My fitbit #Fitstats_UK for 7/18/2013: 6,938 steps and 2.9 miles traveled. http://www.fitbit.com/user/26H6PZ
Have you ever heard the phrase “life imitates art?”
It is a concept called Anti-mimesis which is a philosophical position which is directly opposite to mimesis, which is the proposition that (in a nutshell) art imitates life. Anti-mimesis is a concept that was highly favoured by Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. It has been around since ancient greek times when it was proposed by Aristophanes and it is a concept that is normally applied to classics and fine art having an influence on the way people live their lives and the way people perceive their surroundings.
It is also a concept that I have been thinking a lot about recently…although I confess I did not know the term anti-mimesis or the history of the concept until I decided to write this blog. I have been considering it in conjunction with vastly different concepts to the artistic and poetic ones espoused by Oscar Wilde, but I think they are concepts that hold true to the ideal. I have been considering this:
To what extent have science fiction writers of the past shaped our present? Well, not only early science fiction writers of the past but writers who are still writing excellent books today, but who wrote ground breaking science fiction works 15 – 20 years ago. The concepts and technology in some of these books seems almost common place when read now. Some of it has permeated so far into modern life and language that it is almost unbelievable that within living memory it was futuristic, far-fetched or unheard of.
I have plenty of photos to choose from that are influenced by sci-fi / cyberpunk culture, here are a couple of very different character:
These photos are an illustration of the influence Sci Fi has had on my thinking, but I suspect they are better examples of art imitating art rather than life imitating art (art imitating art happens all the time…it is affectionately known as inspiration). So what am I talking about when I refer to modern sci-fi writers influencing our present?
Think about the technology in the world around you, and consider how much of it has been influenced by the episode of star trek the inventor watched as a child, or the book they read.
Mind you…there is a large degree of it happening the other way round too…so possibly life imitates art which imitates life which imitates art. Before you know it we are stuck in a mimesis – anti-mimesis cycle and have lost the ability to figure out where the original influences came from. Which is, I think where this blog ended up with a tiny tiny brain explosion on my part. This explains a) a lot about my brain and 2) why this blog has been in the draft section since October!
It is worth looking up 🙂
Is it true that to be an artist it is enough to say “i am an artist”?
I mean obviously you have to do some art too but how much and how good does it have to be to call yourself an artist?
This is a photo of a photo i took some time ago, but i have recently been playing with transfer printing images onto fabric using acrylic gel medium. i am in the process of incorporating these pictures in to other works that involve other fabric and paper and collage…
I am just about comfortable enough to call myself a photographer…but I have no background in art apart from an appreciation of it given to me by my mum. I have no training, no ability when it comes to drawing stuff that is supposed to look like something and no idea what I am doing.
I can create things…this much i am sure of, i have created things and made things all my life, but is this enough? as an engineer and scientist I find myself annoyingly pretentious if I say that I am an artist… especially if I add the words mixed media into the mix.
To say that I am an artist, in my eyes elevates me above the stage I am at…but someone once said that in order to become something you have to become it…or words to that effect,
in other words, don’t just try to be something, be it…
but is calling myself an artist, and doing artistic things enough?
How do I know if I am good enough?
Sorry if that seemed a little self indulgent…It was just something I was thinking about…any opinions out there would be welcome…
wt if i woz 2 strt riting lk ths in mi blogs wud it p u off?
Well it would me and it does when other people do it. The question of “text speak” and the proliferation of abbreviations is one that has irked me for some time. I am aware it has been the focus of many blogs / articles / heated debates over the past few years, but this is my blog, so this is my take on it. It has risen up in my mind at this time because of a comment someone made on Facebook Yes I know Facebook it not a pillar of virtue when it comes to correct spelling and grammar, that is part of my point but I will come to it later. The comment in question was made after a misspelling and a correction, whether the misspelling was intentional or a typo is immaterial right now. The comment was:
“I knew what you meant, you spell it how you want”
Well…If only someone had told me that was how the English language worked now!
Phew! I was worried there for a second, but it is ok, there are still rules and official spellings and such exciting things as apostrophes and semi-colons to be used when using the English language as a means of communication. The problem is, it appears there are more and more people out there who either don’t know the rules or don’t care about them. I know languages develop, I am aware that we no longer use the English of Chaucer or Shakespeare but this is no excuse to throw out the rules (paper or electronic) and accept a free for all of poor spelling spattered liberally with random punctuation or, even worse, no punctuation.
Just in case people decide that I am somewhat sanctimonious and deserve to have the quirks and foibles of my writing style deconstructed, I am not claiming to be perfect. I am merely stating that there are rules to be followed and they are not optional.
Text speak, born of necessity, has now become an unnecessary annoyance in the world of smart phones, with unlimited free texts and a wonderful process called concatenation which can reconstruct text messages that stray over the 160 character limit of old. Don’t get me wrong, one or two abbreviations here and there do not do anyone too much harm, but relentless shortening of words not only detracts from your message but causes people to want to pull your arms off and beat you with them.
I fear I am loosing some of my eloquence and descending into mindlessly violent imagery so I will conclude this blog here.
SO here I am, all fully transferred to the blog-site that is WordPress! I feel sure I will never be as prolific a blogger as I appeared over the last 3 days, after all 52 blogs in 3 days would be quite an impressive feat! that is not entirely the point, however but it does relate. As I have been transferring my previous posts across it has struck me that there are some recurring themes running through them. Not least of which is the idea of taking responsibility for your own actions. I feel I need to say a little more about this today, and extend the concept to not only taking responsibility for your own actions, but for your life. The inspiration for this post comes from a situation that a very good friend of mine has been in recently, it has now been resolved and that story is not mine to tell but the idea of someone taking advantage of my friends make me angry. So in keeping with tradition, here is a picture of my friends:
I am lucky, i think, that I surround myself with friends and family who are descent and kind people. They would go out of their way to help me if I needed it as I would them. It is beyond my comprehension tha there are people out there who would take advantage of this nature to further their own selfish needs.
I have spoken before about choices and about filling your life with as much as you want to fill it with in a conscious manner rather than coasting through life asleep. These choices are as much about taking personal responsibility for yourself and your life as they are about hobbies. Every one of us chooses they way our life goes at some point. There are some situations that are beyond our control, and sometimes the actions of others have an indelible effect on our own life, but there comes a point (for the most part) where you can choose whether you will let these actions steer your whole life or whether you will actively choose to move beyond them and make yourself into something you want to be.
There are times in most people’s live when they are put in difficult situations, either through choices they have made or through the actions of others. The measure of a person is not how they get into these situations but how they deal with them. It is at these times that there is the temptation to blame other people, make excuses and expect the world to give you everything you need. This is where personal responsibility come in…it is here that you have to stand up and do everything possible to help yourself…If you have to ask people for help, then make sure you are doing as much or more than them to help yourself.
I am attempting not to rant, I am also attempting not to sound like I am telling you how to live your life. I will instead ask you a question about how you would prefer to be though of.
Would you like be a person who has the respect of others, who people could help with the certain knowledge that you would do the same for them?
Would you like to be alone with the knowledge that your excuses have driven away your friends?
Would you like to be embittered by the belief that everyone else has done you wrong, an embitterment made worse by the fact that deep down you know you have no one to blame but yourself?
I know the answer I would choose and I know that is why I will continue to live consciously and choose the way my life goes.
Originally posted 3rd October 2011
Wow…blog number fifty two…if that had been in one year it would be pretty impressive… as it is fifty two blogs is good going for me whose previous attempts at blogging have run to may be two or possibly three posts at a push! So you could say that this small achievement in the blogging world makes me happy…which neatly shoehorns into my point for today which is happiness. (yes I know..tenusous link…but you should be used to that by now)
so happiness…is it the elusive goal at the end of a rainbow or are we just looking in the wrong place for it? Is it the be all and end all and once we get there we will get our happy ever after…well that is what we are taught isn’t it? Movies with happy endings, fairy tales where cinderella marries a prince and they all live happily ever after…we are brought up to believe that it is a Disney world and if we endure enough hardship and talking furniture we will eventually battle through to our goal of a “happy ending”… so…the news flash is…this is not how it works…now…I am not going into a cynical anti Disney blog or even a face up to the harsh realities of life blog, I am actually going to propose that we start looking somewhere else for our happiness. Starting with my photo…is was a tricky one to pick…a photo of happiness so I chose one that made me happy when I took it and makes me happy now:
This little bird makes me happy, seeing her and her other little bird friends is a small thing that makes me happy…maybe not for ever…but for the duration of me watching the birds on the feeder and that, my friends is the point!
Happiness is not a destination! We need to stop making our happiness conditional on other peoples actions, or on material acquisition or meeting a set of requirements. It doesn’t matter whether they are self-imposed requirements or imposed by society, there are a lot of people (myself included at times) who base the measure of their happiness on something happening…how many time have you heard (or thought) “I’d be happy if…I lost weight, or If I had a new pc, or if So and so would be my friend or stop complaining or something”
It is time for a new outlook…happiness is a mood…it happens at different times and has different triggers…and yes there are different degrees of it just as there are different degrees of sadness and they won’t all feel the same, I think we just need to get better at recognising them!
Having a great husband, taking a great picture, or seeing a bird on the feeder or someone liking something I have made or just being reminded that another person is thinking of me…these things all make me happy…sometimes for a few minutes sometimes for longer. None of these things stop sad things happening or stop some work days being rubbish…but they do counterbalance them!
If we looked for the positive in things a little more often, if we searched for and fond the little things that make us happy as well as the big things then we might find we have a lot more happiness in our lives…at least a lot more that we recognise!
It could be something as simple as a smily face made of buttons or, text message from a friend or a really good breakfast but look for the positives.
It is easy to remember the negative, easy to write on Facebook about all the bad that is happening and all the little annoyances that we face. If we looked at the other side of things and searched for the good then we might start believing it a little bit more. It will not take away the big badnesses that happen…but it might just make the days better.
Ok…I know…it is easy to say, but hard to do…but it has got to be worth a try!
So today the things that are making me happy are: Morris dancing practice tonight, and the giant dough buns I made last night.
As well as that the single watch I am wearing is bright yellow…in contrast to my black and grey outfit…that should make anyone smile.
Originally posted 1st October 2011
Just when you thought it was safe to venture back into the realms of posterous…here I am again! Or to put it another way…I know it has been a very long time since I last put anything on here, in fact this is the first post of 2012 and it is October already! Well I hope the return is a welcome one…although in reality I suspect there are not a lot of people actually reading this…maybe I should dedicate some time to self promotion…possibly but that is a subject for another day.
Well…Enough of all that and on to the real reason for this post..actually it ties in to the reasons why my blogging has been sparse recently. I have been considering “doing things” yes I know that sounds a little vague…I mean actually getting up and dong all the things you talk about doing, or just doing things you enjoy rather than wasting time but claiming you are too busy. The photo to go with this is of something I have been making recently
This is my Art Journal…it is a book I am keeping and decorating which I am filling with reminders of things I do and things that happen. The journal its self is not the focus, but it serves as an illustration of my point, which is about not wasting the time we have.
If you want to do something whether it is art, cooking, learning to play a musical instrument or building a replica of the starship enterprise in your garage, don’t just talk about it do it! I am a firm believer that, for the most part, the only thing stopping people doing things is themselves!
It has recently been pointed out to me that I have a group of friends who are high up on the scale of doers…I mean they do things, they fill their time with interests and pursuits that they enjoy and that they want or need to do. Is it just me who thinks this is a better way to be than living without experience, it is surely better to say “I am going to…” or “I tried…” than saying “one day” and “I’d like to…but I can’t”. Now I am not talking about filling every spare moment with activity (unless you want to) but find one thing that you really want to do and do it…
I believe that it is better to have had a busy interesting life than to look back and say “if only I had done more…” It is personal choice of course…but make sure it is a choice…if you are doing nothing because that is what you really want then choose that…but choose…don’t just talk about things you might do then let everything pass you by!
In keeping with tradition the watch report states I am only wearing one watch today…I am wearing 11 bracelets though…