January 17th, 2009


Five easy pieces

1. Last July I visited the Baltic Mill in Gateshead, taken over at the time by Japanese artists (Yoshitomo Nara + Graf and Mariko Mori). Now I have work of my own in the building. In A Spoken Word Exhibition, which opened yesterday and runs until March 15th, you can request staff (Baltic Crew, they're called) anywhere in the building to whisper you a Momus text piece. They'll consult a calendar and whisper in your ear a phrase taken from the headings of past entries in Click Opera. Today's phrase, for instance, is "So, 1998, what are you up to?"

2. I don't know if it's right to call Jordan Fish a perfectionist; every time he makes a new cut of his video for the Momus / Germlin cover of Bowie's Ashes to Ashes it's more glitchy. But the glitches have become, in this new version, a super-saturated thing of beauty. "It's so colourful, pushing towards a kind of digital abstraction," I wrote to Jordan when he alerted me to the new video. "It makes you feel like someone who's watched 56 hours of continuous MTV and just has pop videos melting out of the brain. But that fits Joe's music well, he creates the same kind of feeling with his sound. Somehow the colours are so rich now that it starts to look like a glitch version of Gustav Klimt -- digital mannerism of some kind.... Kandinsky!"

I'll embed it here, but the Quicktime version is recommended for those who want to see Jordan's lo-res in the hi-res it deserves. In his blog entry about the new Ashes vid Jordan says it was somewhat inspired by Paperrad's Umbrella Zombie Datamosh Mistake video.

3. My friend (and Star Forever!) Florence Manlik has launched a website featuring her delicately baroque artworks, recommended to commissioning art editors everywhere (but do make sure you don't print them out of register).

4. Without changing my address, I moved the other day from the world's third richest nation to its fourth -- Germany has slipped one place down the economic league table of nations, overtaken, of course, by China. Japan apparently has only three to four years left in the number two spot before China takes it.

5. A meme: What's Your Japanese Name? Mine is:

飯野 Iino (rice plains) 溌春 Hatsuharu (vigorous spring time)
(if I feed in "Nicholas Currie"), or

藤原 Fujiwara (wisteria fields) 真一 Shinichi (one truth)
(if I feed in "Currie Nick").

Can I cheat and combine them? I rather fancy being Shinichi Hatsuhara: one truth: vigorous springtime.