a new landscape inquiry loosely springing from an experimental combination of about 300 sheets of expired 4x5 film, an ultra minimalist wooden pinhole camera loaned from a friend, and the simple utter truth that i fell in love with a 14 mile palm-lined boulevard in Fresno

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


boulevard has been consuming me all day.
i shouild have some answers tonight.

preparing a revision for the thesis abstract, i am staring at the new ideas for a title

nope, not it.
i'm typing.
other things.

and then i know it: trans.fixed

thats it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

all in the numbers

the other night after a particularly satisfying dinner we were lingering over coffee and talking about the significance of keeping things and the symbolic gestures of letting go. one of my dinner companions mentioned a friend who was unable to delete from his phone the number of his dad, who had passed away. i nodded in understanding, and our interesting conversation continued.

i have the numbers of two dead friends in my mobile phone.

Mark's house phone and mobile numbers . . . yes i did call his machine a few times the week after he died, just to hear his voice on the outbound message. i had called him from the garden on my mobile the day that Blue died, to let him know the vet was coming over -- smiled at the familiar sound of his deep voice but hung up not wanting to leave that news as a message . . . let him know in person,   i thought . . . not knowing at that moment that i was calling a dead man, that M had died (his news came to me by phone four days after that day). i like to think of this time though, around 11 am on that bittersweet sunny morning of 30 July 2004, me and Blue out in the garden, her laying in the crook of my arm breathing shallow under the lavender in her last hours of dying but still alive, me stroking that thick pelt of warm fur and watching one blue eye and one brown eye under those white eyelashes - us calling all our friends together for our last time . . . easier somehow, to tell people this way - me & Blue together --- this, the last time i called M hearing his voice and thinking that leaving a message was still an option.

and Deborah's, i still keep Deborah's numbers too.
i never even knew hers by heart.

i just can't do it, delete all details.
it is the very last everyday detail of their existence in my life.

this keeping of phone numbers was discussed again a few nights later, when out for dinner with another friend. she told me that when her mom phones, the full name of her deceased father still comes up on caller ID - the change hasn't been made yet. i think that would be disturbing.

and in telephone conversation today with yet another friend, who keeps her grandmother's telephone number in her cell phone. she says every once in a while she scrolls by it, a pleasant way to keep her Nana in her thoughts.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

scratch that

talking with my mother, i read the thesis abstract over the phone
she snags on ::: pilgrimage ::: and i agree it is not the sentiment, word choice
back to the drawing board on the title

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ReadyLoad ready to go

that was quick.
the ReadyLoad holder arrived in the mail today.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

yalla yalla

buttery, barnyard, inky



a random stranger caught in some unguarded, mundane moment








manipulate assets
spot on

hinted at a storied past

seeming like a homeland



a mildly subversive take on (______)

carries the element of the unexpected

inky loam
buttery loam
barnyard loam
loam loam loam
loam loam loam
barnyard loam
buttery loam
inky loam

Monday, October 23, 2006

dirty dozen

tonight i walk home from the studio
wooden 4x5 camera slung in a bag
and manfrotto tripod over my shoulder

a familiar weight in a familiar place
settling on my neck, balanced
   like a sleek racing shell, days of old

there's something i'm seeking
an image a feeling a . . .
an experience, a journey

now, NOW i can say:
it was . . . love at first feel
feels good, just like i knew it would

at first, a BLACK rectangle
   i fucked up

twelve single exposures later
three or is it four very COLD beers later

i know:

this is my speed

like walking
   not running
like snowshoeing
   not skiing

i shoot blind
   no viewfinder
   leads me
   carries beyond
   pushes through

i'm gonna ride on
   ride on ride on
ride on ride on ride on

i breathe
i believe

here among a million nuances
i find it, it finds me

if i was a song, a voice, a perfect mix
i'd be this hot little 4x5 polaroid

once in a while
i've got the magic touch

canned heat

took a spin through the Jamiroquai website with my morning coffee today, and wound up watching some videos i haven't seen

among them, Canned Heat, which is a favorite tune

imagine my surprise when i realize it (the Canned Heat video) is the exact combination i had been writing about recently . . .

::: 30 Sept 2006
some form of performative element. grace, elegance, of a time past. Fred Astair dancing with coat rack. Royal Wedding Hotel sequence v. Jamiroquai (or C Walken in Fat Boy Slim)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

hollywood perfume

my new refrigerator arrives this afternoon.
a fine day for an energy efficient chill.
plenty of ice at my disposal now.

lingering in oakland, i visit Charlie at his studio.
we talk a couple hours, catching up
listening to The Blasters

meanwhile back at the ranch, i am happy that our modern digital age makes it so easy to remove distractions.

delete. decline. mute.
time to batten down the hatches
dive into the next few weeks full force

recent heatwave has prompted some delightfully light thoughts all around,
that airy feeling of summer coupled with the shedding of clothes.
it is good to get out now & again. and again.
i've been rocking the sureshot, but now it's time to floss.
i squint in the light, slip on my dark sunglasses.

some upcoming excitement:

27 Oct: John Doe @ Bottom of the Hill
02 Nov: Jamie Lidell @ Bimbo's

09 - 14 Nov ----> roadtrip!
09 Nov: Bruce Cockburn in Petaluma
10-13 Nov: Fresno . . . Fresno . . . Fresno !!!
14 Nov: Kerri & Louis's wedding in LA
15 Nov: MFA Candidacy Review

hah. just checked my horoscope for the week:
Delilah stalks the Gladiator in your work sector. The come-hither perfume you sniff is the sweet smell of success. It's not "only" a Venus-Mars romp. Jupiter, Mercury and the sun liven your scene as well. The weeks ahead are about the nitty-gritty that makes life work. Your life, Gem. Finally you have both the luck and the muscle to make it all flow your way.

Friday, October 20, 2006

indian summer

well it sure is hot out there, a continuous blast radiating through skin and beads of sweat forming at my hairline as i wrap up a conversation out on the sidewalk mid-day.

i love october in san franciso.

photographer doug dubois is here for a studio visit. i feel a little rusty, it has been a while since someone new has come in for a visit. well, not really, but i feels like a while. we get to talking and continue on well past our appointment. he remarks on the organization of my cabinet when i open it to retrieve a piece of equipment. in easy conversation, we talk about CROSSWALK, Boulevard, and Rock & Roar. afterwards, i walk him back to the Grad office.

later back at the studio i entertain myself by trying to figure out how to load the polaroid back and the ReadyLoads. after a considerable amount of time tinkering and toying, i still come up with no answers, no process, no formal success . . . however i am content knowing i curiously tugged the film pack open to explore, become familiar with, look a little deeper. yeah, dig around in there and take it apart, see how it ticks.

and mark clearly with a black sharpie:
one two one two, this is just a TEST.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

double shot

parking karma

it has happened again.

for the third time in a week or so, i have parked somewhere randomly out on a city street for a meeting or work only to find out hours later when i come back out that my car is directly behind or in front of someone i know.

this evening's smile is Ron Lutsko, the landscape designer who joined us for our day in Fresno.

as i step into the street to beeline around a parked car and reach my own, the driver's window drops and Ron breaks away from his telephone call to speak with me for a moment. turns out that not only have i parked directly behind his car, i have also parked right in front of his office. this i find terribly amusing. i tell him quickly that the Kearney Boulevard palm trees are now the location of my thesis work & that i will be returning there in just two and a half weeks for my first Fresno shoot & site visit. we swap cards and i am happy i have been able to say thanks to Ron in person. it brings back to me how mesmerized i was there . . . in Fresno, moving among the palm trees. that magic floating questioning wonder is exactly what i want to recapture, recconect with.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

lost pilgrimage

working version [17 October 06]

«lost | pilgrimage» is a Masters of Fine Arts : Visual Art : Social Practice thesis written in three parts or sections.

A dedication and acknowledgments page prefaces the main thesis body.

01. Our journey begins with a uniform written presentation and analysis of artist Anne Devine’s works: CROSSWALK (2005-2006), BOULEVARD (2006-2007), and ROCK & ROAR (1993-present). A single or double page format is used to describe each of these works that then become the case studies for expansion and example in the later sections.

Pilgrimage. Experimentation. Active seeking. Projects utilize simple acts such as walking. Whether drifting through urban space, drifting through virtual space, or drifting through open/agricultural/abandoned space, she reconsiders new technologies and often abandons them in favor of low-tech and no-tech methods which engage face-to-face communication and spur social dialogue in existing and appropriated, newly collaged communities.

02. In a series of ESSAYS addressing the artist’s content, context, and process, questions asked and explored include: What is the collective experience and how can it be triggered? What can be revealed in repetition? What or how do subtle changes affect perceptions, and what is the role of nuance? What will endure? How do we remember the past, things of the past, another time in time?

- On Intuition, Magic, and Destiny
- On Endurance, Repetition, and Variation
- On Persona, Personality, and Identity
- Giving and receiving are the same
- Taking care of what we have

An informal, conversational tone is used. Personal narrative may be employed.

Each essay topic is visually separate but is not necessarily contained solely under its topic heading. Overspill and intermingling of content may occur in the essay series. Sub-chapters each relate to the specific topic but are not necessarily continuous. These sub-chapters are marked by number, a method of organization denoting further unity. (see Alain de Botton The Art of Travel.)

03. APPENDIX of additional materials provides a hint of backstory and set a reference to build against/from. Letters, bookended – to visual artist and environmentalist Trent Alvey, to author and environmentalist Doug Peacock. diaristic blog entries from CROSSWALK and BOULEVARD.

In thesis exhibition, two works are presented.

BOULEVARD is a new landscape inquiry loosely springing from an experimental combination of: about 300 sheets of expired 4x5 positive film and 4x5 color and black & white Polaroid film, an ultra minimalist wooden pinhole camera loaned from a friend, and the simple utter truth that the artist fell in love with a 14 mile palm-lined boulevard in Fresno one evening. Some form of performative element is included in BOULEVARD which speaks to the grace, the elegance, of a time past. Gallery presentation may include BOULEVARD’s performance documentation, project ephemera, and/or photographic installation.

A postcard with a description and sitemap locating CROSSWALK will be available for take away.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

utopia parkway

a particularly challenging shoot day, mid-afternoon i finish up production drained.

here with me for afterwards i have a ReadyLoad packet so i can pick up my Polaroid stock at Calumet. Su tells me to match the speed of the 4x5 film, that way it is all interchagable. stepping in to the store, wandering over to the film area, i feel a sense of excitement. a knowledgable employee helps me locate and select my stock: Polaroid 54 ISO 100 (black & white instant sheet film) and Polaroid 79 ISO 100 (color instant sheet film). 4x5 in, 9x12 cm. 20 fotos per box. later at home i open the seals and slip the slick foiled boxes out of their cardboard pkgs.

tonight i light a roomful of candles and listen to Anne Walsh & Chris Kubick's A Visit with Joseph Cornell. throughout the soundwork, the flame of one of the candles appears to dance, move when one of the mediums speaks. i am listening for Joseph Cornell.

Friday, October 13, 2006

ticklish teeth

i picked up Alain de Botton's THE ART OF TRAVEL and brought it with to the dentist today, good thing. there is a section of 666 in the left mandible quadrant, much to my dismay. the dentist goes in deep to the pocket with metal instrument, scaling, scraping. the sound that fills my head is like a carpenter with a planer. surprisingly there is no discomfort. it is more like finally getting a strong itch scratched. although i am silent and still, i feel like a horse moving its neck along the rail of a fence, trunk of a tree, doorjam of a stall.

later at home i put all the friday the 13th superstitions out of my mind and concentrate on these chapters especially

on anticipation
on curiousity
on possessing beauty

writing numerous passages onto my notebook

this one in particular is de Botton's retelling of a Ruskin quote:
Two men are walking through Clare Market. One of them comes out at the other end not a bit wiser than when he went in, the other notices a bit of parsley over the edge of a butter-woman's basket, and carries away with him images of beauty which in the course of his daily work he incorporates with it for many a day. p.218

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

nocturnal post office

slide, seduce, swoon, sway, slip,
sleep by the light of the moon

i need something to bump up against
in repetition, inspiration
the questions elicit answers
a dialogue ensues

i put pen to paper
so we will have something physical between us,
something tangible.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

variations on a theme

Sunday, October 08, 2006

pull up to my bumper

Friday, October 06, 2006

shoot the moon

this evening headed back from the studio the full moon beckons, pushing through inky clouds. i take a turn and pass the house . . . hunt for higher ground, chasing the moon. the sky is darkened when i pull the camera and tripod out. here, where i come to watch meteor showers at 4 AM. i train the lens towards the light and smile to myself. me and the moon.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

that's sexy

today i am thinking about this:

    serif is sexy, sans serif is sexier

back in the recording studio days: after a really sweet edit or a tricky technical manoeuvre in layback session, Phill would turn with a grin and say: that's sexy. and it was. still is.

that's what this reminds me of.

the relation has evolved.
with : without :: serif : sans serif

i recognize it right away and it stops me, holds my attention, takes my breath, stays with me. but i don't make the greater association, unravel the ultimate riddle of the actual recontextualization, until days later (today) when i really look at it and take it apart.

serif is sexy, sans serif is sexier

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

20 questions

Thesis Seminar. list 15-20 questions which address your work & expand on its themes. you have (20) minutes.

i head to studio 54 & slip on the headphones
background track looping LOST
  1. what can be revealed in repetition?
  2. what or how do subtle changes affect things in the final mix?
    [the role of nuance]
  3. what is the place of personal narrative?
  4. what is the relation of materials to the content/context?
  5. how does one connect/re-connect with what is lost?
  6. what is one's place in society --
    the sense of responsibility and relation to situation.
  7. what is the collective experience?
  8. how can it be triggered?
  9. what does it mean to listen closely?
  10. who becomes "the voice" to carry the message?
  11. where does "the message" go?
  12. what is callling ? ["why can't i help out?"]
  13. what will endure?
  14. how does one accept change?
  15. how do we remember the past, things of the past, another time in time?
  16. how far are we removed from the land?
  17. do we need to be connected or to feel connected to the land?
  18. --> the distance <-- <--- the distance between . . .
    what lives, what inhabits the distance between here and now, and then ?
works for me as a staring point . . .

Monday, October 02, 2006

where there's smoke, there's FIRE

getting ready to head out to Terry's, i hear a teaser on the noon news about a big fire a few hours ago over in oakland at musicians' studios. hmm. catches my attention. there is an invitation floating around & i am thinking of going to a party at a musicans' studio building on oakland on thursday . . . nasty fire, but not where the party is going to be i see.

i walk to Terry's. i need the walk. i want to walk. parking for more than 2 hrs at his place is a drag, next to impossible. along 7th i see the bright yellow of new framing in the skyline . . . they are moving fast in their construction down here. i step back two steps, back into a perfect framing for a photo, and pull out the camera. shit. change batttery pack. i forgot.

through another block, i have passed close to my own studio . . . where i have stacks of AA batteries locked up. i should be hoofing it. i turn back and head over to my studio, retrieve the batteries & load up.

shooting the train tracks and the curved building. moving around, step step shoot.

i hear a train and slip into movie mode, to capture the motion. i am standing in the perfect spot. really. slow steady breaths and try to hold still for the long shot, two minutes. the train is the motion, everything else is still. it seems so german, euro . . . the colors, the crazy construction. wow, that was gooood. today is . . . yeah, another brilliant day.

i head on up the street & notice a building i shot the other night is gone. removed. not there. gotta be quick nowadays i guess. shoot it when you see it, cuz it just plain old might not be there if you come back for it another time.

Jaron rings from SOEX while i'm walking. sure, yes. we make plans for me to do some collaboration with Artists in Education. the kids are designing 4x6 foot posters for downtown, a series for installation in December. i will document their work over the next few months & guide them in making a 'zine about it all. that's exciting.

a block from Terry's i see a small dark -- BLACK -- cloud begin to spiral into the sky. couple guys are out on the curb from their auto shop looking at the roof across the street, watching the spiral. one has a phone in hand. i ask them: did you call 911?

we watch the smoke. a blast. flames erupt, fireballs undulate in the thick blackness. smoke descends all around us. this turns into a four-alarm fire and later the roof collapses.

i shot some video too, will have to upload that

newspaper article about the SF 4 alarm fire (with news photos)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

archive me now please

well i guess its about time i figure out the issues i have been having with Blogger archives. my plate is full, i see. a day spent on coding and writing, bringing things here up to speed.