Cork Docklands

The docklands of Cork are so beautiful. The day I took a walk around was eerie under a heavy fog. A while later I came across this book which anticipates a redevelopment of the whole area. Happily, two years later, nothing has changed.


Getting to a good place – changing the world.

Came across some good titles today that make sense. Seth Godin's Linchpin and Hugh MacLeod's Ignore Everybody. Here is the bones of the latter:

1. Ignore everybody.

2. The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours.

3. Put the hours in.

4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.

5. You are responsible for your own experience.

6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

7. Keep your day job.

8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.

9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.

10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.

11. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.

12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.

13. Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.

14. Dying young is overrated.

15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.

16. The world is changing.

17. Merit can be bought. Passion can’t.

18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.

19. Sing in your own voice.

20. The choice of media is irrelevant.

21. Selling out is harder than it looks.

22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.

23. Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.

24. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.

25. You have to find your own schtick.

26. Write from the heart.

27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

28. Power is never given. Power is taken.

29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.

30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.

32. Allow your work to age with you.

33. Being Poor Sucks.

34. Beware of turning hobbies into jobs.

35. Savor obscurity while it lasts.

36. Start blogging.

37. Meaning Scales, People Don’t.

37. When your dreams become reality, they are no longer your dreams.


Emotionally}Vague in Porto

A portion of my Emotionally}Vague project is currently on show in Porto until the end of March. The Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, in collaboration with the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis, exhibits on the theme of Darwinism and emotions. There's an interestingly wide ranging mix of antique and contemporary work, with floating brains and neuroscans included. I'm dead chuffed that E}V is making an appearance at such a large scale in an elegant venue. Alas, I couldn't be there for the artwork installation or opening night. One must let go... If anyone does pop along, let me know what you think.


On Raisins and Chocolate

Yesterday evening I tried an experiment whilst sitting in front of the fire. If you didn't know what I was doing, you would be excused in thinking there was a complete basket case in front of you. A raisin sat on the palm of the hand, each crease and line and wrinkle studied carefully. It was then placed between thumb and index finger and squashed and rolled a little. It was then smelled very carefully and was surprisingly similar to fresh tobacco. Finally, after rolling it around inside the mouth, it was tasted and eventually swallowed. This was 'mindfulness eating', and is a kind of meditation of sorts. I can tell you that raisins are much tastier than I previously thought. The process is time consuming, but revealing. I'd like to call this diet the 'M-Diet', you can eat anything at all, as long as you go through the whole procedure of each sense, tasting each bite as if it were the last. It's a tough one. This is a lovely little booklet showing a willy-wonka-esque chocolate bar being eaten.



Cork was hit badly by apocalyptic floods earlier this year, but has been spared of the snowy chaos across Ireland and Europe. Here is more like a deep coating of crystals; a special effects extravaganza, slightly manufactured like a christmas card. Coming back from the dentist this morning, I couldn't help stop and painfully extract the camera every other minute.


Perception and Truth

On the New Year's retreat, the Buddhists discussed the relationship between perception, appearances and reality. How real is real? And so on. How does this impact on everyday life and statistics? We've all heard the "lies, lies and statistics" phrase, but how exactly can our perceptions, or apparently objective data be skewed in that way? Below is a great presentation by Alex Lundry on politics and data visualisation linked from information aesthetics.


New Year Retreat

All is now revealed: it is I! The girl by the cliff in her woolie-wacky hat. Breaking with the conventions of this humble blog, I introduce an element of biography. New Year's Eve 09/10 was spent in West Cork with my two sisters, on a buddhist retreat in Dzogchen Beara. This is built in a truly spectacular location. The days running up to the turn of the calendar were windy, rainy and muddy... the one hundred or so participants gathered into a room with an unobscured sea view to the south east. Reflecting on the year past and to come, we stayed in the shrine room for a movie and banquet till midnight. A blue moon eclipse marked the night. A blazing and clear sunrise was waiting for us the next morning, to the collective delight of all.

So here are my wishes to all of you for a very peaceful, joyous, present and abundant 2010. I have changed my circumstances lately, and am looking forward to new ideas, new experiences and new appreciations for all the gifts of life already given. May your today be bright, and the next and the next.