The Tourist #25

P.178

“Sometimes it seem (sic) that tourist travel is a strategy for the accumulation of photographs and hence for the commodification and privatisation of personal and family memories.”


What if we read commodification as concretisation, attempted concretisation? As the desire to make a solid reminder of the gifts that life has bestowed upon us? As the child presents its little shits to the parent?

Or as canonisation? As making a part of the canonical value system to which we have, in full reflexive humanity, chosen?

And what if we read it, merely, as celebration?
And of privatisation? Of making part of my private system of signs and myths and meaning? Kodak allow me to do this, they do not force me to do so?

Capitalism and Photography are not monsters unless we are Victor Frankenstein.


The Tourist #24

P.178


“Much tourism becomes, in effect, a search for the photogenic.”


Writing is to art as EL James is to sex.


The Tourist #23

P.178


“They learn that a thatched cottage with roses round the door represents ‘ye olde England’; or that waves crashing onto rocks signifies ‘wild untamed nature’; or especially that a person with a camera draped around his/her neck is a ‘tourist’.”


It is lucky/a shame that there is not such an immediate way to identify smug sociologists.


Identifiers for smug sociologists -


The Guardian.

Comfortable owned house.

Partner/Spouse/Children.

Ecological or Sonic Youth tote.

Walking boot company trainers that last a long time and are comfortable and hideous and lace up like a cantilever bridge.


The Tourist #22

P.178

“As people become photographers, so they become amateur semioticians and competent ‘gazers’.”


Ohhhhh do they?

That’s when they “become” is it? Rather than remain in a perpetual state of becoming, they cease the process, it is definite and definitively “become”?

Are we saying then that when the begin and continue the process of photography they begin and continue the process of understanding the semiotic method of understanding the world as it is arranged by… whom?  What is the actual criticism that lingers like a shat pant under this patronising little jibe?
Basically, like everything, that capitalism is to blame. Photography is a kind of executioner of capitalism, right? Naw. It’s no, ya shower a fannies. Photography is a way for greedy people to steal things from stupid people by making them feel all nice and shit and then when they, the thickos, start to learn it they get all ‘involved’ but like not in a proper academic lefty way like us in like pure the way that the system is pure loaded against them and shit and like they think they can understand the like complex ways that lining shite up in photies makes them devotees of the hoor devil BUT like all they are like really doing is fucking GAZING like pure erect penises in the same way as like the mega corporations do like pure massive giant rapists.”
Fuck off and try again. In fact, don’t. Just fuck off.


The Tourist #21

P.178


“Sontag talks of photographys ‘zeal for debunking the high culture of the past … its conscientious courting of vulgarity … its skill in reconciling avant garde ambitions with the rewards of commercialism … its transformation of art into cultural document. (1979: 131)”



Photography doesn’t have zeal. Or anything else. If we have a zeal for debunking the high culture of the past there may or may not be valid reason for us doing so, and it may be made more or less effective and convincing by the uses, or not, of photographic reproductions of those works or photographs of not reproductions of those works.


Photography does not court vulgarity, we court vulgarity. There may even still, just, exist more drawings of penises than dick pics.


Photography has no skills at all. Photography is a method by which any ambitions may be approached, more or less succesfully depending on the willingness of an audience to be convinced that the photograph contains evidence sufficient to a change of heart/head/spirit. This relies on understanding that the subject to which the photograph is shown has a heart/head/spirit, of course, contrary to the sociologists standard mode.


That commercial gain can be made from anything is an interesting criticism of the thing, the medium. One could and still can, in terms of the art object, expect to make radically more money for a work made with clay, paint, ink… than with a camera and some chemicals. The argument seems to be that materials as such are inherently whoreish, then, in that they can be used to produce an exchange of capital, being traded.


That one can make a profit using photograhs tends to be far more related to the use of the photograph to sell something else, a holiday, for example. The profitability of the photograph used to sell that holiday is laughably small in comparison to the profit made by the tour operator, flight operator, hotel etc etc.


Of transforming art into a cultural document… is this not, in fact, backwards and lacking the requisite quote marks – “Photography is capable of producing and then transforming purported ‘social documents’ into ‘art’”.


The Tourist #20

P.178

“Photography is a promiscuous way of seeing which cannot be limited to an elite as art.”


It’s a hoor, but a poor, socialist, vulgar hoor.


The Tourist #19

P.178


“Barthes notes that photography began with photographs of the notable and has ended up making notable whatever is photographed (2000; 34; Sontag, 1979: 111)”


Sontag says Barthes says something, neither of which are offered. Note to dissertation students - you will fail if you dribble out shit like this.


The Tourist #18

P.178


“The consumption and production of images become (sic) all important, and participating in events is tantamount to seeing and capturing them as spectacular ‘imagescapes’ (Sontag, 1979) Sometimes it seems that each object or person photographed becomes equivalent to any other, equally interesting or uninteresting.”


Having learned how to use a camera I sometimes suggest to my students a little game where they can play out various routines. You can make up your own ones but mine are roughly as follows


Routine Game  -


  1. See a sunset. Make a photo.

  2. Shit into a costa coffee cup in a busy shopping centre. Make photograph.

  3. Piss into a costa coffee cup in a busy shopping centre. Make photograph.

  4. Go to pals wedding. Make photograph.

  5. Go to asda and photograph people fighting at the reduced price food section.

  6. Find dead body. Take photograph.

  7. Murder someone. Take photograph of the dead body.

  8. Murder everyone. Take a photograph of the dead bodies.

  9. Take a photograph of the photograph of the dead bodies.

  10. Make love. Take a photograph.

  11. Pay someone to make love. Take a photograph.

  12. Take a photograph of other people making love.

  13. Pay other people to make love and take a photograph.

  14. Shit onto a photograph of people making love who you have paid in a busy shopping centre.

  15. Have a passport photograph made.

  16. Pay the money to have a passport photo made but step out of the booth so that it doesn’t photograph anyone at all.

  17. Pay the money to have a passport photo made but step out of the booth so that it doesn’t photograph anyone at all. Do not collect the photographs. Take a photograph of the photographs ready for collection in the little hole.

  18. Pay the money to have a passport photo made but step out of the booth so that it doesn’t photograph anyone at all. Do not collect the photographs. Do not take a photograph of the photographs ready for collection in the little hole.

  19. Take a photograph of the ingredients on the back of the Pea and Ham soup in Marks and Spencers in the station across from the passport photo booth having paid the money to have a passport photo made but having stepped out of the booth so that it hasn’t photograph anyone at all, not having collected the photographs or taken a photograph of the printed passport photographs, ready for collection in the wee hole.

  20. Take a photo of your friend in the street.


Present the above photographs to absolutely fucking anyone and ask them if the contents of these photographs are, in their mind, conceivably “equal”.

If they respond - “Yes” suggest that they immediately section themselves and then do not speak to them further or ever again.


The Tourist #17

P.178


“Photography, then, is a part of the process of postmodernisation, a ‘society of spectacles’ where circulating and instantaneous images overpower reality; ‘reality’ becomes touristic and ready for visual consumption. (Debord, 1983)”


Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle was, perhaps, one of the great works of the last stage of modernism. Postmodernsim is, precisely, the stage after the end of the spectacle “when there is no more spectacle…”

What is then described is not the society of the spectacle but rather a post-specular environment of hyper-reality.

And then not, again.


Photography is part of the process of modernisation. Photography, like everything else, as a subject as such, is subsumed under the aegis of “communication” in the postmodern. The distinction between reality and images is lost, completely, by now. Reality is revealed, after the death of not only god but metaphysics and the notion of transcendence at all, to never have existed in anything like the way we imagined it could have. Our nostalgia for “reality” is nostalgia for the illusion of reality we once laboured under.


The Tourist #16

P.177


“Photography thus overloads the visual environment. It involves the democratisation of many forms of human experience, both by turning into photographic images and enabling anyone to photograph them, especially with Kodak cameras and now with digital cameras as we examine below.”


Until we recognise that we are victim and executioner in one…
“Photography” didn’t “do” anything. Why is our reliance on it so strange, why is our relation to it so perverse, if it is indeed perverse. What about adding a copy of an environment to it overloads it? If there were too many blades of grass would we not feel the same thing? Why is it that the human is less desirable than the “natural”? What is it that makes us imagine the things we have produced are somehow more dangerous, more pollutant than the things that are there by pure chance?

Photographs do not overload the environment, they are the environment. Nature is in the way of its own far more beautiful representation. Only a representation can be beautiful. Obviously.


The democratisation of human experience again encourages us to imagine that people, “the people” who sociology does not address, that is to say the non academic people, are able to be convinced that anything they see a photograph of is the same as any other thing they see a photograph of? This is Sontag at her most profoundly insensitive and ungenerous, so much so that she wrote another book later to take back how staggeringly arrogant and stupid the notion was in the first instance.
When we read The Brothers Karamazov and then read a Barbara Cartland we do not have the same sort of experience. Time has gone into the one, and not to the other. Love has gone into one, and desire into the other.
We assume that desire is transferable via the medium of photography in this way, that our desire being as it is composed of the desire of the other is so easily assumed. This is perhaps the case, and it is perhaps ungenerous of the “artists” who present us with desire rather than love, perhaps it is greedy of em. Still, though, it is our responsibility to choose not to desire but to love.


Kodak then straight to digital… This is an amusingly poor effort at a segue


The Tourist #15

P.177


“The show is designed as a constant series of new Kodak moments, as dances, costumes and dancers relentlessly change.”


This is offered as a kind of faux accusation of the impact of photography on the world in much the same way that “Capitalism” or “Marxism” or “Religion” is used as a method to alleviate the burden of our own stupidity and lack of self control in thrall to some higher power.
The gun the gun. Guns are fun. Until they aren’t. Etc.
Point the fucking thing at yourself, until such time you are capable of pointing it at anything else. Don’t point it at someone else. If you aren’t part of the group that you are targeting then don’t point the fucking thing in the first place.

The same is true of quotes, out of context advertising and everything else. Advertising is evil only so far as you are stupid enough to believe it.


The Tourist #14

“In nineteenth century northern Europe the desire for and capacity to fix places of the ‘other’ dramatically developed. As we have seen, places came to be ‘Kodakised’. Such places of desire and fixing through the objects of the camera and tripod and photograph included the mediterranean (Premble, 1987), The Alps (Ring, 2000), The Caribbean (Sheller, 2003; Thompson, 2006), the Grand Canyon (Neumann, 1992, 1999), the exotic Nile (Gregory, 1999), stinking fishing villages (Lübbren, 2001) and water generally (Anderson and Tabb, 2002).”


The development of the idea of the other. The development of the world as being seen. The development of the intersections.
Why is there such a perverse sense about these critiques of power structures from the penis of Foucault? Why the delight in negating what has gone before with a kind of grand gesture, a sort of brushing away of entire histories?
There is a particular contemporary pleasure in writing off histories, ideas of starting again, anew, with better knowledge… which is to say with all the bits of knowledge we have picked up from all of the things we have written off. It seems comical to write off Freud using language developed by Freud.


The bizarre deference to the “academic” style of writing is also amusing. The quotations of terms, not even single words from the texts themselves, a sort of “jobby quotation” of entire concepts of other thinkers work to describe a thesis so wide ranging and indistinct… but it is ok because a lot of other books have been read. Whether they are understood or not is meaningless here, their value is as evidence of THIS point not of whatever point they may or may not have made in themselves.


The silly fallacy of it makes it impossible not to imagine the names are made up.


The mediterranean (Preamble, 1987)

The Alps (Bum Ring, 2000)

The Caribbean (Shelling, 2003; Thomspon Holidays Brochure, 2006)

The Grand Canyon (Gary Neuman, 1982, 2002 reunion tour)

The Exotic Nile (Gregory(‘s Girl), 1987)

Stinking Fishing Villages (Haddock, 2001)

And water generally (Mr Anderson aff the Matrix, Barry Gibb from the BeeGees, 2002)


There is something pedantic and silly about this. Childish. Unloving.
But then isn’t there something unloving about it as it was? Something desirous, desirous of bringing one’s own work into the same arena as some work one admires, a kind of self inflation, an onanism? Isn’t there something more loving to be silly about something which one recognises, as an academic, as a slightly pathetic and ridiculous, the pursuit of a new idea on the basis of others at the end of a paragraph which suggests that all historical views are, essentially, so brutally prejudiced as to be utterly unthinkable, now. There is a pathetic quality about this, not awkwardness of effort but rather the self undermining performance of authority. The master looks like a buffoon, we all know that the master isn’t actually a master, really. An expert is someone who is able to be disinterestedly involved. A master is she who attempts to demonstrate her power by standing on the narrow little shoulders of phalluses.

The Tourist #13

30/11/2018


“Fictions depend upon authenticity and reality, and the pleasure of fiction lies in accepting fantasies as real.”

Slater quoted in TTG3

P.176


Authenticity and reality rely entirely on fictions. The pleasures of reality rely on accepting ordinariness as heaven.


Fictions and reality are authentic in equal measure so long as we are able (and willing) to enunciate our relation to them, to ourselves. The pleasure of fiction lies in accepting our own potential, situated as we are precisely between what might be called concrete and abstract subjectivities, to contemplate complex metaphors for the passions.


The Tourist #12

30/11/2018


“Advertising images are structured around and work through mobilising and triggering the spectators desires and fantasies…”

TTG3

P. 176


Art is necessarily unstructured, working as it does in the space opened in conscious subjectivity by love.


Images. Imitari.

Speech and writing are less primary and less truthful than an image, they are second order representations, imitations which are not even in the kind. Grotesque contrivances of representation.


Imitation is what we have.

We have no brother in the moon. We are too distantly a part.

(O Savage Spirit)


We have the choice to approach this concrete/abstract alienation with desire or with love.

This is the fundamental choice one has in making anything, desire or love.

Advertising is making out of desire.
Propaganda is making out of the Will to Power.

Art is making (out of) love.


Having learned the mathematics and the geometry and the optics and the colour values and the print ink percentages and the meters and tonal vocabularies available, keeping them always in mind and learning as they change then we can try to seduce, like creepy ugly perverts or we can try to love like awkward and ordinary hysterics. We can make thing in love and out of love. In and out of love.


The Tourist #11

29/11/2018


“People desire to be seduced and such images are artfully structured to seduce.”

TTG3

P176


Please do not try to seduce me it seems pathetic.

One cannot “construct” an “image” “artfully” - to imagine that composition constructs desire is to imagine that desire is decipherable - able to be measured, calculated and reduced to geometry. Images recipher.

Images return the world to mathematics and abstraction.

(This is why Lacan’s Mathemes are so beautiful, they are the attempt to reconcile these things, it was such a brave thing to try to do, a generous thing to try to do, to propose those keys. It is no wonder that Lacan is so detested and misread.)

Images return the world to a distance proper to nature. A reminder of the objectness of the world. The thingness is illuminated too, by the shadow of the photographic.


Photographs help describe the alienation of the work of the mind of the speaking subject, they cast our minds into the immanence of the pure, abstract present where we try to parse all of the transformations and metamorphoses of things into objects.


I hate when someone tries to seduce me.

It doesn’t happen often, of course. Seduction is considered a biologically male activity, here, still, now, mostly. It is so boring, but I can wear the mask of seducer for your benefit if it is what is required, but please please do not attempt to wear one for me, my funny valentine.


Images do not seduce or produce desire, belief, knowledge or understanding. They are a register apart.

Images cause a vibration of the senses which we try to connect with the abstraction of subjectivity.


No one is seduced by an image.
No one desires to be seduced, it is merely not how desire works.

No ones does not see the strings which hold up and control the puppet.

People like seduction and are burned by desire. It seems. Sometimes it seems like we choose to reflect on the narratives and aphoristic excretions of the puppets despite the strings being on full view, in broad daylight.


The Tourist #10

29/11/2018


“Commercial tourist imagery achieves effects by provoking the viewers unconscious.”

TTG3

P. 176


My tourist imagery achieves whatever it is that it achieves by an obsessive preoccupation with my own pre-conscious activity. The unconscious isn’t a dog which one can teach tricks so I do not try to do so, not my own, and not anyone else’s.

People are not surprised to see my pictures, but they also did not expect to. The distinction is important, I think.


The Tourist #9

29/11/2018


“Commercial photographs are normally composed to make the viewer dream into the picture, which awaits the viewers desires and pleasures in order to be completed.”

TTG3

p175



My pictures are so normally composed that they resist the suggestion to dream, outside of them. Pictures, of course, do not await anything, neither our desires nor our pleasures, our anxieties nor our pacifications or calmatives are not required by pictures. The pictures exist as nature, like our prejudices.


The Tourist #8

29/11/2018


“Photography anthropomorphises others as – ‘pre-modern, exotic, sexual and available for visual consumption.”


P.175


Staging the exotic and the sexual?

Which sexual?


Was it not always entirely clear that the 2.4 children was a sort of boring joke of which the participants were the punchline?

Does the anthropologist not participate in rituals at all?


Are there not far stranger things in your own culture? Does everyone not understand their own culture to be alien and strange and constructed? Delivering us our desire and doxa, our intuition and illnesses.

Everyone around you behaves differently all the time, what is different about another culture is only the pretend parts which “socialise” us, those parts which were always already going to be ridiculous and performative and contrived.


Turn your gun on yourself.


I will turn my gun on myself. I will go abroad and be a tourist. When I go abroad I don’t feel any less at home than I do here. I feel like I am there, like when I am here I feel that I am there.


Oisin Keohane brought up De Bottoms one, ever, interesting point which is about travel, that when you get there you are still there. The interesting thing, I thought, which Oisin seemed not to like or get or agree with or something, was that I liked this sentiment too, and remembered precisely this part, too, because I always thought the next step was so obvious and clear and I wondered why he didn’t make it -

When you go on holiday you still aren’t there.


I take pictures because I struggle not to feel powerful or at home or in control but because in doing so, in making something, there is a self of sorts in the things. In the patterns of things there might be a shadow which looks like me. I don’t know, though.


When I show my photos to other people they find the pictures look alien, which is to say not like photos they would take, or particularly like to look at, I suppose. I suppose I understand it, I find it quite alien, here. There. I like the immanent beauty of the alien ordinary.


I would like to communicate those things, that alienating ordinariness, the vertigo of ordinary beauty. I remember also, in a talk, with Robin Gillanders I think, that I was talking about the idea not of the extraordinary in the ordinary as photography seems always to pretend to be about, but rather precisely the ordinary in the ordinary. That is, really, what I am interested in. Normal. Neon grey. The most beautiful colour.


I would like to take pictures of things that communicate far beyond language and analysis and critique. It is not that critique isn’t occasionally interesting, and it isn’t that analysis isn’t important, it is rather that they have limits. If I wanted to analyse or criticise I would play there. I don’t. God doesn’t write or participate in readable sign systems. Abraham told a fib and look where the fuck it got us.


Are pictures not more akin to numbers? Cifra.

Enormously complex patterns which evade deciphering. One could make a list of them, write down the values of them, but one couldn’t keep the whole list of numbers in ones head, and even if one could one could not speak it, couldn’t feel it emerging from your body as words do in your voice. If you told me all of the numbers from which the picture was composed you would be mad, you would seem mad, you would be like a clock or a machine or a computer or a child saying “Do it again”. You would be like nature, inhuman.


Numbers are eternally immanent. As soon as they become prosaic they are not as they were, they are not so, Es ist nicht so.


Paint is there, too. Paint is there because you still talk to me. Nature seems lonely so you talk, I am nature. I think you talk to me because I am lonely. I seem to you to ask to be loved, you think I am stupid nature pleading with you just to be loved, you think even though I do not speak that I am asking, silently, to become human, so I paint on the photographs. It is silent also, it doesn’t make all those vulgar sounds that paint sometimes makes. Prayers are silent.


The Tourist #7

29/11/2018


“All tourists whether or not they take photographs, consume places and experiences which are photographic, as they have been made or have evolved to be seen, above all to be photographed… such places are often photographs materialised in three dimensional form.”

Peter Osborne quoted in TTG3

P.174


Always this pomposity of the theorist and philosopher… Why do we always imagine that others are so easily led? Why imagine any other being to be so much more foolish and less able to see than yourself? Philosophers are, in my experience, quite the least likely people to live by what they say, snapping away on their jolly hols where their superiority is at all times constitutive of their meaningless self-power presence.

The Philosopher and critic, the journalist, slopping through the standard life experiences on the one hand, mortgage marriage progeny, and on the other, within the same breath, galling intellectual dominance. Why not then also believe oneself capable of snapping aff a few winners? Why should the philosophers learnedness not “express itself” via some poetry?


The philosopher is a protestant with a sophistic calling and a hobby.

The artist is the philosopher with a passion.


Romantic as it sounds why should we not insist on this differentiation? Why should these, us, we, those tasked with ideas, meaning, beauty… absolutely fucking insist on how these things are played? Why has David Campany not been hung? His masturbating on the grave of John Berger is enough, surely? Even if all the other crimes are far more heinous that one should be enough for a public beheading alongside Geoff Dyer. The liberal cultural “socialist” elite, travelling extensively but only publishing their photos on instagram among adverts for their new books and blockbuster shows. Come, now, people of thought. Perhaps it is too much to say that they are worthy of being hung, but at the very least we might ignore them? Can you do that much, for yourself, for love and beauty, at least?


No one sees the way that Osborne outlines above. Or am I too deeply drowned in the drudgery of the photographic? How can we not understand that people have always understood the built world as being designed to be seen? Which is to say that even when one is building a bivouac to hide from a bear one is still basing its design, profile, envelope etc etc etc on seen-ness, even when it is the unseenness that is so important. Perhaps particularly. But at no point did anyone ever build anything that was not related to being seen or not seen at some level. That photography comes along and changed the rapidity with which we saw things is something, of course, but there are none of us alive that recognise what a world without photography might have “felt” like as a visual experience. And, whether we can more or less imagine such a time, none of us could, surely, be so stupid as to look at buildings, art works, books, designs, paintings, prints, letters, paper… and not see that they were designed to be seen, to be read and understood. “This is a big building isn’t it? I feel awfy wee here.”

I do not claim here not to be stupid, I am stupid, and the people I know, I am sure, would also agree to being stupid. But there is a lapse in this by now very tired way of thinking, of judging.

Photography is part of the texture of experience. It is not alien. We are not baffled by it regardless of our engagement with it, it is no longer magic or unusual. It is immanent. It is nature.


A three dimensional thing based on a two dimensional thing. A design, then, or drawing, of which something is drawn.

A thing which is drawn to be built to be returned to being drawn, by light in the second instance. A cycle of reproduction. An enjoyment of the repetitiveness of representation? Do it again!


A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life.

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit

fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged.

They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it

again until he is nearly dead.  For grown-up people are not strong

enough to exult in monotony.  But perhaps God is strong enough

to exult in monotony.  It is possible that God says every morning,

“Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon.”

G.K Chesterton


Why would we imagine ourselves to be further from the cave than others? More able or less able to identify what or what is crass or tasteful from the safe distance of our critical ivory tower. Make something, you fucking coward.


What do you see, out there, that is beautiful? Philosopher?


What do you see that makes you imagine how much better people see and parse what they see, of the world, out there?


Do you not imagine that those whose vocation it is to see see more than you do? Why do you not ask them why they insist that your requirement to publish another paper on something new probably isn’t really an approach to truth that is going to work, terribly well, for anyone, and that in visual art there is something which you cannot write about, it is very difficult to make things to see because everything is so easily done and so thoroughly reliant on words, we need to make the assumption that everything that can be thought by the critic can be thought by anyone else. Yet it is only someone truly willing to suffer that will, additionally, devote all of their lives to the pursuit of making something outside of language and money.


Language as a medium of money.
Copywriters are somehow forgotten, mostly, it is always photographs which take the brunt of the blame for “seduction” and other bullshittery. It is, of course, the details, the descriptions, which “seal the deal” before one buys.

The people we should ask about the new world of images are the ones who live in it, not the ones who do not live in any world at all, isolated as they are by financial freedom.


Of course we can trust almost no artists, either, really, to do anything other than baseley chase fame and recognition. It is utterly depressing. But in art there is the potential that you find a catholic. In writing there are only protestants.


And, is there not a “doxa” which allows everyone who sees to see this? Everyone in the world of seeing, at least, those of us privileged enough to be allowed to practise and participate in the seeing of things, we know, our doxas are loaded, pregnant with all of this, all of these. It is our responsibility to worm out the filth, or at least, and I think this is the most important of all, to encourage and teach others how best to ignore the filth. This is the task of a teacher, of an art institution, to be clear, open, honest about the absolute political and economic filth that they themselves are forced to display as art.


By the phrase “All art is religious” we have to understand art as opposed to “art” and religion as opposed to “religion”. Which is to say that almost anything we understand to be either of these things is almost certainly wrong, anything we are told, have been told fit into the categories of “art and religion” are precisely that - “art” and “religion”. Simulacra.

Looking at Baudrillard’s own photographs is instructive. The prophet of the hyperreal still made photos, he talks about them as though they are a joke, a part participation, an embarrassment, almost. But he made them. They are, generally, dreadful, but they are an act in the face of a world post-acts. They speak of the necessity of acts in a world without the possibility of doing so, where the act is meaningless and powerless it is all the more necessary.


Everyone has received all the banal messages of hope and doom. Everyone has everything in their inbox, even if they have not opened it it is there. That they have read other things is neither here nor there.

Each critical standpoint is utterly mutilated by prejudices.

Each television programme or hollywood movie is only as crippled by prejudice as any piece of critical theory, after all.

To have read all of Nietzsche is no different to having watched all of Dallas. Both are only, at best, misread and misunderstood. Both as likely to have concealed the beauty of failure, and to have illuminated by their shadow the awkward and divine comedy of suffering and survival. It is only when we read things without our own breadth of potential that we experience things as victims of the trite mock tragedy of doctrinal ideology.

Martin Parr called me a “philosopher”. I knew he was rude but I didn’t think he was so rude. I has asked him whether Comedy was bad things happening to bad people and Tragedy was bad things happening to good people (I didn’t mention where it was from, whether or not he knew it was Aristotle he correctly sniffed out the pretentiousness). He didn’t answer. And it isn’t really the point.
The point is that Aristotle wasn’t able to see what philosophy would have become. Now he would not say the same thing. Comedy isn’t “comedy”, after all. Enter the Dragon.


The Tourist #6

28/11/2018


“Commercial tourist photographs arouse desires by staging geographies that thrill and seduce the eye.”

TTG p?


I wonder who responds to the seduction of the tourist photograph?

Who does not say “Es ist so?”


Who says, in fact, “Es ist nicht so!”

Who claims that the photograph is not a representation but a presentation as such, who claims that the photograph is not the thing we know that it is, a paper or screen with dots, and says instead, rather than any of the other many many options of things one might choose the photo to be, “THIS IS NOT A LIE IT IS THE TRUTH OF MY FANTASY”?


It is so.

It is not so.

It is merely so.

It is not, merely so.

It is not, merely, so.


The tourist experience is somewhere between the abstract and the concrete. What is bad about the tourist is not the tourist as such but rather the behaviours or expectations designated by the terminology of “a tourist”.

Touring is for leisure, only.  Touring for no purpose but to engage one’s own seduction.

The Protestant on holiday. The Calvinist? The Methodist? The Weberian?


The Travel Photographer.

Travel, as opposed to tourist. “I am a traveller.”

What are you, first? Why are you here? What can you hear, here?

I am choosing to be in Rome, I think, so that I be somewhere that I CAN effectively work and think because I certainly cannot do so at “home”.

ROMEHOME.

As Paris was homelier than home?


It becomes clearer, perhaps, that an artist really cannot work within an institution. An Academy. Of any sort. Academic artists are decorators.

The academy/school/house style is indescribably close to being perfectly the opposite of what a generous act in the photographic might be.