Saturday, December 02, 2006

Rodney Graham, Three Musicians (Members of the Early Music Group "Renaissance Fare" Performing Matteo of Perugia's "Le Greygnour Bien" at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, Late September 1977), 2006

Nothing about this picture is accidental: neither the format nor the date assigned to the depiction. Hint, hint.

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): The PictoOrphanage

"Your character sponsorship contribution helps give a character the resources it needs to acquire critical learning and life skills. As a character sponsor you make a direct impact on a character's life and build up a very personal relationship! For as little as $1 a day you can reach out and make a difference with a one-year sponsorship."

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (40), 2006

Four Hearts, 2006

Peter Carey, Theft:

"It is hard work to slaughter a beast but when it is done it is done. If you are MAKING ART the labour never ends, no peace, no Sabbath, just eternal churning and cursing and worrying and fretting and there is nothing else to think of but the idiots who buy it or the insects destroying TWO DIMENSIONAL SPACE."
Friday, December 01, 2006

Lisa Prentice
I'd Love to Turn You On / Dodecahedron
CSA Space
#5 - 2414 Main Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Curated by Steven Tong
Opening Friday 1 December 2006, 6-9pm (tonight!)


Dru writes, "Once again, you can beat Bruce Sterling to blogging something cool!"

(Lots of love from both Brayshaw brothers for the often-unfairly-maligned-'round-these-parts Mr. Sterling, author of "Maneki Neko," "The Littlest Jackal," Crystal Express, and other superb works of science fiction)
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wettest November on Record (Vancouver Province headline, glimpsed in a coin box)

A full-on case of flu. Chills, throwing up, deep-seated ache in my neck, cold feet, the works. Today's plan to go play in the snow with D. was quickly scrubbed in favor of lying huddled in a blanket in front of the electrical heater, moaning occasionally and trying to do something resembling "sleep."

Tonight's clear sky has frozen the damp streets into sheets of ice. Cars and people, skittering about like water drops in an overheated pan.

Back soon!
Anodyne, Inc.

Cash distribution today!

Dominion Citrus Income Fund (DOM.UN) .01/unit x 12,346 units = $123.46

Cash balance, $653.07

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor:

"Critics of the value approach to stock investment argue that listed common stocks cannot properly be regarded or appraised in the same way as an interest in a similar private enterprise, because the presence of an organized security market 'injects into equity ownership the new and extremely important attribute of liquidity.' But what this liquidity really means is, first, that the investor has the benefit and changing appraisal of his [sic] holdings, for whatever that appraisal may be worth, and, second, that the investor is able to increase or descrease his investment at the market's daily figure -- if he chooses. Thus the existence of a quoted market gives the investor certain options that he does not have if his security is unquoted. But it does not impose the current quotation on an investor who prefers to take his idea of value from some other source."

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (39), 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Protect Your Store From Sketchy Book Thieves!

"'In-store ownership' is a popular shoplifting technique among students. While you're not looking, I remove the price tag from the book I want, then scribble my name on the fly-leaf. Time permitting, I might use a highlighter on a page or two. Perhaps I'll artificially age the book by cracking its spine and giving the cover dog-ears. By the time I make my exit, the book appears well-used. Was I supposed to leave it at the counter when I entered your store? Sorry, I didn't see the sign. I'm distracted by exams. I've lost my glasses. I'm in love. Anyway, this is obviously my book, as you can see from all the personal touches. So long, sucker."
Q: If I dig a very, very deep hole straight down from my office through the earth, where do I end up?

A: Glub, glub, glub! (Underwater, in the Southern Ocean)

Cat's Cradle. Representations of Sky, Clear and Cloudy

Snow still dumping down. Vancouver drivers staring up to heaven, amazed at this strange sight, while their vehicles climb the curb, sideswipe the boulevard trees, execute lazy 180 degree spins into the oncoming lanes, or turn turtle, completely blocking the downtown exit from the bridge and backing up traffic for miles....I drove home from near UBC late last night, only to discover, once downtown, that I could no longer turn the steering wheel to the left without the steering wheel and the right hand AWD wheel vibrating like a 747 coming apart in midair. Hmm. I drove pretzel-shaped patterns through downtown's lanes, then finally had the sense to park, climb out, and knock 15 pounds of packed snow out from the wheel well and around the brake pads with the trashed old hockey stick I keep in the back seat for just that purpose.

Arctic air moving in behind the snow; it's supposed to be -10C tonight! "Wind warning in effect," & etc. I was careful not to park under trees.

Snow families all along Cornwall Avenue by the beach. A line-up of snow people waiting at the bus stop, including a realistically rendered snow cat with a Cheshire grin and a huge white tail.

Bernadette's little girl in her stroller, passing by yesterday with her parents at twilight, waving her hands in the air, delighted, oblivious to all the pandemonium.

Mr. Al Green on the deck, powder snow sliding off the shop's awning, "slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn."
Sunday, November 26, 2006

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): YouTube user review of Shipwrecked, the "hit single" from the short-lived, Ray Wilson-fronted incarnation of World's Strangest British Supergroup:

"Nice song and video. But it just doesn't seem like a Genesis song. It's like a kid at vocals and his dad and uncle at guitar and keyboards playing a alternative song."

(Shipwrecked video not linked to, and if you're bored or curious enough to find it on your own, you'll soon see why)

Niche Marketing's Finest Hour!

"This album is a mesmerizing and serene take on the kind of quirky, romantic songs that the Cure helped make famous. If only tonight we could sleep as soundly as your child will after hearing these interpretations of The Cure."

Inspecting the weather. Courtesy guest photographer Don King.

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Roy Ayers' Mystic Voyage

Snow still falling, vibes a-tinklin', hot chocolate sippin', customers not in evidence.

A picture by New York photographer Jerry Shore, profiled in this week's New Yorker by staff writer Adam Gopnik, and accompanied by an image slideshow. I'm not totally sold on Shore's work -- the image above being a notable exception, a picture I'd be proud to make -- but Gopnik's contextualization of Shore's practice made me, reading in bed at 4 a.m., with the cats propped up nearby, listening to a mixture of snow and freezing rain landing outside on the balcony in the dark, sit instantly upright and alert. Gopnik's is one of the better non- artworld insider essays I've read on photography, and the paragraphs reproduced below are as accurate a description of the "conceptual impulse"(s) behind my own pictures as any I've ever found.

Adam Gopnik:

"Shore’s photography is, to use the ever-reductive language of art criticism, an attempt to reconcile the subject matter of the New York school of black-and-white street photography of the fifties—the love of the overlooked, the stray, the strange, the gutter, and the slummy—with the high finish and compositional poise of the Meyerowitz-Eggleston school of color photography. His own ambitions for his photographs seem to have been almost purely formal and even abstract: though he was always on the streets, he never saw himself as a documentary street photographer, in the familiar Eugene Richards sense. His attention was devoted to space and color and form. And, to be sure, it is the organization of the pictures that first strikes one—what was called, in formalism’s rosier days, their interpenetrating planes and surprising deep space.

But it’s the descriptive bits of the pictures which register most strongly. Dignity opens the door to sadness. Just as each Atget façade is a study in shape and space and gleaming particulate light but is also about a Paris that was passing, or stilled, so in Shore the will to memorialize the commonplace mirrors our own sense of how things we love get lost, and can be recalled only in pictures."

Later, Gopnik offers further criteria of his own for judging and evaluating Shore's work, which I reproduce without comment, because I'm still trying to decide what larger implications they have for contemporary photographic practice:

1. "[A] city, so recognizable that sight alone becomes a kind of love, is opened up before us in these pictures. The peeling billboards and the plastic bags are all registered, as a camera can register things, neither as subjects, made emotional by the artist’s will, nor as objects, emptied of meaning at the artist’s whim. They’re just there, as uncontroversial as crabgrass."

2. "The sense of things ugly in themselves—ugliness registered not defiantly but passively, as if nothing could be truly ugly—filled his work."

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