January 2006 Archives


Unless this was somehow the on-message Backdrop for the day. Let's go to the tape. Look at this wider shot, where the pre-existing monitors have been used for the Backdrop.


Somehow, this was intentional. Maybe that capuccino-skinned jester was supposed to read as Mayor Nagin? I don't think it came off that way, though.

[image ap/evan vucci via cbc.ca, and eyeteeth]

Maybe we have the whole Smithsonian entropy thing wrong.

In 2002, Artforum's Nico Israel whined with condescension about the homogenous strip mall & fast food landscape he had to endure on his road trip from one perfectly isolated Earthwork [Spiral Jetty] to another [Double Negative].

Then, as the Jetty has re-emerged year after year, visitor traffic has increased dramatically, along with press coverage and local awareness and appreciation.

Road signs to the Jetty appear in the middle of what was once unmarked desert scrub.

Tour buses idle where once only high-clearance 4WD's were advised to go. The Dia Center takes ownership [?] of the Jetty.

And Smithson's widow, fresh on the heels of fabricating a piece that didn't exist during the artist's lifetime, mentions offhandedly that she doesn't see how adding rocks and regrading ramps would conflict with her husband's idea of entropy.

And now, the industrial detritus that has long defined the Jetty's site for visitors--and, to some extent at least, for the artist himself, who chose Rozel Point as much for the abandoned oil derricks as for the water's reddish-pink tint--has been cleaned up and hauled away, deemed "an eyesore" by the State [as if anyone had bothered to look there until a couple of years ago].

Should we care? Conventional art world wisdom holds that Smithson's entropy dictated a hands-off approach to his work. Que sera sera, dust to dust. Nature will take its inexorable course; stopping, fighting, or reversing this [d]evolution through restoration, maintenance, or re-creation is doing a disservice to Smithson's ideas and his legacy.

"The Spiral Doily," picked up in Utah on
my last trip to the Jetty

But in his seminal Artforum essay of 1966, "Entropy and the New Monuments," the examples of entropy Smithson cited weren't ivy-covered ruins and rubble, but New Jersey, Philip Johnson and the "cold glass boxes" of Park Avenue, and suburban sprawl. "The slurbs, urban sprawl, and the infinite number, of housing developments of the postwar boom have contributed to the architecture of entropy."

Just this week, Reuters reported on a land use study that shows Suburban Sprawl may be an irrestistable force in the US. When he sited Spiral Jetty in BF Utah, was Smithson building against New Jerseyification, or just ahead of it? Is it possible--or is it just convenient acquiescence to suggest--that roped-off "Nature"-driven degradation is not, in fact, entropy, but Romanticism? Maybe letting "civilization" have its paving, scrubbing, sprucing up, licensing, Acoustiguiding, Ritz Carlton Jettyway Weekend Packaging way with the Jetty isn't closer to the end game Smithson envisioned?

Entropy and the New Monuments [robertsmithson.com]
Suburban sprawl an irresistible force in US [reuters]

Stockholm Syndrome? Job security? The White House News Photographers Association was so worried about the sharp increase of staged photographs, they undertook a study and filed a complaint about it with White House Productions.

Don't get them wrong; they're not complaining about the image control the White House exerts via Scott Sforza's strategically placed backdrops and camera pens. They're upset at the increasing number of WH events at which press was banned altogether, and the only pictures released were from WH staff photographers. Funny, because back in the day [aka 2001-3], the only way you could make out the artificiality of Sforzian Backdrops was via the inside-the-ropeline WH cameras.

Photogs Slam White House Use of Staged Pictures [e&p via mediabistro and man]
Will this be on the White House DVD?

January 30, 2006

That is SO Brad Pitt of you

How 'bout that, TMZ looks the blog it's screwing, too.

How Brad morphs into his lovers [1/30: tmz via rw]
Brad Pitt is a Chameleon [1/27: the superficial via kottke]

Steven Soderbergh is on Fresh Air Weekend today, talking about the production and release of Bubble.

Check out PublicRadioFan.com to find a live stream of the show on some public radio station or another. [publicradiofan.com]
Later, check out the Fresh Air archives at npr.org. [npr.org]

January 28, 2006

BBC Jesus Christ, Superstar

And you thought Mel Gibson's Passion was gonna hasten The Apocalypse:

The BBC plans to mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ this Easter with an hour-long live procession through the streets of Manchester featuring pop stars from The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays and featuring songs by The Smiths and New Order.

In the programme, called Manchester Passion, a character representing Jesus will sing the legendary Joy Division anthem Love Will Tear Us Apart before dueting his arch-betrayer Judas on the New Order hit Blue Monday, according to senior church sources involved in the production.

There is so much to quote in this article, you absolutely must read the whole thing.

This is not a drill, people. If you have lamps, I suggest you fill them with oil, cuz the bridegroom cometh, and it ain't gonna be pretty. But just in case the world doesn't end, I'm setting my TiVo right now.

BBC's Jesus sings Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now [mediaguardian via tmftml]

As with with combovers and [PK] Dick, so it iss with Richard Linklater interviews: longer is better.

Filmmaker Magazine's Scott Macaulay plays cabbie to Linklater's passenger for a discussion of the upcoming Philip K. Dick adaptation, A Scanner Darkly, which was exec produced at Warners by Bubble head Steven Soderbergh's Section 8 for an eyepopping $6 million:

When I read Scanner, I intuitively felt that it was probably his most personal work. It felt like he had lived this world, [the characters] felt like every roommate he had and half the roommates I had at a certain time in my life. It felt very familiar, the way you just sort of ìend upî around people.
Me, I'm dying to see it, more than Waking Life, partly because the rotoscoping here seems more closely tied to the story itself, and because I unwittingly included a Dickian "scramble suit"-like gadget in the script for my animated musical. Great minds, um, come up with scramble suits...and other minds come up with them like 30 years later.

THE SCHIZOID MAN [filmmakermagazine.com]
[update: haha, part of the reason the interview's so long is that it's run together with an interview with Caveh Zahedi. I had to re-read it to see why Linklater was such a fan of Zahedi's work that he turned over half his interview to discuss it.]


Here's a picture of the interior courtyard of Tadao Ando's Omotesando Hills, which opens in a few weeks. Like everything else on Omotesando these days, the facade is a frosty glass scrim.

[image: Harajuku-ss via jeansnow.net]
previously: Tokyo snapshots 1.4 - Tadao Ando ruins Omotesando

Some 264 magazine launches were announced in the US in 2005. The Magazine Publishers Association published highlights from that list. Here are some highlights of the highlights:

  • Boink: "Boston University students will now have their own Adult magazine covering issues regarding sex."
  • Bronzeville, "for the 'Buppies' of Chicago featuring articles for the achieving urbanite, covering all things of interest in Chicago. Not exclusively targeting affluent African Americans, but the achievers and up-and-comers in the urban communities." [It's to be published by Leonard Burnett, who was involved with previous black-but-not-black titles Trace, Uptown, and Honey.]
  • Church Sound Magazine, "devoted to helping the small or large church get the best results from its sound and public address systems."
  • Divorce In Denver Magazine, " focusing on all the unique aspects of divorce particular to Denver and the Colorado region."
  • GeezerJock "will target active people over 40 who want to find interesting and practical solutions to staying fit and healthy in order to continue athletic competition."
  • Guilt And Pleasure, "a new culture and arts magazine debuting on newsstands across the United States with essays, non fiction, stories, photography and articles on history and culture." [Or, as they put it on their website, "a quarterly magazine thatís helping Jews talk more."]
  • New Beauty: "This 'ultimate cosmetic enhancement guide' is a new national magazine that will take an educational and informative angle on the choices surrounding cosmetic surgery."
  • Professional Sports Wives Magazine "will provide resources, news, and education to the wives of professional athletes."
  • [You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy] Punk Rock Confidential, which "covers punk rock as a lifestyle. Loaded with photos of bands and profiles of musicians, Punk Rock Confidential wants to be your guilty pleasure."
  • Robot: "The robot enthusiast now has a new magazine called 'Robot'." [In addition to their old magazine, Real Robots.]
  • ROT Riders of Tubes, "aimed at wave riding's more mature bodyboarders, while remaining true to the sport's core 13-19-year-old audience." [Good luck with that.]

    New & Noted 2005

  • Granted, I haven't seen it yet, but isn't that in the spirit of Winterbottom's adaptation? Based on Tony Scott's review, I'd say this one is a classic.

    January 27, 2006

    Crowbars: 2, Maybach: 1

    Football team owner Gigi Becali [aka the Woody Johnson of Bucharest]'s car got sideswiped. So he and a henchman opened the door like they do in the old country: with a couple of crowbars and a sportsnews camera crew watching on.

    A Maybach hasn't been subject to this kind of mitteleuropische humiliation since the Bulgarian-born Christo wrapped himself in one during "The Gates."

    Video: Maybach schadeherstel
    [autoblog.nl via jalopnik]

    Wow, Artnet associate editor Ben Davis got just what he wanted for Christmas: the chance to write at length about art and technology. He covers the video game-inspired show at Pace Wildenstein in Chelsea last month [generally, eh] and better-reviewed shows like Bit Edition's multi-artist animation collaboration in Brooklyn with vertexList, and a Dewan Brothers show at Pierogi [they're like the Harry Partch of synthesizers, very DIY.] But he saves most of the love for Dorkbot, aka Gearhacking: The Gathering, that monthly rendezvous of people doing wack stuff with gear.

    Technical Knock-Outs [artnet]

    From The Salt Lake Tribune, 1/21/06:

    Spiral Jetty cleanup: Utah officials last month removed several tons of junk from Rozel Point, the area along the Great Salt Lake's north shore that is home to Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty.
    "Anyone who has made the trip to see the famous Spiral Jetty . . . has passed through the area and certainly noted that it was an eyesore," says Joel Frandsen, director of the state Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, which supervised the cleanup along with the state Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.
    Workers removed 18 loads of junk and plugged more than a dozen abandoned oil wells.
    I spoke to someone at Forestry for some more detail. Included in that list of eyesores are the burned out trailer, that weird amphibious tank thing, the abandoned cars, basically most of the industrial detritus that fed into visitors' sense of Smithsonian entropy. [Todd discusses this and has pictures of the now-gone junk on From The Floor.]

    And about those oil wells, it turns out the oil is quite viscous, kind of tar-like, and it pools very slowly over the years. Some might say that for Smithson, that's not a bug; it's a feature. Well it's moot now.

    The project took a couple of weeks and supposedly focused only on sovereign land: state-owned shoreline, which is determined by elevation [i.e., the land, below 4,201' I think, which is about four feet higher than the Jetty itself. Depending on the terrain, a 4' change in elevation can take you quite a ways inland, although I can't see it going all the way up to the trailer...hmm.]

    There was also talk of negotiating an easement for parking, so that visitors won't have to park on the road or trespass when they park beyond the "end of road" sign.

    I didn't get the sense that the Dia Center was involved in the project in any way, but we'll see. I have some queries into them at the moment. The deadline for bids for a concession to operate a capuccino-and-smoothie cart during the peak Jetty months of June-October will begin March 15. OK, I made that last one up. I hope.

    SLTrib Visual Arts [sltrib.com, thanks to Monty for the heads up]
    Previous greg.org-on-Jetty action

    agonzales_bfranklin.jpg ap-Charles Dharapak via yahoo

    Yesterday Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was shooting some b-roll at Georgetown Law for this week's WH production [working title, according to the AP: "Bush to Visit NSA for Pep Talk"], but it looks like they ran into some problems with the extras.

    You know, when leafblower-wielding hustlers were driving around, disrupting shoots in LA, the studios got some anti-nuisance legislation passed. Makes you wonder if WHP isn't thinking that'd be pretty handy right about now.

    My boys Elmgreen & Dragset are opening their show, The Welfare State, at the Serpentine tomorrow, and there's a conference related to the show at the Goethe Institute on Friday, and there's a fat catalogue on every day, whenever you like. [oops, actually, it's not out in the US until March.]

    Kultureflash has images from the show's first incarnation at Kunsthall Bergen, Norway.


    Meanwhile, here's a photo they sent me from just before their Prada Marfa project opened last fall. That there's Boyd on the left.


    Gotta admit, the rather mundane, unimpressive visuals of the NSA's Threat Operations Center are a boost to the secretive agency's credibility. The place looks like utilitarian Government, right down to the bald-ponytailed sysadmin on the front row.


    The TOC had enough wallscreens plotting enough suitably important-looking, real-time metrics that the WH advance team only needed to dress a media meeting point for GWB--which turned out to be a hallway.


    Looks like the doors were taken off their hinges, and the transoms were filled with blackout WHP graphics. Other than that, Sforza's lighting buddy Bob DiServi swapped out a few floodlights to fill out the back, and that's it. All in all, very narrowly focused, limited scope, and only what's absolutely necessary. [which, conveniently, is identical to today's message]. And the whole thing was authorized by the 9/11 congressional resolution.

    A bonus set dressing tip: How do you get the flags to furl just so? A wire hanger, bent into a diamond and duct-taped to the flagpole underneath.

    images: reuters/todd black; ap/evan vucci via yahoo

    From the Observer report on how publicists are the "real Sundancers":

    As crowds exited a packed screening of Wrestling with Angelsóa staid, unthrilling film about Tony Kushner which emblemizes the idea that to be truly successful these days, not only must you be a widely admired playwright, write a musical and work with Steven Spielberg, but you must also be the subject of a documentaryóa small gathering of people were sitting on the tented ground outside the theater, eating cold cuts out of a Ziploc bag and playing travel Scrabble. They were waiting in the cancellation line for a screening of the Shorts Program IV.

    These were not your typical Sundancers. Indeed, your typical festival-goers wouldnít know that Bobcat Goldthwait premiered a movie called Stay (about what happens after a woman performs oral sex on her dog) or, perhaps, even who Michel Gondry is (Mr. Gondryís follow-up to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, called The Science of Sleep and starring Gael GarcÌa Bernal, has been another festival favorite).

    Those festival-goers exist in the Sundance of Robert Redford myth: a place of discovery, a place where filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh could make their names.
    Sundance Schwag: Party Promoters Blast Into Town [nyo]

    Nice. Andy has a very interesting interview with Brokeback Mountain producer and Focus Features co-head Jim Schamus. A lot of talk about the marketing for the film, a little about Larry Miller, not much about the production [perfect, easy, on budget, like a family] or the development [stalled for years, then bam!], but a lot of big, gay, award-winning fun.

    Andy: Yesterday, President Bush said that he hadnít seen Brokeback. Do you plan to offer him a screening?

    Jim: (Laughs) Actually, the studio has been asked and the studio has answered. We were asked for a print of the movie which we supplied to the White House. So maybe somebody there has seen the movie. I'm hopeful that somebody who knows what it's like to be gay in Wyoming might have seen it at least. (laughs) You supply the print but no one's going to tell you who saw it or anything. We're happy to send a free screener but I have to say, just like everybody else, we're gonna watermark it so it doens't get pirated.


    January 23, 2006

    Pink Lady = Jeff

    For the autumn sports festival season, many schools and kindergartens sang out "oh-ha!" and danced along to Shingo Mama's song. The word was awarded a grand prize for trendy word of 2000. In the twenty-first century, "oh-ha!" just might become a standard morning greeting among the Japanese.
    First shiny mud balls and now oh-ha. The near-instantaneous global dissemination of Japanese flashtrends is one of the hallmarks of the new Internet Century.

    Meanwhile, between Shingo Mama and Turner Prize winning potter Grayson Perry, I predict large, doll-like cross-dressers will rule the world by 2010 at the latest
    Shingo Mama no Oh-Ha [google video via tmn]
    WHAT'S COOL IN JAPAN: July-September 2000: Shingo Mama [web-japan.org]

    Wow, we have entered the Sforzian Baroque period.


    A GWB "townhall-style meeting" at a moving company in Sterling, VA took place on one of the most soundstage-like sets we've seen in a while. These screened supporter-packed events were very popular during the campaign. Here, the classic "Sforzian Backdrop" gives way to a more spatially complex theater-in-the-round composition, complete with white picket fences, white white people [oops], and on-message Astroturf [oops again].

    But wait, there IS a Backdrop, a pop-out house, complete with shingles and clapboard siding. [and on-message banner, of course]. I'd be interested to see if WH Prod. built the house, or if it was pre-existing, and thus served as a source for the WHP design.


    Whether it was intentional or not, you have to give the White House credit; this through-the-fence angle is a thoughful gift to the powerless liberal Photoshoppers clamoring for impeachment.


    Or those dreaming of a good old-fashioned showtrial.


    Images: top two: AP/Evan Vucci, bottom: Reuters/Jim Young via yahoo]
    Shoutout to lowculture Matt for the Iraqi Defendant Crib reference.

    On Saturday, the Rem Koolhaas Prada store in SoHo was either engulfed in flames, soaked in water and smoke, or both.

    The ostentatiously exposed drywall was Prada green and imported, if not actually manufactured to spec. [What's the stock color of Italian drywall? Anybody?] Watch for the just-arrived merch to show up, freshly drycleaned, at a TJ Maxx far from you, very soon.

    And what's this? The Guggenheim is still hanging out in the building? Did landlord collector Peter Brant get his forever for-sale Warhol Last Supper out of their gallery in time?

    Verbose Coma has pictures,, Gothamist has roundups, and modernartnotes has a draft checklist of art in the building [verbosecoma via gothamist]

    January 22, 2006

    Is This The Coup?

    Because there have been helicopters flying over the house in DC every five minutes for the last hour, apparently. Maybe we're in the flight path to Camp David, or maybe we're too close to Cheney's house, which is where I'd imagine any coup would start.

    When will E! stage a Jackson Trial-style re-enactment of the Paris Hilton deposition transcript? Because seriously, there hasn't been a 200-page, skank-related legal document this readable since the Starr Report:

    Q. Let me just take a step back because I didn't ask about what Val Kilmer had said about Zeta, if anything. did he speak negatively towards her? You might have said something.

    MR STEIN: She reported that he said she was a crazy bitch.

    THE WITNESS: That she was insane. She was a bad person.

    MR BERRA: Did he ever provide any specific things that she had done or was it just a general--

    A. No. We were just like walking in the lobby of the hotel. No, it wasn't the lobby of the hotel, it was the lobby in the boat.

    Q. There is a lobby in the boat? [Paul Allen's boat, anchored at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival]

    A. It's like a 500-foot yacht. It's insane.


    Q...Do you recall sending Rob and e-mail before this one?

    A. Maybe. I don't even remember.

    Q. Okay.

    A. That was the whole thing. I needed a dress-- I mean, I needed jewewlry and a dress.

    Q. You had a dress, though?

    A. Yeah, I did have a dress.

    MR BERRA [the questioner, attorney for the plaintiff, Zeta Graff]: Marking the next exhibit in order, No. 6.

    THE WITNESS: (Witness yawns.)

    MR. BERRA: We have to do this every day.

    THE WITNESS: I'd kill myself.


    Q. [In an e-mail about a Graff diamond necklace, publicist Rob Shuter] refers to it as the "biggest f***off necklace you have ever seen." Do you remember receiving this e-mail?

    A. Yeah.

    Q. And you received it right around the same period of time?

    A. Uh-huh.

    Q. And then you responded back, adn correct me if I am wrong, "Love it! Zeta Graff will be so pissed." Do you recall writing that?

    A. Yep.

    Q. What was your--what was the reason that you wrote that?...

    A. Just paris told me -- Paris's maid Kula told me that she knows all the jewelry and she would, like, freak out if I was ever wearing Graff jewelry. She had said that at some point. And then wehn i told paris, I was like, "Graff is bringing jewelry over." And was like, "Oh, she's going to be so pissed."...

    Q. Okay. Can you read that back, Pam. (Record reads as follows: "Answer: Just Paris told me-- Paris's maid Kula told me that she knows all the jewelry and" --)

    THE WITNESS: Not maid. Can you take "maid" out. That's rude. She's not a maid. Sorry. I don't want her to think that I called her a maid. She's not. Assistant.

    MR STEIN [Hilton's attorney]: A keeper.

    MR BERRA: Now she's not going to do any more housework.


    MR BERRA: I believe that's it. Just give me 30 seconds.

    (Discussion held off the record.)

    MR STEIN: We will stipulate that the original can be delivered to our offices and if not signed and returned--within 30 days?

    MR BERRA: That's fine with me.

    MR STEIN: --it can be used as if it were signed for all purposes.

    THE WITNESS: This is not going to the media, right?

    pdf's of the deposition and email transcript are available in the sidebar at tmz.com

    "When I originally posted the video on the site I likened watching it to a life-changing experience 'on par with losing your virginity or seeing Garden State for the first time'..." [emphasis added]


    That's part of Derek's description of #1, "Glosoli," a Sigur Ros video, which is pretty gorgeous. Obviously, it might be that I'm just waaay too old and outside the demo anymore, but if Beck's boring-ass breakdancing robot video is #47, I guess there really aren't 65 good music videos made each year.

    M3 Online: Top 65 Music Videos Of 2005 [gwfa via robotwisdom]

    January 18, 2006

    The Black Manohla

    Wow, it sucks to be Manohla Dargis. Or to be at Sundance. The festival is apparently the same every year, but different. And since that means that mediocre films and deals often hog the spotlight, and actual, honest-to-goodness finds are often left without distribution, it's really starting to bug.

    Sundance, for Indies, Soft Kiss Before Dying [nyt]

    The Beastie Boys handed out 50 video cameras to fans at a November 2004 MSG concert, and have edited the footage they shot into a concert documentary called Awesome! I F***ing Shot That!:

    The film will cost the Beastie Boys about $1.2 million when the sampling fees are added in; the band returned all the Hi-8 Sony cameras (a step above a typical camcorder) to the stores where they were bought, in some cases for a full refund.
    The film debuts Saturday at Sundance and comes out in March. They're promoting it by playing the Park City launch party for MySpace's filmmaker community.

    This Is Not Spinal Tap: A Concert Film by Fans [nyt]

    I've heard this recording many times before, but I've never seen the video. Let me tell you, this is right up there with Leonard Nimoy's "Bilbo Baggins for President" music video.

    The great thing is, the artist, Shatner, still stands by his work, unfazed by the Priceline-era ironists. His album of spoken-word covers and collaborations, Has Been, produced by Ben Folds is deeply serious. It's the Shatnerian equivalent of Johnny Cash's Rick Rubin-produced Cash, with a little Sinatra Duets thrown in for good measure.

    That said, I notice there are no Elton John-related tracks on the album; I hope this "Rocketman" performance isn't the reason why.

    "Rocketman," by William Shatner, c. 1978
    [youtube via gawker]

    I'm a fan of Bernadette Corporation, so even though it's not about results but about process, I'm interested to see what came out of their film gig in Berlin. That's where they ran Pedestrian Cinema, a temporary production center for DV and any other creative medium they saw fit to trot out. As they put it,

    Each day, Pedestrian Cinema will confront the question of fabricating itself. Is it to be based on history, dramatize the everyday, be documentary-like and specific, or metaphoric and abstract? At the same time, the film studio turns to debates internal to the medium, deciding to re-examine everything proper to cinema (shot, sequence, frame, sound, actors' bodies, time, speaking, space, light, montage, etc.). These could be exercises, investigations, and fragments that result from meeting a new actor, a series of interviews turning into monologues, and so on. The activity presented to the public will not be limited to digital film, there could also be a newsletter, live performances, music, drawings, or sculpture.
    While production cost barriers are falling enough to make a year of "shoot whatever, we'll see" feasible, the distribution bottleneck remains. BC's chosen the arts institutional channel to screen and exhibit their work. So far, pieces have been shown at Frieze in October, and as part of a BC retrospective [which just closed] at Witte de With artspace in Rotterdam [smart people, nice place]. And Chrissie Iles put PC on two lists she made: a ten best for 2005 list for Artforum--and the Whitney Biennial.

    Pedestrian Cinema proposal [bernadettecorporation.com]

    A tabloid summary of Herbert Muschamp's long essay on 2 Columbus Circle: back in the day

    AbEx: straight
    Historicism, Pop: gay

    Museum of Modern Art: straight
    Gallery of Modern Art [aka 2 Columbus]: gay

    But didn't AbEx evangelizer Frank O'Hara and modernist architect Philip Johnson also work at MoMA? And hasn't Muschamp talked about what a great pickup joint MoMA was in the 70's?

    Maybe it's not a question of straight and gay, HM, but butch and femme. Or maybe, you know, it's you, Herb. All I know is, Muschamp's architecture writing has totally blossomed since he came out of that Times arch. critic closet of his. It's a lifestyle choice [sic] we should all support.

    The Secret History of 2 Columbus Circle [nyt]

    bananas_darth_angels.jpgBecause it matters FAR more than you know.

    You have to be a certain age to remember the shock and confusion of 1977. That was when, just as Farrah postermania had crested, America turned on the TV one Wednesday night, only to find that Jill Munroe had been replaced by her harder, kind of meaner-looking, equally cop [but not, alas, equally hot] cousin Kris. [You cry nepotism? cronyism? family connections? Whatever, Kris did hold down the job longer than Jill ever did.]

    It was the most audacious swap out since the whole Two Darrins Affair, and it worked. Once. But the producers got cocky, sloppy, fat and weary, and Charlie's Angels lost its way. When Leonard Goldberg & Aaron Spelling needed another smart one after Sabrina left, they first tried Tiffany Welles and, inexplicably, Julie Rogers with no success. People had had enough.

    It seems totally obvious to me that the incumbency is too valuable an electoral advantage for Karl Rove, the White House's Aaron Spelling, to pass up. And so the question is not if Dick Cheney will give America another "Waitaminnit, where's Farrah??" shock, or even when [although it'll be some time two years-and-a-day from the start of Bush's second term and the 2008 election, with Plame, torture, spying, impeachment probabilities, and the 2006 election outcome helping a bit.] but who?*

    McCain? Rice? Frist [hah]? Graham?

    There are two reasons I bring this up now: One was yet another report of Dick Cheney's health problems. The other was the screening last evening of the most comically bad Bond movie EVER [or at least until the one with Wayne Newton in it] last night on TNT: A View To A Kill, which was notable only for Grace Jones and for proving that, yes, Tanya Roberts could do worse than Sheena and Beastmaster. The last thing America needs right now is a Tanya Roberts presidency.

    The Democrats' big problem is not that, once it gets on the air, a series can almost always manage to push out one viable spinoff: Laverne & Shirley, The Jeffersons, Melrose Place, Frasier. That's Quayle/Mondale-era thinking. The real problem is if Karl Rove is not Aaron Spelling-evil, but Dick Wolf-evil. As if there wasn't enough interchangable Law & Orders already.

    * well, it ain't gonna be you, you out-of-touch intellectual seeking to bust me for showin' my connection with the Amercan people by avoidin' the use of 'whom'.

    January 5, 2006

    But What Really Bugs Me...

    Is that you CANNOT get Red Vines at a NYC deli. You have to go to freakin' Target in Queens somewhere, and that's only if you're lucky.


    January 4, 2006

    Namaste Helsinki


    Doesn't seeing this Nordic Brady Bunch Variety Hour-presents-Grease music video make you dream of what might have been, if only those machers in the Finnish film industry had stayed put, instead of moving en masse to Bombay?

    "I Wanna Love You Tender"
    [he.fi, via coudal]

    Although he IS credited with the screenplay for Gus Van Sant's Elephant, I confess to not being a fan of JT LeRoy. Not that I've ever read the work, mind you. [Hold that thought.]

    Recently the authenticity of his identity, his personal story, and the authorship of his works has been called into question, and reporters have started asking if LeRoy is a hoax, a construct, a collaborative, an impostor whose gritty, wrenching, tawdry, and celebrated persona was somehow overshadowing the work itself. Which is funny, because that's what soured me on his writing right out of the gate--the barrage of hip and celebrity endorsements, most of which came from people who, shall we say, may not be best known for their literary tastes.

    Anyway, that doesn't make Guardian reporter Laura Barton's deliberately roadtrippy search for the "real" JT LeRoy and her account of her night out with LeRoy's posse any less interesting. If you like that kind of thing, this is definitely the kind of thing you'll like.

    Who's that boy/girl?
    Previously: Van Sant on greg.org

    [1/9 update: The jig sounds up to me. In the NYT, Warren St. John identifies the half-sister of one of JT Leroy's supposed mentor/saviors, Savannah Knoop, [at right] as the real-world stand-in. And then he examines travel expense reports for a JTL story for the Times, which all but confirms that the writing was done by one of these saviors, too: Laura Albert. The Guardian's Laura Barton thinks that Albert is also Emily, JTL's friend who took her around LA.]

    January 2, 2006

    Syriana: The Screenplay

    Warner Bros. has released a PDF version of Stephen Gaghan's script for Syriana, which we just saw last night. A very intense film, the story is perfectly matched with the fragmented, multi-threaded structure. In another filmmaker's hands, this movie would have repeatedly ground to a halt for some nonsensical expositional set piece speeches.

    Now I'm looking forward to seeing how Gaghan did it.

    [warnerbros.com via bb]


    All through 2005, Eirikso shot photographs out of his window in Norway at random times and on random days. Then he merged them into a single, 3.5 minute or so movie using Photoshop and Sony Vegas Video.

    See the film, download the film [which he also output to 720p HD, for television viewing], and read about how he made the film at eirikso.com.

    The Video Of The Seasons In Norway
    [eirikso.com via boingboing]

    Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

    comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
    greg [at] greg [dot ] org

    find me on twitter: @gregorg

    about this archive

    Posts from January 2006, in reverse chronological order

    Older: December 2005

    Newer February 2006

    recent projects, &c.

    Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
    about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

    Social Medium:
    artists writing, 2000-2015
    Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
    ed. by Jennifer Liese
    buy, $28

    Madoff Provenance Project in
    'Tell Me What I Mean' at
    To__Bridges__, The Bronx
    11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
    show | beginnings

    Chop Shop
    at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
    curated by Magda Sawon
    1-7 March 2016

    eBay Test Listings
    Armory – ABMB 2015
    about | proposte monocrome, rose

    It Narratives, incl.
    Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
    Franklin Street Works, Stamford
    Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
    about | link

    TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

    Standard Operating Procedure
    about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

    CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
    Canal Zone Richard Prince
    YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
    Decision, plus the Court's
    Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
    about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

    "Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
    Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
    about, brochure | installation shots

    HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
    Printed Matter, NYC
    Summer 2012
    panel &c.

    Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
    background | making of
    "Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

    Canal Zone Richard
    Prince YES RASTA:
    Selected Court Documents
    from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
    about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99