Guadalajara 2007 First Flickr Phototour
Last Saturday, Gwyn invited me to the First Flickr Phototour of Guadalajara WP. I didn’t know what to expect or what the hell a phototour was (I brought my camera rather as an afterthought), but I wanted to meet that mysterious Gwyn and get some air. (My parents wouldn’t let me go at first, having read in the day’s newspaper about some local murderers that met their victims through the web. When they finally read the article more carefully and found the victims were local gays hooking up dates online, they exhaled, relieved, and let me go without further ado. Which was homophobic and then some but I can’t change the world all at once — I was too late already.)
Well, it was unbelievable fun. I read somewhere that as we grow old we stop seeing things and only name them instead. You look around your room and instead of seeing the bed — its shadows, texture, pattern, perspective — you call it “bed” — and move on. Precipice locals, from John Brunner’s WP Shockwave Rider WP novel, had a very peculiar way to fight this tendency:
“Say, I wonder how much further it is to Great Circle Course. Can we have come too far? No street names are marked up anywhere.”
“I noticed. That’s of a piece with everything else. Helps to force you back from the abstract set to the reality. Of course it’s something that can only work in a small community, but — well, how many thousands of streets have you passed along without registering anything but the name? I think that’s one of the forces driving people to distraction. One needs solid perceptual food same as one needs solid nutriment; without it, you die of bulk-hunger. There’s an intersection, see?”
With my formist ELZR obsession and my “My kingdom is not from this world.” joke, I am of course guilty of such distracted overnaming. (It has been, in fact, a point of pride.) And so it was a revelation for me to be forced by the shutter to shut up and simply look around.
There was a point, while we visited the Hospicio Cabanhas, when my euphoria was reaching religious-experience proportions. Everything was suddenly so sensual, so fresh and poignant EEM, so physical, so there. I looked and looked at stones and tree bark and white walls, and they seemed suddenly infinite in their detail.
I have to go back there soon. Sit in the middle of that huge, geometric patio, and read, design, or program the morning away. Which reminds me, I had this weird impossible idea before breakfast ELZR (I skipped it) that with its many patios, its huge rooms, and its beautiful cloisters, the Hospicio Cabanhas would be the perfect media hotel! ELZR We’ll see when we can afford it.
Here some of my favorite shots: