Iain Cameron's Diary
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2006-10-23 - 6:59 a.m.
Waking up early is usually an opportunity to do a-vs so I took a 30 second bagatelle from yesterday – layered flutes and a synth bass – and shoved it into the moviemaking software. A couple of contrasting lycian images developed through a particular translational logic – a process for migrating from one image to the other which I like and yields new derivations and greater abstraction. Lastly I put some text on – by free association from the music and image. Abstract ideas go easily with abstracting visual imagery and semi-coherent music. A tone of voice comes naturally - I find I am happiest with ideas that have been floating around in my head of late, like Searle’s stuff about the mind-body problem - whether we do or should care that what its like to be us arises from certain physical processes. Such material, for me, is also ‘about’ aspects of the cluster of works that I am most happy and familiar with – from 1955 to 1975 for example – the way people use ideas but don’t always talk that much about them. I think this one is called ‘translation of charge’.
This Searle stuff has given me a context for the sublime of the small stuff I wrote jusst over a year ago.
When I was building ny video technique – I did something using the Carpenters. I had seen South African video artist , Candice Breitz, with Laurence at Oxford – maybe it was in 2003 - using a clip of the Carpenters. It seems she has become a big artstar since now – and I am not surprised at all. Following CB’s use of Karen, I took the start of Rainy Days and Sundays – before the rhythm starts – and used some simple software to put beats on, also some of the vocalisations in the clip set in the software – ‘heys’ and ‘yeh babies’ etc. I wouldn’t normally remix a piece in that way. The story of the vid is quite linear – about washing up and the link between the kitchen sink and the bowl of water and the water flowing through the Saxon Mill in Warwickshire, but maybe I’ll redo the visuals.
I drove down the M40 to Oxford through the rain listening to early 80s Harold Budd which sounded pretty good to me. When I got to St Anthony’s I parked badly in front of the house where James lives and the sound brought him out to meet me. It was a short walk to Jericho and we decided to eat in the classical former church where Laurence and I had a beer a couple of months back. James explained that only quite a small minority of students from St Anthony’s come from the UK rather than overseas. He has found a mate who did the course at LSE that he was wondering about taking. The drinking style at the LSE seems to have been quite determined, at least amongst the english students – although the majority of Antonians seems to be very sober.
We talked about the experience of shifting from the concentration of the Cambridge teaching/learning style to the postgraduate situation elsewhere where a wider range of subjects are covered with course members who have a broader range of discipinary backgrounds – which was what I found at Sussex. The first element of his course is history but he also has to do some politics and economics. The issues sound fantastic – was the soviet revolution betrayed and if so how? How did the terror come about? What did it mean to Lenin to be the leader of a process which he believed had emerged via a materialist dialectic based on a supposed scientific understanding? We talked a bit about Foucault and I mentioned Stiegler and the new fashion for ‘lawfare’ as a category of analysis – we also talked about the UK political scene. The food was pretty good too.
We walked back to St Anthony’s. I said goodbye and then drove round to the big carpark near Pembroke and slipped into the Modern Art Gallery. There was an installation downstairs by the Slovakian artist, Ilona Nemeth. The original was made from mud bricks made on an island in the middle of the Danube – this made me think of St Andrew’s the art-village up the river from Budapest which cant be far from the brick site. For the Oxford variant the bricks are made in the Chilterns.
I didn’t look again at the Kerry James Marshall upstairs but I bought the new T&H book on Black Art . I am really keen to know, for example what kind of thread might link Adrian Piper, KJM, Basquiat and Prince? There are 4 great early Prince vids as extras on the DVD I bought yesterday.
I drove back along the Evesham road and on impulse stopped off at the delightful valley where Mark Pavey rents a barn. Unfortunately he wasn’t in – or maybe he has moved?