Easter in Paris

mcvities
seine
louvre
figurine
lion_man
arm_cub
figurine2
ebih_il
islamic_screen
paris

romans

hermaphrodite

cafe
venus
louvre_wall
louvre2

Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris

This chilly Easter weekend I’m in Paris for the 3rd Conference of the European Narratology Network. Here’s some pics of the venue: a lovely and extremely varied campus, if a little run-down in places:

1_universite
2_art_deco_staircase
3_tiling
4_delegates_gather

The delegates gather.

5_brian_richardson

Brian Richardson delivers the one of the first keynote speeches on Friday morning.

6_mexico1
7_mexico2
8_mexico3

Human sacrifices entirely absent!

9_walkway
10_campus
11_stairs

Exciting but brutal modernist workout. Derelict.

12_wall1
13_heine_building
14_cambodia

Interesting juxtaposition: Bauhaus-style building with man-monkey statues.

15_campus
16_wall2
17_campus
18_soriano
19_campus
20_baroni

Raphaël Baroni delivers the final keynote on Saturday afternoon.

The conference? I delivered my paper yesterday and it went as well as could be expected. Overall? Let’s just say that I found the limits of my interest in narrative quite early on…

Dublin, November 2012

Another quick visit to Dublin. No time to look around, but plenty of dead time in airports. Fortunately I took Brian Eno’s A Year With Swollen Appendices to keep me company—his diary-with-essays from 1996—and consequently came home feeling much smarter. Coincidentally, there are a number of entries in the book about his own visits to Dublin, so keeping in the spirit of things here’s an ambient photo-essay on the airport:

dublin_tiles

dublin_orange

dublin_wood

dublin_grid

dublin_slats

dublin_green

dublin_wood2

Dublin, April 2012

Most years I get the opportunity to go to Dublin on business and it’s a place I’ve grown very fond of. Not sure I’d want to live there: financial crisis aside, the city has some serious structural faults that I’m sure test the resolve of even the most patient residents. The lack of a rail link to the airport seems bizarre, and the subsequent reliance on the roads is compromised by the endemic bottlenecks. The whole city seems to exist in a state of perpetual gridlock.
On the plus side, the Dart is the epitome of a civilized urban transport system, and I also particularly like the technoid bleeps and rimshots made by the pedestrian crossings. The people, of course, are lovely…

This year I explored the newly-developed area down toward the Grand Canal Docks: here are a few images (iPhone 4S).

conference_centre_beckett_bridge

The new Convention Centre and the Beckett Bridge seen from Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. In the background, and below, evidence of the financial crisis is all too visible:

shell

All the way down City Quay and along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay there’s plenty of slick post-modernist architecture, mostly housing financial institution:

modernist1

modernist2

…which ends abruptly as you reach where the Liffey, Dodder, and the Grand Canal meet. The graffiti-strewn wasteland at the point is the site of a proposed bridge across to York Road, much needed but apparently a victim of the Recession:

graffiti1

graffiti2

graffiti3

After circling back via Hanover Quay – did I really walk past U2’s studio? – we’re back into the high-PoMo island of Grand Canal Square:

gcs_tower

gcs_redposts

gcs_reflection

Which brings us back onto Pearse Street and directly back to the hotel:

pearse_street

_06

matter_knoll_chair

Interiors 1

Whilst in London last week I walked back from the South Bank to Victoria on two consecutive evenings. As I walked down Victoria Street the first night I was looking into the reception areas and foyers of the all-but-deserted office buildings, the shops, the restaurants, and it struck me how odd these places were at night.

Consequently, the next night I decided to do something about it and zig-zagged my way up the street, quickly shooting into the interiors. I say quickly, because the security guards did not look all that amused about being photographed, and there has been at least one incident in London of the Police demanding that images be deleted from cameras in the interests of “security.” I’m not just being paranoid: that night the whole place was crawling with Police because of political demos in Trafalgar Square.

Anyway, here are a few of these strange interiors:

Foyer 1
Foyer 1
Foyer 2
Foyer 2
Foyer 3
Foyer 3
Unlimited Shopping
Unlimited Shopping
Restaurant
Restaurant
Foyer 3
Foyer 4
Objects Of Desire
Objects Of Desire
Nighthawk
Nighthawk

All very shiny, all very bright, all very modern. Completely soulless. What on earth do these spaces say about us (apart from the fact we love wasting energy…)?

National Botanic Garden

A lovely Easter Sunday saw us at the National Botanic Garden of Wales again:

Crooked
Crooked
The Other Side Of Crooked
The Other Side Of Crooked
Reach For The Sky
Reach For The Sky
Spring
Spring
The Lake
The Lake
Tabletop
Tabletop
Galaxy Of Bubbles
Galaxy Of Bubbles
Silhouettes
Silhouettes

National Botanic Garden

A couple of weeks ago went on one of our regular family visits to the lovely (and noticeably improving) National Botanic Garden of Wales. Here are a few of the pictures I took. Making no claim to be a great photographer—a point-and-click merchant at heart—I’m really only interested in composition and colour. Or maybe texture. Whatever:

Hothouse Lily
Hothouse Lily
Green Fireworks
Green Fireworks
Black Lightning
Black Lightning
Zen Drainpipe
Zen Drainpipe
Tip
Tip
The Great Glasshouse
The Great Glasshouse
Red Flower
Red Flower
Slime Wall 1
Slime Wall 1
Pink & Orange Flower
Pink & Orange Flower
Slime Wall 2
Slime Wall 2
Flowers & Path
Flowers & Path
The Great Glasshouse (Detail)
The Great Glasshouse (Detail)