Rats. Sorting my pictures into genre, this was meant to be a post on the new blog, screwed it up. Sticking them online helps me actually pay attention to them and learn but as people were subscribing to Byssus Threads was really bombarding peoples feeds as I just spit stuff out.

Called it Byssus raw when I set it up but then scurried off and listened to Television. Pictures are just really mundane, the day to day world I actually live in. I form my thoughts walking the streets, watching the ebb, flow and movement around me and absorb it into other things. Stick it online but its stuff I like, I seem to be quite selfish no regard to create an audience just a need to think dream and create.

The every day mundane world of Byssus, Marque Moon 

Find it odd that I am separating photography up into genres were normal with the more historical ethnographic research I pursue as another form of fun and relaxation, I don’t recognize any division between subjects.

Important I think to make sure I have a genre where I am just relaxing and having fun, not thinking and just getting lost and absorbed. Not worked out what that is, but seems important at the moment to separate materiel out. But a more arts based creative side, way to go with this aspect I think. So one more blog I think needed. Its the day to day mundane stuff I can draw on from here, I like what I am doing to be based on observation, and I don’t need to think consciously about what I am doing to do this.

I may as well list the other two, Being Out Of Time, has all my night shots, which I really enjoy, the title is not some gloomy thought of mortality, its a reference to the dreamy, out of step and absorbed world I live in and a strange experiment I once had to take part in learning to move within multiple discordant rhythms and movement. A place you have to go in mind to be in time in such situations. Most demanding exercise in movement I have experienced, took months, some serious swearing from a disgruntled group of performers, as once one person went out of sync would ripple through the room. Serious mind work out as well as body to get into that flow and move through it.

Byssus Threads  I think I will keep this for occasional stuff that represents finished projects.

Photography been confusing as it started to bleed into other things. I started it simply to stay healthy, deal with issues of a physical illness and its effect on mind, the fact that life is more impermanent than it ways has never been a concern, not a difficult thing to accept, its the small changes to body and movement that seem to cause the worst havoc as you’re sense of self changes. Despite the fact this subject was one of the areas I was studying before becoming ‘a patient’ was still surprising to see its effects in action.

Training I had as a teenager, for years every day you exercise in movement and are taught to related it both to observation and how you learn you’re craft. It just becomes apart of you’re life, something you do each day, movement, observation and thought are all integral and related activities for me. Noting tiny changes in how I moved and watching them get worse was a real cluster fuck and interruption to that processes. Particularly at first, but you grow use to changes thankfully.

Why photography as I move from mindlessly taking photographs to begin to have some infant understanding of the processes involved is so relaxing. I seem to be using the same part of mind to take pictures and nothing interferes here. Or at least that’s what it feels like.









Waiting (Technologies of the Self)


Wondering how good a photographer my cat would make. I Like this shot but it did not work out as intended, I wanted to be a few steps back and also wanted to see if I could sync the people walking in the distance on the left with the traffic to create different patterns and perspectives. Idea came while standing here must have been trying to do it in older shots without thinking about what I was doing, spot it sprang into mind.


Unfortunately, I don’t move so fast, I am standing in the middle of the road, lights are about to change and off shot is a rather large line of traffic, heading in my direction.

I could not resist the ensnaring light and had to take the shot very very fast. She is waiting, relaxed and at ease, I am about to try to make to the light at speed. It was looking like a seriously inviting place to be seconds later.

Learning lessons in photography, you never know where you will be when it happens.

Not liked the idea of investing in a tripod to cope better with night conditions, happy taking rough and read shots as I am still on an early learning curve. Pick one up at some point, work out locations where I have lots of multiple movement, see what happens.

Oh no thinking of tripods I seem to be speaking in a demonic French tongue. Never fully agreed with that particular voice from the past and never understood post- modernism, I seemed to be reading something else. Not a label I would be fond of embracing but I am not fussy when it comes to reading or feel the need for ideological purity in thought.


Unfortunate Car Crash Involving A Frog

 Sharing Space with A Cultural Elephant

I promised to write a some what simple but finished article on frogs, which should have been done by now. Largely because I thought the research was finished, its was a relatively simply exercises in ethnic difference and the use of symbolic objects in a highly charged and violent atmosphere. I have a tendency to play with words, this is not a take on religion but the way the natural world is mediated symbolically for social and cultural reasons. Unfortunately experimenting with a camera and late 17th century experiment with optics resulted in something interesting. I appear to have been thinking without focusing much in mind and appear to have been doing something anyway without having to think fully about it. With no frogs to shot in Edinburgh I appear to have been doing something with vans instead. So no words but I have a much clearer picture of what I need to do.

Need to start in the late 17th century but I have some work to do as aspects of this, not thought fully about for ten years. Formed my last presentation in a a more formal world of knowledge but the part dealing with this did not deliver very confidently being trained in medieval history mostly early the jump to 17th century was uncomfortable and uncertain.  Just starting to come back to the surface now, a result of having to deal with something new, photography is proving distracting but interesting.

Well that’s my excuse anyway.




The Druids Temple: Old Aberdeen January 23

Time and the Ordering of Things: Letter to John Aubery

“I thought myself obliged to make some apologie to you for my long silence; which was occasioned first by my seeking after & waiting for information’s, and afterwards by the duties of my function. & other incident occasions by which I have been so busied or diverted, that I have not been able hitherto to digest those materials which I had collected for an answer to you’re letter, into anie tolerable order, & sett them to paper……”


J Garden to J Aubery,169 2/3 (need to double check the date, original style of dating in the letter 1690-3)



Momentary change in walking, looks up scans, scans surroundings,  move on. Fast and fluid.

Spent a week really looking through last 8 months of shots for first time. This set is really where the first basic observation on the differences of environment between the 21st century and the late 17th century hit. Relaxed day on the streets, everyone enjoying the city. The everyday activity of viewing objects could have very different consequences in the late 17th century its a far more anxious city.

Look at this in the next post (ed. in a future post in detail), through the eyes of late 17th century administrators, watching as these objects drawn from sight, spread through the city like a virus or contagion. It also raises a question in my mind in relation to metaphors used to describe such things perhaps they are also situational and drawn from a particular anxious perspective related to social class?

Whatever, reminds me of why I live where I do. Serious political uncertainty in Scotland, the future is a complete unknown here, yet these events are unfolding in a relatively tranquil and relaxed city. Time has moved on.

By The Sign of A City: Man Transformed At Superdrug



Been taking pictures for around 8 months. Been thinking and developing a few things for fun. I have been taking shots but never had to think about what I was doing in words or even think much about what I was doing. Got to improve my knowledge of how a camera works (next to zero) but with a limit to how much I can walk, finding locations that I can shot and keep an interest in over the long term is useful. Having an imagination is useful here as walking the same routes can get really boring.

But I am also interested in how my dyslexic mind remember things, it seems to outsource memory and folds them into other things and objects, which become many things. The way I revised for exams in medieval history and to retrieve ideas without effort was by staring at a slightly more dramatic picture like this (which already contained ideas) and simply layered in more thought.  Picture was a mental one drawn from a highly symbolic scene in early medieval Literature.


Van In Altered State


Of Forgetting

Been walking about Edinburgh thinking about a series of optical experiments carried out on second sight in the Late 17th century. These experiments lead to the first scientific investigation in regard to the customs, manners habits and sense of humor of the Scottish people. This late 17th century investigation into the manner in which objects are draw on second sight is a fascinating example of the relationship between ethnology and psychology in the late 17th century.

Thinking about these things in a very different and contemporary situation, can’t help sensing when reading these old documents and letters that these explorers of vision are not simply investigating but also negotiating with each other. They are attempting to see if they can share and experience a sense of humor. Can an  object still be drawn when its sense of humor is contrary to common sense?

At the heart of this exploration of elves, fauns and faeries and plants animals and people in the late 17th century seems to be an understanding of the importance and politics of negotiation and difference when it comes to exploration of these worlds. It is not simply a philosophical and early scientific exercise in ethnology; it an unfolds in a wider context of political instability and unrest between Scotland and England and second sight was an aspect of mind subject to administration and a matter of social and cultural concern.

Walking around with a camera and thinking about these very late Renaissance ideas on vision is giving a useful sense of perspective and offers a new means for me to experiment with these old ideas on second sight. The way these ideas formed in Late 17th century thought as a route to understand peoples sense of perspective and relationship with their environment. It helps sense what they are and some of the things they were thought to be.

One of the most significant differences is in environment both physical and cultural. Was while taking pictures was the first time I directly linked both subjects. Walking about in an urban relaxed environment is very different from the turbulent world of the late 17th century and the visions of Scottish experimenters recording their encounters and perspectives from within a very different, yet strangely familiar Landscape.

Pressing the button on the moment when two activities, a late 17th century world and a modern one started to form differently in mind and focus.