Old clips given a home for videoblogging week 2009.
Château de Quéribus (map) is one of the Cathar Castles in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France – the Pays Cathare, or “Cathar Country”. Quéribus is sometimes considered the last refuge of the Cathars – perhaps where the Cathar treasure (the Grail?) was carried to, by the four Cathars who escaped the bloody fall of Montségur.
It’s an eerie feeling to have it all to yourself before dawn.
Suddenly this has turned into a text blog. Videos will return as soon as I get my face back.
I just had a wonderful three hour window from pain. And spent half of it transcribing a radio interview. Idiot.
Anyway, here it is. I typed it out because just before Christmas, Sull started a group called Artists in the Cloud, to discuss things related to online art, net cinema, etc. We’ve been talking about distribution models, Alternative Reality Games, live video streams of pre-recorded work – all sorts. I’ve been wondering how to triangulate the work we’re doing with trends and movements in the wider world (in art and society).
And tonight I heard something on BBC Radio 4’s art show Front Row, which I wanted to share with the group for that reason.
Since I’d done it for them, I thought I might as well also publish it here.
They were discussing the Tate Triennial 2009, which is called Altermodern – and were introducing the audience to the concept of Altermodernism. Read more
Shingles (tagline: This Time It’s War) is the sequel to the popular virus Chicken Pox. It turns out that after you thought you’d defeated the Chicken Pox in childhood, your body failed to blow it out the airlock. It crept into the ganglion of your spine, where it stayed, hiding, waiting, until (woken by an unknown force) it bursts back out of your skin and clamps down on your head and bleeds acid all over your face, eyes and nerves.
It looks bad, feels a lot worse, and can cause blindness. RA. (It hurts too much to RA louder than that). I’ve had two eye check-ups (including one from an eye doctor who feigned horror when he saw me and jumped back going “AAAHHH!”), and I think I’m clear on that front – but even without the cornea damage, the pain is bad enough.
The strangest effect has been on my brain. It’s attacking the nerves on the right side of my face and eye – which is controlled by the left side of my brain – and that’s how I feel: like my rational brain is in lock-down.
At its height, at the end of last week, I could answer basic Yes and No questions, but anything more taxing sent me into a panic. I couldn’t process simple tasks, or retain any information – even before they gave me drugs.
Anyway, the real reason for my post is not to whine about my bad luck. I’m now half Canadian, so my British whining is starting to be tempered by irritatingly cheery optimism. Read more
I created a 30 second version of this in August as a promo for a music festival I was videoblogging here in Cumberland. I put music over it and speeded it up to 8000x its original speed. But although the festival videos were well watched, this fell under the radar and few people saw it. And I think it lost some of its power being so compressed. So I’ve slowed it down a little – now you can see the outrageous colours and changes more clearly.
It’s shot from the balcony outside our bedroom. Amy gets up early, so I got to see a lot of spectacular dawns like this, this summer.
As the sky brightens, in the distance you can see the Coast Range mountains of mainland British Columbia and a small strip of the sea separating the island from the mainland. It’s a bit freaky, because Cumberland is quite a few miles from the coast, but our house is at the top of he biggest hill in town. On clear days, you can look out of our bedroom and see cruise ships on their way to Alaska.
(yes, my side of the screen is supposed to be silent)
this one has a bit of a story behind it.
5 years ago, we came out here to the Comox Valley for six months so I could finish writing a novel that i’d already been working on for a year.
it was about a young wannabe director who goes to America, visits movie locations and starts to lose the line between fantasy and reality. it was pretty funny – and I had a great agent – and everybody thought it was going to be a massive hit – and i fucking BLEW IT
i came back from Canada with the book unfinished and started working for my dad’s aluminium company. i blamed this on a car accident, which i said had stopped me writing. really though… (i’ve never admitted this before) i could’ve finished it if I’d just fucking knuckled down and applied myself. but there you go. 18 months and multiple thousand quid down the bog. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
then we had Amy, three years passed. the aluminium company went bust, and i went freelance (same thing, more or less).
but before i got properly lost in freelance hell, i gave the book one last shot. i flew out to San Francisco by myself in november 2006 to revisit the movie locations i’d been writing about. the idea was that i’d write and videoblog while i was there – the sights and sounds would fuel a reimagining of the story – and i’d return with a vision of how to tie together all my unfinished fragments.
instead i just lost the line between fantasy and reality.
so these clips have been sitting unwatched and unedited on my hard drive – a bit too guilt-inducing to open – until now. life is a bit more back on track, we’re back in canada, i have a good steady job working for someone i like and i’m starting to feel like i can write again… so i reopened the box.
i haven’t looked at them all again yet, but i have clips from movie locations all around the san francisco bay area. if you like this and want more, let me know and i’ll hack some of them together.
i’ve also just installed the AddThis plugin, something i’ve been meaning to do for a while. so if you like a video, you can easily add it to a social bookmarking site like StumbleUpon or Delicious so other people can find it, too.
and the answer is Yes, this really was shot in Room 773 of the Cathedral Hill Hotel (map), formerly the Jack Tar Hotel, spinetinglingly unchanged 32 years later. and if you haven’t seen Coppola’s (and Murch’s) The Conversation, then what are you doing still reading this? you should be on Amazon or Netflix buying or renting it.