Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Song a Day

John Foxx - Burning Car

To me this has very much been the quintessential New Wave song, I still have the 7" single.

She was dressed in a white suit
She looked like a bride too
It's a burning car
It's a burning car
Then I looked at the sunset
And it felt like a stage set
And I looked at my watch face
I remembered the time and place
And I breathed in the night perfume
As we met in the dark room

ph: Joachim Brohm

Natasha Poly

Indeterminacy 151

ph: Lewis Carroll

Staying in India and finding the sun unbearable,
Mrs. Coomaraswamy decided to shop for a parasol. She
found two in the town nearby. One was in the window
of a store dealing in American goods. It was
reasonably priced but unattractive. The other was
in an Indian store. It was Indian-made, desirable,
but outlandishly expensive. Mrs. Coomaraswamy went
back home without buying anything. But the weather
continued dry and hot, so that a few days later she
went again into town determined to make a purchase.
Passing by the American shop, she noticed their
parasol was still in the window, still reasonably
priced. Going into the Indian shop, she asked to
see the one she had admired a few days before. While
she was looking at it, the price was mentioned. This
time it was absurdly low. Surprised, Mrs.
Coomaraswamy said, “How can I trust you? One day
your prices are up; the next day they’re down.
Perhaps your goods are equally undependable.”
“Madame,” the storekeeper replied, “the people
across the street are new in business. They are
intent on profit. Their prices are stable. We,
however, have been in business for generations. The
best things we have we keep in the family, for we
are reluctant to part with them. As for our prices,
we change them continually. That’s the only way
we’ve found in business to keep ourselves

- John Cage

A Scan a Day

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dolls: Marina Bychkova

Marina Bychkova is a doll sculptor, and I find her porcelain dolls quite fascinating.
More at her website.

Photographer: Xiao Hui Wang

Xiao Hui Wang is a photo artist, who has also made films and videos and has made a name for herself as an author.

In 1983 she received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and in 1986 a Master’s degree in Interior Design and Communication Science from the Tongji University in Shanghai and in 1986 she was awarded a fellowship from Germany.

Xiao Hui Wang’s works have been exhibited in various exhibitions – mostly solo-shows – in museums and galleries of numerous countries and are collected by private and public institutions alike. To date, Xiao Hui Wang has published over 30 books, mostly photo collections, with famous publishing houses such as Prestel, Fischer, Edition Braus to name a few. Her autobiographical book “My Visual Diary” has been a best-seller for six years and has been awarded important Chinese Book Prizes such as the Shanghai Excellent Book Award, the National Award for Literature and the National Female Literature Award. This book has also been published in Taiwan and Germany.

She has been a professor at Tongji University in Shanghai since 2002. At the same time she is the art director of “German City” in Shanghai. At Tongji University she founded the institute “Xiao Hui Wang Art Workshop" in 2003 and the “Tongji International Media Art Center“(TIMAC) in 2006. She and her team are working on a concept for the Chinese Theme Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Xiao Hui Wang has also initiated several influential cultural exchange programs between China and Germany. She has two residences in Munich and Shanghai.

In 2005 she was appointed as an honorary member of the BFF (German Association of Freelance Photographers), and was named one of the 25 “Most Influential Women” in Asia by the Chinese and Singapore National Women’s Association and leading women’s Magazines. In 2006 she was named as one of the top 50 “Chinese who Impact the Future of the World” by the famous Hong Kong magazine “Phoenix Life” and recommended as an “Honorary Doctor” by Hong Kong University. She also won the “German-Sino Friendship Award” from German Government and the “International Photographer Award” from SMG in 2007.

You can find her website here.

New stuff

A Scan a Day

Indeterminacy 138

Pointing out the five
cars in her front yard,
cleaning lady said they
were wrecks her son
had accomplished
during the past year,
he planned to put
parts of them together
to make a
single usable car
for her.
only thing we don’t
have,” she said,

“is a good pair of
know it’s very
hard to come out
of a wreck
with undamaged headlights.”

- John Cage

Natalia Vodianova

A Song a Day

Swans - A Screw

I've seen the Swans in concert twice in the mid 80s, and they were one of the most incredible musical experiences I ever made. Incredibly loud and as if in slow motion the impact of their performance was mind-blowing. I've read, that the early Sonic Youth used to tour as support for the Swans, but always played after them, which had a frustrating result: the audience was too overwhelmed to register the geniality of Sonic Youth's music.

Don't forget to play this LOUD:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Virginia Mayo

Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

A young woman falls for a playboy musician and both of their lives are predestined to tragedy.

On the surface a very stirring woman's picture this masterpiece delves into a much deeper and utterly perverse subtext: the indifferent and hollow bon vivant versus the stalking and remorselessly loving woman.

A chilling moment, when she tells us that she spends every night below her beloved's window:

"Off I went, not home, but to the only place that had ever seemed home to me. Night after night... I returned to the same spot, but you never noticed me until one evening..."

A Scan a Day

Indeterminacy X5

What was it actually
that made me choose music
rather than painting?

because they said
nicer things about my music
than they did
about my paintings?

I don’t have absolute
I can’t keep a tune.

In fact,
I have no talent
for music.

The last time
I saw her,
Aunt Phoebe said,
in the wrong profession.”

- John Cage

Joan Fontaine

New stuff

Kate Moss irrégulière

ph: Jürgen Teller

A Song a Day

The Residents - Hello Skinny

I've been a fan of The Residents since the mid 70s. Although they had proclaimed at the time that they'd never perform live, I've seen them 4 times on stage over the last 3 decades and only just recently in New York City. The members are still anonymous and disguised, when in public, and their music as wonderfully weird as ever. This great early song perfectly demonstrates the typical residents feeling their music evokes.

Skinny was born in a bathtub
And he grew so incredibly
Even the end of an eyedropper
sucked him in

Skinny never knew any questiong
Skinny never looked at the lights
But Skinny sold something
every single night

Skinny sold a soldier to me
Skinny sold a wife
Skinny sold a suction cup
And a knife
Skinny found a Hello Dolly
record in the hall
He sold it to a truck driver
in the fall

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vanessa Greca

ph: Dean Isidro

Photographer: Emi Anrakuji

Emi Anrakuji represents herself as an alchemist of images and a catalyst for daydreams and desires. The vignettes of her self-portraits blur the boundaries between documentary and staged photography. Emi Anrakuji originally studied oil painting at Musashino University of Art and Music in Tokyo. By her mid-20s, she was diagnosed with a cerebral disease that severely curtailed her activities for more than a decade. During her gradual recovery, she took up photography. Initially, Anrakuji's audience was only herself and the jurors of public competitions to which she sent her entries. Since 2001, her efforts have earned her several important awards as well as increasing support from the art community. A prolific producer of images, Anrakuji often arranges her work as handmade books.
(Click on images to enlarge)

Indeterminacy 126

When the New York Philharmonic
played my Atlas Eclipticalis
with Winter Music (Electronic
Version), the
audience more or less threw
propriety to the winds.
Many walked out.
Others stayed
to boo.
On Sunday afternoon the lady
sitting next to my mother was
particularly violent.
She disturbed everyone
around her.
When the performance ended,
Mother turned to
her and said,
“I am the composer’s mother.”
The lady said,
“Good Heavens!
Your son’s music is
Would you tell him,
please, how much I loved it?”

- John Cage

A Scan a Day

Monday, April 20, 2009

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

A wonderful musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic, wish I had seen it as a child.

Alana Zimmer

ph: Richard Kern

Indeterminacy 146

While Meister Eckhart was
alive, several
attempts were made to
excommunicate him.

(He had,
in his sermons,
said such
things as “Dear God,
I beg
you to rid me of God.”)

None of the trials
against him was successful,
for on
each occasion he defended
himself brilliantly.

However, after
his death,
the attack was continued.

Mute, Meister
Eckhart was excommunicated.

- John Cage

Jean Peters

Harem (1985)

A young woman traveling in Africa is kidnapped and forced into a harem, but soon she begins to understand this way of life.

Despite having Nastassja Kinski in it I skipped this movie, because it had universally bad reviews. It actually isn't too bad - as the New York Times says: a "beautifully photographed but underscripted romantic drama".

Paulette Goddard

Evil Under the Sun (1982)

Hercule Poirot solves a murder case at an idyllic vacation island in the Adriatic Sea.

As so often another pedestrian Agatha Christie adaptation with all participants playing below their abilities; only Peter Ustinov seems to be having some fun. For lazy rainy afternoons.