Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-06-28 - 10:03 a.m.
James reports he is now finance and academic rep on the executive of the Cambridge Students Union – not to be confused with the Union which he also belongs to as a lifetime member. I nearly gave him a firm talking to on the importance of dissolution in aesthetic formation but whats the use – its all so utilitarian these days. Of course I never joined the Union but somehow managed to bump into Wheeler there.
I woke early and got some time in on the guitar part to Totton’s 2nd Dream from the Sex War. Working like this pulls into the text.
I heard some Australians do Holst’s version of Old 100 – impressive – I have been polishing my 5 note harmony version of that tune recently as luck would have it. The price I had to pay was 40 verses of Genesis – reading the stuff out loud to jet lagged Aussies. The bit where Isaac having escaped the dutiful Abraham and provided Britten with one of his best songs, never mind what he did for Kierkegaard – is tricked by Jacob – smooth not hairy. Inadvertently rather than reading that specific line as printed, I used the Peter Cook version which must date me.
It is a story that needs treating as R Graves treats myths – there seems to be a structure whereby the smooth/female/ herders get the jumps on the hairy hunters who are intended for blessing but robbed. The hairy hunters end up as the mercenaries for the smoother elite who get even smoother with Joseph, one of the sons of not hairy Jacob who ends up as a project manager for the Egyptians.
Talking of hairiness I have discovered some late 70s photos of P Bell, S Pheasant, P Crowther and Nick Brown. I have scanned a couple and sent Nick the one of him and Steve. I have also attempted a sketch of Steve. Steve was one of the first to gain recognition as an author – a calling which suited him – he was committed to clarity of language and argument in a very British way – Hume, Russell, Mill etc.
He died before the net became so important and there is a sense, unfortunately, in which, as a result, his work is disappearing. As a scientist this is inevitable – but he was more than – a great deal more. I wondered whether the same thing might happen to Imac when I read Macca have a gripe – but some of his most cited work is available online.
Text and talk exchange with Lawrence – not the student producer but father of the guitarist who has been recording in Seattle. I raised my new interest in poetics eg metaphor must be used to explain metaphor, my confusion between metonym and synecdoche (whole/part versus seriality) and the pervasiveness of irony – much easier to get.
I bought Poetry Review first quarter 2004 – an essay by Peter Middleton on how hard it is take an overview on the last 30 years and the importance of the lyric in popular music. Lawrence is reading some neurophysiology and believes we can converge on following my mail to him from the Old Wharf on the Oxford Canal at the Fenny Compton gap – my idea of a good location for reflection on Sunday evening. Actually the light was amazing again tonight.
We seem to agree that the self could be a federation of singularities. Descartes thought that singularities were singular possibly located singularly in the pineal gland– but for Deleuze temporality means difference rather than repetition. These differences give the multiplicities that lead to a federated self. I woke up this morning and had the wrong self on again – this may well be how Lou Reed manages his chemicals.
DL is also locked into the experimental approach to the future. I began to wonder whether experiment is ironic – the essence of experimentation is the subversion of expectation by recalcitrant reality – what some call pataphysics. This subversion is the core trope which fuels synecdoche – the passage from the experimental singularity to something more universal which is the core scientific ambition. Von Wright was the first on this track, I think.
I saw Regan’s friend Eike but not to talk to unfortunately – its approximately a year since Regan died give or take a week. As I was shuffling the guides to jazz – Yusef Laseef, Owen Bryce, the books which show the difference on II V between Miles and Trane, I came across Regan’s I Ching workbook. Given the irony of her death – a chance episode – an inadvertence of trajectory – it is peculiar to have this evidence of her courting chance – seeking to place her trust in it. A chance singularity or an important synecdoche?
Such chances are too common - on the John Martyn tape there are fragments from the Jeff Buckley R4 programme – clips of Patti Smith , Jimmy Page and Chrisse Hynde. Also some early film of him in a late 80s band. I hadn’t realised the connection with the Cocteau Twins. Must get Andrew to give me some clues.
Uncut has bizarre story of Martyn and the master of the vibrato from Free.
Matthew Collings is worthwhile in the Independent on the Tate Britain 60s retro. His preference for Greenberg emerges even more strongly. He discusses with Noland (who was championed by Greenberg), Latham’s trope – whereby a copy of some work by Greenberg is treated as if it was a bunch of grapes. Neither Noland nor Collings think this is cricket. My view for what its worth is that it is conceptual art and sod cricket.
Collings is against those who want to reduce 60s art to style – at KK we back this view – see Making Music on imagery and how Derek’s photos go for identity. Also the rehabilitation of early Hockney – we back Living Doll, Collings is up for Typhoo Tea.
Someone gave me a cheque for £13 for KK.
Too much irony in a text to Vita who is on a caravan site in Newquay or so I am told.