Finished The Photograph As Contemporary Art by Charlotte Cotton. Small format paperback, but with lots of photographs. Written a little bit dryly, in the kind of repetitive style you normally only see in gallery descriptions. So-and-so (born 19**), subclause something about him, subclause does something something, in a jargon-adjectivey way. Still, you're mostly looking at the pictures.
After reading the Tom Ang "Digital Photography Masterclass" book, was interesting to see the contrast between magazine-photography and gallery-art-photography. The art side more often than not embraces the popular style of casual snapshots, wedding photography and so on. The exceptions often use large-format photography (films much bigger than 35mm) and often lightboxes for display, so they get very detailed images. So, there's very little of the elaborately composed DSLR shots that get uprated on Flickr and passed round the blogs as great photography.
Still, refreshing to be able to page through hundreds of photographs without seeing a single one with half the fucking depth of field out of fucking focus you fucking wanker.
It's loosely categorized by groups, some of which make sense. Not in chronological order so you don't get much sense of any trends or progressions in art.
Overall, moderately interesting, but not essential reading.
What I'm Watching
Saw Jason Statham action sequel Crank 2: High Voltage on DVD. Has some entertainment value, but not as good as the first.
I think the original did a good job of been just over-the-top enough. In trying to amp things up for the sequel, they went over-over-the-top.
Also some of the humour seemed a bit half-arsed. I'm sure the Carry On writers could have come up with a funnier name than Poon Dong. Ti Ni Dong? Poon Fo Mi? Maybe I'm just missing the reference, since Poon Dong seems like just two somewhat rude terms randomly strung together.
What I'm Watching 2
Watched the Ian McKellan Richard III. Excellent adaptation, very cinematic, with tanks, planes and practically every Thirties-built landmark crammed into shot somewhere.
Very ruthlessly cut: even the opening speech skips over many lines. Gets rid of the awkward same-word rhyme of "To entertain these fair well-spoken days" and "And hate the idle pleasures of these days" though.
Thought one of Ian McKellan's observations was particularly interesting, that Richard III never actually kills anyone in the play: just gives the orders. One of the things that keeps the character tolerable enough to keep watching.
Well worth a look if you haven't seen it.
Economics. Battle of the letters: 60 economists reject the spending cuts 20 called for. (I tend to side with Krugman: if the original 20 economists had actual models backing them up I'd take them more seriously, but I don't see why they should have a psychic ability to predict the animal spirits of the markets).
No financial exodus from City to Switzerland. Bar chart of social mobility by country: interesting that the Italians are up there with the Anglo-Saxons. Kaletsky: little differences between Lab/Con on deficit.
Articles. Dubious ego epidemic article (via). How diverse is opinion within the Tories? (Wondering if Cameron's open primaries are because he distrusts his local activists). Channel 4's turn to represent a far-right organizer as an average supporter. (Next: average housewife Harriet Harman reveals why she's voting Labour).
Video. Live Avatar Role Playing.
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