Friday, April 28, 2006

Chernobyl Tourism is one of my favorite websites from a couple years ago. It's by a woman who rides her motorcycle inside Chernobyl's irradiated zone. Apparently there's a lot about her site which is disingenuous, but even if half of it is bullshit, it's still awesome. Makes me think also about Kenji Yanobe's ATOM SUIT PROJECT, which Eleanor & Emily Burgard write about in Der Heidenlärmer.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

André Stitt's planned gig in San Francisco fell through, so I went up to Portland to see him there at Sabala's, on Hawthorne near Mt. Tabor. Except for 5 minutes in a Reed College dorm parking lot in 1977, and 15 minutes standing on the curb outside Union Station in 2003, I'd never been to Portland, & I'd always meant to go, so this was a good excuse.

I also wanted to meet Paul Lambert, a writer & artist I'd been corresponding with for the past 8 or 9 months. Paul had offered me bunk space at his house in SE, not too far from Sabala's, so I dropped off my bag & Paul & I went out for Thai food. Here's Paul at his house:
After dinner Paul & I went to the show. For some reason I'd thought he knew André but I was wrong. André's a pretty hard-core performance artist originally from Northern Ireland, lived in London for a long time, now he's living in Cardiff, Wales, directs the Time Based Arts course at Cardiff School of Art, teaches at University of Wales, founded & directs trace: installation artspace.

I first met André in 1989 when he, Shaun Caton & Tara Babel performed in San Francisco at Artists Television Access, had seen him a couple times since, most recently in 2001 when he invited me to London for the Span2 festival he'd produced. Anyway, on this tour he's doing music, as Panacea Society, he's the singer, with guitarist/programmer Matt Cook. Here they are at Sabala's:

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Friday, April 21, 2006

There's a dandelion growing in Jen's Ranchero.

It kind of bends like a CB antenna when she drives around.

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Finally the rain's let up for a couple days & there's a little bit of sunshine at the Albany Bulb, one of the many places we take the dogs for hikes:

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Two years ago I went to my friend Otis's wedding reception. Two weeks later I went to the wake for his new wife Andrea's 18-year-old son, shot & killed on the streets of Oakland like so many other young black men & women.

Yesterday I spent 4 hours at the funeral of Otis's eldest son Robert, or RaRa, who had just turned 19 and was shot & killed on the streets of San Francisco.

I just spent an hour trying to write something for this blog that would articulate the complex & contradictory subtexts, theatrics, agendas & issues touched on during this latter funeral, something that would articulate the contradictory aspects of & perspectives on a young urban black man who was by all accounts extremely loving & loyal towards his large family, his community - and towards the young men with whom he allegedly participated in activities that most people in the community of those who might read this blog would consider anti-social, illegal, violent - but try as I might, I couldn't write what I wanted without being, in my opinion, too invasive of the privacy of all concerned.

So I just want to say that if you are ever in the unfortunate circumstance of being invited to the funeral of a young black man or woman killed by meaningless violence, I think you should go. Funerals like this that I've been to have been profoundly sad, extremely complicated, deeply expressive, and more informative than all the blogs, tv spots, books & magazine articles that you can possibly wade through. I am still depressed & heartsick today about this & I think it is important for me to be heartsick about it.

The black men/children whose faces I've looked down on in their coffins have been beautiful, smart, talented and very young. It's hard to find a way to say "such a tragic waste" without it sounding like a cliche. I just know I am very tired of having to go to funerals of young black men.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The article on expensive cowboy boots that Jen was interviewed for turned out pretty good.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Berliner friend Franz John is in town this week setting up his installation Turing Tables at the Exploratorium. The piece, developed in collaboration wih Ed Osborn & brsma, uses live data from global seismics events to create sound & image. This piece is as much about human perception and digital interconnectivity as it is about techtonic events. Turing Tables opened last night & will run through June 18th.

Franz is an interesting artist who often works with the technologies of reproduction: photo-copying the entire inside of a gallery, scanning the sky, turning military bunkers into cameras-obsurae etc. Take a look at his projects at:

And also his cd-rom project which simultaneously documents the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and transforms that experience into something out of Tarkovsky's Stalker:

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We spent some time in Maui at the end of January, before all the miserable rains started. Maui's okay. Did lots of snorkeling, and Howard Hackworth expedited my intro to scuba. I can see how people get hooked on scuba.

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