Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-11-14 - 5:37 p.m.

Yesterday lunchtime I drove into central Bham listening to Aerial - just the first disc. Keith Mice-Bh-J mentioned that there was a song all about Pi and that was really enough for me to get it. The only other Kate Bush album I have is Lionheart. As for Aerial its the songs on that first CD, the vocal sound and the production, especially the bright rhythm guitars - and a hint of Gary Booker on the Hammond. Havenít to the 2nd CD which they say is better.

I was off to hear a guitar installation by Simon Blackmore at the Ikon and Sunday was its last day. As the pic here shows there is an apparatus clamped onto a Spanish guitar which is plugged into some microprocessor units. The units are driven by a little weather detector stuck out the window of the gallery (its on the 3rd floor). Its called Weather Guitar. When I was there I heard it do three things - it played a single note - then after a long gap it played a modal cadence and then after a shorter gap it played a minor seventh.

Upstairs in the resource room was a MD with various WG pieces - one solo - driven by weather, one with a professional group joining in and some from a schools project. I thought the solo was best - by a long chalk. I am vry glad I caught it - but sorry I canít hear it under different conditions.

There was another installation piece - in the lift - by Martin Creed - a short choir piece - a chromatic scale thinner at the top - ascending or descending with the lift.

The main exhibition was Rita Donagh b 1939 in the Black Country but went to NYC in the mid-60s. She was interested in the relation between the human figure and abstraction and a lot of her work in the US seems to have been inspired by the coy poses of male prostitutes on 42nd Street. She came back to the UK and started to get interested in The Troubles in Ireland and my favourite works from the show were inspired by explosions. She managed to take imagery from car bombs but to put them into a cool conceptual frame - which perversely enhanced the emotional power - by taming the brute force of the explosion. Clever stuff - not anachronistic.

I bought a book co-authored by Tacita Dean (who Mrs C knows vaguely.) Its one of a series dedicated to themes in modern art - this one is about Ďplaceí - a good theme to chose. I canít help thinking that if we cant sort names and objects we donít stand a chance with the meaning of place. At the end of the first Ch is a picture of the place where Wittgenstein went in Norway to reflect between the first and second philosophies - at the end of a lake - only the foundation is left. Also some classic place-business from the mid 60s in NE USA playing with romantic attributes of place - like drama. Bits of Descartes and Leibniz too.

Its colder today - I have worked away at an over-hanging task trying to make sense of a bit of recent history without taking the easy way out and bitching.

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