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"The man who merely at rare moments has this creative impulse and expresses that creativeness through…"

“The man who merely at rare moments has this creative impulse and expresses that creativeness through perfection and technique, surely you would not call him an artist. To me, the true artist is one who lives completely, harmoniously, who does not divide his art from living, whose very life is that expression, whether it be a picture, music, or his behavior; who has not divorced his expression on a canvas or in music, or in stone from his daily conduct, daily living. That demands the highest intelligence, highest harmony. He may express it on canvas, or he may talk, or he may paint; or he may not express it at all, he may feel it. But all this demands that exquisite poise, that intensity of awareness and, therefore his expression is not divorced from the daily continuity of living.” -Krishnamurti

- (via lapuravidagallery)
Aug 19

Every time I have my camera out, we have a little back and…



Every time I have my camera out, we have a little back and forth. Mum likes to pose and present her best face, I want to catch her just as she is in the moment. Hope she likes this one.

Aug 19

An open hardware 3D printer that you can have in your home? Today? For only $500? Be still my beating #sci-fi heart… http://ow.ly/2rN6H

An open hardware 3D printer that you can have in your home? Today? For only $500? Be still my beating #sci-fi heart... http://ow.ly/2rN6H
Aug 19

I hear that Twelve South’s Compass stand for the iPad will be in Apple stores through Europe by month end… Nice! http://ow.ly/2rbr4

I hear that Twelve South's Compass stand for the iPad will be in Apple stores through Europe by month end... Nice! http://ow.ly/2rbr4
Aug 19

Results day for many of my students… Wishing you guys all the best…

Results day for many of my students... Wishing you guys all the best...
Aug 19

DBA Further to the biodegradable pens – DBA does a biodegradable…



DBA

Further to the biodegradable pens - DBA does a biodegradable extensible notebook set, which ships with pens included. Reminiscent of my all-time favourite (New Yorkers with any reasons to send me gifts, take note) - the linkable three-level StartHereNY notebook. Wearing my stationery geek-cred with pride.

Aug 18

‘The Magician and the Snake’ by Mike Mignola and his daughter (7) – the most heartwarming thing you’ll read all day… http://bit.ly/bxS93c

'The Magician and the Snake' by Mike Mignola and his daughter (7) - the most heartwarming thing you'll read all day... http://bit.ly/bxS93c
Aug 18

"You know how I always hound students about their craft? Craft is love manifest." – Frank Chimero… http://bit.ly/bAX3wK

"You know how I always hound students about their craft? Craft is love manifest." - Frank Chimero... http://bit.ly/bAX3wK
Aug 18

“Everything needs more love. You know how I always hound…



“Everything needs more love. You know how I always hound students about their craft? Craft is love manifest. It’s that love that makes you reject hundreds of bad ideas in the hope that you can come up with something worthy of your subject. It’s that attention to detail that makes you want every little piece to be perfect.”

And:

“Look at it this way, if you’re so suspicious of slickness: slick is easy, right? It’s being rough that’s hard.” He smiled because he knew he was just speaking in opposites. “With slick, you don’t have to say anything. You can get away with pretty all day and most of the goons out there will lap it up. You don’t have to tell the truth, you don’t have to be meaningful, you can just have people revel in how slick that thing is and have them ooh and ahh ‘til kingdom come. But that’s dumb as hell, because you can only go so far with slick, right? It doesn’t lead anywhere good. Once it gets so slick and cool it stops feeling like a person made it, and that essentially eliminates any kind of strong, emotive message.”

Frank Chimero - The Back Side of Your Gullet is Decadent and Depraved, Part 3

Oh. Wow. Frank just hit it out of the park. Poetry students, take note. This WILL turn in up in one of next year’s workshops…

Aug 17

From 2005, I ran a photoblog by the name of Writing With Light….



From 2005, I ran a photoblog by the name of Writing With Light. It covered a period of experimentation through which I shifted from a Lomo LCA to a Pentax ME Super, and finally a Canon 350D.

Then I lost the love. 

Not sure when it happened exactly, but somewhere in amongst the relentless tweaking of Photoshop filters and actions, the lust for faster lenses and sharper images, I lost sight of why I was taking pictures. So I stopped. Goodbye, photoblog.

Except, of course, that wasn’t the end. I kept shooting, on and off - mainly documentary shots for the London Tap Jam. Somehow, I convinced myself that I needed an upgrade and traded my 350D in for a 500D (more megapixels! moving pictures!), took some documentary shots and video for a poetry project in Chicago and slapped a web portfolio together.

But the passion wasn’t there. 

Christmas 2009, two things happened that pulled me back. I got an iPhone (3G!), and a Yashica 124G. I’ve spent the early part of this year playing with the 2MP camera on the iPhone and while it’s been fun, over the past few months, the Yashica has overtaken it as my go-to tool for shooting. Sure, I’m more likely to have an iPhone in my pocket than a TLR, and I’m not giving up on “iphoneography” - particularly since there’s an iPhone 4 somewhere in my future. But the time has come to push this site a step forward. 

As of today, For Then & Ever More is growing up. No more limits. Anything I shoot with will be fair game. That’s most likely to be the Yashica and the iPhone, but I burned through a range of cameras before settling into these, and it’d be cool to give a few of them the opportunity to shine at some point.

Welcome to my photoblog.

No more exclusive focus on the iPhone, and possibly a bit more writing in between shots. Hope you don’t mind too much… 

Aug 17

Dear Singaporean students – if you were at one of my Free Word workshops, we made it into the newsletter… Sign up at http://ow.ly/2pnLZ

Dear Singaporean students - if you were at one of my Free Word workshops, we made it into the newsletter... Sign up at http://ow.ly/2pnLZ
Aug 17

Most Listened To (Week Ending 2010-8-15)

Most Listened To (Week Ending 2010-8-15):
  1. Dimlite (36)
  2. Dorian Concept (21)
  3. Mount Kimbie (17)
  4. Daisuke Tanabe (15)
  5. Sepalcure (11)

Powered by the popular Last.fm/Tumblr pipe by JoeLaz

Aug 16

Writing and Reading

Dear Denrele, 

Actually, I agree. But while (as a bibliophile) I find it hard to take a pen to any book I’ve bought, one of my most cherished books is a copy of Keats’ collected works. It’s my original school text, complete with notes and questions - a window into the mind of my teen-aged self. Those notes root that book in my personal history; they make that copy unique to me and my experience. 

My attitude towards books is changing. It used to be the case that I had to own books I wanted to read, even if I didn’t have time to read them. It was the potential that was important, having that body of ideas sheathed between book covers ready at hand whenever I wanted to dip into it. I have enough unread material to sustain me for a lifetime, and the irony is that it’ll never be “enough”. My reading eyes are always bigger than my stomach. There are always books out there to own. But with the changes in distribution, the rise of Amazon and even the Kindle and iBooks platforms, I don’t have to be so obsessive about the books themselves anymore as physical objects. Amazon, Kindle, iBooks - these have become my alternative my book stores. My wishlists and shopping baskets - these are my “to be read” shelves. 

If I’m honest, I don’t spend half as much time in bookshops as I used to. Where I used to love being surrounded by books as much as reading them, I’m now much more intensely focused on engaging with the ideas that those books contain. I used to spend hours browsing in Borders on Charing Cross Road, hanging out in the Starbucks on the first floor with a pile of books and magazines. I passed through that store in its final days - the mostly empty shelves, the half price signage - and it was a sad sight to see.

I’ll never give up on the “old school tech” of the book. And actually, I’m seeing specific texts become even more valuable. While I’m happy to engage with more and more of my reading as disembodied text on a screen (and the iPad is a desirable physical object in itself) there are some books I’ll always want to be able to pull down from the shelves - the real shelves - turn the pages of, and hold in my hand. But the preciousness I used to have? Yes, I often read with a notebook nearby. No, I’d never feel comfortable taking a pen to the margins of a text that I love. But I’m less averse to the idea of pencilling thoughts in whatever space is available - a conversation with the author, anchors for thoughts and questions. Making that book truly mine.

(Having said that, if I ever lend you a book, I want it back in exactly the condition I gave it to you.)

(Just kidding.)

(Kind of.)

[Written in response to a response to Ways of Reading by sshhh! This is a working library]

Aug 16

Southbank seeks Global Poetry Systems interns – develop the project and work with poetry online. More info? See http://ow.ly/2pj60

Southbank seeks Global Poetry Systems interns - develop the project and work with poetry online. More info? See http://ow.ly/2pj60
Aug 16

"The slowness of books, the habits of mind they build, Shteyngart suggests, may be a key to knowing…"

“The slowness of books, the habits of mind they build, Shteyngart suggests, may be a key to knowing what it’s like to be inside oneself, not part of the crowd or the audience or Twitterverse. “Reading is difficult,” Lenny says to Eunice. “People just aren’t meant to read anymore. We’re in a post-literate age. You know, a visual age.””

-

Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad Blueprint for a Post-Literate Future - Science and Tech - The Atlantic (via lapuravidagallery)

Added to reading list. And wait - this is the first book I want to own that exists on the UK Kindle store. Time to feed the iPad…

Aug 15

DBA 98 Biodegradable Pen  My pen needs have been serviced…



DBA 98 Biodegradable Pen 

My pen needs have been serviced exclusively by Muji since 2007, but this concept makes for an easy addition to my WANT list. Take note. Ha. 

Aug 14

"read with a pen in hand… both to mark the text you want to remember and to write from where the text leaves you" http://ow.ly/2ptCn

"read with a pen in hand... both to mark the text you want to remember and to write from where the text leaves you" http://ow.ly/2ptCn
Aug 14

If you’ve been to one of my tech workshops before and heard me mention Virb (or are looking for a new website) – see http://ow.ly/2p3Mx

If you've been to one of my tech workshops before and heard me mention Virb (or are looking for a new website) - see http://ow.ly/2p3Mx
Aug 13

Friday Thoughts…

I’m aware that I haven’t been taking enough time out to reflect on my experiences recently - always moving on to the next thing - and since my schedule has opened up a bit more for August, I’m enjoying the ability to stop, take a step back and review…

BACK TO THE FUTURE…

I grew up as a sci-fi and fantasy kid. These days, I still enjoy a good draw from the  ”speculative fiction” aisle, though I tend to lean more toward the sci-fi than the fantasy. Fantasy plots tend to fall back into the “hero’s journey” all too often: underdog discovers secret talent or power, which places him at the centre of a millennia-old prophecy, which he ultimately fulfils and gets the girl/dragon/sword/crown in the bargain. Yeah. I can see why they appealed to the bespectacled teen-aged me.

Of course there’s good and bad in every genre, and often a lot more bad than good. But I’m particularly drawn to visions of possible futures - technology and scenarios that aren’t a million miles away from potential reality. And, as a poet, there’s something about the way good sci-fi writers push language that hooks me in. I just finished reading Chris Moriarty’s Spin State. I won’t review it here - Russ Allbery has already done a pretty good job of that - suffice to say, in spite of it’s flaws, it was a great read. 

Summer book pile: one down. An entire shelf to go.

THE BRAND CALLED ME…

Lots of good stuff incoming - I’ll be a little more public for the rest of the year, with a couple of interesting residencies popping up in the next month or two, and a nice little set of performances/gigs planned. Which leads me to think about how I need to tune up my news channels (mailing list, website etc). Time to take a break from being a cobbler and fix my own shoes.

TUMBLR LOVE…

Speaking of connecting with an audience - time to spread some Tumblr love. I don’t often make a habit of hailing out new Tumblr followers (and that’s not because I don’t appreciate every addition to my follower count - anybody say free ego massage?), but every now and then, it’s nice to show some gratitude. There are some Tumblrites (or Tumblreeps? Tumblrers? Whatever we’re calling ourselves these days…) I’ve been following for a while who bring the good stuff to my dashboard, and it’s given me a warm fuzzy feeling to see them following me back (Everything in the Sky, Boyghost, Astroblemes, Lifeserial, Barisowa, PhotonFantastic… I’m looking at you). If every new follower is a slice of cake, you guys are cake and icing. Other recent additions (fire in the dashboard!) include Vanilla Breath, Communicatrix, Brynn Shepherd and Hello Aldrin

On that note, it’s been said before by others, but the dashboard really does leave a lot to be desired as far as consuming things goes. The “river of Tumblr” effect is cool for burning some down-time between tasks, but there are people I’d like to follow closely, and there’s only so much river you can take in before drowning. And yes, that’s what RSS is for [Or simply be more discerning when pressing that follow button? -ed], but where following is also public statement of letting a fellow member of the Tumblr community know that you dig what they’re doing, it gets messy. Even some simple “list” functionality a la Twitter would be useful (are you listening, o Tumblr gods?)…   

AND FINALLY…

Links to podcasts I’d promised.

New York Times Front Page
Buzz Out Loud
Poetry Lectures
Poetry Magazine
RadioLab (which I’ve probably mentioned a few too many times in the past few days, but what the hey…)

Right. I’m off to get better at taking a holiday. 

Aug 13

RT: @camdenlockbooks Readers expect writers to perform live [Guardian] http://bit.ly/bZd6f4

RT: @camdenlockbooks Readers expect writers to perform live [Guardian] http://bit.ly/bZd6f4
Aug 13