Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Many Indecisive Moments

"Mr Wall is happiest discussing the formal aspects of his work—its composition, scale, light, colour and grain. Although subject matter is paramount to the experience of realist art forms, Mr Wall claims that, for him, it is 'just the door that opens the way to the picture.' He identifies Paul Cezanne as a good role model because he 'detached himself from his subjects and just painted without getting ethically, morally, personally or politically involved.'"

There's a distinction between subject matter aesthetically validating a picture, and entering it on the level of form.  I could never imagine photographing something that I didn't have imaginative sympathy for: rocks, trees, clouds, street debris, etc.  The whole phenomenological world.

"Like a turtle. Like a turtle. Like a turtle. Like a turtle. Like a turtle. Like a turtle. Like a turtle. Like a turtle. Yeah, but like a turtle. Like the animal, a turtle."
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"[T]his article has nothing to do with electronics or robots. But, it has a little bit of science, math, and physics. More importantly, it reminds everyone that success sometimes comes from sheer perseverance and will power, rather than complexity and ingenuity."
Monday, November 28, 2011
Waste My Time, Please

BABY HIPSTER WITH NECK TATTOO [of Foucault's Archaelogy of Knowledge]: Do you know anything about this book?

CJB: What specifically are you asking me?

BHWNT: Have you read it?

CJB: You bet! Several times.

BHWNT: Is it good?

CJB: Yep.

BHWNT: Huh. [Puts book down. Leaves.]

Tonight's soundtrack: well-deserved double gin and tonic in takeout cup after a deluge of cranky, petulant, and just plain off-the-scale weird retail behavior, even by my own heavily jaded standards.
CUSTOMER:  How much is this book?

PFB STAFF:  $10.50 and a little tax.

CUSTOMER:  And you're going to give it to me for...?

PFB STAFF:  $10.50.  And a little tax.

CUSTOMER: Seriously?

PFB STAFF: Seriously.

And it's been like this all morning.  Mercury retrograde.

In other news, an extroverted loudmouth with a baby strapped to his chest and a "Sophie the Giraffe" in one hand just stole a pen from me.  Seriously.
Winter: Otis Redding on the deck, white winter sunlight in the bare trees and on the stone facade of the ballet academy across the road.  Radiator behind the desk ticking over.
Thursday, November 24, 2011

The author with Arroyo and Surveillance Tower & Palm Tree, sometime after midnight.

This exhibition is actually hung and taking place from 6-9pm tonight.  If you're in the neighborhood, c'mon by.

Photograph by Steven Tong.  Without whom, & etc.
Monday, November 21, 2011

JW In The Studio, August 2011


A few shots at the very end of #1 of particular interest

Christian Science Reading Room, Nanaimo, BC, 2011

Lattice, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
STAFF MEMBER: Hey, where should I file this Gregory Crewdson retrospective catalog?

CJB: Mixed paper recycling?
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
"Q: How difficult is it to raise money as a contrarian investor?

A: It’s always difficult. We get a forestry asset, and no matter how good the deal is, people look at forestry, and assume nobody makes money there, and they say 'I’m out.' So the business can be solid, the people can be solid, and the reputation can be solid, and it’s still difficult. The cost of capital is always at the wrong end of the curve.

But take the Thurso mill. We paid $1.2-million. The insurance replacement value alone was $851-million. The scrap value is worth more than that. It came with 320 hectares of land on the Ottawa river. Again, the land is worth more than that. People say it’s risky. We don’t think so."
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
"Given the increased cash flow resulting from operational growth and the acquisitions indicated and the strong level of cash flow overall, an increasing portion of the Company's cash flow can be returned to shareholders in the future through increased dividends. The Company also intends to repurchase shares as deemed attractive and prudent."

Brad Moore, Newland, Westminster, California2008

Euphorbia ingens, represent.

Dear young photographer: surreptitiously photographing the Fred Herzog book in PFB's front window is not a bold photoconceptual gesture. Thanks for your attention.
The Real and How To Find It: An Interview With Ken Lum

"The Real that exists outside what we can express in terms of language, I’m interested in that limit: When does art become non-art? And then there is the historical question of the relationship between art and life; that is a dialectic that has been in play for many decades. The Real for me comes into play because I am not satisfied with much art. I don’t think art the way it is conventionalized within the art system deals enough with all kinds of experiences. Generally speaking, when art starts shrinking down into the art system it becomes less interesting. That’s why I’ve always been interested in the signifiers of the street, and the relationship of real lives to the form of art. It's art but I want people to think: This is plausible; this could be a real thing."

Tennant/Lowe: The End of the World
Monday, November 14, 2011

Christopher Brayshaw, Into Thin Air
CSA Space, Vancouver
24 November 2011 through 31 December 2011

Opening reception Thursday 24 November 2011, 6-9pm

This is actually taking place next week -- the last bits of the show are being printed and framed as I type -- and I'd love to see anyone who's in the neighborhood.


An Excavation: print 11.67” x 8.75” on 14” x 10” sheet; will exhibit grain at printed size

Antique Dealer’s Window: print 13.5” x 18” on 16” x 20” sheet. Please do not alter color/contrast.

Arroyo: print 11.98” x 11.90” on 16” x 20” sheet

Blind: print 8.88” x 9.84” on 10” x 14” sheet

Chocolate Factory Cactus Garden: print 14.00” x 18.67” on 16” x 20” sheet

Coat Suspended From a Tree: print 12.19” x 8.93” on 14” x 10” sheet

Cosmopolitan Book Shop: already printed

A Heterogenity: print 14.43” x 18” on 16” x 20” sheet

In a Conservatory: print 14.08” x 15.57” on 16” x 20” sheet. Please do not correct blown out highlights in sky

La Cienega: already printed

Nooksack Falls: print 12.00” x 8.86” on 14” x 10” sheet

Opuntia ficus-indica: already printed; borrowed from private collection

Purity: print 14.26” x 14.16” on 16” x 20” sheet. Minor or no color/contrast correction; image should retain a “flat,” low-contrast feel

Spare: print 4.5” x 5.12” on 8” x 10” sheet; will exhibit grain at printed size

Surveillance Tower & Palm Tree: already printed

All images are correctly sized at 300+ DPI.

Without Whom Dept.: Helpsy, Rose, Steven Tong, Adam Harrison, Jamie Tolagson, Peter Culley, Evan Lee, Brad Phillips, Susanne Goodison, Fairfield Porter, Sam Harrigan, Keith Freeman, Dorothy Bartoszewski, Sylvia Grace Borda, Claudia Beck, Andrew Gruft, Lee Bacchus, Paul Vassallo, Ron Terada, Kevin Madill, John Latta, Scott McFarland, Jeff Wall.  Thanks, guys.
Saturday, November 12, 2011

Via my old editor Tom Spurgeon, a long, moving and often surprising story about Bill Mantlo, a name instantly familiar to any 80s comics reader.

"In 1985, Mantlo took advantage of a tuition reimbursement program Marvel offered and put himself through law school, writing scripts by day and taking classes by night. In 1987, he passed the New York State Bar and while he still wrote the occasional comic book, as well as starting various novels and screenplays, he considered himself a full-time lawyer. He received a number of offers to work for real estate legal firms but he opted to work for the Legal Aid Society, a private not-for-profit that provides free criminal defense representation.

Mantlo made about $40,000 a year at Legal Aid, which was  considerably less than he was making at Marvel. But that was  almost the point: he became a lawyer mainly because he felt he had done all he could with comics to send messages about social causes. In law, he could help people more directly."
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
"'But that boat--' he cried.  'He's been building that boat for seven years that I know of. The blocks rotted out and he made concrete blocks.  Every time he gets it nearly finished he changes it and starts over again.  I think he's nuts.  Seven years on a boat.'

Doc was sitting on the ground pulling off his rubber boots. 'You don't understand,' he said gently. 'Henri loves boats but he's afraid of the ocean.'

'What's he want a boat for then?' Hazel demanded.

'He likes boats,' said Doc. 'But suppose he finishes his boat. Once it's finished people will say, "Why don't you put it in the water?" Then if he puts it in the water, he'll have to go out in it, and he hates the water. So you see, he never finishes the boat -- so he doesn't ever have to launch it.'"
Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Vancouver, 7 December: Ivan Sayers, costume historian, lectures at the University Women's Club. Virginia Newton-Moss wears a British ensemble c.1910, from Sayers's collection
Saturday, November 05, 2011

Old friends relaxing, Napier, NZ, 5 November 2011. 

"Three seasons, two hemispheres, and sixty-three gigs later."

"Certain empty houses that seemed to stare like the faces of people suffering from terrible mental illnesses.  An empty barn on the outskirts of town, the hayloft door swinging slowly open and closed on rusty hinges, first disclosing darkness, then hiding it, then disclosing it again.  A splintered fence on Kossuth Street, just a block away from the house where Mrs. Dunning and her children had lived.  To me that fence looked as if something -- or someone -- had been hurled through it and into the Barrens below.  An empty playground with the roundy-round slowly spinning even though there were no kids to push it and no appreciable wind to turn it.  It screamed on its hidden bearings as it moved.  One day I saw a roughly carved Jesus go floating down the canal and into the tunnel that ran beneath Canal Street.  It was three feet long.  The teeth peeped from lips parted in a snarling grin.  A crown of thorns, jauntily askew, circled the forehead; bloody tears had been painted below the thing's weird white eyes.  It looked like a juju fetish.  On the so-called Kissing Bridge in Bassey Park, among the declarations of school spirit and undying love, someone had carved the words I WILL KILL MY MOTHER SOON, and below it someone had added: NOT SOON ENOUGH SHES FULL OF DISEEZE.  One afternoon while walking on the east side of the Barrens, I heard a terrible squealing and looked up to see the silhouette of a thin man standing on the GS & WM railroad trestle not far away.  A stick rose and fell in his hand.  He was beating something.  The squealing stopped and I thought, It was a dog and he's finished with it.  He took it out there on a rope leash and beat it until it was dead.  There was no way I could have known such a thing, of course . . . and yet I did.  I was sure then, and I am now."
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
We break it all down
In hopes that you might understand
Don't make no profit for the Man

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