Dub Syndicate

Noticed for last six months or so a deep demotivate with study. Getting hold of a camera in some way I thought may help getting of topic. Did indeed, just thinking through issues involved in something new enough.De-focusing entirely and re-focusing somewhere else does seem hugely helpful. Proved rather useful last week chewing through issues surrounding co-ordinate movement and a sense of time in theater and music. Particularly looking at how these activities are monitored and continuity is maintained from production to production.

Deep dub night with science and culture in mind. The part of my subject that seems to cause me deep unease. When my subject does start to hit history of science and issues affecting contemporary science culture. Small part I had tried to work out a way of just stopping short but does not seem acceptable. I can identify one issue that is easy to resolve, with regard to material I have held off reading.

But issues surrounding Science and natural history in regard to cultural and social areas are novel and unusual for me. Often debate has what seems like some rather odd alliances particularly in relation to popular culture and belief.

Any way what exactly to focus on how to deal with the cultural elephants in the room. See what the rest of the night holds.




Pressing the Button

Camera has just sat on the shelf after taking a few pictures. As I have a tendency to do with everything not read the manual yet, no instruction books about photography ect. As at the moment it is somewhat clear to see.

I ventured outside for 5 minutes with in the back-garden. Point and click on auto, immediately learned just what a learning curve it is.

Starting to work  out how the camera focuses. getting a shot that seemed framed I could not do, give that one some time. Noticed immediately the difference light makes as one shot while pretty rubbish stood out as it had at least some more interest here. First one I took framing clearly the issue. Instant learning what the problem is if not how to solve it. Dreadful but condensation at least hinted about the way light is important


Still the same here but at least not so dark but I get the feeling I am sort of learning something and at least noting some of the issues. In the flesh the drying green and the architecture is pleasing in the picture it looks like the one the Estate agent rejected for the shop window.  But as it stood out from the rest I could identify light as making the difference but still can’t frame the shot. perspectives also seemed really weird but stick with auto for the next few attempts then slowly start to suss out how to operate it manually.

The space between me and the tenements seems greater in the flesh, Its not a vast distance away pictures too flat I think. Lots to learn, surprising weird issues to sort.


Toys seem to pose far less problems still away to go but was surprised how well the camera picks texture and as they do not look like the car-crash my first experience of the great outdoors was useful.


I even managed to look at this one for a couple of minutes and enjoy the textures in large size. Starting to see what these types of camera can do.


So, that was the first brief self- lesson. Clearly bit of a way to go but i seem to be able to at least detect some errors and issues. Its also fun just to have to think about new thing.

Was fun. An important part of learning and wanting to learn.

My Baby Eating Crocodile

Taste Receptors and The Development of Human Classificatory Systems?

All things yummy spinning through the Byssus universe at the moment. The consumption of raw flesh, blood drinking, disgust responses, natural law. Themes in folk biology relating to how the lines are drawn between human and animal or are not drawn and remain open and indistinct.

So a full blown picture of a favorite toy and a tentative post starting to focus on The Consumption of Form soon.

Trails and Tribulation

I said I would post the first pics I took with my camera. I should put in the disclaimer this is more or less the first time I have ever used such a piece of equipment. my first real wake up call that I am middle aged can be gauged by the fact I don’t like or own a smart phone and have never got round to getting a digital camera.

Camera should have been here some time ago. First one one went missing in the mail, second one the delivery driver tripped just before reaching the door (not a joke). Third time lucky it would seem. Fortunately it was ordered on line from a bricks and mortar store (cheaper online) so managed to get a replacement late on.

Took some time to actually work out how to take a picture. I think their may be some room for improvement but getting it work and actually managing to take a photograph of any sort feels like a major achievement.If I can apply the same learning curve to a craft activity I do know its calculated that you can learn the basic skill set in two to three years of training or around seven years if you have aptitude and learn on the job. I may prove to have no aptitude for photography but I have no dreams of doing it professional but I would imagine the learning curve may be roughly the same.

With regard to content my son noted “sad man takes picture of his toys.” My excuse is they did not move and the time it took to take the first picture a live subject may have gone to sleep by the time I actual worked out you had to press the button for longer than a couple of seconds. it would seem I also have a new thing to think about lighting, very low in here camera turned up after dark. So it was this or a coffee cup or some fruit in the kitchen. Saying that frantically trying to get it to work at first I would have been happy with anything. not the best time of year to learn to take pictures here cold dark with low light levels by day as well outside, but gotta learn.

Anyway here is the starting point in my quest to learn how to take pictures. The skill here involved working out how to press the button for the required length of time (I should really read the manual, it was a tense first ten minutes as everything seem to work and nothing happened) and getting settings on auto.



I love my Baby Eating Crocodile (blue thing with teeth in the background)

Hair Raising The Text

I just read a rather nice example of a dramatic feature in a play that has no real relation to anything indicated in the text itself.

David Garrick the great actor manager of the 18th century English stage had a specially made hydraulic wig that enabled his hair to stand on end when he encountered the ghost in hamlet. Wow! I wonder if George Lucas has one?

Give My Creation Life: Good Wives and Birdlime

The Lost and The Found

“Ive heard this story about a man called Somhairle MacDonald. He lived on the mainland. He was rich a rich man, he had all the money he needed. And he used to go out shooting. This day he had been shooting in the hills and he was coming home towards nightfall, and he sat down on the side of a knoll for a rest. And there wasn’t a breath of wind. What should he see but a wreath of mist coming over the top of the mountain facing him across the glen.

He had never seen mist move as fast as that, and this really astonished him when it was so calm. He thought it must be something unnatural. He had heard that shot would never harm an evil thing, so he went and put sixpence in his gun. And the mist was coming within range, and he could see a black shadow in the middle of the wreath of mist. And he fired of a shot at it and the shot went of and the mist…………

This is an older post that sprung to mind after this popped up in my inbox this morning courtesy of Jocylen Stoller

Neural activity in the brain is harder to disrupt when we are aware of it. Reporting an experiment where areas of the brain involved in visual processing were disrupted.

“Their research, published in Current Biology, used a well-known visual illusion known as ‘binocular rivalry’ as a technique to make visual images invisible. Eyes usually both see the same image – binocular rivalry happens when each eye is shown an entirely different image. Our brains cannot then decide between the alternatives, and our perception switches back and forth between the images in a matter of seconds. The two images are ‘rivals’ for our attention, and every few seconds they take turns to enter our consciousness.”

On first glance I can’t help noting a surface relationship and the topic of the previous post, on the way an understanding of wider context affects the way I perceive a particular image. Although here its the way the patterns just fit, but I would describe the experience as bringing the painting further to life and making the painting move, particularly in imagining the dynamic flowing between the participates and observers in the experiment depicted in Bird In an Air Pump. But even a surface relationship with no particular depth is enough to stimulate thought.

The follow on article setting images in motion improves perception would seem to have some implications in regard to the above description of the first encounter with the good wife.

Thought In An Air Pump:

Mind The Gap

Note on the hoof to be returned to, came across this at New Savannah, On Describing a Painting Was rather surprised with the painting itself rather than the points made it looks potentially interesting. It reminded me of the Bird in the Air Pump and the way I draw a particular metaphor into it. I don’t know if its in the painting itself or I am adding detail into it. In this instance where the origin of the thought and emotion lies is not of particular concern.


I know from reading the early experiments on the air pump that Robert Boyle was faced with a potential issue in his experiments on live subjects. To obtain birds he sent his servant out to catch them, in the first instances a gun was used to capture live subjects, Boyle was aware that the injury of the bird would have an effect of his experiments and wanted a health subject. His servants reverted to the old tool of the bird hunter, birdlime, a strong adhesive that captures pray live and uninjured. Birdlime forms the old metaphor of limed soul a creature struggling to break free of earthly desire. I can’t look at the painting without seeing the metaphor. I have no idea if the relationship was one the artist was aware of or indeed one the viewer would be. Anyone with the same educational background and interest as me may come to the same conclusion, independently looking at the picture or may not, who knows?

I find it pleasing to make the metaphorical link, I have no concern wither the metaphor was intentionally painted into the painting or not. It works for me in relating to the picture at an emotional level more fully. Sometimes thought and emotion have to die and become something else in order to survive and remain relevant in mind.

Anyway change my plans later in the week and pencil in a date with a few late 17th century objects, regardless of wither they existed in the mind of the painter I suspect the same thing may happen as with A Bird In The Air Pump and I will draw them in anyway as they help to think creatively and think more about the actual objects themselves and the firm contextual history that they do have in this period with regard to the subjects that interest me.


The Chase: Married To The Monster

I leave the triple breeds of Apes, those villainous mimics. For who would not abhor such a race, ugly to look on, weak, loathsome, evil of aspect, crafty of counsel? These, though they bring forth twin children of evil mien, divide not their love equally between both, but they love the one and hate and are angered at the other; and he perishes in the very arms of his parents.


Oppian, Cynegetica


The Noonday Demon (Acedia)

The plan this week to seek out classical descriptions of acedia, love-sickness and melancholia then a carefull look at certain repeated motifs that feature in narratives related to wild men, feral children and the man like apes of the late 17th century. To what degree do these things conform to classical notions of the emotional state of isolated minds?


The Mad, The Bad and The Dangerious To Know: Identifying A Monboddo

Thoughts turn to social stereotyping and the reception of lord Monboddo

“This faculty of understanding the living is, in very truth, the master quality of the historian”


Mark Bloch, The Historians Craft,


I take from Bloch’s words, that the art and craft of history depends on being able to hit the correct inflection with a story for a contemporary audience. To understand the emotions and contemporary issues that effect readings of the past in an attempt to cut through them (I am far from a master of this art).

Bloch wrote these words in 1944, imprisoned and awaiting execution by the Gestapo. Context is vital and i don’t find Bloch’s statement contradicts this observation. History is alive, it is a living breathing emotional being (drawing here in part from an e-mail I just sent).

edit. Add the term ‘historical horizon’ here and define it as a point in time in which a culture chooses to define itself and draw its cultural origin from. Its foundation legend. In British history this is a late 6th century battle in which one of the participants goes mad and flees to the woods in hairy form, his poetry will map out the future of Britain in prophetic form. An identity formed in conflict and loss.