Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Lonesome I
Lonesome George, the only surviving member of the Pinta Galapagos Tortoise species. Having outlived all the other members of his species he's marooned, stranded in some strange non-place, non-time. Solitary. Like Mary Shelley's Last Man, Lonesome George exists in a vacuum, the most profound of existential crises.

Lonesome II
South of the South Island, out in the vast seas which gesture towards Antarctica, is the small land mass of Stewart Island, or Rakiura. The island is sparsely inhabited, and a national park since 2002. Back in the late 1970s a Japanese woman was found living in a cave on the island. Her reason for being there was simply to be as far from Japan as possible. In self-imposed exile she had found the ultimate margin, the most extreme periphery, in which to exist.

Lonesome III
On the far side of the moon Apollo 13 eked out its small reserves, in the most remote of all human excursions. Out of sight, out of sound, in silence, in freezing cold. The immense solitude, and extreme desolation of that moment in space, in time, is chilling ... so lonesome ...

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Riceboy Sleeps* - All the Big Trees

*( Jonsi Birgisson from Sigur Ros and Alex Sommers)

Resonances ...
Masahisa Fukase, The Solitude of Ravens ...

Nayoro, 1977

Kanazawa, 1978

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Gnomon, July 2009, JB
gnōmōn pin of a sundial; gnmōn lit., interpreter, discerner

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book of Hours

Alchemy of mid-winter. Summer concealed in fallow fields. Winter congealed in the mud and slush. Days which are mere moments, mesmerising in their fleetingness. Light is precise, and shadows incisive. The Very Rich Hours, incantations recounting the marching of time, reciting rituals, as seasons slide past. A journey south into snow. A journey north into severe gales under glowering sky, uncannily warm air quickly supplanted by terrifying winds tearing things apart. Time passes.
Images ... Otago, July 2009, JB

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Time Out of Mind

Dunedin, July 2009, JB

'The Snug', Oamaru, July 2009, JB

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Reading the Landscape

Colonial Ensign, Dunedin, July 2009, JB

Friday, July 3, 2009

Moon / Dust

Mark Tansey, Robbe-Grillet Cleansing Every Object in Sight, 1981

Dusting and casting drift into thoughts of the melancholy of the eternal, and the Sisyphusian Sublime of the infinite. The daunting desolation of Mark Tansey's image of Alain Robbe-Grillet at work, cleaning a seemingly infinite expanse of coded objects, weighs heavily. Carefully dusting the tiny monuments ... a Pyramid, the souvenirs of Napoleon, the Sphinx ... on one hand Robbe-Grillet is intimately engaged with what is at hand, and on the other completely overwhelmed by vastness. The whole is an echo of Robbe-Grillet's writing, oscillating wildly between the carefully observed moment, and the infinitely complex and imbricated texts which confound. (Robbe-Grillet later wrote a response to Mark Tansey. entitled "A Graveyard of Identities and Uniforms", in which he describes a scene in which an obelisk bears witness to the passing of a designer of cenotaphs and mausoleums ... it reads, Mark Tansey: Architect).

The poignancy of Robbe-Grillet's task, the vastness, the absence of presence, is echoed in the otherworldly images of the Moon, of Mars, of the places which are inhabited only mythologically, cerebrally ...

Viking Lander, Mars, 1976

And the theme song which plays over such images, Blind Willie Johnson's Dark Was the Night, Cold was the Ground, the blind, black musician buried in a pauper's grave in Texas, immortalised, aboard the Voyager spacecraft, on the Golden Record, off into the melancholy infinity of space .... in eternal defiance of death ...