i watched an interview with mick jagger (off cock sucker blues). he was telling a journalist that the manner in which they recorded exile on main street was the fashionable manner of that year and that’s why they recorded it like that. he may have been talking bollox, he probably was talking bollox – he seems to like talking bollox. i don’t understand it, maybe i understand it a little but only in a very abstract sense. it doesn’t make any practical sense.


weightless iii

sight is complex.

judging weight and distance is (or becomes) automatic… but frequently becomes suspended due to cultural pressure / habit.

there are plenty of situations where our kinaesthetic sense, our peripheral vision, our integration into the world, which we ‘see’ is subdued or deliberately challenged. attention is drawn away from smell, taste, touch & peripheral sight & sounds.

[architecture has become very successful at alienating to create an impression (or awe perhaps), inducing stress to create sensation.]

a space is primed with massive amounts of energy and the observer / participant is forced to relate only to what is presented, with no relationship to its life before or after, nor able to act upon the stimulus….

the illusion of weight when there is none, in mimicry, can & probably will be disorientating…



(this post owes a great deal to ‘The Eyes of the Skin’ by Juhani Pallasmaa.)


The romantics were prompted to seek exotic subjects and to travel to far off places. They failed to realize that, though the transcendental must involve the strange and unfamiliar, not everything strange or unfamiliar is transcendental. The unfriendliness of society to his activity is difficult for the artists to accept. Yet this very hostility can act as a lever for true liberation… ..Both the sense of community and of security depend on the familiar. Free of them, transcendental experiences become possible.

A painting is not about an experience. It is an experience.

Mark Rothko.


what is common or mundane can look or be made to look strange and unfamiliar. but still, that is no guarantee that it will be transcendental.




finished this sketchbook.

exciting times: traveled up to the lake district & saw the castlerig stone circle and blackwell – arts & crafts – house (and some epic scenery). passed through leeds & popped into the henry moore institute and leeds art gallery. am now in cambridge; today i wandered into kettles yard and the fitzwilliam museum…

lots of different art made for different reasons (some obscure) & presented in a multitude of ways… for a multitude of reasons.  some of them obscure.

from my perspective, the traditions in painting did not come out too well. very few make any sense – are dull or painfully pretentious.

[with the exceptions of cezanne, sickert, vermeer (for being odd), turner, blake, rothko, keifer, wallis,  bacon & rembrandt, – on this trip].

am flicking through a couple of books. one on mark rothko and another on anselm keifer.

the images used to represent their work are laughable – there is no way they can be conveyed as 2d images,

but that is how they are presented.

weightless ii



the weight in figures is created through tensions. with or without the space about. giacommetti and bacon would use frames to manage composition and spreading harmonies across the page or pulling them out of the centre,

(as examples)

according to needs.


am reading about architecture and peripheral vision. can visual ever be purely visual? can it exist in isolation?

can’t see how that could be possible…


william blake saw his drawings as bodies of spirit, their weightlessness coming from their source – vision. mystical vision as taught him by his guides.

this is also a very practical concern.

the way life drawing is taught – or can be taught – is that the body on the page is not a body in free-fall & therefore needs the ground beneath its feet & the space around. it’s not true though, while a figure does need balance & weight, a drawing exists according to its own rules.

a figure on a page is therefore free to embody spirit…

desert iii

All my life I’ve been harassed by questions: Why is something this way and not another? How do you account for that? This rage to understand, to fill in the blanks, only makes life more banal. If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence.

Luis Buñuel

it takes a great deal of skill for a person to write about them-self and make it anything other than tedious.


the self is such a clutter of rubbish. it can’t be taken seriously. there is nothing to take seriously.

bunuel would write jokes & send them to charlie chaplin.

the humour is what makes the difference.

talking to a friend  about serious versus insipid art, serious after all insists on good jokes whereas insipid might simply come across them by mistake. it is easier to manage insipid art, you know where you stand with it.

for me bunuel is the great exponent of psyche art, dream art – i don’t trust surrealism, it’s too obsessed with being pedantic. bunuel is funny.