Tuesday, February 26, 2008

iHole and iJerks

I kid because I love......



(I realize some/most readers may not know that I firmly refuse to drink the Kool Aid)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Art's role

Jessie #30 2004, Sally Mann

Some Things are Private is a play that opened in Rhode Island, staged by the Trinity Repertory Company, on February 15. It is a further investigation of public reaction to art in general and Sally Mann in particular. The Boston Globe has a thorough look at the play here.

The article closes with this quote:

"Art's role - the role they raise in the play - is almost nefarious, it's to challenge expectation," she says. "To push a little bit, whether that's aesthetically, politically, or culturally." Sally Mann

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Rock and a Hard Place

Your a Dead Man 2001, Ed Ruscha

A friend contacted me to spend a day in Chicago at a symposium the Art Institute is having for the opening of their exhibit, Ed Ruscha and Photography! on March 1. We have had a terrible, long, cold, snowy winter (oh joy, winter storm watch for tomorrow night) and I will be taking a long weekend in Florida. Airline tickets and condo on the beach have been paid for. Man I hate wanting to be in two places at one time. If you're able, go to the symposium for me, and then tell me all about it.
Here is something that Daniel Shea posted back at the beginning of January:
“…I had a daydream once not long ago about an imaginary person known as the Information Man, and I wrote it down. Let me read it to you.
The Information Man is someone who comes up to you and begins telling you stories and related facts about a particular subject in your life. He came up to me and said, ‘Of all the books of yours that are out in the public, only 171 are placed face up with nothing covering them; 2026 are in vertical positions in libraries, and 2715 are under books in stacks. The most weight on a single book is 68 pounds, and that is in the city of Cologne, Germany, in a bookstore. Fifty-eight have been lost; 14 have been totally destroyed by water or fire; 216 books could be considered badly worn. Three hundred and nineteen books are in positions between 40 and 50 degrees. Eighteen of the books have been deliberately thrown away or destroyed. Fifty-three books have never been opened, most of these being newly purchased and put aside monetarily…

Of the approximately 5000 books of Ed Ruscha that have been purchased, only 32 have been used in a directly functional manner. Thirteen of these have been used as weights for paper or other small things, 7 have been used as swatters to kill small insects such as flies and mosquitoes, 2 were used as a device to nudge open a door, 6 have been used to transport foods like peanuts to a coffee table, and 4 have been used to nudge wall pictures to their correct levels. Two hundred and twenty-one people have smelled pages of the books. Three of the books have been in continual motion since their purchase; all three of these are on a boat near Seattle, Washington.
Now wouldn’t it be nice to know these things.”

-Ed Ruscha as quoted by A.D. Coleman in Light Readings: A Photography Critic’s Writings, 1968-1978

Friday, February 22, 2008


You really must take a moment to read this post at 5B4.

"This may be a very odd thing for a man who writes 500 words a night about photobooks to admit but words often sit in such close proximity to images that it makes me nervous. Reading artist statements or listening to someone speak about their work has been known to induced the strong desire in me to slap the artist in question across the nose with a rolled up newspaper.

I have a theory that artists who express themselves verbally and without airs are comfortable with themselves, the validity of their work and their position as artists. Others indulge in what I perceive to be a pseudo-intellectualism meant to elevate their perceived importance through obscurantism. This critique isn’t meant to be anti-intellectual, just if - as Jasper Johns says of artists - “We are the elite of the working class,” then I think “we” should be understood by Joe New York Post (Oh…you elitist bastard) otherwise our “art” is in a ghetto; albeit one with really nice architecture."

I'm in the midst of reading Conversations with Contemporary Photographers and Mr. Whiskets plaints ring true, and made me laugh out loud. I have been marking passages throughout the book to post on...another day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There's more than one way

From Higley 2006, Andrew Phelps

to expand a collection. My friend Kevin Miyazaki was good enough to let me know about this opportunity to trade a book for a print. Andrew Phelps is offering this print in exchange for a book from the list of titles he would like to add to his collection. I have one coming! He admits to having appropriated the idea from Todd Deutsch. I promptly contacted Todd and I have one of the last 2 in his trade edition coming also! Both artists were absolutely delightful to transact the trade with.
I'd start clicking if I were you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Wisconsin's Presidential primary is today. This image is a portion of a wall in my home filled with work I have collected from friends. The two of Senator Obama were taken nearly two years ago. I have had them for over a year. I am more than ready for CHANGE.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Year 1

It has been an extraordinary year. I started this blog, after being urged to by friends, to make it more convenient for them to see the things I was telling them about. Mostly I was talking about that which all of those listed to the right were doing and saying. They (perhaps you?) are a constant source of education and inspiration.

I have been a little surprised that no one has asked about the title of this blog. The audio portion of the video is the answer. It sums up my relationship with photography very well. The video itself is a compendium of the images (the sublime and the mundane) I have used in posts for the year.

In the Washington Post article Portrait of a Blogger: Under 30 and Sociable (neither of which apply to me) the author includes this; "The average blogger is a 14-year-old girl writing about her cat," said Alexander Halavais, an assistant professor of interactive communications at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Hmm. I guess that makes me well above average.

The high point of my blog year? Being called "weirdly eclectic" by none other than Tim Atherton. Duly honored.

I intend to keep going. I hope, every now and again, to add something to the rich conversation. In case you are not familiar, take a look at my inaugural post. It continues to be my template.

Oh, and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nan Goldin interview

At a touch over 23 minutes into this Charlie Rose episode you can see an interview with Nan Goldin, Elizabeth Sussman and Luc Sante on the occasion of the opening of I'll Be Your Mirror at the Whitney in 1996.

From my end of the telescope it is interesting to hear her speaking about becoming less self involved and taking a wider view of the world in her work. I think that is called aging.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The reason I am a visual artist

Or not a visual artist but like a visual artist. Or have you been in a critique eerily similar?

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Hand 2008 Jason Polan

This week's Tuesday edition at the Jen Bekman 20 X 200 Project is a variety of incarnations of Jason Polan's hand. Since I consistently miss out on the prints (close several times, but no luck) through The Drawing Project I was glad to get one of these.

Hand 1931 Erno Berda

Yesterday I went to the opening lecture for Foto: Modernity in Central Europe, 1918-1945 at the Milwaukee Art Museum.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cabin Fever

We have had snow. And snow. And snow. As of this writing is has been snowing for 28 hours. I hesitate to whine because I well know that Tim (who by the way, has a cat post of his own) and Ben endure far worse conditions. But I have had it with the winter of 2007-08. Evidently so has Gracie.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Throw Me Somethin' Mistuh!

Brod Bagert and Charlie Smith

Throw me somethin' mistuh
For my momma and my sistuh.
All them cups, doubloons and beads,
They satisfy my inner needs,
So throw-me, throw-me, throw-me, throw-me,
Throw-me somethin' mistuh.

Cleopatra, Pontchartrain,
Sparta-Sparta, Carrollton,
Everybody's having fun
Catching trinkets by the ton.

Freret, Pandora, Pegasus
Saturn bright and beautiful!
Spring is here!
Winter's gone!

Hermes, Iris, Friar Tuck,
Hit the street and try your luck.
Endymion, you steppin' up
With champagne in a plastic cup.

Thoth and Okeanos
Go rolling with Mid-City,
Then Bacchus Bards and Orpheus,
Them floats is all so pretty!

Zulu-Zulu, Zulu-Zulu, Zulu-Zulu-Rex!

Throw me somethin' mistuh
For my momma and my sistuh.
All them cups, doubloons and beads,
They satisfy my inner needs,
So throw-me, throw-me, throw-me, throw-me,
Throw-me somethin' mistuh!
Happy Mardi Gras!

Saturday, February 2, 2008


It is delightful to see public performance that confuses, excites, awes, and amuses. Something that for five minutes takes people to a new experience of their day.

Via Wooster Collective, again.