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To close out the year, the “Musee des lettres et Manuscrits”(the museum of letters and manuscripts) is having a exhibition called “parlez-moi d’amour”(speak to me about love), a show about love letters.

An appropriate way to close out and begin the new year. Sorry, it’s all in French but here’s a link to a BBC story about it (got to love the french pornographer’s “non de porn”, John B Root, a play on the word “biroute”, which loosely translated means “dick”; a biroute is also a wind sock, like those you may have spied at airports). What a perfect name for that ever temporal, directional, inflatable and eminently engorge-able!

Since we frogs have a museum for just about everything, here is what my contribution to french culture will be, when and if I make my millions and move back to France to donate a sizable portion of my nouvelle fortune to this newly formed cultural institution: “The Gift Shop Museum“, the museum for and about museum gift shops.

Happy New Yeah…….. wherever and whenever your wind blows!

Walton Ford

Walton Ford is one of my favorite contemporary artists. Taschen has just come out with a book I can’t afford but thankfully his work is readily available on the web, albeit a little small for my taste. I have not had the pleasure of seeing his painting up close but I am sure I won’t be disappointed but thankfully his work is readily available on the web, albeit a little small for my taste. I have not had the pleasure of seeing his paintings up close but I am sure I won’t be disappointed.

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Iapetus

It stands to reason to finish out the year with images of Iapetus. Discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1671 it is Saturn’s third largest moon.
These images were taken by the Cassini-Huygens space craft and to my mind represents all that is great about humankind. Discovery, creativity, wonder, love, intelligence, curiosity, generosity…..Let’s just hope that the odds in 2008 will be stacked in those favors. But at least, when the going gets rough, I’ll always have JPL to go to and marvel at what we can do, as oppose to what we did.

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PS: Nevertheless, let’s be thankful that Iapetus is a little too far away as I foresee a day when this moon will probably be turned in to the solar system’s largest Alpine getaway.

The Akurians….

Unlike most people, I actually like to read my spam from time to time, at least the stuff that makes it past the filters. Call it a kind of divine random selection, like prehensile tails or nipples on men.
Like the rest of you I get my fair share of spam, but sometimes, something so fabulous comes throught, that it would be a shame not to disseminate it to the rest of you who do not bother digging through the internet’s feces, like I do.

0118 “”In the Very Beginning, before I created myself out of myself, and before I created anything, I pondered (thought through) everything: knowing the beginning of everything, knowing the where of everything, and knowing the ending of everything; that there should be neither mistake nor falsity in anything that I should do; nor any filth or pollution anywhere in My Perfection. Yea! I considered all things, without exception, before I created anything.
0119 “”And the first of My Creations was to create myself out of myself.
0120 “”In the Very Beginning of All Other Living Things after I created myself out of myself, I created Elisha (EL-ISH-AH, First of Me), a help meet (sufficient) unto me.
0121 “”In the Very Beginning, after I created myself out of myself and after I created Elisha, I created time, that there should be an accounting: a then that was, and a now that is, and a then that shall be; and when I created time, I determined the Very Beginning and the Very Ending, when all I have created shall come before me and present full account.
0122 “”In the Very Beginning of Time, I created many Heavens, and many Realms, and many Planes, and many Places; and I established the order of them, and the nature of them, both Righteous and Evil: that there be Excellence of Knowledge and Wisdom wheresoever creation should be. Then unto all the Heavens and all the Realms and all the Planes and all the Places I created the first of all Living Souls: with free will to become as I am, for I am a God of Life and I want many to be as I am, that I may become greater to provide more life and more abundance for all I have created.
0123 “”In the very beginning of all living souls, I brought forth many great numbers of them instantly and at the same time, that they all be equal and none above the other and none superior to the other in any manner: for I had already established that life would be, and life would be the essence of purity, and purity would be the essence of the soul, and the soul would be the essence of the spirit, and the spirit would be the essence of free will, and free will would be the essence of discipline, and discipline would be the essence of cognizance, and cognizance would be the essence of recognition, and recognition would be the essence of consciousness, and consciousness would be the essence of mind, and mind would be the essence of intelligence, and intelligence would be the essence of all comprehension.

Read on at the Akurian website and don’t forget to browse the gallery and the links.

Artfully so…

In 2008 I will be posting photo stories I won’t be doing, but which, if they have not already been done, you may “Artfully” shoot for yourself. Remember, you can shoot almost anything, and depending on how you package it, you can make a name for yourself. If you persevere and produce “a body of work” consisting of more than six, but no less than twelve of these stories within a calendar year, and in a somewhat recognizable personal style, you will ………

Begin here/Story One:

Go to strip clubs with a large format camera and shoot the audience watching the show(do not shoot the striper). Report to the authorities when you are done. You will need around 30 to 40 images of strip clubs throughout the country and the world, if possible. The rest is up to you. Good luck……

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Photo by: Unknown.

This image is only meant to reference the story idea above, it was found online and should by no means be copied or imitated. It’s posted purpose should only be viewed and used as stated references.

WARNING: This electronic transmission contains confidential information intended only for the above named recipient. Any use, distribution, copying, or disclosure by any other above named recipient is strictly prohibited. If you received this transmission in error, please notify the sender by return e-mail and delete all copies of this message. Corsican lap dances are the registered trademark of Olivier Laude. The use of sexual innuendoes containing the words ” Lap, Corsican, or Dance” are strickly prohibited without the author’s explicit and prior consent .
This message is the property of Olivier Laude or its affiliates. It may be legally privileged and/or confidential and is intended only for the use of Olivier Laude or its affiliates. No one but Olivier Laude or its affiliates should forward, print, copy, or otherwise reproduce this message in any manner that would allow it to be viewed by anyone but Olivier Laude or its affiliates, not originally listed as a recipient. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any unauthorized disclosure, dissemination, distribution, copying or the taking of any action in reliance on the information herein is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete this message.

Chandelier for street lights.

rrt

Back from four days in LA. Southwest to Burbank, lunch with Maren and Shushi for Christmas with Adrienne. Best part of Christmas is not thinking that virgin’s birth. Murakami, Thai massages, farmers market and Third street, Griffith’s observatory, Venice to see skanks, tar pits to Japantown, looked up Adrienne’s skirts, fro yo and Pinkberry’s; all in all a tasty treat.

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PS: “Gulbuddin Hekmatyar” How I wish I could stone your ass to death. Where are you, you sack of shit?

The glory of Rome.

Me and the old lady are off to LA tomorrow, in the “Ante Meridiem”. Time for a little R and R and some of that good ole mock procreation. We’ll be back next week to continue this miraculous time suck.

So, in the meantime, have yourself a nice little bit of consumption, don’t forget to let your children have a little bit of that champagne but don’t go off a drinking that sparkling shit or the Moet will go off and stick it up your Chandon. See y’all bitches in Rome….

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Les grandes et inestimables croniques : du grant et enorme geant……

It seems that everyone is compiling lists fit to educate the coming year. Classically trained, and not one to be culturally outdone, I have also compiled a short list of French Classics, save one: “The Golden Ass”.

I plan on re-reading them all in 2008. They are all available in French and in English and are truly great books. Do your own googling, I ain’t linking…. you might stumble upon something great, instead of following my leads. These are all books I read as a kid and remember vividly. Twelve in all, one per month.

1- Candide, Voltaire.
2- L’Ingénu, Voltaire.
3- La Chevelure, Guy de Maupassant.
4- Le Horla, Guy de Maupassant.
5- Gargantua, François Rabelais.
6- Pantagruel, François Rabelais.
7- The Golden Ass, Lucius Apuleius.
8- Michel Strogoff, Jules Verne
9- Les Mystères de Paris, Eugene Sue.
10- La Gloire de mon père, Marcel Pagnol.
11- Le Château de ma mère, Marcel Pagnol
12- Vol de nuit, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

PS: So much for those top tens, top twelve is where it’s out.

Bikini Wax, Brazilians and Root canals…

Yesterday, while searching You-tube for root canals, I aimlessly, inadvertently and serendipitously wandered; what else could I do. Like a long strand of DNA, YouTube seams to work that way, randomly leading you astray; from bikini wax to Brazilians to root canals. Root canals are not that interesting but I just happen to be very naturally curious and simply wished to compare the actual process as opposed to how I actually lived it, yesterday.

One of my molars needed a drilling, and since nature has a way of repaying you for ignoring to furtively look its way, it just happened to be one of those days when fate’s suggestive forces dictated I spend a morning getting drilled and up rooted. Contrary to public expectations, root canals are fairly painless. The dental arts have made great progress and can now provide us with the painless convenience of laughing uproariously without looking like the village idiot *.

Anyway, and like everything else, the bikini wax, the brazilian, the boyzilian or Carpecian, what you are about to see, got me to thinking about the state of “Photography Today”.

I know this does not seem neatly related but please bare with me, at least for the next minute of your own peregrinated wanderings on our beloved communication superhighway, hear me out before you move on to this delectably Anglo interneted. I got to thinking that, paradoxically, that photography has become so absurdly specific as to increasingly value projects, based solely on how specific and narrow they actually be.

More and more, photographers, and its consuming masses are rewarding those among us who display the ability to document microscopic slices of our universes. In order to garner attention from the fickle masses, we are slowly reducing everything into anecdotally and easily consumed bite size pieces. The human race has become more and more specialized in its pursuits of creativity and is slowly ingesting, but in prodigiously Gargantuan quantities, smaller and smaller pieces. From the cave, to the niche, to the nook, to the crevice, we are more and more rapidly consuming smaller and smaller ideas, and retreating deeper and deeper…. into Plato’s cave.

*BTW, if you do not appreciate long winded run on sentences, this probably isn’t your place

Frédéric….

I have been looking for Tahoe vacation rentals for my older brother Frédéric, and consequently, he is foremost in my mind. He lives in Paris, France and has become one of the world’s best orthopedic surgeons. That alone should make me extremely proud of him and make it a simple and easy matter to post a mention of his accomplishments here; but what compels me to do so is far more universal.

Even though, my brother and I are very different, we share some very fundamental characteristics, a unique fruit cocktail of my mother and father’s traits, which and with time, has made us both who we are, but first and foremost, we are brothers. I was reminded of this, in a nice way, by reading Stefan Rohner’s latest blog entry.

My big brother has taught me much but I have always known that he has always loved me more then any other play mate. When we were just little kids he would cry inconsolably for me, if I got hurt and was in pain, and this I knew showed, that despite our relative differences, he loved his little brother, “L’ olivier”.

Brotherhood is an extraordinary bond, and if you are going to have kids, at the very least, give them someone to play with. Today, I was certainly happy and grateful to be once again reminded.

Frédéric, if you ever need it, you can have either one of my kidneys……and whatever else you ever need from me.

frederic

From Left to right, excluding newly married couple: My mother in her early thirties, my brother Frédéric, unknown relative, and yours truly, approximately 4 years of age (my son Raphael and I at this age looked so much like each other, as it to be genetically freaky).

“Bah, fucking, humbug..!”

What have we done to deserve this? First they put a fucking idiot in office, procreate like bush rabbits… and now this….. Enough already! and the fucking thing lights up too, aaargh!

Yo, Kincade, where is that IED when you really it, I mean, really…. Thomas, next year, I promise, I am signing you up for:….. “The Running of the Car Bombs”…., and please, paint thy bird finger, and shove it up where it don’t light up; I beg you, please….!

kinky

Stick and Steak…..

What if, and if only, the intromittent sexual organ wasn’t just, a spongiform, but a muscle, prone to serve the same functions, as to produce both frequent and infrequent, voluntary and involuntary, autonomic obfuscations?

And furthermore, I am to presume that he is just simply trying to pop off the Stick and Stay, and indicate that he is indeed ready for a carvin’…..

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Photo: Per Bernal

One bird, two fingers.., Julian Richards interviewed.

perkinlovely
Image: Perkin Lovely.

Julian Richards is a “top tier” artist representative in New York City. After a mutual acquaintance introduced us, I thought it instructive to follow in MDM’s footsteps, and start running “Dear Leader” interviews. I was not disappointed by his responses but rather felt that I, should have worked a little harder on the questions. But if you feel that the interviewer’s job is to make the interviewee shine through, then I must have done a good job of it; or was it an inevitability, given the personality.

To put it mildly, few things are more entertaining than intelligence, eloquence, self confidence and comedy, all wrapped up in one lusciously human representative.

Begin here:

DL: Describe your kitchen sink?

JR: A single piece of concrete carved by our friend Trevor Heatherington into a dynamic reenactment of the Tiresius myth. He’s prodding the fornicating snakes with a stick, mid-way through his metamorphosis. It’s like a Bernini, but lumpier. The hot and cold faucets are particularly arresting – realistic arrangements of his male and female genitals, respectively. It’s kind of a rite of passage at our home for visitors to be photographed drinking directly from the orifices (ordinarily men from the cold, women from the hot) whilst grinning libidinously at the camera. We have a gallery of polaroids on the wall by the fridge. Hilarious, eh?

DL: If you could choose to come back as a prairie, which one would it be, and would you let anybody till ye?

JR: I’m not really clear what a prairie is. If I were to come back as a fairy it might be WH Auden.

DL: What living person do you most admire, be specific ?

JR: It changes. There’s this actress Natacha Regnier who is the right shape. She occasionally gets my aching admiration.

DL: Do you love all your children equally?

JR: Over an extended period, probably. But there are huge fluctuations over the short term. They offer very different challenges.

DL: Is there something photography is lacking, if anything?

JR: I can’t help thinking that it lacks so much, simply because of its inherent limitations. In that sense you can’t blame it. But you can feel a bit embarrassed observing it’s importance being inflated to laughable proportions. Photography is the homeland that flocks of itinerant charlatans have spent generations seeking. It it so replete with the ordinary pretending to be extraordinary … and I’m as guilty as anyone of lionizing mediocrity – my home-loan company requires it of me. I suppose there’s an academic argument for it being the art form of our age … shabby times, given to a relentless stream of product rendered quickly for an audience of glazed eyes and dull, lazy minds. As such I suppose it becomes relevant as a kind of cultural emblem. This relevance, however, doesn’t go far in offsetting the paucity of the experience of dealing with what is frequently required of us on a day-to-day basis. But like anything, if you suspend disbelief and confer special status upon material which is deeply banal, you can quickly build yourself a new hierarchy of value whereby bad is good and okay is wonderful … and ten minutes later you can confidently pontificate upon such things as ‘greatness’ and ‘beauty’. People will apparently know what you’re talking about and nod accordingly. Maybe you can even sell some stuff.

DL: If you were to be given just one print to give to former Senator Joseph McCarthy, what would it be and how would you deliver it?

JR: I don’t think I’d bother, really. Maybe if it was simply a matter of emailing him something off one of those Amatrice Francaise sites. It’s nice to have a reason to poke about in there for a half hour.

DL: What do you dislike most about bakeries?

JR: Most of the women in them aren’t naked.

DL: If you could change soft core pornography, how and who would it be?

JR: I guess make it less content to be soft. I like the tension between soft straining against the impulse to be hard. Who? Some of my friends’ girlfriends, probably. I’m interested in tinkering with the unfamiliar/familiar equilibrium.

DL: Are you in it for the money?

JR: Yes, naturally. There are other ingredients, but the absence of any one of them alone wouldn’t be reason alone to stop. Without money though, it would be over in a heartbeat.

DL: Any further penchants you’d like to reveal, unofficially?

JR: They are so prosaic I think it would be hard to stifle a yawn. I like to think I have my own unique niches in the canon of the commonplace, but perhaps I don’t … and anyway it’d take too much time and penmanship to state them prettily. They tend to wiggle about.

DL: Is there anything else you need, besides money?

JR: I need objects for the unholy bits of my imagination to alight upon.

DL: Favorite childhood cheeses?

JR: I remember discovering that camembert sometimes smells like semen. Still tastes good though. I’ve since noticed that day-old pancake mix has a similar quality.

DL: Which talent would you most like to have and how much would you pay to get it, Euros please?

JR: I can’t afford to shop in euros, I earn my crusts in dollars which are currently equivalent to the Namibian Lucky Bean. I have always aspired to possessing talents which might alchemise me into a state of irresistibility. Hypnotism, manufacture of persuasive pharmaceuticals, knot-tying, those kinds of things.

DL: If you were one of those emoticons, which one would you be, and how big?

JR: The sunny vagina, 1:12

DL: What is your most treasured possession and would you give it to me, if I asked nicely?

JR: If I lived in a land where spouses were still considered goods and chattel I might entertain a loan or a swap under very special circumstances. What you got?

DL: What is “clam happy”?

JR: See response to emoticon question above.

DL: What are the upper body qualities you most like in a woman, or a man, if that doesn’t do it for ye?

JR: Modest dimensions, please.

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DL: What is the greatest love of your life and will it love you back, eventually?

JR: Overall I’m happy being the less loved in the greatest love equation. The inequality keeps the horizon line in view and the mystery of the other side intact. Who knows (or wants to know) what the landscape looks like once you crest the hill? Some fetid bog pocked with slag-heaps and sulfurous chimneys? Or just a flat expanse of featureless nothingness, like fucking Holland? Even if it’s better than that, it’s hardly likely to outdo the euphoric pornography of my imagination. So better to keep panting and chasing.

DL: How many horse-ladies in your Apocalypse?

JR: A brace of small-breasted ones.

DL: Who are your heroes, and do they even know you exist?

JR: I’m not sure I have any. Which isn’t as cynical as it sounds, it’s simply a matter of age and cheerful skepticism. Given time, most heroes seem to acquire feet of clay. Possibly I have a few dead ones, but I’d be irritated to see them stated as such, especially by me. Obsessions, however, would be a different story, although they might not be whole human beings. Just bits.

DL: Is this mildly annoying?

JR: Not at all, it’s mildly flattering to be asked.

DL: Chicken or fish?

JR: I’m afraid I need a url to answer this.

DL: How’s thing?

Hardy Bush.

Once again I find myself on Market and 16th, browsing Books Inc. As frequent readers of this electronic entity know, I am a male hetero living “In the Ghaytto”, in San Francisco. My sources tell me that the Castro is being gentrified my breeders, as older gay men leave, sadly, to relocate to less expensive pastures, Guerneville namely, at least that’s the word on the street. Anyway, that’s besides the point as I am here to discuss erotigay, as I stumble upon it, or rather, as it stumbles upon me. As previously mentioned I am quite fond of most gay specific imagery and seek it out every weekend, after coffee (on n’est pas des cochons, on se leve vers huit heures et demi le samedi).

As an aside and just in case you are reading me from a non Judeo-Christian country, we in the West have a holiday which yearly celebrates the virgin birth of a man also know as Jesus Christ, AKA ,JESUS, Jesus fucking Christ, Geeeez…uss Christ almighty!!!; anyway you get the idea. Christmas is a time of joy and gift giving in our country and come December 25th, we shower those we love with, quite literally, millions of tons of joy and gifts. I feel compelled to mention this as Books inc is peddling its annual Christmas selection of published gayrotica. This makes for wonderful perusing. I love it.

Upon entering I immediately came upon the new Harry Bush book “Hard Boys”. Whoaaaa! I very much like it. I won’t review it here since I do not do that kind of thing but you can find one here. Harry Bush’s work reminds me of what a talented pupil might have been sketching to stave off ennui, in Mrs. Perkins high school chemistry. Don’t let the cover fool you, crack it open and check out the packaged goods within. It’s definitely worth a look see.

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Marsasart….or, Buford Herring’s Q3.

I am currently developing a line of photography based video games with Atari. This up coming video gaming library will be available for purchase on this site in Q3.

The franchise’s titles we are currently developing and market testing are being quickly expanded to satisfy the needs of the gaming and discerning visual creator’s library.

Titles available in Q3 :

“Terry’s Pro Shooter 4”: Join Terry Richardson and shoot socialites and celebrities in New York’s heavily defended upper East Side social gatherings . Join Terry and shoot your wad on your gallerist’s tits and fornicate with up to 16 online players, featuring never before seen multi-player hotel-animatronics. New “T4™” joy sticks, deliver unmatched social climbing and positioning while you surf Lexington and 85th, survive a debutante’s dream body and join the “Crank Gang” to roam deserted streets.

“I’m Diane Arbus, bitch!”: Join Diane Arbus and Joel Meyerowitz as they challenge you to make your mark in the fast moving world of street photography, capture the elusive with startling flash photography, evade polices and street sweeps. Dive in an unprecedented 353 levels of “Street’s” and “Hobo-photography”. Redeem camera credit anthologies or clash with angry mobs in ‘The Grid”, in level 3.

“June’s Weddin’ 3?. Capture lifetime memories, indulge in our virtual 3D wedding planning and catering and try out our “Brother’s Speech Slurring” technology, catch the garter and bone aunt Mary. But Avoid our “Dry Heaves’” pit to fly to honeymooning Tahiti, but plan it well or beware of version 3’s “Her Hidden Newly Hitched Neurosis™” .

” SS-ex Freaky”, Join Michio Nobuyoshi and capture “The Money Shot™”. Explore your sexual identity within our 7 multi-player levels of split-screen love nut busting 3D virtual reality. Our unprecedented “Scratch and Sniff™” and online avatar slut technology gives you a unique 360 intensity and unheard off directorial gaming abilities.

“Call of Art Basel 3?. Follow your favorite artists and critics to Basel and Miami, drink appleteenies and make your assistants fly economy. Virtual “You Sell Them Larry™” and 3D horn rim technology. Navigate our new multi-player online HD booth technology and live the breathlessly real, contemporary cinematic fury of collectors, artists and critics.

“Conde Nasty 3?: Travel French counties for Conde Nasty and shoot lifestyle of real Caucasian “Hottie”. Our “Quaint™” technology will have your eating organics and driving antique French Citroen 2CVs. Pose near lavender fields, smiling country bumpkins and 300 kinds of stinky cheeses. Restore your peace and harmony with our new Euro-3D virtual realities.
Choose from one of our twelve traveling possibilities but start with “Richy Rich” or “Bobo Pastorialist”, and then move on to level three and “Landed Gentry”. Graduate to ” Grand Thai Whore Mongery”.

This game is also available in travel Adrenaline, Medical and Sexual tourist; breath taking gaming combinations of :”I’m Diane Arbus, bitch!”, ” SS-ex Freaky” and “Conde Nasty 3?. Shoot those adorable Guatemalan hill ladies or “Run for your life in Karachi”.

more to come….. Stay tuned to further developments and to all our upcoming gaming possibilities.

“When, a Scandinavian Sex God….”

gen-s

After re-viewing that “I was a sex god in Soviet Estonia”, I was reminded of David Hamilton‘s work. David Hamilton has been doing his part to piss off the religious right for the better part of the last century; and when I was a kid in France, in the seventies, his work was all the rage; and like strikes, George Marchais and the CGT, he was everywhere he wanted.

Of course his work has come under fire in the United States as “child pornography”. Since I won’t even think of touching that one with any pole, of any length, I’ll let you do your own special judging. I also could not really find any Hamilton images by searching, so instead I found and am posting (not at work…oops, too late) a generic nude from the seventies, to titillate your puns intended.

What I find enviable about the seventies nude aesthetics is how unique and specific it churned out to be. I suspect that the work of David Hamilton was a huge influence on the genre but also within photography’s subsequent struggles with Thatcher-Reaganite era censorship. For better or for worst, David Hamilton’s work was hugely influential to generations of photographers, from Jock Sturges to Sally Mann, and to all those fashion appropriated, one might see in Vogue or W these days; tame emulations of his kitschy erotic masquerades. At the end of the day David Hamilton’s work fell victim to the religiously rabid masses, the moral policing of a world bent on censoring the relative validity of The Hamiltons and Sturges.

Invariably those self righteous religious fascists bitches turned out to be pornography’s biggest consuming masses; they themselves the true agents and perpetrators of pedophilial sexual abuses; all the while diverting attention from themselves and onto those few who may not necessarily deserve it, or be tied to the whipping post of the fearful and “coincer”.

PS: Hamilton openly acknowledges that his photos depict their subjects as idealized sexual fantasy objects for men attracted to young girls.”There’s only three of us in this business. Nabokov penned it, Balthus painted it, and I photographed it.” This comparison is more than a little self-serving; David Hamilton is more like the Maxfield Parrish of softcore porn.

Whatever is to be said about him, we live in a world were work like his, becomes almost impossible to judge, exhibit or discuss publicly. The cacophony of a fearful public along with the resurgence, exploitation and trade of millions of innocent sex slaves makes for artistic suicide these days. We live in a fugly world, no matter how and with whom you look at it !

Doing it Soviet Estonian style…

Quick, before this blog gets dreary. This one is for you Gabriela. Gabriela runs a blog in Tartu, Estonia and I visit it from time to time. She has a good eye and is always exploring it, but what I love most about her work is that it gives you a good sense of the seasons in the Baltic state that is Estonia. In the past few years, I have become quite familiar with her friends, family and lifestyle. She gives off a good vibe, she feel vivacious, honest, intelligent and full of youthful fun.

As an aside here is a montage her parents might have seen on Estonian TV, way back in the Soviet Seventies. Straight from the studio of Mr.Chicken himself Harry Egipt.

Revenge of the Cretins.

My friend Richard emailed me this Newsweek article this morning and it set my blood a boiling. You’ll need to read Peter Plagens cretinous musings and come back to me but if you should feel unwilling to budge from this august blogging, I shall furnish you with an excerpt, which more or less sums it:

“Yet wandering the galleries of these two shows, you can’t help but wonder if the entire medium hasn’t fractured itself beyond all recognition. Sculpture did the same thing a while back, so that now “sculpture” can indicate a hole in the ground as readily as a bronze statue. Digitalization has made much of art photography’s vast variety possible. But it’s also a major reason that, 25 years after the technology exploded what photography could do and be, the medium seems to have lost its soul. Film photography’s artistic cachet was always that no matter how much darkroom fiddling someone added to a photograph, the picture was, at its core, a record of something real that occurred in front of the camera. A digital photograph, on the other hand, can be a Photoshop fairy tale, containing only a tiny trace of a small fragment of reality. By now, we’ve witnessed all the magical morphing and seen all the clever tricks that have turned so many photographers—formerly bearers of truth—into conjurers of fiction. It’s hard to say “gee whiz” anymore. Art and truth used to be fast friends. Until the beginning of modernism, the most admired quality in Western art was mimesis—objects in painting and sculpture closely resembling things in real life.”

WTF, what’s wrong with this Newsweek? Hasn’t he finally understood that any form of visual art will inexorably migrate from the descriptive to the imaginary, and sometimes all at once. As a new visual medium is created, most creative artists will explore its ability to record reality. It stands to reason, obviously, but shortly thereafter the artist will explore his or her inner thing thingies. That’s just the way it goes.

What happened with photography is that very quickly, in the 19th and early 20th century, photographers both documented, copied other visual arts like painting but also started to explore the medium’s possibilities as just another tool for self-expression. It’s the critiques and some photographers who are guilty of narrowing the medium by straight jacketing what photography should and should not do, or be.

It also happened that the 20th century was so incredibly violent and momentous that documenting these epics started to overtake the more imaginative aspects of photography. I mean really, would a self respecting talent continue exploring the joys of one’s imaginations when genocide and bombs are ripping the very fabric of the society he or she lived in. Probably not. Conflicts put documentarists on top of the “Photographic food chain”, and from which they comfortably dictated what it was to be a photographer, what photography ought to achieve and to what aims it should point its machines.

What is happening right now is that photographers and artists from around the world are rediscovering the medium thru technology, just like the camera, itself a breakthrough technology at the time allowed artists the freedom to go nuts with possibilities. Nevertheless, art tends to migrate from the pictorial to the conceptual or the imaginary, as a matter of maturity, and by that I do not mean that it get better or worst by aging. It is just a natural peregrination from the real to the dream, much as we ourselves live as we pass from day into night, the conscious to the subconscious. None of this is new, artists generally do not make the kind’s of discoveries which truly shape our societies, they generally respond to them and express them visually or conceptually, wether they know it or are unconsciously doing it. Darwin devalued the divine and Freud elaborated on the ego and the Id, Einstein equated the space time but Duchamps and Warhol only followed their lead, by sensing those earth shaking ideas and expressing them in cave paintings.

So when you try to figure out what is art or what photography is, don’t bother with the minutia, just remember that there’s good art and bad art only. It’s hard enough to divine those two out, as it already is. Never mind if photography ought to be representative, manipulative or imaginary. Is it good or is it bad, and good luck and good night….. bitch….!

Our friend “Crystal”….

vive

What’s in pork larb that gets me every time? After an early lunch I walked over to Park Life on Clement and bought a cuckoo clock for thirteen bucks. What a deal, 24 hours for only thirteen. While I was at it I picked up the recently released “The Vice Photo Book”, as in Vice magazine, not “La Biblia”. Wouldn’t be caught dead with that thing, starts me sneezing and coughing something awful nasty.

The work within could simply be re-categorized as “punk photography”, or the “jack ass school of photo shoots” or “indie pics”,or whatever you wish it to be, but at the end of the day it does the world a fairly good service. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it has a certain sad sweetness, if not wetness, to it. The innocence of a youth stripped of what once might have been called inhibitions. Sorta like what Japan might have looked like if Panasonic had discovered and marketed crack, meth or ice.

The only thing I wonder about is what that stuff might look like if it had been shot by more talented photographers? Yet still, that’s part of the philosophy, appeal and aesthetics, so who am to think?

And another thing is! Is that Vice Magazine is already hopelessly outdated and cliche. What next? “Snuff Magazine”, the international magazine for those who like to kill ; oh but wait, that’s call “History”. Better yet “What does Philip Jones Griffith think, about all this?”

“Hao, hao, hao….”

One last nugget for today. I can’t really recall how many times I have watched this sort of programming while waiting for an official to show up and tell me to leave the county, as it is still officially closed to “foreign friends”, or in some dingy hotel room, in the deepest Sichuanese provincial hole I could find.

The narrator’s voice is typical of chinese TV or Radio narration. It’s essentially the voice of the state and I find it particularly interesting when governments go as far as to seemingly regulate the tone, intonation and pitch of its official broadcasts. This male voice, (there is a rooster and female voice too) narrates any and all programming on TV, wether it be an industrial output documentary, a travel piece about Tibet or how deliriously happy with the communist party, the Miaos in Guangxi happen to be.

This video also reminds me of visiting Mao’s mausoleum and watching the looks of utterly fearful stupefaction on the mourners faces, upon catching a glimpse of Mao’s mummified body.

Two birds, one finger…..

Here is what you might have been mesmerized by, back in 89′, if you had been moi, and watching a peasant’s 12 inch black and white TV screen. I have not been back to china since 1998 so may be now they do not need any more programming fillers such as these, but frankly it would be a shame to cancel and forgo such finely tuned communist chanting.

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but if this somehow doesn’t bore you enough, you can go to this site and watch the countdown to the 2008 Olympics. Let the page download fully and turn up the volume on the sound system. You won’t regret it as I always keep my promises.

In the Ghaytto…

butt

I am a resident of a San Francisco neighborhood called “The Castro”. You might have heard of it…! It all began as a refuge for WWII service men after they were discharged from the army for being homosexual. Come to think of it, this might be the reason why homosexuals are so fond of dressing up like the service men they once were. After all, it’s what started it all; but then again, may be, just may be…!

As I was saying, I live in the Castro and spend much time patronizing the commercial establishments catering to Eureka valley, as the Castro is also commonly known. On weekend mornings I have made it a habit to go to a local bookstore to peruse the books and magazine stand of one such mentioned establishment. One “zine” which has recently caught my eye is “Butt” magazine, “The Magazine for and about the homosexuelles“. Because I live in San Francisco and the Castro more specifically, as previously mentioned; I am constantly bombarded by images of male sexuality and have of course become quite enamored with its own sets of peculiarities. Something I always tend to do when I spend any length of time in places with personalities, which, as it turns out, is just about anywhere.

The nice thing about men appreciating men is that it takes on some of the same bewildering visual and cliched diversity that men, photographing women, have had the pleasure and freedom to indulge in, without fearing a heavy handed truncheoning at the hand of our best and most fearful moralists(not that they’ve stopped trying). On the other hand, it seems rather unfortunate that women, for the most part, do not seem to share the same exploitative and hormonal need to visually portray us men, with the same obsessive vigor, as straight and gay men seem to display towards the objects of their sexual desires. Do testes fancy imagery over and above that of their reproductive gonadotropin-releasing counterparts, the ovaries?

But enough of that, and as I was saying “Butt” magazine, for whatever reason has caught my attention, and this here last edition might yet become an instant classic, and if not with the rest of the world, at least with me and the boys. As with anything, the best part of it, is connecting random dots to weave one’s story.

So, here is one more proof that what you are is what you see: I woke up around 830 and off we went for coffee at Peets, on Market street. No more than a few paces from Peets stands “Books inc.”, a place for books and magazines. I picked up a copy of “Butt” as the image on the cover begged me, of course the boys are easily amused but this story does not so easily end here. We return home, eat breakfast and decide to head on over to the climbing gym to burn off some calories. Down Noe to 18th, but whom should we see struggling up the hill on a ten speed, it’s cover boy from Butt Magazine…! Same hair, same ethnicity, same high heels, same ten speed. Is this even a remote possibility, could it be or are we imagining?

So, down the hill we speed, with Raph and Gab exclaiming: “Papa, that’s the guy from Butt Magazine”….! Indeed……. but the best part of the story is that it wasn’t him, just a doppelgängerish coincidence, on Noe and 18th. Fate, had once again, seemed fit to discharge him, his high heels and ten speed, to roamed Eureka valley’s hills and gullies. The lad on Butt’s cover apparently lives and loves on his ten speed, in a city called London, and the chances of his traveling with his trusty steed to struggle up our hills, seem rather slim, don’t you think?

So, what’s the moral of this story?: “If you are what you see, keep looking; you never know what you might turn out to be“.