A Forest in a Land filled with Trees
The Last of the Jigsaw Decks
And Ambitious Photo Essay with a Loose Data Aggregation Theme: Part One

When you spend time staring at all the small fiddly bits of a project – the individual trees – you can often lose sight of the bigger picture you’re building – the spooky woods, the deep forests and the vast, dense, jungles.

Looking up at the brances of an old tree

This is an old problem resulting from our only possessing two eyes and them being rooted in sockets located strictly on the front of our skulls. Luckily we have invented tools that allow us to see the forest as a whole; or at least get a decent impression of it.

View over treetops at Culbin in Nairnshire

So, what am I going on about? First things first, the last of the decks left the building the other day. I thought they’d all gone weeks back but it turned out there was one I’d missed. Here it is as photographed by Mister Kennedy upon its arrival with him in California.

PB Deck Number 49During the course of the marquetry deck project (photos here and video here) they’ve shipped out to France, Canada, Australia, The USA and Scotland. I’ve come into contact with Crys from Askate and Peter from Faith, with Frank from Utah and Brian and Chris from Canada. I met Chris at a demo in Calgary and wrote a good luck message on his summer deck. A day or 2 later Jamie Thomas lay on the ground and used his phone to snap this frontside sad grab in Winnipeg.

Rattray front sad grabs in WinnipegAn hour later I snapped my wrist.

emergency3Misdirected anger can really fuck things up.
The next day Cardiel posted a photo of his OGPB tee shirt. That provided real, uplifting, encouragement. Here’s Cards in Livi in ’91 being photographed by Skin while Wig Worland photographs Skin photographing John. Thank you Skin, Wig and John.

John Cardiel at Livingston in 91So, thus far the PB decks and associated products have been stocked by Antisocial,

Anti Social Skate Predatory Bird Shop FlyerlFocus, where stalwart pediatric nurse Russ Hall created this rad collage
russ_hallLost Art in Liverpool.
lostart Creative in Inverness.

Predatory Bird thingsAnd Boarderline in Aberdeen, where senior skatepark supervisor, Michael Hume, captured this picture of a rugged adult-winter herring gull and titled the resulting image This is Not a Cat

Adult Winter Herring GullNow, the data.

By this point it can be numbing & nauseating to try to imagine the number of photographs taken at any given moment, of: cats, butts, cat butts, weed and people, falling, yelling and blurry. That said, it’s also great that people have leisure time to post all these photos i.e. they don’t have to devote every waking minute to the vital business of basic survival. Which brings us to the aforementioned technological tools of our age and the technique that allows a meaningful picture to emerge from all the noise: Data aggregation!
In this case the data is photographs – of seagulls and seagull related things – that have by some method of tagging or posting made their way to me.

What I’m saying is that this blog post is effectively the large array radio telescope of people taking photographs of gulls. Or at least, this blog post is the display unit attached to the large array radio telescope and the large array radio telescope is everyone’s cellphones.

Panoramic view of the Very Large Array in New MexicoEither way, before we look at the data we should take a moment to remember one important fact: gulls are hated for doing what they are compelled by their nature to do, so, are you sitting comfortably?
Okay, some time ago Ed Templeton took this photo of the model Ruby Aldridge locked in a grim, deadly tug of war over a curly frytempster3Many months later, possibly even on the same stretch of coastline, just a few miles to the north, Dylan Rieder – a young man who many consider model-like – shot this photo of a person who may or may not be named Andrew James Peters practicing some form of Intestinal Yoga amidst a mass take offswankfuckgullNow, at some cold point between those events this puffed up gull I like to call “Skene House Sentry” was spotted in Aberdeen, Scotland, by Tightwhytetytewhyte_adeengullSubsequently, a few weeks after Deck met Duck by way of Brian Heinrich, in Canada, pointandclick_wood_duck

this chip lusting window-lickerpiratephotography_adeenwindowgulland this Big Bird were also spotted in Aberdeen, Scotland, only this time by Stuart Taylorpiratephoto_largegullNow, at more or less the same exact time, in California, Kyle Leeper was being followed rather closely by Joe Peasepease_leepergullFollowing that incident a dogeared copy of the mainly forgotten romance novel Where Seagulls Cry turned up in Wisconsin and was duly photographed by Sky High, Milwaukee.novel1This relates to an actual physical act in which some actual physical postcards were sent to me from Sky High via the traditional postal system. They now occupy actual physical space and defy gravity by way of magnets on my fridge. Technology. Thanks again Sky High!

Gull PostcardsNow, in the same town, around the same time as the postcards were unearthed, John McGuire was photographed by hot gothy lady’s outfitter Bona Drag
A man wears a fishnet stocking on his head while brandishing a skateboard deck

Then, not three weeks later, on another outing to the Huntington Beach pier, Ed Templeton caught this glimpse of this gull with a missing foot.One Legged gull in flight by Ed TempletonLittle did Ed realise that on that same day that same gull had been seen and photographed by a person known simply as, Pink MombaOne legged gull by Pink MombaWe’re not sure if Ed noticed this interesting photographic overlap but we do know that he went on his merry way and photographed this gull hovering behind this consistently impressive pelican; the huge webbed feet, the massive, spear-like bill, look at this beast, stunning!

pelican and gull by tempsterAnyway, at some point in the midst of all this I am laying on a bunk, on this Monster-Energy-sponsored bus, in a parking lot just outside of El Paso, Texas.

Keegan skips while the Monster bus restsAt which point Jon Horner, possibly while sitting in a pub in London, posted this picture of Orville, the taxidermied cat helicopter, created by Dutch artist Bart Jansen.

Orville the taxidermied cat helicopterand out of the resulting conversation The Predatory Bird comic was born.

the pb comic part 1Throughout this whole process the data kept streaming in.

Lesley Barnes was confronted by this sign

Please do not feed the gulls

Laura Dee observed this defiant act

Gull defys no animals sign

Chip carrier looked up and saw this sign

Do not feed birds sign

While Peter Evans discovered this fact

Public notification that gulls will attack

and observed this related item

reusable seagull proff refure sack

Camera wielding carpenter Campbell Gardiner looked in the newspaper and read this
16000 pound gull bin plan news report
Stuart Taylor happened upon this gritty scene
Gull eats pizza atop an overturned bin
sharp eyed Squiddo noticed this bold, statement-making, juxtaposition
Invader by Squiddo

And Betonbrut alerted me to this motif discovered in the streets by Dougal Marwick
gullstreetartdougalwarwick_bybetonAll this just scratches the surface of what’s really going on! The picture emerging is both troubling and fascinating as the data continues to stream in.

4 thoughts on “

A Forest in a Land filled with Trees
The Last of the Jigsaw Decks
And Ambitious Photo Essay with a Loose Data Aggregation Theme: Part One

  1. I am always looking for these sorts of article detailed information about animals should be discussed. I really appreciate your work and I also share it to my friends.

  2. Some magnificent specimen. Keep up the solid work John, both gull and Balance related.

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