Archived entries for Paris

shadow journal : max richter / tilda swinton

How enduring, how we need durability.
The sky before sunrise is soaked with light.
Rosy colour tints buildings, bridges, and the Seine.

I was here when she with whom I walk wasn’t born yet, and the cities on a distant plain stood intact, before they rose in the air with the dust of sepulchral brick, and the people who lived there didn’t know.

Only this moment, at dawn, is real to me.
The bygone lives are like my own past life, uncertain.
I cast a spell on the city, asking it to last.

Tilda Swinton reading Czseslaw Milosz, from Richter’s The Blue Notebooks

Turn Turn Turn (Ecclesiastes / Pete Seeger)

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to refrain from embracing and time to embrace;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, a time of peace, I declare it’s not too late.

W G Sebald
The moral backbone of literature is about that whole question of memory. To my mind it seems clear that those who have no memory have the much greater chance to lead happy lives. But it is something you cannot possibly escape: your psychological make-up is such that you are inclined to look back over your shoulder. Memory, even if you repress it, will come back at you and it will shape your life. Without memories there wouldn’t be any writing: the specific weight an image or phrase needs to get across to the reader can only come from things remembered – not from yesterday but from a long time ago.

synse : visual app

Paris at night remade as sequencer visual – kinda crude musically but something very new to soundscape apps, and thoughtfully done.

visual complexity

BBC4 : Rosslyn + Norman MacCaig

Rosslyn Chapel: A Treasure in Stone is narrated by the academic Helen Rosslyn – well she should know this one. Looks like she’s also doing a series on the Normans which makes sense as there is a strong connection with the french in the rosslyn/St Clar family. BBC4 60min film here

I’ll be doing something about the Glasgow Cathedral connection she mentions shortly – impressed by a new visit recently, with a quick recce round the Necropolis for auld time’s sake. (person who dropped the Fuji Neopan Acros 35mm film canister near the John Knox column – contact me here)

Norman MacCaig is the subject of a Billy Connolly biopic, upcoming soon on BBC4. I usually bypass these filet-o-cunningham “macho pertyck guys with sandy bell beer paunches wi’ fiddles an’ greying ponytails” big-up their mates, but this one might be OK seeing as it’s about the normal for a scottish poet MacCaig – the presenters go in search of Norm’s not-quite-hemingway marlin-del-scota in a wester-coaster shangri-la lochan in a hanging valley.

image below bbc4 screen shot : Rosslyn chapel roof couple

Leos Carax / Bowie

It’s all happening again in France, caught between the old (europe) and new (african) worlds – the Foreign Legion is back in another pointless escapade amidst the sand dunes and natural resource honeypots.

This french madeleine is associated in my mind with the cover of P C Wren’s Beau Geste and further recalled through the research of Scriabin (and Close Encounters of the Third Kind) and the russian symbolists / Der Blaue Reiter I’ve been attempting to make graphic design from in my other life.

Juliette Binoche is the source for the Dervla in the first chapter of Edinburgh Psychogeography. I see this person occasionally coming in the opposite direction at hope and bothwell with a smile on her face but she studiously ignores me – maybe someday we can play the mystic chord at each other in some Karen Carpenter-inspired interplanetary telepath.

polaroid sx-70 promo : ray + charles eames

The Apple iPad may be a magical device from Jon Ives but the Polaroid SX-70 slr had Land and Eames’ on the case – no contest. This is a delightful promo film (11 minutes) full of intelligence, imagination and gentle humanity – no hard sell, it is self-evidently useful.

The two cameras I feel most comfortable with are the rolleiflex 3.5F and hasselblad 500c/m. The SX-70, like the braunschweig and gothenburg inventions, is I think grokkable (silly word but useful signifier), as described by berg.

Thanks to product designer Saikat Biswas for the find.

Also, there may (or may not) be a polaroid-phoenix’d announcement at Photokina 2010 from the impossible project… there is a lot of interest in the format worldwide – there was a photographer who took large format colour images in the polaroid netherlands factory after they closed it down a couple of years back but having trouble tracing – will update.

More here – a photographer who made new york something else for me.

from Z to A is a scotland-based psychogeography and urban topography magazine featuring creative, critical, playful urban journeys

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