Thursday, August 31, 2006

Earlier today, while in a pedagogical training seminar, I was reminded of a photographer I absolutely love: Gregory Crewdson.

Besides his fine art, he did the cover of Yo La Tengo’s album And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, and he’s also done film and television work on shows such as Six Feet Under.

I invite you to find out more about him here, here, and here.

from the Twilight series

Boy with Hand in Drain


Overturned Bus

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Wuntsah is an inspiring idea that I think everyone should get with. It's about documenting the unfolding of our individual lifetimes.

Here's an incredible example:

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ray Beldner sews dollar bills into art. He earned his MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, CA.

How Mao

[after Andy Warhol’s Mao, 1972]

Down the Toilet

[after Claes Oldenburg's Soft Toilet, 1966]

My buddy O. is teaching in Slovakia, and thankfully he’s keeping a record of his adventures here. Check it out to learn cool things like: “The Slovak word for ice cream is zmrzlna. That’s right. Zmrzlna.”

Believe it or not, the Ivory Tower embraces Lebowski. In fact, there’s going to be an academic conference! Look here.

If you’re like me, jonesing for new episodes of Lost, here are some Hanso videos to tide you over until the new season gets underway.

And for anyone interested in erasing their memories (a la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) there is actually hope! Click here to find out more.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Miracle of Walking on Water

The Miracle of the Mirror (Lewis Carroll)

The Miracle of Invisibility

The Miracle of Cephalopodization

Thursday, August 24, 2006




gun girl

collages by
Stephen Pfohl

Pfohl earned his PhD here, from the Ohio State University (go Buckeyes) and is now Chair of the Sociology department at Boston College where he teaches courses on social theory, deviance and social control, postmodernity, social psychoanalysis, criminology, and the sociology of technology, art, and culture. He has been referred to as a counterpoint to Stephen Hawking.

Check out the new installment of The Bat Segundo Show featuring a podcast interview with Jonathan Safran Foer.

If you’re an English teacher in need of resources, or if you dig Creative Nonfiction, check out Dinty Moore's blog: You Gotta Teach This Essay!

For a moment there were twelve planets in our solar system and now there are only eight. What a great example of how mutable our definitions can be, which only furthers the proof that what we consider to be fact is purely subjective. Goodbye Pluto.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Three from Detroit artist Dave Chung:

The Chung Islands

Mamma Koala finds Baby Hiding in the Watermelon Flavored Monster of Bubble-Gum Island

Andrea Offers the Last Known Peanut on Watermelon Island to Elephant

The feeling of being slow connected to the feeling of distance connected to the feeling of intolerance connected to the feeling of being incomplete connected to the feeling of speaking through language. The feeling of being kept alive by circumstance connected to the feeling of circumventing ugliness connected to the feeling of frozen purpose.

- from "Definition" by Claudia Ryan
read the whole thing at Ander Monson's DIAGRAM

Now then.

Eric Metronome has a project: 52 covers in 52 weeks. A lot of them are pretty good, including a beautiful cover of my favorite Band of Horses song, "The Funeral." Check him out here.

Although I strongly disliked his film Brick, I have to give it up to Rian Johnson for his new music video for The Mountain Goats - from their new album. Watch it here.

If you’d like to understand Marcel Duchamp, click here.

Here is a cool New York Magazine article about the mysterious sale of Picasso's Dora Maar au Chat, one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at auction - $95 million.

Local spot donewaiting serves up a little compendium of ugly reviews for Outkast’s new album. Note the guy writing for the Village Voice, Tom Breihan, who says that André’s parts are “worse than I could've ever imagined. He's really gone off the deep end, ditching anything resembling coherence.” Now, I usually try not to diss fellow contemporary writers, in this case especially because I have a friend that works for the V.V. so this may come back to haunt me, but in my opinion anyone who criticizes André 3000 for his incoherence is sadly ill-informed and obnoxiously ignorant of Mr. Benjamin's entire raison d'être. If you’re looking for coherence (in any medium of art) you’re probably missing the point. Shouldn't art be the opposite of coherent?

At any rate, since I opened talking about covers and closed talking about Outkast, why not leave you with this fantastic cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya" performed by Mat Weddle of Obadiah Parker.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Here’s a sample of the moody fashion photography that's being done by nineteen-year-old Californian prodigy Elias Tahan:

Monday, August 21, 2006

Today the beautiful sadness of Blaine Fontana:

Trees of Spoken Memories

Walks With Bear

The Rain Boy Anger

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Watched two exceptional documentaries yesterday: Yves Saint Laurent: the Collector’s Edition, and Robert Anton Wilson: Maybe Logic. Finally visited the local independent video store called North Campus Video, which boasts a ridiculous cache of rare cult films, exotic documentaries, obscure foreign films, eclectic television shows, and hard-to-find classics. These two discs were such a nice change of pace, considering my recent string of unpalatable rentals: Inside Man, All the Real Girls, Brick, yuck, yuck, yuck.

The YSL film was an informative, entertaining look at the life and work of the legendary couturier. Having only the couture knowledge of a passionate hobbyist, I was astonished to learn so much about Saint Laurent. For instance, he was the first to introduce pantaloons and suit coats to haute couture, the first designer to push androgyny, and the first to use black women as models in his runway shows. But aside from his groundbreaking work, I really liked him as a person. To me, he comes across in the interviews and in the old footage as a shy and awestruck little boy, even in his later years. He seems humble and gentle, like a genuinely nice person. The disc includes two documentaries, the first being his life and work, and the second being a behind-the-scenes exposé on his creation process.

The other disc I rented centered on the legendary writer of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, an extremely intelligent, perceptive, and well educated man who speaks eloquently and enthusiastically on topics ranging from quantum physics to metaphysics, political conspiracies to Arabian folklore, linguistics to neurologic, Buddha to Giordano Bruno, a self-professed Discordian Pope who claims to be simultaneously angry and optimistic, a fellow student of synchronicity, and the oft reminder of Husserl’s contention that “All perception is a gamble.” I enjoyed this documentary so much I watched it twice and took notes.

ps - Who is the great magician that makes the grass green?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Stained Glass Window with Mirror

Vitaly Komar

My brother improves on my ideas about art as a mirror by proposing that art is more like a window. Touché

God bless the Brooklyn-based DJ collective Sound Advice for creating a brilliant - underline it, brilliant - mashup of Gnarls Barkley and Biggie Smalls. In the same vein as Danger Mouse's Grey Album, it's also available for free. Did I mention it’s brilliant? Click here and turn the volume up.

Check out Cityscape Junction to meet the new girl in my life.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Audrey Chihiro Kawasaki
is a 20-something artist who spent 2 years studying fine arts painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and has now returned to her home town of Los Angeles where she paints exquisite, if oftentimes unsettlingly erotic, portraits of young girls on slabs of wood instead of canvass. Aside from clicking on her name (above) to visit her website, you can click here to visit her blog.

I think her work is particularly provocative in the way that it confronts innocence and sexuality simultaneously -or- seduction underneath purity. Her young femme fatales sport come-hither looks which seemingly border on taboo; but I think it keeps its head above the murky waters of perversion by never fully indulging in any particular transgression; instead, Kawasaki toys and teases the viewer, encouraging a temporary derangement of our social and cultural mores, a questioning of our assumptions, perceptions, and established conventions. To put it another way, her work reminds me how valuable art can be as a mechanism to produce a conscious reflection of-and-for the viewer, not merely of-and-for the painting or artist and certainly not of-and-for any objective truth, purpose, reason, belief, morality, or meaning.

Phenomenologically speaking, when we experience art we are really experiencing ourselves, right?: if we are to believe that any given object possesses a potential only as real as the equal potential of the individual who perceives it, then it would reasonably stand to follow that the object and the individual mutually cohabitate, complement, and complete each other according to the specific situation of the object and the existential circumstances of each individual viewer. So, whatever you notice about a particular piece ultimately says more about you than the piece itself.


Art is a mirror.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Today the strange work of John Casey:

Casey is now designing cool t-shirts for The Boontling Gallery, and he recently participated in Fecal Face's art show called the "125th Anniversary of the Internet". He's a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art, now relocated to the Bay Area.

Monday, August 14, 2006

From Kelly Mark's collection Private Conversations with Public Statuary:

If you click here, you can watch the videos of these conversations actually taking place, as recorded by the artist.

Click here to visit the Henry Rollins Show, where you can watch a bunch of fun performances from people like Thom Yorke, Ben Harper, Death Cab, Jurassic 5, etc.

Here Stephen Colbert explains how you can be an expert on anything.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Behold the wicked photography of Erwin Olaf, an artist from Amsterdam. Here are four from the Royal Blood collection:





If you'd like to know why some people think David Lynch is important click here.

Click here for a great article on street fashion, via the good folks at Slate.

It's almost time for Michel Gondry's new film (The Science of Sleep) to be released, and I couldn't be more eager and filled with anticipation. You can click here to check out a blog called How Do You Dream? that Gondry maintains, where people share their dreams. But since the U.S. release date continues to move, shift, push, and allude us, I've decided to diffuse the tension by offering a few trailers for upcoming films that look equally exquisite:

Children of Men
a new film by Alfonso Cuarón

The Black Dahlia
a new film by Brian De Palma

a new film by Mel Gibson

a new film by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Wouldn't it be sweet if this turned out to be a great year for cinema?

ps - tomorrow is Fidel Castro's birthday.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Death Cab for Cutie
Last Friday in Grant Park, Downtown Chicago

Aside from the music and the scenery, they had an outdoor exhibit called "Who Arted?" smack dab in the middle of Lollapalooza. My Imaginary Friend from Las Vegas & I went to check it out on Saturday. The first thing we came upon was a rusty old car and an artist named Chadwick (a Chicago performance painter) who was fixing to paint the car live, right on site. I snapped a BEFORE shot and then we returned on Sunday to take the AFTER:

Huge painted tarps hung in a courtyard encircling Chadwick’s car, displaying different artists' work. Here were a few of my favorites (with links where available):

Zack Wirsum

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Two big reasons why Broken Social Scene was the best show I saw at Lollapalooza:

1. The entire band was there: all 17 members! (including the members of Feist, Stars, and Metric)

2. They played “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl” - possibly the grooviest song ever invented - and oh did Chicago quiver.

Other shows I caught and thought were terrific include:
Iron & Wine
Death Cab for Cutie
Oh No! Oh My!
Andrew Bird
and a band from Louisiana called Mute Math, which I'd never heard before, but boy did they bring the rock. At one point the bass player put a towel over the drummer’s face and poured bottled water all over the drum kit and the drummer kept thrashing and it made this horribly disturbing, yet somehow aesthetically pleasing noise, while the water splashed everywhere. Oh, and they played a homemade Theremin as well as other strange gadgets. Gnarls Barkley was fun. They dressed up in tennis outfits. A huge banner behind them showed a revolver with a heart shaped smoke ring coming out of the barrel.

Pictures and art to come.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Two premium illustrators!!!

My internet has gone sketchy. Posts may be sporadic at best for the next week or so.


One of my favorite literary anecdotes involves the obsessive nature of revision, something I have been deep in the midst of lately.

Flaubert once explained his process while working on Madame Bovary. He said that he would wake and go to his study where he would spend the entire morning meticulously placing a single comma. Then he would break for lunch. Then he would return to his study and spend the rest of the day taking that comma out.

Oh, Flaubert, how true is your hyperbole. In the past few weeks I have been rearranging commas like crazy. Sleeping like a vampire. Drinking more coffee than humanly possible. Maybe I’ve transformed? Maybe I’ve seriously become a vampire? I couldn’t know for sure: I haven’t been tested.

ps - click here if you would like to hear Zadie Smith read Frank O’Hara’s poem “Animals”