Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Why the seventies were a good time to grow up, part 2.

Because by the time you were in your early teens it was the 80's, bands were making ridiculously cool videos with little or no money, MTV was actually playing them, and CGI was still restricted to crappy George Lucas movies about midgets.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

100 Views - 83

Packed into the #4 bus tonight with bleary old folks and loudmouthed students ("He's a fucking dick-she's a skank-whatever, he asked for it-like I fucking give a shit-he's on crack if he thinks he's getting a blowjob-whatever!")
Old lady to my right grimaces at the language, reaches out a shaky claw for the buzzer when her stop comes. Blasts of freezing cold air everytime the double doors open. "Thank you! Thank You! Thank you!"
Headphones on the kid next to me are leaking a tinny, repetitive bassline into the works, a counterpoint for the cellphones going off like firecrackers right and left.
Mom desperately trying to herd her three kids down the center aisle, shouts "Wait! Wait!" to the busdriver as her stop sails by. Some stifled laughter from the students.
"Jizz on my Tits" says the seatback.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

100 Views - 82

Snow started coming down at about nine this morning. Just enough time to grab an hour with the camera before heading to work at noon. Soaked and freezing within minutes, fingers shaking on the exposures, but managed to fill a card and pull one view (above.) Grab some dry clothes and head back out to catch the bus up to Bolen Books.
It's a shaky ride in a nearly empty #28, rear end fishtailing around like crazy, driver muttering angrily to himself, windows hopelessly fogged, outside world a smudge.
Enter the store to flickering lights, computers clicking and surging, staff buzzing with talk about a possible early closure. An hour later it's official, store will close at 5:30 rather than 10:00.
Day passes quickly. A few stunned customers make quick purchases and stumble back out into what looks like total white-out. Four hours later, we shut everything off and do the same. When I get home it's still coming down.
100 Views - 81

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Untitled (Wind) , Victoria, B.C.

Not pictured:

Man inside enclosure applying spraypaint to an unknown object.

Old timer on bench behind me shouting "Typhoon!" over and over again.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

100 Views - 80

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

World's Shortest Boycott!

Customer: Hi, I special ordered a book from you guys. Has it arrived yet? (gives his last name)

Me: Yup, here it is. "Sports Illustrated's Big Book of Baseball." That'll be $25.95.

Customer: (pulling out debit card) Great! And one other thing- Are you guys going to be getting in that new O.J. Simpson book?

Me: Oh, you mean If I Did It?"

Customer: Yeah, that's the one.

Me: (checking computer) Uh...yes. Looks like we have about twenty copies on order.

Customer: (putting debit card back in wallet) Oh. Well, thats too bad, because I'm boycotting any business that supports or profits from that book's publication. So I guess I won't be buying this baseball book either. (pushes it back across the counter toward me)

Me: But you special ordered this book.

Customer: Yeah, it's too bad isn't it?

A beat.

Me: Well, I don't know. I guess it's your call. (taking book and putting it in the"what the hell do we do with this item now?" box and moving over to help the next person in line.)

Customer stares at me for a moment, then shuffles off.

Twenty minutes pass.

Customer approaches counter again. I don't think he's left the store.

Customer: Y'know I really want that baseball book. I ordered it and I've been waiting for it.

Me: uh huh

Customer: I just...I don't know. I'm really unhappy that you guys would carry that O.J. Simpson book.

Me: uh huh

Customer: Damn. I guess I better go ahead and buy it. (pulls debit card out of wallet) How much was it again?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Disassembled Chimney

Friday, November 17, 2006

"A garbage can, occasionally, to me at least, can be beautiful. That's because you're seeing. Some people are able to see that--see and feel it. I lean toward the enchantment, the visual power, of the aesthetically rejected object..."

-Walker Evans

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

100 Views - 79
Stephen Gill continues to inspire:

Hello all,

You are invited to a presentation of new work including the new Buried photographs and other photographs taking place at the Whitechapel Gallery in East London on 17th November at 7pm.

Please get in touch.... if you are the couple I met by Hackney train station after you were married in the summer as I have your pictures but mixed up your mailing address. Thank you.

Stephen Gill

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

100 Views - 78

I realize that it's not really possible to draw a line in the sand between artists and performers, but damn if this doesn't make me want to start drawing it.
Stay till the end for Rosie's final comment, which really says it best.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Late night Bolen Books shift.

Off at 10:00 P.M., across the street to the bustop by 10:03.

10:15: bus has not arrived.

10:30: no bus. No bus, no cars, no nothing. It's dark out.

10:35: Sketchy bearded Manson look-a-like approaches from across the street and walks past me once, then turns and comes back.

Manson: (serious as hell) "What the fuck did you do with my pack?"

Me: "What?"

Manson: "What did you do with my fucking backpack? I left it right here at this stop. Where the fuck is it?

Me: "I don't know what you're talking about, man. I'm waiting for the bus."

Manson: "Don't fuckin lie to me you fuckin goof. I'll fucking beat it out of you, you fuckin faggot piece of shit. Where is it?"

Me: (too tired and cranky to be all that frightened, but not exactly comfortable here) "Dude, I don't have your backpack. I don't want your backpack. Why don't you just fuck off?"

Manson: "You're this close to gettin stabbed, you know that?" (hand in pocket)

Me: (right leg vibrating up a storm-which I know from experience means I am about 3 seconds from making violent physical contact with someone.) "For what, man? I just told you I don't have your backpack."

Manson: "I'm gonna stab you in the fucking eye. Where is it?"

Me: "Fuck off."

Suddenly, Manson turns and runs full speed in the other direction, disappearing around the edge of the London Drugs parkade. I turn around and there is a cop car behind me, just pulled up. A young cop steps out and approaches me.

Cop: "Who was the guy you were just talking to?"

Me: "I don't know. Some guy looking for his backpack. Said he was going to stab me."

Cop leaps back into car, peels out and barrels around the back of London Drugs.

Bus arrives. Home by 11:05.

"How was work?" asks V.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Garden of Eden diorama (unfinished)
The Creation Museum, Petersburg, Kentucky.

"Don't think for a minute that this is some sort of crazy little hole-in-the-corner project. The museum is costing $25m (£13m) and all but $3m has already been raised from private donations. It is strategically placed, too - not in the middle of nowhere, but within six hours' drive of two-thirds of the entire population of the US. And, as we know, up to 50 million of them do believe that the Bible's account of Creation is literally true.

We pass the site where one day an animatronic Adam will squat beside the Tree. With this commitment to authenticity, I find myself asking what they are doing about the fig leaf. Marsh considers this gravely and replies: "He is appropriately positioned, so he can be modest. There will be a lamb or something there next to him."

-from today's Guardian.
"There is, of course, much that is wise and consoling and beautiful in our religious books. But words of wisdom and consolation and beauty abound in the pages of Shakespeare, Virgil and Homer as well, and no one ever murdered strangers by the thousands because of the inspiration he found there. The belief that certain books were written by God (who, for reasons difficult to fathom, made Shakespeare a far better writer than himself) leaves us powerless to address the most potent source of human conflict, past and present.
How is it that the absurdity of this idea does not bring us, hourly, to our knees? It is safe to say that few of us would have thought so many people could believe such a thing, if they did not
actually believe it. Imagine a world in which generations of human beings come to believe that certain films were made by God or that specific software was coded by him. Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98. Could anything-anything-be more ridiculous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous than the world we are living in. "

-Sam Harris, from his sprawling, flawed, hyperbolic and long overdue book: The End of Faith.
Evidence - Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel

"In 1977, under the deadpan title
Evidence, the young artists Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel assembled a traveling exhibition and book that showcased 89 photographs they had selected from the files of government archives, research laboratories, corporate offices, and law enforcement agencies.
...Sultan and Mandel stripped all explanatory context from the photographs, creating a cryptic sequence of pictures that alternately suggest conceptual art projects gone wrong and surreal rituals in the name of science and commerce. The perverse wit of Evidence made it an instant classic among photographers and helped inspire uses of appropriated imagery that have characterized artistic practice since the 1980s."

I was flipping through the new issue of Art in America on my lunch break the other day and stumbled on a lengthy piece by Carter Ratcliff about this series. I knew Sultan was the guy behind The Valley, but had never heard of Mandel or Evidence. The article was so good I read it twice, nodding my head and muttering approvingly through a mouth full of french fries. I usually eat my lunch at a little diner type place that my co-workers call the "old folks home," so a lot of the other customers there were doing the same thing.
Unfortunately, the article doesn't seem to be available online, otherwise I would have quoted just about all of it. Go steal yourself a copy or something.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

100 Views - 77
The Saga of D. Plasticus, parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

-as told to me by Dragon Dan himself, over the course of an otherwise interminably long Bolen Books evening shift. Dan is one of the nicer guys I work with, and he likes dragons a lot. In fact, that picture of him with the giant spatula is probably the only time I've ever seen him without some kind of dragon t-shirt on. He must have a hundred of them.
More of Dan's artwork here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

100 Views - 76

For anyone interested in seeing these photographs in person, the entire 100 Views series will be on display in March of 2007 at the newly expanded CSA Space in Vancouver. While I'm very excited to have a chance to show the work, I'm also a bit bewildered as to how I'm going to afford the printing, mounting and matting costs for such an enormous undertaking. Any and all donations, big or small, will be greatly appreciated. Anyone donating $25 or more will recieve a 6"x 8" print of their choosing from the series.

Donations can be sent to:

#207-1013 Vancouver St.
Victoria, B.C.

Thanks again to everyone who has shown an interest in the series, especially Christopher Brayshaw, Jim Affinito, Kyath Battie, Luke Gustafson, Adam Harrison, Maya Saxell, Ellen Donavan, Grady Semmens, John Latta, Carrie Walker, Jordan Strom, Trudi Smith, and the eternally supportive Ms. V.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Henry Wessel, Leadville, CO. 1982.

I've posted about Henry Wessel once before, but I'm doing it again because, well, that's just how much I like his work. If one mark of a successful work of art is it's inexaustibility in the face of verbal interpretation (in the face of written language) then Wessel's quiet little pictures of cups, houses and people are right on course.
Strangely, art history seems to have no real use for this guy. He seems to have been a bit of an invisible man. Meanwhile, I can't throw a rock without hitting some Mapplethorpe collector in the head.
I guess this means happiness
I guess this means home
nothing serious
I just didn't know

That I would feel like this
but everything shows
life goes
unexpected ways

-Masha Qrella, Everything Shows

-whose weird/sad/clumsy/soothing/abrasive chorus has been rattling around in my head for fucking weeks.

Monday, November 06, 2006

100 Views - 75

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mowry Baden, Night is for Sleeping, Day is for Resting, 1997.

The other day my friend KB enlightened me to the fact that this sign (which is located about 6 blocks from my apartment at the foot of Beacon Hill Park) is the work of Canadian artist Mowry Baden - and not, as I had assumed, an inadvertantly brilliant advertisement for the resting home behind it.
I don't really know much about Baden's work (other than the fact that I really love this sign) but there is a good review of his recent show at Diaz Contemporary here, written by Simpleposie's Jennifer McMackon.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Untitled - October, 2006.