How the world works

Parts one and two.

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L asked, how much do you need to know? (later, she made it more complicated still: how do you know what you need to know?) D said, knowledge is a construction, like a castle, with principles of design that keep it standing so high and proud and strong, and with a clear function (and, I might add, with defences to keep people out). It sits in a landscape. It does not contain everything (though, I might add, from the inside it might seem that it contains all that matters).

I asked, if someone makes art outside the institutions of art – markets, galleries, collectors, academies (though I feel it should be, as it is usually said, “the academy” – there is only one academy – is that so?) – is it really art? Or could it be art, but only in the category of failed art? (I like this category – though I know I’m not the only one) D said, there is a castle of art too, and if you want to live in the castle, there are rules to be learned, hierarchies to be respected, fashions to follow, compromises to be accepted. But there is (he said) a world outside the castle, a world full of art.


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Vivian Maier

Mike shows me I should be spending more time here.


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Living in the future

I was going to be an astronomer. This was going to involve a lot of sex.

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Living in the past

I asked for, and got, Porcupines by Echo & the Bunnymen and Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” symphony, both of which first appeared in my life about 1983; the first via Radio 1, the second thanks to Stephen Sharkey, who had heard it on the radio and was never the same again. Should I have got over all this by now?

The Liverpool links are that I was there at the time, that’s where the Bunnymen are from, and Terence Davies made what was for me particularly apt use of the Mahler in Of Time and the City.

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Machine art

Thanks to Unspoken Cinema for Casualty of Design‘s Lost in a moment – Tokyo.

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I was a teenage Ballardian

Rusty radio telescope, outside Cambridge

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Councillor Macklin

Councillor Macklin stated that we had to think about the future, what the next steps were.

He stated that we needed experts; we needed to listen, engage and act. We had to look at what we had done and if we had not done things well, we should tackle the reasons behind it. If we were dissatisfied we had to explore the right solutions. We had to work together with people, listen to them and create regeneration. We had to be certain that what we were doing was right, therefore our residents were encouraged to tell us how they wanted us to help them.

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Devils on Mars

Something of a busman’s holiday, this. But I think this might be my favourite astronomy pic ever.
Dust devil trails on Mars

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School for rogues

Related, but more practical subjects, will be the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance.

How to be the real thing. But which rogue would pay the fee?

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Filed under art, film, Werner Herzog