Saturday, March 30, 2013
"Domestic pigeons don't migrate, but if removed from a nesting area, they have a good homing ability and can return from long distances." (Russell Link, Living With Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest)
YVR to CJB:  "Libby's First Sunrise" is actually on Trouble in Dreams, not Kaputt.  That's one of only about a billion different things wrong with your dream plan.

IN DEFENSE:  LFS was in the setlist for both the Vogue and the Commodore shows; looks like my subconscious did a pretty good job of assimilating it to Kaputt.
Friday, March 29, 2013

You've Been Wandering Around.  You've Been Fucking Around.

Anxiety dream: declaring my intention to perform every track on a local musician's shimmering symphonic pop masterpiece live at a UBC critical studies conference, even going so far as to insert the performance's title, date, and time into the event's sans-serif poster.  Subsequent interrogation by unhappy friends and artworld colleagues rightly inclined to consider this a "terrible, terrible" idea, including one particularly caustic assessment from a local painter-sculptor with whom I have only the most tenuous real-world contact.

Colliding, still dreaming, with the musician at the tiny backroom speakeasy down the road, the bar's Christmas lights blinking off and on, illuminating his checkered shirt and half-amused, half-annoyed dark eyes.  "You might learn something, I suppose.  Performance is hard."

Hard cut to the lecture hall, voices rising from within, the unfamiliar acoustic guitar banging hollowly against my knees.  Walking toward the stage, its single microphone.

The deep hush of expectation.
Hobbes and Bacon, via L.

Full of good humor and grace, esp. #1 and #4.  And strangely reassuring.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
A Screaming Comes Across The Sky

Via Sterling.  Am I the only one unnerved at the prospect of two so-called "superpowers," or, more likely, some sketchy Central/South Asian organization with a homemade and/or Soviet surplus cardboard-and-duct-tape rocket + launch key, tossing these things back and forth (or, in the case of a SC/SAO, probably only forth) through low earth orbit?

"The HTV-2 is part of an advanced weapons program called Conventional Prompt Global Strike, which is working to develop systems to reach an enemy target anywhere in the world within one hour. It launches on a rocket, then comes streaking back to Earth at enormous speeds, at times heating up to temperatures of nearly 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit."
"Steely Dan: August 23 & 24th Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, CA. from an inside source."
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
"'Whatever the politics of this guy, his work is unoriginal crapola one-liner kitsch,' Saltz said. 'The only label I would write about this guy’s work would be: "Any museum that thinks this work is anything other than kitsch needs to rethink itself."'"
Monday, March 25, 2013

The arc of Western civilization's quick decline steepens, steepens.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Waste My Time, Please (Special There-is-a-God Edition)

CJB:  $12.50, plz.


CJB:  I'm not quite sure what you were expecting.

MFDB:  Thrift store prices.  You know, ten, twenty-five cents.

CJB:  Yeah, we're not the thrift store.

MFDB:  I can see that!  [throws books at me]  There'll be no sale today!


CJB:  Yup.

CDBMIL:  How much are they?


CDBMIL:  I'll take them.
Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today's surprise musical guest, Thomas Jefferson Kaye (fourth from left), plus some somewhat more familiar faces.

"There is at once a grand sweep and grandiose navel-gazing going on throughout First Grade. It’s glossy, countrified studio music which partakes heavily of the tunefulness and barely disguised sentiments of romantic hopelessness, bafflement, and hostility – qualities much like, in fact and indeed, Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic, released the same year as First Grade. Michael McDonald is quoted in Barney Hoskyns’ fine book Waiting for the Sun as saying that Becker and Fagen were 'eccentric in a normal way.' As I read that remark, it was McDonald’s way of explaining how Becker and Fagen could score hit pop songs while also pursuing the East St Louis Toodle-Ooo.

Thomas Jefferson Kaye, by contrast, was eccentric in an eccentric way...."

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Special guest photograph by Lisa Jean Helps. Thailand, evening.  Framing; interior lines; the expression on the little girl's face.  Also: this echo.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ACT(Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Lee Friedlander, Oregon, 1997
Monday, March 18, 2013
Sterling, kindred spirit:

"[T]here’s this empty pretense that these innovations make the world better. This is a dangerous word, like, ‘If we’re not making the world better, then why are we doing this at all?’ Now, I don’t want to claim that this attitude is hypocritical, because when you say a thing like that at South By – ‘Oh, we’re here to make the world better’ – you haven’t even reached the level of hypocrisy. You’re stuck at the level of childish naivety. The world has a tragic dimension. This world does not always get better. This world has deserts – deserts aren’t better. People don’t always get better. You personally, once you’re over middle age, when you’re becoming elderly, you don’t get better every day. When you’re elderly, you are in metabolic decline. Every day you get worse. It’s the human condition, it’s a simple truth. It is fatuous to think that culture or politics or society or technology always get better. It’s just not true, and it’s certainly not true right now. Since the financial panic of 2008, things have gotten worse across the board. The austerity is a complete policy failure; it’s even worse than the panic. We’re not surrounded by betterness in 2013. By practically every measure: nature is worse, culture is worse, governance is worse, the infrastructure is in visible decline, business is worse, people are living in cardboard in Silicon Valley, we don’t even have much to boast about in our fashion. Although you have lost weight – and I praise you for that because I know it must have been hard.

We are living in hard times, we are not living in jolly boom dot com times. And that’s why guys like Evgeny Morozov, who comes from the miserable country of Belarus, gets all jittery and even fiercely aggressive when he hears you talking about technological solutionism. There’s an app to make that all better. Okay, a billion apps have been sold. Where’s the betterness? Things do not always progress, and the successes of progress become thorny problems for the next generation, they don’t stay permanently better. Our value judgments about what [is] better are temporary, they are time bound. When you over-use the word 'better' it’s a head-fake, it’s a mantra. You don’t have a betterometer; you can’t measure the length and duration of the betterness. Better is a metaphysical value judgment, it’s not a scientific quality, like mass or velocity. You can’t test it experimentally. We don’t know what’s better. We don’t even know what’s worse."
"Eagle Creek is fed by a large watershed which drains the slopes of Burnaby Mountain and at one time included a large marsh and beaver pond located in the old Lochdale district. In 1910, when the Vancouver real-estate firm of Ross and Shaw tried to sell their new subdivision on the mountain they printed ads in the Vancouver Daily Province which announced: 'Adjoining this desirable property is the beautiful Quinte Lake, where it is proposed to erect a tourist hotel.' Apparently local residents thought the name was hilarious and much too grandiose a description for a beaver pond. Instead, Lochdale residents joked that ' had to squint to see it' and the name Squint Lake stuck. Residents enjoyed swimming in the pond and in the winter people came from miles around to skate. Unfortunately later developments drained the swamp and the pond slowly disappeared from the landscape. Its memory is commemorated in Squint Lake Park. Look for the largest sedimentary rock in Burnaby, a remnant from the ice age."
Sunday, March 17, 2013

Marcel Duchamp was a great artist, maybe the single greatest artist of the 20th century.  But unlike almost all of his admirers, and every one of his detractors, I don't think that he invented a new kind of art.  Rather, I think he called attention to a category that I will call, after my friend Roger Seamon, "the conceptual dimension in art," which is already more or less present in all art, even depictive art.  I think it has been necessary for various 20th-c. avant-gardes to conceive of Duchamp's readymades as inaugurating a decisive break, or rupture, with the depictive arts, but I don't believe this accurately describes how these objects actually function in the world.  The typewriter case, urinal, bottle rack and shovel are still legible as sculptures, though only an idiot would describe and evaluate them solely on the basis of their plastic, or physical, attributes.  They are probably better described as objects which contain, or gesture toward, a "conceptual dimension" that is not physically present in the work, but which remains an integral part of it.  The depictive and literary arts handle this problem under the category of "allegory." See Benjamin's Origin of German Tragic Drama, or, more recently, the writings of Robert Smithson, who read Benjamin closely and usefully on this point.
Saturday, March 16, 2013

An Interview With Jeff Wall on Patrick Faigenbaum

"At the Vancouver Art Gallery I am presenting the work of artists who make images in a more or less conventional way – painting, photography and so on – they aren’t doing moving images or any kind of ‘live’ art involving motion. Essentially the depictive arts as they’ve been known for centuries. Not young artists, but ones who have been around for a while and who have some substantial body of work by now. And of course artists who haven’t been seen here before. Patrick’s show is the fourth in this series, which started with Kai Althoff, and this summer we’ll present sculpture by the German artist Martin Honert. I think there are now two basic kinds of contemporary art – the newer forms based on the idea of the readymade – and the older ones like painting and sculpture. You could also think of these newer forms as ‘post-conceptual’ whereas the depictive arts don’t depend on conceptual art. I don’t think there’s a conflict between the two kinds of art but there is a distinction to be made there. So it seemed to me that people in Vancouver ought to be able to see depictive art done by very distinguished artists from different places, all of whom are akin in their devotion to the image, or the picture, or the sculpture. Artists we may have heard about but haven’t actually had a chance to see. There is no substitute for seeing the work itself. Part of what we are trying to achieve is to create circumstances where the audience here can satisfy its desire for images, and through that develop a taste for depiction and develop its own taste in terms of encountering, appreciating, and judging works of serious quality."

This is a good interview, and makes a strong case for Anthony Hernandez and Martin Honert, whose works I know and admire, and maybe for Patrick Faigenbaum, who I've been less interested in, at least so far.  Maybe Jeff's exhibition will change that.  Maybe that's why we go to exhibitions, in hope of being changed.  Maybe that's a side effect of the process of "encountering, appreciating and judging works of serious quality."

I'm curious about the distinction Jeff draws between the depictive arts and conceptual art.  This distinction, the subject of his 2006 Hermes lecture, "Depiction, Object, Event," is not quite real to me.  The short version of his argument, as I understand it, is that intermedia and/or conceptual art is less good, less aesthetically successful, than the depictive arts, because the depictive arts are subject to, and in fact invite, judgments of quality, whereas intermedia and/or conceptual art are not and do not:

Burdened by their own notions of quality, the depictive arts have been able to question their own validity only in order to affirm it. To practice these arts is to affirm them or fail at them, even though that affirmation may be more dialectical than most negations. The emergence in the past 30 to 50 years, of a contemporary art that is not a depictive art has revealed the depictive arts as restricted to this negative dialectic of affirmation.

This is the price paid for autonomy.

Contemporary art, then, has bifurcated into two distinct versions. One is based in principle on the suspension of aesthetic criteria, the other is absolutely subject to them. One is likewise utterly subject to the principle of the autonomy of art, the other is possible only in a condition of pseudo-heteronomy....

Jeff stresses this point repeatedly in recent interviews, pointing, like the late Greenberg of the Bennington Seminars, to how his philosophical extrapolations are rooted in personal aesthetic judgments; his "honest" sense, for example, that Walker Evans and Atget are better, more aesthetically successful, photographers than, say, Robert Smithson or Ed Ruscha.  That's probably true.  But because I, like Jeff, enjoy "encountering, appreciating and judging works of serious quality," that process then impels me to ask a further question: are Walker Evans and Atget better artists than Smithson or Ruscha?  If so, why?

Here the depictive art v. conceptual & intermedia art dichotomy breaks down.  Judgments of aesthetic quality can't be rooted in the specificity of particular media any more than they can in genres, or subject-matter.  Case in point: Marcel Duchamp, who was an adequate painter, at least to my eye, but a great artist.  I suppose you could make the strained and somewhat goofy argument that Duchamp's urinal is actually a sculpture, responding to sculptural precedents and the "aesthetic criteria" of sculpture, but that sounds too much like Greenberg on "flatness": too dry, too chalkboard-and-seminar-room, and, ultimately, reductive of the complexity, beauty, and humor of Duchamp's best work.

I think that conceptual and intermedia works are subject to judgments of quality, just like depictive works of art.  Any useful theory of aesthetic judgement needs to be able to account for comparisons between these two great streams of contemporary art, the kind of comparisons that everyone already makes in practice, thereby producing judgments of great subtlety and complexity. 

There is already a flexible and useful theory that can account for these problems, outlined by a friend of mine and currently hidden behind a JSTOR paywall.  Anyone with a little ingenuity should be able to find it.

Piano: Jim Beard
Organ, vox: Donald Fagen
Rhodes: Ted Baker
Guitar, guitar solo: Jon Herington
Guitar: Walter Becker
Bass: Freddie Washington, Jr.
Drums: Keith Carlock

Tour rehearsal, 2008.  I Idolize You originally written and performed by Ike Turner (w/ Tina, natch!)
Friday, March 15, 2013

Some kind stranger just sent me a high-quality version of this set out of the blue. On the night in question, I was sitting six rows back from Walter on his stool, but never had a recording -- let alone knew a good one existed -- until now.  Thanks!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
"If the new paradigm is, in time, to pay no money to anyone who will write something for you, your field of applicants will grow and shrink."  (Jack Womack)
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"I had to create a ceiling that was covered by lamps, but not just covered, had to have shapes and flows in it, so that there’s a whole galaxy going on the ceiling. Some are lit, some aren’t. They all worked, but over the time of working I realised it wasn’t as interesting working with all of the lights on. Plus it was unbearably hot. I doubt the man underneath would have been able to keep them on for more than 10 minutes in his place, he would have roasted! But he did use those lights for making toast, and making melted cheese sandwiches. He could fry an egg up there! There’s a little divide hanging from the ceiling, and you c[an] see bits of cheese hanging down from it, where he toasted his cheese under the bunch of very hot lights."
Monday, March 11, 2013

Edward Wicklander, 5 Kittens, 2012.  Carved and painted walnut.
Salmon, Sorrel, Tomato Fennel Salad

The ingredients aren't anything special, but the combination's mine.

Tomatoes x 2.  X w/ knife in end, boiling water.  30 sec.  Ice water.  Skins off, deseeded, chopped, reserved.

Fennel bulb.  Fine dice.  Reserve fronds, also diced.

Shallot.  Fine dice.  Chardonnay + shallot + hot pan.  2 min.  Cream, big handful chopped sorrel, juice from 1/4 lemon, salt, 1/2 tomato dice.  Boil.

Butter in pan #2.  Foamy.  Salmon fillets x 2.

2-3 minutes, flip.

Toss fennel w/ remaining tomato.  Lemon, salt.

Warmed plates. Sauce, salmon fillet on top, tomato/fennel salad at 3 o'clock.  Garnish fish w/ fennel fronds.

("Cats like salmon," sez the Kato Cat, leaping up onto the dining-room table.  "And cream.")
Sunday, March 10, 2013


ACTs (Aesthetically Claimed Things)
: Canadarm and Dragon spacecraft

(Photograph by @Cmdr_Hadfield)

ART (Aesthetically Rejected Thing): Alexis C. Madrigal, Angry and Just !Refusing! to Take It Any More

More self-righteous blather from the The Atlantic, not realizing that the correct response to deliberately putting one's foot in a nest of pissed-off journalists is to run away fast, not to eagerly shove the other foot, both hands, and face in after.

"These are my people. These are my colors. This is my institution, my connection to a legacy and a lineage. And if you come after one of us, if you come after it, I am not going to take it lying down."

TRANSLATION:  "I like being paid to do work that I solicit other people to do for free."

Love the ungainly mash-up of raging Chuck Palahniuk-meets-Hunter short staccato sentences and dollops of New Media Economy blather ("You want to become a node. And to become a node, you need to do things that inculcate trust from your readers, and you need to keep doing that over and over. In the digital world, we build the distribution networks day by day...")

Also, question, how does politely asking to be paid for original work suddenly constitute "coming after" anyone?  Strange how The Atlantic's inexplicably whiny paid staff have spun a writer saying, in public, "Thanks, but I'd prefer not to work for free, and am actually kind of offended that you asked," into a fantasy of disrespecting the legacies of John Muir, Ida Tarball, & etc.

Best case scenario: The blows up (because it is obviously of no use to anyone in the real world, the protestations of its paid staff notwithstanding) and Alexis goes back to blogging about football or his old hedge fund job, and we never hear from him, ever again.

(Above, Mr. Madrigal.  A real-life Louis Green!)
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Waste My Time, Please

GIRL IN EARSHOT (of Spiegelman's Maus):  The Holocaust just...BLOWS MY MIND.

HER FRIEND:  I know!
Fun fact:

Confronted by the (admittedly rare) sight of 200+ boxes of books stacked up in the front room, 1 in 2 people feel obligated to offer one of the following:

-Wow that's a lot of books.

-You've really got your work cut out for you!

-Did somebody die?

Having offered one of these, chance of the commenter actually buying something drops by approximately 99%.

I get it: people like to watch other people work. That's why little kids and bored old men congregate around construction sites, the guy at Granville Island with the big copper fudge kettle, street performers, & etc.  It requires no skill whatsoever and makes the watcher feel important, like a "representative of the management."  But the next clown who busts out one of these hoary old chestnuts is going to need to find some other bookseller to "supervise."
Friday, March 08, 2013

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Pablo Picasso, Glass of Absinthe, 1914
Today's special orders: meth, meth, rehab, rehab, The Rules. Happiness.
"A competition denotes a finish line and a prize. How exactly does one 'win' art?" (@R_Dart)
Thursday, March 07, 2013

"If someone want[ed] to copy Las Meninas, entirely in good faith, for example, upon reaching a certain point and if that one was me, I would say...what if you put them a little more to the right or left? I'll try to do it my way, forgetting about Velázquez. The test would surely bring me to modify or change the light because of having changed the position of a character. So, little by little, that would be a detestable Meninas for a traditional painter, but would be my Meninas."
Just Announced

World's finest jazz-rock-blues-soul act touring July-September.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
"Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed."  (David Foster Wallace)
Michigan's John Latta, also waiting for spring:

"[A] way of paring down what’s been scaled back, reduction (in some quarters) averred a sign of (gulp) wisdom. Or why not point to the snow’s aimless and continual sifting down out of the sky and say its maleficent presence lingers in the way it makes every detail succumb to its own 'big, cold, dramatic gesture'—'like a purple "Okay to Eat" on a rump of beef' (James Schuyler)? Why not that? You needn’t be rigorous and personal about it. You can look forward to assembling a little anthology of whatever’s sprung loose by the March floods, a mash-up of yellowed monocotyledonous debris ('snow-tamp’d grasses') and green sprigs of skunk cabbage or ailanthus (anything but 'the usual fescue'). Rescue in the offing."

Tuesday, March 05, 2013
ART (Aesthetically Rejected Thing): Olga @ The Atlantic

"Some journalists use our platform as a way to gain more exposure for whatever professional goals they might have, but that’s not right for everyone and it’s of course perfectly reasonable to decline."

This particular line of condescending horse shit is why visual arts-related writing by me has not and will not appear in The Tyee, The Vancouver Sun, and other fine local publications, whose editors, surprisingly enough, are still paid for pursuing their so-called "professional goals."
Sunday, March 03, 2013

Jeff Wall and Lucas Blalock: A Conversation on Pictures

"You could say that your angst is your take on a social condition, and you’d be right about that. But there’s no social necessity to respond to social conditions artistically this way or that. There are no rules for this, so another artist could just as legitimately respond in a very different manner. All we have to compare between them are the results. And your results can be art of the highest quality, and mine, which could come from a completely different and even dissenting take on the same social material, could also and simultaneously be art of the highest quality, and both could be in touch with some true state of that same social material at the same time, but other to each other. So, to answer your question 'Is this disembodiment a new problem for the picture?'—yes, it is a new problem if you need it to be one. If you need to ignore it and pretend it isn’t happening, you might get laughed at socially, but there’s no way to claim that that, probably childish and neurotic, act cannot lead to something artistically significant and first-rate."

Image: Lucas Blalock, Picture for Owen, 2011
L., currently in Thailand, has some important news to share:

"Do you know full grown tigers purr? Do you know that if you pet them correctly, they actually roll over so you can scratch their tummies?!?! Tiger cubs have heads too small for their ears and they love kibble."
Saturday, March 02, 2013

Catherine Opie, Lawrence (Black Shirt), 2012

Back from five days in LA, where I made two new pictures and studies for a few others, hiked in the desert, drove the extremely swoopy and nerve-racking Angeles Crest Highway, enjoyed "hot salty soymilk" (a Taiwanese breakfast staple) at a Montery Park hole-in-the-wall, and saw excellent exhibitions by Saul Leiter and Catherine Opie.  I've written about Leiter before; his best works, shot in the late 50s and early 60s, look like proto-cellphone photographs, with their bright blurs and smears of  "abstract" color.  I bought a Steidl book of his color photographs in Vegas four or five years ago not really knowing who he was, only that maybe half the pictures in the book -- mostly the messy, abstract ones -- felt fresh to me, contemporary in the best sense of the word.  The pictures on display in Santa Monica were a little larger than I'd thought they'd be, but the beautiful crisp deep color of the Steidl reproductions carried over more or less unchanged (as opposed to, say, my experience of recent William Eggleston prints, also coincidentally in Santa Monica, whose chalky, dry, overbright pigment-print colors contrast, unfavorably, with the jewel-like clarity and color depth in his earlier dye-transfer prints).

Good Catherine Opie show at Regen Projects, including some middling huge "abstract" landscapes and some terrific portraits of Lawrence Weiner (above) and one of Opie's son and his pet mouse.  The best picture in the show is the Weiner portrait -- the light on the forehead; the hand and its long nails; the expression, which nails intensity and exhaustion in equal measure.  The slightly tilted head and the complexly folded hand (try to repeat the pose yourself; it's hard) makes me think of El Greco, not one of the sources cited in the press release, but a comparison that feels right.

Opie, along with Sturtevant, Robert Adams, and Jeff Wall, is one of the few living artists who surprises me each time out, largely because there is no settled consensus on what a "Opie" looks like, either in style or subject matter.  Everyone thinks I must like the early LA landscapes -- the highway overpasses and mini-malls -- and it's true, I do, but I think figurative works like her Self Portrait / Nursing (2004) are immeasurably stronger because they rub at the edges of genre, managing to belong to many different categories of picture-making simultaneously.  Opie, like my friend Brad Phillips, has found a way to include autobiographical, or almost confessional, content in her work without coming across as sentimental, or a dumb-ass.  It's a hard thing to do.  As Ali G. says, Respect.

Everyone (well, two or three people) wants to know about the Hockney picture. It's a remake.  I think that by now that remakes, or repetitions, or cover versions, or whatever you want to call them, are a pretty firmly established part of my practice, one that's not going away.  There is a perception that I only remake Jeff Wall photographs, but this is not actually the case.  So far it's Wall, Hockney, and John Carpenter, with some other more or less lucky folks waiting in the wings.

The intent, so far as I can tell, is for me to make a unique work, in the same place, using a more or less identical compositional method to the original as I understand it.  ie., slippage. If I knew why I was compelled to to this, and to exhibit these "mildly pathological" works, which only seem to confuse and puzzle people, alongside my other, autonomous pictures, I probably wouldn't be making them.  But enough.

The parallels between Hockney's Pearblossom Highway and my Street View adventures are self-explanatory.  I first found online, then drove out to, the original's location in the Antelope Valley, about an hour north of LA, to see if remaking it was feasible.  It still might be.  But all the good signs are gone, and Caltrans has dumped bark mulch, plain drab brown bark mulch, all up and down the road's edges as landscape "improvements" and paved over "STOP AHEAD," the best part of the original.  The actual location was like a big blinking neon sign reading, Fuck off, CJB!  But, whatever.  Four days ahead.  Make a picture, on site, using the same methods, that has something of the "spirit of the original."  Like those mystery baskets on Top Chef.  Go!

One day to think, 400+ landscape studies, wandering around  in bright sunshine, remembering how to work the manual camera controls and getting familiar with the slant of light in the sky.  Motel room review.  One element stood out, an extremely weathered sign not present in the Hockney picture, but located within the original's field of view.  Reflective, green and white, diamond letters, a font that felt a lot like one of Ed Ruscha's.  The breaks and cracks and imperfections in the sign's face made me think of folded-up southern California from the air.

Tape measure and a stepladder at Home Depot.

Three days on location, 4 to 4.5 hours a day, obsessively photographing every inch of the sign under multiple lighting conditions.

Everyone has questions.  Contrary to Jeff Wall's assertion that photography is boring, and attracts no onlookers, my experience is that everyone wants to talk to a man on a ladder in the desert next to a stoplight.  Truckers; Caltrans guys watering the freshly planted shrubbery; hopeless hitchhiker (because only the insane, or a very young German backpacker, would ever attempt to hitchhike from Las Vegas to San Francisco via the Antelope Valley); California Highway Patrol.  Hey, whatcha doing...?

Playback and reassembly back in YVR, beginning tomorrow night, to produce an "approximate replica" of the sign, life size, out of c. 600 small color prints.  Which, needless to say, will be deliberately full of perspectival imperfections and small flaws.

The other new photograph, Picture for Rose (Littlerock, CA), was made with the help of my little stuffed mascot/travelling companion Rose T. Cat, who most of you already know. It's a straight black and white Hey-nice-tones! art photograph of a knight on horseback, and dinosaurs, and giant tigers, and the Eiffel Tower.  It looks like a Lee Friedlander, and I am totally not kidding about the content or its co-author.  My guess is that it will be much more popular than anything I've ever made before, and that some folks will say, Yeah, this is it, now you should make a series.  Well, no.  But it was the first thing I test-printed when I got home, just so I could show it to Rose, and it made that little oversize personality very happy.
ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Condition 3


If a certficate is lost, a statement of authenticity may be issued. Such a statement in no way constitutes an original certificate and may not be deemed or utilized as one. An original certificate is issued only once to the first owner and can never be replaced with another unique certificate. In the event that a statement of authenticity is requested, the following conditions must be met before it is issued:

1. A complete provenance of the work in question must be supplied. This provenance must include a signed statement confirming the transfer of title and certificate from each of the successive owners.

2. Carl Andre or a representative of the Carl Andre and Melissa L. Kretschmer Foundation must inspect the work.

3. A fee of two one-ounce Canadian gold Maple Leaf coins for issuing the first statement of authenticity, three such coins for the second, four coins for the third and so on, plus expenses, is payable to Carl Andre or the Carl Andre and Melissa L. Kretschmer Foundation. Such coins can easily be found and obtained online.

Q: I’ve read in the past that you don’t like the word “covers.”

RLJ: “Covers,” I guess, is a word used only with writers to indicate a lesser work. Your real work is what you write. We don’t describe Sinatra or Ella [Fitzgerald] or Tony Bennett as doing covers. We know [they] don’t write, and in fact we don’t even think about it. It’s not discussed. But that’s jazz. The singer-songwriter genre was always sticky, and that was why from the beginning of my career I did “covers” and did them on the same record as my own compositions, to try to make the point that a song is a song. At the heart of it, I‘m such an AM radio American girl. It’s all my music. And The Rolling Stones did covers. It was before the sacrosanct Dylan aftershock, and I think I thought I could expand the genres, keep the walls from closing, and make a place for songwriters to sing and singers to be respected the same as the singer /songwriter.

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