Here is an excerpt from “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” by Oliver Burkeman. (I suspect that the excerpt is all you really need. There is a tendency among writers these days to write far too much—"enough to fill a book!"—when a longish article is all that is necessary to get one's point across.)
I post this because I know any number of creative types who suffer from bummout and wish they didn't, and try this and that and the other "method" for gaining happiness. Perhaps we can all relax and let life happen, instead.
Eadweard Muybridge, eat your heart out. This stunning footage was shot by Gregory Wilson (and crew) using a Phantom camera running at 1200 fps. Notice the steadyness of the head; reminds me of the birdcam and hunting falcon videos that were making the rounds a few weeks ago.
Another thing that I find fascinting about this (and slow-motion video in general) is that we get to see another reality for a while. In our unenhanced world, some of what is happening in these videos just doesn’t exist. If you watched the cat run by in real life, you wouldn’t notice the clenching and unclenching of the toes, the little particles of dirt and grass, the riffle of its fur In the breeze. Imagine for a moment that you lived on snail-time: there might not be any cat at all. The way we perceive time is likely not the way it’s perceived by other creatures.
Over at The Awl, Jacob Mikanowski has written an interesting and thoughtful article on portrait photography.
Amy and I have been gradually working our way through the huge August Sander 7-volume People of the 20th Century, discussing the faces, expressions, environments and the clothing of the bazillion people there. It can take a while to get into the groove; many of the portraits aren't immediately interesting, and you have to wait for your head to start appreciating the subtle flavor. It's been an education in patient seeing.
J. Scriba does some fascinating things with space and time in his “situ art” series. It’s kind of distressing to feel your visual system churn, trying to make sense of his oddly 2D shadowless scenes. I kept feeling as though I was on the verge of resolving something, only to realize that there was no resolution. You know that feeling you get when you look at Rubin’s Vase and then suddenly you can only see one version for a while? It’s that sort of unbalance, and it doesn’t abate. Be sure to read his “about” page and check out his other work.
Waiting for Amy to come out of her Physiology lab.
Buncha dogs swimming around and standing on deck, going nuts over tennis balls floating just out of reach. It was fun to watch.
Walked out of a millinery with Frances Parker and into a Hell's-Angels fundraiser. The Angels were surprisingly short. The car colors blinded me and I didn't think about photographing the people until we were headed home.