Saturday, August 30, 2008

Context or not?

Isn't it beautiful? No? Can't appreciate it? Not until you "solve" it?
OK, it's a long exposure of a girl jumping with a burning rope.
Does that feel better? Or worse?

It's good to know that you can tolerate a mystery.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Callipygian solipsism...

Tickle your ass with a homunculus?

Is the art life (as David Lynch calls it) one of the most evolved forms a human life can take? Or the least participatory?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Viva "The Kuc"...


Note: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) had one line redacted from his speech, which suggested some conservatives need to serve time in prison. The original line read: “They’re asking for another four years — in a just world, they’d get 10 to 20.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

K-9 I.Q. ...

I'm not sure exactly how they're measuring the intelligence of various dog breeds, but this list seems to have a science. The Border Collie takes the top slot and the Afghan Hound, looking good at the other end, probably won't win any chess tournaments. Not listed: mutts, whose mixed blood is well-known to yield fortified smarts.

(photo by Elliott Erwitt)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do it again...

It's too long and it makes my wife look fat.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just plain rude...

I really don't think it's appropriate for a puma to leap like this any more. I don't know if it is an enforceable, legal infringement of the Puma logo, but really it's just in bad taste. We get it. You look like one of the great brand signatures of the last century, ha ha, cute. Now go back in your cave and eat a jogger. Animals are so disrespectful of our hard work.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Borderline fashion...

A woman arrives in a fashionable city with a preconceived notion of how to dress, how her hair should be, how she should augment herself. It's usually an uncomfortable visual arrangement. And the cities are full of these people asserting their tepid interpretations of that city's supposed look. They buy a few new items, the look is "perfected." Then something even worse happens. They bring the look back to their hometown. Banners of culture! So, you get the gal who's been to Paris who wears a beret in the local Starbucks. That one's been to Milan. Scarves are involved. Los Angeles. The ironed hair. The ugly jeans. You know it. You've seen it. It depresses me because, even as someone who is generally fashion unaware, I do notice and appreciate interesting fashion that is less about locale and more about unexpected individual expression. The right gesture of genuine eccentricity, the right accessory, when it matches or enhances the character of the wearer, can be exhilarating.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cut the string, sever your instincts, Just Do It!

I would encourage you to read the comments from yesterday's post.

Also, unlike our good brother Nick, I would encourage you to NOT relinquish your connection to purity and authenticity no matter how pale and petty they may seem against the backdrop of the 21st Century. I know I'm paddling up a river here, but I believe a society is defined by the strength of its individual voices - Voices that stem from an "unsullied" creative core. Once we abandon purity and authenticity (ostensibly because they are meaningless, vaporous terms), we destabilize the compass that processes the world around us, we lose touch with the deep psychic images and messages that give us ideals and standards to hold up against reality. We lose the spirit of rebellion and intervention that sets us apart from thriving power structures that would gladly have us believe that purity and authenticity are valueless.

("Intervention #1" by William Lamson)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pimping the "Losers"...

In the ultra-colorful documentary Beautiful Losers we are invited to dip into the free-flowing and melancholic waters of several well-established NY and LA "street" artists. It's an enjoyable ride if you don't stop to think or scratch the carefully crafted surfaces that dazzle us as we glide by. We hear the artist's stories, we experience their total absorption in their aesthetic worlds, we see shows (and skateboards) mounted, and we sense the connective tentacles of cool writhing beneath it all.

Mike Mills, Geoff McFetridge, Ed Templeton, Shepard Fairey, Barry McGee, among others show us how much they've "kept it real" despite all the fame and fortune and suckling at the teat of corporate America. Surely, they appear to be a genuinely humble bunch. It's hard to call them "losers" though. Wounded teens in adult bodies is more like it. They faithfully waive the now tattered Gen X banner: A willful and cartoony powerlessness.

What connects this posse is a sort of folksy innocence - a willingness to admit that they are not the smartest people in the room, and that they're just doing what makes them feel good. OK. But again, don't think too hard, lest these seductive delusions escape the hermetic bubble of this film and explode in your face like cans of spray paint left in the sun.

The will-to-innocence especially comes in handy when it comes to sugar-coating the mega-deals so many of these artists have struck with ad agencies, on behalf of mega-corporations, who appropriate their art, in order to better hawk sugar-water, sneakers, and other goods. It's cool - They're letting me do my thing... is the general consensus. "These ad people are like us, just grown up and doing grown up jobs." "They want to be cool and involved with art."

I don't know, at the end of the day, what Pepsi and Nike want is to earn money for their shareholders. If that involves tapping these artists' beloved aesthetic nectar, and slapping a logo somewhere in the frame (albeit "carefully" by someone with incredibly complicated eyeglasses and a fitted plaid shirt), well my friends, I still think we're wrapped up in a toxic process. I don't think the Beautiful Losers' joyous self-intoxication is a solution to the kind of viral wolf-in-sheep's-clothing manipulations the advertising industry uses to shout at us and take our money.

For me this aspect was impossible to shake, even though the film is quite entertaining and the talking heads throughout quite cuddly. Call me old fashioned, call me out of touch, call me Ishmael, but I'm going to keep drawing that line between art and commerce, even though it's been beautifully lost in so many communities. I have no problem with artists stepping over the fence - but pretending the fence doesn't exist does a disservice to us all.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Time to make another move...

Where we will land, doing what, no one knows... the choice is unchosen. How spectacular! Who knew this life would be such an obstacle course of brutal body blows, mind bombs, and leaping over swinging scimitars. Still, we're here, still we're plunging forward, perhaps the mirror reveals a shocking medley of scar tissue. Who expected differently? Can fearlessness endure experience? Stay tuned...

("Cloclo navigates the iron slat table with fish plates" by Paul Gachot)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

He doesn't rehearse...

"He doesn't rehearse. ... He chooses the people he's going to play with shortly before the session, so everyone is playing by the seat of their pants, and the music is at constant risk, subject to the weaknesses of whoever's in the room. But he gets absolutely spontaneous moments of greatness you couldn't rehearse."

Music producer Steve Albini on Will Oldham/Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Friday, August 15, 2008

Who gets between you and nature?

Isn't it a funny thought that in this strange dream of life, that we allow ourselves to be governed, to be told what we can and can not do?
Who's interrupting your rapture? What are they offering?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What did you do today?

Abida Parveen saved the world. Again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


A date has finally been announced for the switching on of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider. The LHC is located in a 27km-long circular tunnel that lies beneath the Franco-Swiss border. The first attempt to circulate a beam of particles around the tunnel will take place on September 10, 2008 according to a Thursday statement by the LHC's builders, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern).

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Materials Economy explained (Story of Stuff)...

This exceptionally crisp and effective little film is worth 20 minutes of your time... Information you'd rather have than not.

(thanks Jonathan, image by Banksy)

Then again, dreaming is, at times, a luxury...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

August is for dreaming...

Try to get yourself somewhere where you can see the Perseids. They will trigger unthinkably vivid Septembers.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

C'est la vie, Henri...

(Short film by Will Braden)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Elegance and Pride...

Partial list of places to visit at the hallowed Pizza Hut Park sports arena in Frisco, TX:

Verizon Wireless Club
Dr. Pepper Victory Center
Texas Credit Union Hall of Fame

Hey... I've got a name for a sports arena!

How's about: "We-Don't-Care-About-Your-Fucking-Company's-Name Stadium"?