Weak two of 2021.
For 24 hours I have been phone less. In isolation this provides challenges. No camera, whatsapp, instagram, twitter. At least I made the decision to be off grid, unlike the soon not to be President of the United States.
The phone has expired, defunct, “is no more”, “has ceased to be”, “bereft of life, it rests in peace”. (Monty Python: Dead Parrot Sketch). This is an ex-phone. It no longer springs to life at the tap of a finger. The screen now displays a laptop and usb cable icon. For 24 hours it has not woken. For eight hours it has also displayed the apple support url while I discuss with helpful support agents in many locations, how to bring the phone back to life. Agents begin with confident directions to get it back into operation as I provide the error notification numbers. As the day goes by, they become increasingly frustrated leading to escalations up the support chain. Finally, the landline phone I hold in hope goes dead. The time has come to accept that the 18 month-old, iphone xmax “is no more.” A first world problem I know. In discussion with my savvy son an order is made for an android device. The first time in my mobile owing life that my phone will not be an apple. How will I fair?
Positively, reading has been uninterrupted by the call of the phone. The day has been relaxed. Perhaps the next phone should be turned on and off to a schedule to reduce unnecessary anxiety and enhance focus.
36 hours on and it has arrived. This is the reality of Lockdown ‘accelerated order to door consumerism’. Should it be opened? It sits in its oversize polythene package enticing opening. I will finish reading first. Joanna Love. ‘Drawing Dust.’ from Drawing and Science a recent journal from Intellect Publications: Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice. Vol 5 Number 2. Edited by Catherine Baker featuring a series of position pieces and project reports Including from Garry Barker, Harriet Carter and ‘Drawing Ed Ruscha’ by one Edward Turpie.
1950-17 US Photography influences
I will continue to read ‘LEAVE ANY INFORMATION AT THE SIGNAL’, a collection of writings and interviews with Ed Ruscha that illuminate the artist’s artistic thought processes and add to my understanding of the 1950 – 70 period of American visual arts. There are regular references to Rew–shay’s adoption of photography for various purposes from his early seminal books of sunset strip and gasoline stations that are bereft of cluttering human presences. He makes a telling reference to his rethinking of the value of photography on seeing Robert Frank’s Americans and cite’s his admiration of Walker Evan’s documentary photography. One can imagine Rewshay seeing Evan’s photographs from Farm Security Administration projects of store fronts and being affected by them aesthetically with their ‘straight on’ representation of location and prominent typographic signage. He might have seen Evan’s series of photographs of a roadside stand near Birmingham Alabama: F.M.POINTER’s ‘The Old Reliable’, ‘HOUSE REMOVER’ with its ‘FISH, LAKE FISH’ and ‘SPECIALS’ large and regular size painted/printed signs all in one storefront. Or the Filling station 1929, with massive lettering: CARS GREASED – MOTOR SPRINGS OILED – AUTO BODY SQUEAKS RE[PAIRED]. And the 1930 Truck and Sign photograph of the Globe Electric Sign truck picking up the massive typographical sign : “DAMAGED”. Walker Evans Anthology.
Evans was a champion of Frank’s work as he was of Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus.
Photographs at midday Brum@12
There is a fisheye mode on the Pixel phone. It require 36 shots to create 360 sphere.
Lest we forget
It is tough to be back in Lockdown. Acting collectively as a society might stop the spread. The vaccine(s) may generate a degree of protection, but if we all did not mix we might stop it sooner. Looking at the countries that adopted strict all holds barred lockdown it is clear from the data, that this is the way forward even if it is anathema to libertarian values. There is a downside to to the libertarian argument: there were no masks in the storming of Capitol Hill. And there were few national guardsmen stopping the far-right rioting, unlike last summer when BLM protesters peacefully made their views known.
The ‘Numbers’ unfortunately speak for themselves.