Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Orioles



Established as a vocal group years before the baseball team came to Baltimore, The Orioles are a sonic reference point of long-standing tradition. Established in the 1950's, they went from singing on street corners to getting immortalized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and developed a harmonizing style that would later come to be known as doo wop. Now, 60 years later, they’re still with us – and still singing. In this production, we pay a visit to the surviving members of The Orioles – Diz Russell, Raymond Allen Jr, David Warren, and Clark Walker – and we learn about the magic of: “Hey-dah-nee-ding-dong-a-lang-a-lang-a-whoa-whoa-whoa-zip-sha-boom!”

For this production I once again collaborated with Aaron Henkin of WYPR and Cliff Murphy of the Maryland State Arts Council and Maryland Traditions. This is the third project we've done together, with more to come. What a privilege to work with such amazing folks!

Here's the incredible radio piece, and more links to the expanded story at The Signal.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Said Yes


I've had this wonderful thing happening over the last several years (4+!), and today (yes today, the 11th of September) all variables converged to help me secure that this wonderful thing continues. I pronounced my love past and still yet to come and asked Meaghan to marry me. Thanks to all who contributed to this project, and endorsed my crazy proposition. Fortunately, she indeed, said yes!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Andrew Katrina



My lovely friend Andrew has just written one of the best accounts I've ever read about New Orleans during Katrina.  He's remembering this not only on the fifth anniversary of the storm, but also after moving back South having spent five years in Baltimore.  His otherworldly presence is missed dearly!  Be sure to find part 2 (and soon part 3!) on his blog as well.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Palate and Pantry

Take a peek into the food front, made even more local (shoot, it's in my own backyard!) by visiting the recipes, insights and observations, on eating awareness at The Palate and Pantry blog.  A wonderful time of year to grow with your food, watching the cornucopia of options unfold.

Maria Ambromovic


There's an incredible show up at Moma through the end of May...Maria Ambromovic, matriarch of performance art, in The Artist is Present.  Get there now.

Initially I was excited to see also the Cartier-Bresson show, but after a few hours with Maria, I found I couldn't really see anything else...Cartier-Bresson's photos just looked like static fragments, dead on the wall.  On my part, it was visual fatigue and an entirely new way of calibrating my intake of ideas, that I found hard to toggle off to ingest photography.  The emotion conveyed in the Ambromovic retrospective was so palpable - years, decades!, after it's original act, that it made me, once again, question the inherent limitations of various media.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Impoverished, Neglected little bloggie


To you, my neglected leetle blog, from the wordsmith Elizabeth Wordsmith:

The neglected shores of my soul erode
Day after day with the onslaught of demands
Waves crashing with ever increasing intensity
Crying out give to me, give to me

And Mr. R Frost's, In Neglect, says it well:

They leave us so to the way we took, As two in whom them were proved mistaken, That we sit sometimes in the wayside nook, With mischievous, vagrant, seraphic look, And try if we cannot feel forsaken.

But the best comes from Jackie St.Clair, because I know she knows how you're feelin'.  I will make you some toast soon, lil' B...I just have to get through these 12,000 images I'm editing first:

why will no one
play with me
i am as lonely
as can be
i want to go
outside and play
but I'm stuck in here all day
are you almost done with that show
your almost done
yes i know
I'm hungry now
oh wont you please
make me a piece of toast with cheese
i know your busy
i can see
but i am a lonely hungry me
i need new clothes
mine are too small
we could go shopping at the mall
but yes i know our money's spent
to the TV is where it went
am i not the most important thing
into your life that you did bring
i only ask a little love
one small kiss
and one small hug

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ahmad Borhani



An evening spent with Ahmad Borhani, Persian Classical Musician. This airs on WYPR's fantastic local arts and culture program, The Signal this Friday at Noon.

Ahmad Borhani left Iran in 1985 and sought temporary refuge in Turkey. He was there for four months awaiting a Visa, and then moved to Baltimore. It took three more years before his wife and children could move here to join him. Ahmad has earned his living as a music teacher and performer since coming here. Prior to moving to the United States, he was a chancellor of the 2nd biggest University in Iran. As you may know, there was a cultural revolution in Iran in 1979. Institutions of higher education came under close scrutiny, and the government closed the Universities indefinitely in ’85. Ahmad had organized an underground effort to stop this, but failed. Hence his departure from Iran. In addition, the highly orthodox Islamist government discouraged the practice of music.

He has instruments on hand that he and his students built when they first arrived here (it was impossible to find Iranian instruments in the USA, so they had to make them). Persian Classical Music is pretty ancient stuff, and they tend to make claims that it dates back to around 800 BC. It’s based on a system of musical scales that are passed on orally. So while this is “Classical” music, it’s learned in a traditional manner (not from sheet music) and is highly interpretive in its arrangements.

Produced by Shane Carpenter in collaboration with Aaron Henkin of WYPR (The Signal and Tapestry of the Times), and Cliff Murphy of the Maryland State Arts Council.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Driftless



Having grown up in nearby South Dakota, Danny Wilcox Frazier's views of life in Iowa, his home and unending provider of stories, is familiar. Similarly, South Dakota was my original subject, as I pieced together my relationship with friends, family, and the fields surrounding us. I first got excited about the craft when I realized I could use it as an excuse to meet random people, gain access; so I drove around the state doing just that when I was 19. I went back this winter for the first time in about ten years. The last time being when my Mom moved away, and the time before that when my childhood friend died. Should I ever goddamn get around to putting it all together, I can only hope that it approximates this tremendous work that DWF and the MediaStorm folks have put together. Tech questions, answered.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Too Soon


Gosh, a whole spate of lives ending too soon recently. Very sad to lose my cousin Mark at 34, my "uncle" Paul is on his deathbed at a still ripe 68, and friend John Gutierrez at 45 passed just last week. He had a wonderful "life celebration" at his gorgeous studio that he both lived and played in.

He made a gate for me a few years back, just the framework really, to hang wood on. His business was (is) just busting at the seams with work - customizing mansions, restaurants, and businesses - but he sat with me, spending time drawing sketches, working the details. He said, "You know, we don't really do work like this anymore". I said yes John, I'm very grateful. "OK good, now let's build you a kick ass gate". He just couldn't let shoddy work come out of his studio. R.I.P.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow


Ever get water up your nose while taking a shower during the winter months and be reminded of swimming in the ocean on a warm summer day? Well that was a bit like being inside our snow cave with candles burning, drinking beer, as the blizzard whipped outside, Earl waiting for chip crumbs to fall to the snow, eating them like ice cream treats.

Found this Gary Snyder poem which kinda reminds me of the surreal nature of weather, and even more bizarre, how we accept it, but find so many other, much less mystical experiences so benign. Ya know, like, people have a hard time understanding a big blue canvas as art, or a man locked in a room with wolves, but they will watch snow fall from the heavens and pile up outside their windows while baking cookies?

Pine Tree Tops
in the blue night
frost haze, the sky glows
with the moon
pine tree tops
bend snow-blue, fade
into sky, frost, starlight.
the creak of boots.
rabbit tracks, deer tracks,
what do we know.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kuleshov

A Uighur skips school and gets drunk at Qiemo's dry levee. Many young Uighurs can't get jobs because of racism and language requirements, and their traditional jobs as traders and farmers have become unprofitable. Photo by David Degner

Cindy Terasme screams after seeing the feet of her dead 14-year-old brother Jean Gaelle Dersmorne in the rubble of the collapsed St. Gerard School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. Photo by Gerald Herbert

Cindy Tersme weeps for her 14-year-old brother, Jean Gaelle Dersmorne, who is amid the rubble of the collapsed St. Gerard school. Photo by Carol Guzy

While scanning today's news, I'm reminded of the crazy barrage of images available for one's eyes and the subsequent limits of digesting that sheer volume. Then there's the way you intake the information...you could read the same newpaper at home that you'd read while on a plane or in the place it was written, and have totally different interpretations. The same for reading images. Laptops and web-enabled phones are particularly crazy in that respect...internet almost anywhere? How do you give priority to urgency while standing in line at Starbucks? Reading the news in bed lands differently than at a train station, at the dentist... I remember Noam Chomsky pointing out the value one places, by sheer placement in the newspaper, on the content one is reading. A brazier ad next to an investigative article about the Swine Flu hype to make pharmaceutical companies rich or Pottery Barn's new couch next to 47 killed in a bomb blast? And geez, what about phone conversations? I talk to my Mom while sitting on that couch, while at the Space Needle observation deck, in the car. Are we becoming completely disembodied and mass desensitized, incapable of calibrating urgency?

The Kuleshov Effect in film speaks to this phenomena in a way, and was a pretty interesting experiment for the time. Though sometimes, I think the effect is absolutely everywhere, just in various shades of gray, and we're continuously toggling our priority switches off and on.

The Washington Post had a great article about the blunt imagery showing trauma from Haiti: "...the cruelty and anguish of this disaster are also incongruously large compared with the usual, crude metrics -- the reading of the Richter scale or the body count -- we use to assess earthquakes. The images may be stronger and more visceral because they are already in argument with the bland ranking the history books may record."

And a fantastic essay by Errol Morris: Thought Experiment

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Keywestin'


Down to the southernmost experience of this year in Key West, Florida. Some unexpected news exchanged Yohan for Eddie, but all parties made the most of what we were given. I found this at one of the churches while exploring around town:

Death is not too high a price to pay for having lived. Mountains never die, nor do the seas or rocks or endless sky. Through countless centuries of time, they stay eternal, deathless. Yet they never live! If choice there were, I would not hesitate to choose mortality. Whatever Fate demanded in return for life I'd give, for never to have seen the fertile plains nor heard the winds nor felt the warm sun on sands beside the salty sea, nor touched the hands of those I love. Without these, all the gains of timelessness would not be worth one day of living and of loving; come what may. - Dorothy Monroe

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Birthday Bike Ride


Me and m'lady celebrating my being born by cycling 100 miles in two days, coming and going over the Eastern Continental Divide. With our late start on the first day due to my incessant dawdles, we ended up biking through Blair Witch territory (it was filmed nearby), in the dark, on Halloween night. It couldn't have been a more perfect accidental thrill.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Galavantin'


Good times with Eddie in the city, keeping New York eminently discoverable.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Pale Blue Dot


This narrow-angle color image of the Earth, dubbed ‘Pale Blue Dot’, is a part of the first ever ‘portrait’ of the solar system taken by Voyager 1. The spacecraft acquired a total of 60 frames for a mosaic of the solar system from a distance of more than 4 billion miles from Earth and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic. From Voyager's great distance Earth is a mere point of light, less than the size of a picture element even in the narrow-angle camera. Earth was a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. Coincidentally, Earth lies right in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image so close to the sun. This blown-up image of the Earth was taken through three color filters – violet, blue and green – and recombined to produce the color image. The background features in the image are artifacts resulting from the magnification.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One Credo After Another or On Recognizing Bottomlessness


There is one thing that separates us from animals. I know we have opposable thumbs and stock markets and hybrid SUVs. But the most essential line of demarcation between human beings and, say, squirrels, is the stories we can tell. Animals don't have narrative. They can't turn the arc of their experience into a reoccurring tale. They know the scent of danger, but can't describe it. The narrative is the ideal housing for significance and it is significance that makes meaning and meaning that makes us matter.

I once worked at a publishing company reading the slush pile of unsolicited manuscriptes and it was tragic and awe-inspiring how many people felt they had important stories to tell. But that is because we are pathological narrative-makers. Put any two objects on your desk, choose two random words out of the dictionary, and a story will start to flow from them, the way any two musical notes form a third harmony. Some inspired cocktail of 3-D vision and powerful memory gets the ball rolling. "The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new," begins Samuel Beckett's Murphy. There is no more reluctant beginning to a novel, but human beings are so hardwired to discover significance , that even this ornery opening growls like an MGM lion, and sends us on our way. The sun shone. Yes it did. And does. We want meaning, and we find it everywhere.

I am a photographer, and can't help noticing how potent the search for significance is. The absurd task of imposing a rectangle on the flow of the world, and calling that rectangle important, seems to have no end and no zenith. The world's things are only integers, with infinite other numbers between them, infinite narratives. If you put an orange on a table, and ask 15 college freshman to photograph it - as I do every year - you will end up with 15 different sets of significance, 15 meanings. The camera is mechanical and horny; it doesn't care what you put in front of it. But it loves everything thoroughly, from only one vantage point, so there are as many expressions of that camera's love as there are points in space to photograph from. The narrative flow appears to be bottomless.

I think what makes us tragic, as a species, is the inability to recognize that bottomlessness. We tend to privilege one narrative over another, declaring one religion's creation myth, one nation's constitution, the one true story, shutting our ears to the narratives leaking from every arc of the globe. Narrative can instantly calcify into dogma, and when it does, the natural resource that is our scent, our taste, our ear, our mind for narrative, starts to dry up. In a time when narratives of our failure to survive as a species are spreading from church to science journal, I believe the tolerance and openness we can gain from listening hard to as many sets of significance as possible, will help the sun keep shining, with endless alternative, on something new.

-Tim Davis

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Face Balance


Drempt I had the unique ability to tell, to the exact percentages, what side - left, right, or middle - people slept on. For example, I'd see a person and say, "Forty two percent left side, twenty eight percent middle, and thirty percent right".

Here's a photo of Mountain Girl, Jerry Garcia's widow when she was in town supporting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's renditions of Grateful Dead music. I'm not sure what side she sleeps on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Many Tings!


Here's a little tidbit of amazement with TINGS from Dalia on our taxi ride a few months back. M and I (and now others) have carried on her proclamation of overwhelmingness..."So many tings!"

Which reminds me...this always continues to fetch wonders within.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happyhouse II


I think I lucked out on the serendipitous combining of elements on the first video...this one took awhile longer to put together. Nonetheless, here's a month-on update with one notable omission - Matt helped tear up the tile on what turned out to be one of the hottest, sweatiest days of the year so far. And with respirators on, allergies dripping, and asbestos crumbling, it was one of the more trying projects. Thanks dude.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pages 57 and 58


From the esteemed "Working On Your House" magazine.

O.S. Fowler, who, among his skull-reading and other diverse hobbies, came to design octagonal homes, noted that the properly proportioned and configured house could bring about truly harmonious living. Because if not..."How much fretfulness and ill temper, as well as exhaustion and sickness, an unhandy house occasions. Nor does the evil end here. It often, generally, by perpetually irritating mothers, sours the tempers of their children, even before birth, thus rendering the whole family bad-dispositioned by nature, whereas a convenient one would have rendered them constitutionally amiable and good." So, in an effort to keep Earl well-dispositioned and friendly, we're going to give this project a really thorough think through.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New book tkaes humbug out of quotations


Today's batch of spam included this exquisitely composed image with the above subject line. Fantastic. It looks like one of those graphical data entry fields made to prevent spam, that's unexpectedly spawned new life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's America Time


Bloodied my knuckles strumming, over and over again, to the chorus of "It's America Time" as a mock band member in a Miller beer commercial. None of us really knew what the job entailed, other than its content (beer) and geographic marketing range (Southeast Asia). That, and we'd be getting paid $150 for an hour of lip-synching. Seen here is the second scene, in which we counted down in looping "three, two, one, cheers!" where we were scripted to laugh and clink our bottles (labels towards the camera) with the director yelling, "Into the light!". Photo credit: Steve Longley

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rilke


From the Second of the Duino Elegies:

Lovers, if they knew how, might utter
strange things in night air. Since it seems
everything hides us. Look, trees exist; houses,
we live in, still stand. Only we
pass everything by, like an exchange of air.
And all is at one, in keeping us secret, half out of
shame perhaps, half out of inexpressible hope.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happyhouse


Working towards sompin' by undoing others work. Strange, but satisfying stuff, I say.

In an effort to unpile the mass of documentation that I accrue, and not get bogged down with the refining process, I had a ten minute time limit to put this one together and send it off to Mom. The iMovie template dealio, though sort of a cheezefest, helps cohere it together instantly.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lesser Knowns Revisited


New Hampshire is home to a number of unique political traditions. Among those traditions is the open primary, which allows any citizen with $1000 dollars to appear on the ballot alongside the incumbent President and his high-powered challengers. With platforms ranging from abolishing the IRS to pumping hydrogen economy to having no discernible platform at all, the lesser-known candidates, as they prefer to call themselves, use the country's biggest political stage to air their beefs with Big Brother and to fight for their share of the electorate.

My friend and colleague Nathan and I, went up to New Hampshire first in 2004, then again in 2008 to take a look at the process and see what that whole "Live Free or Die" thing was about. At the time Nathan was working at TIME magazine, where we were fortunate to have found an audience.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mexicoco


Wondrous wandering from Mexico City to Zihuatenajo to Cuernavaca for a wedding I was hired to document. So strange to hear now, about all of these places, just filled with the crazy jubilance that is Mexico, now quiet, as people hide their breath away. Looks like I've outlasted the incubation period, so I can safely say I'm pigflu-free. It's disconcerting to think of the all the repercussions, if entirely subconscious, that might keep people away from traveling there.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friends and Family of Ola Belle Reed



A Saturday afternoon in Elkton, Maryland spent sharing stories and music inspired by Ola Belle Reed. Produced by Shane Carpenter in collaboration with Aaron Henkin of WYPR, and Cliff Murphy of the Maryland State Arts Council.

This is a special companion piece to Episode #27 of Tapestry of the Times. And for more information on Ola Belle Reed’s recordings, check out the Smithsonian Folkways website.

You may first need to download the latest version of Flash HERE for a consistent playback experience.

*In the bottom, right corner of the video, there are four little arrow dealios that will expand the display for a higher quality version.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Several Moments in Time


This music video for autistic hip hoppers would have been better tracked with Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time" (racing with destiny...), but since Santogold's "Get it Up" was the song I was actually listening to when I saw the light flash from the red light camera it seemed more appropriate. I received the expected before and after red light citation in the mail, but I was surprised to also find a link to a website with video of my car traveling through the intersection. It reminded me of the nature of documentation, its pervasiveness and varied intents...how these images can serve as a both a reason to pay the city $75, and a snapshot of my happiness hurriedly going to the airport to pick up my girl.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Constituent Moments


Tom Dumm (what a great name for a philosopher) in conversation with Jill Stauffer in The Believer; got me extrapolatin' on their conversation from one of democracy in America to one of photography as society-builder. A stretch perhaps, but personally, that's what keeps me going with this dang craft...preventing a personal inverted totalitarianism.

Dumm: I worry that we don’t currently have a democracy in the United States. Instead we have what [political philosopher] Sheldon Wolin has recently labeled a sort of inverted totalitarianism.

BLVR: So, rather than being isolated because we have no public realm, as in totalitarianism, we have public space in which politics is replaced by consumerism—which doesn’t build social relationships—or in which political speech is discouraged or censured, as it has been post-9/11.

Dumm: Right. To my way of thinking, if we are to have a democracy, we must have the spirit of what Whitman was driving at when he spoke of a literature of many and one. The continued existence of such a literature might encourage the pursuit of what the French thinker Rancière has called “constituent moments,” that is, moments of public articulation which illustrate who we as a people are and can be, and that aren’t managed by corporate power or state force, but which bubble from unbidden spaces of our culture.

BLVR: By tapping into the power that results from people coming together, we avoid the social isolation that pushes us toward what has the feel of totalitarianism.

Dumm: Yes. Such moments were last seen in this country, imperfectly, I think, in the 1960s and early 1970s. At another level, however, these events may only be symptoms of a deeper problem in the devolution of our democracy. Worldwide, the twentieth century has seen the rise of extraordinary concentrations of economic and political power—evoking the people as the source of power while simultaneously privatizing its most meaningful exercise. Democracy always seems to be at least slightly elusive under such conditions.

Full Interview

Monday, February 23, 2009

Virgin Islands


Lucky getaway. Photos from St. Thomas and St. John, US Virgin Islands. Thanks again Mattolomew.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Silver Jews in a Cave


Buddy Ry and I down to Nashville for the last show of The Silver Jews - a band we've grown and nodded along with for years. The frontman, David Berman, wanted to quit while he was mostly ahead, among other things, and we wanted to see what a poetic death of a band sounds like from a cave.

So we rolled up to this far out "cabin" at Fall Creek Falls, which turned out to be a crazy mid-century modern dorm or something from years past. And here, livin' it up at the Hotel Tennessee, we stabbed at the air with our steely knives and debated whether Milky Way would indeed be a rodent if candy bars were animals. On to Cumberland Caverns where we entered the burial site, emerging a few hours later with an "aw shucks" and good verse on our dusty shoes. Lotsa nice folks down South.

You can see photos here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration



A little bigger version here too.

I'll never forget the quiet jog along Constitution Avenue. I was trying to find a way onto the mall, but had to run 3 long blocks to 12th Street from Pennsylvania. Along the way were just a few people hovering over underground parking garage vents trying to keep warm, a family whose mother looked a little panic-stricken what with the crush of all the people, and a little old lady who looked to be out shopping for vegetables. Besides the swell of latent energy in the air, there was no indication that millions were assembled just a block away.

Not to minimize the epic sea change of the day, but it's worth noting that much of it was spent just trying to exist in the mobs of those corralled in central DC. Amazing really.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barack


Jacob Emily Michael Isabella Ethan Emma Joshua Ava Daniel Madison Christopher Sophia Anthony Olivia William Abigail Matthew Hannah Andrew Elizabeth Alexander Addison David Samantha Joseph Ashley Noah Alyssa James Mia Ryan Chloe Logan Natalie Jayden Sarah John Alexis Nicholas Grace Tyler Ella Christian Brianna Jonathan Hailey Nathan Taylor Samuel Anna

Top 25 names of boys and girls from 2007.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mechanical Boy

Feels a bit familiar after sitting at the computer editing for the last few days.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baltimore is...


-A bird feather in a flower pot.
-A conversation with a stranger.
-A conversation with a stranger about whether a motorized bike is a scooter or a motorcycle.
-A half-rusted, but mostly new bike in a stream below a bridge.
-A smile, unexpectedly silver.
-An erratic-acting, seemingly oblivious, older hampden woman, dressed like a teenager standing below a "Wiley and Sons" funeral advertisement.
-An uncooked, stepped-on chicken breast next to a band-aid affixed to the sidewalk.
-An artificial flower from a corner store glass crack pipe every 10 steps for two blocks.
-A man mowing his steep lawn by dropping his mower tied to a rope around his waist while drinking a Natty Boh.
-A man rolling down Maryland Avenue in a wheelchair blasting credit repair ads out of the boombox in his lap.
-A man with a megaphone praising Jesus on Valentine's Day with a 40 oz of beer in his hand.
-Discussing oyster anatomical diagrams with the bartender at "Bar" while drinking Sambuca that's been there, she says, for at least 20 years - "nobody drinks this shit".
-A man with an amazing voice singing colorful ribbons of gospel while walking down the street on grey winter day.
-A dude riding his bike, not skillfully, through traffic with a neck brace on.
-A man in Lexington Market finishing a chicken leg and, nonchalantly, throwing the bone up in the air and a seagull catching it!
-Sitting in traffic and looking over at a forlorn-seeming worker covered in dust sitting on the stoop of a house underneath graffiti that reads "Take my money" who gives you the thumbs up sign with the most rewarding, wide smile when your eyes meet.
-A man dragging his foot along, limping down the middle of the street on a windy day, drinking a steaming cup of coffee, as a plastic bag floats past he plucks it out of the air, then let's it go behind him as it and he continue their paths through the neighborhood.
-A double billboard with one side advertising whale watching in Maine, the other, a public service announcement about rape, above a Dr. Feel liquor store that appears to be out of business. All signs are peeling and deteriorated.

*To be continually added to...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Feeding the Subconscious


Feeling a bit less than tiptop, sore throat and achey, so I've been lazing about - napping, reading, watching movies.  I was reminded of an interview I'd read recently with design guru Phillippe Starck, paraphrased here:  

My creative process can be described as making my mind the printer of my subconscious.  It's the only way to work.  Today, the power of marketing is so strong.  If you work with your consciousness, then you are in the mainstream of thinking.  How can you have a fresh, original idea with this incredible weight on your shoulders?  The subconscious speaks less, but never lies.  Consciousness speaks a lot, but always lies.  To feed your subconscious and creativity, the best thing is to fill it with diversity, sleep, and sex.  

Friday, December 19, 2008

DPS


Want to see a cowboy surfer amidst Japanese calligraphy or Ned the guy who hangs out with Wendell?  www.douglaspaulsmith.com

How 'bout some artfully constructed and well-thought out stationary that flies?  www.intlgirl.com

You have been introduced.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photography is Dumb


And when you really get into it and start documenting and having small, fleeting parties over every corner of your life, then watch those corners get dusty with distraction and other life-pursuits (sometimes photography itself), among other things, it breeds this nerdy compulsion to try to excel in the tool, the thing.  I suppose it's not unlike an Eddie Van Halen or something...breakin' out drills n stuffff.   Case in point.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Loch'n


Jauntin wit da homies inna trees n dirt.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanks for Singing


Singing may be the key to a long life indeed. Here's a great essay by the multiman, Brian Eno, on the key to heightened sexual attractiveness and a better sense of humor among other things. I think it also increases your appetite, helps with digesting buckets of food with friends, and may also improve your Catch Phrase skills.

Heard here is Ry, Kate, M, and myself tryin' it out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vaca Frita


Down South Florida way for a wedding at Vizcaya Museum and then on to a day or so of general galavanting with Yohan. Had an incredible Cuban meal, late night, after muchos mojitos at Puerto Sagua...Vaca Frita (fried cow). I eat beef about 4 times a year...this one might hold me over a little longer than most.

We chained up our bikes next to two Ferraris and a Rolls at the new Fontainebleau where they'd hosted their grand re-opening the night prior with a $500 million expansion and a Victoria's Secret fashion show. Ain't no recession in sight down here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Power of Things


This is the photo that my dad carried around in his wallet. It's from when he was in the army, stationed in Germany, where he learned some basic photography and darkroom skills between assignments. It is a photo he made himself - from the camera to the print. Needless to say, it's an important artifact for me given the few that remain. I used to carry it around in my wallet until it and I accidentally got wet while crossing a stream and I realized how ephemeral this thing was. Unlike a diamond or cuff links, or whatever it is that fathers pass along to their sons, I've come to cherish this mysterious, fleeting image of a dog with some sheep on the road in a foreign land.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Puerto Reeco


A quick birthday jaunt around the island(s)...A little bit of Old San Juan, El Yunque, then off to Culebra. Splendido Maximo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New York


And a walk through the city for a day. Geez.

Friday, October 17, 2008

On Being an Artist


Saw this dude play last night: www.myspace.com/coalrockuhoner

He was an interesting hybrid of backwoods and no-woods, a sorta hip-hop hillbilly...A little bit of Hampden mixed in perhaps. While watching him the conversation turned to his authenticity because of, I guess, the disparity between his speaking voice and his affected singing voice...his not looking the part. Matt mentioned how Bob Dylan perhaps became his affection, what with much of his early work absent the idiosyncratic, nasal voice. But this other dude listening along just couldn't get past the delivery. The exchange reminded me of an essay by Brian Eno, On Being An Artist from his diary A Year With Swollen Appendices, where he talks about the 'frame' of the work, excerpted here:

To work inside is to deal with the internal conditions of the work - the melodies, the rhythms, the textures, the lyrics, the images: all the normal day-to-day things one imagines an artist does. To work outside is to deal with the world surrounding the work - the thoughts, assumptions, expectations, legends, histories, economic structures, critical responses, legal issues and so on and on. you might thing of these things as the frame of the work.

...when Madonna first appeared she was criticized because she seemed to be committing as much or more attention to the fashion and lifestyle considerations of what she was presenting as to her music. These criticisms tell you a lot about the expectations of the critics. Clearly they had in their minds a hierarchy of importance. Music should be at the centre, and then these other things should be seen as packaging, the wrapper. Like many of the things critics get heated about, this a very old idea dressed up in cool new language. Who said music should be at the centre of the experience? Why? Why isn't it acceptable to have an artist who works on a number of fronts, one of which is music? Why not, further, accept the idea that the music could itself become the package - an interesting way of presenting a series of modern haircuts, for example?

The biggest arguments about validity are almost always about this subject: whether or not certain things are allowed to be included as suitable areas for artistic attention, and whether or not certain others can be left out. Peter Schmidt used to have a phrase: 'to omit what no one else has though of leaving out'. In music, no one though of leaving out the music.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Charlottesville


Brent and the gang down Virginia way. Fried green tomatoes and one frisky little dude. Witness to a young family, then off with Yohan to the Shenandoah forest where I got M some "Bear Feet" socks. Ha.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Threshold


The magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested. From a dream, respelled here in proper syntax...though I guess I was more thinking of the condition of being on the cusp of significant change...abstractly. Interesting to think of people (myself included) that occupy that space in small, gawking ways, others who are resolutely distanced from this, and just a few who mass catalyze...good and bad.