Friday, January 15, 2010
F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Great art is the contempt of a great man for small art." (Notebook fragment)
Thursday, January 14, 2010

"William Burroughs' stuff." Via dru.

Another excellent photograph by Heidi Specker. The images on the artist's website move and excite me; they feel like something genuinely new being done with the medium, something that doesn't simply reiterate photography-up-until-now. Even her earlier, extraordinarily banal architectural photographs -- with their weird colors and fuzzy, out-of-focus echoes of Sugimoto -- transcend flat neutrality by the photographer's arrangement of them so as to subordinate the impact ("affect"?) of each picture to the sequence it appears in, which for me is a single work, a composite "work of parts." Specker's arrangement of the photographs collectively titled D'Elsi bears close examination, especially for how she juxtaposes photographs with only minute visual differences in ways that prompt you to totally re-evaluate the truth-content of each one. (Compare D'Elsi's #13 with #14; #16 with #17; #19 with #20).

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Heidi Specker, IM GARTEN Blossfeldt #1, 2003

Ludwig Wittgeinstein: "A man's thinking goes on within his consciousness in a seclusion in comparison with which any physical seclusion is an exhibition to public view.”

Lee Friedlander: "I just do it by instinct, I don't really have any theories. It's a pure selfish pleasure, to take pictures, so I don't have anybody to convince of anything, it's just fun."

Off tomorrow in my old red Subaru Forester to Portland, Redding, Yountville, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Anaheim, Riverside, Palm Desert, Anza-Borrego State Park, Niland, Las Vegas & etc. with L. and the Incredible Talking Cats.

Subjects including (but not limited to): a modernist bridge. A repurposed theatre. Rocks and trees. A desert arboretum. Snow White. A public park. Geological activity. & etc.

Back in February.
Sunday, January 10, 2010

Locations + Landmarks of LA Photo Gallery - including a mysterious architectural subject-of- interest.

Memo to Defective Kitteh

"Dear kitteh,

To put this in a language you will understand:

Kitteh: prettys pinks with greenz stems is not fuds. Noms is fuds from daddez. No eats the pinks off stems! Greenz stems by self in water makes hoomanz nervouses. They call vets for jections! No noms the pretty pinks!! Kthxbai!

Translation for Mr. Brayshaw: I came home and the cat had eaten the heads off two of the tulips without disturbing the glass of water they were in. I called the emergency clinic; tulips are not poisonous. They make the cat farty (which she told me, and boy, is she ever right - it's like having yo' mama around) but not [dead]."

(via L.)
Saturday, January 09, 2010

Night with the door open, afternoon rain dialled back now to light mist. Water droplets on all the parked cars outside, their surfaces shining under orange light. Neon squiggle in the window of the high-end vintage clothing store across Main. Red tail-lights. Dean Wareham's soft sad voice. All day in the office with spreadsheets and Quickbooks and my chequebook, the retail equivalent of the pulleys, knobs and switches that keep a 747 or other workhorse aircraft lumbering through the air. The sense of being aloft, of turning now and setting out across a dark continent or ocean, lights dim back in the passenger cabin, dinner carts slowly making their way up the gently canted aisles.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Davis-Schrimpf Seep Field, Calipatria, CA

Pan Pacific Park, Los Angeles, CA

Huntington Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA

Sundial Bridge, Redding, CA
Friday, January 01, 2010

Detailed interview with Michael Haneke, his White Ribbon (2009) still forthcoming in YVR.

"Q: You seem very interested in the long take. There are a number of static shots in your films, like the final image of La Pianiste. I'm also thinking of shots like that of the blank bathroom wall just before Walter rushes in for Erika, the many shots of Erika's face, the long take of the bloody living room in Funny Games, or the numerous still lifes in Der siebente Kontinent.

MICHAEL HANEKE: Perhaps I can connect this to the issue of television. Television accelerates our habits of seeing. Look, for example, at advertising in that medium. The faster something is shown, the less able you are to perceive it as an object occupying a space in physical reality, and the more it becomes something seductive. And the less real the image seems to be, the quicker you buy the commodity it seems to depict.

Of course, this type of aesthetic has gained the upper hand in commercial cinema. Television accelerates experience, but one needs time to understand what one sees, which the current media disallows. Not just understand on an intellectual level, but emotionally. The cinema can offer very little that is new; everything that is said has been said a thousand times, but cinema still has the capacity, I think, to let us experience the world anew.

The long take is an aesthetic means to accomplish this by its particular emphasis. This has long been understood. Code Unknown consists very much of static sequences, with each shot from only one perspective, precisely because I don't want to patronize or manipulate the viewer, or at least to the smallest degree possible. Of course, film is always manipulation, but if each scene is only one shot, then, I think, there is at least less of a sense of time being manipulated when one tries to stay close to a 'real time' framework. The reduction of montage to a minimum also tends to shift responsibility back to the viewer in that more contemplation is required, in my view.

Beyond this, my approach is very intuitive, without anything very programmatic. The final image of La Pianiste is simply a reassertion of the conservatory, the classical symmetry of that beautiful building in the darkness. The viewer is asked to reconsider it."

Elizabeth Zvonar, Bird in Space, 2009

"Vancouver artist Elizabeth Zvonar is currently interested in the connections between Cubism, representations of the 4th Dimension and rubber bands as metaphors for time.

'I find that at the end of a journey, which of course is neverending; that I have found things out.'

This quote by British playwright Harold Pinter, is an apt description for On Time, Zvonar's exhibition at the CAG, which includes an array of sculptures and collage that act as possible portals into implausible places."

Boxing week score: Criterion Collection edition of Peter Yates' The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), faithfully adapted by Yates and Paul Monash from George V. Higgins' terrific novel.

"The conditions that allowed for movies as spare and melancholy as this one are long gone—very few current American moviemakers find it possible, or even desirable, to leave their action so unadorned. It’s strange to remember that the seemingly loose, but actually rigorous, style of naturalism practiced by Yates and Monash and their brilliant cast was as tied to the modernity of its own moment in time as the CGI-driven epics of today are tied to theirs."

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