Archive for: July, 2014

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John Thomson, Scottish ethno-photographer reference

More will follow as I learn about the backstory for this particular photographic reference.   Yesterday I discovered this character in a small market place about 1 mile from the hotel.  The older sepia photograph is by John Thomson Irish, approximately 1870 and the color one is mine from yesterday.  This references early and contemporary peep shows. John Thomson (14 June 1837 – 29 September 1921)was a pioneering Scottish photographer, geographer and traveller. He was one of the first photographers to travel to the Far East, documenting the people, landscapes and artifacts of eastern cultures. Upon returning home, his work among the street people ofLondon cemented his reputation, and is regarded as a classic instance of social documentary which laid the foundations for photojournalism. He went on to become a portrait photographer of High Society in Mayfair, gaining the Royal Warrant in 1881. [Wikipedia reference] I rephotographed Thomson’s work through the Special Collections at UMBC, USA.   

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Shanghai & Xiamen media resources

My friend, Saoirse Higgins turned me on to the following resources in Shanghai. hackspace: compatible: Not here in China, but the UK is this resources; Digital Media Labs Last night, July 5 we visited MASSBOT, which is located about a mile and a half from our hotel. Pretty amazing place where the artists have hacked the location architecturally, culturally and psychically- carving out a unique creative space for expression.  Here are a couple of photographs from last night. This couple served us tea for almost 40 minutes non-stop.  We did not know one another’s language, but communicated through the ritual of tea drinking.  We did use an iPhone app for translation, to say good bye and to also thank for them for their generosity and warmth. I don’t know much about how it works, but this is what I found on line. MASSBOT.

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Arrival, adjusting, learning – first week

My arrival to Xiamen from Beijing was intense due to a thunder storm that we arrived into.  My connector flight from Beijing to Xiamen was delayed for well over 2 hours putting me in Xiamen around 2:30 AM Wed, July 2 — despite my rough arrival I was have had a mild case of jet lag.  The whole trip took a little over 24 hours from Baltimore BWI Airport. Here is a view of Xiamen from the hotel where I am staying at the moment.  Believe it or not, I am staying at a very nice place called the Armed Police Sanatorium – a place next to where police are trained for service.  The hotel rents out space when there are rooms available, which are reasonable.  Xiamen University is a 10 minute walk from the hotel.  Early this morning I did some field recordings just under the trees in the foreground […]