December 15, 2015

8.15 am. Following a time for reflection, I confirmed my diary appointments, sketched in my ‘to do’ list for the week, and caught up on work-related FaceBook messages. Now that the JANET attack has been resolved (I assume) and Turn It In is Turned Back On, I could return to marking Abstraction submissions. I’ve no love for this software: it hampers ease of writing, slows the process of completion, and doesn’t permit a general evaluation of the whole. And, whatever happened to anonymous marking? (On Turn it In, I can see who I’m doing in.) Too easily, we cast off principle and practice for the sake of automation. Likewise, today, convenience is often preferred to quality. For example, many people listen to music only on an mp3 format. An mp3 file contains just 10% of the sound material encoded in uncompressed formats (like wav and flac); as such, it’s only an approximation of the source. But mp3 is an eminently portable format — and this is the preeminent consideration for some folk — listened to, more often than not, on nasty, tinny ear buds. That’s no way to develop an appreciation for music, IMO:


By 12.00 pm, yesterday’s failed payment ‘issue’ had been resolved. The new purchases have been released for delivery. Sometimes responsibilities fall between the cracks. Anyway … done now!, as my Dad used to say. 1.00 pm. Sufficient unto the day is the marking thereof. If you keep it up for too long, the critical edge is lost.

1.40 pm. A cursory dispatch to one of our intending PhD Fine Art students:

I encourage students to write an account of what they do throughout the degree. This avoids the inevitable ‘crunch’ time of having to begin writing. The continuous writing process also refines self awareness and clarifies the practice: one can only make clearly, what one thinks clearly. And writing aids to clarify intent, among other things. Try making a mind map in three dimensions: a map that has strata.

2.00 pm. I’m endeavouring to keep in daily contact with the Image and Inscription composition over the work period of the Christmas holidays, in order to further the continuity of both thought and action. I returned to the construction of the fearful voice of God:


3.20 pm. A strange light. It beckoned to another, better place where, unlike in Arcadia, death is not:


Such occasions are communal events in Aberystwyth; one of the glories of living here.

5.00 pm. Perhaps, just perhaps, this second section of the composition is now resolved. I’m too close to tell. A short period of abstinence is required. Until tomorrow.

6.10 pm. I attended a soirée for staff at Bob and Harry’s before we headed off, bundled into cars, to the putatively haunted Tynllidiart Arms for the annual School of Art Christmas bash:


The department is a family of sorts, for all of us. This is very rare is academia these days, and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Such commitment, friendship, and loyalty must be nourished, constantly.