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Never tell a painter you like anything; they'll invariably change it. [entries|friends|calendar]
Nicholas

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Moo. [18 Jun 2006|09:41pm]
Eat the whales!

Have you the flensing knives?
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Purposeful monoliths. [18 Jun 2006|09:36pm]
"There are more cows here than reasons for living."
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Whitney Biennial highlights [04 Mar 2006|06:02pm]
Yesterday, I visited this year's Whitney Biennial. I now have the impression the many contemporary (American) artists are semi-obsessed with the 1960s-(early)1970s American counterculture. The work of "collectives" and several collaborative efforts abounded. Here are some highlights in no particular order:

Paul Chan “1st Light” (video and sound installation; stunning meditation on technology and disintegration; the falling bodies are an interesting focal point in this artist's memory of 9/11)

Marilyn Minter “Stepping Up” (painting; hyperrealist!; wonderful technique, capturing the cohabitation of opulence and grime in the image of a jewel-studded high heel with droplets of water and flecks of dirt)

Rodney Graham “Torqued Chandelier Release” (video; crystalline!)

Pierre Huyghe “A Journey That Wasn’t” (video; beautiful shots of Antarctica interspersped with live footage from a symphony whose score derives from the topography of the Arctic Circle)

Troy Brauntuch “Shirts” (series of paintings; ghostly (photo)realism; apparently, he paints from memory)

Urs Fischer “Untitled (Branches)” (installation; cast aluminum branches with candles at their ends, suspended from small motors mounted on the ceiling; the branches rotate slowly while the candles burn down and drip their wax onto the floor, eventually creating circles; at once minimalist, meditative, yet stangely organic)

Urs Fischer “Intelligence of Flowers” (installation; increase access to art by cutting huge holes in gallery walls)

Robert Gober “1978—2000” (series of photographs; revisits (records of) the detritus that physically fix meaning of a time now lost to the present viewer; reports and evidence of a hate crime recontextualized)

Jutta Koether “Very Lost Highway” (installation; goth is still cool; overdone, but I appreciated some aspects of the installation, the words scratched into some painted surfaces, in particular)

Florian Maier-Aichen “Landscape” (series of photographs; stunning color, landscapes rendered "unnatural")

Angela Strassheim “Untitled (Father and Son)” (photograph; the subject watching itself)

Kelley Walker “Black Star Press (Rotated 180 degrees); Black Press, Black Star” (painting; appropriation of scenes of racial unrest as portrayed in the American news media of the 1960s and 1970s, scenes which are blunted by being splashed with chocolate (dark, milk, and white) in numerous expressionist gestures; violence, candy-coated)

Mark Grotjahn “Untitled (White Butterfly)” (series of paintings; post-minimalist painting with an effect relying almost entirely on the intersection of sections of paint as well as the texture formed by brushstrokes within each section of paint)

I am glad I visited this year's biennial, and I encourage everyone to check out these artists.
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Today's lesson. [09 Feb 2006|12:42pm]
I have always maintained that one should forgive the trespasses of others (but not forget them).

Today, watching packs of art students manage to create (and maintain) a traffic jam by crossing the street in waves, each inspired by the crossing-in-progress of the others, I deduce: take advantage of the trespasses of others.
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"Oh, to be in England now that April’s there..." [07 Feb 2006|02:20pm]
The Passion of the Smiths

While many have accused former Smiths lead singer Morrissey of having a martyr complex, few have connected him to O.G. Martyr, Jesus H. Christ. But BBC3, along with the Church of England, will reportedly attempt to do just that. This Easter, the Passion story will be reenacted on the streets of English industrial city Manchester, the home of 1980s mope kings the Smiths. The U.K. newspaper the Independent reports that the production, which will be broadcast on BBC, will feature a scene where the actor portraying Jesus will sing "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" by the Smiths while being whipped by Roman soldiers. The show features songs from other 1980s Manchester dark rockers such as Joy Division and Stone Roses--reportedly the actor playing Jesus will duet with the actor portraying Judas on New Order's "Blue Monday."

The Hartford Advocate February 2, 2006

I particularly enjoy the apparent involvement of the Church of England in all this.
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“A tumblin’ in Dublin.” [29 Jan 2006|04:29pm]
[ mood | bored ]

Can you guess where Colin Meloy’s as-yet unborn child was conceived?

So, there I was on an otherwise ordinary Thursday night, attending Colin Meloy’s solo show at The Town Hall in New York City. Myself being a skeptic at heart, and in the midst of a large city and operating on insufficient sleep, I wasn’t really sure if I was in the right place. Naturally, then, I set about seeking out signs that I was in fact in the right place. Fortunately, a number of things suggested to me that I had made it to my destination.

While milling about outside on the sidewalk, I noticed another young man, in much the same way as everyone else out on the sidewalk with us, milling about with me. What was unique in this case, however, was that he was ostentatiously reading a seemingly well-worn copy of Roxana, Or the Fortunate Mistress (despite it being the newly updated Penguin Classics version, you know, the one with the black as opposed to the sea foam spine). The bookish unite! The most public of readers arise and show us all what you’re reading! This was the second sign that suggested I was in the right place.

Inside, the venue was replete with hipsters. In fact, one might say that this very congregation of the hipsters could definitively say that one was in the right place. Nonetheless, a crowd of hipsters does not a Colin Meloy show make; I needed something more. Granted, these were bona fide hipsters. To my left, cds just purchased at Tower Records (for about $17-18, a steal!) were being shared and discussed (everyone should know what you’re listening to and, better yet, that you’ve been into it way longer than they have); to my right, antediluvian garments—hats and scarves, really—were continually adjusted in such wise as to be modish. In the air, I detected the scent of Pabst Blue Ribbon, insouciance, and manufactured ennui. There were overmany tight jackets, the tightest of the tight; hipster, yes, but still I needed something more. The couples looked incredibly cool and incredibly bored; of any given hipster couple, I could not tell who was too cool to be with the other, in much the same way as I could not tell whom between them was too cool to be at the show in the first place. Everyone seemed to be checking everyone else out. Faux poutiness, sidelong glances, and attitudes three city blocks long were the order of the evening. I noticed many a sideburn and tattoo touted about. The tattoos captured my attention, as never had I seen meaningless ink in such a quantity as when I followed the debate in the economics literature as to whether or not individuals can agree to disagree (I’m kidding, I actually cared about the economics articles). Allow me to comment briefly on two striking specimens: 1) a girl some five rows ahead of me was wearing a shirt that draped down, exposing her back (not exactly winter wear), upon which one could see some terrifying amalgamation of angel wings, overblue ice crystals, and disaster; 2) a man sitting directly in front of me sported a shaved head and, behind his right ear, a tattoo of a small arc over what, to me, took the form of two letters, “SK,” though I didn’t think he had ever read Fear and Trembling let alone The Concept of Anxiety. As frequent as the appearance of the pout and feigned boredom, as frequent as the sideburn, tattoo, and tight jacket, were the acrylic-framed glasses, brown of black, your choice. From time to time, economists have joked that “we are all monetarists now,” or that “we are all Keynesians now.” Looking upon these bespectacled ones, I tended to think that “we are all librarians now.” It was at this point that I realized: cumulated, these experiences constituted the third sign that I was in the right place.

The fourth sign arrived like the daily shock of daylight. I noticed a girl downturned to her lap, busily scribbling in a small notebook there. She moved her pen furiously before the first act and, thereafter, between acts whenever the house lights went up. But, what was she doing? Was she penning sensuous verse? Rapturous prose? Feverishly scripting her one true love letter to the world? Sketching the object of her heart’s desire? Was she committing to words a passion whose fire was so pure and true that it was sure to immolate anything, any obstacle between it and its object? Was she writing a grocery list?

Oh, yes, I almost forgot to mention: Colin Meloy1 played and his set of songs was quite enjoyable. I’m even willing to wager that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves as well.

1Colin Meloy, you know, the fellow I met on the sidewalk outside of The Town Hall shortly after I arrived there. In person, he looks just like he does in pictures and he sounds just like he does on the radio. Go figure! He's slightly shorter than am I. This was my first sign that I was in the right place.

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Finances. [28 Jan 2006|12:57pm]
I just strolled to the computer lab across the hall from my office. One (legitimately) enters said computer lab by means of swiping one's university ID card in the door's electronic lock. Strangely, perhaps, I just used my debit card in place of my university ID. Despite the tuition remission, the assistantship and assorted fellowship monies, it seems I am in fact paying for my graduate education. Paying dearly.
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Reassurance. [27 Jan 2006|11:01pm]
“Suppose you start out in a given quantile of the income distribution. (As a reader of this book, you are probably in the top income quintile unless you are a graduate student, in which case you probably will be.) Let’s say that your income remains stationary while incomes around you are rising…”

—Gary S. Fields Distribution and Development: A New Look at the Developing World (p. 117, emphasis mine)
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Not advice (esp. to editors of literary and arts magazines). [25 Jan 2006|06:22pm]
Today was a rather productive day, and involved, among other things, the following email:

"Subject: surprise, i quit

i have run out of the available time and interest to do any more work on this art show. i was also mistaken that i would be working with other people on putting this together; i'm surprised that i tolerated it for an entire semester. if you are going to go through with planning and running the art show, i wish you the best of luck.

ns"
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Charity! [24 Jan 2006|12:04am]
1 Cor., xiii, 13.

Because you may not have one lying around...

My charity in the foreseeable future: I will donate my body for portraiture and related artistic studies.
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Multiplicative generosity = jackpot! [21 Jan 2006|07:38pm]
So I’m standing in the kitchen, pouring myself a cup of coffee, and the Turkish family arrives.

I greet everyone, and we begin unpacking the groceries, etc. they brought home.

Gülgün offers me a little Crunch bar out of a package they bought. I accept and place it on the counter. Shortly thereafter, Girol arrives from taking off his jacket and offers me a Crunch bar. I accept, place it on the counter, and then explain that Gülgün herself had just given me one. Finally, Şenol returns from his room and offers me a Crunch bar. I accept and show the other two I had received owing to the generosity of the other members of the Turkish family.

This third Crunch bar was summarily snatched away from me by Şenol, and a pat-down was immediately instituted.
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Government at work for you! [13 Jan 2006|05:09pm]
Information, get it while it's hot(t)!

1. Artists and related workers

2. Economists

3. Funeral directors

Oh!

And by what other means do you expect me to get my Renoir?

"Melody. Griffins sing a song of liberty."
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Economists make me sad. [12 Jan 2006|08:30pm]
[ mood | sardonic ]

Mmm...positive assortative matching.

"So you learn a lot in four minutes, perhaps as much in four minutes as you do in a much longer superficial interaction like, say, a date."

Oh, Ray Fisman!

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The view is spectacular! [04 Jan 2006|04:06pm]
Human Arc

Catapult over
trees, hands held tight at my sides
wonder where I land
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Sorry, Sherwood Anderson. [04 Jan 2006|04:06pm]
Pointed Remark, Or, What are you doing here? Go home and write about what you know.

Dim of the night's light
swallow a toothpick and know
this will not kill me
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Await in quiet your own resuscitation no longer! [03 Jan 2006|10:04pm]
R. Mutt.

At the risk of being, dare I say, decisive or, better yet, presumptuous, we're going.
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[29 Dec 2005|08:00pm]
...
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[22 Dec 2005|05:04pm]
The last chapter of Murakami's Norwegian Wood may break your heart.
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You said I was ill and you were not wrong. [19 Dec 2005|05:25pm]
I went to bed a little drippy and woke up more or less dead. I feel like I drank a glass of, well, glass. I cannot remember the last time I was sick, but now I think I am dying of the common cold. Blargh. Better yet, mrkrgnao!
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Verities. [17 Dec 2005|03:48am]
PS: During your life, what have you learned about human behavior?

NS: If you can't have what you want, you take what you can get.
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