Monthly Archives: October 2010

Reader: October 29, 2010

– If your food don’t taste good, at least make it look good.

– The urgency and importance in which the Dream Act must be passed is more prevalent now more than ever. The times have been covering a few stories of educated illegal immigrants who cannot progress without this.

– “Aesthetic discourse on crap“.

– Art fag city interviews Dan Cameron. “survival to me has meant figuring out a way that you can be recompensed for the things you most love to do. In other words, how do you find something close to what you do, so that you can, by virtue of proximity over the years, somehow get into doing what you want to do – like artists working as perpetrators…It’s about taking on as much as one wants, while feeling at the same time that one is doing a good enough job to do something right. What I would really like to do is clone two of me and have them at computer terminals doing their thing while I am out getting to exhibitions.”

– Barbara Kruger and Kim Kardashian sitting in a tree…

– Jeff Koons buys 2 townhouses in UES in efforts to create megamansion, including 4 maids rooms.

– Marina Abromovic at Lisson, new works are unbecomingly tame and near kitsch.

– Murakami sullies good taste.

– Guggenheim tries to oust the hot dog vendors parked in front with a food kiosk design and fails. “In its application the museum had argued that the food carts were unsightly and distracting, “creating an inappropriate, carnival-like atmosphere.”

Artists are boring but they get the hero worship treatment anyway.

Napoleonic Jesus. via eyeteeth

Obama and Jon Stewart, sitting in a tree…

– Saltz on Baldessari at the MET. Noticing he loves using the word “titillate” in his reviews.

– Interview with the producer of that Banksy documentary I haven’t watched yet.

Michael DeLucia. via fffound!

– Inside the LA home of Jeffrey Deitch. I was told in NY his apt was stark white with NOTHING on the walls. “This will be the party room. It’s in a transitional state…I started bringing in my art collection, the furniture will have to wait.” omg he get’s all hypnotist so you can see the face of jesus. AWKWARD. via world’s best ever.

– The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black is hosting an all ages record release Holloween party. Very appropriate.

– I love this blog. Filled with juicy images from olden books. They would all make amazing tattoos.

– Saltz is “modest” in explaining the value of Art Reviews Power 100 list and in true facebook form tells readers to make a “Saltz’s Vulture 100” list.

– Studio visit with Angel Otero.

– Creepy animated video  by artist Monica Cook. via coilhouse

I can do that.

– Type in your own handwriting. via Hrag

Hrag and Hyperallergic is curating a show exploring social media art.

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Musings: 3

SHIT HIT THE FAN

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Reader: October 22, 2010

– Loving the collage works of Julien Pacaud. More on his flickr page. via fffffound

– I want the new New York Times Cookbook. Now.

Brooklyn Based on being a non-insular, non-pretentious, and un-entitled stroller pusher in Park Slope.

Fucked in Park Slope on the un-deniability of being an insular, pretentious, entitled breeder in Park Slope. “for every self-entitled, self-absorbed, helicopter parent, you’ll need approximately 100 normal, non-bugaboo owning, non-French speaking parents to counteract the effects of the first group.”

– For all the beloved vendors of Greenpoint Food Market: Getting Your Product onto Retail Shelves

– Using technology to access food.

– Kim Jong Il approves.

20 amazing facts about camels. “One of the camel’s defenses is ‘spitting’ where they essentially throw up a foul smelling greenish fluid from their stomach all over you when provoked. For those who have experienced it, it seems never ending and is never forgotten”. Thanks Hugh

How to pet a kitty. Thanks Briana

– Village Voice: Best of NYC: 10 Favorite Dishes

Greenpoint Open Studios artist Julie Floersch on Hyperallergic discussing the stories behind the gunked up jeans she collects from construction workers, gutter punks and hipsters and turns into art.

– Selby in a Brooklyn home.

– Bed bugs: The Movie.

Slantshack Jerky makes the best jerky ever and now you can get their goodies for 15% off.

– A pretty good day in Chelsea.

– Botero’s genitalia just can’t to keep its patina.

Cut Out and Fade Out.

Texting in the company of others is ok.

– ipad paintings by Hockney.

– 5 reasons you shouldn’t hate on microwaves.

Masterbating animals. via the awl

– I want a card catalog.

– This girl makes her own clothes. I want to make my own clothes. I need her to train me. Pronto.

Wild mushroom pasta with truffles.

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Masala Loca

Over the weekend Angel and I got to attend a supperclub dinner hosted by Chitra and Sabra of Masala Loca. I’ve had the honor of hosting them as vendors at Greenpoint Food Market (may you rest in peace) as they shared delicious Indian tacos with the community. The dinner took place at Sabra’s house in Bed Stuy and we walked in to the welcoming scene of candles and bundles of fall flower bouquets, ladies clustered in groups chatting by the side table stocked with guest-brought wine bottles. On the walls were a series of photographs by Alana Lowe,  a mix and match of black & white and color images of the same rural scene very much not New York.

We sat down at one of two dining tables and introduced ourselves to a lovely couple, former architects, and shared the typical conversations surrounding jobs and real estate. The opening act of the dinner was a rich and filling Moong Dal Leek Soup with guajillo ghee, boondi, and fried spices. What I thought were sprinkles of corn as topping was actually boondi, which I’m learning is a praised Indian snack made from chickpea flour.

The main course was Poblano Chile stuffed with curried squash and kale, topped with Oxaca Cheese and was accompanied by tamarind rice, avocado slices, and chapati. It was a deliciously flavorful dish with all kinds of indistinguishable spices, I especially love the nutty rice topped with cashews. I love nuts in my rice. I would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t choke on something spicy and did that embarrassing never-ending cough throughout the course of a good and solid 5 minutes.

I highly anticipated dessert as it included my current obsession, plantains. Angel and I fretted it would have been green plantains as opposed to the softer, sweeter, and more orgasmic maduros but it was to my relief, fried sweet plantains with vanilla ice cream and blackberry chile sauce. I never figured ice cream and plantains would go well together but the sweets in each paired peacefully and although the plantains weren’t as goeey as I like they were sweet enough to make that MmMMMmmmm thing happen.

It was a lovely evening altogether, a $35 meal well worth its price and we even got to go home with mini pumpkins as souvenirs. We didn’t get to see much of the hosts throughout the evening as they were laboring away in the kitchen as helping friends served each of our plates. They did peek out to introduce each plate which was cute.

In both attending and hosting supperclub dinners I experience the benefit of dining in such cozy environments but can also see the awkwardness of entering someone’s private home and sharing a meal with strangers whom more or less are friends of the host and you the curiously welcomed stranger. I don’t think it’s ever possible to host a supperclub dinner whose guests are completely unknown to the hosts. Maybe that should be a goal for my next round. Host a dinner to complete strangers and welcome them to my home and just hope for the best. I think it would be fun.

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Moral Conscience, Surveillance v. Performance, and Helplessness

I was listening to a recent episode of This American Life titled Right to Remain Silent telling stories about people who can’t keep their mouth shut. The first act is pretty damn funny where this guy walks into the apple store and gets really frustrated and innocently threatens to blow up the store on facebook which leads to numerous court cases. The scary part is imagining some government official checking someone’s facebook status and sending over some troops to inspect their house because they were a terrorist suspect. This makes the hair on my back stand, to think at any moment whilst you use your myriad tools of publishing your daily life, you are being watched. SHUDDER.

The second act ended up frightening me to bits. It tells the story of a police officer who carried around a tape recorder for 14 months during his work hours and revealed the corrupt ways in which a precinct in Bed Stuy governs its neighborhood.

It was frightening to think such a visible authority figure, the police, could be so skewed, so manipulative, with their own agenda and initiative to basically fuck people over and RUIN THEIR LIVES with unlawful and illegal acts is mind boggling. Call me naive but to imagine the POLICE conduct illegal activities just doesn’t sit nicely in my brain. To think I am at the mercy of these people and they at any given moment can fly on their power trips and abuse their capabilities symbolized by their badge makes me feel nothing but helpless.

A corrupt government is one thing. Wall street bail outs and political scandals are often intangible and aren’t as directly felt as the surge of fear that runs through you god forbid you were handcuffed for absolutely no wrongdoing. Can you imagine? SHUDDER. I think this is paranoia, anxiety, and claustrophobia all tied in together to stir such animosity for me here.

I highly recommend you listen to this episode, and I’d be very interested to know what your reaction to it all is.

Then I read an article in the Times Magazine titled Little Brother is Watching, in which the writer discusses near absolute impossibility to privacy in the era of Facebook. He shares the story of that college kid who jumped off the bridge and killed himself after his roommate snickered and cruelly shared a webcam video of the kid making out with another guy. The poor kid was the victim of a joke that was not very funny, but in the end, it was typical bullying on the part of the prosecuted. It didn’t merit an overdramatic response to post on facebook that he was going to jump off a bridge and actually do it. That’s besides the point.

Reading this article reiterates a sort of helplessness, a lack of escape from surveillance, whether it’s from Big Brother or Little Brother. Little Brother is all of us pervy peeping voyeurs who get our gluttonous fix from watching others pride or mock themselves on self-publicizing tools like youtube and facebook. When thinking of how easy it would be for anyone to watch me, know me, search me, find me, between facebook, this blog, and wherever I’m posted, it’s frightening to think how fragile and unstable this medium is and at given moment you can say one little thing that will either make you or kill you in the most extreme form.

Why does this make me feel helpless? Well, because there really is no true privacy anymore if I ever wanted and that’s not a comforting thought. But I willingly put myself out there, as do you, so that we may be more relevant, so that we may be more remembered. I just never hope to really want to disappear from the face of this physical and digital world.

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Reader: Oct 20, 2010

Man Jeggings.

David Byrne for 20×200 to benefit Creative Time.

Mad Men. Mad Men. Mad Men.

– NYC’s best vintage stores.

Idea Meeting.

Ghosts in Brooklyn.

Rape Gaze.

Pizza for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

Apples.

– Pay college debt only if you’re “successful”.

– Playing iphone instruments and shooting an iphone video. iphone iphone iphone.

Using the kitchen to learn about chemistry and physics.

– Van’s skate park in Greenpoint opens.

– Permaculture with Masanobu Fukuoka.

Lipstick Sentence Generator.

– Eco Friendly Halloween Costumes. Is this really a post??

20 best restaurants in North Brooklyn.

Lopate and Locavores.

Rapping Farmers.

– Survival in NY with artist genius William Powhida.

– Cremaster, the video game.

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Finding Beauty and Calm in Night

I’m typing from my brand new macbook pro right now and I must say, each and every type on the keyboard is new and exhilarating. I spent a shit ton of money on this reality crippling device, maximized on the customizable options to make it the fastest bestest highest performing 15″ macbook pro that ever existed. I splurged on a case, a smart wireless mouse, and a new router that lets you print and play from speakers wireless as well. Stunning.

Of course in an attempt to “migrate” data from my old to the new I realized the new macbook doesn’t have the same firewire input as the old. So typical that Apple would make you go out of your way to purchase this that and the other extra device to do what you want it to do and still feel mildly good and proud about it. It was 9pm and I already had drank espresso with full intention of staying up and doing my stuff, stuff being blogging for the most part, but was completely distracted by the current useless state of my new macbook. Angel reminded me that the Apple store in midtown is open 24/365 (literally stated as their store hours on the website) so onwards we went. I was appalled by how many people were in there minioning away like glorified zombies in front of rows upon rows of computers, gadgets, prized and priceless tschockes of the electronic netherworlds. Them helpers in blue shirts swiftly guided me to the USB cords and we were in and out of that place in 10 minutes.

Then I remembered, I’m in midtown. When the HELL do I ever go to midtown? And look, there’s Central Park! We walked past the giant circular fountain, crossed the street that stank of horse shit, quickly admired Ryan Gander‘s Public Art Funded installation of a column broken and shattered, as if it were remains of a tragic earthquake (or the remains of a fallen society), and entered the park that could potentially rape us both at this time of night.

I discovered the beauty and calm of night FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. It was one pure mindfuck of an experience, one that slowly seeped into my visual membranes and affected my internal organs with a most soothing sensation, the same way pepto bismol makes your belly ache go away. The way light and shadow played its game with the trees, the street lamps, the clouds, the sky, the raccoons, the bridges, the architecture and the ground made for quite an unexpected adventure. These pictures will attest to how artificial lighting from lamp posts and traffic lights made way for a stage in which every living and nonliving object was subject to display and unintended performance.

Put in the corniest way possible, it was as if I was SEEING for the first time. Everywhere I turned I was fascinated by how and why things looked the way they looked and they moved the way they did and they were shaped the way they were. The clouds were friendly, thin and sheer, a light fall blanket idling past the moon and stars. The darkness flattened the proximity between our earthly atmospheric layers and outer space and also livened up the leaves dangling from the hundreds of trees into patterned silhouettes stamping themselves into the sky. What was trippiest of all was how these elements of sky, clouds, tree, and moon moved and my vision and perspective was being affected by my walking. I experienced it as if I were standing still and the trees and sky were moving towards and away from me simultaneously. At one point Angel and I just stood still and looked up and I was filled with the most comforting feeling, an affirmation of sorts that all was ok, that darkness was harmless and has the ability to hug you to sweet serenity. I was basically high but not high at all.

One thing I’ll need to explain is my bizarre obsession to control the uncontrollable, specifically that of nature; weather, the sun, and its subsequent lack thereof. I am warning you now, this will sound kind of insane.

As a side effect of having panic disorder, which I have, and for those who are not familiar, a panic disorder is like having panic or anxiety attacks, which everyone has felt at one point or another during a particularly nervous breakdown prone time of their life, but it’s a disorder when the panic attack itself becomes its own autonomous monster and is manifested in myriad forms and what results is the fear and anticipation of an attack happening at the moment you imagine it would manifest. Having grown up and struggled with a will for freedom, escape, and a most surreal experience of stuckness, and helplessness, my panic disorder comes in the form of claustrophobia. It doesn’t only kick in when subject to small enclosed spaces such as elevators and unacquainted locked bathrooms and subways (all of which I hate and avoid as much as possible), it shows its strongest as an obsessive thought that cannot be let go of, released, or shrugged away brought about by my need to control the uncontrollable.

For those who know me, you know how much I hate clouds and storms and rain. The clouds loom over me and the rain suffocates me with its downfall. Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes are all in it to kill me and make me explode from the inside out. It makes me go crazy and I’m assured at every turn I will die from suffocating within my own brain. An actual panic attack is the worst feeling in the entire world and it’s even worse when it happens to you every single fucking day. Nighttime, or more specifically, sunset, that transitional point from light to darkness, is the most heinous time of day for me. The fact that the wondrous and most holy form of life, the sun, is going to go down to leave me with darkness for 12 hours saddens me to the point of madness. I know what your thinking: “omg Joann is insane. The sun comes up every day and the sun goes down every night, wtf is wrong with you?”

I know. Believe me. I know. But what can I say? It’s claustrophobia at its weirdest. I get claustrophobic thinking about the night, how suffocating the blackness is and how I have to wait how many more hours till the sun comes up again. It’s a fucked up cycle of emotions and thoughts and I’ve gone through many processes of healing and coping. Obviously the grunt of the work towards sourcing and curing the illness is not directed at the sun and clouds. My ridiculous fears and obsessions all come from deeper issues and fears faced from childhood, relationships, and other elements of life experienced. I won’t get too much into that because it’s personal and I don’t need to be that personal, as if this isn’t personal enough.

So anyhow I detest the darkness, I detest the night, I detest its thick and suffocating ways.

Until tonight.

For the first time in my entire life I met with darkness as a friend, one who comforts and finds alternative paths toward expression, presentation, and being. Nightlife is a completely different entity from that of day. The trees, the sky, the lamps, the sidewalk, the clouds, the raccoon, the buildings, the skyline, the plants and rocks, and the people strolling along all looked different to me. They all looked new to me. The darkness brought about a whole different side to life and I realized how beautiful it can be to be blanketed by the night, snuggling under its covers and tearing away the stress, one layer at a time. I mean, look at these pictures. I’m really proud of them. Each object gave off its own special quality under what lighting was made available. Our drive back to Brooklyn down 5th ave was awe inspiring as well with all its artificial lighting and signage; Julian Moore posing naked with some baby tigers for Bvalgari or whatever it’s called, the window displays of many other high end boutiques drilling you with their come hither lurings, the bazillion windows piled atop another both empty and warm, the empire state building (which doesn’t actually look that tall when you’re directly in front of it), and the people all dressed in bedazzled clothing showing off well to do ness.

It was an enchanting night and reflecting back on it the day after I was met with a relative lightness and neutral contentment which is rarely the case.

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