Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Meditating on Photographs

My roommates are moving out today . . . They lived with me for three months. I can recall the first couple days we were living together . . . the house abounded with joy, they even gave me a present.

And now? Now there are a lot of muffled sighs. They've hardly spoken to me for the three months they lived in my house. In the beginning, I thought we were going to eat meals together. That never happened.

Things started to go sour the day Julie, one of the roommates, told me they were moving out in a month. She said it so nonchalantly, "Oh, by the way, we found a new place."

"But we had an agreement?" I said.

"Yeah, well, one of our friends broke up with her girlfriend and we're all going to rent a house; it's cheaper."

We never had a written agreement, and therefore I couldn't even get them to forfeit their deposit.

One of the strangest things, while they were living in my house, they never even used the common area. With the exception of eating dinner in the kitchen, they used to come home and run up to their room and shut the door.

It baffled me that a couple who chose to rent a room in a shared house could be so anti-social. But such was the case.

Granted, my living habits are not very typical. I keep late hours and work from home. But in the beginning, they really didn't seem to mind. It was just before they decided to leave that this atmosphere of resentment started to surface.

These photographs by Kim Holtermand sum up my mood right now. As fall approaches, the feeling of beautiful cool detachment comes over me . . . I love fall as many do, and I am detached from the petty worries of my life . . . I love the crisp awareness that fall brings. The large empty spaces in these photographs give me an immediate sense of the hollowness. That hollowness is not a superficial hollowness but the hollowness of consciousness, the emptiness that is pure and large and cannot be destroyed.

These neon lights too reflect me in this moment. I am still illuminated with color, hopeful against the grey, metal background of my surroundings. These neon lights remind me of the lines I make in my art journal, using colored ink.

I love lines, a precise mark is beautiful.

A sort of industrial photograph should remind us of what we've become. We've become machines . . . but engaging this season can help us from remaining machines. Roomates will come and go, but fall endures somehow.

Kim Holterman's Website


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Small Pleasure of Art Postcards

I recently took a trip to Chicago, and almost every time I go to Chicago now, I make it part of my schedule to visit the University of Chicago Seminary Coop Bookstore. This wonderful bookstore has books stacked from ceiling to floor, and you feel like you're walking through an underground labyrinth; the rooms branch out from deeper and deeper tunnels.

One of my significant finds, however, was not books but art postcards. Also known as art cards or art notecards. I looked on the Internet for a unique selection of art cards, but couldn't really find anything like I saw in the bookstore. Some sites, such as Pomegrante and Inkognito have art cards, but the true pleasure is in the diversity. The Seminary Coop has artcards from many different sellers and therefore makes these finds worthwhile.

Attribution: (from the top of the page)
1. Paul Bowles, circa 1949 by Karl Bissinger
2. Max Ernst, La Roue de la lumière (The Wheel of Light)
3. Dorothea Lange, Migrant Cotton Picker, Elroy, Arizona, 1940
4. Michael Sowa, Kurz Vor Dem Fest
5. Paul Gauguin, Nirvana: Portrait of Meyer de Haan, c. 1890
6. Hiroshige, From One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: 82 Moon-Viewing Point (8/1857)
7. Hiroshige, From One Hundred Famous Views of Edo: 27 Plum Garden, Kamata (2/1857)
8. Quint Buchholz, Mann Auf Einer Leiter


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Impossible Patterns: Evgeny Zhelvakov

Evgeny Zhelvakov is Impossible Quality

Found via ChangeTheThought

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gustave Baumann

Gustave Baumann (1881, Magdeburg, Germany - 1971, Santa Fe, New Mexico) was a printmaker and painter, and one of the leading figures of the color woodcut revival in America. (Wikipedia)


Archival Gothic: Illustrations by Fernando Forero

Fernando Forero's Portfolio on Behance
On Deviant Art

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Art, Nature, Destruction: Paintings by Adam Haynes

Visit Adam Haynes's
Behance Portfolio

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Larry Lessig and the Revival of Read Write Culture

I was simply astonished watching this Larry Lessig TED Talk. Not only do Lessig's ideas coincide with my own, but the issues he raises are almost exactly the same as I have raised in several essays on this blog.


"In my view, the most significant thing to recognize about what the Internet is doing is the opportunity to revive the Read Write culture . . ."

"The shift from a readerly culture which privileges paid, professional journalists to a writerly culture in which anyone can post their opinion and discuss a topic has been underway for some time now."


"Digital technology is the opportunity for the revival [of Read Write culture] . . ."

"To me, the proliferation of artistic expression, the videos on YouTube, the online novels, the loads of bad poetry, cannot be equated with a loss or diminishment of culture but instead a replenishment of it."


"User-generated content, spreading in business in extraordinary ways like these, celebrates amateur culture--by which I don't mean amateurish culture--I mean culture where people produce for the love of what they're doing and not for the money. I mean the culture that your kids are producing all the time."

"'More artists, more culture,' I say--even if the great majority of those artists are naive and unskilled. The individual acts of creativity, that's what's important, and with more people creating, I see the phenomenon of mass amateurism as a boon."


"Remix is not piracy . . . I'm talking about people taking and recreating, using other people's content, using digital technology, to say things differently."

From my essay, "What is Contemporary Art?":

"We are living in the age of the re-mix; where the creative act of re-mixing and combining styles and vignettes claims an originality of its own. This may be scary to some, but to others it means unfettered creative freedom."

We need, according to Lessig, two types of changes:

"First, artists and creators choose that their work be made available more freely; for example, for non-commercial, amateur use but not for commercial use."

"And second, we need the businesses that are building out this Read Write culture to embrace this opportunity expressly--to enable it--so that this ecology of free content or freer content can grow on a neutral platform . . . so that more free can compete with less free . . ."


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Meticulous and Wonderful Illustration

Visit the online portfolio of London based illustrator Claire Scully.