Monday, August 31, 2015

"Rain" (1966)

Every now and then a song gets stuck in my head and I pick up my guitar in an effort to learn more about it.

The latest song to stick with me is the Beatles' "Rain", a fairly simple I-IV-V progression made more complex through alternating accents, time signatures, and, as a recorded object, tape loops and delays.

Prior to that, the last song to stick with me occured in late July, when the skies were clear and my garden was in need of weeding; a song that the authors of "Rain" sing back-up on: the Rolling Stones' "Dandelion" (1967).

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Refeatured Landscapes

A relatively calm morning after yesterday's wind and rain. Lots of images online, but the one that struck me belonged to 2006, when high winds levelled much of Prospect Point.

The image above is from 2006 and belongs to CTVglobemedia; the image below is a picture Kevin Schmidt made of (and with) his trompe l'oeil painting, entitled Prospect Point (2007).

As an added bonus, here is K. Gill's March 30, 2014 Moleskine entry:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Storming Over Vancouver

Lots of rain in the forecast -- and now a wind warning!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Reservoirs in the Sky (1947)

The People's Co-op Bookstore is one of the few remaining bookstores in Vancouver. Founded in 1947, it is also among the world's oldest.

Also in 1947, the British Columbia Department of Education's Department of Visual Education made a film on the Greater Vancouver Water District.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Labour Day Book Drive

Just a reminder that the People's Co-op Bookstore Labour Day book drive is eleven days away. Lower Mainlanders who would like to donate their used or new books to the store, please call 604 253 6442 or email and we will come by on Monday September 7th and pick them up.

Hmmm, I see that the image above belongs not to the people but to Getty. Think we can do better.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Summer Writing

Earlier this year I conducted an interview with Erik von Muller and Lee Plested, the principals behind The Apartment. The result is a feature article in the summer issue of Canadian Art magazine.

While the article concludes with von Muller and Plested talking optimistically of the Apartment's "future plans," it was recently made public that the gallery would close at the end of August.

Fans of the gallery should not despair -- Plested will continue his work with rich people. This fall he is co-ordinating Griffin Art Projects, a private enterprise focused on "creating context and scholarship for works that are held in private collections." He is also back for a third season at the Contemporary Art Gallery's Night School.

More recently I was asked by the New Centre for Research & Practice to provide a response to Maria Lind's August 25th supercommunity post, the result of which can be found here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Baal and the Buddhas

News agencies are reporting that Isil has blown up Syria’s Temple of Baal-Shamin. Originally built for the god Baal in AD 17, the temple had served as a Christian church since the 5th century.

Last time we heard about a group blowing up old stuff was in March, 2001, when the Taliban of Mullah Omar ordered the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Six months later came the events of 9/11.

 Not sure what to believe on the topic of Isil. Seems whoever is deciding the news is making a strong case against them.

So where is this news headed? Will there be a single event to consolidate all of Isil's actions, as there was on September 11?

Six months from now is February. Both Canada and the United States will have new governments.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer Reading

Seems the more I read, the more my time is taken up by writers who have a lot to say on topics they know everything about. Very little ignorance is conveyed in these writings, and I am certain I am not the only one who believes that the ignorant conversation is lacking and someone should do something about it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015


What passed for fashion in Mitte last year.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

What was once known as the Music Business was represented in last night's screening of Straight Outta Compton (2015). Artist manager Jerry Heller was there, as was Bryan Turner (Priority Records) and Suge Knight (Death Row Records). Think that was Seymour Stein (Sire Records) who turned to Heller during N.W.A.'s Skateland gig and said, "If this was happening in Queens, then yes," before walking out.

Someone I had hoped to see and hear more of (was she among the many nameless women in the  background of this picture?) was singer/songwriter Miche'le. Absent altogether was Priority Record's former Vice-President Alyssa Pisano, who pioneered what came to be known as the "street campaign," a form of record promotion that contributed to the rise of a genre (rap) that, unlike the grunge of contemporaneous bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, did not have the benefit of commercial radio play.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"Live and Let Die" (1973)

A Rexall Centre communications assistant recently revealed to Websit news of a highly co-ordinated attack by insurgents at a November 28, 2012 Paul McCartney concert in Edmonton.

According to corroborating sources, a group made up of former members of the Music Business were placed in the audience and instructed to toss Molotov cocktails at McCartney upon hearing the word “die” -- after which McCartney's monitor crew responded with rocket fire.

When asked why authorities failed to notify the public of the attack, the communications assistant said that the Edmonton Police Service had issued a lengthy statement to the media, “but no one cared to read it.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

Do It Yourself (1969)

"When I asked [Jean-Jacques Lebel] for a photograph to illustrate his recent activities, he suggested I print the diagram below" (see above).

The above is from the last page of Adrian Henri's Total Art: Environments, Happenings and Performance, (New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1974): 185. Below are some recent variations:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Songs From a Room (1969)

May 1968. Like a salted slug, Paris is inverting. Disaffected university students take over factories, striking factory workers relieve themselves in campus lavatories.

In West Hollywood, Leonard Cohen argues songs with his producer, David Crosby. The following month Columbia Records fires Crosby and Cohen is shipped from Los Angeles to Nashville, where he is given a farmhouse at the edge of the city and told to write hits, not misses.

The result is Songs From a Room.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Frosted Window Paint

Seems a shame to paint over a window. Are there not other ways to "insure" privacy, besides a curtain or a blind?

Friday, August 14, 2015

A small room inside 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.

In Baldwin's novel we do not "see" Giovanni's room until Part Two, Chapter Two, which opens with David stating: "I scarcely know how to describe that room."

A couple of paragraphs later, Baldwin's David begins a description, but of course provides more than that.

As for the view, "Giovanni had obscured the window panes with a heavy, white cleaning polish." He did this, Baldwin writes, to "insure privacy."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cat's Meow Toy Store

No return trip would be complete without a stop at Hope for the last of the cheap gas and a visit to the Cat's Meow Toy Store, where homemade Barbie clothes are sold.

Turn these Saran-wrapped packages over and you will see that their backing is made from jumbo-sized cereal boxes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Manning Park

Ernest Callaway Manning was British Columbia's Chief Forester from 1936 to 1941. He and Arthur Wellsley Gray, Minister of Lands (1933-1944), were instrumental in the creation of a number of provincial parks, including Tweedsmuir, Hamber, Wells Gray and Manning, which at one time encompassed Similkameen Falls -- until mine claims and private ownership caused the park's eastern boundary to be redrawn. Not sure if gender-specific outhouses were part of their vision, but Manning Park's gender boundaries should be redrawn as well.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Three Wineries

Two nights at SMC, then a day at the wineries:

The vineyards of Meyer.

The tasting room at Synchromesh.

The art of Liquidity.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bush Gallery

An early-70s Airstream near Tania Willard's Bush Gallery.

A view from the inside, out.

A view of Chase, from where the internet is strongest, and from where Tania, in her own words, "curated Beat Nation."

Friday, August 7, 2015

Heffley Creek

A visit to Holly Ward's Pavilion project (above), "which is currently being re-envisioned as a self-contained living machine on a rural property in the Heffley Creek area of B.C." Also at Heffley, Holly and Kevin Schmidt's outdoor cinema (below).

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sea to Sky

En route to a stop at Nairn Falls (above), a drive through the hills of Britannia Beach (below).

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Festival Express (2003)

"A trainful of insane people careening across the Canadian countryside."

Monday, August 3, 2015

Railroading in the East 1897-1906

The Philadelphia Express (0:46) might have been the train that Cather's Paul jumped in front of.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Penultimate Paragraph in "Paul's Case"

The sound of an approaching train awoke him, and he started to his feet, remembering only his resolution, and afraid lest he should be too late. He stood watching the approaching locomotive, his teeth chattering, his lips drawn away from them in a frightened smile; once or twice he glanced nervously sidewise, as though he were being watched. When the right moment came, he jumped. As he fell, the folly of his haste occurred to him with merciless clearness, the vastness of what he had left undone. There flashed through his brain, clearer than ever before, the blue of Adriatic water, the yellow of Algerian sands.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament" (1905)

Another story from my high school reader is Willa Cather's "Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament" (1905).

Five months ago Nathaniel Hawkins posted the film version of Cather's story on YouTube. Three months ago, Free EBooks did the same for the audio version.