Sunday, July 31, 2005

public dancer

public dancer
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

this gentleman, seen vutting a rug on georgia avenue, reminds me of the woman who used to get up in blue and red tights and dance with a two-liter bottle of rc cola balanced on her head. she plied her trade in the late '80's/early 90's at the tricorner median where constitution ave and pennsylvania ave meet. I never figured out if she was a shill or if she just really liked her rc cola. I took a picture of the rc cola woman at the taste of dc festival one year and I'll post that as soon as i can find it. in the meantime, this man may be looking for a corporate sponsor.

lou and woman

lou and woman
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

Friday, July 29, 2005


egglestonian, as they say.

something I wrote a few years ago about movies


Barry Egan is insulated. From his no-spill coffee mug to the massive rolls of bubble wrap that deck his warehouse walls to the (he hopes) unbreakable fungers he peddles. Yet the walls of his warehouse are exposed brick, andit is through this chink in the armor that Emily Watson finds him.

After she finds him, watch him take quick, nervous sips from the insulated vessel. But, when curiosity gets him and he steals away the harmonium, the vessel rattles atop the instrument, in danger of falling. But this thing he struggles with - what is it? He doesn't know, but it's worth something,if only for the struggle.

What is distant on the photographic plane becomes close. Barry to the harmonium. Lena to Barry. Barry with the harmonium to the warehouse. This optical distance works on the level of the emotional distance plied by the unlikely like minds of two directors in their key works: Jacques Tati's PLAYTIME and Michaelangelo Antonioni's L'ECLISSE.

In PLAYTIME, the distance between characters on the film plane is a joke. Hulot waits around the corner of a long hallway and hears an executive's footsteps sounding down the hall, intending to meet our hero. The footsteps grow louder - Hulot rises for a polite greeting, but the uniformed doorman waves him down, not yet. The dance repeats. These areunending footsteps. People are not as close as they appear.

Antonioni's signature emotional distance is supposedly reflected in affectless characters carrying out their banal lives in a grid of anonymous glass and concrete boxes. Tati uses this architecture to comic effect (ha ha, the same banal office box appears in travel posters for every country); people lose each other in reflections and cubicle farms. As Tati revels in the long shot, his Hulot is content merely to observe life. He is content to encounter people only by chance. He affects those around him, but is mostly unaffected by them. He never gets close to people - he never gets the girl. Antonioni's camera gets right in people's faces, which reveal an inner anguish and passion that they may not be able to express, but which visibly ache with their inarticulated needs. Imagine - you get close to people, and they turn out to be complicated! What a to-do! Comedy happens to other people; when it happens to you, things are not so strictly choreographed, the technicolor ballet of slapstick artgives way to the inconistencies and blemishes of life.

The closing sequence of PLAYTIME, in abstract, is frankly bleak: a woman opens a package from a stranger she'll never see again and finds a forget-me-not; cut to forget-me-not shaped streetlights, (these are among the few close-ups in the movie! objects!) which begin to illuminate at dusk; a longshot of the city lit at dusk autos and buildings still visible, then blam: nothing but abstract lights. Sure there's jaunty music, but imagine that music under the stunning final sequence of L'ECLISSE; with the issued dissonant, abstract music, it's a dissonant, abstract, bleak sequence. Try to imagine the end of L'ECLISSE with the music from the final sequence of PLAYTIME - it kind of works! So: is therejoy to be found in this banal modern world; or is there only loneliness?

PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE strikes me as a kind of bridge between the perfect labnotated dance - to be seen from a distance; and the unpredictable mess of improvisation that makes people up close people.

The first of Jeremy Blake's animated transitions is an overture to this: the perfect stripes, the rorshach in fuschia; the music underneath it expreses the tenor of the whole movie: the disonnant percussion, the harmonium, Shelly Duvall, Hawaiian guitars. It's allthere, diverging voices in beautiful imperfect unison.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

georgia avenue fever

catch it before gentrification sinks her greedy talons into the soft Georgian underbelly.

martin johnson

Nick, who posts excellent galleries of found photos at the boat lullabies, discovered the work of Martin Johnson at a flea market.
While some of the stuff was your typical amateur family stuff there was also some work that I think is extraordinary, work reminiscent of the 1960s photography of Gary Winogrand and Lee Friedlander- shots taken from behind the wheel of the car while driving across country, a series of photos of burning buildings, and two series of photos taken of TV screens- one of JFK's funeral, the other of RFK's funeral.
via the boat lullabies

man, i love to smoke

Death and humor in early visual media.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

I have omitted the family name out of (grudging) respect for the living, and fear that the living may have ways of dealing with disrespect. Jack looks smashing, but does this mean Bessie is locked into eternity wearing that dress?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

new york incognito

from the new york times
Mr. Peretz is a movie director, and Mr. Shaw is his chief assistant. Along with other filmmakers, they have been lured to New York by new film-friendly city policies, particularly lucrative tax incentives available to films and most television shows. But there's a twist. To gain the greatest benefits, filmmakers must shoot a certain portion of the movie in the city, even if big chunks of the script call for scenes set in places far away, and far different, from New York.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

figure 23

from ekman and friesen, unmasking the face, "a guide to recognizing emotions from facial expressions."

Friday, July 15, 2005

highway 11

how is skipper
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

the back of this postcard reads,

"To George
Having a good time some roads
and scenery.
How is Skipper.
from Pop"

Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

welcome to wheaton

light of my life, fire of my loins. a whisper rises off the lips and blows back, catching the breath: whea-ton.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

public transportation

public transportation
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.


Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

another chelsea flea market acquisition


bought at the chelsea flea market

the burning bush

the burning bush
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

terrorism is so gnarly

from the nyt
On the Web, Fearlessness Meets Frivolousness
The site ["We're not afraid"] was created on July 7, the day of the bombings, when Alfie Dennen, who works at Stream UK in Chalk Farm, England, posted a picture of the London skyline with this caption: 'Show the world that we're not afraid of what happened to London today, and that the world is a better place without fear.' Since then, the sentiment has shifted somewhat....

...more and more, there's a brutish flaunting of wealth and leisure. Yesterday there were lots of pictures posted of smiling families at the beach and of people showing off their cars and vans. A picture from Italy shows a white sports car and comes with the caption: 'Afraid? Why should we be afraid?'"

Sunday, July 10, 2005

infrared eggleston

infrared eggleston
Originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

from a must-see show at cheim and read. william eggleston set up a box camera with infrared film and took these shots at memphis bars. I tend not to think of him as either a portraitist (save the occasional coiled chain-smoking blonde) or in b&w, but these are gorgeous.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

innocent escapes

this hilarious and educational interactive session with the Brawny man enables the modern consumer to withdraw further from society, and gently penetrate the sensitive, robotic pleasures of virtual reality. he'll be there for you.

Friday, July 01, 2005

museum d'histoire naturelle de nantes

" La nature et diversité des poissons, avec leurs pourtraicts " (Paris, 1555)
de Pierre Belon (1517-1565)
via a russian livejournal page with lots of other cool old illos of octopi