Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A small room above a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

On the table before me is a three-inch-wide rust-coloured plastic pot filled with three different kinds of cactus and a black stone slightly smaller than the smallest cactus. Each cactus is wildly different from the others, and together (with the stone) they remind me of a '70s rock band.

I purchased the pot a couple week ago after getting my haircut at Amir's on Victoria Drive. Evoke Flowers (currently known as New City Flowers) is located a block south of Amir.

According to Facebook:

Evoke Flowers is a passionate, community-minded, full-service retail florist and gift shop serving greater Vancouver. We create arrangements and find local one-of-a-kind treasures that are worthy of your loved ones.

Flowers are a symbol of an emotion or a sentiment you want to convey. Our designers interpret your message and express it beautifully with flowers.

Our retail location boasts carefully selected beautiful, unique gifts and home d├ęcor items to complement your flower orders. Locally crafted artisan jewelry, unique greeting cards, and many home and garden feature pieces. We are presently occupied with the adventure of filling the store with these treasures and are adding new items all the time.

Stop by, have a look around, let us know what you think and what you'd like to see!

About Gina-Lily...

Gina-Lily is wildly in love with flowers and plants. Her home has oft been called a jungle, where lovingly hand-seeded and propagated plants and flowers have always cascaded from verandah planters and backyard flower beds. For a girl whose been out in the yard weeding and naming flowers with her mom since before she knew how to read, it's only natural that she turn up combining blossoms and foliage in her own floral design studio. Her lifelong passion for flowers has blossomed into a love for beautiful things, and the joy and happiness they can bring when shared.

She has a diploma in Floral Design from The Academy of Floral Design.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

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Friday, January 27, 2012



Where does it say that what is pictured here is enough for you to accept all that it has to offer?



And if not, if in seeing nothing that matters, let us credit the question with having prompted the next one: What does?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

On the north side of the 1300 block of Kingsway is a shop that repairs and sells electronic equipment. I wish I had a chance to acquire the "BEFORE" phone. Reminds me of a Jerry Pethick.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012



On Monday Cyprien Gaillard and his younger brother Matisse came to town in advance of Cyprien’s talk at ECUAD, an event organized by Presentation House Gallery. Cyprien had expressed interest in touring our ruins, so I took them first to the literal (the recently demolished Pantages Theatre near Hastings and Main), before ending with the figurative (the Museum of Anthropology at UBC).

Cyprien’s tour request came as no surprise, given his interest in entropy, the sublime, "land art" and documentary fiction. In many ways, he is the inheritor of Robert Smithson, who, along with Robert Fillou, Dan Graham, Mary Kelly and Paul McCarthy, has had a huge influence on local practices, at least for my generation and older.



Cyprien, who has all the assurance of Smithson, showed a number of works during his talk, ending with documentation of The Recovery of Discovery (2011), a beer pyramid (beer-amid?) which he invited gallery patrons to both sit on and drink from.

While power-pointing through Recovery, it occurred to me that Cyprien’s achievement is to take Smithson’s notions of geometry and entropy and deliver them to a popular audience. That he used free beer obviously helped that along. That the beer was warm is a testament to the power of art.



There are a number of similarities between Cyprien’s work and a younger generation of Vancouver artists, particularly his fire-extinguisher-in-the-landscape pieces, which brought to mind Kevin Schmidt’s dry ice nocturnal forests (Fog, 2004). Same with a booze-guzzling monodrama from Cities of Gold and Mirrors (2009), which made me think of Jeremy Shaw’s Best Minds (2008).

Although tonight is Cyprien’s last night in Vancouver, there is already talk of his return. Whether towards a commissioned work, or to take more photographs, or both, no one knows but Cyprien.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Last Friday was the launch of Brian Jungen: Carapace, Art Gallery of Alberta/ Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian/Frac des Pas de la Loire, Edmonton/DC/Nantes, 2012 at the Charles H. Scott Gallery, where Brian opened his Prototypes for a New Understanding exhibition in 1999. The catalogue, designed by Barr Gilmore, features essays by Candice Hopkins and myself (see below).

BOWLS, COMBS, GUITAR PICKS… : THE “ALBERTA VERSION” OF CARAPACE

“Transformation is a strange word to use. It implies that art transforms. It doesn’t, it just plain forms.” – Roy Lichtenstein [1]

Reading through the many reviews, articles, features and essays on Brian Jungen, a pattern emerges. [2] The pattern foregrounds the artist’s Dunne-za roots, his transformation of consumer products into masks and animals, and the politics his heritage and practice imply. Another pattern is the relatively limited discussion of his non-representational works (works that, to some, resemble little more than the materials they consist of). This is often the case when an artist’s work is championed in the popular press, where narrative and story rule, and figures are not sold separately.

As a child in the 1960s I did not play with Transformers like Jungen might have in the 1970s, but with G.I. Joe. When not with Joe, I was in front of the television watching strange men behaving strangely, in ways they never stepped clear of, as if caught between caterpillar and butterfly. Even as a child I knew these men were more complex than their television personae; that the caricatures they made of themselves were both who they were and who they were not -- which they did impeccably, with an elegance rarely seen these days. Even as a child I knew. Even as a child I knew these men were special.

Every day after school I raced home to watch Charles Nelson Reilly on “The Match Game,” yet it was only after his death that I learned he was a respected teacher and director of opera, theatre and television. Truman Capote was a talk show regular, and I knew that he wrote books, yet it was only after his death that I read In Cold Blood (1966) and wondered how such a fist of a book could emerge from such a pinky of a man. Andy Warhol, who appeared on an episode of “The Love Boat,” was a Pop artist, yet I knew that because I had seen his stacked Brillo Soap Pad Boxes (1964) in my parents’ Time magazine. What I did not know was that the serial patterning of Warhol’s own Factory-reproduced boxes is as important to the work as the boxes themselves, like Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII (1966) or the metal forms of Donald Judd’s untitled wall reliefs.

The activation and serial arrangement of consumer-product imagery and objects is a recurrent theme in Vancouver art, of which Jungen’s work is a more recent example. In 1978, Ken Lum produced his first furniture sculptures, which, according to Jeff Wall, “were [among] the first indications of the opening of a new stage in the local reception and interpretation of minimalism, body art, earth art and related phenomenon.”[3] Lum’s sculptures, with their physically inaccessible yet visually open centres, provide a “space in which a distressingly evocative absence – something from [Lum’s] own social experience – was made visible”[4] This in contrast to Michael Fried’s insistence that the “hollowness” of minimal art was an example of its anthropomorphism, as if every Andre or Judd called forth a statue instead of a phenomenological presence.” [5]

Absent in Wall’s “Four Essays on Ken Lum” is mention of Pop art’s reproduction and deployment of once effeminate domestic products, such as soup, soap and scouring agents, versus minimalism’s tendency towards more masculine surfaces, in the middle of which fall Lum’s indoor sofas, and later Jungen’s outdoor plastic chairs used to make his “whale-skeleton” sculptures. This increasingly gender-neutral inventory has been taken up by Jungen‘s local contemporaries Geoffrey Farmer, Damian Moppett, Myfawny MacLeod, Steven Shearer, Ron Terada and Kelly Wood, who have, in their own ways, explored pop as a cultural form [6], but only Jungen has pushed his explorations to the realm that is in fact closer to the montage strategies of Wall and Stan Douglas.[7] And now he is drawing on that most slippery of elements: time.

I have been asked to write on the “Alberta Version” of Jungen’s Carapace (2009-2011)[8], a monumental sculpture comprised of blue and green plastic industrial waste bins reconfigured into what many believe to be a turtle shell. That this work is most often recognized as a turtle shell and not, say, an aspect of the male and female sexual anatomy, or perhaps more to the point, a formline pattern of curvilinear abstraction, speaks to what I mentioned earlier about narrative and story and how they reduce our aesthetic experience to a bottom-line reading. Aha! It’s a turtle shell. I get it. Now let’s check out the whales.

So let’s start again -- with the turtle shell.

In the summer of 2010, while a guest of the Queen Charlotte Islands Arts Council, I had occasion to meet a young Haida artist named Geda Ku Juus, or Walker Brown.[9] When asked if he was open to a studio visit, Brown said he was not yet ready to show his work, but would I like to see his research, a display at Kaay Llnagaay [10] where he works as a preparator? In what turned out to be an illuminating afternoon, Brown presented evidence of the formline associated with Northwest Coast art on both the anterior and posterior sections of Pacific Ocean sea turtles known to have washed up on Haida Gwaii’s shores. Indeed, it was from considering these turtles that I recalled similar patterning in Meso and South American painting. However, it was only later in my trip that I came upon that other motif most associated with British Columbia art, and that is the geodesic], evidence of which can be found in the dome structures built by counter-culturalists who came to Haida Gwaii in the 1960s and 70s. [11] Both the formline and the geodesic are central to Jungen’s Carapace.

For me, the success of Carapace is not restricted to Jungen’s ability to turn a mass-produced consumer product into something mythopoeic. Nor is it his ability to create a structure whose metaphoric resonance allows for a commentary on how those commodities were sourced (for example, the transformation of dinosaurs into oil, oil into plastic, plastic into “dinosaurs”). What fascinates me is the fusion of the two motifs into a hybrid work, one that does not end at the level of metaphor but continues on, enhanced, capable of overtone, allowing for the kind of art experience that is bigger than the literal proposition that supports it.

Certainly the union of the indigenous formline and the Western geodesic can be seen as parallels to Jungen’s mixed Dunne-za (mother) and Swiss (father) parentage, but when applied to the turtle shell we are presented not with a subject whose place is assured but, like the turtle itself, at home with that which it carries on its back, and that is place. That Jungen gives us the turtle shell and not the turtle speaks more to the evacuation of the nomadic than it does to its residual monument. That the turtle is comfortable on both land and water is yet another dimension. Another is the turtle’s slowness. Another is what turtle shells were once used for -- bowls, combs, guitar picks…

The reconfiguration of Carapace, based on an earlier reconfiguration of plastic industrial disposal bins (themselves emblems of a linear system that still has some categories of garbage shipped directly to landfills), will be read in relation to the place where that reconfiguration occurs. Unlike what Jungen solicited for his first solo show at Calgary’s Truck Gallery in 1997 (representations of “Indianness” by non-Indians, which he converted into contemporary cave paintings [12), this time the artist has replaced the representations of other in favour of his own, and in doing so reminds us that what he has brought for reassembly is, like the reproduced packaging Warhol silkscreened in serial form, perceived by certain members of the public to be perceived as its own product: the commodified art form. But rather than turn the many into one, Jungen provides the inverse: an environmental critique, but also a recognition of the cyclical, or dialectical, nature of our ever-turning world, burdened by linear impulses manifest in the unsustainable extraction and vertically-integrated delivery of “dirty” oil.

But the conceit does not end there. For example, is it a coincidence that the reconfiguration of Carapace is taking place on the one-year anniversary of the new Art Gallery of Alberta, architect Randall Stout’s zinc-clad nugget atop the site of the gallery it has now replaced, a gallery now amenable to the kinds of exhibitions it has grown to accommodate? Once again the artist reminds us of where we are, for in abstracting Carapace from a recognizable figure to a system of pattern and recurrence, we look harder for evidence of life as we know it, whose parallel is found in the overlapping metalwork that snakes inside and outside the building. (Jungen did something similar with Variant [2002], where instead of his usual practice of turning Nike trainers into masks, he gave us a wall work that, although symmetrical, has more in common with a Jackson Pollock “action painting” than something hanging in a Kwakwaka’wakw band office.)

Another reorientation of Carapace concerns its new entrance. Whereas the earlier version had the viewer entering absently, marveling at the ingeniously articulated interior grotto, this new version, in keeping with Wall’s critique of minimalism’s promotion of phenomenology, implicates the viewer, forcing us to consider ourselves in relation to the work and the space that contains it. In the “Alberta Version”, the entrance, like the ceiling, is lowered and we must rearrange our bodies as we would our minds, bowing down in order to open ourselves up to where we are and what we have entered into: a theatrical experience as opposed to a (purely) formal one.

The Alberta version of Carapace is part of a continuum that began in Europe, travelled to the United States, and eventually settled in Canada. As a work of sculpture it is based as much on time as materials. The introduction of time in Jungen’s work was highlighted some months before, at an exhibition at Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver, where the artist presented sculptural works and a production room that, over the course of the exhibition, produced prints screened from the hides of elk (their skins being part of the sculptural installation). On the surface, the subject of these prints appeared to be little more than circles and had nothing in common with the animals whose own surfaces provided the screens. But stare at them long enough and you might see those elk, just as you would the turtle shell whose reconfiguration evokes the interior and exterior pattern of the new Art Gallery of Alberta. This is the spirit of Carapace, the one that has come from Europe to swallow Stout’s design.


Michael Turner


Footnotes

1. G. R. Swenson, “What Is Pop Art? Interviews by G. R. Swenson with Roy Litchtenstein, Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns,” in Avant-Garde Art, Thomas B. Hesse and John Ashbery, eds. (New York: Macmillan, 1968), 198.

2. Jungen’s first solo exhibition (entitled Half Nelson) was at Calgary’s Truck Gallery in 1997. His second, at Vancouver’s Charles H. Scott Gallery in 1999, marked the debut of his Nike trainer masks, paired with wall drawings solicited for the Truck show. Both exhibitions were curated by Cate Rimmer.

3. Jeff Wall, “Four Essays on Ken Lum,” Ken Lum (Winnipeg/Rotterdam: Winnipeg Art Gallery/Witte de With, 1990), 37.

4.Wall. 40.

5. Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood,” Artforum V:10 (Summer 1967), 12-23.

6. These artists, between a year and nine years older than Jungen, comprised the roster 6: New Vancouver Modern, Scott Watson’s exhibition at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver. Although debated in relation to other local survey exhibitions (notably the Vancouver Art Gallery’s 1996 Topographies: Aspects of Recent B.C. Art), “6” was especially recognized as a generational show, and as such generated anxiety over where the city’s art (and artists) might be headed. In “Placed Upon the Horizon, Casting Shadows”, a Vancouver art survey essay delivered at apexart in the spring of 2000 (http://www.apexart.org/residency/mahovsky.htm) , Jungen contemporary Trevor Mahovsky revisits Ken Lum’s “6” review (Canadian Art 15:2 [Summer 1998] 46-51), where he describes Lum’s assessment as “both scathing and supportive,” and that, in Lum’s mind, the work can be “characterized as appearing conceptual, but behaving like Pop; this formulation the result of a submission of the social aspirations of conceptual art to pop-art irony and interiority,” a description that speaks more to one too many mediated notions of Pop than, say, Thomas Crow’s analysis of Warhol’s electric chair (capital punishment) and race-riot (civil rights) series as political “truth-telling” (see Crow’s The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent [New York: Abrams, 1996], 87).

7. On Douglas and Lum’s relationship to production, see: Tim Lee, “Specific Objects and Social Subjects: Industrial Facture and the Production of Polemics in Vancouver,” Vancouver Art & Economies, Melanie O’Brian, ed. (Vancouver: Artspeak and Arsenal Pulp Press), 97-125

8. Carapace was first constructed and installed while Jungen was a resident at Pay de la Loire, France, in 2009. A second configuration was displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C., in 2010.

9. While the former Queen Charlotte Islands are now officially recognized by their Haida name (Haida Gwaii), the local arts council has yet to change their letterhead.

10. Kaay Llnagaay is located in Skidegate. Its English name is the Haida Heritage Centre.

11. Geodesic patterns first appeared in art from Vancouver as early as the 1940s, in the paintings and design work of B.C. Binning. For Expo ’86, the provincial government unveiled Expo Centre (later Science World), a Buckminster Fuller inspired pseudo-geodesic structure at the eastern end of False Creek. More recently, geodesic patterns have been explored by Vancouver painters Holger Kalberg and Elizabeth MacIntosh.

12. The original drawings for these “cave paintings” writ large were solicited from consumers at Calgary malls by the curator, Cate Rimmer, and a group of local volunteers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On that same April 2010 reading tour of Northern B.C I had a chance to visit Haisla Hereditary Chief Sam Robinson, who invited a group of us to his studio where he works in silver and gold. Earlier this month Sam was in the news, speaking out against the dangers of Enbridge Incorporated's Northern Gateway Pipeline and the conversion of Kitamaat into an oil port.

Here is Sam in his studio:



The view outside his window:



The view to the west:



And what's at stake:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Further to Pignatari's "bebe coca cola", a paragraph from Benjamin Moser's 2011 New Directions translation of Clarice Lispector's The Hour of the Star (1977):

I also forgot to say that the account that is soon going to have to start -- since I can no longer withstand the pressure of the facts -- the account that is soon going to have to start is written with the sponsorship of the most popular soft drink in the world even though it's not paying me a cent, a soft drink distributed in every country. Moreover it's the same soft drink that sponsored the last earthquake in Guatemala. Even though it tastes like nail polish, Aristolino soap and chewed plastic. None of this keeps everyone from loving it with servility and subservience. And because -- and now I'm going to say something difficult that only I understand -- because this drink which contains coca is today. It's a way for a person to be up-to-date and in the now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An inverted version of Decio Pignatari's "beba coca cola" (1957):

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012



Tomorrow marks the "soft" opening of LETTERS: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC, an exhibition I have been working on with co-curator Scott Watson these past few months (the official opening is Thursday January 19th).

At the centre of the show are the six "Letter" paintings Morris did in the late-1960s. Surrounding them, concrete works by Morris, Haroldo de Campos, Henri Chopin, John Furnival, Eugen Gomringer, Decio Pignatari and many more. There are also some mirror works that relate to the mirrors Morris inserted in his paintings.

Much of my curatorial work can be found in the "print gallery", a section called LETTERS: Transparent and Opaque: Concrete Poetry in Canada, 1963-1973, the subtitle derived from an essay Ian Wallace contributed to the UBC Fine Arts Gallery's 1969 Concrete Poetry exhibition ("Literature -- Transparent and Opaque"), which Morris co-curated with then-director Alvin Balkind.

Accompanying LETTERS will be a catalogue with essays by Watson, Jamie Hilder, William Wood and myself, to appear at the end of the exhibition in April. In the meantime I have been asked to write three short texts to help orient viewers to the relationship between Morris's paintings and concrete poetry, as well as the relationship between concrete poetry and the New York Correspondence School, all of which are included below:

LETTERS: MICHAEL MORRIS AND CONCRETE POETRY

The relationship between the Michael Morris paintings on display and concrete poetry has its genesis in two letters: Kurt von Meier’s June 1967 “Los Angeles Letter” in Art International, a site survey that includes a discussion of Morris’s paintings; and a May 1968 letter Morris received from New York Correspondence School founder Ray Johnson in response to Morris’s painting The Problem of Nothing (1967), which Johnson saw reproduced in ArtForum earlier that month.

Art International produced five more site surveys in their “Letter” series (Rome, Paris, New York, Madrid and Beijing), and Morris would respond to each with a painting (all but one were displayed at Vancouver’s Douglas Gallery in November 1968). As for Johnson’s letter, Morris responded to that as well – and in receiving a further letter from Johnson, Vancouver became a node in the NYCS network.

Johnson’s first letter to Morris was included in the unbound catalogue that accompanied Morris and Alvin Balkind’s 1969 UBC Fine Arts Gallery Concrete Poetry exhibition. The impetus behind this show began with Morris’s exposure to concrete and sound poetry as a student at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in the mid-60s, where he first experienced the work of Bob Cobbing, Edwin Morgan and Ernst Jandl during a visit to the 1965 “Between Poetry and Painting” exhibition at the London Institute of Contemporary Art. The result was a series of concretist works Morris undertook towards a book he was calling The Problem of Nothing.

When Morris conceived of this book, in 1965, he envisioned an “imaginary museum” filled with his concrete poems and “related collages.” It was only after his engagement with the NYCS that the contents shifted. Although “Michael Morris’ Book” appears as a foldout poster in the Concrete Poetry catalogue, much of the “related” work is collagist correspondence, and many of the concrete poems are from others (bill bissett, Haraldo de Campos and John Furnival, to name a few). Thus, Morris’s book became an anthology, not a monograph. As for what is “correspondence” and what is “concrete”, that might be the problem of nothing.

CONCRETE POETRY AND THE NEW YORK CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL

Concrete Poetry is often referred to as one of the first international movements in Modern Art, one that began simultaneously in Brazil and Switzerland in the mid-1950s, with vital editorials in Belgium, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom. Although much of this activity appeared in handmade magazines such as blewointment (Canada), Labris (Belgium) and Tlaloc (England), often alongside manifestos, collages and expressive poems, some of it was circulated through the mails, to be hung on walls and looked at in the same way Mallarme wanted us to look at Un Coup de Des (1897) – as painting.

The New York Correspondence School was the name Ed Pluckett gave to the mailings undertaken by Fluxus artist and “Nothings” founder Ray Johnson in 1961 and formalized in an April 1968 first meeting in New York City. These mailings, which often included collages, drawings and rubber stampings, were the material extension of Robert Fillou’s “Eternal Network”, connecting practitioners the world over. But Johnson proved to be an eccentric postmaster and would drop members who attempted to sell their letters or, in some instances, for having hung around too long.

As with all avant gardes that enter a larger public, Concrete Poetry and the New York Correspondence School began to wane in the 1970s, just as Abstract Expressionism had in the 1950s when department stores such as Sears Roebuck introduced paintings that matched their couches (Pop Art reversed that by returning commercial design to large scale painting and sculpture). A good example of the aestheticization of Concrete Poetry can be found in Robert Hollander’s literal representation of a Coca Cola bottle (“You Too? Me Too – Why Not Soda Pop?” 1968) – this in contrast to Decio Pignatari’s “beba coca cola” (1957), where the words “coca cola” are reorganized to spell cloaca. The same could be said of the New York Correspondence School when Rolling Stone announced “Mail Art” in 1973.

LETTERS: TRANSPARENT AND OPAQUE
CONCRETE POETRY IN CANADA, 1963-1973

The emergence of a self-conscious Canadian concrete and sound poetry scene began in Vancouver in the early 1960s with the publication of bill bissett’s blewointment magazine (1963-1970). Prior to that, experiments with typography and language were more often than not isolated occurrences, like the work of UBC English professor Earle Birney who, as early as 1950, was using multiple type-faces to construct poems such as “The Ballad of Mr. Chubb” (1951/1956).

When one of Birney’s students, bpNichol (1944-1988), arrived in Toronto in 1964, he was shocked to learn that no one had heard of Vancouver poets bissett, Martina Clinton, Judith Copithorne, Pierre Coupey, Lance Farrell, Maxine Gadd and Gerry Gilbert. To rectify that, he and David Aylward began work on a magazine similar in design and content to blewointment, called Ganglia. In 1967, after having connected with concrete poets in England, Belgium and Brazil, Nichol started a second magazine devoted wholly to literary concretism, called grOnk.

Today, bpNichol is arguably Canada’s best-known concrete and sound poet. However, what is often overlooked when speaking of Nichol this way is that he, like bissett, continued to work in both concrete and expressive styles, expanding the medium, as opposed to seeking its perfection or destruction. Something else worth noting: while their concrete works are known for their political economic critique, Nichol’s is restricted to Canadian nationalism (“INQUIRY OF MINISTRY”), while bissett’s knows no bounds (“in praise of all quebec bombers”).

Michael Turner

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Travelling south along the B.C. coast.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Last July, after visiting Los Angeles, Judy and I drove our rent-a-car up the 101 to Big Sur.

The last time I visited Big Sur was in the early-1980s, when it was still possible to hitch-hike the coast, or take the Green Tortoise, which today is more a hostel chain than a bus, where foam platforms replaced the seats and luggage racks were converted into bunks.

Hard to explain what it was like to enter Pfeiffer Beach with no one else around. Kept looking behind the trees, for St. Peter.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Last February, whilst in the midst of my winter malaise, I travelled to Portland via Amtrak's Cascades train to visit Matthew Stadler's Publication Studio and celebrate the launch of his novel Chloe Jarren's La Cucaracha. While slowing through the Peace Arch border crossing I noticed what looked like a work of public art.

A project of the Lead Pencil Studio, "Non-Sign II" takes the billboard as its referent (and the "non-sites" of Robert Smithson?). However, instead of an image, we are given a window. What you see "in" that window depends on your perspective. As I was on the train, this is what I saw:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Taken on July 19, 2011 at the southeast corner of 15th and Fraser.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lovely juxtaposition on the front page of today's "Globe Arts": Russell Smith announcing that the "colour of the year" for 2012 is "a shade of orange," while Andrew Ryan's article to the right shows a picture of Dragon's Den star Kevin O'Leary behind bars -- dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit. Talk about a fashion crime.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

These paintings were part of a group exhibition at the Terrace Art Gallery, where I took part in a reading organized by the B.C. Book Prizes in April, 2010. The artist is Maureen O'Connell (not Shay Semple) and the portraits are entitled "Sister 1", "Sister 2" and "Sister 3". Something about the candles, who gets one, and why.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Taken by Doug Turner on April 3, 1985, Victoria, BC.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Taken on August 1, 2010, Queen Charlotte City, BC.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

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