Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
When Buckminster Fuller visited Reykjavik two years later, Einar told him this story. “I’m happy to know this,” Bucky said, “because I like to think that everyone has some good in them and I’ve never heard anything positive about Nixon.”
Einar writes about this, his first visit with Fuller, in his upcoming book about his 40-year quest to find what he has named the “Fang,” which is, in geometric terms “a space-filler for five-fold symmetry space.” Below, Einar’s geometry at work in one of Olafur Eliasson’s installations, Your spiral view (2002), which I photographed at the Kunstmuseum in Wolfsburg, Germany, in 2004, and is now part of the Beyeler Foundation collection.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Statesmanship is an art, which means that there is always room for inspiration, and for grace. We are right to look for a record of pre-eminent ability when we can find it. But the basic doctrine of republican government, that all men are created equal, can be a surprise bonus for some leaders, as well as a guarantee of rights for all of us. Sometimes greatness appears in unlikely places, even in ordinary pols from Illinois.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Via my fellow former Chicagoans at The Daily Swarm. And hey, how about a bailout for the Tribune? This Minneapolis editorial makes a case for newspapers' continuing relevance as necessary watchdogs. Just as the automobile manufacturers need to change their products to keep up, so does the print media. If only they realized their job is not to compete with the Internet, but concentrate on those things print does best: in-depth reporting and investigative journalism--photo journalism, too, while we're at it. Ironically, the antique format The New Yorker has clung to all these years (while simultaneously keeping up a big Web presence) turns out to be the most pertinent. There's no question art looks better in art magazines than on the Web, and if we're going to read criticism (which has a responsibility now more than ever to define art for our times) we shouldn't be sitting in front of the computer, but on the couch with a glass of wine. Art in America's redesign takes this into account, and Marcia Vetrocq, in her January editor's letter, promises to bring the magazine up-to-date on the Web with "market reports, updates on exhibitions and events, interactive features, reviews and more." Hopefully this will ultimately include what would be most valuable: an archive.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The living room:
The dining area:
Einar at work:
Thursday, December 4, 2008
(I’m not linking to the trailer because that would ruin it.)
Giorgio Morandi at the Met is up for another week (through the 14th). I liked it, but would have loved it more if everyone in my world hadn’t been raving about it for months. As Roberto said, “It’s a quiet show, so doesn’t lend itself to hype.” What I really loved was Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939, which is up only through Sunday. There’s an accompanying book, and although the prints’ subtlety and texture doesn’t entirely translate in photographs, if you are intrigued it would be worth getting.
Sybil Andrews (1898-1992) Racing.
Monday, December 1, 2008
In our rush to control our children’s experience, we forget that people sometimes learn most from attempting to do those things for which they’re not naturally gifted.
As a child, my most obvious talents were musical, and although I studied classical piano for 20 years, I turned out to be an artist—no doubt because, not in spite of, of the challenges art continues to present.
I don’t practice yoga because I’m naturally flexible, but because I’m not.
In Lawrence Wechsler’s biography of Robert Irwin, Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, Irwin says:
In my years…as a teacher, I’ve seen it over and over again. It’s the kids with the greatest facility who can run up against the biggest problems. You are the best in your class without even trying, which is the best way to learn nothing…The not-so-facile kid just plugs along, every step is a working step, and he comes to the twentieth step and it’s just another step. But facility is a funny thing—it takes you way up, you soar, and you look like you’re really doing something—but at a certain point you go as far as you can with facility, and then you hit the big questions. And for you, who’ve never been pressed, that can present a huge roadblock. I’ve seen a lot of kids get waylaid at this point…
I’m convinced children are best served when the quality of their effort is applauded, rather than their success. ("The process is the reality," as Samuel Johnson said.) And because there’s a Times article to back up every opinion, here’s Praise Children for Effort, Not Intelligence, Study Says, from 1998.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Here’s the trailer for the film (as it was recreated in 2000):
And the best Kid Creole video I found, from a concert in Cologne (the clip in the film is even better):
And sound, no visual, for James White/Chance (you gotta see him in the film):
In these over-stimulated times "Downtown 81" isn’t a film to watch, exactly, but—as Roberto suggested—have on while you’re doing something else. The one to sit down with, of course, is Julian Schnabel’s 1996 Basquiat, the only film I can think of (outside of High Fidelity) that captures the spirit of a time and place I lived in as I remember it.
Meanwhile the free-wheeling uninhibited nature of the music isn't totally confined to reminiscence but lives on in current bands such as The Rapture, whose exuberant live show is one of the best yet.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
January 30, 2009: Ken Johnson, Elizabeth Schambelan, Joan Waltemath
February 20, 2009: Johanna Burton, Mark Stevens, Sarah Valdez
March 20, 2009: Michael Brenson, Carol Diehl, David Ebony
Aptil 24, 2009: Deborah Garwood, Blake Gopnik, Alexi Worth
All at 6:45 p.m. at the National Academy Museum, 1083 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street ($5).
On the way I caught Jenny Holzer’s projections at the Guggenheim,.which illuminate the exterior of the building every Friday evening through December 31, 2008, with a special additional showing on New Year’s Eve:
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
In addition, there seems to be a paucity of proper viewing areas. We saw paintings (priced in the tens of thousands) propped on blocks, held up by assistants, in their cartons (this after calling ahead), leaning against other paintings.
So if anyone wants to know why art fairs (and auctions) are overcoming galleries, it’s because at an art fair you can immediately see the work, the price is out in the open, and you can talk to someone who acts like a grown-up and who may actually know something. There was a time when galleries served a valuable purpose in developing artists’ careers while educating and advising collectors, and kudos to those who still take this role seriously. However the interface that used to be helpful is now often an impediment—as well as a missed opportunity.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Growing up in the fifties in a family who Liked Ike, what it meant to be an American was clear to me. America’s history was my family’s history—our forbears came to this country to escape religious persecution in France and England, my Quaker ancestors overcame their pacifism to fight against slavery in the Civil War, my grandfather’s first cousin led the U.S. Naval forces during the Normandy invasion in World War II. Americans were the good guys, the liberators, defenders of human rights. When I said the Pledge of Allegiance every day in my public school, there was a little stir in my childish heart, a pride that came of believing my country was different because the Constitution guaranteed basic freedoms of speech and religion, of being innocent until proven guilty, of one man [sic], one vote. Torture, racial and religious discrimination, a wide disparity between rich and poor, countries who invaded and occupied other countries, the use of mercenaries, large numbers of people in prison, blind nationalism, funny elections—these we associated with the totalitarian regimes America opposed, then characterized by the Russians and Nikita “I will bury you” Khrushchev. However I came of political age during the Vietnam War, and from then on became increasingly disillusioned as the distinctions became more and more blurred, until I found myself living in a world that more resembled them than us. Neither political party spoke for me, as neither took a firm stand against the Iraq war, against torture, against Guantanamo.
Until now. I didn’t realize how much it was getting to me. When I'd wake up in the morning, it was as if every day was gray. However since last Tuesday, the sun has been out. There’s warmth, possibility. My fellow Americans are my fellow Americans, not thoughtless automatons cowed by fear. I’m not on the outside but part of something huge. We did it together. We not only sent the Bush administration down the tubes, we elected a black president. How cool is that? And further, a thinking, literate, intelligent, poetic person who sees himself as accountable, who holds a press conference and actually solicits and answers questions from journalists. Who has such confidence that, at the Democratic Convention, he allowed his young daughters to go on international television miked and unscripted (a small detail, but I still haven’t gotten over it). I’m moved to tears now, and often, such as this morning when I read Frank Rich’s column.
But I realize this is just a beginning, that we are entering the “Reconstruction” phase. Last night a friend was asking herself how was it that she was so numb for eight years, why wasn’t she out battling? I asked myself the same thing. But I think a big reason was because we felt alone, that nothing we did could make a difference. Now that we know “We Can” there’s no limit to what else we can do. I’m going to start by pledging $20 a month to MoveOn, as I already do with The Hunger Project (they take it out of your bank or credit card account automatically every month, which I like—perhaps MoveOn will follow suit). It’s a small gesture, but meaningful if we all do it. Perhaps that’s the best lesson we’ve learned.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I’d hoped that my ten days away just before the election would provide some much-needed respite from agonizing over it every single moment, but instead I found the Europeans equally obsessed. To judge by the amount of coverage the election is getting in the British press, you’d think it was a local event. And the international members of Olafur Eliasson’s staff, who I joined for lunch in his Berlin studio, were as up-to-date on Joe the Plumber and the price of Sarah Palin’s wardrobe as anyone. It feels as if the whole world is holding its breath.
There’s even a Web site started by three Icelanders, If the World Could Vote, which (as of this writing) has collected 666,246 symbolic votes from 210 countries: 578,461 (86.8%) for Obama, 87,780 (13.2%) for McCain. I’d feel better if the polls reflected a similar disparity.
Our purpose in going to Olafur’s studio was to shoot footage for a short documentary focusing on his collaboration with mathematician, architect, and all-around visionary Einar Thorsteinn, who previously worked with Buckminster Fuller and Linus Pauling. Olafur and Einar have been working together since they met in Iceland 12 years ago, when Olafur, then 29, was looking for someone to help him build a geodesic dome-type structure, and one project led to another. The two-hour shoot couldn’t have gone better. We had some anxiety when, in the morning, city workers suddenly appeared with deafeningly noisy equipment to spend several hours pounding gravel into the cobblestone courtyard outside, but miraculously they finished just as we were about begin. I barely had to refer to my list of prepared questions; Olafur and Einar addressed each point in order as methodically as if they’d been clued in by a secret spy (I believe in never sharing questions with interviewees in advance, lest I get a canned response).
Despite requests by collectors and institutions to buy individual models and even the whole, Olafur and Einar’s Model Room, much of which was at PS 1 for the MoMA show, has been reinstalled in the conference room of the new studio and spills out into the hallway, where it continues to grow and serve as inspiration for new projects. The attitude toward it is hardly precious—this is a workshop, Einar said—and he told us, while we were filming it, to feel free to move things around as we liked. While Terry and Erica were setting up, I had time to spend with these quirky geometric gems, which led me to think about the relationship between harmony and chaos and how, to be fully engaging, an artwork requires certain degrees of each. It was also energizing to be around the 30 or 40 members of Olafur’s busy team, who he sees as working with rather than for him, acknowledged co-creators, an attitude which results in a palpable enthusiasm all around. He also feeds them well. Every day the cook (working in the studio kitchen, which is not walled off, so that she’s part of the creative bustle around her) prepares a simple, healthy lunch—the day I was there it was pumpkin risotto with a green salad and great bread. The food is is laid out buffet style and eaten on long trestle tables in the cavernous dining area, which has walls and high ceilings faced with the remnants of beautiful old tiles and tall, arched windows. As well as making sure everyone gets proper nutrition, the communal meal has its practical reasons for being—no one wastes time going out for food, and it provides a daily opportunity for cross-communication that would be unlikely otherwise.
That experience, coupled with a visit to Einar and Manuela’s home in the Berlin outskirts, a house which nearly bursts with the results of their combined creativity (the subject of the next Art Vent House Report), made me want to just come home and work. The best possible outcome.
I didn’t see much to mention in London, other than Frank Gehry’s pavilion at the Serpentine, which looked as if he’d handed the project over to an intern. Or perhaps it would have been better if he had. Terry deemed it “over-built and under-designed.” While the press release described it as “seemingly random,” I—a Gehry fan in general—couldn’t discern any over-arching concept, but saw it as an example of chaos that could have benefited from a little mediating harmony. I think we’ve had enough random for one century, thank you. While we were there an English girl and her Indian boy friend—art students, no doubt—were in the middle of an argument about their relationship when the guy became distracted and, looking over at the pavilion, muttered, “That thing is a pile of shit.”
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
And I’m off to Europe early Tuesday morning for almost two weeks—to England and then Berlin to work (with Terry Perk and Erica Spizz) on a short film about Olafur Eliasson and Einar Thorsteinn’s collaborative process, funded by the University for the Creative Arts in the U.K. I don’t know if the trip will prompt more posts, fewer posts, or no posts, so bear with me. Cheerio!
Olafur Eliasson and Einar Thorsteinn, details from The Model Room, as installed at PS 1 last spring,.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Mark Tambella, Maduros, 2008, oil on linen, 28" x 32", part of his exhibition at the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York, November 6-30.
People often ask me if being a critic is socially difficult, if it leads to awkwardness with other artists, but it’s not nearly as complicated as they imagine. Most artists and dealers are normal and pleasant. It tends to be the unaccustomed gallery goers (such as the artist’s parents), who ask the dreaded question, “So what do you think?”—unaware of how complicated it would be for me—work, actually—to give a candid answer.
Only once has someone asked me outright to review a show, and especially because this is an experienced artist and someone I considered an old friend, I was astonished—not the least because I hadn’t even seen the work, nor any of his work for some time. Did he really believe that’s how review subjects are chosen, on the basis of friendship? (Or maybe they are, and I’m the one who’s naïve. Regardless, it’s not my m.o.) And what about that friendship? Was it really one after all? Further, even if it was something I was inclined to write about, by asking he created a conflict of interest that made it impossible.
Then there’s the oft-expressed belief that review choices are driven by advertising, yet this is something I’ve never observed in my years of working for Art in America, ARTnews, and Artforum. While editors will suggest specific shows they’d like to see covered—usually because they think they’re interesting, or provide a certain diversity—I’ve never felt any pressure to write, or write positively, about any artist or gallery. In fact the opposite—I’ve had ideas turned down because the gallery had recently gotten a string of reviews and the magazine didn’t want to be seen as favoring it. Once I was paid $25 (by a publication I no longer write for) to go to an advertiser’s gallery and sign my name in the book—an action I didn't feel at all compromised by—but that’s the extent of it. Sorry, I have no juicy tales to tell.
Writing about art is a labor of love—there’s no chance of buying a McMansion with the proceeds—I do it because it’s my way of expanding my understanding of art, a process that feeds my own work in the studio. Therefore, my only question when deciding what or what not to write about is: how much can I learn from analyzing this work?
So, then, how does an artist get the critic’s attention? —this is one of the inevitable questions graduate students ask when I lecture, whether or not my subject touches on the business of art. I tell them it’s no different from the way an actor becomes noted by a drama critic: by doing a great job. There's a lot of art out there, a lot of art. To get anyone's attention whatever it is has to be pretty special. In the end everything comes down to the work, which will speak for itself.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
It was January, 1991, and I was working (as I occasionally still do) as a consultant at TIME. The magazine has a history of commissioning gallery artists to create its covers, and my job has been to match artist with subject—such as Christo, whose globe wrapped in plastic and twine, we commissioned for “The Planet of the Year” in 1989. This time it was the S & L crisis, and the story, which up to that point had never been the subject of a cover feature in a major news magazine, had been building for several years. When I asked the art director at the time, Rudy Hoglund, why this massive issue hadn’t yet been addressed in this way, he said, rightly or not, that he thought it was because it was almost too complicated to be adequately explained in a mere article. But now we were doing it, and I tapped New York artist Barton Benes, who had made many pieces with genuine paper money, to create the cover image: a gold-plated meat grinder with sheets of money going in one end and shredded money coming out the other. The headline was “It’s your money.”
Like all the artists we've worked with, Barton was thrilled at the opportunity, and as we sat going over the details in Rudy’s corner office on the 24th floor of the Time-Life Building, he asked, “Is there any reason this cover wouldn’t run?”—and Rudy, being somewhat facetious in order to underscore its importance, said, “Only if there’s a war.”
Well there was a war, and as U.S. forces bombed Baghdad, the cover of the next week’s issue featured the face of Saddam Hussein. The S & L story appeared in the back, as a three-part “Special Report: Crisis in Banking” in the Business section. Barton’s artwork was relegated to the storeroom, and after that it was as if the S & L debacle, which we’re probably still paying for, never happened.
No one has ever been able to convince me that the two incidents were not related.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Unattributed photo from the Web
Whew! Glad I got that off my chest.
So, Built to Spill. Wow. Unlike most rock songs that are made up of vocal lines supported by guitar riffs, Doug Marsch’s unlikely Neil Young-ish voice veers in and out of epic, sprawling jams (and I’m not a jam fan, per se) that create loud soaring layers of shifting noise so dense that, although you can see guitars, a keyboard, bass, and cello up there on the stage, it’s almost impossible to attribute what you’re hearing to any recognizable instruments—except for the powerful beat that holds it all together (despite drummer jokes I really am going to be a rock drummer in my next life). It’s a sound that envelops you, takes you over, soaks into every pore. After “Velvet Waltz” I leaned over to Maria and said, “That was like having sex” to which she answered, “Yeah, if you’re tripping.” And they weren't even half way into the set. Olafur Eliasson talks about making people aware of themselves—“seeing yourself seeing”—as an intention in his art—well, this is about “feeling yourself hearing.”
So I took the day off from reading Sarah Palin emails (you want to read them but you don’t want to read them), and while I’m tired, I also feel psychically cleansed and ready for…whatever.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Meanwhile, cleaning and reorganizing my painting storage this summer rekindled my interest in making more “journal” paintings—a series I did for ten years where I noted, in oil paint on canvas, words and symbols that represented the emotions and events of my daily life. The paintings were born of frustration—with my painting (what was I doing and why was I doing it? who was I doing it for?) and with a life circumscribed by illness, work, and no time for a studio practice—even if I wanted one, which I wasn’t sure I did. Eight years before I had “dropped out” at a moment of success, made the decision not to show my work, and from then on when I did do something in the studio, I did my best to make it unsalable—by painting over old paintings or using those crappy pre-stretched canvases (a decision I regret, because I like those paintings now). I also gave much of it away. When I did my first journal painting, choosing to use personal details as content was also an act born of perversity—who would care? (And ten years after that, when the art world was awash in intimate minutiae, seemed like a good time to give the journal paintings up).
Forty Days, 1992, oil on canvas, 80" x 48"
My decision now to make another journal painting has turned out to be weirdly synchronistic. I started the first with an old painting, 80” x 48,” which I ruled off in two-inch segments so that each represented a day, and added up to the exactly 40 days (a Biblical number) between my birthday and Election Day, 1992—when Bill Clinton became president, winning out over George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot. In each two-inch strip I noted what I did that day (on my birthday the art director at TIME, for whom I was working, took me to lunch at the Palio Bar—those were the days!—and son Matt took me to see a private concert by Soul Asylum, remember them?) and I ended it with figures derived from the election polls. That was, of course, before cell phones, when the polls were pretty accurate. The numbers started out Clinton 57-Bush 37 and ended with Clinton 44-Perot 17-Bush 39, while Clinton won 43-17-37. This time there are 42 days between my birthday and the election so I have to reconfigure a bit. Also the polls are now wildly inaccurate—but at least it gives me something to do other than bite my nails.
Friday, September 12, 2008
White Crest Beach, Wellfleet, MA
This vacation at the Cape, the first like it in years, definitely qualified. After three lobsters, three crème brulees, an evening of manic living room karaoke, early morning pond swims, outdoor showers, too much sun, perfect surf, and haddock every morning for breakfast, I was refreshed and renewed. I didn’t read anything heavier than Spin and didn’t go near a computer. (I have to admit that there was a moment when I was tempted to post, but my friends restrained me. Friends don’t let friends blog on vacation.) The only downsides were mosquito bites and Sarah Palin’s speech accepting her candidacy for vice-president of the PTA, which we felt compelled to watch. However the next night, instead of listening to McCain, we went to a lecture by Thomas Nozkowski at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, which proved to be a more worthwhile use of our time. An artist who makes only about twelve small paintings a year, Nozkowski’s down-to-earth presentation made me itch to get back into the studio.
The September Spin I was reading had an interview in which Patti Smith, after stating that she's neither analytical nor philosophical, is nothing but philosophical. Resisting categorization, she addresses her multiple roles:
…my goal in life was never to become a musician. I’m not a musician. I drew and wrote poetry for ten years before I wrote Horses. I published books. Why do people want to know exactly who I am? Am I a poet? Am I this or that? I’ve always made people wary. First they called me a rock poet. Then I was a poet who dabbled in rock. Then I was a rock person who dabbled in art. But for me, working in different forms seemed like a very organic process. From an early age I studied people like DaVinci and William Blake and Jean Cocteau. They all did a lot of things. But if you want to call me anything, call me a worker. I do work.
The next time someone asks me if I consider myself more of a painter than a writer or vice versa, I’m going to say, “I do work.”
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (8-96), 2007, oil on linen on panel, courtesy of PaceWildenstein.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
(And why, I wonder is hardly anyone mentioning the fact that Sarah Palin is under investigation for an ethics breach, or questioning the wisdom of a candidate who would choose a running mate under such circumstances?)
It looks as if the media is as confused as the Republicans as to what their role is in this new era. I was heartened to see that CNN’s straight coverage of the campaign won out over the other networks’ gabble of talking heads. It wasn’t just rhetoric when, in his acceptance speech, Obama said that it wasn’t about him. What the media hasn’t gotten yet, is that it’s not about them, either.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wearing a flag pin and a confident mien, Barack Obama looked like a presidential candidate accepting the nomination of the Democratic party.
Well, excuse me, but what else should he look like?
And then there was David Brooks’ infantile response to Obama's historic speech, which serves as an indication of Republican desperation. I can’t believe the Times actually prints this stuff. On a par with McCain’s Paris Hilton video, Brooks insults “a new generation of Americans, a generation that came of age amid iced chai and mocha strawberry Frappucinos, a generation with a historical memory that doesn’t extend past Coke Zero.” Brooks, who was once responsible for an inane rail against hipster parents, of all things, must be feeling the pain of encroaching old fartdom.
So Monday came, and after several hours of panting up and down the three flights from the basement to my studio and back again, the very nice repair guy fixed everything—for now. After all, the last guy thought he fixed everything, too.
Tuesday I got a voice message from Debbie, at the local company that provides me with propane, telling me that even though I’d signed up for their “budget” plan, where they deduct a predetermined amount every month from my credit card, the number of which they have on file, I would still need to call her each month to “remind” her. I did not make this up—however the delivery guy, who came the next day, was able to go back and set her straight (I get my tank filled 3 or so times a year, for a total of $2200 to heat about the same number of square feet. He told me he has a client he goes to every week. “It’s a big house.” OMG.)
Wednesday it was Design Within Reach. I’d phoned ten days before to say that the replacement bulbs they sent me for my Cortina Table Lamp didn’t work, yet hadn’t heard from their tech department as promised, nor did I get an answer to my “Contact Us” email—so tried Customer Service again this afternoon where I got J., whose only proposed “solution,” which she repeated over and over, consisted of sending me another set of the same bulbs, because those were the only ones they had listed for that lamp. After hearing that one more time than I could stand, I hung up.
So while I’m not quite ready to entirely give up on designer lighting, I’d advise anyone who’s willing to shell out that much money for it to be aware of the possible pitfalls—and stock up on lots of replacement bulbs.
Most people who call customer service, including me, are among the “Situationally Difficult”—people who are irritated because something isn’t working, for whom an apology and a little empathy would go a long way. Suppose J. at DWR, instead of insisting over and over that they sent the right bulbs so therefore they should work, end of story, had said: “I am so sorry no one called you back; I’d be very frustrated too. Let me see what I can do to help.” And then, of course, she’d actually have to call the manufacturer, as I ultimately did, but is that really too much effort to keep a loyal customer?
When he came to fix my line, the Verizon guy was empathetic. “No one should have to go through that,” he said, referring to the voice prompt system. A friend, who had had the same experience, likened it to the Bush administration, and after a couple of days of thinking about it, I see what means—people who say they care when they don’t really give a shit—as with Katrina, or the returning injured from Iraq. When the people at the top are insincere and unaccountable, it has a trickle-down effect. What a difference it could make—will make—to have a president who could actually be a role model.
Wow, I had no idea where this was going; it’s turned out to be my longest post ever when, really, I was just sounding off about Verizon. But you know what? I just tried to publish it and discovered that the DSL light is blinking again, and I can’t go online….
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Penelope Cruz in "Vicky Maria Barcelona".
P.S. Researching this I found that Pedro Almodovar has a blog, where I read about his migraines and opinion on Penelope Cruz's hairstyle in Allen's film. Also that we share the same birthday.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
The Kronos, like many contemporary musicians, make free use of pre-recorded audio, the only part that, for me, was disconcerting. I don’t mind sampling because it’s clear what it is, but I found it distracting to sit there and wonder what was live and what wasn't. This is one of the things I value in—and have learned from—the visual work of Robert Irwin and Olafur Eliasson, who make a point of keeping their means obvious so that the experience is the experience, and not marred by conjecture about how it’s done. One of my companions at the concert, Gregory, suggested that the Kronos might be better off having someone behind the computer up there on the stage with them, just to acknowledge the source of the sounds. But in general I don’t love the combination of canned music with live performance (even with dance)—it reminds me too much of lip-syncing (how about those Chinese?), or the violinists in the subway whose backup orchestra is a CD in a boombox.
The Kronos Quartet playing Sigur Ros:
Sigur Ros video Gobbledigook
I neglected to bring my camera, so Gregory took these pics of Ozawa hall with his iPhone: