Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Doubt Box - Roni Horn

Doubt Box - Roni Horn, originally uploaded by peripathetic.

I opened Doubt Box by Roni Horn today. And I am unable to express the first experiences inside it any more precisely than this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mean time

24 hour clock, originally uploaded by peripathetic.

This clock, at a gate into the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, unusually shows the time on a 24-hour dial. It has ticked its way — without stopping, we hope, as this is the home of Greenwich Mean Time — through many different times, and many happenings in the world have existed somewhere else while these hands have moved forward at their precisely regulated pace.

From last Thursday until early on Monday afternoon, the mechanism measured the time that contained the stay of my friend Adrian and I in Greenwich. I was there for my usual Spring visit, and Adrian was along for the ride and his first visit to London. He was very excited. The hands didn’t speed up one bit.

There was an evening at The Wapping Project — a converted hydraulic power station on the shore of the Thames — where we had cocktails among the slowly-rusting machines, marvelled at skulls lined up in neat rows on the walls of the coal store, and squeezed our way inside a tiny greenhouse outside to hear a young writer with a voice with the consistency of soft bubblegum read wonderfully from his work with a cardboard box over his head.

There was the first true Spring morning of the year for me, a new, exciting light pushing around the blinds, and the air in the garden was warm, and in the sun really gloriously warm, and we got our Winter heads all flustered wondering what to wear to the Japanese Garden later on. There was a dead mouse found behind the cooker by the cats, and retrieved by Willie. There were wonderful friends to catch up with. There was the night when Adrian disappeared.

And, most hauntingly of all, there was the day when he reappeared, and stayed at home all day, and Jonathan and I wandered towards Tate Modern and saw there a captivating exhibition of Roni Horn’s work. It doesn’t matter who she is, so don’t worry about that. What matters, and is foregrounded in her wonderful drawings and photos and glass and sheets of gold, is time. And how you can look at something 2 times, and is it still the same? And how light strikes water over time, and is contemporary water really the same as older waters? Come to think of that, is our memory for water or light or looks any good? And when you have nothing to think about but time and weather, is Iceland the place to be?

Monday, March 09, 2009


From an msn conversation earlier:

Pete says:
It's not such a biggie, for our peace process, I hope. And everyone's saying it isn't. But all the same - and I don't know whether this is respect or shock or something more - Belfast city centre was noticeably quieter as I walked home today. Less people around.

Words fail me. I heard the news a couple of days ago and the first thought through my mind was - 2 young dead guys. Fucking hell. Second thought - are we THERE? AGAIN?!

Of course, we're not. But we've all leant forward in our chairs, here, a little. We just haven't stood up and gone in search of matches, candles and emergency supplies - or petrol bombs, thankfully.