“struggle can appear as a tension between representation and abstraction, and this can even said to describe the text of light, in which patterns of refracted light seen through a crystal ash-tray become metaphors for landscapes……the light we do see almost always seems to be set against darkness……..these momentary flickers that materialize tenuously out of emptiness.” – fred camper

20/08/2012 § 2 Comments

cameron gainer, luna del mar test photos (2009)

 

it must have been halfway between chicago and austin when i put down my book and started to stare out the window at approaching flashes of light.  most of the other passengers were resting so the airplane’s main cabin was sparsely lit.  each strike of lightening came in through the window crystal clear.  the dark rural night sky rendered the ominous thunderhead entirely black and formless; the cells full form only appeared momentarily through lightening flashes.

i am really glad i had the time to see cameron gainer’s piece luna del mar at the walker before leaving town (thanks for the recommendation matt!).  olympic synchronized swimmer luna del mar’s sillohouette occasionally develops in the foreground of a mass of bio-luminous water found in mosquito bay, puerto rico.  at times it feels a bit like looking at a sonogram.  the entire film is set to a piece of music by alex waterman.  if you have the chance to see it, don’t miss out.

 

dead of night

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[title update]     just came across this quote by fred camper (found at the art of memory), while searching information on stan brakhage.  it seems way more appropriate.  

[original title]     the original title “communication between bacteria (quorum sensing) plays a role in the regulation of luminesence in many bacterial species.  using small extracellularly secreted molecules, they are able to adapt their behavior to turn on genes for light production only when they are at high cell densities” comes from a wikipedia entry on bioluminescence.

[image]     cameron gainer’s test photo was found on alex waterman’s website.

[more imperceptible made perceptible]     ayh’s previous mention of jorge otero-pailos efforts seem appropriate.

“next day he went to the lake, called the fish to him and said, ‘i suffered thee to live, now tell me where to hide myself so that the king’s daughter may not see me.’ the fish thought for a while, and at last cried, “i have it! i will shut thee up in my stomach.” – the brothers grimm

30/05/2012 § Leave a comment

smiljan radic + marcela correa, the boy hidden in the fish (2010)

 

the boy hidden in a fish is a sculpture commissioned for the venice biennale in 2010.  chilean architect smiljan radic and sculptress marcela correa created this piece in reaction to the 2010 chilean earthquake.  it is composed of perfumed cedar wood and a granite boulder.  the concept of a boy hidden in the fish comes from the brothers grimm story the sea hare.

 

looking for a sea-hare

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[title]     follow the link for the complete brothers grimm story, the sea-hare.

[image]     more images of this piece may be found at designboom.

[more radic]      smiljan radic’s casa pite was a young hare last july.

“you can never predict what it will be, but over time some kind of pattern emerges, a trend or rhythm. tonight’s background fits, somehow, as she reads. there’s not any real forwardness to it. you don’t sense it’s straining to get anywhere. the thing it makes you see as she reads is something heavy swinging slowly at the end of a long rope.” [1]

06/01/2012 § Leave a comment

a pot will boil, whether or not you watch it.  when people say that a watched one won’t, they mean (1) that things don’t always happen when you want them to, and (2) that you shouldn’t stand around like an idiot, waiting for a thing to happen – in this case, for still water to become, as the chinese say, a rope of pearls.  they mean do something better with your time.  feed the fish, alphabetize the spice rack, tweet.

what if there were a device telling you how much time it would take for the pot to boil? might knowing that the water will come to a boil in say, a hundred and thirty eight seconds actually dispose you to watch it do so?  the feeling here is that it would.  once you know exactly when the pot will boil, there’s no longer any harm in staring at it until it does.  it’s easier to waste time when you know how much time there is left to waste.

such a device does not yet exist, buts equivalents are everywhere.  technology has brought a proliferation of countdowns.  it’s an egg-timer world.  l.e.d. displays on the subway platform tell you how many minutes until the next train pulls in.  pedestrian-crosswalk signals tick off the seconds before the light turns yellow.  automobile navigation systems and airplane-cabin monitors count down to arrival.  click on a vid or download an app, and the time kicks in.  (if apps were eggs, they’d be soft-boiled.)  the times square new year’s eve ball drop, the pullout from iraq, the end of the world, as per the mayans: tick, tick, tick.  your video will resume in :12, :11, :10.  clearview expressway: seven minutes.  we are eleventh in line for takeoff.

an n.f.l. quarterback has to pay attention to a game clock, a play clock, and the so-called clock in his head, which ticks off the seconds between the snap and the likely arrival, on his blind side, of a defensive end.  a q.b.’s life seems tranquil, by comparison.  still, it’s hard to complain.  studies have shown that people – in a hospital waiting room, a restaurant, a traffic jam – would rather know what they-re in for.  the subway updates, for example, save you from the pointless ritual of leaning over the tracks again and again to peer into the tunnel in the hope of a headlight.

and yet those agitated peeks into the dark inevitably bring the sudden quicksilver dance of light up the rails – a touch of delight that you forgo if you know that a brooklyn-bound local train will be arriving in two minutes.  (would jimi hendrix have written “hear my train a-coming'” if he’d known when his was going to come?) as annoying as it is to hear children ask, “when are we gonna be there?,” it is oddly pleasing to answer them with little lies – to bend the time to manipulate the mood.  the curmudgeon might say that the push to optimize every second chops the day into discrete, bounded blocks of time and drains them of possibility.  it makes an assembly line of time and cheats us of opportunities for revelation or surprise.  put another way: would any of us really want to know how many days we have until we die?

in 1927, thomas parnell, a physics professor at the university of queensland, in australia, designed an experiment to show his students how viscous a fluid could be.  he poured hot pitch into a glass funnel, let it cool, and then waited.  [ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be arriving at the rhetorical purpose of this example in a hundred and sixty-two words.]  eight years later, the first drop fell.  after another nine years, the second one fell.  the pitch drop experiment is now the world’s longest-running lab experiment.  there have been a total of eight drops, occurring at an average interval of ten years.  the drop takes about a tenth of a second.  no one has ever actually seen a drop fall.

john mainstone, the professor who has overseen the experiment since 1961, is eagerly awaiting the ninth drop of pitch, which he expects will occur sometime in 2013.  “unpredictability is one of the great things about nature,” he said the other day.  “it’s the spice of life.  just look at the due dates of babies.  we so rarely get even that right.”  the pitch drop doesn’t accommodate countdowns, he said.  “i’ve been around long enough that i just see time before and time after.  it’s only when the drop has happened that what has gone before makes sense in the flow of time.  that is, i don’t become aware of what was going on just before the drop until after the drop occurs.”

 

happy friday

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[1]     wallace, david foster. infinite jest: a novel. boston: back bay books, 1996: p. 190. print

[image]     the pitch drop experiment circa the fifth drop (via atlas obscura)

[text]     paumgarten, nick. “dept. of predictions” the new yorker jan 2 (2011): p. 20-21. print.

“this is my favorite dirt road. it goes up to buttermilk and is mostly washboard and straight. it’s a modern dirt road, wider than most dirt roads. you can do fifty miles an hour on it. it’s sandy on the sides.”

18/10/2011 § 2 Comments

bill orcutt’s documentation of robert kinmont, my favorite dirt roads (1969)

 

drove in and around truth or consequences, new mexico last weekend.

on the way out to spaceport america we passed by elephant butte dam and through the pastures of ted turner’s bison ranch.  he owns over 300,000 acres of land in the area.  a bit further south and east is white sands missile range, location of the first nuclear bomb detonation.  after driving through large open expanses bracketed by low distant mountains we arrived at spaceport america, the future site of privately run space flight.  buzz aldrin and richard bronson would arrive in a day.

the first destination was the vertical launch pad.  as we approached the gate we noticed a dead antelope laying on the ground.  its mate stood nearby pacing nervously as the driver exited the van and opened the gate.  this was a beautiful and ominous space.

 

 

drive out to nowhere

a young hare

 

“for weeks now they had lived in a state between confusion and unease bordering on nervous melancholy, and having, furthermore, taken note of the posters that had appeared this very evening confirming rumours from nearby suburbs that the enormous, almost inevitably ill-omened whale was certain to arrive on the morrow…”

05/08/2011 § 1 Comment

lászló krasznahorkai, the melancholy of resistance (1998)

 

however, this did not stop him making them and, on their next stop, at the news agent’s stall in tanács street, the friendly news vendor misunderstood him and tried to explain by way of reassurance, that he knew the reason for this ‘strange depopulation’, launching so enthusiastically forth on his explanation that it concentrated eszter’s mind solely on the task of getting home as soon as his mission had been accomplished, and, should he by good fortune have succeeded in accomplishing that, henceforth staying there.  for he had lost all interest in what was happening out there, in what calamity would follow the tide of rubbish, in fact he had lost interest in everything except how someone who had blundered into the arena might seek safer soil ‘ before the performance was over’, how he might disappear like ‘a gentle melody in the midst of cacophony’ and be hidden away indoors, secreted where nobody could ever find him; and this thought kept nagging away like some faint persistent recollection that at least one figure representative of him –‘some strangled, orphaned, vaguely poetic sensibility’ –had, once upon a time, really, quite physically existed.  with half an ear he was listening to valuska’s rapt account of his experiences of the morning, something about a whale in kossuth square that attracted not only the local townsfolk, but (an obvious if forgivable exaggeration) ‘ positively hundreds of people from the surrounding countryside’, but, truth to tell, he could cope with only one thought at a time, that being the problem of how long they had to turn the house on the avenue into an impregnable fortress that could withstand whatever chance could throw at it.  ‘that’s where everyone is,’ his companion announced, and as they made their way up the main street towards the corner where the water board stood (its name had attracted a certain sarcasm in the last few months), he entered ever more feverishly into speculation about how marvelous it would be if, as a fitting climax to their excursion, they could view this once-in-a-lifetime monster together, and indeed valuska’s description of the circus-owner with his squashed nose and soiled vest, of the hours of waiting by the so-called masses who flooded the market square, the whale’s enormous proportions and all the other fabulous details of the extraordinary creature, far from moderating eszter’s desire acted rather as coal to the fire, for the whole depressing excursion with its even more important ‘uncanny sense of preparation’ could (and indeed should) scarcely have led to any other climax than this spellbinding monstrosity.  if, he thought, and the thought depressed him further, if this monster should actually be in the square, and the enormous crow and the showman in the vest were not merely a sign of his companion’s desperate attempt to populate the deserted town with the products of his imagination, and the existence of this tremendous spectacle were underwritten by the poster stuck on the walls of the furrier’s shop, a poster on which someone had written with a brush, or rather with a finger dipped in ink, the words: carnival tonight, then it seemed all the more poignant that the more he looked about him in the surrounding desolation the more everything pointed to the fact that apart from the stray cats they seemed to be the only living creatures about – in so far as, eszter bitterly observed, such a sweeping generalization as ‘living’ could be made to apply to their own miserable selves.  for it was no use denying it, they did look a somewhat strange sight, hanging on to each other as they slowly made their way towards the water board offices on the corner in the grinding cold, each step a struggle against the icy wind; more like two blind visitors from an alien planet than like a respectable man with his faithful companion at his side setting out to enthuse the populace about, of all things, a movement for moral rearmament.  they had to harmonize two ways of walking, two different speeds, and, indeed, two different kinds of incapacity, for while eszter’s every step across the suspiciously glimmering surface was taken as if it were his last, each appearing to be a preparation for a gradual but ultimately total cessation of movement, valuska’s  acute desire to increase his own momentum was consistently frustrated, and since eszter was clearly dependent on him, he was constrained to hide the fact that the body leaning on his left arm was endangering his sense of balance, for while his enthusiasm could in some sense support the spiritual weight of his beloved master, the same was not true of the physical equivalent.  one could perhaps sum up the situation by saying that their roles consisted of valuska pulling and tugging and eszter acting as an effective brake, or that valuska was practically running while eszter was practically standing still, but it would be inappropriate to consider their progress severally, partly because the discrepancy between their strides seemed to be resolved in some combined lurch forward, an uncertain, painful-looking progress, and partly because their clumsy clinging interdependence precluded their being individually identified as eszter on the one hand and valuska on the other: in effect they appeared to form a single bizarre figure.  and so they advanced in curious unitary fashion, or, as eszter rather sourly thought of it, ‘like an exhausted gnome, something perfectly at home in this infernal nightmare’, a wandering shade, a demon that had lost its way, one side of whose body was condemned to supporting the other, the left leaning on a stick, the right merrily swinging a lunch-box, and as they went on, passing the tiny lawn in front of the water board and the silent offices of the employment insurance bureau, they encountered three other figures standing in the doorway of the stocking factory’s white collar club who had just glimpsed them and appeared to be rooted to the spot, waiting for the dreaded hand of fate, in the shape of this monstrous apparition slowly approaching them, to reach them (the two groups could well have regarded each other as ghosts), until there came the moment of recognition.

 

[text]     today’s excerpt comes from:  Krasznahorkai, Laszlo, and George Szirtes. The Melancholy of Resistance. New York: New Directions, 1998. Print.

[image]     also taken from the melancholy of resistance.

 

be wary of enormous whales

a young hare

it was precisely the “work” of the context, independent of things, people and actions, that constituted a powerful statement. pettena summed up its significance by saying: “it does its job while i do mine. my craft is conditioned by the force and by the presence of the other’s craft.”

29/07/2011 § Leave a comment

gianni pettena’s performance marea (thames tide) (1974)

 

there is no better way of celebrating the accomplishments of 1970’s radical architecture than to feature an exhibition of the work of gianni pettena, since he has been one of the principal victims of scholarly oversight.  the neglect of such an important innovator – in view of the range of his achievements and the fact that he is still producing amazing works today – is simply beyond comprehension….

in my view, the most important architectural interventions by gianni pettena were accomplished during 1971 and ’72 in the usa.  he had long been intrigued by humanity’s optimistic and ego-centric assumption that “nature could be conquered” and architecture was the tool of control.  in the case of three structures – a suburban dwelling in utah and a house and college administration building in minneapolis – he used buildings as foils for describing how easily the conceits of an assumed state of architectural permanence could be reversed by the imposition of natural phenomena.  in his projects entitled “ice 1 and 2.”  pettena used freezing water to totally envelop two buildings and, in perverse way, convert them to a state of quasi invisibility in the landscape.  in the “clay house” of salt lake city, he covered the exterior surface of a private residence with a layer of wet clay, which then hardened into a skin-like entombment of adobe mud.

needless-to-say, these incursions on suburban living were not appreciated by the local residents and totally misunderstood by the architectural establishment.  in reality, pettena’s high-risk gestures tapped into the philosophical discourse surrounding ecological principles.  in usa suburbia – totally submerged as it is in the wasteful practices of rampant consumerism – the whole idea of an adobe dwelling and the assertion of nature’s revenge would inevitably be considered anathema to the american dream.  ice and clay construction is the environmentally intelligent preference of those civilizations living in balance with nature; but in the context of profligate consumption, these materials choices met with a wall of resistance.

during the 1970’s pettena engaged in a series of performance works that, like his ice and clay interventions, explored the relationships between the forces of nature and the human body.  for “thames tide” in london, he staged a polemical discourse on architecture while standing ankle-deep in water along the shoreline of the river.  toward the conclusion of this event, the rising tide engulfed the speaker and he was forced to bring his presentation to an untimely conclusion, or risk being drowned in the cause of design education.

.

[text]     excerpt taken from:  Wines, James. “Gianni Pettena, Gentle Radical.” Gianni Pettena. Ed. Dario Cimorelli. Cinisello Balsamo (Milano): Silvana Editoriale, 2003. Print.

[image]     gianni pettena’s performance marea (thames tide) (1974).   duration about two hours.regarding this piece gianni pettena’s website states:

conference/performance was staged for students at the architectural association of london at the mouth of the thames while the tide was rising: a conference on the theory of architecture, pure, abstract theory, produced in a limited time, its length determined by the constraints imposed by changes in the physical environment.  the conference was necessarily interrupted when the tide grew dangerously high and the cold unbearable, as is clearly shown by the photographic documentation.
it was precisely the “work” of the context, independent of things, people and actions, that constituted a powerful statement.  pettena summed up its significance by saying: “it does its job while i do mine. my craft is conditioned by the force and by the presence of the other’s craft.”

.

be a gentle radical

a young hare

“we liked the house because, apart from its being old and spacious (in a day when old houses go down for a profitable auction of their construction materials), it kept the memories of great-grandparents, our paternal grandfather, our parents and the whole of childhood.” – julio cortazar

08/07/2011 § Leave a comment

guillermo kuitca, capitonee house plan, 1989

 

how not to remember the layout of that house.  the dining room, a living room with tapestries, the library and three large bedrooms in the section most recessed, the one that faced toward rodriguez pena.  only a corridor with its massive oak door separated that part from the front wing, where there was a bath, the kitchen, our bedrooms and the hall.  one entered the house through a vestibule with enameled tiles, and a wrought-iron grated door opened onto the living room.  you had to come in through the vestibule and open the gate to go into the living room; the doors to our bedrooms were on either side of this, and opposite it was the corridor leading to the back sections; going down the passage, one swung open the oak door beyond which was the other part of the house; or just before the door, one could turn to the left and go down a narrower passageway which led to the kitchen and the bath.  when the door was open, you became aware of the size of the house; when it was closed, you had the impression of an apartment, like the ones they build today, with barely enough room to move around in.  irene and i always lived in this part of the house and hardly ever went beyond the oak door except to do the cleaning.  incredible how much dust collected on the furniture.  it may be buenos aires is a clean city, but she owes it to her population and nothing else.  there’s too much dust in the air, the slightest breeze and it’s back on the marble console tops and in the diamond patterns of the tooled-leather desk set.  it’s a lot of work to get it off with a feather duster; the motes rise and hang in the air, and settle again a minute later on the pianos and the furniture.

i’ll always have a clear memory of it because it happened so simply and without fuss.  irene was knitting in her bedroom, it was eight at night, and i suddenly decided to put the water up for mate.  i went down the corridor as far as the oak door, which was ajar, then turned into the hall toward the kitchen, when i heard something in the library or the dining room.  the sound came through muted and indistinct, a chair being knocked over onto the carpet or the muffled buzzing of a conversation.  at the same time or a second later, i heard it at the end of the passage which led from those two rooms toward the door.  i hurled myself against the door before it was too late and shut it, leaned on it with the weight of my body; luckily, the key was on our side; moreover, i ran the great bolt into place, just to be safe.

i went down to the kitchen, heated the kettle, and when i got back with the tray of mate, i told irene:

“i had to shut the door to the passage.  they’ve taken over the back part.”

she let her knitting fall and looked at me with her tired, serious eyes.

“you’re sure?”

i nodded.

“in that case,” she said, picking up her needles again, “we’ll have to live on this side.”

i sipped at the mate very carefully, but she took her time starting her work again.  i remember it was a grey vest she was knitting.  i liked that vest.

 

[text]     excerpt from julio cortazar’s short story house taken over, from the book “blow up and other stories”.

[image]     a fellow argentine, guillermo kuitca’s painting capitonee house plan.  mixed media on canvas.  76 x 60 in.

 

strongly suggest cortazar’s short stories.

a young hare

repetition, repetition, repetiton, reptition, repetion, repetion, repetiont, reptiont, reption

03/06/2011 § 1 Comment

top: versioned thonet no. 14 chair (michael thonet, sam jacob, lionel eid, kit bencharongkul)
middle: versioned tom vac (ron arad, sam jacob, lionel eid, akhil bakhda)
bottom: sam jacob, versioned chairs (2010)

this is what was heard at one time: the supreme buddha, serene in his bottomless wisdom, finding himself on the high line, the elevated greenway in chelsea, on a brisk, bright spring saturday, stood directly beneath the standard hotel, whose uber-ness defied quantification, smiled cryptically, and said this to his followers…

wait, scratch that, rewind. o.k., same setting, but no supreme buddha, who, let’s not kid ourselves, had a prior engagement in a different millennium.  instead in the here and now, pema wangdak – a tibetan monk addressed as lama pema by his acolytes at the palden sakya center, on central park west – waited on the highline for an event that he knew better than to burden with his own expectations.  it was the next-to-last day of the pen world voices festival of international literature and, with an assist from the rubin museum of art, lama pema had been enlisted to set in motion a “karma chain.”  three hundred or so souls from scattered metropolitan zip codes – vessels prepared, more or less, to receive a message – would stand in a line extending three blocks and play a version of telephone, with each participant listening to and repeating to the next player a phrase from a tibetan buddhist sutra, the idea being to test the proposition that, in lama pema’s phrase, “information can be extremely volatile when words pass from one person to another.”

also on hand was another authority on the volatility of words, salman rushdie, the chair of the world voices festival.  when the sutra had travelled the length of the chain, he would be waiting at the end.  “my role is to be very passive, and that’s extremely zen of me,” he said.  “to see how language is transformed – that’s the serious part of this.  and if what comes out in the end is ridiculous, maybe it should be ridiculous.  by the way, what americans call telephone in england we call chinese whispers.  not very pro-tibetan, that name.  anyway, i’ll just do as i’m told, even though i’m not really accustomed to that.”

at 11 a.m., lama pema, dressed in a burgundy robe, matching down jacket and penny loafers, proceeded north on the high line with a retinue that included three fellow-tibetans, two of whom carried ten-foot-long brass-and-copper horns.  when they reached sixteenth street, there was a pause while lama pema, in a slight departure from time-honored tibetan tradition, faced east and tapped at his iphone.

what are you doing? he was asked.

“i’m typing the lines from the sutra,” he said, graciously refraining from the traditional badinage of the upper west side, where he has lived for almost thirty years (“schmuck, what does it look like i’m doing?”).  he approached the first person in line, anna ivara, a chelsea resident and, fittingly or ominously, a dialogue coach.  lama pema whispered the preamble of every sutra – “this is what i heard at one time” – and then its opening phrase: “like a shimmering star, or a flickering lamp.”  the game had begun.  when it reached the thirtieth person in the chain, olivia cucinotta, of brooklyn, age fifteen, coherence still prevailed: “shivering style, flickering lamp.”  meanwhile, at the head of the chain, lama pema launched the second phrase – “a fleeting autumn cloud, or a shining drop of morning dew” – and then the third, “a phantom, a dream, a bubble, so is all the existence to be seen.”  poetry and profundity, to be sure, and utterly doomed.

larry bole, a retired planning coordinator from queens, no. 50 in the chain heard the first phrase as “locus star focus,” which by the time it had reached marshall marcovitz (no. 100), had deteriorated further: “fica sta.”  lotus do, standing next in line, detected hidden meaning.  “fica,” she said.  “social security.  we all just finished filing our tax returns with the i.r.s.  this comes from the collective subliminal consciousness.” yes, perhaps, but what of the fleeting autumn cloud and shining drop of morning dew,  now rendered as “rashomon it’s odd, rashomon it’s weird?”

further weirdness: amanda lugo (no. 200), a ninth grader at brooklyn latin school, heard the entire sutra as: “follow the glass stone…actually bongo… if anything exists it’s change.”  which the ancient scribes presumably would have rendered in the sanskrit equivalent of “go figure.”

at noon, lama pema, rushdie, and the players who hadn’t wandered off into the next phase of life’s journey reassembled beneath the standard.  “the teaching we’ve experienced this morning is a lesson about the transformative wisdom of new york city,” rushdie said.  “i’m about to read you the phrases that i received.  the middle one, i’m sorry to say, seems to have come from a galaxy far, far away.

“no. 1: ‘follow the glass stone. follow the glass stone.’ no. 2: ‘the droid from hell.’ and the last: ‘if anything exists it changes.'”

afterward, lama pema said, “a central teaching of buddhism is that everything is ephemeral.”  he continued, “what salman read was one hundred per cent pure wrong.  yet there was one right word and that was the gist of the message.  in the end, the words were not my message – those got completely lost.  but it was very fascinating because coincidentally, accidentally, the listeners got the sentiment.  and then they created their own words.”

[text] – mark singer  saturday sutra (the new yorker, may, 23 2011)

[images] – sam jacob versioned chairs

enjoy your weekend; play games.

a young hare

thirty three theaters and a funeral home

08/01/2011 § 1 Comment

Alec Soth From Here to There Walker Art Center

Alec Soth Texan Theater

all images used with permission from alec soth.
top to bottom: map of travels (2006), texas theater – greenville, texas (2006), gallery shot – walker art center (2010)

 

a couple of blocks down from my childhood home was an old theater.  it was one of those iconic theaters built in the early half of the 20th century affixed with the typical very large landmark sign limned in big bright bulbs.  it should be hard to miss.

unfortunately, as a young kid i didn’t take enough advantage of the proximity of a theater.  not long after we settled into the neighborhood, though long enough for my brother to experience being thrown out for sneaking into r-rated movies, the theater closed.  it was eventually replaced by a hollywood video.  yay.  it seemed an odd decision given that mr. movies was just down the block.  the glitz and glam of hollywood video did not out last mr. movies.

returning from my recent trip home i realized that i never looked to see what replaced the hollywood video.  i must have passed in font of the old theater a handful of times.  yet no matter how large the sign out front is, these monuments to the true high point of cinema now reside voiceless in the din of the city.

to underline this point, i spent five days in greenville, texas back in 2004.  a couple of friends and i had set up a refugee camp in a our friend ted’s parent’s living room.  we rode out the potential hurricane threat of ivan on new orleans in the calm comforts of this medium sized texas town.  five days in greenville and i have no memories of a onetime theater now quiltshop.  but, i do remember the good asian restaurant with a lazy susan.

from here to there: alec soth’s america was an expansive and inspiring meandering through one man’s america.  with so many interesting projects in his portfolio i was especially interested in a series of images titled thirty three theaters and a funeral home.  inspired by wim wenders, soth documents defunct theaters in texas, in the style of the bechers, complete with a map of his travels.  if you ever have the chance to see his work, i demand you go.

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