HTML blog archive February 2004
nic walters asked me a while back if i could photograph howies' new t-shirts in selfridges, because they weren't on their website yet. so i went to selfridges yesterday with my camera and photographed the hand-painted wardrobes rather than the t-shirts. there was another wardrobe that said, 'this wardrobe, like junk mail, remains unopened' - but at that moment a member of selfridges staff stopped me taking photographs without a permit from the press office, so this wardrobe remains unphotographed.
i had a coffee and thought about this business of permission to take photographs, in a blog age. the ono photos were taken inconspicuously in case i got stopped - even though there were no notices forbidding me and no-one to ask. artists get concerned about reproduction of their work, misrepresentation, misappropriation, which i understand. selfridges are concerned about publicity and image, and about brand stealing - their environment is full of controlled branded goods and displays.
whereas alt worship is a movement, and movements want to disseminate. and blogs are about show and tell - for people who can't possibly come and see but who might be inspired.
so who blogs selfridges? if selfridges had a blog how could it not be an exercise in corporate PR? why create one of the world's most photogenic stores and then prevent photography? since everyone steals images [via phones, tiny digicams] why try to control?
Yesterday i went to yoko ono's exhibition 'Odyssey of a Cockroach'. More photos here. Kind of gruesome but good.
from tonight's grace, a new way of dealing with the structures of psalms: psalm structure twister
there's a new version of philip yancey's 'what's so amazing about grace', which takes extracts from the text and interprets them pictorially and graphically. The creative director mark arnold was kind enough to send me a copy. it's a sumptously produced little paperback in full colour with lavish photography and complex typography. this was a lot of work, i said to mark. use it as a devotional book or worship resource. you can see some of the artwork here - nice site though it takes a few minutes to download on a modem. in fact this piece of flash would make a great worship resource in its own right [though please don't steal it].
and from v2, this article on sacred space is worth your attention.
Cathedrals are airports... In the proper frame of reference, to enter them is to cross a threshold and be taken somewhere else, just as surely as I do when I board a jetliner. That's what I mean by "sacred".
and V2 is my favourite blog in design terms atm. this is what a revised small ritual would look like. it's not just the restraint and elegance of the template, but the consideration for standards and accessibility. the colour scheme works for those with visual impairments, it's available in a large type version with one click. exemplary.
my inferiority complex entry below has now drawn three supportive/sympathetic emails!! thanks. i was just having a down moment, and as i was blogging i thought i'd blog it. maybe you should look at some of the stuff that provoked it, like this and this, not to mention this...
i fixed the music problem:
#1: franz ferdinand are joy division mixed with blondie mixed with pulp. jarvis cocker singing heart of glass. happy happy joy joy division. the first proper british pop record in, oooh, ages. in the tradition, out of nowhere it seems, certainly not out of pop idol. a hook a minute. party like it's 1979.
#2: air/talkie walkie - the songs of moon safari with the soundworld of 10,000hz legend - lovely of course. sure to be cropping up in the background at alt worship services any time now. 'biological' maybe in the foreground when you're next considering the human body or that bit that goes, 'i am fearfully and wonderfully made'.
i often feel down looking at other people's blogs. i feel like i'm just good enough to know people who are that bit better.
i shouldn't be seeing it as a good/better scenario. i'm just competitive - need to be the best, or i have nothing. at least that's a drive that gets things done, even if they're never really done because there's always something else out there. all classic bullied kid stuff.
i haven't updated the music list on this page for ages [as if you cared]. i haven't bought much recently. i listen to music at work while doing boring CAD drawings, so my mind can be somewhere else, but my current role is all meetings and phone calls and breaking my head over things, so... no music. which probably doesn't help my psychic state.
jonny baker just handed me a printout of kester brewin's forthcoming book on emergence and the church. i'll say more when i've read it all, but kester's pithy and nicely savage turn of phrase is evident from the start. i have to quote some:
we have become a party unelectable. the faithful on the ground try desperately to talk policy and engage in debate with voters, while the party leaders fall out and back-bite and point fingers and romp in cupboards.
it's that 'romp in cupboards' i so like.
this from a chapter called 'advent', about waiting:
the truly free, the brave who truly seek god, will always have periods, commas, full stops, punctuations, pregnant pauses, breves and semi-breves of silence where those around them are given the freedom to walk; given space to deconstruct structures, to reimagine and rethink. blue-sky thinking cannot happen while we rush around under thunderclouds of busyness. "we must bear fruit", christ tells us. but outside our genetically modified, globalised supermarkets, fruit trees only bear fruit once a year and then their branches are stripped of leaves in the cold winter of advent.
kester also suggests that we might insert blank pages into the bible between say malachi and matthew, or at matthew 1:26 - mary's nine months of pregnancy:
perhaps we should insert blank pages between these unpaginated moments, pages we would have to turn so that our thoughts might turn too and consider these punctuations, where god stops and waits before birthing something new.
and, quite randomly dipping into the pages,
we are born pre-programmed to find a nipple and scream if there isn't one.
little time to blog - work work work. the boss has cancelled all staff leave, is asking people to work weekends, and is hiring more people in haste. though none of them are to help me, just the other barclays site team. but it's all fraught.
my time at home has mostly been spent preparing for the student christian movement annual conference 5th-7th march. i'm doing two workshops on alt worship, and an alt worship service in the evening. so i had to write blurb for the conference programme by friday, work out what i was doing in outline, work out what equipment i'll need in addition to what the venue provides. time's running by so quickly now, and i have little energy or time during the week.