Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rhododendron, 10th & Ontario

Run, don't walk. Fine early versions of "Brooklyn," "Do It Again," "Boston Rag" & etc., with "Skunk" Baxter on guitar and Michael McDonald on piano.

Tinkling keyboards, rumbling synth bass and wide drums in what could just as easily be an aircraft hanger or a cathedral. Meanwhile, down below, on street level, our man plows through his 2006 fiscal year end, sifting through stacks of mis-labelled receipts, runny invoices that survived the washer and the dryer, crucial capital additions expensed in previous years, source payroll deductions made from subsequently closed accounts. . . .

The office looks like a Cruikshank sketch of a lawyer's cubicle. Papers cover every conceivable surface, interspersed with books borrowed from friends and never returned, toothbrushes, shaving gear and assorted camping supplies, a can opener, anti-fungal powder, clean socks, artworks (mixed-media collages; c-prints; pencil drawings), emotionally tumultous letters from folks I no longer speak to, the same from folks that I still do, tent pegs, climbing guidebooks, topographic maps, loose CDs, bottle caps, rubber bands, mouse turds, an annotated list of income trusts worth less than 25% of their original value, carabiners, an empty Glenlivet bottle, Benjamin Buchloh's collected writings, a signed copy of The Climax Forest, loose Gasoline Alley dailies, a facsimile edition of Graham and Dodd's Security Analysis, photocopies of the Buffett Partnership letters, comic books, Barron's back issues, Nevada pebbles, oil pastels, eraser shavings and pushpins.

& etc., as they say.
Via Morningstar, live from Omaha, NE: Warren and Charlie on deck, answering 6+ hours of questions at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting.

"A shareholder asked Mr. Buffett and Mr. Munger how to become a better investor, and their advice was timeless. First, Mr. Buffett said to read everything that you can get your hands on to help fill your mind with competing ideas and viewpoints. He went on to say -- and this is important -- think about what makes sense over time. What I think he is getting at here is that investing is a process of continuous learning, and then having the discipline to think rationally when analyzing an investment. Mr. Buffett also suggested that, when contemplating a stock purchase, investors should consider if or why they would purchase the whole business, not just the stock, as this will give them a better understanding of the opportunities and the risks of a particular investment."

"What if lolcats had a TV channel? What kind of shows would be on it?

The answer is clear: they would show Star Trek."
Friday, May 04, 2007

Anodyne Inc.

Three-for-one unit split announced today by perennial Anodyne Inc. favorite Parkland Income Fund (PKI.UN). Also a distribution increase, to 29 cents/month (pre-split). Most of the good news has already been factored into the units' market value; while I wouldn't neccessarily want to load up at today's quoted price, I'm more than happy to hold...and hold...and hold.

And if we break before the dawn
They'll use up what we used to be
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Deep ache: my bad teeth.
Haven't slept with anyone
yet. Hullo Rachel!

(Martin Amis, The Rachel Papers)
Wednesday, May 02, 2007

John Latta quotes Robert Bolaño usefully if fatalistically:

"For a while, Criticism travels side by side with the Work, then Criticism vanishes and it’s the Readers who keep pace. The journey may be long or short. Then the Readers die one by one and the Work continues on alone, although a new Criticism and new Readers gradually fall into step with it along its path. Then Criticism dies again and the Readers die again and the Work passes over a trail of bones on its journey toward solitude. To come near the work, to sail in her wake, is a sign of certain death, but new Criticism and new Readers approach her tirelessly and relentlessly and are devoured by time and speed. Finally the Work journeys irremediably alone in the Great Vastness. And one day the Work dies, as all things must die and come to an end: the Sun and the Earth and the Solar System and the Galaxy and the furthest reaches of man’s memory. Everything that begins as comedy ends as tragedy."
Every Full Moon for Two Years (via dru)

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (57), 2007

Now and Next Minute
Jennifer McMackon

5 May 2007 -- 3 June 2007

Curated by Christopher Brayshaw

Please join us for an exhibition reception on Sunday, 13 May 2007, 11am-2pm

CSA Space
#5 - 2414 Main Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5T 3E2

Grace James, Wedge III, 2007

One of an occasional series of pictures made with a collaborator under a shared alias.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Via Akimbo:

"Sleepwalker is a contemporary art space which encounters the viewer at night. Sleepwalker presents newly commissioned artworks to the evening public of Toronto, through an experimental window space on Queen St. West. Since November 2006, Sleepwalker has connected late-night wanderers with emergent Canadian and international artists like Fedora Romita, Jen Hutton, Oscar Guermouche and Karl Larsson.

For the final Sleepwalker exhibition, the window space will host a guest curated group show entitled Private Viewing, calling into question the location and role of the window itself. After dark, storefronts are transformed into theatrically lit consumer narratives for people to push their noses up against, without risk of being seen. Mannequins, signage, multi-media display, and props both domestic and industrial, collide in a competition to gather our attention. The commercial strip along Queen St. West becomes a window shopper’s dream: a comfortable space from which to gaze. Strolling along the darkened streets, pedestrians have an excess of solitary space and time among shop windows, intensifying their fantasies.

Private Viewing is scheduled to run nightly from May 4th – May 25th, 2007. We are inviting artists to submit ideas for site-specific gestures, experimental projects, small works, process pieces and unusual initiatives in any media.

Sleepwalker is a space for creative exploration that operates with no funding. Sleepwalker events and programming are publicized, installed and documented by a staff entirely of volunteers: artists, educators, programmers, curators and designers with diverse experience with experimental projects. Artists are encouraged to consider that we cannot provide artist fees, shipping or materials when formulating their proposals.

Proposed works must fit in the window, which measures 18” wide by 9’ tall by 2’ deep. The window is outfitted with one light (anchored at the top in the centre) and one standard electrical outlet. We also welcome performance or sound pieces that may happen in front of or around the window space."

Proposal for
Sleepwalker, 2007

I am an independent Vancouver-based curator, critic and photographer who has never previously exhibited work in a gallery. I am currently making and presenting an interlinked series of digital photographs of recorded lived experience in the form of portraits of trees, street debris, and urban details at

I propose a two-night performance titled, Nomad, 2007. I will travel to Toronto at my own expense with a single backpack full of clothes, reading material, in-process critical writing, & etc. On the first night, I will arrive in front of the window at dusk with my backpack, dressed in ordinary street clothes, and will carry out my usual evening routine – reading; writing; eventually packing up, settling in for the night and falling asleep – on the street in front of the window. I will not directly engage with passerby, but I hope that the sight of me on the street (slightly disheveled, inwardly-turned) will cause bystanders to question my presence there.

My photographs are made with a small digital pocket camera, which I will provide to one of Sleepwalker’s organizers, or another individual of their choice. This individual will make a number of photographs of me over the course of the evening as surripticiously as possible. It is essential to the performance’s success that I not be overtly aware of the photographer’s presence, and that bystanders not be conscious of me “performing” for the camera. The digital camera will be returned to me by the photographer on the morning following the performance. I will select a single image from those taken by the photographer, and produce an approximately 11” x 14” black and white print from it. This photograph will be exhibited unframed and unattributed in the window on the second night of the performance.

Christopher Brayshaw
Vancouver, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Bruce Nauman, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign), 1967

Off to Seattle tomorrow to see this and many other fine neon texts by Mr. Nauman at the University of Washington's Henry Art Gallery. Today largely spent strolling outdoors, walking and talking. Green trees gently bent in warm grey overcast.

"I once saw a cartoon sequence of a painter painting a very long landscape. When he'd finished he cut it up into four landscapes of the usual proportions. Mostly one doesn't meet others from the same picture. When it happens it can be unsettling." (Russell Hoban)

was declined by the folks I proposed it to in Toronto. I'm going to Toronto by myself in early June to make it anyway, a D.I.Y. "gesture" that probably reads as quixotic or arrogant. I don't agree with either assessment; I just want the experience of inhabiting the piece, and evaluating it after-the-fact: did it work out more or less as planned, or was it DOA from the start? Critically analyzing one's own production seems all the more neccessary if not traversing the path that leads from high school to art school to artist-run center to regional art gallery to grants, institutional sales, biennale participation & etc.

Call this counter-path disenchanted utopianism.

Quandry: you admire institutions -- the artist-run center; the commercial gallery; the regional gallery; the international art fair -- because they were the conduits that first brought you close to works you still admire (Shadbolt's; Rauschenberg's; Ian Hamilton Finlay's; Richard Serra's; Yoshitoshi's; Kay Rosen's). But those institutions are either too busy to care about what you're doing now, or beseiged by people just like you, or have noticed you, negatively. Eg., your work's not that good. And early work is a lot more likely to be not that good than merely adequate or (even less likely) good. So, do you want to remain subordinate forever, proposing things to institutions, or get on with the (harder; more rewarding) work of making things, getting them out into the world, and improving?

Or do you want to make work, and criticism, and a distribution system, and exhibition venues? That sounds like exhaustion. That sounds like early alcoholism, failed relationships, angry ex-friends and colleagues, bewildered institutional employees. . . .

Or like culture. Like a life.
Anodyne Inc.

Distribution today:

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

Cash balance, $172.91
Sunday, April 29, 2007

2:04, kids. Name the players.
Two games of Scrabble with Douglas at the cafe around the corner:

#1: CJB 220, Douglas 253
#2: CJB 146, Douglas 244

James writes: "Brayshaw, if you have enormous affection for either evil inchworm Mr. Mind or Skeets, Booster Gold's robot pal, you are advised AGAINST reading 52 #51."

Wikipedia synoposis: "Rip Hunter, Booster Gold and Skeets arrive in the Rocky Mountains headquarters of Professor T.O. Morrow. Morrow is exhausted and stares wearily at the android face of Red Tornado in his workshop. Skeets begins shaking and the others discover that his robotic carapace has been functioning as a super-advanced cocoon. Mister Mind emerges from the cocoon and threatens to consume the Universe. . . ."


Roger Ebert: "The girls walked into the wilderness, and were seen no more. Aborigines might speculate that the rock was alive in some way -- that it swallowed these outsiders and kept its silence. As Russell Boyd's camera examines the rock in lush and intimate detail -- its snakes and lizards, its birds and flowers -- certain shots seem to suggest faces in the rock, as if the visitors are being watched."

Joseph Beuys, La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi, 1972

Today's soundtrack: Archer Prewitt, "Without You"
Injunction, 2007

Waiting at the edge of a busy urban crosswalk with an automatically controlled pedestrian signal.

Dressed unobtrusively, posture relaxed, not visibly calling attention to myself.

Standing still for sixty minutes, alternately obeying and disobeying the signal's command.

JW: "I like the term 'painting of modern life,' but I don't use it as a formula, as total identity. It's a very interesting way to think about what you're doing. Basically it means using the standards that have emerged over a long time, very high standards one hopes, and the memory that recognizes the existence and importance of those standards, and applying it to the now. That doesn't mean that 'painting of modern life' means just 'scenes off the street.' It means phenomena of the now that are configured as pictures by means of this accumulation of standards and skills and style and so on. That means that there are no single themes, genres, or anything else that [could] be called 'painting of modern life.' 'Painting of modern life' is an attitude of looking, reflecting, and making."
A Life, and an Oeuvre, Plagued by Shadows

"For a moment Bryce stood quiet, staring at him. Then he walked around the table and, kneeling, laid his arm across Newton's back, and held him gently, feeling the light body trembling in his hands like the body of a delicate, fluttering, anguished bird.

The bartender had come over and when Bryce looked up the bartender said, 'I'm afraid that the fellow needs help.'

'Yes,' Bryce said. 'Yes, I guess he does.'"
Dru calls my attention to these fine Portugese ghosts

Why so green and lonely?
A couple in their early twenties at the 7-11 counter. Suburban kids, just coming down off their big night on the town. Both twitchy, coked-up. Huge wide pupils. The clerk dutifully bags their navel oranges and bright blue Gatorade. The boy attempts to count out change, but his arithmetic's off-line. He shovels a handful of coins onto the counter, arranging them by size and color. The coins hop about like bugs in a microwave. "Five, six, seven. Fuck." Coins hit the floor in a slow-motion shower, escaping under the hotdog machine and the condiment stand. "Twenty-five. And a dime. That's forty, right?" The clerk shakes his head. "Fuck."

"Just leave it, baby," says the girl. "I have a twenty." She opens her tiny shoulder purse, shovels out papers, breath mints, BCID. "Where'd it -- fuck."

"Fifty-five. Fifty-seven. That's a dime, right?"

Out on the street, an explosion: a huge glass bottle hits the sidewalk as if aimed from space. Around it, a ring of miscellaneous debris: the remains of a plastic lawn chair; a curtain and a curtain rod; condoms; a trashed shoulder bag.

Another bottle hits the pavement.

Two bicycle cops pump strenuously up the hill. They park their bikes against a lamppost and lean back, studying the scene.

Another bottle. Bam!

The cops cup their hands to block the early morning sunglare and survey the hotel's upper floors.

A middle-aged head pops out of a window near the roof, hesitates a second, pulls back.

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