March 2003 Archives

111 pages 100-102


Just a few more pages, my friends, just a few more pages. Just a few more days, just a few more days. I think it might be time to post more up to date images from maybe one of the moleskine sketchbooks again. The last one hundred pages might have been too predictable or too abstract for some visitors. Many of them decided not to come back. It is my fault as well, of course. SOme of the drawings are drawings because they are not very well translatable into written language, this is why they are drawings in the first place. But I just should have not expected for the visitors to come here again and again and again to just hear me lament about the current world events and barely say anything about the presented drawings.
The pieces here are three years old now. They come from a time when I was so happy to have found a certain visual language, that I would translate even the tiniest moments into it. It is not easy for me to now retrack these triggers, and maybe I should not try, after all, these drawings are not strictly illustrations to lost stories. They are beginnings of things, not finals, endings.
Just a few more pages, my friend, just a few more pages. Just a few more days, just a few more days. Come back, yes? See you again tomorrow?


When I brought my cordless phone from Germany in 1996 and thought that I could just use it in my new New York apartment, I quickly realized that I was really not alone here. There was not one conversation that happened to use my frequency, there were several going on at the same time. I mean it was a mess. It sounded like fun for about the first 7 seconds. I then had to get a new phone with a different frequency. New York is just packed with people, they put them into little boxes with doors and sometimes windows and put these boxes next to each other and on top of each other, I mean many, many, many.
Almost the same situation is actually a bit of a blessing today. My cable service just died in the afternoon. The modem is broken, or some other strange thing must have happened. This would mean an interruption of service in almost any other city, I guess. Here in my building there is at times a selection of neighbours who have their WiFi networks open. There is "Donna", "Wireless", some other guy who happens to have turned his point right now, and there is "Linksys" a very reliable DSL connection, maybe not cable, but still very convenient. I will need to call Time Warner, so they can fix my hookup here, just in case "linksys" runs into problems one day and needs a good neighbour with a solid internet connection.

a little better...

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So I am doing a little better after all. After a weekend of barely any food and just random moments of sleep and awakening, which did not mix well with watching Waking Life, which I got at the Wiz on 97th, as it is going out of business. Many stores around here are closing shop actually. There is a bit of a transformation going on. The Wiz just went bust, the store seemed always empty, there are other ways to get all these things easier, I guess it makes sense. "Today you can beat the Wiz, 20-40% off." The store manager now puts a "Final Sale" stamp on all receipts. A sony clié had a broken security device and was just there on the floor. A stampede of customers was out to clean out the last merchandise. (Oh, they also had a PowerBook at 15% off, but I somehow feel okay with what I have right here on my lap.) The Wiz is going away. The gap had closed their shop a few months ago. This was when the latin dance-club (Latin Quarter) was converted into a Chase Manhattan Bank. The sign of "Gothic Cabinet Craft" across Broadway came down yesterday, just to reveal an old sign for "East River Savings Bank." The most quirky downsize here might have been a shop called Fowad. The owners are somewhere from the middle east and real pros. They used to buy clothes by the truckload and then resell them for what seemed like a real deal. (Real 80's fashion accidents anyone?, just $5.99) Fowad had these huge racks all around the south east corner of 96th and Broadway, filled wish Shmates and marked with these huge hand made $9.99 signs. There would be at any time during the day several men with signs or not, guarding their bazaar, discussing some stuff in Arabic. Then, by the end of last year, the grand announcement began. Fowad was going out of business. Their lease had not been extended. The signs were replaced with even bigger ones, counting the days. "10 days left, we are going out of business", "only 9 days left", "final week, everything must go!", "three days left!" and then finally: "last day, we are closing shop!" About a week or so later the place really closed down. (Did I mention that they are professionals?)
Oddly enough, all clothes that were in the store and could not be sold, just stayed there. A real proof of the "high value" of the items.
One could maybe think that this is where the story ends. This is not quite the case. About a month or so ago, new activity began at the old Fowad location. The store was gutted, (the clothes were first removed), and then a wall was put in dividing the old space into a large empty area and a little store, not on the corner, but still right here on Broadway. About a week after this activity, the door opened to a new "clothing store" callen Allana's? (will need to check.) The cute detail is that these are exactly the same people, with the same stuff, the same prices, the same sense of business. Oh, and because the larger space is empty now, they spread their racks around the same corner in the same way, with the same guys guarding them. Pretty smart. They are obviously paying a much lower rent now, they were obviously able to convince the landlord that their small presence is still better than no tenant at all. Wicked.
So does all this (the closing of all these shops here) point to some decline of my neighborhood? Will I soon need to just order in at night and regularly carry a big stick? I hope not. There are some new restaurants here right around the corner on Amsterdam, there is more activity here despite the fact that the nation is at war.
I have the feeling that what is happening is just an increase in rents in the area. The shops that are closing seem to be of the kind that prepare an area for the onslaught of other chains.
I already have a view of a Starbucks, a Dunkin Donuts, a Rite Aid, a Chase Bank. I can not imagine how much more generic the makeup of the blocks here could still get? Hmm...
Aaargh, feeling strange again. Will need to get some sleep a little sooner today. Tomorrow will certainly be an exciting day.



Just had my dinner, which consisted of a tiny, dry slice of bread. My second meal after the only briefly rented breakfast this morning. I almost passed out twice today. Fell asleep in seemingly random moments in random places in the apartment. My stomach seems to be inhabited by some vaseline covered lazy little animal. It sometimes decides to just kick me from the inside, but most of the time it is just there, heavy and sleepy and nauseating. What a day...

111 pages 097-099


How about we party like it's 1999. Let's imagine that the younger ones among us are CEOs and that there is more money to go around that we could possibly try to spend. Let's envision a new economy, where the options on the future are worth so much, there will be card and houses and the thicker carpets, the more polished woods, the better views, the smarter music, the finer art in our futures.
It did not quite happen this way. There was a sharp object attached to the "two" in front of the three zeros, it will take time to pump some air back into the picture.
We might not be quite aware of it today, but economy is written more with a capital E than it was just a few years ago. Whatever had been promised somehow actually is here, except maybe in a more serious shape than the kids might have hoped. Oh and how much do I wish that there woud be armies of people going into the web business rather than fall into the net of fear and perceived danger and preemptive strikes. How wonderful would it be if some 150,000 people went to have a good time with their loved ones, instead of being sent somewhere to work for a plan that will take as long as it will take... which might be longer than anybody would like it to be.
Can anybody help me to not think about current events? I want to create new art, but all I can think of is how I could "liberate" it. Not only does war take prisoners and kill, it also occupies minds that should be busy thinking about a better future. (Just imagine armies extremely well trained to invent and create...)

111 pages 094-096

The plane has landed. The place is quiet. There is a lamp. There are two lamps. I get up in the middle of the night and take pictures of the lamps. They are the source of for the shots. I shoot them in almost imtimate ways. They sit on chairs, next to each other on the floor. They stand in their own circles. Cast new shadows. What will happen now? Let there be . Glad to have changed the ink back to the visible kind. ; )

111 pages 091-093


More drawings from airports, from planes, from the inside of places we do not usually visit every day. Or do we? It is quite possible that I drew these on the plane, waiting for one. Looking out through the large windows, as the capsule of the plane was being prepared for the big jump. Was it one across the ocean?, just one across a few hours? There are layers upon layers upon layers of enclosed spaces. And some seem to be almost legible. It is the ink that makes these be barely there. It is the ink. There will soon be pages with more visible drawings. You will need to come back tomorrow...

Da Vinci 1

The cross town bus dropped me off on 96th street and 5th. that is about ten blocks away from my secret destination. I had decided to beat the weekend crowds, to finally do it, to overcome my fear of waiting online, to catch this unique opportunity, to finally see the Leonardo DaVinci Master Draftsman show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had plans to see it on a Saturday some time ago, but the line just seemed impossible to survive. It was a mass of several hundred people, a quadruple queue (repeat quickly 500 times) wound all the way to the grand hall and beyond, beyond, beyond. It looked as if I had to wait for hours, hours and hours, and there was really enough time to come back later, to take a look at the drawings by this left handed genius in peace. So thursday was the day. The show will close this weekend and friday seemed like a bit too close to this last two days not to be crowded. It is easy to imagine how New Yorkers would postpone the visit until they read in some paper that the show was about to close, just to show up in thousands, right? Thursday morning sounded just about right. Nobody would come out to see some old drawings on a Thursday morning. Worst case scenario would have been school classes, but around 10 o'clock, they should be out of there, I thought. I marched very swiftly. The ten or so blocks right by the park, the walk leads by the Guggenheim, then some more good old money castles, a playground to the right, then there it was, the grand museum. A man in a green jacket happened to walk at exactly the same speed as I in exactly the same direction. We were walking at a speed that could be measured at miles per hour. He had good stamina, but so do I. At first I thought that he might be just heading for a meeting. Then maybe pick somebody up from the guggenheim? What about the daughter in the park? Maybe the museum after all? He could be a curator, for all I know. We did not slow down at all. He managed to win a split second over me by daringly walking in front of a taxi, I managed to then maneuver him gently into the hands of a school class. He looked like a 4x4 trapped on a country road in Ireland. There were no green meadows no flock of sheep, but there was a herd of high-school students, he was right in the midst, going against the stream, I won. I pulled out my dollar and opened my bag right on the stairs towards the museum. No I did not have anything to declare. I spotted the ticket booth with the shortest line and folded my cash, ready to pay. (The entrance fee to the Met is $12, but it is a suggested price, so when visiting very often, some New Yorkers tend to pay just change.)
The man in the green jacket appeared behind me. I was the third person in line at the booth, but just across the hall, a group of five visitors only pretended to be a line. The ticket booth cleared, there was no line, the man in the green jacket beat me to the punch. And he did not even pay at all! He just showed some sort of ID and got a metal M for it with not even a question. He won. He entered the museum first. It was okay. I do not mind at all. I really did not. Really not a problem. I paid my buck, saw a little note with the corner of my eye "Wait time for DaVinci exhibition 45Min." it did not matter. I was ready for whatever was about to happen. I walked up the grand stairs, went to the left, then onto the grand , right towards islamic art, then eastwards, north. There was the end of the line, maybe mid way on the grand away from the side close to the exhibition entrance. It would be a 45 minute wait. There he was again, the man in the green jacket. Hmm. "I am not stalking you, this is a true, pure coincidence." I learned that with strangers in New York the window of attention is about three seconds. I did not expect to talk to this guy at all, but since I had just walked with him, at full speed, since he obviously was trying to beat me, since he obviously won, I did not want to look like a complete idiot. Well, maybe I did. He actually laughed. He had a good sense of humor. It was okay. We spent the next 45 minutes talking. He was a banker, working on some really risky (good risky) stuff, his wife is an art historian. We spoke about new German photography, Naoya Hatakeyama, the Struth show at the Met, the Bernd and Hilla Becher show which I missed. He told me about the objects in the vitrines we walked by. He had been in this line before. He had been there with his wife. It was his second time. He was there just to take another look at four specific drawings. He told me that the show was really great. He gave me some advice how to actually see the work. We shook hands and he gave me his card as we entered the exhibition.

Leonardo DaVinci, Master Draftsman, Visit #1

It was a no brainer to quickly jump by the group of people who just entered the exhibition to read the introduction on the wall. The other group pulled out their wallets to buy the audio guides. Oh, audio guides, oh horrible visitor remote controls.
The first room were not actually DaVinci drawings. The crowd might have know that, it might have been most interesting to see how the story began before it began, but why would the largest amount of people be in the room that is a preface to the actual exhibition. The second room was also packed. It took some time to get used to the almost darkness. The air was heavy, the average age maybe 55. The drawings were, of course quite tiny. There were descriptions next to every one. Most of the drawings also had these little numbers next to them, a sign for Audio-guide zombies to seek them out and to just read the little note there anyway, even if it was being read to you by this deep voice from digital tape.
Most drawings were attached to walls. It was impossible to even get to those. There were lines of up to ten people left of every drawing. There was an overlap, a gentle pushing in the crowd. Good thing that Leonardo used both sides of some pages. The double sided drawings were exhibited in little wooden shrines, right in the middle of the room. It was not possible to meet these objects head on, because of the crowd, but a slow sneak up from the side, allowed some glimpses at the tiny art.
The art was tiny and the visitors were ready. The met sold magnifying lenses, for a barely noticeable $12.99, oh what a bargain. The experts had their own magnifying glasses... and there were many experts.
So did I ever get to see the art, and was it any good? Yes, and it was fantastic. The very first drawing I was able to sneak up to was a little ink thing of madonna and her child. (probably Jesus...) The drawing was quite charming and executed with a quite secure hand. Leonardo was in his 20's when he made it. I had the feeling he used a real model for this one. The front side of the drawing was what one would expect, the back side had two more variations of the same figures, except that Jesus' mouth was a bit strange. He seemed to be ready to throw up? Was this just a little joke on Leonardo's side? No, the third little drawing was even more so. It looked like the show would turn out to be great fun. There were maybe a few hundred people in these rooms, but the man who packed the house here, seemed to be one of those with a cute sense of humor. No wonder the house was so packed.
Almost each one of the drawings I saw on this day were just little gems. He was not an Ingres or a Delacroix, of course, but maybe because he did not really seem to want to focus on his art. It looked as if the pieces in the exhibition appeared on paper as he explained to somebody what had to be done. You know, there will be a madonna, there is the child, it will give her a fruit. A bit like that. Some of the pieces were as if he were to map the shortest route to a friends house, others again were more like very exact illustrations for a medical book. A very wide spectrum, I wonder how many non Leonardo pieces managed to sneak into the show. I also wonder what percentage of his complete drawings we saw here.
It looks like Leonardo was a wild, hard worker. Some of the drawings were layers of three to five different techniques. He would first start with a pencil drawing sometimes, then there would be a different pen just making things more clear. Then there was the brown ink, sometimes just grooves in the paper. Some of the drawings were treated to a wash, some had some white on them. Most of the paper was a s beige color, some sheets were blueish, blue, some were not paper at all. The formats would vary from a 4x4 inch piece, which had been most likely just cut out in the last 500 years, some were as large as a letter of today. Even the largest sheets rarely contained large drawings. There would be pieces here, some other here, a stain in the corner, sometimes an odd machine. Many of the drawings contained comments. Written in mirrored latin or italian, not really comprehendible, of course. Except for some exceptions, calculations... In fact, the entire exhibition was a collection of 160 exceptional exceptions.
Be it sketches of a dog's paw, drawings of grotesque faces, beautiful preparations for paintings, photo realistic drapery exercises, excursions into botany, each one of the drawings seemed to be more of a living thing, a friend of Leonardo's that happened to travel through time and many places, just to land here, behind glass, to say hello and send regards from the master. (Because he is busy doing some other, quite important stuff.)
One drawing that I really would have liked to see with a magnifying glass was one of a skull, from the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I tried to find a representation of the item online but even the official site offers such poor reproduction. You see, the drawings of the skull are of course created in three techniques, layered, pen and dark brown ink over traces of lead-point. The presentation here might be very poor, the original is a heart stopping masterpiece with an amount of detail and attention beyond what I expected to see on paper. The actual skulls are relatively tiny, maybe 5x5 inches?, the variation in tone in every single line, the density, the range of tonality, the softness of the overall result. All quite spectacular. Oh, I knew I would come back just for this drawing alone.
I was not afraid to step beyond the "point of no reentry, I was brave and did not buy anything in the shop. I would be back for more of this. I would bring a magnifying glass. I would be ready. What an incredible show it was. All of it. Each little scrap of paper was.
Oh, joy.

Naoya Hatakeyama

The first time I saw Naoya Hatakeyama's work was 2001 in the basement of the Japanese pavillon at the Biennale in Venice, He was one of the artists representing Japan. The pieces had a amazing level of energy. The Japanese pavillon had two levels entitled "fast" and "slow" and the photography was put in such flawless context with the architecture that one could have thought that at least the downstairs (slow) of the pavillon was built to accomodate the works. The pieces displayed in Venice were from Hatakeyama's Underground series (1999)in the lower part, and in the "fast" area the Untitled (1989-97), 70 C-prints on aluminum (Portraits of a city) and Untitled/Osaka, ( an amazing Diptych (one, two) 1998-99.
Vincent Borrelli, one of my really favorite art book dealers and a photographer who had his pieces shown at the MoMA, among other places, has later sent me a very fascinating book with the title:"Naoya Hatakeyama". It is a signed copy, and Naoya signed it in Nürnberg, Germany, on July 24th 2002, which was a cloudy day, or at least this is what the signature says.
The book is a really fascinating one to own, as it not only contains representative pieces of some of Hatakeyama's photographic series, but also little text fragments putting the work in a very interesting context.
One of the main series in Hatakeyama's work are the portraits of Limestone quarries, of really breathtaking images of industrial architecture and landscape. Here is what Hatakeyama writes as an introduction to the "Lime Works" chapter of the book:

...When I learned that Japan was a land of limestone, my appreciation of its cityscape underwent a subtle change. Japan is dependent on imports for most of the minerals it uses, but when it comes to limestone it is totally self-sufficient. Every year some two hundred million tons of limestone are cut from the quarries scattered about the country, half being used to make cement and the rest entering our lives in such forms as iron, glass, paper, ink, plastic, medicines, or foodstuffs... IN the texture of concrete I can feel the trace of corals and fusulinas that inhibited warm equatorial seas two hundred to four hundred million years ago...
If the concrete buildings and highways that stretch to the horizon are all made of limestone dug from the hills are all made of limestone dug from the hills, and if they should all be ground to dust and this vast quantity of calcium carbonate returned to its precise points of origin, why then, with the last spoonful, the ridge lines of the hills would be restored to their original dimensions. The quarries and the cities are like negative and positive images of a single photograph... (Naoya Hatakeyama)

A true poet who takes photographs to illustrate his profound observations.
I saw more of Hatakeyama's work in Miami, during the Art Basel, Miami Beach. Lothar Albrecht, the intelligent gallery owner from Frankfurt am Main represents Hatakeyama in Europe and actually most of the world. LA Gallery was offering some of the last pieces still available for sale from the river series. Hatakeyama took pictures of a river that runs straight through Tokyo. The river is now very much a concrete channel, but Hatakeyama made the series of the images from the river so beautiful that what might appear as a flaw is suddenly another piece of visual poetry. The camera in all of the shots is placed precisely on the line where the artificial river bank has been placed. The artist cuts our field of vision in half. There is a river world below and a human world above the equator of the photograph. This effect is even amplified when there are several of the images hanging next to each other. Hatakeyama's Tokyo gallery, the really excellent Take Ishii Gallery had nine of the larger versions of the river series images next to each other and it was an incredibly radiant display.
The shots are taken from various angles at various times of the day and night, yet their visual impact is first contained, almost like the river itself and then multiplied by the series.
Lothar Albrecht also showed some of the "Slow Glass" photographs by Hatakeyama, pictures he created while he was the resident artist in < a href=" UK" target="_blank">Milton Keynes UK. He shot photographs of places in and around the city through the wet windows of his car. The images appear to be out of focus at first. The interested viewer can discover that the focus is not on the big picture, but on the images created by the drops of water on the glass, acting as lenses. An incredible perspective. The series is called "Slow Glass" as its idea is based on the concept of a material with the same name invented by the British author Bob Shaw. Slow Glass would permit to look through it and see events and moments it "remembered".
While in Milton Keynes, the photographer also created a large series of portraits of the location itself. I think the complete installation contains 49 photographs of residential areas in the city. The images oddly enough look as if they were not of actual residences but of to scale models of the same. Hatakeyama used a simple technique he describes in the book to achieve this effect. The car used to make the slow-glass pictures was involved again and a intelligently placed tripod, allowing us to feel like giants in a foreign and yet oddly familiar place.

Hatakeyama's sense of detail is incredibly refined and it appears that his ability to create exceptionally intelligent work is growing as he progresses in his career. There are only a few publications available about his work, the main being "Naoya Hatakeyama". Other books are a bit more rare. There is "Lime Works", and a few other titles available via
Hatakeyama is one of the most important Japanese photographers of this generation. And yet much of the work by this artist seems still relatively affordable. Will this change once he will find a Gallery in the United States, or will it just happen, as more and more people discover his work?
I feel really lucky to have discovered the work of Naoya Hatakeyama, as it is a true source of inspiration and an encouraging hint, that subtle and intelligent art will continue to exist.

Ally gets sun...

There was the big lawn. The woman next to me was Ally. She was trying to catch some sun. She had been in florida and just did not get enough. She would then go shopping. No, she did not want to meet this one friend, after all, she was dressed for the gym. Her boyfriend had sent her a text message. "Only 22 hours left until I get to kiss you..." how sweet. He was about to give him hell though. He claimed to have called her, to have sent her messages. She never got them. He told her to look at her bill. This was not enough. He would need to make up for it. Except that she would go to a dentist in 20 hours and so she was afraid that she would drool when they finally met.
The guy on the bench next to her, took of his sneakers. there he was in his dark red socks, in shorts, with his shirt thrown over his lap. He had various kinds of hair on his upper body. There was the and feathery kind all over his shoulders and back, there was the thick and heavy kind of vegetation in the center of his sly indented white chest. His arms were spread out on the back of the bench. He was the beautiful king of this park. At least from his point of view he was.
The three Irish Setters that were guided by us by a professional dog walker thought otherwise. They were just three confused pretty animals. Their thoughts were little sparks that guided them and rushed and slowed them down. The walker was a pro, but what he did was more a sort of dance, as he would step over leashes entangled by the reddish dogs.
IN the distance was the castle in the park, right across the big lawn. Outside of the park, a frozen explosion of familiar concrete. To the right, a new visitor, the AOL complex. I took a picture as the cranes on the roofs of the two buildings happened to point in the same direction and as the shadows of the meadow fence were cast in the opposite. I will probably forget about this image later.
Ally faced the sun. Her eyes closed, she was done with the phone call. I got up and walked towards the west side. "have a great day," I said... and that was all that was said this time...

Found fragment...

As I was looking through my drafts folder, looking for a little piece I started a few months ago, I came across this little fragment:

It looks as if the wind had had great fun whisking the pink layer of clouds across the bright blue sky. The sun is setting now and the colors are turning more dramatic by the minute. Soon the now colorful clouds will be just dark shadows, empty areas in the carpet of stars. The last boats are crossing the bay. Their s are on. Their engines seem louder than usual. Large passenger ships seem to be pasted on the edge of the horizon. I can see three now. All of them are facing south. One by one there are little s visible in the windows of the buildings around the bay. Each one of the s turned on by someone who thought that it was time. The s here are off still, but it is time. It is time. I will turn on the in a few seconds. And then for others around the bay this place will turn into a tiny man made star on the façade of a building. Good Evening Sunny Isles.

I am not really good at relaxing. Relaxing makes me nervous. And I can not relax unless I stop relaxing and do something, even if the ?something? is some sort of relaxation. (11/30/02/6pm)

111 pages 088-090

Putting the drawings into series of three pages combines some odd sequences at times. Sometimes the sequence does make sense though. Here are three drawings that seem to come straight out of the small aero drawings section of the catalogue here. I have the feeling that there might not be any sister images to these particular three in the catalogue, but I would not be surprised if there were some somewhere. I tend to leave completed drawings alone, but I also tend to use drawings as a starting point for new explorations. I do not really "copy myself", I just start off with a thought that might be included in one of the earlier drawings. This turns all of the drawings into sketches for other projects, of course. Just creating more starting points and more possibilities to see things. I think the drawings today were also drawn with this fading ink. I know that I stopped using it at some point, so the contrast will come back soon. Enjoy.

111 pages 085-087

Who would have thought that we are now on pages 85 through 87 already. As we are getting closer to the end of the month, the end of the book is also near. I just uploaded all of the images and will release them three at a time every day. My computer setup here is a little odd, I have a wired network and a wireless network and some of the devices, like the printer and the scanner happen to be connected to one of the wired macs.
The drawings today show an interesting spectrum of possible density on the page. Which one of the images seems to be the clearest and the most directly speaking one? Is it the one with the largest letters, or could it be the one with the most clever use of white-space. : )


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Well, there is this certain connection between the color brown and a particular "political" organisation in Germany in the 30's and early 40's. "What can brown do for you?" just always sounded a little intimidating to me, really. I tried to find some mental translation to the feeling, but I can not come up with anything good. Maybe something like "cleans like agent orange" kind of feeling. So I felt a little odd about the direction of UPS branding recently, until a new commercial hit me, sporting their new, fresh Logo. Sorry guys, Brown did not "do it for me" and now this blonde face looking at me, speeding on an Autobahn? Featuring the really famous "Seitenscheitel"? This is a bit scary, my friends. I compared some images via google and the famous "Seitenscheitel" went the other way and was black, of course... but I can not help it but see a face in this new logo and there is even a moustache, look at the p... Is there anybody left here who reads history books and risks a peek at some old photographs, by any chance?

Look at that! More Autobahn images and everywhere the face with the moustache and the Seitenscheitel.
Gone is Paul Rand's cute package... replaced by a "synchronized" Schildgesicht...
(Let us just hope there are no rebranding plans for Chase Just imagine they merged with HSBC and somebody decided to "unify" the visual language...

Embedded 2...


Another tiny story gathered by the Washington Post photographer Jahi Chikwendiu. The photographs are beautiful, even though there is a lot of blood and tears. And again, it is the slowness of it all that somehow makes it more digestable. It does not feel like a sports event, there are no flying logos. Car bomb explosion. I looked at the picture with my sound muted. Listened to the story while looking at the last photograph in the gallery.

Almost embedded...

I like the tone of the article by Anthony Shadid from the Washington Post today. It feels a bit more human than the glimpses shot from the backs of military vehicles or from planes. In an Ominous Sky, a City Divines Its Fate...
I will post drawings again, I will catch up. Just need to transfer them from a differrent computer.

111 pages 082-084

Yes, some of these drawings seem to be barely holding on to the page, they are barely there. I must have decided to use a different ink and even though the color might have been okay at first, it began fading very quickly. It does not even seem to be exposure to , the pages are inside of a book. Hmm, chemistry just sometimes turns things upside down.

Scarier America...


I was just given a little flyer that gives me $20 off all gas masks, I can also get $30 off respiratory protection for children and infants. The back of the flyer lists "Promotional Packages", like the $265 Adult kit ($379 on the website!), it contains 1 Gas Mask, one NBC protective suit, one package of NoRad Potassium Iodine, one pair of Nitrile Gloves and booties (!) and ... ready?... Duct tape!. The Package also contains a flash ...
Nuclear families can also order special kits. They vary in price from $499 for a Dinks family to $1425 for a two adults, one child and one baby kit. The baby protective wrap is called Schmartaf, like Schmata, except the RF model. Wonderful. There is free delivery on all promotional packages. You think that I completely lost it, don't you? Well, see for yourself, visit:"Safer America". I will now go and draw some more.


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Maybe the postings need to be broken down into little pieces. Maybe there is no way for my brain to stretch so far as to embrace even two of the thousand corners of what is happening right now. Is intelligence being redefined? What does it mean to be "smart"? Does it mean to hit a very specific place and destroy it? What would dumb mean then? Just destroy? Is there a term for a bomb that is created to help to erect a building rather than removing it from satellite pictures?
Are soldiers considered "smart gun carriers?"
Does "intelligence" mean finding out things that can lead to death and destruction? What would be the name of the thing that is used to bring life and new solutions?
Does "friendly" just mean coming from the people who are told the same thing as the one being attacked? Is there "friendly beatings?", "friendly punishment", "friendly truth", "friendly death"?
Will there ever be an "Operation (insert name of your home-country as adjective) Freedom?" Will there be "embedded" reporting with those who come to "liberate"? Will they only come to destroy "relevant" targets, like hmm... the "Pentagon"? Or some other emerging targets in non residential areas?
Will you welcome these people with flowers, embracing the wonderful new order that will be so much better than what we have known for the length of our lifetime? How quickly will you realize that what is brought to you is so much better than what you adapted yourself to live with?
There will be no such thing as of course. It is a very wrong thing to think such things. Writing them down is much, much worse.


Yes, the postings here are paralyzed by the current events. And no, I do not really think that protests can change anything right now. I do not think that stopping traffic will change anything either, at least not right now. It is too late for that.
Now might be a good time to rethink habits. I will park my large 4x4 in the farthest corner of my garage and will not drive in it until somebody asks me to put it into the collection of relics of the lost oil hungry aera. Oh, wait, I do not have a car, or a garage...
Today, more than ever, might be the time to produce art. Maybe? I am paralyzed. I have written some posts, but they are filled with what I was taught to think of war and what I was taught to think of agression.
I was only taught how to react to agression, not to be on the other side. (Replace agression with "liberation".)
It seems that everything I write is very incompatible with what I am now sold as the truth. Pravda used to be the word, now it is Truth... at least the German word Wahrheit (read Vaar-heyt) sounds closer to its own meaning...
Can I pay my $258,12 now and switch the channel? : (

111 pages 079-081


The deeper we go into the book, the stranger some of the drawings get. A four eyed satyr? A car with a number three on the roof? What was I thinking?
It is quite possible that the day on which I drew these was a bit like today. Much of the factors around here feel like a perfect day, but my head is just barely able to catch up, it is filled with worry and new definitions for the words death and destruction. There is nothing friendly about friendly fire, there is nothing casual in hmm... oh... let me try to regroup and write a bit more later... : |

111 pages 073-075


You know what I like? Do you? Is it something that is written somewhere in a book on a page in my genes, inside of your head, under the skin of the palm of your hand, or in your chest? Is my preference something that was given to me by the places I come from or is it something that will define where I will ultimately gravitate to, will I close the door on this life with a smile on my face, looking forward, or facing the past? Do you know what I like? Can you imagine what I like. Could it be something you would like to like? Do you think I know what I like, is it possible to know that, really? Do you think that what I like will be a discovery, something I will not even be able to imagine until we meet... again, maybe you and me, maybe us and the moment that will glow with joy, just you in a moment that will bring incredible happiness to me? Hmm... or are the things I long for in the past? Are there these moving images behind my eyelids, these tiny pieces of reality that will be the ones that will make me smile when I look down the street in 50 years or so? If there will be a me in 50 years from now.

The sequence of drawings today is a bit like a question and an answer. I am not quite sure if they were intended this way. They are, after all, just the consecutive pages of a book.
Do I like to watch? Hmm... yes, but only if watching is not limited to the eyes... and I actually like to see as well, not just watch. I like to be an active viewer sometimes, sometimes passive... oh, I think I am not only giving away too much, I might be fueling your imagination...
What do you like?

111 pages 067-069


Leaving Florida. One great hing about the Fort Lauderdale airport is the free internet access. All wireless and fast. The good way of dealing with this. Laguardia airport is filled with new centrino stickers, promising the new great thing, this new wireless thing, but when I opened my browser all I saw was an open electronic hand waiting for me to pay.
The cab driver was incredibly nice. He spoke of the Florida that used to be here, the florida that had oaks and hummingbirds. He also said that he would not shop at aventura mall, remember the place where I was not allowed to take pictures? He said that he saw with his own eyes how thousands of flamingoes and racoons were rounded up and buried alive when he was a child. A chilling image. He claimed that most of the "nature" that is now left in Miami beach was introduced here to make it all look nice.
Leaving Florida. Watching the sky through the window of the airport. The sunsets are beautiful now. They will probably become even more beautiful in the months to come, as the particles of burning liquids and solids will travel high into the atmosphere. It is so hard not to think about what is happening in the world right now and how oddly it matches some of the events that stood at the beginning of some of the most horrible tragedies of humankind.

Make Pixels, not war...

| 4 Comments is pixellicious! Take a look at Totto Renna's site. There is so much joy in the whole thing. And all made out of cute little pixels. Woow. Definitely placing one of his banners on this site. Cute, aren't they? Love the site.

111 pages 064-066

"are we gonna be doing paypal?, no paypal at all? we are using who? and for example, let me see here, they are using master, visa, one second, bulls**t, one second, enter the shopping cart, hold on, for like on a standard bag, like a s**t bag, they are charging $12 on that, this is for two items they have $12.25 for shipping and these are the options, USA, UPS overnight, global priority, 3-5 days.. well, yea there other countries, you know, ..., so okay so we would do USA, UPS, US-PS is it supposed to be UPS? they don't do anything with UPS, nothing..., but this is the UNited States Postal Service, this is what it is... but what if I don't want to use UPS, because I do not want to pay the expense of shipping UPS okay?, allright?, okay... I'll make the time, okay, very good, talk to you later, okay..."... she writes a time into her calendar.
There is no air conditioning in the ice-parlor today. I get to use the computer in the corner, the one that plays Italian pop-hits all day. Next to me is an overdressed lady with a trigger happy cellphone. She came in cursing, she placed her order for two bags, I guess, or was she more of a company owner, who just cursed at the web developers?
She is now writing down the various shipping options from a bag-site... she is picking up the phone again...
"we're not gonna do personal checks, money orders?"
I guess she is a speedy (and very loud) "boss".
The weather is too hot and too humid for me to have any thoughts today.
She seems to be speeding down the lanes of success, clicking her way through sites and phone numbers. Cursing away.
Not the best commentary for the drawings below, I know. I will probably need to come back and edit, one day, when it will be nice and cool in a friendly quiet place.

111 pages 061-063

There is a back room in Fanelli's cafe on Prince and Mercer in SoHo. It is a rom sly yellowish and with tables covered with red and white checkered tablecloths. The top third of the half panelled walls in the room is covered with Liquor licenses of more than a hundred years. The older ones are very elaborate and feel quite ornamental. I waited for the meeting with a curator from Germany when I started to collect tiny pieces of these ornamental treatments and assembling them into the drawings below.
I think an important concept of the daily drawing practice is to use the medium to translate just about anything that happens. The tiniest pieces of information, more complex events, ideas, plans.
Much about drawings should happen with the same simplicity as we make drawings when explaining how to get from point a to point b.

Bass Museum of Arts


After a visit to the MOCA (Museum of COntemporary Art im Miami) today this entry (and the entry before this one) is being posted from the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach Florida. It is a wild feeling to sit here in a very cooled down booth with a baige Dell Computer and just ten yards or so away from me are two fantastic woodcuts and an etching by Albrecht Duerer. When I lean back in my chair I can see them on the wall to the left.
The Yayoi Kusama exhibition here is not a large but very handsome selection of her work.
A photographic exhibition of the Miami Beach Hotel architecture of the 30's and 40's also creates a mild balance to the extraordinary tapestries and other permanent pieces from the collection. Who would have thought to find all this right here in the midst of the Art Ceco district.

111 pages 058-060

No separation for channels of perception. Much of the world around us is actually part of a world within us. Much of what we think is on the outside, is more of a comparison game with the world we already know and remember and carry with us. To make faster actions and decisions possible, much of our perception is actually assumption. Many of us can work perfectly feeding only off these assumptions. A computer is a computer, a table is a table, a chair is a chair. It takes a lot of energy to reinvent the world that is around us at least for a certain portion of our awake day. What is a necessary learning process for every child, as it discovers the world for the first time, becomes something that is often avoided by an "experienced" adult.
This is true for all channels of communication. The "familiar" is often the mask that translates any perception into a quickly digestable experience. This survival strategy makes us very efficient on one hand, but on the other hand, we can often be blind with our eyes wide open.
This does not mean that the world needs to be reinvented every single time, of course, but it is sometimes good to know that what we experience is not really what is out there, even if the system might seem all completely true and "logical" in itself.
It is sometimes healthy to be most sceptical in moments of least perceptual resistance. When things seem clear and simple. When the colors are black and white, this might be the time to at least try to discover a number of shades between them.

111 pages 055-057


How odd, how odd. Why are today's drawings about media, evacuation? Hmm. So strange. CNN intervied a reporter of the New Yorker, who "chickened" out of the "objective" program offered by the US army to let journalists march with the troops. He backed out at the last minute. The way CNN asked the questions was as if this man had really been a bit of a weakling. But then came an interesting question, as for what it had been that made him decide against the participation in the attack. He began by saying that even though there was a training on how to use the protectibve gear, namely a gas mask, he barely knew how to use the equipment properly, or how not to use it. He continued to say that there is a bit of an expectation that the Iraqi troops will use chemical agents against the American troops, to somehow legitimize the attack. It scared him very much that when he asked what should be done if he happens to throw up into his gas mask, as it is very much to be expected that the exposure to chemical agents would not make him feel better but worse, the instructor could not give him an answer, as to how to proceed. Hmm... Scary, isn't it?
I will try to find a good museum here in Miami today. I went by the beach yesterday, for the first time. You would have laughed if you could see me, with all my heavy equipment and in black pants. I spent some time on the pier, shot pictures of pelicans. The birds are not afraid of anybody here. They expect fish to come out of somebody's pocket any minute. Saw an angler tear a fish away from a seagull that had taken his bait fish quite high into the air.
I am very afraid of the time ahead of us...

111 pages 052-054


Not quite sure how the basketball-player made it into the book. He is one of my favorites now, especially because he is followed by this floating baby image. The effect is not very apparent here, but when the pages are in a book, the baby is in a spot that the basketball player almost seems to reach for.
I like a generous use white space in some drawings. Leaving a drawing almost bare, almost completely empty helps to focus so much better on what is there on the page.
It is often an issue when working with commercial clients that they would either like to put a large amount of information on a page or that they would like to have several equally important elements, messages on the same page.
I think the second drawing shows that it is often more effective to have one soft voice give a tiny message in a bare space, than having ten equally important voices in this same space.
It is of course a grand luxury of free work to have items that contain a message so well coded that it is not directly translatable into any sort of call to action immediately. The drawings here have layers and layers of meaning, but they are not clear selling points. Instead of offering drawings that seemingly contain a very clear message which has the tendency to age and burn out easily, the images today and for the last several days are coded and layered in ways that allow them to travel through time and to release their meaning over time.

Moments of truth...


War. There is no such thing as a good war. There is no such thing as a won war. I do not care how pretty the graphics will be. I do not care how clean and well designed the maps will be. I do not care how glorious the images shown to us will be. I do not care how well picked the words will be. I do not care how often the word "truth" will be abused in the time ahead of us. I do not care how many "good reasons" there will be.
War, any kind of war, is tragic, horrible, sad, unjust on a large scale. There is nothing beautiful about war, there is nothing beautiful about destruction, there is nothing good about destroying life on a large scale. War is a very short word for killing large amounts of people in a systematic and targeted way. War is a short word for targeted destruction and barbaric acts.
I can not think of any war in history that would have brought anything good to those who were killed in them or to those who's families were injured.
How will we explain this situation to our children and grand children? Or will they be happy with the explanations which are being written now, the pretty graphics, the animations and glorious recordings the new definitions of truth?

111 pages 049-051


Television. Television is what made me wake up each morning and wait for the first face to appear on the black and white screen. I would wait with the sound on, sometimes for more than 10 minutes, just staring at the test picture, waiting for the programming to go on. There would be Russian movies about the war. Forget american superheroes, the things Russian soldiers could do in these glorifications of a won war were just beyond that. I would watch television even when it really hurt me. I would not be able to take the excitement sometimes. I would then just jump up and down on the green chair by the kitchen. There were two channels on Polish television when I was growing up in the 70's.
My favorite shows now are probably on PBS and even C-Span, (for our non American readers, these are "commercial free" Public Broadcast Stations.) Especially C-Span has this grace I remember from my childhood. Issues were there to discuss them, not to tease with them. "Find out more, when we come back..." (We never really find out more...)
I loved the Chopin festivals. These were real National Multimedia Events. The TV-picture would be black and white, but the simultano-cast radio trasmission was in Stereo. Our radio was called RIGA, it was a Russian product, yet quite good in picking up those "Radio Free Europe" and "Voice of America" transmissions. Somehow those were not peppered with information procrastinations. I guess what we were supposed to buy was the information itself.

Hmm, looks like...


Take a look at this flash intro and tell me if it remotely reminds you af a web-site you just recently looked at? Hmm... it reminds me of one... and it really makes me smile.

111 pages 046-048


It is interesting to be in an ice-parlor again. In Miami again. The drawings today seem to somehow match the tempreature outside. It rained this morning, it was pretty heavy rain, now it is quite hot, humid, lazy. Gelato 44 is the only internet access point in this mall in Sunny Isles, a community just north of Miami Beach. It is a great strip mall here on 173rd street and Collins Avenue. The Police is in here too, across the parking lot, on the second floor. City hall is right next to it. The Post Office is inside of city hall. It does sound quite relaxing, doesn't it?
I posted enough drawings to the server so I can keep posting them throughout my time away from New York. I will not disappear. I will be here. I will also report about the incredible adventures in a place that seems to be much further away than it actually is.

111 pages 043-045

| 1 Comment

There were barely any postings here today. (Ahem, there were no postings here so far today.) A car will pick me up in about 15 minutes and I will be gone for a week after that. A very necessary break from all the activities that involve computers and things. There will be no phone again, there will be no real internet. I will report as well as I can. And there will be postings, so I hope. Hmm... come back and see. : )

111 pages 040-042

What could I write about these, what could I write about these. I could have sworn that the first one was from the aero drawings book, which you can find in the catalogue but it appears that I have not refurbished this one. I should.
The second drawing is just interesting. I really do not know what it is about. Same with the third drawing. What was I thinking? What did I see? Will I be able to find out? Will it matter? Enjoy.

Do not place child...


in cart... Daniel of Waferbaby posted one of my sign photographs in his sign project gallery. Yey!. Take a look, it is here.
I have previously submitted photographs to his city project. They are here and here... just in case you wanted to know... There are some pretty amazing photographs in the photo-project area of waferbaby. But you knew that. : )

111 pages 037-039

There is a transformation underway on the beaches north of Miami. Large real estate developers bought up the ocean front areas and are turning what used to be little charming hotels into large skyscraper resorts. Soon the entire area will be ready to inhale the masses of baby boomers moving in from the north.
It is a bit odd to look at these drawings and to see airplanes and skyscrapers in a peaceful coexistence. How long will it take for us not to associate flying things and buildings in the same drawing with destruction?
The building in the second drawing is called pinnacle. You can see a photograph of it in the 600x250 section of the catalogue, or in the background of this entry.
Hmm... peaceful and innocent drawings. Have a wonderful day.

One booth over...


The man in the cap was explaining to the man in a hat how it all happened. The protestants were actually British and the catholics were the Irish. Britain got to keep the area around Belfast because it was the center of its industry when the revolution happened. "This is where they built the Titanic, you see."
"This is a bit like Paris, isn't it?" the lady in the booth next to me suggested. We looked at the two older men discussing some current events.
"Not only did she leave him for her boyfriend of seven years, she even took the dog. I mean when the dog leaves ya, that's pretty serious." The men had moved the conversation to more recent events in the city. The crowd at the counter laughed. There were more quizzes and questions about the history of the United States, about greek words, about the war. Nobody wanted the war in this diner on 101st and Broadway. It is hardly the forum anybody will listen to.
Eveline used to be a singer. She moved to New York in 1972, from Illinois. She used to be a professor there and a singer. When she decided to move to New York, her mother was quite worried. Why would this girl of 53 give up the security of an academic career and move into the big city? But Eveline had a voice, she had the teaching experience and she also had a brother who was willing to help her. He gave her an apartment on 55 West, he even bought her the original furniture that came with the place oh and a mink coat. "You are a singer, you might as well look like one," he said. She liked New York from the start. She sang in Tristan and Isolde, she had a subscription to the Metropolitan Opera for all these years. Her brother was taking good care of her. He was doing quite well. He even bought this football team... the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. She said that he would have been proud to have seen them in the Superbowl. She bought a house on 106th street and Riverside Drive in 1974. It was a real bargain. She bought it with three other singers. Her investment was not a little money, but a really ridiculously tiny sum compared to what even just her apartment is worth these days. The entire building was worth less in 1974 than her apartment today. She has many apartments now. Her own place has seven rooms, she has a view of the river. "I am just sitting pretty," she said. Last year she put her place onto the (real estate) market. Her other investments were not doing so well, and so giving up her main residence seemed like a good idea. She is glad now that she made this list with her son, comparing the pros and cons of the sale. She kept the place, of course. If she had to go to a retirement home, that would be a different situation, but she is doing quite well still, giving singing lessons. Her son started singing as well. It is a really good thing.
We spoke about the various personalities we develop as we grow older. She spoke about herself in a way that described a transformation of more than just one person.
She took some risks in her life. Some were bigger than others. All of them seem to have paid off.
She got her dinner to go. We know we will continue this conversation. Next time. After all are both regulars at the "Broadway Restaurant".
Oh, and what is the only State in the Union that borders to just one other state?

111 pages 034-036

| 1 Comment

The beach can be packed in March. The average age on the beach can very well be seventy at times. This is not a bad thing, of course.
There must be plenty of joy in turning from pink to red. Some are excellent observers, some like to be observed. Some bring towels, some bring umbrellas, some come in a group of ten.
Then there is the water. Oh, the water. There is water in the ocean, there is water in the bottles, there is always the good sweet sunny sweat.
I tend to come back from vacations as pale as when I left. I am the person who spends the days in the shade, or indoors, or just in a place between imagination and what is really there.

A quick hop-hop trip.


When I woke up this morning, my Powerbook greeted me with a very interesting image straight from the reFresh : reLoad ® - Inactive Exhibition Space (So glad they made a version of osX now. It is my absolutely favorite screen-saver. It is a collection of outstanding visuals, served randomly to all users. Users can then just press the space bar and see the website of the contributing artist. How fantastic!)
I am not quite sure what the image was I saw, but it brought me to Halfproject :: designers communicate, a site I yet have to explore. (Oh, time...) But I clicked on the "lobster", and landed on Rexbox Version 3 (what the heck is this talented guy's name?) You will very much enjoy many pieces of the site, all you need is flash5, a screen, some speakers and a good connection... i guess. Oh, yes, there is so much fun packed in this little site. wow.
I was very happy that the very first link in the link section of this talented Brit, was the site of Stephan Britt. (Sbritt is so incredibly fantastic, I have no words.)
So jump around, be jolly, I will keep working and hopefully write a little more later today. yey.

just 5 hours


It was quite cold this morning. Definitely below freezing. There were ice flowers on the pavement downtown. The colors in the streets were still very muted and bluish grey when I arrived at the federal building. The lady at one of the information counters had promised an emptry room and no waiting at all last time I went. There were more people here now than the last time. A tripple person line went all the way from the door of the building, through the little heated tent tunnel, which was packed, away from the skyscraper, to the street, then around the corner, all the way down the block. The line was intertwined with a second one, not quite as long, still impressive. The other one was for people with appointments. I had brought coffee and a bagel. I knew that I would have to wait for at least 30 minutes or so. It was 7am and the place opens at 7:30. I should have guessed that the waiting outside would be more of a 2.5 hour adventure, if one can call it adventure to be in a line for such a long time, with barely any progress. The woman behind me was from Jamaica. She had lost her green-card. She had lost it in her apartment, she said, she did not want to admit to it, so she thought that it could be easier to get a replacement. She did not even have a hat on. The old lady in front of me had problems with her scarf. The wind would always unravel it, and because she had so many layers on, it was my job to help her get this thing around her neck. She barely spoke English. She might have been 70. Before we reached the corner, she told me that she would go to... she made a very complex hand movement which probably meant that the place she was going to was blocks away. She never came back.
The strange lawyer types kept coming back. One spoke Spanish and tried to spark up conversations with anybody who looked as if they were latino. (About 70 percent of the line seemed to be.) I did not understand what he was saying. The other guy spoke English. He just walked by the line and repeated something under his beard. It was some sort of: "you can not find out about your application, you have to mail it in, I have the forms for mailing..." very strange. Then there were the guys from photo-stores. It was pretty clear that they had been in this line themselves, maybe not so long ago. One gave a woman who brought her baby in a stroller the advice to just cut ahead and to try to get into the heated tent. Nobody had anything against it, of course. The officer in the tent was pretty unimpressed. He was in a different position than all of us. It was a different man than last time. This one enjoyed his limitless power immensely. If he did not like how somebody outside of the tent was standing in line, or rather not in it, he would simply ignore the shivering hundreds outside of his heated bubble. He would wait until the 100 or so people whom he let in the tent were done with their security entrance and then, finally, open the door for those waiting outside. A bit s taste of animal cruelty, except that we were not animals. None of us. Yet there were big signs on the closed off parcels of frozen grass, reminding us that letting our dogs onto this property would result in a $50 fine and/or a 30 day imprisonment. It was somehow funny.
Eventually the tent came closer. Eventually there was the revolving door. Then there was the shortcut using the escalators. The third floor. There really was no line. My number was 069 not something in the two hundreds. The same clerk who had recently told me that my window had been closed hours before my arrival, gave me a yellow piece of paper and directions. As I was leaving the large room on the third floor a woman was complaining to an officer. He then told her to just come earlier next time. "Some people wait outside at midnight." She must have complained about the cold.
I noticed on the eight floor that I only knew one third of the questions asked by the yellow form. I knew things about me, but this thing asked me names of officers and very special dates. How could I know all that, out of the blue? Would I be sent away again? The lady at window number one calmed me down. It was all okay. I did not really have to know it all. She took away my papers, and all I had to do was wait. That was so simple. I had brought the paper with me and as I was waiting, I had the opportunity to read about some really fascinating events.
It took a zippy 2.5 hours to check my case. (It really is fast.) And so I was a very happy man when I was finally on my way out into the New York sun. The line was as long as when I joined it. I will be back for more, at some other time.

111 pages 031-033

Planes are packed with images. International instructions that advise us what to do if there is nobody left to tell us what to do. Adventures in design. Ready or not. Then there are the window seats for those who want to experience a continuity in their lives. There are the aisle seats for those who like to get up a lot. And then there are the center seats for those who just want to get it over with. Those who were not able to convince the ticket person otherwise and those who think that they can accomplish this really important thing on their laptop 30 thousand feet above ground. I wonder how much really happens there.
The destination of the 2000 trip was Miami, a little resort called "Monaco". It is really far from what one usually refers to as Miami beach, so the crowd is a very different one. These are the quiet moments. Did IBM shares hit $193 in 2000? Or was I just making it up?

111 pages 028-030


It is not easy to write something encouraging and happy about drawings I actually really like, on a day when I feel like hmm... ¢15. There is sun outside and I just went to get some breakfast, which was good. The air is just filled with anticipation, there will be a spring this year, again, there will be an explosion of color and happy sound, for sure. I know this is all going to take place, I know that there will be good times, but right now... right now my inside is not the greatest of places.
So while the drawings here today are some of the really good ones, I think, I am not able to write too much about them. Yes, they were drawn in the airport, yes the two last ones on the plane. I like what I was doing with iconography here. I think the combination of text and image is very fluid and works quite well. I can see all these good things, everywhere, but I have a horrible headache, and other, worse aches... I am basically all hurting.. and so I can not be very encouraging today. Sorry.

NY or NL?


One sly confusing little detail about getting the meat of the Sunday New York Times on Saturday, as all subscribers do, is that I can not really point you to articles that excite on the day when I read them. Hmm, I could just wait, or write my own things, but there are just tiny little gems one needs to share. So... there will be an article in the New York Times tomorrow, written by Andras Szanto, called:"The Dutch Give the Arts A Dash of (Cold) Water." (Yes, capital A.) The article made me want to move to Old Amsterdam even more, though I will probably stay in New Amsterdam for the rest of my life.
But please just take a look at these numbers: "The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science's staggering $21 billion budget is the largest of any Dutch government agency. Adjusted to population size, it's roughly equivalent to the military budget of the United States." (Imagine that!) and... "The culture ministry spends $400 million a year directly to the arts ? about $25 for every Dutch citizen. By comparison, the National Endowment for the Arts' budget is $115 million ? ¢40 for every American. Even the most generous estimates of federal expenditures on culture (that includes monument conservation at the Forestry Service) barely surpass $7 per American." Now one could certainly point out that Americans have more of a philanthropy system in place and that private institutions and funds give to the arts much more freely than the Dutch do, or ever will. Indeed cultural philanthropy in the United States is estimated at $12 billion, but even combined... well, you get the idea. It gets better. "Cities in the Netherlands lavish even more than the central government. The arts budget of Amsterdam (population 720,000) is roughly three and a half times the current budget of the Arts Council of California (Population 35 million). For every dollar New York City spends on the arts per capita, Amsterdam spends three."
The article goes on to describe the change of these allocations in the Netherlands, and actually across Europe towards the American, seemingly "more efficient" direction, of course, but just the idea of artists being able to "work for up to four years and receive social security (these days without any obligation to hand in any art)," and dancers who are no longer able to perform being "eligible for three-year retraining grants." Sounds truly fantastic even with the background of the Netherlands having some of the highest tax rates in Europe.
It is just a really great article by Andreas Szanto, who is deputy director of the national arts journalism program at Columbia University.

Once again 21:21


A tiny commentary to the 21:21 piece.
I hid the comments from this entry. It was very nice that there were some, but what they mainly showed me was that I should have taken my time to explain the drawing and the sister photograph.
This is an all an experiment, it is an investigation, it is a very fragile new project. I am just figuring things out here and so I am very sensitive to any commentary. So maybe I should not be showing this piece here at all? I want to share it and I want to publish it here just to mark the time and date for myself. The piece is in the open now, it can not be really ignored.
I had an entire introduction written for the drawing and the photograph, but then there was not enough time to find all the correct links and to check all the correct facts.
I know that photography and drawing seem to be distant relatives but somehow they can intersect and photography was born from drawings. I think this is one factor that has been forgotten over the years. Photography was supposed to be an automated process of drawing, it was supposed to be the objective draftsman. Photography was born out the frustrations that drawings are so not-perfect.
Well, the final results are not. One factor of most photography is its synchronicity. All elements of a frame are captured at the same time. I know that there are cameras that do not do that, cameras that collect their image line by line... but most of the images we see are just incredibly thin slices of time, captured at the same time in all of the corners available to the film plane exposed to . This feels like the way we see things, but it most definitely is not. This quick final result creation is not the way we perceive the world around us. Our eyes are pretty great little extensions of our brains, but their optics are obviously very much, hmm, cranium enhanced? We thing that we see the world as a whole, but we actually see the world as a story. It is not dimensions we see, we experience a sequence of little events. Our eyes are guided ballistically by our brain to check for crucial well known elements of objects. We then think we see a car a person, things, art... but we just acknowledge them, we do not really see them as a whole. It takes a long time to actually see something. (try it!)
And even if we take out time to actually try to see something, when we combine the 5% of our field of vision that we actually can put in focus at any time, when we combine these little impressions into a bigger picture, when we finally become so familiar with an object or a piece of art that we have the feeling that we know it as well as the artist who created it, then we stil do not, and never will, because it was only the artist who saw the original vision and then the failure or success of the creation and then the moment when it was time to finally stop. It is a big deal. Some pieces take years to complete because it is such a difficult process for the artist.
An artist whom I very much admire has had a canvas prepared for months and months, the outlines of an object marked on it, ready to continue, but then there was life, around the piece that somehow intersected that disturbed, the flurries of events that had to take place in order to bring the piece to an emotional as well as a visible completion.
A large percentage of what we can look at in museums and galleries are equivalents of taxidermie zoos, they are the remainders, the final split seconds of works. Not really their lives.
I know that many art critics see a very strong disconnect between the work and the artist. The creation process does not really matter, it is the classifiable results that count. Many artists since Duchamp have managed to distance themselves from even the process of making things, and there will barely ever be a moment when the entire process of how basically soil and living matter is turned into drawings and paintings will be documented.
What I was trying to somehow focus on was the very controlled window that leads to these drawings that as end results might seem very flat and just somehow confusing, or something that could maybe be a decorative element more than anything else.
By seeing these drawings as exposure however, as mere exposure of paper to me with a pen. And by then showing that this exposure does not happen in itself as a split second moment, but as a very linear process in so many ways, it might become possible to take a better glimpse at the pre-final life of the drawings. Before they are declared "finished."
These drawings seem to not be composed and yet they all are obviously related to each other, as if following some secret composition. Each one of them is a bit of a story... by documenting their creation by creating sister images, that in themselves are flats, and not video sequences, time is translated into the third dimension. The er any line in the drawing on the photograph, the younger it is, the farther in the distance of the paper it appears. What we see in the photograph is the drawing in a three dimensional space, as time travels from the very first line to the very barely visible last.
Tom Friedman made this piece in which he wrote his name in a spiral until the ink in his ballpoint pen ran out... it is a bit like that, except that I am probing and translating a much thinner slice of the thing called time.
Does this make sense at all?

111 pages 025-027

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The drawings today are a bit more about trains and subways and aeroplanes. It seems that a lot of what I draw has something to do with transportation. The reasons for this are very obvious. When being carried from one place to another in a big metal container, one can do many interesting things, but all of them are somehow taking place in a sitting position. Writing is good on trains and reading is, drawing is as well. On the subway one can not really look out the window, except for when the train enters the station or when it passes by a cavity discovered by graffiti artists. (There is one between 89th Street and 96th Street and it very much rocks.) When taking the elevated train, like the 7 line or the JMZ, the landscape outside feels as if one traveled in a low hovering helicopter (a ghetto-bird) through very diverse and historic and really fascinating places. (The 7 line is thus declared a landmark as far as I know.)
Making airplane drawings is just a really great joy. I really like to travel by plane. At least the intercontinental trips still have something special to them. (Especially when not traveling in all the way in the back of the plane.) Planes are the closest thing to what it must have felt when the first explorers embarked on their travels. The vessels they used were just such vulnerable little things with not an option to just stop and ask the next farmer for some fresh water. Airplanes are a bit like that, except with a really great view. They are little bubbles of design, packed efficiently with people who have some very specific plans. This is the good stuff.

111 pages 022-024

How fitting, on this evening that happens to be a sad one, there are these odd drawings. These stem-drawings. The first one was just a complete failure. It began with this term "Entertainment Hobbyist", that hung outside of a model making store on 22nd Street. It was a little shop upstairs and some of the guys found it interesting all of a sudden because it had these remote controlled cars. The .com money had to go into something silly, and since everybody had palm pilots and new laptops, and shiny new phones, they began to go for the toys. Remote controlled cars. A dream of every boy, you know. It is a bit like magic, this remote control stuff. The building of a model is also a bit like magic. Entertainment Hobbyist sounds as if there were the Battle Hobbyist and the Hygiene Hobbyist and the Government Hobbyist. And I guess they are there. Oh well, this is, of course, a completely different story.
The building in the drawing was just awful. It was a really bad drawing and so I started drawing little lines here and there, just to somehow fix the drawing. And then more and more and at some point it had nothing to do with the building. It was as if this Organic mass had taken over the architecture and just grew completely out of proportion and in some rather odd directions. Hmm... I am not quite sure what I could have meant by all this...
The next drawing is a bit of a more clear direction. These are arrows, yes, and they all point into one direction. Yes. They are however very much like the pointers of a compass, you see, and all of them somehow resemble a face. Clearly. Thus, we have a face going South, one could say... going down? Or could it be that this person is going against the stream because she is going backwards? Or could we say that this person has a certain grace, because she chose to take things in rather than spewing them out. So while the face might be looking towards the left, which is in western iconography the past, or the start of things, all of the streams that make the face are pointing into the future, the right direction, and so on... A very simple drawing. And a complex one. (Okay, maybe a bit too obvious... but it is just a sketch...)
The third drawing is just a little drawing of Port Washington, a quite beautiful little place in Long Island. It is not difficult to get there. It just takes one train line. The little cars are school-busses. If you would like to color this one in, use yellow for high visibility.



"21" drawing and polaroid. A 21 minute drawing on Shikishi paper recorded on 21DIN polaroid film in a 21 Minute exposure. Start time 3/6/2003 9:00PM (21:00) end time 9:21PM (21:21).

111 pages 019-021


The first drawing is a rough chart of the One West, another golden baby of D.Trump. The higher we go, the higher the prices, and the closer we are to the park, the higher the prices. I think this is the building that contains the apartment with the $100,000/Month rent, but I could be really wrong. Actually if anything in The Trump World Tower were available for rent, it would very likely to be more expensive, maybe? But it is a condo, and who knows. I have no idea. I am not a real estate expert.
The remaining two drawings today are just subway sketches. The first one drawn obviously while waiting for the 1 train going uptown on the 59th street station. ( circle.) The last drawing is a bit strange. I might have started drawing it on 72nd street, but the trains mentioned here stop at Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center. Hmm. 47-50 might explain just that. This is the name of the station. I might have gone downtown and then switched to the B on 59th street, then to the F under Rockefeller center. My final destination would have then been 23rd and 6th Avenue, the location of our office, back in the day. Such odd speculations. Hope you are having a nice evening.

Giig & Iggi


Boy was I in a horrible mood before I clicked on a link and landed on this little furniture site. I am usually very annoyed by sites that take over AND start playing music. Well, this one plays happy music and has pretty joyful pieces of furni... See for yourself...Giig & Iggi. Any favorite pieces?

111 pages 016-018


The Huntington Hartford building on 2 circle is one of my favorite pieces of strange architecture in New York. It was designed by Edward Durrell Stone to display Huttington Hartford's personal collection of art. It was given the name "Gallery of Modern Art", but it did not serve as such for long. It is now empty, it just barely escaped from the wrecking balls wished upon it by its its enemies who call it "silly little piece of kitsch--a white marble, pseudo-Venetian doodad lifted above an arcade that Ada Louise Huxtable likened to giant lollipops..." (At least some do.) Now the place will be the new home for the American Craft Museum, which is going to have the place redesigned by Allied Works Architecture, the same people who brought us such places like the Wieden & Kennedy Headquarters.
Well, as I hear the façade of the building will be "opened up", there will be some major changes to the look. Would somebody drill windows into the walls of the Guggenheim if they were told that the product they are starting with is pure kitsch? Hmm.
I agree that 2 Circle is a strange building, but the location of it is just such little piece of greatness, it probably should be preserved. Let's move to drawing number three. Here we have the statue of Christopher , a guy who never gave up the belief that he found a new passage to Asia. So I guess if he were standing on that pillar of his in the midst of the traffic circle named after him, he would definitely not be surprised to look at something that looks like a maharaja palace (the statue faces the building.) He would probably find it deful to be right next to the AOL-Time Warner Center , where an entire giant corporation that had the feeling of having discovered the equivalent of the -time Asia-passage. (A large subscription base...)
Behind him is a large Steel Globe (ahem, now you know why I picked this photograph when designing this portion of you can actually see the Huntington Hartford building in the lower right corner of that picture.)
And behind that globe is this place. Which basically closes this... circle. I think I would keep the building intact and just invite the Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko (read Chshyshtov Voditshko) do run some of his brilliant Projections on there. I think I would love that.

111pages, 013-015


Ahem, well, these are, well, how can I say it. I am not really proud of these. The first one is a friendly vista of the city, a continuation of the other series we just saw. The second and the third one were drawn at the News-Stand-Store on 59th street, near Circle. The place is still there and it is a deep shop, packed with international magazines for all possible areas of interest. They have back issues from a long time ago and I would not be surprised if they carried future publications. I must have walked home. This place was on the way. It is impressive. You should go visit. Enough about these drawings. More coming up soon. : )

Can you read me?


Hello there, dear reader. Can you read this? Or is this site merely a wall of 1mm sized text with some pictures sprinkled in...

I've just received a very friendly email from a German scientist, letting me know that it was almost impossible to read anything on If this were true, it would be pretty sad. I get many visitors per day. My writing might be silly at times, but I do not exactly want to keep it a super-secret.

Hmm... well, if you can read this, then you could probably read the site all along and asking you to send me a screenshot of how you see the site would not really make sense. So maybe I should just repost the same content, just in a bigger size. This will also help me predict the look?... Let's see.

Hello there, dear reader. Can you read this? Or is this site merely a wall of 1mm sized text with some pictures sprinkled in...

I've just received a very friendly email from a German scientist, letting me know that it was almost impossible to read anything on If this were true, it would be pretty sad. I get many visitors per day. My writing might be silly at times, but I do not exactly want to keep it a super-secret.

Hmm... well, if you can read this, then you could probably read the site all along and asking you to send me a screenshot of how you see the site would not really make sense. So maybe I should just repost the same content, just in a bigger size. This will also help me predict the look?... Let's see. Ahem... pleas send me a screenshot of how you see this site. Or if you would like to share with all of us, please post a link to a screenshot in the commens of this post.
(Thank you.)

111Pages 007-012


I know, I know, this is a very strange name for an entry. Numbers and letters and not very descriptive. Hmm, here are the items 7-12 of the little book I started posting yesterday. I originally wanted to post three images per day, but when you look at the third drawing in this post then it would really look like the odd kid out, while now, with six drawings posted, it becomes part of a series.
The first drawing is of a tree in Murray hill. Looking out of the same back window of a brownstone that had a view onto the Chrysler building, I noticed this tree in the backyard, the furniture. This early in the book, I was still trying to stay close to the items depicted, at least in spirit, so it is not very difficult to recognize the individual items here. The dark object on the page is not a bug. It is a little leaf that was added to the book later, by either me, or a kind reader. As much as I like how comment here start a little conversation not even about the things presented, it is even more fun to actually pass on a book and then add things to it. I will write about this more later... there are certain projects that focus exactly on this sort of collaboration.
The second drawing, "Fire, fire.." was drawn on 23rd street and 6th Avenue. The company I worked for at that time had their offices in the Masonic building there, a very magical structure with hidden rooms and incredible amounts of detail. The offices were quite the opposite of ornamental. The ceilings had been stripped and the air-ducts and all the installation was exposed. I must have looked up to the ceiling and needed to start another drawing session with something I could somehow grasp. Once done with this drawing, I looked out the window. The views from the office were quite spectacular. We saw much of midtown looking north. The third drawing here, this skyscraper with the corners on the roof is 1515 Broadway right on Times Square. It is where viacom sits, and Mtv and VH1. THe building on the right hand side of this page is 4 Times Square, the Condé Nast Building, the home of the New Yorker, and Wired. See next drawing. I really like the look of this skyscraper. It looks as if it were broadcasting some important messages at all times. Portions of the façade of the building are made out of photovoltaic cells. This sounds like a very environmentally sound thing to do with a building, but at the same time this is also the building that has attached to one of its corners the huge NASDAQ sign. On the right hand of this drawing is the Empire State Building. The two buildings are actually not as close to each other in reality. Still roughly in the same direction, still very beautifully visible from the corner of 23rd and 6th. The next drawing contains another really famous building that happens to be closer to Grand Central, I think. I am not sure however. How can we find out. The last of the drawing, the one with King Kong, a plane and the time, it was 6:45 PM is of the building that sits on top of Madison Square Garden. Madison Square is on 23rd and 5th. This is where the original Madison Square Garden was. (In the north east corner of the park?) So it was nice to see the next MSG from almost the location of the old one. On the other hand, many New Yorkers probably wish this skyscraper had never been built. It marks the location of the old (and now the current) Penn Station. The story of the old Station is a very sad one. Let's hope that the story of the New Great Pennsylvania Station will be. It looks interesting, doesn't it? It will be built onto the Current main Post office. Where is this in the drawing? Pretty much where you see King Kong. ; )



How was your 030303 day? Mine was just pretty much insane.

Just one shot.

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It was going to be a good and relaxed meeting. We had planed to see the Da Vinci show at the Metropolitan and then The Struth show. F. was supposed to meet me on the by the entrance to the Asian collection at the Met. I have not seen him since last year, before Christmas. We should meet every two weeks for two hours at least. We are both participants in the Mentoring program, organized by the Board of Education of the City of New York and the AIGA. F. is an incredibly talented High-school student, and I guess I am officially his mentor. We might not have met in person a lot in the last few weeks, but at least we do have quite insightful frequent phone conversations. He had seen the Da Vinci show in a special preview already, and I hoped that he would be able to show me more than I would usually see as a first time visitor.
I had brought my Pinhole camera. He had mentioned that there were some drawings about optical studies in the show and so what better thing to do than to shoot some pictures of the museum with a device Leonardo most likely used on one way or another. (He certainly did not have Polaroid ISO 3000 film, of course.)
I should have predicted that the museum would be crowded. There was an enormous line for the Da Vinci show, of course. It was more serious than anything I have ever seen at the Met, a line around half of the grand , about four visitors wide, all contained by velvet ropes. It was pretty clear that we would not get to see the show today. We still could exchange some ideas about the Struth show, of course, and take some pinhole pictures somewhere in the galleries. I was the first one at the museum and could not wait to try out the camera of course.
The view from the grand seemed quite perfect for the first shot, maybe because of the masses of people upstairs and downstairs. The scenery looked especially interesting because of the two large projections on the entrance-hall-walls. Two larger than life Struth portraits, silent faces, looking almost expressionless into the camera.
I pulled out my tiny table tripod, attached my wooden box to it and setup the contraption on one of the wide pillars of the marble balustrade. I added the polaroid back to my box, pulled out a sheet of high speed film, pushed it into my polaroid back, pulled out the protective pocket, opened the hole cover, took a glimpse at my watch to measure one minute, my first estimated exposure time.
One really beautiful thing about long exposures for me is the increased awareness of things during the time when the lens (or in this case a tiny punctured hole) is open. What would the world feel like if we could be as aware of the world at all times. Looked down at the crowd I knew that most of the visitors would disappear if only looked at long enough. A one minute exposure should turn the completely packed entrance hall into a temple of shadows. Two minutes would leave more and more of the picture just to the architecture. It is so difficult to imagine the effect, until the photograph comes out of the camera.
The minute was over and I pushed the paper with the chemicals back into my Polaroid back. I switched the lever on "develop" and pulled out the whole pack in one quick move. After just 15 seconds of development time, out came a pretty unexpected image of the grand hall. I really had not composed the shot. It was just a first setup. I did not really know what to expect. I must have smiled a happy smile.
"I hope you are just taking a picture..." said the first guard. I was so excited I showed him the result. "Yes, this is a pinhole camera, and it really takes picture, isn't it amazing?" he was not impressed. I opened the box for him and he just looked at me as if I were a little nuts.
The second guard, an older man, was less forgiving. He was a little out of breath when he arrived in full gear and with his much taller female partner. "Please take this down now!" he pointed at the camera.
He explained to me that I was not allowed to shoot in the museum. I had to get a permit from the security desk. Somebody had seen me on the security camera and they were not quite sure what I was doing with my wooden box on three black metal legs. I had to pack my stuff, go down to get my special permit. As I was walking towards the stairs, the first guard apologized. He had just been told that I would not be allowed to take any pictures with a tripod. Making my picture-taking with the camera obscura about as impossible as a quiet visit of the Leonardo show.
I ran into F. on the stairs. He was a little late and had missed act one of the security-show.
The man at the security desk was waiting for me. He was a bit less friendly then the other men. He gave me a printout outlining the "Gallery Photography Policy" which explained in often very bold type that I was not allowed to take any pictures at the museum and then to publish them, no matter in what medium. The tripod policy was indeed a real one. I was prohibited from using such a dangerous device on Saturdays and Sundays. The gentleman pointed at the crowd. I nodded.
Great. At least I have one picture. I think I am allowed to show it here, as this is certainly not a commercial space.
We ended up seeing the Struth show. It is actually quite good. I will need to return on a weekday, of course. Maybe once my projects quiet down a tiny bit. I hope they will, for a tiny while.

Oh, almost forgot. Here is the photograph.

Subway Life


"António Jorge Gonçalves makes drawings of people sitting in subway trains in 10 cities around the world. He stays an average three weeks in each city, making around 300 drawings which seek to cover different times of the day and the different lines of the subway system.". (From the homepage.)
The user interface of this flash site might be a bit slow and makes it a bit difficult to see and really enjoy the work, but the drawings presented on the site are really quite stunning. Enjoy Subway Life.

111 pages... 001-006


Spent the evening scanning a book I thought I had lost. I found it just two days ago, hidden behind other books, in a corner of one of the shelves. It might be from 2000, though I am not quite sure.
The book contains linear drawings only. Only the odd pages were used. The drawings start out as observations and then turn into somehow abstract depictions of objects and ideas, you'll see. There are one hundred and ten individual drawings in this book. I will probably post them in series of three per day, (all throughout March.) They were not intended as triptychs, but it might be interesting to see some undercurrent, some connection between the little pieces.
Just to get going, and because the first pages of any book are usually slow, I will post five drawings today. (Plus cover=6)
The story starts in Blockheads on 2nd avenue and I think 33rd street? I might have been outside and listened to a conversation at one of the tables. "You can't make a circle without first making the ends meet", you can not think about changing the world, with an empty stomach?, you can not tell the world where to go, before first understanding a bit of love?, you can not claim to know anything without first listening?...
The other drawings are clearly impressions from around the Murray Hill area in Manhattan. There is the crown of the Chrysler building, lit at night.. some other buildings around Grand Central Terminal. The last drawing might be what I saw through a Manhattan window. Certain layouts are very universal to apartments in New York. The roomsare often very small and there might be only one way to put in the sofa sometimes, its feet are all supposed to touch the ground. My first space in New York faced the windows of other apartments. The furniture and its layout in three of them was incredibly similar, the habits of the tenants were quite similar as well. They seemed to like the same television shows and even their friends would often come to visit at the same time. They certainly thought of themselves as very individualistic, but from my point of view, there were more similarities than differences.

Kawai desu yo!


Somebody surfed through the site in Japanese today. I know that other sites also offer site translations, but the Japanese version of this site looks very intriguing. Not sure how the link just made the site look for you, but if you are not in osX, here is an image of what I just saw:

The entire site is in Japanese. Even my last name was transferred into Kenji. Fun. And did you see the date? It is also Japanese. Or is it me? Wow.

Windows, no books

Just stumbled across a very cute movie. George W. Bush gives a tour of the oval office. He really does a great job explaining certain interesting details, like the windows. They let in the sun-, you know. We find out such special details like the one that Laura can act as the president, sometimes.
G. W. Bush shows us the The HMS Resolute Desk, the one that "a lot of presidents" used. We also are shown the Paintings, the busts, the family pictures. All in all a very down to earth presentation. (I would like to see an episode of MTV-Cribs of the White House, one day. I think some good editing could make the presentation even more... hmm... stunning?)

Bee and Age


It would be silly for me to order some of my material online. B&H is just three subway stops away from here and it is supposedly the biggest place to get the things I did not even know I want. It is a large store and it is famous. The sales people might be very busy but they are understanding. When I recently went there to buy a spot meter, the advice I got saved me several hundred dollars. We looked at various models, the sales guy and I, and then we settled for the best model for the best price, a good thing. There used to be a large area in the store devoted to large format photography. Now this long counter space and the most of the personell seem to be working with digital cameras and printers and all the things related. Not only were all the Epson papers there, they seemed to be a bit cheaper than anywhere else. Same with the print cartridges, though they were out of the pale pink. (Pale pink is all the rage.) ; )
I came in to get some high speed Polaroid material. I was supposed to shoot for IN-take, the magazine, and the conditions in the store where I have to shoot are pretty bad. (The idea is to shoot with available though.) The sales man told me about his life in Argentina and how he went from being a creative director in New York to being a professional photographer, to being all about Cocaine. It was the 80's when he went down this path and according to his description, many of his friends made similar decisions. Now he was back in New York, behind the counter, back in good shape, selling camera equipment he was so familiar with. We looked at some things, he told me about a real bargain he made with a camera for himself. I ended up buying a super-wide-angle camera from him (The one all the way to the left. It was $53 in the store, it is $67+10 for shipping on their site. I shot some tests with the wooden box. I will need to shoot some more before I post them. The exposure times are not too bad with Polaroid 57 film, which is an ISO3000 product. Shooting with a film like Polaroid 55 makes the "soft" things (like people and their moving toys) disappear off the streets and makes for quite some interesting quiet effect. It is nice to shoot with a little wooden box that represents the knowledge available probably as early as 500 BC. : )

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