“They’re so wonderful: after all that’s happened, with all the war and poverty, they still have hope.” L hates it when people from rich countries talk about people in poor countries like that. What’s so great about hope? she says. It’s just like religion: put up with the crap now because it’ll be all right after you’re dead and you can go and sit on a fluffy cloud for the rest of time. Continue reading


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I wonder how long this took

Thanks, Michael.

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An unmade bed

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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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