Thursday, June 14, 2012

Accidents can be fortuitous

On Saturday, after a whole day of working in front of the computer, I decided to take my dinner down to the canal outside our house, so that I could at least enjoy the last bits of sun. My usual seat had been occupied by a sleeping man, so I wandered further down to a quiet grassy spot where I could hang my legs over the water. I unwrapped my salad, and got out a photocopied article which J. sent me recently. It is titled 'Open Eyes', from the last issue of Frieze. How perfect for this project, and my current ideas,  I thought. Wanting to blog about it later and include a nice photo,  I balanced paper on one knee, bowl of salad on the other, fork and phone in one hand, at which point a gust of wind blew the papers and in a mad grab to save them I dropped the phone into the canal. Panicked and without a second thought, I jumped in after it. The camera was still on, showing a watery image of the algae on its screen. It was so beautiful, I wish I could show you a picture.

Now my phone is in a Tupperware container with a packet of rice. (According to the internet, this is what one must do if there is to be any chance of survival. Although, as I watch the screen flickering on and off like a failing heartbeat, I am not so convinced of its chances.) Strangely, though I have contemplated this moment often, I am not as upset as I imagined I would be. In fact, I have a sudden realisation that this might be the answer to my problem - that is, what on earth I am going to make for this project. My camera broke a few months ago, and has been gathering dust ever since. The iPhone was my substitute. Now I have two options left: an old video camera, which I haven't used for ages, and the iSight camera on my laptop. As it would be rather impractical to carry around the computer, I will use the video camera. And of course I will be drawing - the most analogue image recording process of them all!

Not having an iPhone also means I can't consult GPS when I am lost, check the weather from my bed without having to get up to look out the window, or ask Google when I can't remember something. It means (for now, anyway) not having an easy means of communication on the go. Arrangements to meet will have have to be planned ahead and stuck to. Really, it means one less interface between my daily experience of the world. Already this has led to interesting encounters, and changes in habit... Gaku is right - it is important to remember that things are not instant.

Now, I really wanted to write about the essay which was beginning of this whole story, but I am tired and will leave that until next time. Here's a link in the meantime.

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