All in ART
What were the writers of Humans thinking when they penned Channel 4’s latest sci-fi thriller? And what kind of thoughts were they hoping to trigger in viewers? Not since Utopia has an imagined story been so disturbingly close to a plausible reality where you’re left contemplating everything from human rights to the limits of our compassion.
Here we are in 2015, approaching 90 years since women got the vote, being urged to celebrate all that we’ve achieved in honour of International Women’s Day. And there’s a lot to celebrate – we are not only more visible, we are also playing more of a leading role in society, politics, the economy and the arts. However, there’s no denying that the struggle isn’t over, we’ve a long way to go yet.
It’s fairly evident that we’re a selfish bunch — developing technologies that help us live as fast and hard as possible, spending money on products that will prolong pleasure if not life itself (though that’s also a heavily financed desperate pursuit), mining foreign lands for all they’re worth, all with relatively little regard for the long term consequences. But what of those consequences, and do we care enough to react?
It isn’t the icy cold chill that stuns you when you first witness Iceland, it’s the soft blue halcyon glow that suffuses every atom with a ghostly calm. Before you’ve even had a chance to realise it, the light is the perfect complement to the stillness that hangs over everything, suspending your sense of self and time.
Good photography not only tells a story but prompts a series of questions about the subject — what happened to make that woman’s face so cragged, what happened to the child after the photographer turned away, how did that landscape become so ravaged, what’s going on inside the rooms of that building reflected on the shiny surface of that skyscraper?
The phrase “blue sky thinking” litters conversations these days, the supposition being that it will prompt radical new ideas to flutter through. But rather than sparking the imagination, the call for forced creativity can invoke dread. And rightly so; as Orwell pointed out, this kind of inane management speak is a deliberate distortion of reality.
Based on the advice of writers from Stephen King to David Foster Wallace, Susan Sontag, Henry Miller, Zadie Smith and many more, when I cannot write my designated daily quota of 500 words on one subject, I turn to reading. I scour the net, my bookshelves and every local bookshop, in search of inspiration, thirsty for facts that might ultimately furnish each of my projects with added authenticity.