

What plays out strongly is the (perhaps) father fixated Jung's disenchantment with what he felt was an overly emphasised take on the importance of the sexual drives within the field.

Since the personal split there has too been a divergence between  the two schools that there names have headed up.  Jung is considered by many as a more optimistic figure and he is often associated with positive outcomes.

Jung too is (in hindsight) viewed as having expressed some views on what is now termed as the  'developing world' that are perhaps  anachronistic in what is now accepted terminology and many critics consider him exhibiting anti Semitic attitudes.

Aside from the personal split though there are differences that give Jung's school a more mystical approach to the human condition with the idea of  the  collective unconsciousness - Jung is also associated with the use of archetypes.

Red 252

Well it's a shop with red connotations..

Eyes left for a bit of 'Red' shopping.

Monday, February 22, 2016

What is upshot? Blonde Ambition and Red 253

Noticed this morning a van travelling near our home  Upshot - Ground based aerial Photography, looks like a rather intriguing outfit on the margins of surveillance - but is the proclamation of what they do an indication that they are in fact perfectly fine?

Blonde Ambition

And on not being as things appear...

The question for me  is does Boris Johnson believe that his motives in backing Brexit are for his own good or that of London and the country?
Does it look like 'honourable' behaviour?

it was worrying to see in the weekend press furtive meetings between Michael Gove and Boris Johnson - are they honourable men who are loyal to their party leader or have they done a deal in preparation for Cameron's own exit?

Much as a young Debbie Harry had a Marilyn Monroe complex it feels to me as though  Boris Johnson has something of a Churchill  fixation.

Many politicians are risk takers, there seems to be a correlation between various traits that means those with a different idea of truth (witness  Hilary Clinton's recent struggle with the term 'lying') from that of many other citizens .

For a professional politician the language they use is loaded it includes terms like reform which they used as a replacement for the word change, so when speeches talk about a reformed health Service or as altered EU arrangements they sell with the word reform.

This is going to be a long 4 months!

Red 253

What I like about this is not the absence of it being a 'Boris' bike but the way that some missing red defines the subject

well he'll be on his (Boris) bike

Sunday, February 21, 2016

EU Negotiations end, now the campaign and Red 254

The EU vote is now scheduled and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out, there are several things it brings home to me about Democracy and the Governance of the UK.
Democracy like Western Civilisation is perhaps just a good idea?

1. Democracy isn't (or shouldn't be) so binary, in truth there are people who are for European Integration (many Lib Dems for example) they have not been part of the debate and the offer they will have presented to them is a retreat of what went before.
Even within those who are against integration in general they may have specific areas where they think integration is of advantage to all of us -how can a yes/no reflect this?

2. The UK premier (Prime Minister) certainly in David Cameron is presenting as a figure more akin to a President, the figurehead focus of the EU negotiations on the UK side has been David Cameron and the battle within his (ruling) party has characterised the 2 sides in 'Soap Opera' terms- it is hard to see the next Tory leader being less presidential (especially if it is Boris Johnson).

3. The bulk of the (un-elected) UK commercial Media appears (at present) to be actively against remaining in the EU - why this is so and the effect are as yet unclear.

Apart from this the struggle to get voters to leave their homes to support a Prime minister they feel natural antagonism towards is at this stage difficult to judge as is the animosity that our European neighbours will have towards us regardless of the outcome.

A marginal vote without a clear majority is undoubtedly a potential outcome and regional variations could create constitutional issues - it's that old Chinese curse 'interesting times'.

Red 254

Why red- is it about the heart and the blood of Christ?

Fighting the 'good' fight some would say

Saturday, February 20, 2016

WH Smugg and Red 255

I reckon that the nature of the High Street is set for terminal change - and that'll mean far less retail jobs we're already seeing the rise of the operator - less cash till and more and more non perishable purchases are being made online.
Going local- near me

So I was interested to see that WH Smith are moving back into small neighbourhood shops- by offering a franchise arrangement, here right next to an existing newsagent.

I don't know, I suppose most businesses are about making money but there's something I find particularly mercenary about WH Smith's an earlier adopter of bag charging who famously refused to stock Private Eye for many years. The company core values have to me seemed  hard to pinpoint and they've repeatedly altered their focus over the years as Newspaper and Magazine sales continue to decline the challenge is on for them.

Having said that be interesting to see how this plays out against the background of changing shopping habits.

Red 255

Reminding me of the joke - two Scots talking,

'What's the difference between Sinatra and Disney?
Sinatra sings and Walt Disney

Disney sees Red

Friday, February 19, 2016

Chewing Gum Art and Red 256

A bridge personalised- in gum
Yesterday having spent some time at Tate Modern on my return to St Paul's Underground station I overheard some people talking about ' detail' on the Millennium bridge, sure enough when I stopped and looked there were some miniature 'works of art like the one below.

It turns out that this is 'Chewing gum art' by Ben Wilson (nice piece on the works and the man here) - he doesn't only do them on this once wobbly bridge either (more here).

The art he creates fits loosely under the Outsider Art banner and there is an entry in Wikipedia which provides some detail about him too.

Keep your eyes open
You can find out more in this report too.

Red 256

Yesterday it was  an exciting looking  motorbike- today it's a boat who knows what'll be next?

Another speedy Red

Thursday, February 18, 2016

How lucky are we and Red 257

Yesterday after conducting my bi-weekly 'Cycle Revolution' Tours at the Design Museum I took the walk towards Tate Modern (walking along the Thames as much as was possible for me) and saw some sights from History recent and distant - as I got closer to my quarry and passed the Globe theatre rain started to fall.
A wall from Historic Winchester Palace

Once in the former power station I was such taken by the top floor of exhibits which included works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and a personal favourite of mine Ed Ruscha.
One for George?

Ed Ruscha seems to say so much
I was also excited to see more of Nam June Paik and what I saw here was for me  more inspiring than those I recently saw at The Whitechapel Gallery, another revelation was seeing a  work which was also combining the word and image, this by Barbara Kruger a US artist who was asking the searching question 'Who Owns What?''.

Barbara wants to know

an early part of the Information Super-Highway from Paik

An exciting summer

Red 257

A machine we can associate with speed

A Red dream machine

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Three Little Things and Red 258

I bought them like an artist
Here's a Thing (or 3)

1) Well I declared  some time ago that I wanted Austin Kleon's books - I've now bought them both and read them too - As Austin values (rightly) accreditation I'll give his some here.

Really great books that say something many of us are probably thinking to ourselves so I'd say  they resonate well (with me for sure).
Surprisingly to me Austin's 32 the age I heard (somewhere) that many men spend much of their life thinking they are (32).

[Odd to that Austin lives in Austin, Texas]

Hey, spring can't be faraway - can it?
2) There's been a change that perhaps we'll look back on as being a Sea one - with The Independent declaring itself as an online only paper (from March 26, the first big daily one, I think that's actually stopping its physical presence) and BBC (TV) 3 closing its traditional presence as a scheduled linear TV channel- is it good? I don't know but as for most of us we can still continue to access them perhaps it's okay.

3) Down on the allotment yesterday- there were daffodils to see and despite (yet another) recent shed break-in it was a pleasure to be there and pottering.

Red 258

A part of Ealing's Heritage - it's now called the Red Room but it was where Blues legend Alexis Korner started a music club in Ealing

It has a history

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Can we treat Psychoanalysis as a Science? and Red 259

On Monday we had a further session around Philosophy and Psychoanalysis - and the theme that was under the microscope was (I believe) Can Psychoanalysis be treated as a science?

Following on from Garfinkel's experiment  (that could be considered an attack on some potential Charlatans) we looked at how  much the subject of analysis brings to the party.
Pigeons -what do they know?

 What I liked was that we were at least asking the question in my mind those who practice Psychoanalysis do treat it as a science but many of those who are in what we could label traditional science  are far more sceptical.

it was good to hear of some associated literature and figures yesterday- these included Chalmers (AJ) and his book What is this thing called science  along with Peter Winch's 1958  work The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy.

Mention was also made of Karl Popper (he popularised the idea about Black Swans)  - one of Popper's quotable statements was that In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality - which seemed to hit the nail on the head for yesterday's discussion.

With limits on what has to now been used to build up the cannon of the subject there is a rich thread of individualism to many practices and there has been at times something close to idolatry around Freud (we're due to look at Jung who offers a somewhat different approach soon) - Freud's goal to make the unconscious conscious can sound dangerously simplistic and my personal view would be that the last 100 years of discovery may mean that some of the skills practiced might now look a little like Shamanism - but I'm sure I've much to be introduced too in the remaining weeks.

[I have some separate issues about the human need to provide categorisation and narration where sometimes that which is on offer is something of a poor fit and the fit is only made in hindsight .]

Red 259

Another woman in predominantly red

A visitor to the Whitechapel Gallery

Monday, February 15, 2016

Getty Images Gallery and Red 260

Today I was in town and took the opportunity to  visit the Getty Images Gallery just off Oxford Street.
If you think your photo's are okay look here.
As well as taking a walk I was on a mission to kick off a search for a couple of images that I can submit to the City Lit Photographic competition in March that could just about be considered to fit the requirement as Portraiture.

Having seen what was on show at the Getty gallery to say I was over-awed is an understatement, it's not just the subject matter that sets the works apart, the quality of the images and the standard of the prints is to my mind exceptional.
Centre Point spring clean

What I saw were a selection of Photographs that were so much more than just a pictorial record, to my mind they would sit well in an art gallery.

Well as always, W1 and Oxford Street has  new things to see and I did manage to take some pictures that had people in them too.

I liked this target picture of a hoarding for a new shopping development.

A new retail quarter or as some people might 'more shops'.

Red 260

Woman in Red (1) - the idea of Red and even Scarlet has connotations in a woman's clothing.

Outside for a crafty fag perhaps?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Studies in Ethnomethodology and Red 261

Following the Philosophy and Psychoanalysis class this week the reading was part of  Harold Garfinkel's  'Common Sense'  Studies in Ethnomethodology focusing on his experiment which looked at a  practical alternative to a 'normal' expert psychotherapy session.

The Experiment and analysis was most illuminating and brought to my mind the 'Scientific turn' in Social studies as well as Wittgenstein.

It is also clear that people's desire to construct a narrative and impose meaning on a  situation can be a strong driver which can in fact lead to unexpected consequences.

The basis of the experiment could have been to debunk psychotherapy highlighting the  'fact' that many of us believe that people come to us for advice and then do whatever they were going to do anyway as well as bringing a light on the  instigator of a study as having already decided the outcome - it'll be interesting to see, tomorrow how far from the mark I am with my own personal analysis!


I was intrigued to learn of the Christadelphian church, it's a worldwide religious interpretation of the bible, with  a 'flat' structure - and there's a church for it in Ealing.
It's not St. Paul's

It's all about the Bible

                                                                                                                                                                                     Red 261

                                    Another celebration another Red - Valentine's with it's link to the heart is of course another cue for red

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Arts Bids and Red 262

Arts Bids- or at least seeking some funding for a project is a new experience for me.
Do they want an exhibition?

Having seen an exhibition of pictures (largely but not solely photographic) I drew this to the attention of someone who is involved in promoting London's Portobello Market - the message I got back was this is a good idea .. have a look at..

This led me to speaking to an experienced  Photographer  who has a wealth of knowledge on taking pictures, showing them and engaging with interested parties, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he too was enthusiastic about moving the process forward - so I'm going to submit a proposal to InTRANSIT and hopefully get enough support to actually make an unorthodox gallery and competition this summer  in West London.

Initial Submission deadline is this Monday with shortlisted  applicants being informed by March 3rd and then having a further 4 weeks to refine their proposals.

Red 262

The Colour of Fast?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Southbank illusions and Red 263

The secret of statues revealed and observed

Floating in the air
And from a distance

The other gig

Red 263

Red and Blue working well

That's a lovely red