See this website for photo credit: www.cairnsunlimited.com
Friday, October 31, 2008
I don't know if you can see this image very well, but what you are looking at is a framed bee hive in the middle of a field of blueberry plants. I found it during the summer while I was hiking to Foss Mountain and I returned there over fall break to see some foliage and shoot this photograph. When I initially found it I didn't know that it was a bee hive, and it's this really colorful stack of plastic bins so I went up to inspect it more closely. Needless to say, it became obvious what it was when about a billion bees started flying around me, so I ran away. Miraculously I got away without being stung.
The experience made me intrigued by bees, especially since they decided to let me live another day. Through coincidences the topic has been brought up to me in our class. First by Eve when she gave me a book of Nick Flynn Poems called Blind Huber. The poems are phenomenal as a group and very precisely written with a fantastic kind of deliberation which makes me feel like I am seeing through the scope of a bee or bee keeper (one of the poems "Swarm" is already up on the blog). After reading these poems I had a conversation with Lee and Olive about Bees. Lee and Olive were telling me how apparently Einstein said "if the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." I did some research on this and supposedly Einstein didn't really say it, because the quote was written and documented 40 years after his death in 1935. It was most likely accredited to him in order to give the notion some authority of truth. However, that was unnecessary because there has been a noticeable decline in North American honeybees and bumblebees and the problem is a very big one, I don't know if anyone can prove that we would perish 4 years after their extinction, but it would lead to some humongous problems for ecosystems worldwide. According to www.thedailygreen.com:
If all honey bees disappeared worldwide, food would be scarce, as colonies of bees stopped pollinating fruit, nut and vegetable crops. (“Except for grains,” Berenbaum said. “There would be plenty of bread.”) Honey would disappear from the market, and the surprisingly varied users of wax would be forced to turn to more expensive alternatives. The ripples through the world economy would be profound and prolonged.
Anyhow, if you see a bee in your apartment please don't kill it. Just open the window or catch it in a cup and release it because in a way these bees are sparing all of our lives by merely existing.
For those of us who have retained the guilty pleasure of a love affair with the automobile, here is a link to the American Concept Car Archive: http://viacomit.free.fr/index.php/2008/10/21/american-concept-cars/
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
really great, maybe fast forward through the first minute and a half:
a man dances with a trash can in baltimore:
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This Bioneers Conference is taking place at MICA the weekend of November 7-9. I just heard about it and others may not have known about it either. The conference deals with sustainablity and has presentations on urban farming, energy, food, climate change, mapping, etc. It includes a show of art by some MICA students and faculty. It looks interesting, but too bad about the registration fees.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Of course JODI would do something this cool.
Visit their multiverse at: http://www.jodi.org
JODI (www.jodi.org), the wild Belgian-Dutch pioneer dopplegangers of Net Art, explore the relations between the constructed world of the Internet hybridized with mental maps and physical maps. GoogleMaps has radically changed our perception and global worldviews through it's commercial multi-user surface. JODI has recreated the 'Parc Royal' of Brussels (Warande Park) by by mapping geometrical constructs gleaned from Goolge Earth onto reality thus revealing symbols and mysteries, amplifying and deconstructing these manifestations as INFO PARK, an associative agglomeration of data.
From the press release for the show at IMAL, Center for Digital Cultures and Technologies:
For centuries, geometry has been overloaded with symbols, starting from pure mathematical objects to esoteric and mystic signs, hiding in complex figures meanings to be revealed to the gurus, the persons in the know or the psychedelic explorers. Geometrical shapes and lines were drawn on the territories, the cities, the architectures and the monuments or the crop fields. The Royal Parc of Brussels is a well known example with its triangle + circle = Masonic compass. JODI is connecting this long tradition of tracing geometry on the ground with the new geometries one can draw on the surface of the Earth as proposed by online tools such as Google Maps and Google Earth. Of course, the duo of artists draws in a pure JODI style: hectic and free traces resulting from extreme coding and hacking. As they always did since their first web pages in 1995, JODI uses the codes of Internet (e.g. html) and the codes inside the computers (binary) as their artistic material. They paved the way for Net Art and renewed Computer Arts as much as Nam June Paik opened new fields for video art. But the work of JODI plays also with the processes of coding/decoding, of deciphering cryptic data in a chaotic surface. Messages are hidden, only visible to the ones who will dare to dig into the code (see http://wwwwwwwww.jodi.org/). In the exhibition GEOGOO (Info Park), many things can be constructed into meanings, it just depends on you and your capacity to disconnect and reconnect: the radial glimpses of the sunshines in the video, the 3 DJ turntables laid on a perfect triangle at the visitor's disposal (backmasking!), the jogging walks through Brussels roundabouts. And if you can not reconfigure, just contemplate, it is beautifully rewarding.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This thing needs to be sent over to the PR department by 5pm tomorrow so we need some speedy responses. Is it too short? Should we include anything else? Exclude anything? Tell us what you think!
Blogger was having hiccups earlier and I was having trouble posting this. Sorry for the delay...Hope to hear from everyone soon.
“You Are Here. Christer is There.”
Wandering: Psychogeographical Explorations of Space and Place Class Exhibition
December 3 - 10, 2008 in Middendorf Gallery (Station Building)
Maryland Institute College of Art
Opening Reception: Wednesday, 4-7pm
Psychogeography, coined by the Situationists Guy DeBord and Asger Jorn, maps the mind onto the terrain, and the terrain onto the mind. Join Eve Laramée's upper-level Interdisciplinary Sculpture and Graduate level class to wander and drift through explorations of actual geographic places, represented psychological spaces, and “lived” or “other” thirdspace.
Saunter into the Middendorf Gallery via a “visionary crosswalk;” sit in a moment of meditative silence; race a runner on the “TreadMeal;” investigate homes in the wilderness, city, internet, inside, and outside. Come see our creations of the derivé.
Wander with us online too: http://wndrng.blogspot.com
Above are some screen shots I took from Google Sky & Google Earth that I thought might work for the show poster or flyer (I posted the push pin and comment in outer space): (But, of course if there's other images you want to use of your own making, please come to a consensus. These are just suggestions since I had them - they are from a series I'm doing on misplaced data.)
That was a very productive midterm discussion of works yesterday, and ideas leading towards the exhibition are developing. (Fun too). So far, for support Suzzi needs 2 pedestals, Siobahn 1 pedestal, Shane 1 pedestal; Kate B. needs an LCD projector, and Suzzi needs an LCD projector. Scott needs a treadmill. Any other special needs? Extension cords, lights, temporary walls, ???
The idea put forward for the show title is:
YOU ARE HERE: CHRISTER IS THERE
Wandering: Psychogeographic Explorations of Space and Place
Are we all in agreement on this? I'll post it on the blog, and everyone add a comment (using the pencil icon) Let's vote on this (and also the image, upload other possible images.)
The Writing Team and the Publicity Team are going to write a paragraph or two by TOMORROW....Friday, the DEADLINE!!! and Shane will make sure it gets turns into the Publicity Office on campus.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
My wanderings in NYC this past weekend landed me across William Banksy's installation in the West Village. Absolutely delightful interventionist animatronics... not sure what to call it, but must go see it if you are in town. It's up until Halloween, everyday until midnight.
My personal favorite was the fish sticks, but do not want to give it all away here... hard to do when you are blogging about it!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Indian nations, including the Nde Nation, are fully sovereign, co-equal members of the international legal system that predate the settler-state erected around them. As a consequence they are entitled to exercise sovereignty unbounded by the discretion of the states within which they have been subsumed and unlimited by any power or ideology on earth save for the fundamental norms of international law that restrict the sovereign prerogatives of all states through the operation of human rights regimes and humanitarian legal instruments.
wingbeat, collapsed air-your mind
tries to make us one, a common
intelligence, a single spirit un-
tethered. You imagine us merely
searching out the next
that could contain us, as if the hive
were just another jar. You try
to hold the ending, this
unspooling, make it either
zero or many, lack
or flurry. I was born,
you begin, & already each word
makes you smaller. Look at this field-
Cosmos. Lungwort. Utter each
into a thousand versions of yourself.
You can't tell your stories fast enough.
The answer is not one, but also
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
- Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
"The seven boats, built by Swoon and her friends from scrap wood and other discarded materials, begin their sail down the Hudson River on August 15th in Troy, New York, stopping along the way for musical and theatrical performances. Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea is a two-part exhibition merging Swoon’s recent portraits, found objects of urban decay and a floating sculptural city. One part of the exhibition is on the water. The other is in the gallery."
I had the pleasure of exploring this majestic city during my trip to NYC last weekend. Months earlier I had accidentally visited Swoon studio in Chelsea as she and a gritty crew of punk-sailors were furiously engaged in constructing the Switchback flotilla. The studio was a fabricator's theater of salvaged wood, nail guns, and strewn prints. When I laid eyes on Swoon's maquettes, I knew that I would have to return to NYC to see the her vision realized.
As I wandered around the docks and adjacent Deitch warehouse last Friday, I could not help but think I was seeing one of Calvino's invisible cites made opaque. After sharing my enthusiasm with the friendly gallery assistant, he promised to pass along my praise to Swoon. My new friend Oeri then asked if I could help him carry a canoe out to the East River, explaining that he needed to tie up a loose boat. I happily obliged, and was rewarded when Oeri invited me along for the trip. We canoed around the dock, ducking ropes and maneuvering against the recycled rafts. I pulled the errant boat against our canoe and Oeri retied the worn out line. As we paddled back to the dock, my companion said Swoon wanted to take the boats to Venice, but they were unsure how to get them there. He said they could build new boats in Venice for less than the cost of shipping the originals to the Mediterranean. Either way, by cargo container or new construction, it looks like the Kublai Khan wont have to rely on Marco Polo to see through Swoon's Swimming Cities.
Behold, the floating city of dreams...
As a new "Bawlmerian" I had not heard about this "ideal" anti-urban sprawl city, some interesting historical links:
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Five ways of mapping the world. One story about people who make maps the traditional way—by drawing things we can see. And other stories about people who map the world using smell, sound, touch, and taste. The world redrawn by the five senses.
Ralph Gentles and five other people spend each summer creating a map of every crack, every depression, every protrusion, every pothole in the sidewalks of New York City. We hear why, and we hear all the things their map does not include. Mapmaking means ignoring everything in the world but the one thing being mapped, whether it's cracks in sidewalks or the homes of Hollywood stars. And, according to cartographer Denis Wood, we live in the Age of Maps: more than 99.9 percent of all the maps that have ever existed have been made in the last 100 years. (5 minutes)
Act One. Sight.
Denis Wood talks with host Ira Glass about the maps he's made of his own neighborhood, Boylan Heights in Raleigh, North Carolina. They include a traditional street locator map; a map of all the sewer and power lines under the earth's surface; a map of how light falls on the ground through the leaves of trees; a map of where all the Halloween pumpkins are each year; and a map of all the graffiti in the neighborhood. In short, he's creating maps that are more like novels, trying to describe everyday life. See some of Denis's maps.
Denis Wood is author of The Power of Maps. (8 minutes)
Act Two. Hearing.
TAL contributor Jack Hitt visits Toby Lester, who has mapped all the ambient sounds in his world: the hum of the heater, the fan on the computer. (11 minutes)
Song: "Way over Yonder in the Minor Key," Billy Bragg and Wilco
Act Three. Smell.
A story about a device that charts the world through smell—and only smell. TAL producer Nancy Updike visits Cyrano Sciences in Pasadena, California, where researchers are creating an electronic nose. (9 minutes)
Act Four. Touch.
Deb Monroe reports on how she has been mapping her own body through her sense of touch. (9 minutes)
Act Five. Taste.
Jonathan Gold goes to the places on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles that he visited back in the early 1980s. He tells the story of how he decided to map an entire street using his sense of taste, and how doing this changed his life.
Song: "I Love America," Noel Coward
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Plant Seeds Hitch Rides on Traveling Shoes
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Here's a link to an electronic essay on space & time in postmodern, nonlinear cinema, as in the film we saw tonight, LOST HIGHWAY, by David Lynch: "The Image-Interface": New Forms of Narrative Visualization, Space and Time in Postmodern Cinema / Chiara Armentano The essay is from the e-journal, Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture. The part on Lynchian Space begins with paragraph 23, however the entire essay is worth reading.
Those who are interested in reading Lynch's actual screenplay, you can read it here: LOST HIGHWAY - THE SCREENPLAY.
And here is the City Of Absurdity's Lost Highway archive: CITY OF ABSURDITYwhich includes essays, storyboard, location notes, soundtrack info, and a whole lot more.
(b 1972, UK)
Simon Evans uses language as an integral part of his work, which often takes the form of collages and drawings. He manipulates words as he does surface textures, with their various meanings and double-entendres. His humorous statements and observations are highly personal and introspective but resonate with universal truths and a poetic poignancy. His DIY aesthetic of skateboard culture often subverts lists, maps and diagrams. In Untitled (Cigarette Burn) the paper is removed to create an intricate constellation, while in 28 Years Evans uses pencil shavings to construct the rings of a tree on which he marks important moments and events in his life.
/seconds #8 Edited by Peter Lewis
Here's a link to a project I have in the online journal "slashseconds" #8. The issue, "Vanishing Point: The Vicious and Virtuous Circle" focuses on works inspired by the 1971 film Vanishing Point, directed by Richard Sarafian, a quintessential road film. To view the project online:
Misty's Disappearance, by Eve Andree Laramee
My project, Misty's Disappearance, is a photo-text piece that is in response the true story of a woman who stole the last running Dodge Challenger used in the film, and drove off into the Mojave Desert. My fictionalization retells the story from her perspective, giving it a different ending than in reality. Each page is clickable, so you can read the text in an enlarged format.
I wish to thank Richard C. Sarafian, director, and Dennis J. Parrish, art director and prop master, for kindly sharing their experiences and memories by telephone on June 30, 2008. They spoke candidly about the making of the film, and the incident when the last running Dodge Challenger was stolen by a woman who drove off with it into the desert. I learned of this event by way of Sarafian’s audio commentary on the 2003 UK DVD release where he states: “Finally we had only one car left, and what happened, there was a lady, or we’ll call her a hooker, that the crew thought they sort of saved from a local hook joint, and she was traveling with the crew, and the word came back that Misty took off with our only car. The state police tracked her down in a helicopter, we were late that morning to work, but we got the car back. And we often talk about Misty. I don’t know where she is now.” In the telephone conversation with Sarafian, he said that after Misty spent the evening with several men on the crew, possibly at the Mitzpah Hotel in Tonapah, she stole the keys from one of them, and was eventually tracked down by helicopter at the California Border. Parrish has a slightly different account of the event: he does not remember the woman’s name but is certain that Misty is incorrect. He did confirm that a woman by another name, who was well known to the crew, did in fact steal the last running Challenger, and was apprehended by the California Highway Patrol in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area two or three days later. Parish too said he did not know where Misty was now, or if she is still alive. He said, Sarafian “took it all in stride finding the event hilarious,” and that any other director would be furious and screaming, but he accepted it as part of the extended story. They both described the weeks during which the film was shot as a series of magical surreal, moments in time, and remarked on the metaphysical and spiritual subtext of the film and how this quality significantly sets it apart from other road films of the era.
My project is a fictionalization of Misty/Desirée’s point of view of the car theft. Rather than interpreting her story as a crime, or a reversal of loss, or worse a disaster, I seek to create a fictional terrain: geographic, psychological and cognitive, in which the reader/viewer imagines the days of her disappearance. The intention is to provide “Misty” with an escape into an alternative history and an alternative future, had her luck or circumstances been different. I delight in the fact that Sarafian saw her actions as a “perfectly surreal event” in relation to the film. My project opens up a space for Misty’s release: she makes her get away, was not apprehended, the crew cheers her on, there are no surveillance helicopters, no California Highway Patrolmen, only her own psychological complexities to deal with. She makes it to the waters of the Gulf of California, that slip of sea between Baja and mainland Mexico to begin her new life. Ever onward, Misty/Desirée. Plus ultra, more beyond.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Road interrupted by a sand dune, Nile Valley, Egypt. Dunes cover nearly one-third of the Sahara, and the highest, in linear form, can attain a height of almost 1,000 feet (300 m). Barchans are mobile, crescent-shaped dunes that move in the direction of the prevailing wind at rates as high as 33 feet (10 m) per year, sometimes even covering infrastructures such as this road in the Nile Valley. [map] (© Yann Arthus-Bertrand)
Last week I set up my first public art intervention in Baltimore. "VXW-MTR"is a continuation of the Visionary Crosswalks project I started in Bushwick, Brooklyn last spring. I set up the installation along Mount Royal Ave, between Lafayette and Lanvale, next to the MICA green. After jaywalking across this block on a weekly basis - and seeing many others doing the same -, this became the first public space in Baltimore I felt comfortable working within.
For this crosswalk I enhanced my original singular, neon-orange, over-spray design by drawing three parallel lines connected by corresponding "X" markings. The overall layout is derived from the surrounding architecture of the plazas in front of the MICA Brown and Main buildings. The Brown building's diagonal layout opens up to Mount Royal Avenue, clearly suggesting a visual and pedestrian connection to the historical Main building. It no surprise then that students, professors, and workers are constantly cutting across Mount Royal Avenue mid-block. VXW-MTR is my attempt to both highlight this casual path to motorists, and "legitimize" the experience as a pedestrian.
In addition to the street markings, I am also bringing an element of performance to my Visionary Crosswalks project through my inclusion of "G-Mack the Construction Guy". G-Mack is the character which I embodied during the nighttime installation of the crosswalk. As a character he serves three purposes: 1) to convince possible authorities that whatever I am doing in the middle of the night is legitimate, 2) as a personal/social entry point to the project for other pedestrians, and 3) as humorous acknowledgment of my role as the artist in creating this piece of slightly absurd direct-actionist, intervention art. Look out for future appearances from G-Mack, both as a construction worker and soon-to-be crossing guard!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Strange Maps Blog reports that:
Satellite navigation (SatNav) is considerably older than previously thought, older than man-made satellites in fact. Depicted above is a device called the ‘Routefinder’, a 1920s version of the contemporary GPS system in high-end automobiles.
Using the Routefinder, drivers in the UK manually scrolled through the roads they were travelling, providing them with mileage statistics and the journey’s end. This early 20C technology quaintely consisted of a tiny map scrolled inside a watch, worn by the driver as he/she travelled along on the map. A "trip-tik" of scrolls would be inserted into the watch to customize the planned route of travel.
More info here: Strange Maps
The U.S. is geographically suited for wind-powered energy....with most of this kinetic energy in the middle of the country...look at how the speed changes just East of the Continental Divide, blowing across the Great Plains.
An interesting Cuban artist that works with his hometown terrain of Havana. His work explores urban politics, life and decay, specifically expressed in architecture post-1959 Cuban Revolution. He had a show last year at the ICA in Philly: http://www.icaphila.org/exhibitions/garaicoa.php