Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Communism and the Christmas Formal

I will probably put a few of the photographs I took at the King's Graduate Christmas Formal on this blog soon (both because I'm pleased with them and because I like the idea that this can serve as a online portfolio), but I'm flying South for winter in less than two days and have a long list of errands to run.

For the meantime, this is one of my favourite photographs from the evening. It reminds me of one of the things I like best about photography, which is the way in which cameras can poeticise things, amplify the aura and magic of moments. This was a really fun night, but it has a beauty in photographs that I'm not sure parties often have as they're happening. This might be partially to do with time, and the way photographs trap time while parties make time pass quickly, all music and movement and few pauses.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cambridge History of Art and Architecture Graduate Seminars, Michaelmas 2013: Art and Urbanity

For those who are in the United Kingdom, I thought it might be worth mentioning a seminar series I'm co-convening this term. Our theme is 'Art and Urbanity' and we have some amazing speakers from all over the world.

The first seminar will be held at 5pm on October 16th. One of my academic heroes, Professor Lynda Nead from Birkbeck, will be talking on the crinoline and mid-nineteenth century space. Everybody is welcome and encouraged to attend!

We also have a facebook page!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

On Ely, Summer, and Photos Without People

I always refused to include people in my photographs when I was a child; I took that idea of the 'untouched landscape' (which I now find very problematic) to an extreme. I've become more willing to photograph people as I've grown older, partially because I've stopped seeing photographs as ways to retouch the world and more as a means of recording moments, and perhaps also partially because people are now more interesting to me than they were when I was a child. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Most Travel Writing is Bad: Tokyo on the Seine, by Elaine Sciolino

I sigh at the New York Times often, and especially at the travel section. Two days ago, Elaine Sciolino wrote a ridiculous article on visiting Japanese places in Paris. It includes the phrase "some bistros, like L'Office, have even imported Japanese chefs," as if people were some sort of exotic seasoning ordered from a catalogue and kept in the kitchen. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wild Literary Parties

Pyramid Schemes Writing Anna Blair

I went to London last night with some friends for Pyramid Schemes, a one night exhibition by Lawrence Lek and The White Review. I only took my phone, so don't have any amazing pictures, but thought I'd post this here along the lines of 'Things I've Written'. The exhibition was comprised of 100 word texts by artists and writers on the subject of imagined architectures; I wrote a few paragraphs which my friends instantly guessed was mine on the basis that my academic research sometimes really infects my fiction. It's on the right in the image above. I'm not really sure if it's my best writing, but it was fun.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aix-en-Provence, the Cambridge of the Sun


The idea of going somewhere specifically to do work is kind of stressful for me, but really the flight to Aix-en-Provence always changes my mind. On the left, mountains float like clouds above the blue land, and the puffs of smoke from power stations in the valleys look so insignificant seen beside them. I think perhaps there's nothing lovelier than the descent into a Proven├žal airport, with the blue of the mediterranean and the orange glow of warm land. In the Marseille Airport's low cost carrier terminal, everything smells immediately of soap and sweat and honey. The bus pulls in five minutes from Aix's centre, and it's possible the Cours Mirabeau at dusk on a Sunday is the happiest street in the world.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Countryside Rugby

Rugby Pembroke College Cambridge

Snow has fallen on the daffodils and it seems winter might last forever, but once in February we had a warm day and I took some photographs. I'm not that into rugby, but I really enjoyed the afternoon and it does photograph well.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lithuania: Vilnius in (Mostly) Photographs

Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, doesn't have the easy quirky fun of Tallinn or the stylishness of Riga. The Baltic states are usually grouped (and visited) together, though I went to Vilnius this January, two years after visiting Estonia and Latvia. But while Russia proper is further from Vilnius than the other cities, the USSR feels closer in Vilnius than anywhere else I've visited. Tallinn has its bars and Riga its art nouveau facades, but history weighs heaviest on Vilnius.

I don't have time to properly research Vilnius, plus I was reading about cognitive overload the other day (appropriately enough, I can't remember what I read because there is too much in my head) so I'm trying to focus more on my own impressions and less on acquiring all the facts there are to acquire.  But Vilnius was wonderful and covered in snow and I thought I'd gather some of my photographs, impressions and recommendations here.