I have had a lot of ideas for posts swirling around in my head in recent days. This is because I have actually done quite a lot of cool things in that time, and because I have hung out with some great people who make me think, and because I always have a whole load of things bouncing around in there anyway - space junk of the mind. I was thinking about how to put together these thoughts I have been having about art and about stories and yes, about love too. It all kind of got muddled up and then I saw it.
The “give way” sign at the end of my road was flashing and at the same time Laurie Spiegel’s “Appalachian Grove III” was playing on my iPhone. I was listening to it today because I was on the underground and it’s the only thing I had downloaded to my phone. When I say that the sign was flashing, I mean the light that illuminates it by night of course. And as it blinked away with the last entrails of daylight smeared across the horizon behind, a fitful and needless light that sparked in and out of time with the gated sounds of the Spiegel piece, I felt a great sense of joy in seeing everything I wanted to write about there in front of me.
So was it art? A chance happening of a fitful faulty light flashing in the twilight with an observer who had just the right music playing in his ears at the time? Perhaps. It can’t be preserved now (I thought about getting the phone out and shooting a video but that wouldn’t have had the music; it might also have meant stopping the music too) except as my anecdote to you now.
On Friday night, I went to “A Bigger Splash” the exhibition at the Tate Modern about how painting has changed under the influence of performance art. In fine company I was able to look at and think about some very strange pieces that I perhaps would not have considered for too long otherwise, due to both the exhibition and my thoughtful companion - I think I would have rushed it had I been alone. I’d recommend it on the caveat that it is rather wonky in places, but it’s fine if you take it in good humour. It does get a little tiring towards the end, the rooms dedicated to explaining ideas using multiple artists are much better than the ones dedicated to a single artist.
To finish I shall tell you what happened next. I eventually walked away from the scene, grinning like a loon. As I got to almost-home the track changed and I looked back: the give way sign glowed back at me and did not flicker for an instant. It seemed darker now. Different music and different light: a different world.