Thursday, October 31

Mexican Portraits

"In the history of photography in Mexico, portraiture is an important tradition that transcends styles, subjects, and decades. Mexican Portraits includes more than 350 portraits from over eighty anonymous and well-known Mexican photographers, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Agustín V. Casasola, Romualdo García, Graciela Iturbide, and Enrique Metinides. Including both contemporary and classic works, mostly created from the 1970s to the present, this diverse group of images has been selected by photographer and editor Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, in conjunction with curator Vesta Mónica Herrerías, and presents an idiosyncratic and personal perspective on this particular genre."
NYT: Mexico Points the Camera at Itself
vimeo: Mexican Portraits: A Presentation by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio

The Case for Studying Physics in a Charming Animated Video

"Xiangjun Shi, otherwise known as Shixie, studied animation at RISD and physics at Brown. Then, she harnessed her training in both disciplines to create an animation explaining the virtue of studying physics. Pretty quickly, it gets to the crux of the matter: Studying physics will change how you see the world and how you understand your place in it, all while letting you wrap your mind around some pretty electrifying concepts. I think I’m sold! You can find more videos by Shixie here."
Open Culture (Video)
Xiangjun Shi
vimeo: Shixie

Wednesday, October 30

Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring
"The Frick Collection is the final American venue of a global tour of paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, the Netherlands. While the prestigious Dutch museum undergoes an extensive two-year renovation, it is lending masterpieces that have not traveled in nearly thirty years. At the Frick, a selection of fifteen paintings includes the beloved Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665) by Johannes Vermeer and Carel Fabritius’s exquisite Goldfinch (1654). The exhibition continues the Frick’s tradition of presenting masterpieces from acclaimed museums not easily accessible to the New York public."
The Frick Collection (Video)
YouTube: Girl with a Pearl Earring at The Frick

2009 September: Vermeer's Masterpiece, The Milkmaid, 2011 February: Vermeer: Master of Light.

George Jackson

Wikipedia - "George Henry Jackson (March 12, 1945 – April 14, 2013) was an American rhythm & blues, rock and soul songwriter and singer. His prominence was as a prolific and skilled songwriter; he wrote or co-wrote many hit songs for other musicians, including 'One Bad Apple', 'Old Time Rock and Roll' and 'The Only Way Is Up'. As a southern soul singer he recorded a mere 15 singles between 1963 and 1985, with some success."
YouTube: I'm Just A Prisoner, So Good To Me, The weekend, The feeling is right, Find 'Em, Fool 'Em And Forget 'Em, The Only Way Is Up, I Found What I Wanted, Aretha, Sing One for Me, Slippin on your love

Baaba Maal

Wikipedia - "Baaba Maal (born 12 November 1953) is a Senegalese singer and guitarist born in Podor, on the Senegal River. He is well known in Africa and internationally is probably Senegal's most famous musician after Youssou N'Dour. In addition to acoustic guitar, he also plays percussion. He has released several albums, both for independent and major labels. In July 2003, he was made a UNDP Youth Emissary. Baaba sings primarily in Pulaar and is the foremost promoter of the traditions of the Pulaar-speaking peoples who live on either side of the Senegal River in the ancient Senegalese kingdom of Futa Tooro."
YouTube: Three Little Birds, Yela, CACE INT'L TV, Baaba Maal Baayo Live Acoustic, Dakar Moon

Tuesday, October 29


"There is something brutal about Philip Glass’s opera. The way it stops and starts, the taunting tease of a story, then the way it’s anything but narrative. Composed of nine twenty-minute scenes, the whole of Einstein on the Beach — first produced in 1976 and shown in L.A. for the first time this month—is interspersed by five so-called 'knee plays,' in which two women sit or stand or writhe around on plastic platforms, or search dreamily inside gently moving glass boxes. It’s not easy to watch."
The Paris Review
YouTube: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera, Robert Wilson, Philip Glass and Lucinda Childs discuss Einstein on the Beach, Philip Glass and Lucinda Childs discuss Einstein on the Beach

2010 January: Einstein on the Beach, 2011 May: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera (1985), 2012 February: Choreographic, Lucinda Childs

Monday, October 28

Lou Reed (1942 - 2013)

"Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today on Long Island. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May. With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example."
Rolling Stone: Lou Reed, Velvet Underground Leader and Rock Pioneer
Lou Reed (Video)
NYT: Outsider Whose Dark, Lyrical Vision Helped Shape Rock ’n’ Roll (Video)
YouTube: Lou Reed - Topic

2010 August: Heroin, 2011 June: All Tomorrow's Parties - The Velvet Underground, 2011 June: The Velvet Underground, 2012 November: Songs for Drella - Lou Reed and John Cale.

Ernie Barnes

Wikipedia - "Ernest 'Ernie' Eugene Barnes, Jr. (July 15, 1938 – April 27, 2009) was an African-American painter, well known for his unique style of elongation and movement. He was also a professional football player, actor and author. ... According to Barnes, he created the original version of Sugar Shack after reflecting upon his childhood, during which he was not 'able to go to a dance.' In a 2008 interview, Barnes said, 'Sugar Shack is a recall of a childhood experience. It was the first time my innocence met with the sins of dance. The painting transmits rhythm so the experience is re-created in the person viewing it. To show that African-Americans utilize rhythm as a way of resolving physical tension.'"
Ernie Barnes
YouTube: Ernie Barnes - This is my art, CNN Tribute to Ernie Barnes, Artist Ernie Barnes - October Gallery

What Lies Beneath

"Deep below the streets of New York City lie its vital organs—a water system, subways, railroads, tunnels, sewers, drains, and power and cable lines—in a vast, three-dimensional tangle. Penetrating this centuries-old underworld of caverns, squatters, and unmarked doors, William Langewiesche follows three men who constantly navigate its dangers: the subway-operations chief who dealt with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the engineer in charge of three underground mega-projects, and the guy who, well, just loves exploring the dark, jerry-rigged heart of a great metropolis."
Vanity Fair

Saturday, October 26

The Pet Sounds Sessions

Wikipedia - "The Pet Sounds Sessions is a 4-CD boxed set released in 1997 which compiles tracks from The Beach Boys' 1966 album Pet Sounds, and its recording sessions. The album is included in its entirety in its original mono mix, as well as a stereo mix. The set also contains instrumental tracks, vocals-only tracks, alternate mixes, and edited highlights from the recording sessions for many of the album's songs, as well as several songs not included on the album. ... The stereo mix of the album contains some notable differences from the original mono mix. Among them, alternate vocal parts used for the bridge of 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' and the end of 'God Only Knows' due to the original tracks no longer existing. 'You Still Believe in Me' also features a single tracked vocal instead of the doubled vocal of the original due to a missing tape. Other differences are also noted in the booklet."
W - The Pet Sounds Sessions
amazon - The Pet Sounds Sessions [Box set, Original recording remastered], ☼SMiLE
Pet Sounds Track Notes
Pet Sounds Track Notes - 1
allmusic: Pet Sounds, allmusuc: SMiLE
W - Smile
SOS: The Resurrection Of Brian Wilson's SMiLE
YouTube: Brian Wilson - SMiLE live 51:56, Pet Sounds live, part 1/3, part 2/3, Pet Sounds live, part 3/3
YouTube: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (FULL ALBUM), ☼SMiLE (FULL ALBUM)
YouTube: Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds Live 39:38, Beautiful Dreamer - Brian Wilson and the Story of 'SMiLE' 1:49:53

2010 July: Pet Sounds

Sally Mann - Deep South

"Sally Mann began to experiment with the wet collodian process in the 1990s to create two photographic series, Deep South and Eva. Mann's images have a feeling of cultivated imperfection about them due to a lens she employs in which mildew and misaligned elements contribute a sort of melancholy fog. The use of the collodian process was therefore a natural development to her work because of the interplay between clarity, dreaminess and wildness."
The Crafted Photograph
Sally Mann - Deep South
YouTube: Deep South

2009 September: Sally Mann, 2010 March: Sally Mann - 1

Friday, October 25

John Singer Sargent Watercolors

Ponte San Giuseppe di Castello, Venice
"'To live with Sargent’s water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held,' according to the painter’s first biographer. Presenting more than 90 of Sargent’s dazzling works, this exhibition, co-organized with the Brooklyn Museum, combines for the first time the two most significant collections of watercolor paintings by John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), images created by a consummate artist with daring compositional strategies and a complex technique. 'John Singer Sargent Watercolors' also celebrates a century of Sargent watercolors at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston."
MFA (Video)
W - John Singer Sargent
New Yorker: Sargent’s Watercolors

My Desk - Vanity Fair

"From artistic floral arrangements to signed prints by Annie Leibovitz, to boxes upon boxes of perfume and cologne, the desks of Vanity Fair’s editors and producers are often works of art in themselves. In honor of our regular 'My Desk' feature, takes a tour of the classy clutter that surrounds the makers of a magazine."
Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair - 1

Cluster & Eno (1977)

Wikipedia - "Cluster & Eno is a collaborative album by the German electronic music group Cluster and English ambient musician Brian Eno. The style of this album is a collection of gentle melodies: a mixture of Eno’s ambient sensibilities and Cluster's avant-garde style. In June, 1977 the duo of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius joined with Brian Eno for recording sessions at Conny Plank's studio. The first release from those sessions on Sky Records was Cluster & Eno. Guest musicians on the album included Can bassist Holger Czukay and Asmus Tietchens on synthesizer. The association with Eno brought Cluster a much wider audience than previous albums and international attention. ..."
YouTube: Cluster & Eno (Full Album 1977)

Thursday, October 24

John Ashbery: Poet Among Things

"Loretta Howard Gallery is pleased to present John Ashbery Collects, an immersive multi-media gallery experience showcasing a selection of things that inform Ashbery’s sensibility as well as his work as a poet, visual artist, collaborator, art critic and collector. Co-curated by Adam Fitzgerald and Emily Skillings and Loretta Howard Gallery, John Ashbery Collects explores the poet’s lifelong interest in collecting through the medium of his late-19th century house in Hudson, NY, a carefully composed collage-environment constructed over thirty-five years with an eclectic array of fine art by European and American masters, furniture, pottery, textiles, bric-a-brac, toys, and other objects, augmented by the content and associations that these objects hold for him—the images and artworks he arranges on his walls, the books he puts on his shelves, the music he plays, the cinema he watches—all organized in an architecturally-distinguished setting. ..."
Loretta Howard Gallery
John Ashbery: Poet Among Things - Loretta Howard Gallery
Standing Inside One of Ashbery’s Poems: Reviews of “John Ashbery Collects” (Video)
The Paris Review - Art House: On “John Ashbery Collects”
John Ashbery Collects: poet among things

2007 November: John Ashbery, 2009 October: PennSound, 2012 February: Reported Sightings: Art Chronicles, 1957-1987, 2012 October: Rivers and Mountains, 2012 November: Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror, 2013 June: New critical edition of John Ashbery’s “The Skaters”, 2013 August: Some Trees.

See No Evil

"... They clapped when I finished, but this time around, instead of feeling like I had fomented revolution, I felt like I had done something truly terrible: not so much because I had ripped off another songwriter’s words, but because hearing the lyrics to Television’s 'Marquee Moon' without the unmistakable double-stop guitar intro or the complex key changes is like looking at an Instagram photo of an Egon Schiele painting with some dimwit obscuring part of the view—it just doesn’t compare to the real thing. That song, and all of the other songs on side A of the band’s eponymous 1977 LP, is perfect. I can say without reservation that the first half of Marquee Moon is the greatest single side of any rock album, ever, and like some less-creepy teenage Humbert Humbert, I was obsessed with it, wanted to consume it, and I did something irrevocably horrible to it by appropriating it so disingenuously."
The Paris Review

2007 November: Tom Verlaine, 2010 March: Tom Verlaine - 1, 2011 October: Warm and Cool, 2012 Nov: Little Johnny Jewel, 2012 December: Words from the Front, 2013 July: Flash Light.

Wednesday, October 23

On Reading Proust

Marcel Proust on vacation with his family, circa 1892
"The following interview with Justice Stephen Breyer was conducted in French by Ioanna Kohler and was initially published in La Revue des Deux Mondes in Paris as part of a special issue entitled 'Proust vu d’Amérique.' It appears here in translation."

2008 June: Marcel Proust, 2011 October: How Proust Can Change Your Life, 2012 April: Marcel Proust - À la recherche du temps perdu, 2013 February: Marcel Proust and Swann's Way: 100th Anniversary, 2013 May: A Century of Proust, 2013 August: Paintings in Proust - Eric Karpeles

Tuesday, October 22

Opening Day Film

"On October 21, 1959, sixteen years after it was first conceived, the Guggenheim Museum opened to the public. Thousands flocked to the opening and the film 'Buildings & Crowd' captures the their excitement as lines formed down Fifth Avenue. The end of the film highlights the inaugural exhibition within the rotunda. With works by Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Marc Chagall, Stuart David, Max Ernst, Paul Klee, and Vasily Kandinsky, visitors were wowed by both the art and the Guggenheim Museum itself."
Guggenheim (Video)

Montreal Metro

Wikipedia - "The Montreal Metro (French: Métro de Montréal) is a rubber-tired metro system, and the main form of public transportation underground in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Metro, operated by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), was inaugurated on October 14, 1966, during the tenure of Mayor Jean Drapeau. Originally consisting of 26 stations on three separate lines, the Metro now has 68 stations on four lines measuring 69.2 km (43.00 mi) in length, serving the north, east, and centre of the Island of Montreal with connections to Longueuil, via the Yellow Line, and Laval, via the Orange line."
Map of the Montreal Metro System
YouTube: Montreal Metro Source Engine First Preview, Métro de Montréal - Garage Beaugrand - ligne 1 verte, Métro de Montréal - Essai de train (nuit) ligne 5

Monday, October 21

Rucker Park

Dr. J - Rucker Park
Wikipedia - "Rucker Park is a basketball court in the Harlem neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan, at 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard across the street from the former Polo Grounds site. Many who played at the park in the Rucker Tournament achieved a level of fame for their abilities, and several have gone on to play in the NBA. ... The court is named after Harlem teacher and playground director for the New York City Parks Department Holcombe L. Rucker, who started a basketball tournament in 1950 in order to help less-fortunate kids stay off the streets and aim for college careers. The players in the Rucker Tournament featured slam dunks, crossover dribbles, and bravado that excited the crowd, a playing style then foreign to the National Basketball Association (NBA). The original court on which Rucker founded his tournament actually is on 7th Avenue between 128th and 129th streets in New York."
W - Earl Manigault, W - Sylvester Blye, W - Jumpin Jackie Jackson
YouTube: Dr. J at Harlem's famed Rucker Park, Julius Erving dunk at 63 years

Robert Motherwell: Early Collages

"Devoted exclusively to papier collés and related works on paper from the 1940s and early 1950s by Robert Motherwell, this exhibition features nearly sixty artworks and examines the American artist’s origins and his engagement with collage. The exhibition also honors Peggy Guggenheim’s early patronage of the artist. At her urging, and under the tutelage of émigré Surrealist artist Matta, Motherwell first experimented with the papier collé technique."
YouTube: Robert Motherwell: Early Collages

Street Photography V

"As you may or may not have heard, the video game Grand Theft Auto V, was released (September 17, 2013) after more than 5 years in the making. It went on to make $800 million in the first 24 hours of sales, and it was also the most expensive game ever made. Being a big fan of GTA, I went to the midnight launch and played the night away. ... With this new tool, and the huge world of Los Santos, I started experimenting with the camera and the digital streets. What I found was remarkable. The game is so realistic that it felt like being in the streets outside, running around for shots, anticipating passersby’s movements and reactions. In a way, it was also incredibly frightening that these algorithms could look so real, or is it that we ourselves are becoming ever more algorithmic?"
Street Photography V

Sunday, October 20


Paul Gavarni, Le Flâneur, 1842.
Wikipedia - "Flâneur (pronounced: [flanuʁ]), from the French noun flâneur, means 'stroller', 'lounger', 'saunterer', or 'loafer'. Flânerie refers to the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations. The flâneur was, first of all, a literary type from 19th century France, essential to any picture of the streets of Paris. It carried a set of rich associations: the man of leisure, the idler, the urban explorer, the connoisseur of the street. It was Walter Benjamin, drawing on the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, who made him the object of scholarly interest in the 20th century, as an emblematic figure of urban, modern experience. Following Benjamin, the flâneur has become an important figure for scholars, artists and writers."
The Arcades Project Project
The Paris Review: In Praise of the Flâneur
NYT: The Flâneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris By Edmund White
amazon - The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White
YouTube: Flâneur - Walter Benjamin

The villages of yesterday

"I wanted to write just a short post on those villages in Kostroma province where the Black Ethnographer is gathering his photo findings in the abandoned houses. But as I was reading about them, the topic was gradually increasing and the accents were relocated. This is how a short post turned into a couple of long ones. In this first one, as an atmospheric introduction, I only quote from two photo blogs which approach the Ethnographers’s subject from two different sides. In the first one nub1an crosses in a jeep the region where the Ethnographer is gleaning, the surroundings of Chukhloma village in Kostroma, exactly five hundred kilometers from Moscow to the north-east and only about three hundred more from the already seen dying villages around Kich, that is in their neighborhood on a Russian scale."
Poemas del río Wang

Silas Hogan

Wikipedia - "Silas Hogan (September 15, 1911 – January 9, 1994)[2] was an American blues musician. Hogan most notably recorded 'Airport Blues' and 'Lonesome La La', was the front man of the Rhythm Ramblers, and became an inductee in the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame. Hogan learned guitar playing as a teenager and was performing on a regular basis by the late 1930s. Similar to Lazy Lester and Slim Harpo, Hogan was influenced by Jimmy Reed. He had relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana by the early 1950s, and equipped with a Fender electric guitar, Hogan put together the Rhythm Ramblers. They assisted in the development of the Baton Rouge Blues sound, and with band members Hogan (guitar), Isaiah Chapman (lead guitar), Jimmy Dotson (drums), plus Sylvester Buckley (harmonica), they stayed together for almost ten years."
YouTube: Hoodooman Blues, So Glad, I'm Gonna Quit You Pretty Baby, Baby Please Come Back To Me, Airport Blues, Let Me Be Your Hatchet, Ain't It Sad, Rats And Roaches In My Kitchen

Saturday, October 19

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: Top 10 Berlin Wall Movies

"The Spy Who Liked Me by John le Carré. Whenever I allow myself to remember my first encounter with the American director Martin Ritt, who made the film version of my novel 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,' I blush to think of the idiotic clothes I was wearing. It was 1963. The book had not yet been published. Ritt had bought the film rights to it on the strength of a rogue typescript slipped to him by my literary agent or my publisher, or maybe by some bright soul in a duplicating office who had a pal in the studio, which was Paramount. Ritt later boasted that he stole the rights. I later agreed with him. At the time, I saw him as a man of unlimited generosity who had taken the trouble to fly all the way from Los Angeles, with some like-minded friends, in order to give me lunch at that altar to Edwardian luxury the Connaught hotel and talk flatteringly about my book. ..."
The New Yorker
Guardian - Rereading: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
NYT: Temptations of a Man Isolated in Deceit - January 12, 1964
Criterion (Video)
YouTube: Initial briefing from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Suite)

2011 December: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
2013 July: The Legend of Rita - Volker Schlondorff (2001), 2013 August: Good Bye, Lenin! (2003), 2013 August: Der Tunnel (2001), The Lives of Others (2007).

Hellzapoppin' (1941) - Slim Gaillard & Slam Stewart - The Harlem Congeroos

"Slim Gaillard - piano, guitar
Slam Stewart - bass
Rex Stewart - trumpet
Elmer Fane - clarinet
Jap Jones - trombone
CP Jonstone - drums"
YouTube: Hellzapoppin'

Friday, October 18

Ernie Gehr

Side/ Walk/Shuttle (1991)
Wikipedia - "Ernie Gehr (born 1941) is an American experimental filmmaker closely associated with the Structural film movement of the 1970s. A self-taught artist, Gehr was inspired to begin making films in the 1960s after chancing upon a screening of a Stan Brakhage film. Gehr's film Serene Velocity (1970) has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Gehr served as faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute. The New York Times described Gehr's work as 'abstract, beautiful, mysterious, invigorating, utopian' saying he had 'embraced [the] Modernist cry, shunning mainstream narrative to make films in which bubbling grain, streaks of color and pulses of light are the main attraction.' His films are distributed by Canyon Cinema in San Francisco."
W - Serene Velocity (1970)
NYT: Can We See Philosophy? A Dialogue With Ernie Gehr
Chicago Reader, February, 1995. Edge City: Side/Walk/Shuttle
UbuWeb - Serene Velocity (Video)
NYT: No Blockbusters Here, Just Mind Expanders
Selected Films of Ernie Gehr
vimeo: Rear Window (1991), Morning (MiniDV, 2004)
SCI-ARC: Ernie Gehr Film And Architecture - Eureka (1974), Side/Walk/Shuttle (1991), and This Side of Paradise (1995)
YouTube: Side/Walk/Shuttle (1991), Signal-Germany on the Air (1985), Carte de visite (2003)

Grant Snider

"Grant Snider's interests have changed drastically since he was four years old, with one major exception: drawing. And maybe dinosaurs. Grant started out drawing a daily cartoon for the University of Kansas student newspaper, which led to a weekly strip called "Delayed Karma" for the Kansas City Star. His comics and illustrations now appear in newspapers, magazines, and across the internet."
Incidental Comics

Thursday, October 17

Borges: Profile of a Writer Presents the Life and Writings of Argentina’s Favorite Son, Jorge Luis Borges

"... The tale’s author, Jorge Luis Borges, lived his life between English and his native Spanish, just as he lived between his public and private personas. No surprise, then, that his writing generates so much energy from matters of identity, language, and thought, and thus makes you want to learn more about the mind behind it. Here at Open Culture, we particularly enjoy doing our learning through Arena, the BBC’s intellectually omnivorous and artistically liberated television documentary series. The 1983 broadcast above, takes as its subject the imaginative Argentine master of the short story."
Open Culture
UbuWeb (Video)

2009 August: Jorge Luis Borges, 2013 May: Jorge Luis Borges - 1.

Wednesday, October 16

Claire Denis Dialogue with Eric Hynes

"Claire Denis joins writer/critic Eric Hynes in a discussion of her creative process, influences, and the films she's made over the course of some 25 years."
YouTube: Claire Denis Dialogue with Eric Hynes 1:44:36

2009 September: Claire Denis, 2011 April: White Material.

Art Connect Liverpool

"Video documentation of Wendell McShine’s ArtConnect project earlier this year with regulars from the Bluecoat’s learning disabled group, Blue Room, and young people from the Pad in Norris Green. 'We all share a common interest to the well being of our societies and self expression is one of our core values both as individuals and groups. I have created the Art Connect Project rooted in the philosophy that investment in education, art and humanities is vital for the uplifting and development of any society. This program is created to promote self awareness through the use of educational and dynamic creative workshops'."
The Bluecoat: Art:Connect Liverpool

2013 March: Outsider Art

Stromae: Disillusion, With a Dance Beat

"Paul Van Haver is a musician for his time, with the charts, headlines and YouTube clicks to prove it — a gravel-voiced, mixed-race performer whose melancholic French-language dance pop has channeled, to popular acclaim, the gray that currently hangs over Europe. Mr. Van Haver, 28, who is best known as his stage persona Stromae, rose to fame with a beat-heavy 2009 single called 'Alors On Danse' (So We Dance) that is still played at parties and clubs across the Continent. It is a mournful anthem that evokes unemployment, divorce, debt, the financial crisis and a sort of resigned hope 'to forget all our problems'; it reached No.1 on the charts in 19 countries. Still Mr. Van Haver has no desire to be a 'salesman of the crisis,' he said in an interview here, and his music is by no means intended to intensify European pessimism, although he has at least once called his genre 'suicide dance.'"
NY Times
YouTube: Alors on danse, Formidable, Te Quiero, Papaoutai

Tuesday, October 15

Last Days of Summer at Coney Island

"The landscape of New York keeps on changing, but Coney Island is cruising through time with the same vivid and dissolute charm, against its own 'transition.' As summer wraps up, the gritty seaside amusement district is effervescent, the boardwalk filled with bronzed and tattooed flesh and grinning characters, chasing and squeezing in the last bit of the New York-style endless summer."
charles le brigand

2009 April: Coney Island, 2010 July: Nathan's Famous, 2011 March: "An Underground Movement: Designers, Builders, Riders", Owen Smith, 2013 August: Donna Dennis: Coney Night Maze.

Monday, October 14

Kyoto Laureate Symposium 2007 - Pina Bausch

"The Inamori Foundation’s 23rd Annual Kyoto Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Philosophy was presented to Pina Bausch in 2007. Pina Bausch is an influential modern dance choreographer whose style blends elements of theater and dance into mesemrizing meditations that touch both dancers and audiences deeply. ... Bausch, known as 'the uncrowned empress of modern dance' (Newsweek), constructs dances by using repetition as a counterbalance for meaning. Simple gestures repeated become a movement, the movement becomes a phrase, and then a dance. The dance progresses by starting a phrase as a solo, then adding dancers until the entire company, sometimes more than 20 dancers, joins together."
USD: Kyoto Laureate Symposium
YouTube: Pina Bausch USD Kyoto Prize Presentation

2008 May: Pina Bausch, 2009 June: Pina Bausch 1940-2009, 2012 August: Pina Bausch Costumes.

William S. Burroughs on the Art of Cut-up Writing

"... Decades later, the Beat writer William S. Burroughs took this basic concept and put his own twist on it. Between 1961 and 1964, Burroughs published The Nova Trilogy, a series of three experimental novels fashioned with his own cut-up method. Often considered his definitive work of cut-up writing, The Soft Machine, the first novel in the trilogy, stitched together pages from a series of manuscripts that Burroughs himself wrote between 1953 and 1958."
Open Culture (Video)
The Visual Art of William S. Burroughs

2009 May: Cut-up technique, 2010 March: Cut-up technique - 1, 2010 December: The Evolution of the Cut-Up Technique in My Own Mag.

Sunday, October 13

Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield (1973)

Wikipedia -"Tubular Bells is the debut record album of English musician Mike Oldfield, recorded when he was 19 and released in 1973. It was the first album released by Virgin Records and an early cornerstone of the company's success. Vivian Stanshall provided the voice of the 'Master of Ceremonies' who reads off the list of instruments at the end of the first movement. The opening piano solo was used briefly in the soundtrack to the William Friedkin film The Exorcist (released the same year), and the album gained considerable airplay because of the film's success."
W - Mike Oldfield
amazon: Tubular Bells [Deluxe Edition, Extra tracks, Import]
YouTube: Tubular Bells live @ BBC (1973)

Raymond Pettibon: Here's Your Irony Back: Political Works 1975-2013

"Since the late 1970s, as a pioneer of Southern California underground culture, Raymond Pettibon has radically blurred the boundaries of 'high' and 'low'. His obsessively worked drawings pull freely from myriad sources spanning the cultural spectrum. The resulting, highly poetic constructions function as acute and authentic reflections of contemporary society."
Raymond Pettibon's Here's Your Irony Back and To Wit
YouTube: Raymond Pettibon: Here's Your Irony Back (the Big Picture)

Flux + Mutability - David Sylvian and Holger Czukay (1989)

"David Sylvian and Holger Czukay are fairly eclectic and diverse musicians. In the European ambient scene, they are fixtures. Flux + Mutability is an album with two long-form compositions. 'Flux' is 'a big, bright, colorful world' and 'Mutability' is 'a new the offing.' These pieces are deep, expansive atmospheres with eerie samples and vacuous walls of sound. The second piece features only guitars, keyboards, and an African flute. The first piece has a much wider sound. It is a safe bet that it has the only ambient flugelhorn ever (by Markus Stockhausen). The real essence of this disc comes from the sound design, mixing, and processing. Sylvian and Czukay present this collection of atmospheres as a tight and cohesive soundscape. The gentle sway of the ambience is deep and comfortable. There are no dark overtones. Fans of Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Markus Reuter, and Liquid Mind will like this CD. It is an important selection for fans of electronic minimalism."
W - Flux + Mutability
YouTube: Flux + Mutability, Mutability (A New Beginning Is in the Offing)

2011 February: Plight & Premonition

Saturday, October 12

I Remember Ralston Farina

"I remember Ralston Farina. Or rather, I remember being aware of the name Ralston Farina back in the mid-1970s, in the context of work that was not yet called performance but was something newer and funkier than Happenings. Maybe I saw the wise-guy Pop-art moniker Ralston Farina—half dog food, half breakfast cereal—on a poster in a Lower Manhattan bookstore or on a postcard from some alternative art space. Or more likely I’d seen the two-page spread in the downtown giveaway Art-Rite that appeared under a facsimile of the artist’s signature and began with the ringing declaration 'Ralston Farina is an angry man who came too early and stayed too late,' intriguingly called him 'a vagabond without home or tangible art,' and included a few blurry, underlit, barely legible photographs of someone (perhaps this metahippie trickster himself?) sitting in a chair, holding a valise (an enigma clutching a mystery)."

The Lost Ball Parks: Ebbets Field

"Interviews with fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers sharing their experiences at one of the most intimate ball parks ever, where they played from 1913 to 1957."
YouTube: The Lost Ball Parks: Ebbets Field
NYT: Echoes of Ebbets Field as It Turns 100
The Hardball Times: A Visit to Ebbets Field
Reflections on Ebbets Field

Friday, October 11

The Hip Hop Family Tree

"Some 40 years ago, hip hop was born of house and street parties in the South Bronx. Pittsburgh-based cartoonist Ed Piskor tells the story in The Hip Hop Family Tree, his new large-format 112-page comic from Fantagraphics Books. Piskor begins with DJ Kool Herc's first break beats and continues through key figures like Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow, Russell Simmons and Sugar Hill Records' Sylvia Robinson. The sprawling, fast-paced book ends in 1981 — the year hip hop erupted into national consciousness. Four more volumes are planned."
Ed Piskor launches The Hip Hop Family Tree
Brain Rot: Hip Hop Family Tree, Double Dee and Steinski

2012 January: The Hip-Hop Family Tree: A Look Into the Viral Propagation of a Culture, 2012 August: ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ Comics Explain Genesis of the Genre.

Lodovico Carracci - The Dream of Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Lodovico Carracci - The Dream of Saint Catherine of Alexandria 
"We recognize this sleeping figure as Saint Catherine by the fragment of spiked wheel in the lower left corner, which was the instrument of an attempted martyrdom. Here Lodovico Carracci represented her legendary dream in which Mary and the infant Christ, accompanied by angels, appeared to her. Plighting his troth, Christ placed a ring on Catherine's finger, and through this mystic marriage she became his bride. To cast the event as a dream, rather than having Saint Catherine receive the ring while awake, is Lodovico's innovation. Two angels at the left look on with protective tenderness, while others barely emerge amid the vaporous bronze radiance at the right -- spirit becoming matter."

Thursday, October 10

Nick Cave - The Abattoir Blues Tour (2007)

"It's got all the look of 'deluxe' written on it, the thick, book-like black cover with an inset photo of frontman Nick Cave doing his flip to wig city dance -- Bad Seeds fans don't need much encouragement to rush out and pick up something by St. Nick and his motley crew of bent ministers of melody, and there's good reason. This double-DVD/double-CD package assembled from the Abattoir Blues Tour in 2003 and 2004 is quite a thing. The 17 tracks that cover the CDs are taken from dates throughout the tour. Sound is wonderful -- particularly with the new ambient, noisier aspect of the Bad Seeds put into place by Warren Ellis' violin. ..."
W - The Abattoir Blues Tour
YouTube: Easy money, Hiding All Away, Messiah Ward, The Weeping Song, Wild World, Abattoir Blues, Red Right Hand, Babe you turn me on, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - live at Brixton 2004

2008 August: Nick Cave, 2010 November: Henry Lee - Nick Cave & PJ Harvey, 2011 March: The Boatman's Call, 2011 December: B-Sides & Rarities, 2012 January: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar, 2013 January: "We No Who U R", 2013 April: No More Shall We Part, 2013 June: The Secret Life Of The Love Song/The Flesh Made Word (1999).

Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out - Sun Ra

"Fate in a Pleasant Mood/When Sun Comes Out is a pairing of two early-'60s Saturn LPs that catch the Arkestra in an interesting transitional phase. Fate in a Pleasant Mood is one of the final recordings from the Chicago phase, while When Sun Comes Out is one of the first recordings made after the band relocated to New York. The Chicago period had Ra forging a personal sound using elements of swing and bop, with stellar horn arrangements and propulsive timpani drums. By the time they settled in New York, the swing and bop elements had fallen by the wayside and the percussive elements figured more prominently, with solos taking a more outside tack. ..."
W - Fate in a Pleasant Mood
W - When Sun Comes Out
YouTube: Lights of a satellite, The Others in Their World, Space Mates, Kingdom of Thunder, Ankhnaton, Distant Stars. When Sun Comes Out. The Nile, Calling Planet Earth (Live), We Travel The Spaceways

Wednesday, October 9

A Short History of the Highrise

"At a time when Manhattan luxury condos can cost tens of millions of dollars, residential high-rise buildings made of glass have become symbols of gargantuan excess and privilege. But the history of vertical living goes far back in time and extends around the globe — from the biblical Tower of Babel, to Arizona cliff dwellings to the Soviet Khrushchyovka towers. In the last century, the high-rise (a common contemporary word for buildings 12 or more stories high) became a common tool, made of concrete, to counter urban sprawl and social inequality. New York played a crucial role in the evolution of this global phenomenon. And as the world’s cities have grown, the residential high-rise has become a social and political barometer of urbanization’s successes and failures. We’ve paid surprisingly little attention to this part of the urban fabric."
NY Times
NYT: A Short History of the Highrise (Video)

Robert Wilson | crickets audio recording slowed way down

"Tom Waits (on Robert Wilson): 'Wilson, he's always playing with time. I heard a recording recently of crickets slowed way down. It sounds like a choir, it sounds like angel music. Something sparkling, celestial with full harmony and bass parts - you wouldn't believe it. It's like a sweeping chorus of heaven, and it's just slowed down, they didn't manipulate the tape at all. So I think when Wilson slows people down, it gives you a chance to watch them moving through space. And there's something to be said for slowing down the world.'"
Soundcloud (Video)

2008 April: Robert Wilson, 2010 January: Einstein on the Beach, 2010 July: The CIVIL warS, 2011 May: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera , 2011 August: Stations (1982), 2012 February: Absolute Wilson, 2012 August: Einstein on the Blog: Christopher Knowles’ Typings, 2013 March: The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin, 2013 April: Death, Destruction and Detroit.

Clarence "Frogman" Henry

Wikipedia - "Clarence 'Frogman' Henry (born March 19, 1937, Algiers, New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American rhythm and blues singer and pianist. Fats Domino and Professor Longhair were young Henry's main influences while growing up. When Henry played in talent shows, he dressed like Longhair and wore a wig with braids on both sides. His trademark croak, utilized to the maximum on his 1956 debut hit 'Ain't Got No Home,' earned Henry his nickname and jump-started a career that endures to this day. '(I Don't Know Why) But I Do' and 'You Always Hurt the One You Love', both from 1961, were his other big hits."
YouTube: Ain't got no home, 1956, Ain´t No Pleasin´ You, That Old Piano, Just My Baby and Me, Cheatin' Traces

Tuesday, October 8

Nicola Martini

"Shiftings, displacings. The gap of sensory perception is offsetted on another curve; the gap remains the same, but the scale changes. Material infiltrates in material itself. The process is a fulfillment of a rite, needful for finding myself inside of the pores, firctions, interstices and membranes that compose materials. Osmosis, as a mental concept of porosity that consists of all forms, something comes out from resonant space; added and relocated mass of material in the space; nothing will be subtracted. Only constant, the impossibility of pore’s filling, none is perfectly isolated from the outside and from within."
Nicola Martini
Kaufmann Repetto

Sorrow Come Pass Me Around: A Survey of Rural Religious Black Music

"Description: A collection of spiritual and gospel songs performed in informal non-church settings between 1965-1973. Most are guitar-accompanied and performed by active or former blues artists. 'Most records of black religious music contain some form of gospel singing or congregational singing recorded at a church service. This album, though, tries to present a broader range of performance styles and contexts with the hope of showing the important role that religious music plays in the Southern black communities and in the daily lives of individuals.' – David Evans, from the liner notes"
Aquarium Drunkard (Video)
grooveshark: The Ship is at the Landing; When the Circle Be Unbroken, Babe Stovall