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A group distraction, presented by nige.


The first instalment of Interview52 is now complete! It started on Friday 18th July 2008 and finished on 13th September 2009. A little later than expected, but we got there.


52 mobloggers from around the world...

Some familiar, some not...

Each will publish a unique self-portrait, accompanied by a short interview.

Candid portrait meets candid interview.

The Rules

Every Friday the next interviewee in line will publish a new portrait and interview, consisting of their answers to the ten questions they have been given.

After they have published, the interviewee will then become the interviewer. They will be responsible for finding the next participant, as well as compiling the questions that this next person in line will answer. Interviewers can change as many or as few questions as they like, but they should change at least one before passing them on to the next lucky punter.

Thats it! Simple. More detailed instructions will be given to each interviewee as and when they are approached, so fear not.

The interviewees so far









Jig along



Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri








Jane Doe



Spiderbaby / Freakdog




George w/Blue Eyes






















Strange Little Girl




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Recent visitors

ArkAngel - In search of the Simple Pleasures...

(viewed 3182 times)
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1. Where does this find you? Tell us the story of how you got there.

I'm on a train going to the Sheffield Documentary Festival to talk on
the subject of Non-linear Narrative and do a Show'n'Tell of my work
in the area. I'm focusing on Osama Loves ( which
is a participative journey narrative - think Dave Gorman meets A Long
Way Down with a bit of Pete McCarthy thrown in for good measure - and
Sexperience ( which uses anecdote/first-hand
experience to provide sex education beyond the easy answers of self-
help manuals. Someone Twittered me this week to tell me that if you
Google "sex" at the moment Sexperience comes up #2 of 680,000,000
returns. I missed the train I was supposed to get because I was
having a meeting with Antony Gormley and I was in no hurry to leave
his studio - it's not every day I get to meet a true artist of his
calibre. Even took a sneaky pic for Moblog (

2. Why do you moblog? How do you use the site?

Much though I love telling stories with words (, I
love even more telling them through still pictures. My Moblog is
called Simple Pleasures because it strives to capture in images the
day-to-day things that for me make life worth living - and living
well. Sometimes I list the Simple Pleasures represented in the image
- most of the time I let the pictures do the talking.

3. What's your least favorite subject to talk about? Why?

Money and finance. It's so dull, I can't work up any enthusiasm for
it. My wife once asked me would I mind if our older son (only a
toddler at the time) turned out to be gay - I said as long as he
doesn't turn out to be an accountant I'm happy for him to be whatever
he wants to be.

4. Now that the worst is over, what's your favorite, and why?

Music. I love it. Can't sing or play but it's central to my life. I'm
into art of all kinds but music is special in the way it by-passes
the intellect and goes straight to the heart (and cahones, if you buy
the Carlos Santana line - which I do). As Walter Pater said: All art
aspires to the condition of music.

5. What's your most vivid memory from your childhood days? Paint us a

Sharing Saturday mornings with my best friend every weekend from
shortly after starting secondary school. The routine was up to town
(central London from the suburbs) for a long Space Invaders session
in some dodgy old arcade; Foyles and various other bookshops for
browsing and judicious purchases; Forbidden Planet for comics; a bit
of a wander; then back out to the burbs for a tennis or table tennis
session; rounding off the day nicely at a local cinema (there were a
good half dozen within walking distance - now all flats or gyms or
razed to the ground). Very happy, carefree days punctuated with
Simple Pleasures.

6. What is the best purpose to which media -- any form of communication
media, from clay tablets up through radio, magazines, books, movies,
television, et cetera -- has ever been put?

Love letters.

7. How important is the visual element to presenting a feature to the
What if you were the only audience?

I'm a very visually oriented person, so hugely important, though not
always moving pictures - often a still image captures the essence
better. The technical 'quality' of the image is not critical - in the
same way Polaroids have a magical immediacy (as does Super 8) so can
mobile phone shots. That said, the cameras in phones are getting so
good I guess that aspect of moblogging is on its way out - shame in
as far as having a distinction between regular camera and phone
camera added a touch of the Polaroid-magic to the activity.

8. In your view, what's wrong with the world today?

People lose sight of the Simple Pleasures and what is truly of value.

9. If you had ultimate control, how would you fix it?

I would call in George Benson (in the absence of Nat King Cole) and
have him wander the Earth on a neverending tour singing Nature Boy to
each and every one of us:
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved in return"

10. Ask yourself -- and answer -- the question we most obviously left

Q. What's the best track of all time?
A. Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis (on Kind of Blue)

I'm going to have it at my funeral (on the way out - the way in track
is Acknowledgement by John Coltrane from A Love Supreme). I was
introduced to the record at college by Adam Barker, a former
Commissioning Editor at Channel 4, back then room-mate to David
Baddiel. So my first encounter with it was as a circle of black vinyl in a 500 year old room, 144 square inches of intense Miles with that far from square tie and cool blue suit beside the record player - a scene I can still picture vividly in my mind's eye. I love the track because it brings with it great tranquility.

Posted by arkangel

7th Nov 2008, 21:23   | tags:,,


nige says:

Worth waiting for, and not just because i'm a big-ass George Benson fan.

I'm curious, did you grow up near Milton Keynes, Arkangel? I've seen quite a few of your pictures from that neck of the woods.

Xalieri, you've outdone yourself with the questions, man.

8th Nov 2008, 00:25

Viv says:

Yes the questions were brill and the answers very interesting now I have to trawl your log ArkAngel :) Have got a bit lazy about looking beyond my dashboard

8th Nov 2008, 00:35

arkangel says:

Nige, one of my brothers lives in MK hence the occasional dispatches from that front.

Viv, they were indeed a great set of Qs - I particularly enjoyed pinning down the childhood one.

8th Nov 2008, 09:25

Viv says:

Yes strange how doing this can make you think about things that you don't otherwise give time too. Just like a stimulating conversation. Looked up all your links - you have a very full life, balanced by your appreciation of life's simple pleasures. So decided to go the whole hog and listen to flamenco sketches - very reflective - will send me back to Humph' too! :)

8th Nov 2008, 09:50

arkangel says:

Delighted you went that whole hog - I used to listen to that record every day at work for about 7 years and never got bored of it. Now I work in an open plan office and I'm not big on headphones so I don't listen to it quite as much any more, but still pretty often and with undiminished enjoyment.

8th Nov 2008, 11:19

great answers to great questions. Thanks for sharing these. I love your answer to #6 would wholeheartedly agree with the funeral music (although ideally I'd have a huge party and no funeral at all) and I'll go trawl through those bits and pieces I've not already checked out as soon as I finish the things that have to be completed for deadlines on Monday

8th Nov 2008, 12:50

queserasara says:

As I said last itme with Xalieri, I love that this group opens up a whole new world of people,images & friends. But that it also makes you stop for a minute & think & sometimes that is all it takes. Arkangel I love your answers, Xalieri I love the questions.

8th Nov 2008, 12:58

arkangel says:

Thanks Dhamaka & Queserasara, I've now forwarded the next set of questions to the next interviewee...

8th Nov 2008, 14:06

MaggieD says:

Thanks ArkAngel for being so open with us, love the way the questions are evolving ....

8th Nov 2008, 19:49

taniwha says:

Thank you ArkAngel. Kind of Blue is one of my all time favorites too.

9th Nov 2008, 20:35

arkangel says:

MaggieD, regarding the Qs - passing them on, I tried to get a balance between retaining a good proportion and introducing a few new directions. I also like the evolutionary pattern of the interviews. It will be fun eventually to compare the Qs of interview #1 and #52.

9th Nov 2008, 20:54

arkangel says:

Taniwha, what's the nearest thing you know to KoB that you also love? (i.e. I'm looking to discover a new record I may enjoy)

9th Nov 2008, 20:56

taniwha says:

That's a good question. I've sent you an e-mail ...

9th Nov 2008, 21:17

Fantastic answers to my questions, Arkangel. I got a little hint about a theme to try for, but the emphasis on music in your answers was a complete (and pleasant) surprise!

Music wanders into and out of my own life and rarely leaves a big impact on its way through. I see this as a flaw, largely, like some portion of my soul is wrapped in too many layers of cotton. Or, sometimes, metal. Your answers remind me how badly I need to work on that.


9th Nov 2008, 21:58

swamprose says:

what a rich interview. great questions, interesting answers, and lots to think about. thank you both.

am off to simplify things. and listen to some coltrane.

9th Nov 2008, 22:24

factotum says:

The questions are getting tougher, aren't they? Each set seems to be delving deeper on some point that previous interviewees skirted around.

10th Nov 2008, 02:58

arkangel says:

Xalieri, I think music is a bit of a numbers game. The more you listen to, in the more places and times, the more chance you'll experience that very occasional moment when it transcends the ordinary by reaching a part of you you barely knew existed. I can recall exactly the tracks that have done this for me - besides Flamenco Sketches, others include Bjork's Hyperballad, The Love Theme from Spartacus played by Bill Evans, Into the Fire by Bruce Springsteen, all kinds of music where the music and moment magically coincide in a perfect way.

10th Nov 2008, 08:48

arkangel says:

Taniwha, thanks a mil for the suggestions - will report back when I've tried some out.

10th Nov 2008, 08:49

arkangel says:

swamprose, delighted to have set off some coltrane and miles listening about the place

10th Nov 2008, 08:50

arkangel says:

factotum, i found the childhood one strangely difficult - difficult to chose a particular memory, challenging to suddenly think about so many things for the first time in a very long time - plus "vivid" prompts the bad as well as the good memories

10th Nov 2008, 08:53

shitake says:

Wow!That is interview!:up::D

10th Nov 2008, 21:26

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