Blog

Updates on talks and publications. I also periodically write reviews of books and films, interview people I’m interested in talking to, or write short essays and commentaries about issues that capture my attention.

[Film Review] Nocturnal Animals, by Tom Ford

I’m so biased in favour of Michael Shannon, I’ll go see anything he stars in. Especially the Jeff Nichols stuff. If you haven’t seen Take Shelter or Shotgun Stories or any of the others, do it now.  Having seen Arrival twice in the last couple of weeks, I also started the year curious to see more of Amy Adams’ acting, so one viewing of the Nocturnal Animals trailer was enough

[Film Review] Jodorowsky’s Dune, by Frank Pavich

Alejandro Jodorowsky, experimental film director with mystical ambitions, wished to turn Dune, that monument of science-fiction, into an even more monumental film, a film sacred and beautiful, that would set off mutations in young minds all across the globe and forever alter the course of film history like 2001 did before it. Had his ambitions come to fruition, we are told they would have in fact eclipsed Kubrick’s work, and put Star Wars to shame. Fifteen minutes into Jodorowsky’s Dune, I am ready to believe it.

[Book Review] Common Ground, by Rob Cowen

One night, feeling an urge to escape the sickening smell of fresh paint and beckoning boxes waiting to be unpacked, Cowen wanders out of his new home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. On the edge of town, he discovers a half-forgotten forest and fallow field hemmed in between housing and countryside, a place to which he feels a connection from the first instant. He begins to explore each part of this

[Book Review] Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, by Janine Benuys

Science and technology are a triumph of human ingenuity over nature. Or so we tend to think. Propelled by this idea, researchers and inventors of the past century have endeavored to subjugate the chaotic forces of nature to meet human needs. Their efforts have been met with such success that we now live in a time of arguably unprecedented technological prowess and copious material wealth. This has come at an

[Book Review] The Peregrine, by J.A. Baker

The Peregrine is the account of a man’s obsession with a bird. With only one other book to his name, J.A. Baker (1926 – 1986) is a somewhat mysterious figure. Recent investigation into his life revealed only that he lived near Chelmsford, in Essex. Although he worked for the local Automobile Association, he was unable to drive and rarely went further than his bicycle could take him. What is clear

[Film Review] The Salt of the Earth

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, The Salt of the Earth is an ode to Sebastião Salgado, the Brazilian photographer. In this moving documentary, Wim Wenders’ and Salgado’s son Juliano draw his portrait. The two filmmakers complement each other, intercutting Wenders’ inventively shot black and white interviews with Juliano’s color footage. Both achieve a form of intimacy, the first by creating a space for Salgado

[Essay] Google Glass and Human Nature

Introduction On the 27th of June 2012, Google held its first demonstration of Glass at their I/O Developers Conference. Presented as a groundbreaking product, paving the way for widespread ‘wearable’ computing, it provoked considerable excitement. However, concerns were quickly raised: on our dependence on such technologies, their impact on our bodies and minds as well as human interactions and social norms. As Google’s apparent lack of interest in discussing these