Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-07-11 - 7:51 a.m.
Mrs C made it t ROH on Saturday for something by Mozart I hadnít heard of - she said London was deserted but at least it was easy to get served at Somerset House after. Hope she appreciates the birthday presents I will mail tomorrow first class.
I finished reading the Vega-Cohen interview at the Tipperary one evening last week - it certainly added spice to the next listen through of 99.9F. I can feel the pressure to lurch into Vega-Drake and Kantís Transcendental Deduction gradually mounting. Two weeks at the bar in a Lycian retreat may be a good means of realization - plus a supply of engineering pencils. Need to watch for the sun-mugging which has already marked me.
James seems to be OK in St Petersburg - probably safer than in London. Derek mailed with some sad news and I replied - he is kindly going to send Vita a copy of his latest book which hopefully will be up her street. I have been thinking about some of the things James said about the state of musical taste in Cambs - things today - music rooted in the taste of the students who were younger teenage girls.
Steve and I had a review meeting on Friday- his systematic approach is certainly what I need (and how). We have an eight-front campaign. Two are dormant but thereís some good stuff on each of the other six including Steveís forthcoming PhD - after the meeting I mailed a half dozen of the contacts to help realize the value we think we are building up. The system is having difficulty with e-m addresses ending .ac.uk but I came up with some work-arounds thanks in part to Capt P.
Beefheart-Mice-Jordan commissioned some paras for the firmís current big pitch - always a pleasure to help out. I phoned Francis about the current status in the motorsport regeneration paper - maybe it will help - canĎt be ruled out. There s just one more working day to sort it. Next week we have an Academy Day on Tuesday at Toyota in Derby.
Woke up early on Saturday morning and finished the 10 Short Stories (perhaps) - I was in that zone where the end was in sight and although I should have stopped for a rest I just pushed on. So now there are 10 short vids around the words that Paul W came up with to the music that Gilbert and I wrote 2 years ago approx. Having saved them to CD - Henryís story of loss is all too typical of the digital world (indeed this work only exists at all because of Capt Peterís archive) - I seem to be able to run off copies OK. To monitor better I have linked up the USB/external Soundblaster box.
DV processes are a mystery to me . I mentioned to Derek that I had used one of his images and he seemed quite relaxed about it . I listened to a Richard Long interview - indeed I have used a couple of his images. He spoke about the relationship between the image and the place where he undertakes artistic activity. He explained that his work is not mystical but emerges from variety of traditions. I have wondered about using this interview - or parts of it - as the basis of a work. His stuff is both purposive and unpurposive. Walking in a straight line is so clearly purposive - or arranging rocks in a circle in the wilderness.
Phone still isnt working. I am dipping into a book of anthropology theory - written at the end of the 60s - which is against structuralism. Its written from a Marxist point of view and so the idea that there are deep mental structures is not attractive to the author - the static character is not dialectical and anyway its idealism not materialism. But its useful to see how structuralism appeared at that point - around the time VFT was writing and taken by some of the theories. Also listened to Su Lyn - who now sounds close to Suzanne Vega. SL - a bit more gothic perhaps.
When Kafka had only about five more years to live at the end of the First World War he started to correspond to a younger Czech woman called Milena who had translated some of his early works. Mark P refers to K a lot and so when I bumped into the collected letters 2nd hand I grabbed them. Is he nervy or what? He gets himself into such a state about the misunderstandings and clarifications etc. Milena died about 20 years later in a concentration camp but even there she enchanted people.
Someone with a specialist interest in inter-war central European intellectual life must have been pruning their library into the local Oxfam. I also picked up a memoir of Benjamin by an authority on jewish mysticism -Scholem. Amazon didnít manage to find me Benjamin on Baudelaire so I thought I would try this memoir. Benjamin was close intellectually to Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse etc although maybe slightly less academic. He committed suicide on the French-Spanish border in 1940 having led a strange life and written some stuff which still influences thinking today - not least about digital video - the mechanical reproduction of works. (Henry mentioned ironically how difficult it is to see a Paik vid - whereas there are loads of reproductions of him doing a Lamont Young piece.)
I was intrigued to see that when the Scholem and Benjamin first met in the first world war, they were against mainstream philosophy - but rather liked Frege who taught one of them or maybe both of them. Frege was a hero of B Russell and his enthusiasm was passed onto the philosophers that taught my generation. When Russell discovered his Paradox he immediately sent an e-mail to Frege - then he shagged Whiteheadís wife.
Wafting in and out of these central European networks is Hannah Arendt who kicked off her philosophical career by shagging Heidegger and then cutting out for the USA. Scholem blames Brecht for shifting Benjamin away from the spiritual interests which he and Benj shared and towards Marxist cultural issues
Tuna steak (fresh) and mange-tout peas with tomato source and a white burgundy for supper. One of my better forays.
I am back into the strange Yamaha groove box - which has hundreds of little MIDI riffs - and in particular I am using a cheap old MIDI keyboard - not full size. You have to pick channels at random and see what patches are lurking away hidden. I think the synth is probably the classic XG from the mid 90s. This morning I put down a serial idea which I have been holding for a few years - two 6 note chords a tritone apart - each is the classic minor 11 - really quite a familiar chord - and quite good with the right patch. Then I put some lines on - serial principles across change. Then some edgier guitar. I started to sketch a vid using some lines from Kafka to Milena.
I need to do some outdoor work-work at the weekend but the heat rather put me off. I stayed in Saturday afternoon and watched a Passage to India (just right) - then tried to follow the Grand Union Canal towards the Watford Gap - by car. I found a great vantage point - with a pub - the White Hart - same name as the place where Steve Charlie and I played be bop in Drury Lane. The pubís garden is on the blue lias scarp and you can see how the canal makes its way across the Fosse Way and through the hills that are the south bank of the Leam - much more besides.
The pub was shut so I made my way to nearby Itchington - which has a church made of both the white lias limestone and the (slightly) older red sandstone - by a tributary of the Leam. The tributary comes off the Lias and flows under the Canal - by another pub - which was open.
This landscape is very dense with interest - in the way that some towns can be. (That Time Team roman stuff has been pretty good - a bit rushed - but they have had some good discussions about the Saxon-Roman transition - also about how Romans used the Celtic sacred landscape.) Also a good programme about plate tectonics in Turkey - reminded me of Arykanda - which has an extraordinary spring.
Maybe the Leam ate its way back to through the Lias - it might even have been underground and triggered a limestone collapse - to reach its current source - you cant help wondering what the Romans and Celts would have made of the Leam, the Nene and the Cherwell starting so close - under a really big hill.
Anyway at the pub in Itchington there was a dog from a barge who had had an accident and walked on three legs - his fourth leg (now shorter) had a bandage. He belonged to a barge where the man steering had a deformed arm - while drinking outside was a man in a wheelchair with legs severed at mid thigh. Lots of people were eating chips and from time to time the dogs barked at each other. Of course it felt like a parallel world as I sat by the bank drinking Stella and reading English poetry from the mid 60s and Kís letters to Milena. The stress shd be on the first syllable they say.
Managed to make it up the Fosse Way to L-shire and find the Learning Grid event. Very warm but quite good fun - teams from Finland, Canda, Austria, an Ecole Nationale plus lots of UK Unis - the cars looked great - couldnít find Francis or Alan but too bad - said hullo to the Academy dudes and the Nissan design engineer - good to see Captain PĎs software featured in the AA pit.. Drove back and stopped where the Fosse Way bridges the Avon for a drink and some more Milena. Then to L-town and a sit in the smart-bar one block east - worked on the Transcendental Deduction - sheeesh . Also rethought fifths - it was going to be 10 Short Stories and Four Fifths - back to the flat to cook to P J Harvey - Jamesí CD but he wont miss it in St Petersburg. Thought about the way she uses her Strat - I have been off Strats forever but like the Duosonic just now. Maybe James will sell me his Pacifica.