8.45 am. Back to the essays. I’m in the top 4% for 30-day views on Academia.edu. But what does that mean? It’s one thing for others to window shop, quite another for them to buy. To date, not one opportunity to either converse, participate, or contribute has emerged from all the attention:
Dissemination is too often a one-way street. And it should not be confused with the concept of influence. (Exposure and effect aren’t synonymous.) I’m not convinced that the mechanics and conditions of influence are well understood. If they were, the principle would be reproducible. Certainly, the quality, uniqueness, relevance, power, standing, and admirability of the creative individual and their work play a part. Influence is not a constant, however. Who’d have thought that Bach and Rembrandt would have slipped towards the shadows of obscurity in the nineteenth century? One can be successful monetarily and feted by the public without being also influential. And, conversely, one can be stoney broke and known only to a few, but have enormous influence.
12.00 pm. The Fine Art board meeting. On this occasion, the external examiner reports on his review of both the shows and the viva voce that he’d held with the BA and MA students over the past few days, and also discusses, moderates, and confirms the internal marks. The process of arriving at an equitable outcome for the individual student and their cohort is long and anguished. Professor David Ferry, our current external, is an astute and intelligent judge. His advice to us, as examiners, is always salt and light; salutary and illuminating. Proceedings concluded shortly after 2.00 pm:
I made a formal complaint to the examination board overseeing my degree, for imbibing too much wine during its deliberations. Bottle and after bottle were delivered to the room where the board convened. The examiners emerged clearly glassy-eyed. The School of Art boards, by contrast, are as sobrietous as an AA meeting. (Although, admittedly, we overdo the olives, cheese, and parma ham on occasion.)
2.15 pm. I returned to homebase and the remaining Chapels in Wales essay, with Derek Bailey‘s dry and angular free-jazz guitar playing in the background. Bailey is one of three accomplished — and very influential — guitarists (the others being John McLaughlin and Allan Holdsworth) to emerge from South Yorkshire. What do they put in the water up there?
6.20 pm. Practice session 1: legato. 7.30 pm. Essays completed, I move on to the architectural reports for the module. A drizzle has settled in for the evening:
9.00 pm. A little banter with our hospitalised comrade. 10.45 pm. ‘The NIght Watch’: Onward chapel reports, marking as to …