I’ve been asked more than once about what I consider to be my favourite post so far. It’s hard to remember them all and besides, I’m uncomfortable selecting let alone rating my own stuff. Perhaps Dream might be the most satisfying favourite or recently, I enjoyed writing Time Reverses. I also enjoyed being the lead in the story of failing to get a good shot of the moon in Sea and Light, only to get a better shot than I could have imagined. Who knows, perhaps readers might one day tell me their favourites?
I wonder if you know the work of Cai Guo-Qiang? I’d like to think that everyone will have a chance to see his pyrotechnics, if only by video of them. He started drawing with gunpowder, on paper, and then to took to painting with ‘black powder’ on the sky. He refined if not invented the concept of ‘ignition events’ which are extraordinary performances, each taking you on a unique journey. A throwback or homage to at least three of the Chinese culture’s Four Great Inventions. His printing with gunpowder on paper just needs a compass motif to complete the quartet that advanced global science and technology. He’s recently been experimenting with VR works and while that’s fascinating too, I prefer the videos I’ve seen where he uses the real sky as canvas.
Come to think of my own stuff, I really enjoyed publishing Chicken Shoes and Missing Notes Left in Space. And I liked writing the Shaggy Fenec episodes and the brace of Tax Collectors. And I hope On Biopsy Disaster helped someone somewhere.
But I titled this post Exploding Flowers and I’m reposting the picture from Dream that I didn’t fully explain. The desert flowers are dusty transients, a moment frozen after exploding dynamite sticks blossomed in light and sound in the Sahara desert about 25 years ago. The trucks in the background give a sense of the scale of this energy source array experiment, designed to send sound waves deep into the subsurface so that their reflections could be used to reveal the properties and contents of rock formations that were over 300 million years old. If you were an operations geophysicist, you’d be upset to see so much of the energy wasted by blowing desert sand into the air, not to mention the profligate use of an expensive energy source. These experiments proved educational but the technique was impractical for commercial project use.
And so it’s time to thank you readers for your support. I got a report this week that said ‘Your website was quite popular this year! You had 1,770 visitors!’ It added that the ‘best month was May with 446 visitors!’ Two encouraging exclamation marks are all I need to carry on.