Tuesday, May 30, 2006

100 Views - 47

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

For polar bear hunters, who are typically wealthy Americans past 50, the trip in a caribou-skin suit on a dog sled is an age-defying passage in a land of disorienting beauty, where the sun does not set for months and nothing but a dreamy blue strip of sky distinguishes ice from cloud.
Hunters say few experiences can compare with the sensation of sighting a bear, then watching the Inuit guides release their huskies to surround and confuse the prey long enough for the hunters to shoot it.
"This is my Disney World," said Manuel Camacho, a 60-year-old urologist from Miami, before he set out on his hunt in May.

-from today's NY Times

Friday, May 26, 2006

Medical Dummy, Camosun College, Victoria, B.C. 2006.

I'll hopefully have a few of the Camosun photos up on the site by next week. Still waiting on a few rolls.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another unpleasant run-in with our landlord today - one of the snootiest, most tight-assed, humourless yuppie man-bots I've ever had the misfortune of paying rent to. The kind of guy who shakes your hand with a audible shudder of distaste, like royalty visiting a leper colony. The kind of guy who stares blankly at your light hearted attempts to make small talk, as if shocked speechless that you would even have the temerity. The kind of guy, who when you call him on the phone and tell him who's calling, says "ok" rather than "hello."
V is convinced that this guy, and his carbon copy ice queen wife, are planning to kick us out at the end of our lease, even though we are perfect, rent on time, no parties, no noise, no problem tenants. I used to think she was just being paranoid, but not anymore. I'm telling you, I can see it in their eyes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

100 Views - 46

Sunday, May 21, 2006

100 Views - 45

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Just picked up my reserved copy of John Berger-selected essays from the library and can't seem to put it down. I read a smattering of his stuff in art school (where his essays on perception are offered up to first years like a final sip of wine before the water and bread diet of critical theory begins) but hardly anything since and I'm not sure why. Art School soured me on a lot of the things it was trying to teach me to love.

There is a quiet, clear-eyed compassion that sits just below the skin of Berger's graceful sentences like a beating heart:

"The family visit to the zoo is often a more sentimental occasion than a visit to a fair or a football match. Adults take children to the zoo to show them the originals of their 'reproductions' [the toys, cartoons, pictures, decorations of animals that surround most children from an early age], and also perhaps in the hope of re-finding some of the innocence of that reproduced animal world which they remember from their own childhood.
The animals seldom live up to the adults' memories, whilst to the children they appear, for the most part, unexpectedly lethargic and dull. (As frequent as the calls of animals in a zoo are the cries of children demanding: Where is he? Why doesn't he move? Is he dead?) And so one might summarise the felt, but not necessarily expressed, question of most visitors as: Why are these animals less than I believed?
And this unprofessional, unexpressed question is the one worth answering."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

100 Views - 44

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Before Eminem, the Project Grizzly of white rap videos. Thanks to Jim Affinito for the link.

Monday, May 15, 2006

All the Little Live Things turns one year old today! Happy birthday little guy!
Party's tonight in the shark cage, bring scuba gear. Regulars Vanessa Hawryluk, Jim Affinito, Christopher Brayshaw, Kyath Battie, Maya Saxell and Ellen Donovan will all be in attendance. Man in the Grey Suit comes on at 7.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

100 Views - 43

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The uplifting finale to my trilogy of "massive animal retaliation" posts, and my personal favorite.
A very funny review of 1977's Day of the Animals, which I watched repeatedly as a kid, along with it's even drearier 'sister' film Savage Harvest. Both feature beleagured humans fighting off a multitude of crazed animals that want to kill and eat them. My memory of the actual plot of these films is about as hazy as the crappy screenshots that accompany the review, but I do remember thinking that they were both really, really boring.
What they needed was some killer whales.
100 Views - 42

Friday, May 12, 2006

I'd like to ask Jim Martell what inspired him to pay 50,000 dollars to be flown to the northwest territories, chauffeured into the wilderness, and led by the hand up to an endangered animal so he could shoot it with a gun. I'm just curious where the pleasure lies in doing something like that.
I'd also like to ask him if it meant anything to him when he was told that the animal he'd just killed happened to be a never before seen polar/grizzly bear hybrid, whose very existence underlines the shockingly accelerated climate change of the planet he calls home.

I'd like to ask him these questions but I can't, because he's not at home. He's out hunting for more bears!
Maybe I should ask these guys.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

100 Views - 41

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Listen to it in streaming audio here.
When you're done, check this Showbiz Tonight interview with him outside his studio (worth watching for the giant nuggets of common sense that Neil drops on the interviewer, and for the completely unexpected outburst of support by the in-studio anchorman near the end. Beautiful.)

Monday, May 08, 2006

100 Views - 40

Sunday, May 07, 2006

100 Views - 39

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Rackstraw Downes, who paints exclusively plein air (on location) and takes months to finish a single canvas:

"Years ago I read a beautiful letter that Stendhal sent to his sister, giving her advice on letter writing. He said, choose subjects you care very much about, but when you put your feelings into words, do it as if you didn't want anyone to notice. When I read that, in the seventies, I thought, that's what I'm trying to do. I don't want anyone to notice the style.

I remember going to the Whitney Annual before my style was at all formed, and thinking that a good painting is one that has a quick come-on, that beckons you very forcefully from across the room. And I thought to myself, wouldn't it be interesting to make a painting that would be totally plain, ordinary and quiet, but if you spend time sniffing around you find endless stuff that would keep revealing itself."

Dave Hickey, who's book "Air Guitar" is one of the best introductions to thinking about art I know, calls this "Huh? WOW!" art, as opposed to the ubiquitous "WOW! Huh?" It's an approach that I feel a lot of sympathy towards, especially in the age of Gursky/Crewdson/Burtynsky.

Friday, May 05, 2006

100 Views - 38

Thursday, May 04, 2006

In a fit of boredom, I clicked on the "next blog" button today.

"Spring Break!"
"John's a total hunk!"
"I hate Cameron Diaz!"
"Liverpool Rules!"

Then, on about the 5th or 6th click, this.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

100 Views - 37

Three sections of photographs from 100 Views are up now on the site (apologies to all those with monitors not big enough to handle the blog's full size versions.)

Monday, May 01, 2006

100 Views - 36

About 4 hours of coffee-induced internal mind babble while trying to fall asleep last night, most of it to do with photography.

From what I can remember:

The problem with the majority of bad art photographs is that there is too much photographer (too much ARTIST!) in them, blocking our view. If photography is about seeing, then a photograph should be a record of that seeing. That's all that's required. If we think of every photograph as a historical document (which is what they will eventually become, regardless) then it makes sense that the ones we will value the most will be the ones that are the most direct, unfiltered, un-mediated in appearance. Rather than dazzling the viewer with creative ability, the goal should be to step aside, to clear the image of your artistic static, so that there is room for the viewer to investigate, inhabit.
Thats what brings us back to Atget and Evans again and again, and why Stephen Shore's 'boring' photographs of vernacular americana grow more and more engaging with time.
Examples of this 'getting out of the way' in music: Chet Baker Sings, The Velvet Underground, Brian Eno's ambient albums.

The idea that over the course of a 2 hour walk, a city-dweller can place themselves within hundreds of completely different, unique physical environments is astonishing to me. That as a citizen, each of us has the right to walk freely through our downtowns, to enter buildings without any tangible 'reason,' to take the elevator up to the top floor of the library and enter the bathroom, or to board a city bus and ride it to the university and then enter the university and walk through the halls, through the classrooms! It just seems so tremendous to me, like a giant loophole in the world.

The photographs in 100 Views should aspire to the state of field recordings. There is something interesting about the lack of pretense in field recordings. When we listen to them, the information we are recieving is the result of only two aesthetic choices: What environment to record and the exact spot within that environment to record it from. Any further meaning that the listener might infer from the recording is of their own making, but somehow that is exactly what happens, the meaning is infered! Is it comforting or frightening, this realization that it's impossible to make something meaningless?