Monday, December 30, 2019

"A night in the city is nothing if its air is not vibrated by the beat of some promise—the promise of a new pleasure, a new happening, event, exchange, encounter. If you do not feel this promise 'to the core' of your being, then you are not standing in a big enough city.

The other thing: The type of walking Clegg describes in 'Fever' is only possible in the biggest cities on earth. Clegg deliberately walks with no sense of direction; he walks with no end in sight; he walks only to get lost. 'Walking by an old cafe,' he sings. Where is this place? What forces brought him to this unfamiliar neighborhood? What will he encounter in this lost part of the city? And you just don't get lost; you must know how to get lost.

The ability to lose your way correctly was designated by the German critic Walter Benjamin as the defining art of a big city person. 'Not to find one's way in a city may well be uninteresting and banal. It requires ignorance—nothing more.' he wrote in his memoir 'Berlin Chronicle.' 'But to lose oneself in a city—as one loses oneself in a forest—that calls for quite a different schooling.' Johnny Clegg has had this different type of schooling."

I’m not an actor, I can only play myself
Sunday, December 29, 2019
"Truffaut finds himself in 1977 as an older, but child-like man in his pursuit of the truth. Lacombe does not seem to be jaded by the times, perhaps because of some scientist code of filtering all outside information as possible solutions without prejudice or judgement. He sees the world through a child’s sense of curiosity and honesty..."

Is everything ready here on the dark side of the moon?  Play the five tones.
"The actions pointed to his political concerns, and attested as well to an art made with, from and, importantly, for the streets, with a relative paucity of means and the stimulation of public interaction at its heart." 

(Elena Filipovic, David Hammons: Bliz-aard Ball Sale)

Truffaut played a film director in La Nuit Américaine and an educator in L’Enfant Sauvage; here he is another specialist in “contact,” the world’s greatest expert on UFOs. We first see him arriving in the Sonora [sic] Desert in Mexico, in a sense “scouting locations.”

You are excellent in it, because you’re not quite real. There is more than a grain of eccentricity in this adventure. The author is a poet. In the South of France one would say he is a bit fada. He brings to mind the exact meaning of this word in Provence: the village fada is the one possessed by the fairies.

These fairies who reside with you have agreed to let themselves be briefly borrowed by the author of the film in question. 

Study for Celestial Annihilation, 2019-20

I felt like 5 notes would be much more like a HELLO. And 7 notes would suddenly sound like a melody. I didn’t want a melody. I wanted a greeting.
Saturday, December 28, 2019

ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Lyndsay Pomerantz, Judd and Friends, 2016 (in collaboration with Michael Lachman)
Friday, December 20, 2019
"The rebels have landed on the top of the main Star Destroyer. They are heading to its communication tower, which is guiding a fleet of planet-destroying ships up to space. The mission is to bomb the tower. The rebels from the ocean moon are charging on horse-like animals. Finn and Jannah run to their target while under heavy fire. It is then we see morning light in the sky above the destroyer. The alien clouds, falling X-wing Starfighters, blasted TIE fighters, flying stormtroopers, the warrior courage of the black man and black woman—all of this happening under a darkling blue sky. The scene lasts for about three or so seconds, but it's incredibly beautiful. The rest of the film was dead to me."
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Carpenteria, 2019

Ruined friendships & relationships, stress, thousands of dollars & months of time, greenhouse-gas emissions (flights; car rentals), all so some Austrians can admire this big -- for me -- picture & conclude, "So that's what they're doing in Vancouver."

Mamiya 7, 80mm lens, struggling to stand upright on a mucky sea cliff right at twilight.  Shallow depth-of-field because anything slower would have blurred.  No idea if the image is good or not -- I half-suspect it isn't; 99.5% of the others taken on this particular day weren't -- but it's an extraordinarily accurate status update.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Rodney is a friend and the author of this text has been publicly critical of my work.  But these paragraphs are fair, accurate, and well argued:

"What I mean to say is that the piece doesn’t only fail because it constitutes a glittering middle finger to the poor and struggling. That’s just obvious. More deeply, it fails because even the positive responses it has garnered evince a vile combination of distanced privilege and smug reverence for facile critical discourse. It’s bad enough that some are content to relish the work’s apparent beauty, unbothered by its corollary suffering. For the chandelier’s defenders, it is valuable because it causes us to think about these issues.

But here’s the thing: the rest of us have already been thinking – have already been seething, for years. This symbol of oblivious decadence shows us nothing that we did not already feel deeply. For this reason it can’t be argued in good faith that its meaning lies in the genesis of conversation. Torqued Chandelier is far more concrete; the sculpture’s material is not only its phony crystal, but also its urban setting, whose social traumas cannot be divorced from the work. Those traumas, having been inflicted by the exact interests that allow this piece to shine so brightly, are both the symptom and the target of this class war taunt. The gaudy decoration simply is what it is."
Sunday, December 15, 2019
"Men struggle more in the dating market when young and over time adjust expectations as the market prices their deficiencies more shrewdly."

(Courtesy Mark Tingay)

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Get close to the drama. Gas masks help you get near roaring steam vents, bubbling pits of mud, hot volcanic streams and the amazing lake of steaming acid. And the vivid hues of yellow and orange resulting from all sulfur on the island make for remarkable photos, so have your camera ready.
Fatal inhalation of volcanic gases in three tourists of a geothermal area

mud volcanoes now submerged beneath the Salton Sea (Public domain)
Sunday, December 08, 2019

"The mode of perception, of vision, was of greater consequence to the impressionist or symbolist artist than the view seen or the image presented.  In this respect both impressionists and symbolists placed themselves in opposition to what they regarded as 'academic' art, for such art found its reality and truth in the object of its own creation -- its representation -- the character of which was determined by the academy's rules and standardized technical procedure.  The 'academy' (whether considered as an elite group of artist-members, or as all members of an institutionalized culture) normalized vision through its specific (technical) code of representation; the code would remain an essential mediating device, because without it one could neither interpret nor record vision. In contrast, impressionists and symbolists sought the elusive and perhaps chimerical immediate.  The impressionist's 'impression' -- just as the symbolist's 'symbol' -- represented a vision and a reality which (ideally) involved no extrapersonal or cultural mediation.  The truth which the impressionist sought could be found in any act of perception that had (or seemed to have) the idiosyncratic character associated with a personal, spontaneous 'impression.'  Nonetheless, the impression, as an image or an object of vision, was not the end of impressionist art, but the means to that end, the means to an experience through which the true could be apprehended in an act of seeing."

(Richard Shiff, Cezanne and the End of Impressionism, U. Chicago P., 1984)
Saturday, December 07, 2019
"[T]heir disagreement amounts to rightly shouting at each other, even if they do it politely: 'you ought to feel the way I feel.  You ought to agree with me.'  To say that people rightly claim universal approval for their aesthetic judgments when all it takes is one exception to prove them wrong is to say that this call on all others' capacity for agreeing by dint of feeling is legitimate.  This is what Kant understood better than anyone before or anyone since."

(Thierry de Duve)
"Everything fell apart in me.  How are things with you?" 

(Jack Kerouac in correspondence)
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
"It's a good photo opportunity. But is it worth the drive? It depends on how much you want a picture of multi colored rocks stacked on top of each other."
Monday, December 02, 2019

Production still.  In the Mojave & offline for 24 hrs.

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