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Been making arrangements for a private preview of a new work by Jeremy Blake, who I've been friendly with for many years, since his first NY show. While putting together an email of links and background for people, I went back to the official site for Paul Anderson's film, Punch-Drunk Love [DVD, someday]. Under "movies", there is a collection of 14 haiku-like clips, which use liberal doses of Jeremy's abstracted work and Jon Brion's film music, often without any dialogue, or even ambient sound. They're really great, like a bowl of film candy.

A search of the web for any discussion of them turned up nothing, but ptanderson.com, the blow-away best "unofficial" filmmaker fansite around, comes to the rescue, sort of. In addition to a section on Jeremy and his work (including a what/where inventory of his work in PDL), there's a list of deleted scenes which maps pretty closely onto the website movies. PDL is the most overlooked movie of the award season. And not just acting/directing/writing, but the whole gamut of editing, production design, sound, lighting, music, I mean, come on.


The compelling/amusing Super Mario Brothers: A Literary Criticism (thanks, Jason!), which puts paid to my (non-)critique of the connections between Gerry, its filmic antecedents, and SimCity-style video games.

Q: When your cable modem drops its DNS settings, and your wireless network connection goes out while you're away for a few days, how many voicemails requesting you call your damn ISP can your neighbor leave before committing a breach of wi-fi netiquette? Does this number vary by coast?

Or is this the karmic price for your own use of the wi-fi connection you find blazing through your window when you're away?

February 22, 2003

And Also From The Guardian,

Steven Soderbergh, image: guardian.co.uk "When I snap my fingers, the box office will magically increase... image:guardian.co.uk

This interview with a philosophical Steven Soderbergh. Seems Full Frontal didn't even open in the UK, even though Miramax covered their own butts, cost-wise, by pre-selling the foreign rights.

daniel libeskind pointing to the elements of his model that won't be built, image: greg.org And (according to the Guardian), we'd really like to move forward with it. We made just a couple of notes, 'Kay?

  • The bathtub kept open as a memorial? We love it. What do you think about filling it in with a bus station? No, not all the way, just 2/3 or so.
  • The 1,776-foot tower? With the sky gardens? One word: Inspiring. Not gonna build it, but it's inspiring.
  • The memorial plaza that's sunny for one morning a year? Love it. If the developers throwing up a dense forest of towers all around the east, north and south of the site are onboard, I'm sure we can see about getting a day's worth of sunlight down there. A morning's worth, anyway.
  • Oh, and we had some of our guys whip up a giant glass atrium train station. Think you can you work that in, Daniel? Just thinking out loud here. Maybe on top of the bus station?

  • February 21, 2003

    On Museums On eBay


    This AP story [via the cool Scrubbles.net] from Indianapolis sounds like the tip of the iceberg: museum curators using ebay to add to their collections.

    My conversations about eBay with various curator friends all follow a predictable a trajectory: surprise that we're both eBay whores; polite envy over what the other scored; caginess over what we're looking for now; relief when we find out we're looking for different stuff; quick detente and an exchange of usernames when we find out we're buying the same stuff.

    Of course, now eBay's gonna turn my butt in to the Feds, as the EFF reports they're all too eager to do.

    February 21, 2003

    On Wooster Collective

    As I arrived at Gawker's launch party last week, I ran into some friends from my old consulting days. (I guess it's Nick's job to know everybody, and he does.) Anyway, their shoutout just before the elevator door closed, "we have a weblog, Wooster Collective" should be nominated for Undersell Of The Year.

    Gucci sidewalk photo, artist unknown, image: woostercollective.com

    Wooster Collective is a hoppin' arena of grafitti, stickers, stencil art and other street art, with updates coming more frequently than the 4-5-6 train at rush hour. In a remarkably short time, they've tapped into a sprawling network of artists and fans who contribute great stuff from far beyond Wooster.

    Some highlights: Posters of sidewalks by Gucci, et al; Peter Coffin's barcode stickers [Peter, you gotta tell me about this stuff...]; and Dan Witz interview, whose trompe l'oeil graf works are stunning.

    Matthew Barney as Gary Gilmore, but it's about that belt buckle, image:guggenheim.org
    Yeah, I want a Cremaster belt buckle, but not if it means
    getting executed in a salt arena... image: guggenheim.org

    'cuz it's gonna be all we talk and hear about for months (at least until Matrix Reloaded comes out). We're just suckers for an entirely fabricated, all-encompassing, and disturbing worldview. (What, the imagined world of Wolfowitz ain't scary enough?)

    Anyway, in the Times, Michael Kimmelman gets all sticky for the Cremaster show, which opens today at the Guggenheim. Note to all: Fridays through June 6, are hereby set aside for watching the entire 5-film Cycle, in order. You will be graded on this.

    Note to MB: If Prada teaches the world anything, it's to actually have a site up when you go wide with a marquee URL.

    Matthew Baldwin reports from the White House. President Bush: If you're against going to war against Iraq, it's because you're still trapped in a purely Newtonian worldview. As the work of quantum physicist Erwin Schr–dinger clearly shows, further UN inspections only run the risk of giving Hussein his sought-after WMDs.

    Talk about Old Europe. They should've explained this from the start.

    Buy In Search of Schrodinger's Cat by John Gribbin, which I haven't read, or Tor Norretranders' The User Illusion, which I have. Or, go the musical route, with "Dead or Alive," Baldwin's Schoolhouse Rock-style song about Schrodinger's Cat.

    Update: Please be aware that, while the above interview transcript is humor --a parody-- this alarmingly similar quote from Ken Pollack is not:

    I think that if we don't go to war this time around I don't think we will ever go to war with Saddam Hussein until he's acquired nuclear weapons. And then he picks the time and place of going to war ... if given my preference I would prefer not to be in the position we're in. But I can't turn back time. And we're in the position we're in. And at this point in time, as messy as it may be, I think that it is now or never. And now is a much better option than never.

    February 21, 2003

    Uh-Oh, Canada

    image: canadianmoose.comFirst, sorry I couldn't get this story out in time for Canadian Flag Day (Feb. 15, if you didn't know, and chances are, you didn't.) As every Canadian unlucky enough to cross my path the last couple of weeks can attest, I've been trying to get to the bottom of the well-known but underexamined "Canadian Flag On Backpack" (CFOB) technique of terror preparedness. It's Canadian Common Sense: when you travel abroad, sew a Canadian Flag on your backpack, and everywhere you go, everyone will treat you with friendly kindness. And let you sleep in their barn.

    To this embattled American, the explanations I've gotten range from the naively implausible ("It's gratitude for all our peacekeepers.") to the blindingly obvious ("It's so we're not mistaken for Americans.") to what I thought was the same thing ("It's just Canadian Pride.").

    Yeah but how'd it start? Look at the built-in assumptions: 1. You travel with a backpack 2. You travel with a backpack. My guess: It's a generational thing. The Maple Leaf flag was only adopted in 1965; Gen-X are the first to grow up with it. When they go abroad junior year, they take the flag with them. Douglas Coupland should be able to clear this up in no time.

    Interesting in peace-ier times, but only as much as it sheds light on the sudden surge of references I've found-- from far-flung media sources-- to Americans abroad using the CFOB technique to protect themselves from terrorists (or argumentative Old Europeans). As this MetaFilter thread shows, these "Canadians" are not a new phenom, either. Hell, when Americans could care less, like, say during the Kosovo crisis, big-time experts casually recommended Canadian drag, or at least avoiding American symbols (both clothing and TGIFriday's, I guess.)

    But the US administration seems to have set its sights on Canada now, which may bring an end to the benefits of posing as OR being Canadian. BoingBoing points to a story about a Canadian who had her passport shredded by the INS and who got shipped to India. Danny O'Brien writes about a Canadian they shipped to Syria, where he sits, uncharged, in jail. There's nothing on Ready.gov about CFOB, either. And since the insidious PATRIOT II act being proposed sets a far lower threshhold for stripping an American of his citizenship, who knows if sporting a Maple Leaf is enough to classify you as an "enemy of the US." My advice, if you're gonna be "Canadian" while you're abroad, fine. Behave yourself, make our northern neighbors proud. Just ditch the patch before you come back.
    [A heady read: Sean Maloney's Dec 2001 paper, "Canadian Values and National Security Policy: Who Decides?"]

    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.

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