Friday, August 28, 2015

another super bed-stuy sunset

when there's a strong chance of a thunderstorm, and it's 7:30 pm, and the bedroom fills with weird yellow light, you know you have to get to the roof...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Internet favorites: Giant, Loose, Unaffordable

Those who know me well know about my unstoppable passion for giant, loose clothing. Basically, if it looks like you might wear it as penance, I probably like it.

For example, I just bought this "raw-edge linen sack dress" in two colors:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Internet favorite: nuclear waste, the distant future, and invisible danger

I was reading Hiroshima when a friend emailed me about this project--how can we communicate the dangers of nuclear waste disposal sites to the mind-bogglingly distant future? These things stay dangerous 10,000 years, at which point "today's written languages are unlikely to survive."

This site, related to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, gave me nightmares and colored all my recent walks through the city.

The goal is to make a repulsive, unnatural place, that even without languages clearly telegraphs the following points:

This place is a message...and part of a system of attention to it!
Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.
This place is not a place of highly esteemed deed is commemorated here...nothing valued is here.
What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.
The danger is in a particular increases toward a center...the center of danger is here...of a particular size and shape, and below us.
The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours.
The danger is to the body, and it can kill.
The form of the danger is an emanation of energy.
The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place physically. This place is best shunned and left uninhabited.

I'm fascinated by the way the researchers reach into the distant past to think about what is universally beautiful or horrible to humans. For example, obelisks, spheres, cubes and other perfect geometric forms would show that the waste site is sacred in a good/important/valuable way. So many of the concepts include purposefully distorted forms--like a series of rectangular prisms that are all hacked off. It's clear that we knew how to make perfect things, and deliberately chose not to. 

For another, the researchers promote the idea of spending a huge amount of work crafting cheap and common materials. "Doing substantial work on materials of little value suggests that the place is not commemorative of phenomena highly valued by the culture that made it, but as marking something important yet quite unvalued ...not a treasure, but its opposite...a location of highly devalued material ("dangerous garbage" or an "un-treasure")."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

K-POP fan style, for Fusion!

I had a lot of fun attending the East Coast's first KCON and photographing fans in their wild and beautiful outfits. Here's my post.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Recent Favorite Books, Part 5

Here are all the recent favorite books, and here are some from my summer reading regimen, which, evidently, is "Women + Sebald."

The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
"Now, in town, you never know whether the neighbors are home. Even in the backcountry of Yosemite, there are those other people with a pass. Nearly anywhere you go, someone might hear or see you. But not on a levee by the Elbe two miles from the nearest town in dense fog at six o'clock on a Sunday morning in September. They say in space no one can hear you scream, but why would a person with a sense of dignity scream anywhere else?" (93)

The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald
"This then, I thought, as I looked round about me, is the representation of history. It requires a falsification of perspective. We, the survivors, see everything from above, see everything at once, and still we do not know how it was. The  desolate field extends all around where once fifty thousand soldiers and ten thousand horses met their end within a few hours. The night after the battle, the air must have been filled with death rattles and groans. Now there is nothing but the silent brown soil. Whatever became of the corpses and mortal remains? Are they buried under the memorial? Are we standing on a mountain of death? Is that our ultimate vantage point? Does one really have the much-vaunted historical overview from such a position?" (125)

 from the museum about dunwich in orford...

The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald
"When I wake up, I see the jars of preserves ranged on the chest and in the cold compartments of the tiled stove. I try in vain to work out what they mean. They don't mean anything, says Mama, they're just cherries, plums and pears." (206)

The Folded Clock: A Diary by Heidi Julavits
"I am no longer immune, however, to the occasional plummet in time altitude. A plummet happened the other night. I found myself lying in bed and thinking about Mexican wineglasses, the green kind with the air bubbles. They are the size of goblets. I'd put a lot of identity stock, at one time in my life, in Mexican wineglasses. I'd bought some in my twenties, and they represented a pinnacle achievement in self-realization. Thinking of these wineglasses reminded me of a trip I'd taken through Mexico with a boyfriend when we were both in our twenties; we'd driven a two-piston rental through mountain ruts. We slept in fields. We emerged in a town with white walls and caf├ęs, and were there also Mexican wineglasses? Did I buy mine there? I don't think so. I only remember a photo I took in that town of a white adobe wall and, rising above it, a crucifix atop a church dome. I was not religious, yet the photograph was so religious that I felt I shouldn't or couldn't be as fond of it as I was. But now, lying in bed and thinking about wineglasses, I found myself thinking of this photo, and the girl who took it, and the town--I'll never know its name--and I felt the kind of longing for that girl/town/photo I feel for my children at night when they are asleep." (59)

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
"And then, with a slow, luxuriant thrill, I realized that everything was different about the house I was in. It was the hawk. I shut my eyes. The hawk had filled the house with wildness as a bowl of lilies fills a house with scent." (65)

And, the best for last (I went crazy for this book, which I found much more satisfying than Bluets).

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
"If you're looking for sexual tidbits as a female child, and the only ones that present themselves depict child rape or other violations (my favorite books in my preteen years: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Clan of the Cave Bear, The World According to Garp, as well as the few R-rated movies I was allowed to see--Fame, most notably, with its indelible scene of Irene Cara being asked to take her shirt off and suck her thumb by a skeezy photographer who promises to make her a star), then your sexuality will form around that fact. There is no control group. I don't even want to talk about "female sexuality" until there is a control group. And there never will be." (66)

"But whatever I am, or have since become, I know now that slipperiness isn't all of it. I know now that a studied evasiveness has its own limitations, its own ways of inhibiting certain forms of happiness and pleasure. The pleasure of abiding. The pleasure of insistence, of persistence. The pleasure of obligation, the pleasure of dependency. The pleasures of ordinary devotion. The pleasure of recognizing that one may have to undergo the same realizations, write the same notes in the margin, return to the same themes in one's work, relearn the same emotional truths, write the same book over and over again--not because one is stupid or obstinate or incapable of change, but because such revisitations constitute a life." (112)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Goat Hour Gospel (Such Salvage)

By Mark Wagenaar

Just as the evening’s about to move on, they appear, not as the apparitional deer—here, & gone in the next moment, without a sound—but one by one,
bumbling through briar, chewing through poison ivy, sniffing at trees.A slow procession walking beneath elms & birches that hold up the last light.
And you’re alone with the traces of things, the news in front of you:the crooked skeleton of Richard III was dug up from a parking lot,
humpbacked, once buried in his boots & battlefield wounds. Nearby a lost riverhas been uncovered, & coughed up its mouthful of Roman skulls.
No relic is safe, it seems, from an invisible tide that presses them upward.Sometimes it’s not the loss that hurts but the indignities of the discovery.
And yet beside the diggers & builders of new things is this mangy congregation,pushing through the scrub without a trail or blueprint or direction.
Their dirty white fur shines a little in this late, lost hour.They bleat as they shamble & piss on each other without warning,
or maybe as a warning, or in greeting. They’ll eat anything—tin can,T-shirt, canvas sack, bones of animals & kings, & carry them awhile.
And so do we: each night, across the country, people turn up at hospitalsunable to speak, for the needle or nail lodged
in their throats. They’re unable to explain why, but we know—that desperate mix of need & panic that can drive us to keep something safe
for good. These dearest items take your words & leave them luminous,radiolucent, shining on the X-ray, like this swallowed ring: a ghostly eclipse.
Small comfort to share an appetite with these goats, this dishevelled lot.But a comfort, too, to know that some things will be saved from the soil,
rescued from time’s indignities, if only for a little while, & by these scruffyreliquaries, on the other side of the valley now, flickering slightly
as they near the vanishing point of the timberline. And we might callsuch salvage mercy. And it must be even for the undeserving,
for those of us who didn’t live right, or live best. Whatever that means.Mercy will find us, even when we fail to recognize it, when we least expect it.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Internet favorites for August: Odds and Ends Wishlist

What are these little things? They are the sorts of things that prevent me from living a minimalist lifestyle. Here are the rest of the internet favorites.

1. Tell my mother I love her, from Explorer's Press

2. Eye earrings that go on either side of your ear, Bauble Bar

3. Small bronze hands from Small Bronzes on Etsy

4. Eyes by David Prossler, PAOM

5. Alexander Henry Frida's Garden fabric (for a curtain maybe??)

6. Ayame socks from Koshka