It’s old news now, but Prime Minister David Cameron was asked on a late night US tv show if he knew what Magna Carta meant in English. He didn’t and had to bluff (Guardian). An acquaintance told me about an overseas visitor who thought that Magna Carter was the lady in the green dress in … Continue reading
Apparently Mount Everest is so busy during climbing season you have to queue to get to the top. (See Mail Online article.) Some people prefer horizontal pastimes (eg swimming), but there’s something irresistible about verticality. TV producer and scriptwriter Russell T Davies famously employed “the vertical chase” in his Dr Who episodes. Characters are pursued … Continue reading
Who can resist colour! Colour provides a metaphor for pleasure, health and vitality. Spring is colourful; winter is grey. The world of the child is supposedly bright with innocent colours, compared to the dull tones of old age and decay. But don’t efflorescences of colour also indicate contamination, virulence and toxicity?
Much smart computing these days depends on the idea of the index, the ability of a computer process to look up data from a table. What seems to the user of an Internet search engine like an instantaneous search through millions of web pages is in fact very fast lookup on a series of indices … Continue reading
In an essay about architecture, the philosopher Jacques Derrida focuses on the importance accorded by architects to concepts of home, dwelling and hearth, the nostalgia within modern architecture for a centre, an origin, a set of primary principles, an ordering, including belief in the sacred origins of architecture. He also notes how architecture aims for … Continue reading
In his article Archive Fever Derrida suggests that the desire to preserve information is in some way a symptom of an inbuilt and unavoidable desire to destroy it. Drawing on Freud’s concepts of the pleasure principle and the death drive, Derrida argues that an information store (archive) on the one hand involves a desire to … Continue reading
David Hockney sends digital paintings of flowers to his friends by email. These are pictures he created on his iPhone and iPad. Some of these images are now on show at a gallery in Paris (Fleurs Fraîches at the Fondation Pierre Bergé). It’s pleasing that artists of his stature can embrace new technologies and explore … Continue reading