VANITY PUBLISHING

Making a website. Dumping more stuff on the internet. Is that really a good idea? Surely it’s like opening a café in that empty premises between Caffé Nero and Starbucks?  The internet is already like landfill. The difficulty of internet research might be that what you’re looking for isn’t quite there, but it’s more likely to be that what you’re looking for is buried under a tangle of irrelevant stuff. It’s so easy to be seduced, distracted, to veer off, to end up watching daft You Tube videos.

 

The reason might be control. My Wikipedia entry is, to say the least, sketchy, a random collection of unrelated facts, with trivial projects described in minute detail, and comparatively substantial ones nowhere to be seen. My You Tube presence is dominated by terrible videos filmed on mobile phones. The worst example is a video (the word video is misleading, gives it a kind of dignity) of Raketensymphonie, a big chorus + fireworks event on the River Danube in Linz, Austria, filmed on a mobile phone by someone who must have been in Switzerland. You can just see the fireworks in the distance, and the music is inaudible – what you hear are snatches of conversation from the people near the phone. Not a great representation of the event.

 

Assembling this stuff is an up-and-down experience. Some of it seems rather wonderful, better than I remembered, some of it shamefully sketchy - how did I get away with that? I want to have another go at it, fail better. Not much point, the context has evaporated. It might be more useful as compost (my friend Sue’s brilliant description) for other projects, not necessarily my own.

 

Anything after about 1995 is comparatively easy to dig up. It’s mostly sitting in the documents folder of my computer. Before 1995 is much trickier, a chaotic mixture of analogue stuff – programmes, photos, paper documents, contracts, hand-written scores – which sits in boxes in our attic. A lot of this turned itself into papier maché when I stored it in a basement which flooded. The rest is not nearly so carefully categorized as I intended. Useful stuff is mixed in with odd postcards, letters, magazines which seem to have been kept for no reason. It’s a bit like researching on the internet.