Well that was very silly of me, at my age it is not a good idea to wait a month before trying to write about what I thought and did, so I think this might be a rather short post.
Anyway, like most of the rest of the world I duly trooped along to the Matisse exhibition at Tate Modern. There were some things I quite liked but overall I felt a bit underwhelmed, I suspect that when the he originally started using the paper cutting technique it was quite shocking and perhaps as a result thought provoking, but years later it is nice to see the famous ones but for me at least not hugely thought provoking or nice to look at.
The bit of the world that bypassed Matisse, largely children, seemed to head for Digital Revolution at the Barbican. The exhibition started with a nostalgic (for me at least) look at early computer gaming/graphics/synth stuff. Apparently this is called digital archeology. Nothing like seeing people marveling at the primitiveness of a technology that you experienced as truly cutting edge to make you feel like a fossil. Mind you the speed that technology seems to be changing it seems possible that you may not even be able to have this sensation in the future as technology that is now less than 5 years old already starts to look dated. I had hoped there would be rather more digital art, as it was it felt a little more like a science museum exhibit with lots of buttons to press. I know that no one reads this blog but if by some miracle some one with any kind of influence over the way things are curated is reading this – please, please halt the rise of video explanations of exhibits. Honestly they really don’t work and they cause very tedious queues as people wait to see if there is anything interesting that they should be watching. Surly there must be a way of using smartphones to perform this function if it is really necessary. However, I did really enjoy watching (not participating obviously) the The Treachery of Sanctuary exhibit:
Maintaining a positive slant, not sure how long I can keep this up, I finally got to visit the Deal Timeball Museum
I had expected to enjoy the visit but it was actually even better than I expected with some really interesting exhibits explaining signalling and in particular time signals. If you are in the area and it is open I heartily recommend it. In case you are wondering, at 13.00 precisely, triggered by an electric signal from Greenwich the ball drops. I should have had a video of it to post unfortunately my watch didn’t have the precise time so when the ball dropped I was still fiddling around with my camera trying to get the exposure perfect. In the past, the ball dropping was used by sailors to check the accuracy of their clocks before embarking on long voyages. If you knew the time precisely then you could calculate longitude. This is all explained , though time balls aren’t mentioned, in the excellent Longitude by Dava Sobel
So given the emphasis on time some vaguely related songs:
When I was young it seemed like my mum was obsessed by this, at that age doing or watching anything more than once seemed like an obsession. I saw this Casablanca on the big screen a couplle of years ago and was really blown away by how good it was.
I really like Little Dragon, can’t claim the cradit for discovering this as it comes from James. It is a pleasing thought that as I enter my dotage I should be supplied with new music by my children.
And finally one of more my recent discoveries Saint Motel – slightly worried that there are distinct echoes of Wham in this but how can you resist old fashioned pop songs with brass in them?