Art, poetry, digital art, photography, criticism and essays.

11 Dec 2017

The Chairman Dances - John Adams

On Adam's "The Chairman Dances" Combined with Imagery from the Chinese Ballet "The Red Detachment of Women"

The synergy between the magnificent balletics and the (post)modern, march of Adam's music is both intriguing and exhilarating! The cogent and graphic symbolism used in the choreography is breathtaking and, juxtaposed with Adam's methodical syncopations, the listener/viewer can begin to lose a sense of time and space. If this is parody or pastiche and "authenticity" is lost, then it doesn't really matter when art breaks down restrictions and divines a truth beyond our usual experiences. The fight scene at the end is almost, pure West-Side Story, Jazz dance-like, brutal yet intrinsically aesthetic. The political/cultural ironies are not lost on me, nor the societal eccentricities of 1950's Communist China and its "Amazonian-style' army. 21st Century democracies seem to borrow from the constraints of Communism, but I guess that's another subject...

20 May 2017

It's difficult to know any kind of certainty in Western cultures that are defined by constant, accelerated change.  Continual adaptation and the fact that Western values, by which I mean the moral, intellectual and cultural ideas that have underpinned our cultures, shift like walking across a lake of broken ice, mean that some of our behaviours maybe less useful than we would like.

It has been a strange week in the UK, dominated by lethargic, seasonless weather, rain, heavy leaden skies and humid temperatures.  Our moods align themselves with the evocations of clouds and climate, perhaps, leading to a week of self-reflection.  A sense of self, contrary to the Postmodern notion of fractured subjectivities that, it is reasoned, we are experiencing is to welcomed.  Reflection/thought is necessary to liberate purposeful action.

This week has also been strange because of the peculiarities and vagaries of human relationships, whether with others or with ourselves.  A woman I know posted yet another, seemingly aimless "selfie" online, bragging about her recent achievements.  Her constant bragging about herself, her interests and achievements and her, albeit common preoccupation with snaps of herself, leave me thinking of her as a rather shallow, narcissistic individual.

I had a long chat with another female acquaintance, that lead to a conversation about her new boyfriend, who isn't actually a boyfriend yet, despite seeing him regularly.  This is hardly a surprising revelation until I remembered that she continues to live with her ex-partner.  These currently typical, fleeting and half-hearted approaches to relationships made me think about relationship breakdown and the myriad of difficulties that people experience with modern relationships.

While at work (yes, my job is fractured, displaced, ironic and in constant flux; thoroughly Postmodern(!)) I overheard a colleague talk about self-marriage.  Surely, she was making a joke that referred to the vogue for narcissism and fractured relationships. Unfortunately, a brief bit of Internet research revealed a very small but burgeoning trend for marrying yourself!  This seemed to sum up my rather inclement week, symbolizing my experiences and concerns via an odd parody, pastiche of marriage actuel.  This representation of love (don't even talk about the sex) seems to be a sad paean to better times in the past for relationships, a sad piece of performance art that represents a romantic notion that is becoming, increasingly unusual.

I drove home from work, a rather long commute that sometimes makes me feel I am in a fish-bowl, distanced from others driving their little fish-bowls around.  The rain did stop and a little Sunshine lit up drops of water upon my windscreen.  After all, the more things change the more they stay the same... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...

20 Jan 2017

Strangeness Comes and Goes (for 2017)

Strangeness comes and goes.  Even familiarity becomes an alien oddity, the self festooned, aloof as odd as others. The fixities of time, the phases of consciousness, the rediscovery of yesterday, the banality of contemporaniety.  Strangeness harbours no necessary intent, no contrivance, extrapolation, politics, rhyme nor reason.  My life is full of limbs, echoing elbows rooted to ideas, a strange mechanics of doing, existing, praxis.  This art of being, doing, fumbling onto feet that claw like Panthera Pardus.  Joints fulfil the purpose of ideas, the pivot upon which time is contrived into things and things become a measure of volition. The vagaries of consciousness are its accuracy, its ordinariness its extraordinary prowess that leaves familiarity bewildering, strangeness habitual. 

Conciseness becomes indescribable, the indecipherable becomes everyday.  Meaning is not only lost, but altered at the very foundations of comprehension.  Legs walking, hurried motions towards the scent of a new formation, an idea so odd it becomes, near instantaneously familiar. History, our present, future and past teaches all, something, nothing. At the turn of a new century, doesn't turmoil, change and strangeness throw us into a new terra incognito?  At this early point in a new Millennium is it any wonder that technology changes, wars rage, economies collapse, cultures realign and Donald Trump has become one of the most powerful men in the world?  If our legs are being taken from beneath us then we may have live from the seat of our pants.

Trump could have said this! Some arcane Americana, wilfully Western expression, verbiage from a clutter of cultures, a meteoric media a cynical trans-communication.  Hyperbole, Wikileaks, spying, hypereality, strangeness, unreal and exact via aloof yet familiar images, external/internalised sounds, information as real and ubiquitous as our heart-rate to inspiration, the mind to limbs, eyes to sensation; our distanced yet symbiotic condition.

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8 Jul 2016

Ideas Come and Go (Like Da Vinci, Michelangelo)

Ideas Come and Go (Like Da Vinci, Michelangelo)

21 May 2016

28 Mar 2016

Blue Period

Blue Period

Thank you to Jlior for letting me use her photo in this art work.


19 Nov 2015

November 2015

Digital, text-art reflecting on events, both personal and global, during November.  I'm also reflecting on the Postmodern idea of displacement, once again on both a personal and global level.

"Ici, La'" translates from the French as "Here, There". Apologies for the lack of an accent sign on "La'".  An apostrophe will have to suffice due to the limitations of my keyboard!  


Copyright "all rights reserved" Simon Harris

4 Sep 2015

Dead Can Dance Kiko HD

14 Aug 2015

Propaganda - Heaven give me words

26 Jul 2015

Near Macgillycuddy's Reeks

Near Macgillycuddy's Reeks

Taken at the Ring of Kerry, Ireland.Simon Harris (all rights reserved).

17 Jul 2015

Philip Glass and Lucinda Childs - Dance 4 - Solo by Caitlin Scranton

3 Jul 2015

Yearning for Simplicity and Pragmatism

Ever experienced a miasma of contradictory and arbitrary information?  Every day, perhaps?  It's happening all too often for me.....

5 Jun 2015

10 May 2015

6 O'Clock and the Sky is Melting

6 O'Clock and the Sky is Melting

Copyright "All Rights Reserved" Simon Harris

27 Mar 2015

6/02/2015 to 27/03/2015 - Observations and Wisdom

Wisdom does not sit well in a capitalist landscape.  Knee-jerk reactions and immature, short-term thought are paramount; youth is enshrined as highly desirable, essential; a youthful irresponsibility is intrinsic to our debt-ridden societies.  Images of young adults are fed to us in shopping malls, through Internet advertising, televisions, smart phones, attempting to suspend maturity and graphically using young adults as sexual objects, hinting at the public's desirability if we buy in to the modes of current capitalist ideologies.

Advertiser's use of young adults as sexual objects defies both common-sense and morality in societies, such as the UK, where paedophilia has become a corruption at the very heart of our culture.  A sense of irony can be suspended for a feeling of shock, as post-modern advertising and the perplexing miasma of information overload becomes, not just a burgeoning, global culture, but a faux-reality disassociating us from the necessity of the body, the self, the mind, heart-beat, pulse and breath that requires the suspension of doing/sensing to be experienced.

Stephen Hawking's recent rant about new technologies potentially causing the end of the human race, may seem a bit ridiculous coming from a brilliant, but rather flamboyant physicist, who seems to enjoy his courtship with the media.  Nonetheless, he has a reasonable point and as Bill Gates has also joined Hawking by adding his, somewhat less severe warnings, I feel we should listen to these gifted individuals, particularly as Gates expertise was in IT.  Notions of an imminent "the end of the world is nigh" scenario should be left to the global warming aficionados (who also have a point, if not an entirely convincing argument) and those who are nonchalant about the dangers of new technologies should also be dismissed as not seeing the wood for the trees.  Caution is not only apt, but necessary.

Indeed, the purpose of being human is to experience humanness, to express our condition in our environment.  This requires both self-expression and moderation, as is prescribed by others and by our environment.  Our purpose is not to overtly limit ourselves by the results of our creativity, but to use our creativity to aid our full experience of being.  When new technology impacts on our health, our well-being and even becomes frightening and dangerous to ourselves and/or our environment then we should take this to be a warning that we should slow down the pace of the development of new technology and take time to reflect on the impact of change.  That, that we have created must sit well with our condition, or our condition and/or our environment may suffer.

Because our major, driving force is currently the acquisition of wealth we suffer from a blatant lack of maturity.  I speak mainly of the West, but this is increasingly the case in Non-Western cultures.  Moderation is key to wisdom and greed contradicts moderation.  We inspire, to find energy, ideas, emotional direction, to live.  We expire to complete the cycle of respiration; a petit morte, an end, a necessariness of mortality.  Time is measured within the body, the rhythms of the heart-beat and the breath, the response of the senses to alterations in our environment as time passes in cycles.  The Sun rising and setting, the Moon appearing then disappearing, moving through its cycle or phases and the stars patterning the falling of darkness or clouds passing overhead are all types of natural time measurement that we innately comprehend.

Indeed, we are made of the same matter that the stars, planets, galaxies and the earth are made of.  Our connection to nature is not whimsy but fact.  Of course, Human Beings are part of nature, despite our battles with nature and our necessariness to separate ourselves from nature.  The body moves by its self.  It is body awareness, rather than conscious thought that acts as a precursor to physical movement and therefore, an expression of intent/self.  The body is not some alien concept, some animalistic entity within an artificial world.  The body is intrinsically us, human. 

As the great ball of fire in the sky, the Sun, sinks spherical and blazing beneath the horizon, one realises that reality is far stranger than fantasy.  The brilliance of creative minds cannot conjure up something more bizarre than the Sun, the Earth tolerant to and abundant with life, the Universe stranger and larger than the human mind can comprehend.  No "virtual worlds", new technologies or any other form of human creativity is as strange as this.  In fact we are dependent upon and continually react with our reality of inhabiting the Earth.  New "virtual" experiences or explorations of Outer Space should not be at the detriment of our health and well being; our natural physical and mental state of living on planet Earth.  In our enthusiasm and, unfortunately, our greed human beings can overlook that, that is imperative to our existence.  To ignore or devalue, to take for granted these essential truths would be foolish and potentially harmful to us.  Furthermore, it would be unwise.