Saturday, June 30, 2007

Out to a series of exhibition openings on Thursday and Friday night, to practice being social and to definitively refute the rumor that I'm physically anchored to the store by a sophisticated psychic restraint. Lots of lame work on display, leavened by a few well-conceived and crafted works that made me happy, among them Corin Sworn's small colored pencil crayon drawings of objects built from cut construction paper, and Kristan Horton's Dr. Strangelove Dr Strangelove (above), which pairs black and white stills from Kubrick's film with reconstructions built in the artist's studio using whatever came to hand (styrofoam; felt-tip markers; teriyaki sauce bottles; cotton batting & etc.) Endless substitutional invention, leavened with wry humor and, as my friend Claudia Beck pointed out, the accurate emulation of Kubrick's complicated lighting, which makes the piece right off. I'm writing a review, despite my more and more frequently broken promise not to write, or to write much less, and more carefully. A promise largely facilitated by twelve and fourteen hour days in the shop, by the end of which I want to leave as quickly as possible, walk home, and try to finish my microeconomics homework before toppling into bed, worn out. "If Robinson Crusoe can catch 2 fish or collect 5 coconuts in 4 hours, and his friend Friday can catch 4 fish or collect 3 coconuts in the same time, who has absolute advantage in fish-catching? In coconut collecting? Who has a competitive advantage in each? Illustrate your answers with diagrams." Blue summer sky, Jens Lekman's swooping horns and strings on the deck. I saw the light in the end of the tunnel...and the whole song rotates in midair, counting down through a chorus of changes. Oh, you're so silent, Jens! Maybe I am, maybe I am...(A different song now, ticking along as the shadows stretch across the front room carpet, over the plastic rats and the big yellow letters in the windows).

Free (70), 2007

Free (71), 2007

Free (72), 2007

Free (73), 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007

Free (66), 2007

Free (67), 2007

Free (68), 2007

Free (69), 2007
New sign on the shop till:

"PLEASE NOTE -- any baking or similar gifts dropped off for local writing celebrities must be accompanied by a second quantity of same for staff consumption."

Did I mention that the leak's source is the sewer line in the ceiling? No? Well, now might be a good time to.

In at 8 a.m.

New Arrivals draped in plastic, brown raindrops leaking steadily out of the ceiling, a little flock of buckets and tubs assembled below, like baby ducks.

Ceiling cracked in a dozen different places, plaster bubbled out like lesioned skin, soft and bloated with water.

Study Traces Cat's Ancestry to Middle East

"Unlike other domestic animals, which were tamed by people, cats probably domesticated themselves, which could account for the haughty independence of their descendants. 'The cats were adapting themselves to a new environment, so the push for domestication came from the cat side, not the human side,' Dr. Driscoll said."

(Image credit: the amazing Mr. Lee CatCam, via fellow photographer and cat spotter Jen. "There's one!")

One Hundred Famous Ghosts (61), 2007

(After Evan Lee, Box Study #2, 2002)

Steven Tong, 28 June 2007, 2007

Free (62), 2007

Free (63), 2007

Free (64), 2007

Free (65), 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Free (58), 2007

Free (59), 2007

Free (60), 2007

Free (61), 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pulpfiction Books and HarperCollins Publishers proudly present

An Evening With Matt Ruff

Reading from his new novel Bad Monkeys

(Signing follows)

Thursday 16th August 2007, 7-9pm

Pulpfiction Books
2422 Main Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada. V5T 3E2

Admission free but limited seating; early arrival recommended

Monday, June 25, 2007

RIP Bernd Becher, photographer, teacher, conceptual artist. Present in his double-authored [with his fellow artist-teacher and wife Hilla Becher's] work: beauty, intellectual rigor, deep humility, the rare ability to perceive functional objects aesthetically, and the acceptance of the sequence, series, and typology as valid artistic forms. There would be no Ghosts without the Bechers, no Frees, no Grace James, and definitely no Every Bus Stop In Surrey, B.C., still my favorite of all of S.'s works. Some people plant trees for others to sit under; the Bechers planted water towers (and gas tanks, and blast furnaces, and frame houses, and winding towers) in S.'s and my minds.

Free (54), 2007

Free (55), 2007

Free (56), 2007

Free (57), 2007
PLEASANT-SMELLING LOST CUSTOMER [of Tolkien's Smith of Wooton Major and Famer Giles of Ham]: J.R.R. Tolkien! Man, I can't get into her at all! She's just!

Free (50), 2007

Free (51), 2007

Free (52), 2007

Free (53), 2007

Anodyne Inc.

Cash dividend dated 21 June 2007 and credited today:

Norbord, Inc. (NBD): 1208 shares x .10/share = $120.80

Cash balance, $1222.21

To Satoshi Kon's Paprika, on S.'s recommendation. The filmic equivalent of one of Philip K. Dick's lesser novels (Ubik, say): lots of grating plot-points that make little or no sense, followed by completely jaw-dropping scenes like the above, full of drum-playing frogs, darumas, dancing maneki nekos, animatronic vending machines, & etc. Full-on visual postmodernism, packed with looping dream sequences, weird mirrorings, bondage symbolism, and complicated references to film history. And Paprika's repressed dayworld alter-ego, intellectu-goth Dr. Chiba, is smokin' hot.

Tolagson checks in from the island:

"Awesome story about the Red Tailed Hawk. Have you ever noticed how, in Hollywood films, whenever someone is lost in the wilderness, you hear the cry of the red tailed hawk in the background? The character could be in Siberia, Florida, Peru or Afghanistan. Always the red tailed hawk. I think most people think the cry of the red tailed hawk is the sound of an eagle, simply because it sounds so epic, whereas the actual sound of an eagle sounds like a retarded chipmunk."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Free (46), 2007

Free (47), 2007

Free (48), 2007

Free (49), 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007

Free (42), 2007

Free (43), 2007

Free (44), 2007

Free (45), 2007
Someone writes to ask about Free.

1. Found, accepted or claimed as opposed to made.

2. Probably 144, enough for a 12 x 12 grid.

3. Two states: a collage maquette, unique (graph paper; beeswax; oil paintstick; graphite; colored pencil; charcoal; coffee stains) and an editioned photograph. Both commodity objects, offered for sale.

4. There might also be two or three individual 5" x 7" or 4" x 6" images, out-takes from the larger collage. Also editioned photographs, also commodity objects, offered for sale.

5. I wanted to make a work very quickly, in pieces, in the gaps and breaks of my day. And to blast though the whole thing ASAP, a la Husker Du's Land Speed Record. I admire lots of art that takes time to make, but I don't think that time expended is neccessarily a guarantee of aesthetic quality. And I think that working quickly is, in some respects, to work "against the day": against the kids laboriously drawing abstract patterns or ultra-detailed landscapes with blue ballpoint pens; against rehearsal, "production shots" and library research; against art conducted as business, by control-freak MFAs pretending to be control-freak MBAs.

Free (38), 2007

Free (39), 2007

Free (40), 2007

Free (41), 2007

At Bay View State Park:

CJB reclines on the grass near sunset, alternately reading a microeconomics textbook and watching a small brown rabbit work its way across the lawn maybe twenty feet away. Bright black eyes, twitchy nose. Richard Scarry city!

A red-tailed hawk plunges like a meteor, claws extended, and nails the rabbit right in the neck. Abrupt crack! of breaking bone.

The hawk digs into dinner, long beak rooting in blood-soaked fur. Red in tooth & claw, & etc.

Sun Trap for Jack, 2007

On the beach, Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

"Reality -->" New Dungeness Light, Sequim, WA. A 5-mile walk along the world's longest natural sandspit.

Coastal rain forest and understory. Approaching Cape Alava, WA

Looking south toward Sand Point, WA

Non-resident wildlife, Sand Point, WA

Momentos of travel: third-degree sunburn and $2.99 Goodwill shirt

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