Flash Fiction | To Die For


You went too far this time. You took yourself to the edge and yes it was going to be an amazing shot. A 3,000 instant likes on Instagram shot. With who knows how many more as it went viral. Shared by friends of friends of friends. You with your hair blowing upwards like someone had turned you upside down. Floating as warm winds from the thousand foot drop beneath buffeted the cool air higher up, carrying each strand on its turns. Silky corn locks in the performance of a lifetime. Your smile. Those eyes. Centre stage. Spot lit by canyon sunshine. The world your back drop, adjusted to fit the frame. This would be the one that would get you noticed above all the rest. The one that’d get you the following you deserved. I can see you stepping up and over the safety barrier. Anticipation of the soon to be experienced outpouring of praise drowning out any thought for what hazards the real world might have in store.

It was going to be the best shot ever. A selfie that now no one will ever see. Your camera phone smashed to pieces at the bottom of the ravine. It’s parts all mixed with yours. The sun sets and a shadow creeps over the rock. Far below I can see your SIM card twinkle. Your hair splayed out around it.



Inspired by the Internet#1

This evening I took a moment to revisit a favourite radio 4 series by researcher in all things digital Aleka Krotoski and found this [see below]. It’s sparking a blog post series that I am naming Inspired by the Internet and will consist in the sharing and archiving a collection of creative visual, written and audio work that has been inspired by our online lives. We’re only touching the tip of our creative responses to the multiple and nefarious ways that we are being shaped by our digital technology. No longer simply a tool to perform tasks, technology tells us something about our world as it is now.

We’d be fools not to listen hard.

[oh yes and I LOVE this poem.]

Poem Looked Up On Google Streetview by Ross Sutherland


And in a related article – a digital artists has noticed some curious anomolies in the steet view captured process. Google’s inner surrealist is out!




Future Library first novel in progress

I love this project from Scottish artist Katie Paterson: Future Library Project. What an honour it would be to be one of the invited authors. Margaret Atwood is such a fitting first contributor and even such an established literary figure as her  feels delighted to be taking part. The idea of commissioning an author a year to write a novel that will then only be seen in 2114 when it is published on paper made from trees planted a few months ago is simple and prompts the ‘that’s an obvious idea’ response when first heard that all great ideas do. Of course someone should do this.  It’s a creative and almost magical celebration of the imaginative life of books and the power of libraries as exquisiste collections of all that the human mind is capable. A perfect artwork as its form matches it concept ‘deliciously’ – a word Atwood uses herself to describe her involvement. I only wish I could be around to see it’s realization. But the fact I’m wont somehow only heightens the project’s allure.


Stress Re-leaf

B19 Terrace Garden Narcissus viridiflorus 197401832A

Stress Re-Leaf – interested in the therapeutic value of nature and music?

I am. Made a film. Tomorrow. Cambridge. At 5pm.

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens – Voicing The Garden Project

No More Decisive Moments – Just Stream

Thinking about Networked Images and how snapshot or popular photography has changed the way we produce and consume images in this era of cameraphones, photo-blogging and global sharing, this article is a fantastic introduction to the subject offering historical context and many useful references to further research in practice and theory work.

A LIfe More Photographic

Read it and then consider these questions:

What is snapshot photography? Describe its key features.
How has the Internet changed the nature of snapshot photography?
How has the move to screen-based photography transformed the way we take photographs?
How has the practice of photo sharing or photo blogging re-instated the ‘marginalised practice of looking at‘.
What does Lev Manovich describe as ‘a new paradigm to interface reality’ ‘? Why is this significant for understanding the networked images?
Have we lost the ‘decisive moment’ in photography? Substantiate for your answer.
What implication does the artist Paul Frosh’s ideas about stock photography have for networked snapshot photography?
Elsewhere the internet has been described as a ‘network of desire for wealthy countries’.  How might this be considered in light of Rubenstien’s/Sluis’s understanding of ‘the rhetoric of personal photography’.

Be great to know what you think or post any related articles of interest.

Why Not Enter The Twitter Fiction Festival?

Twitter are launching the first Twitter fiction festival November 28th. WHy not try your hand at some twitter fiction. Learning to write engaging stories concisely and with impact is a skill every fiction writer could do well in flexing. Think of it as your time in the writing gym, shortreps that will build the necessary writing muscle and craft for tackling any of those bigger projects you have promised to do one day. Oh and you stand a very good chance of completing these

the wired article here adds some interesting comments of how this kind of fiction might well reshape our ideas of what fiction it and how we read it. it also has a bunch more links that are all really interesting.


RIP Robert Hughes – Nothing if not accessible

There was a time before Robert Hughes when the why’s and wherefores of 20th century art where known only to a few. This time may henceforth be called BRH [Before Robert Hughes]. His flag ship BBC series the Shock of The New[1981] and subsequent book revealed the people, ideas and discourses going on in works that shaped and responded to the last century in a way that was exciting and accessible. Although Hughes brand of art history/criticism was populist I suspect this was a matter of pride for him as he cared about people knowing just how great and revolutionary in ideas this art was. He cared more about this than the derision that was sometimes levied on him by the art world establishment – including many of my own art history lecturers at the time. He was an outward facing, media friendly expert in a time when these were a rare breed [John Berger a notable exception whose seminal 1972 TV series of Ways of Seeing [+ book] which I still recommend to my undergraduates]. But perhaps it was the bigger issue of the changing face of the academic and their engagement with public life that engendered a peak of snobbery even in the early nineties – a decade after the programme aired – when I was still an undergraduate.  I certainly found his approach spoke to me in a way many of the other historians/critics didn’t. After absorbing much of Shock of The New I sought him out again later in life and his collection of writing Nothing if Not Critical [1990] nurtured a life long personal, deeply emotional connection with many artists and their work. Hughes informed and fuelled an enthusiasm for art – for thinking about it, living with it in a way to which I continue to refer and feed off to this day. RIP RH.