Thursday, April 16, 2015

Responsive sites or vacant lots?

Something is surely happening to the internet that, in the opinion of an amateurish web designer and professional ranter, is contributing to the advancement of the slow death of culture.

Regard the recent "amelioration" of the BBC news site - it is virtually void of content. Responsive websites are all the rage - rage, rage against the dying of the light, or just the machine? I have tried to create a responsive website but the one size fits all is all form without substance and then, even so, has very little form. Websites are about two basic concepts; communication and aesthetics - responsive sites are concerned merely with function. Whilst this is all well and good in the concrete world, function and utility being essential, it is pointless from a human perspective in a virtual world. The functionality derives its purpose from the limitations of our tiny tablet and phone screens and not "our" needs. Everything is being reduced to a button (virtual) and a video clip. Information is no longer being read or presented. It just is, as though this is a criteria for verity. Back to the BBC and in catering to the morons of the facebook age their new site looks more like a "wall" of cat and rap videos to like..

If we lose the art of reading we are well on the way to losing the art of reflection and understanding. Video clips of news events may be "entertaining" but it is passive, and boringly so.

Of course, I could be mistaken and this is all camouflage; our new cultural prescription to inform the masses without their knowledge. The question this must pose is that when does the camouflage itself become so good that we only see what is presented and not that which is hidden. Have we become like predators of the chameleon, seeing only luxuriant leafy vegetation and no meat? This raises the question as to whether this cultural camouflage hides so well its content that the content itself ceases to exist if it is not to be perceived...

The internet is a fantastic tool to inform and liberate most of us and yet it is becoming an empty façade for banality and emptiness. The debate about form and substance has long been left behind, along with both the form and the substance. If we are not careful we shall soon be left with an empty shell, a complete cultural void. The chameleon may have to adapt to the changing environment but if that environment no longer sustains it...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Foetal Floods

It has been raining since the weekend and the road at the bottom of the ravine has disappeared. It always disappears when it rains, and then it reappears. This is, possibly, a metaphor for something profound; the myth of Sisyphus or Camus' last dog-end. All that torrential rain wantonly destroys and yet it leaves much beauty in its wake - if confounding water with a ship is somewhat an inside out metaphor.

So, it was here amidst the detritus of Haliba that I discovered where rocks are born...

Just how something so poignant, moving and aesthetically pleasing could be born out of such violence is either a result of feverish anthropomorphism or Nature's manifestation of some Bakuninian urge - or just maybe it was something I recall from childhood and a Golden Syrup tin.

Lost in nostalgia of a sweet tooth long decayed I'm still struggling with the desire to create pictures, photos, or whatever, with texture.Well, if music can speak and poetry is some ineffable non-verbal form of communication in the guise of verbosity, surely, photos can have texture and they can be ultimately sensual at all levels.

... and poignant:

At the end of all this, if one is wondering just what happened to the road - it is probably drifting somewhere out in the Indian Ocean; along with my reveries and desires.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wet, wet, what?

There's a certain joy about rainy days that revolves around cake. I have no cake! Please send cake...

... and then we get back to colour. Or, should that be illumination? Beauty, a sense of the aesthetic is dependent on light and this is probably why many people make love in the dark.
The joy of being out in the rain is sensual, especially when it is warm, it is agreeably so.

Wet illumination is far from being a damp squib..

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Sailing a pea green boat upon a wooden sea in a world turned upside down

Of course, writing about the Datura without a photo is all but unforgivable. So, if the mighty Datura was to turn its gaze upwards what a fine goblet it would become. Sterile perhaps... A good reason to open one's soul to the earth, let the ego without and the Earth within...

As for the title, should one go East or West?

... and to think that the sky never gets to see just what is hidden within the depths of that great pendulous blossom whose perfume only comes out at night to seduce the unwitting and torment the unwilling.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Absurd

There is a certain absurdity about the tropics and it is a certain absurdity that one would do well revel in. Firm and fecund follows alongside foetid and futile. A tropical flower is often a beautiful allegory to life. A life that forever aspires sun-wards, reaching and grasping for the unobtainable distant fiery firmament but in its maturity creates a sensual beauty that turns earthward and, like the divine weight of a breast in the palm of the hand, is tactile symbolism of all that is not us and our brave attempts to know the other, to feel as the other feels and to transmit those fleeting, Faustian fantasies that make life what it is, or, at least what it could be...

We could equally be talking about the Datura (OK for the pedant it would be the Brugmansia, but datura sounds better!) that poisonous "Angel's trumpet" which is most kaliesque in its beauty:

Racines and romance

The datura hangs but does not drip.
Its flowers, not the living wax of the poet,
But the trumpet of death.
Why would a flower so full; buxom.
Why would a flower, fully fecund like that, droop drearily to the earth?

Because we are to conditioned to believe that all that is good is up.
There is only one down and that is hell.
The earth is dark, dirty and damned
So, damn all those that find life and reason there.
Damn all those that cannot up lift their faces
And receive the blessings of a god on high.
Damn those that would seek their own identity
In the roots; the very earth of their creation.
And have the courage to rejoice,
Shouting their defiance at a jealous god.

Damn the datura for its presumption.
Damn the datura for it is free
And its beauty betrays its freedom.

Perhaps, these are not trumpets, they are amplifiers
And their scent is their interpretation of the life that caresses their roots.
The language of the flowers is not some nonsensical Victorian sentimentalism.
The language of flowers is their scent, their colour, their tactility
Each one speaks to us in its own language,
Each one describes in its own way the experiences
Of its deep and intimate relationship with the earth,
The Earth.

Each element of creation speaks
In its own manner, by its actions
The scent of the flower,
The song of the bird,
The breaking of a wave.

What then is human society
A dying testament to our relationship with creation?
…and we amalgamate all these mutated half-lives,
These narcissistic fancies and call it society
And that must be protected at all costs....

Monday, February 02, 2015

More grey...

For the last decade everything has become grey. From shades thereof to waxed concrete we are creating an absurd and anodyne dualism that is reflected in our moral perversity. Happily, there is far much more to life than the baying of the herd, the black and white cattle of humanity, who will, one day block up the windows, block out the sun and...

... fortunately, fail.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shades of grey

So just what is the difference between colour and black and white ? The former is more concerned with the interplay of light on the form. one apprehends the image in some hinterland midway between the eye and the image. There is a strange interaction of the eye reflecting the colour of the colour reflecting the eye.

Black and white is more tactile, it has more depth and is somewhat more brutal. it is about substance. These are the things that are and not as they seem to be. The eye is apart from the apprehension, alone it cannot comprehend. We need to touch the image ...

But, after all, they are but images. Reflections on perception that should inspire one to seek form and substance, that sensual connectivity, wherever one can.

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