• Everyone's busy making giant puppets for this morning's protests.
  • Everyone's in Palm Beach [good explanation of why it's easy to park on the upper east side, but not why my email volume dropped to zero]
  • Everyone's at daVinci or Matisse Picasso [but we took a chance last night and had MoMA QNS practically to ourselves at the opening. Traffic sucked, though.]
  • I changed my DNS settings, and now my mail forwards in the reverse direction from before.

  • February 14, 2003

    Get Your War Plan On


    Highlights from a Clear Channel memo showing how the war will play out on their homogenized network of radio stations (via robotwisdom):

  • " If War breaks out after 10AM M-F please make sure that we call Joe and Jack to come in and take KSTE into long-form as well.
    Our Coverage will be called America's War with Iraq In writing copy please call our coverage, 'LIVE In-Depth Team Coverage of America's War with Iraq.' "
  • "Remember, don't do local just to do local. This is an international/national story and the nets do a great job...If you are going to make a mistake, do too much network. Especially early. THIS IS WAR."
  • "The initial hours of coverage are critical. People who have never listened to our stations will be tuning in out of curiosity, desperation, panic and a hunger for information. RIGHT NOW, convert them to P-1's, or at least make them a future cumer. [sic]"
  • " Monitor TV networks and local stations for contacts and leads. If they have good ideas, turn them around and quickly make them our own. Don't forget, when appropriate use language like 'a Newstalk 1530 KFBK exclusive' 'a story you are only hearing on KFBK' or 'a story you heard first on KFBK'. Make sure we own being FIRST."
  • "...if we have specialty shows that can't or won't talk about the war, we will probably blow them off. Even Dr. Laura. Remember, no fishing shows, gardening shows. We are AT WAR. In the opening minutes of coverage blow off commercials. Contact me immediately."

  • February 13, 2003

    It's A Small World After All

    Disneyland's It's a Small World, by Mary Blair, image: bobstaake.com It's time we're aware designed by Mary Blair image: bobstaake.com

    Which, according to some people, should make it easier for the US to tell it what to do.
    Sarah Lyall's Times article: "A Sense of Fine Qualities Trampled and of Something 'Terribly Wrong'"

    For future reference, Ben Hammersley's interesting Guardian article about emerging bands like The Grateful Dead, Phish and others who are starting to let concertgoers to make and trade high-quality recordings. etree.org brings them all together, and the Internet Archive has even more. Brewster Kahle mentions it, too, while preaching about the coming paradise of shared human knowledge in this LOC speech. {via boingboing]

    Daniel Bozhkov's Larry King crop circle, image: centralmaine.com

    Hmm. Wethinks the lady doth protest too much. Hannity gets a mention, as does Colmes, but Charlie Rose is conspicuously absent from Tina Brown's column on her "round table discussions rather than solo interviews" talk show. So who'ser daddy? "Solo interviewer" Larry King, of course. Tina's gleanings from the master:
  • "mastery of the lowbrow"
  • "iron-butt stamina"
  • "a toddler-like short attention span"
  • "Everyman questions that defy the danger of Deep Thoughts"
  • "[I am] on a crusade to make every bore interesting."

    Bonus 1: The artist Daniel Bozhkov created a giant crop circle of Larry King. His exhibit about the project (including on-air discussion of the project by Larry and his guest, the art critic formerly known as Matthew Perry) closes at Andrew Kreps Gallery this weekend [Where's the website, Andrew?]
    Bonus 2: Talking Points Memo has hilarious-but-painful-but-true commentary on Larry's interviewing style. Required reading for new talk show hosts. You will be graded on this.

  • February 12, 2003

    On Thomas Struth On Art

    struth_alte_pinatotek.jpg
    Alte Pinakothek, Selftportrait, Munich, 2000, Thomas Struth

    The other night, I heard the photographer Thomas Struth talk about his work. A friend (who has a far more serious art habit than even I do) hosted a reception for the artist in his office. Extra Struths, brought out of storage for the evening, rested on stacks of printer paper, an installation technique you don't see at the artist's current one-man show at the Met.

    Struth spoke very quietly, but determinedly, about his work and the ideas and process behind it. He's clearly contemplative, and some of his most well-known works are unabashedly about contemplation (his Paradise junglescapes and his photos of museumgoers). He described his decades-long relationship with the 1500 self-portrait of Albrecht Durer (above) and his fascination with its unusual gaze. By putting himself in the photo (that's Struth's shoulder), he wanted to capture a moment of a conversation, while readily allowing that the two figures may not be saying anything to each other.

    He caught me off guard, though, by referring to the photo's cinematic character; but sure enough, the framing, blocking and "sightlines" are from one half of a shot/reverse-shot, the continuity editing staple for depicting a two-person conversation. Struth wanted to portray a conversation that crosses 500 years (he shot it in 2000), a long-term perspective Struth finds shamefully absent today.

    "No one [in the current political situation] looks forward even 50 years; they only look to their next election." Struth then ruminated on art worlders and what they could do to pull the real world back from the brink of war. "We're here, in the office of [one of the wealthiest men in the world], there are so many influential people in the art world. Why don't people use this powerful social network" to avert this global disaster?

    Nervous silence, nervous chatter, and then a spurt of panged/defensive hands, as a few people tried to explain how our "standing here sipping champagne" was actually alright. An older guy with a Palm Beach tan leaned over and murmured to me, "I think we're going in the wrong direction." "That's exactly what he's talking about," I deadpanned, "Oh, you mean the conversation." Soon, we returned, quickly, safely, and completely, to discussions of how, exactly, he was able to get that amazing shot of the Parthenon. ("Because I've tried to shoot it every time I go, and it's just so dark!")

    One implication in Struth's photo, which cannot be avoided, of course, is our own responsibility. Shot/reverse-shot technique uses two components to establish the shared space; a reverse shot is needed. It would be a shot of Struth (and all of us, in the present day, standing in museums and galleries and private collections) from the perspective of Durer's painted space, maybe over the 16th-century artist's shoulder, a shot looking far into the future.

    Alone Together, by David Graham, image: pondpress.com

    Hardly ever, frankly. But William Hamilton's wonderful story of the Kellams, a couple who lived alone, together, on an island off Mount Desert Island, really got me for some reason. Hamilton mentions David Graham's book about the couple, Alone Together, published by Ponds Press

    "What did he read to you," Mrs. Kellam was asked...

    "It was always the right thing," she answered...

    Kippy Stroud, a summer resident who runs an arts camp on Mount Desert Island, said, "We just admired them so much." Ms. Stroud introduced Mr. Graham, William Wegman and other artists to Placentia to see the Kellams' world as it faded, like a patch of light in a forest.

    The story has the best ending I've ever read.

    Forget duct tape. We have people for that kind of thing.

    A quick turn around the neighborhood reveals what's really standing between me and preparedness:

  • Elaborate jacket for my toy dog
  • Toy dog
  • Silver-tipped walking stick
  • Mink "driving coat." Sorry, dude, it's a swing coat. You know how, even though you call'em clamdiggers, they're still capri pants? Same thing.
  • Minions

  • February 11, 2003

    The Oscars: A Musical Comedy


    About the Oscar nominations: Chicago is to movies what painted cows are to art.

    February 11, 2003

    What're THINK Thinking?

    Team_Think_WTC_vinoly_WCC_SB.jpg
    Team THINK's winning WTC design: lattice towers with a, um,
    museum? embedded in it image: vinoly.com

    Goin' to hear THINK architect/model Rafael Vinoly at Urban Center tonight (as suggested by Gawker)? Ask him if the reason he was a no-show yesterday on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show was that listener's early comment, which surprised Lehrer, about how THINK's towers appear to have an airplane embedded in it? Listen to the exchange is in the "3rd audio clip. [2016 updated link to WNYC archive page currently has no audio.]

    [Note: If you watch THINK's video on The NYT's slideshow, the shape of the "airplane" is quite different; it looks more like a giant aluminum cheese straw. For THINK's sake, I hope that's closer to their intentions. One team of architects trying to sneak a shudder-inducing memorial past us is more than enough, thanks.]
    [2016 update: lmao of course most of these links are dead, I cannot BELIEVE that the realaudio of WNYC's show from 13 yrs earlier is not there anymore! But I un-hotlinked and updated the image and the Vinoly link. Swimming against the tide of time, also Gawker RIP]

    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

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