Tuesday, January 31, 2006

RIP Nam Jun Paik

"The future is now."
- Nam Jun Paik

He made the future with video art before anyone. You couldn't stare at his art too long without vertigo or eyestrain--but you felt compelled to look around it for a very long time indeed.

Mark Rothko's Seagram's Paintings

The story of how nine paintings commissioned for the Four Seasons restaurant ended up at the Tate:

The Rothko murals at Tate Modern are lovely in their oppression, erotic in their cruelty. These are paintings that seem to exist on the skin inside an eyelid. They are what you imagine might be the last lights, the final flickers of colour that register in a mind closing down. Or at the end of the world. "Apocalyptic wallpaper" was a phrase thrown at Rothko's kind of painting as an insult.

I think Apocalyptic Wallpaper would be a great name for a band.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Snapshots II

  • An elderly black man sits in a wheelchair, propelling himself backwards along the street with his feet. On the back of the chair, a tuba, stuffed with plastic and flowers--to protect the instrument from the rain, or to use it as a planter?
  • Along the lakeshore, the trunk and branches of a tree support a fine frosting of snow. During the day's thaw, a three inch gap has melted between branches and trunk, turning the snow into a holder of negative space, an exoskeleton.
  • The sign in the picture says: "If you see something suspicious, that's how New York got started."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


  • New job kicking my ass as expected.
  • On the EL two young women serenade the crowd with Imogen Heap's Hide & Seek.
  • The woman threw her arm in the air to wave goodbye, flinging her engagement ring into the space behind a row of file cabinets. When we came across them, a crowd of ten of her coworkers were trying to retrieve it using coathangers. Two or three of the women were perched on top of the cabinets. Others stood around, laughing and chattering. If it had gone on much longer, I suspect that they'd have ordered pizza and canapes. As it was, a guy with a dolly inched the cabinet out, and a piece of gum on the end of a wire hanger did the trick, to the sound of a standing ovation.