Saturday, September 25, 2010
In Los Angeles for a week, photographing in preparation for an exhibition next year.

Scott McFarland, Quality Photo Lab, 1300 Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, 2008
Friday, September 24, 2010
Strange and Wonderful Confiscated Plants Find Home at L.A. Zoo
Thursday, September 23, 2010

L., studying a red rock tower way up high: "Ever been there?" "Never, want to go?"

An hour later: perched on the peak's tiny spine. The khaki-colored desert spread below. A huge hawk riding a nearby updraft. A nest the size of a bathtub on a neighboring spire.

Climbing as a metaphor for relationship: constant surprise; the sense of your own possibility.

Happy 2nd., L.

xo CJB

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Flood in progress through the bookstore ceiling:

NOT CHUCK D. [holding self-burned CD]: Hey man! Are you into local independent hip-hop?

CJB: Not right now I'm not.

NCD: Man, you should really get that [GESTURING AT WATERFALL] under control!

To strive to equal or excel, especially through imitation: an older pupil whose accomplishments and style I emulated.

2. To compete with successfully; approach or attain equality with.


Desert Plants - A Curator's Introduction to the Huntington Desert Garden, by Gary Lyons

Anyone in town this Thursday (September 21st) should drop into CSA Space for our fifth (!!!) anniversary show, a very tightly edited group of photographs by Mike Grill, organized by Steven Tong and I. Mike's pictures were also our first exhibition, way back in September 2005, a show originally planned for Steven and Sally Lee's old 69 Pender space, which was purchased, weeks before the show, by a certain condo flogger. Steve and Sally found themselves out on their ear. Steve and I felt bad for Mike, who had put considerable time and effort into printing pictures and building frames, and now had no exhibition. I relayed this tale of woe to Adam Harrison over mojitos. "You know there's a space above your bookstore for rent, right?" Several hours later we placed a drunken series of cellphone calls to Steven to inform him that he was now the co-director and co-curator of an as-yet unnamed independent art exhibition space. I think the results have been more than satisfactory for all concerned.
Monday, September 20, 2010

Metropolitan (9), 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
On Metropolitan

Google's car-mounted cameras are really getting good; I'm amazed by the clarity of some of the recent Street Views, which has allowed me to remotely examine sites I never previously would have considered photographing. The source panoramas are full of strange blurs and mismatched edges, which I have deliberately retained. There are also minor differences between the thumbnails and the full-frame images (eg., #8, below), which I have left alone; they're probably best considered alternate takes, and equal in my judgment.

I still get occasional emails about my not showing these, or the pictures that appear here and over at that other website. I'm not opposed to exhibition, and, over the last two or two and a half years, have made sporadic attempts to get my photographs up on the walls of some local venues. But Vancouver and Toronto curators have not been very receptive to "just pictures." So, early next year, it looks like I'll be renting a display space, fixing it up, making a selection of photographs, writing a "curatorial text" and probably sitting behind the gallery desk, too. I had not really anticipated a 100% DIY practice at the beginning, but modern art's model of the artist emulating different kinds of cultural producers (Dan Graham as businessman; Walker Evans as "commissioning editor"; Ed Ruscha as publisher; Don Judd as engineer) provides a framework for much of what I'm doing. And as I look back on a string of comic book conventions; shoestring "independent nonprofit art display spaces"; used bookstores & etc. it occurs to me that this model, while more or less totally incomprehensible from the outside and about as far removed from the Belkin-Catriona-CAG model as it is possible to get in one lifetime, is faithful to my own experience and temperament. And art is always best when it singlemindedly (recklessly?) pursues its own path, without concession or apology.

Off to Los Angeles and San Diego in a week to make some more pictures.

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