Repetition and the Entanglement Of Other Things

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In Mind and Out of Sight: Of Forgetting

Getting retrospective with my photographic history of late is getting somewhat entangled with my study of the wild man. One question regards the descriptions of emotions in the text. Never an easy issue to work out, why an emotional sense is deployed, descriptively, it’s relationship may lie in wider cultural concerns, rather than with an attempt to describe how a culture views its internal state.

See if I can untangle and note some correspondence in a somewhat mundane way.

I can’t say I have ever lost myself in a major battle and experienced vision of God resulting in complete transformation. I did however recently forget to buy a loaf of bread. I can also reasonable date that act to this moment when I became distracted by a lamp post just across the street from Scotmid supermarket.

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Looking at the shot retrospectively, its useful and I have learned something from it, how to deal with the rather flat lightning conditions that are common in my environment.

I don’t need to note where the shot was taken, it’s a useful location, I wont forget it. The memory is further reinforced by humor. Returning home I edited this shot and remembered in a flash that I had forgotten the bread. A fact my son would not be to happy about.

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Second Sight of an Object. 

Laughter reminded me that my act of forgetting was directly related to becoming absorbed in my environment.

Absorption is the emotional state that my medieval texts focus on as a point of transformation of self, they also display an interest in alterations to the visual processes and relate it to memory.

Its a form of sight that throughout its history has an intimate relationship with the negotiation of identity.

In early modern Scotland the exploration of these ‘species’ of sight and sound with their distinctive altered sense of time were viewed as potentially leading to a new branch of philosophy. A project and a potential wealth of empirical data, lost to the renegotiation of identity in this period, as such subjects were not within the vision of the new, emergent empirical sciences.

Its identity would be forged in the forgetting of such things, memorializing and catching sight of it only in its laughter.

Trained in ethnology in the frozen North with its entangled relationship with history and psychology, I have a distinctly Scottish sense of humor in regard to the subject, as it is a part of who I am and where I come from. The history of my subject.

Who’s Brian Did I Put In The Digital Camera?

Lurching On Topic

Going to alter course to a degree and conduct some rough experiments on myself.

Getting distracted as the environment I live in and my experience of it at the moment, is comparative enough to some of the questions and issues I have addressing the question of how a historical narrative is formed.

I was looking at the material hoping I could develop a better sense of how ethnicity develops between the 9th and 12th century. Playing around with the sources I noticed they seemed to have the potential to explore concepts of self, although their appeared to be something of a fault line in the material, as the some what fixed perception of time, placed constraints and limitations on the ability to have freedom to move with thought.

Checking through secondary material on medieval concepts of individuality, the pattern matched. Useful working cold with a high degree of ignorance and suggests the subject was not just a latent potential that could be creatively found but was a contemporary line of thought.

Extending my search further I started reading papers on contemporary psychology and time perception and abruptly stopped.

Presented with an issue that seemed cheeky as I am not a psychologist. I had an almost perfect surface pattern match with medieval material and thought. Whats going on? Am I confusing and tangling two very different lines of thought having little experience of the subject? Is the relationship direct and the questions are old and ongoing ones?

Not sure, but I can take an organic approach and see how things play out overtime and see how I can find away in too relating with and understanding the subject better.

I have to deal with a distraction first before looking at remembering and memory, forgetting.

My messy dyslexic mind is causing me no end of laughter at the moment, as I noticed the relationship it has both with some of the pictures I take and the environment I take them in.

Its the relationship between perception of time and perception of environment I need to understand better, aspect of the psychology I found the most difficult to understand.

So before looking at perception of time and remembering, I have to untangle my own perception of self, which is partly built on having no sense of the tick- tock of the clock and a relationship with an environment formed by my highly developed ability for forgetting.

Being Relentlessly One Thing

P- Zombie P- Angel

Photographic zombie shot, being a photographic zombie rather than a philosophical one  I will leave it to that particular branch of the walking dead to ask if my digital camera has had an experience of its environment and one that I as a non -digital camera can perceive (whats it like to be a bat type issue?). The hard or not so hard issue of consciousness.

I can certainly pattern match, somewhat relentlessly consciously or more often than not unconsciously. So I get to chew through some texts this morning looking for light and heavy features in the bird like characteristics of the wild- man. Not thought about it before but looking retrospectively at the last seven days, I appear to have been very busy not thinking about it all week and playing with a pattern.

Swift moving, an entirely fluid creature of flight with a heavy rotten soul. Shapeless, unsightly, of a contradictory form and nature.

Gives me a creature with a medieval sense of humor and a distinct 18th century sense of the potential for being reasonable.

Its habit of transformation leave’s it well suited for long- term survival and adaption within it’s environment, the debatable lands and margins of thought.

In This Else of Somewhere

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Time In This Space

I am moving soon, the ever-present, limited space I shoot in is altering rapidly becoming somewhere else. Still a space to become lost and absorbed in but its shifting from becoming a site of forgetting to one of remembering. A marginal space that’s altering in form and is starting to fill with a sense of its past in this present.

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Future Eaters (Meanwhile Back In The 12th century)

The Inconsistency of the Dead 

Geoffrey of Monmouth

Gerald of Wales

Jocelyn of Furness

Three figures listed in chronology, three generations of thought on the wild- man. They take me through the 12th century.

All rather different from each other, Geoffrey pulls the subject in to a new trajectory one still familiar to modern readers the world of Merlin. Gerald here becomes a creature of tradition a position Geoffrey had to later adopt in later life , at the close of the century, Jocelyn will attempt to eradicate the story completely, leaving it in fragments.

I seem to be contextualizing and generalizing at the same time, in a way the British material seems like a dead end. The motif I need to link the medieval material with later history and the world of man like apes is missing, it will appear in continental sources and will under go a further alteration. Merlin is moving well away from my intended target, but demands explanation.

The general theme that seems to be drawn out of this period is inconsistency and movement. The pure product has gone crazy.

I can’t determine to what degree these differences are the result of the slow moving institutional need for a consistent pattern or more the result of individual situation and location. Things will lie in the balance and within the negotiation between these things.

An object of retrospection, creatures on the margins are always going to be inconsistent and given to dispute, such is their location. Boundaries are by nature subject to dispute, by one side or its other.

When I can find the time will look at when Geoffrey met Gerald and the demonic offspring that resulted from the encounter.

Fortunately with both Gerald and Jocelyn there have been two recent treatments by historians that I can dip into in the future.

Major study of Jocelyn is particularly welcome, he was a prolific writer responsible for a number of influential saints lives. The study is however horrifically expensive in print,  need to demonstrate some patience, do some ground work and pick up a copy at the end of summer. One text I don’t want to read in a research library, to much noise and distraction.

To Color A Surface

Front and Back

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Shot of the view from my kitchen and a shot of the street from just outside my front- door. Two testing spots I use for the days light level before moving further round the corner.

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White Van In Transit

Synchronized Swimmer 

I seem to have recovered from my giant photographic huff. I am still l an infant in photographic terms, unable to identify the emotional aspect of learning to take pictures and its effect.

Earlier in summer I went out on the one official day of sunshine we have in the frozen North. It was good fun, but I am just not use to shooting in full sunlight.  I completely mucked up, dealing with light and shadow, while shooting, I did identify the issue as soon as I returned home, so learning something but I was keen to get out on the next sunny day.

That never came, its been restlessly overcast here, with high tenement blocks and all the color sucked out by the light, I was not optimistic about being able to take pictures. In past years taken some remarkable dull shots in these conditions.

Basically I wanted the environment to bend itself to my needs. As that was not happening I embarked instead on an extended photographic sulk for a couple of months.

I know not to do this with study, always inevitable that you will internally synchronize material and bend it, but you resist the urge and try to identify emotional bias. Patience and practice revolve these issues to a degree.

So aware of the wider issue but was unable to relate familiar working concepts to something I am not yet familiar with.

I think I may just have just started to learn how to run with the environment, a somewhat colorless space at the moment and let it shape the picture.