Sunday, July 24, 2011

every camera i own: the olympus xa

The Olympus XA is a compact rangefinder with a 35mm f2.8 lens and aperture-priority auto exposure. The latter is controlled by a level on the left side of the front of the camera, just under the Zombie Kitty's tongue as pictured. Set your desired aperture (and the proper film speed, on a dial just below the lens) and the XA's shutter will remain open for however long makes a proper exposure. At least this is how it works in theory - mine seemed to regularly overexpose shots. It might be time to check the battery.

If the compact size and aperture-priority auto-exposure sound a little familiar, that's because it's the same principle upon which the Lomo's flagship LCA series is based. Except in a better built package, and one that in most cases (the rare XA4 macro is the major exception) is available for half the cost of an LCA. The XA's clamshell design also never had the hip cachet of the LCA, but that's marketing for you. I regularly give Lomo a hard time  on this blog, but if their popular hipster machinations help keep film alive, then send me a crate of Sardine can cameras.

I bought my XA online sometime in the past decade but never really got to know it. When I dug it out for this project I found it still had film in it from when I last used it.  I ran through what I thought were the last few frames on it so that I could take it to my go-to cheap photo lab at Walgreen's. The problem was it was a roll of 36 exposure, black and white, which Walgreen's doesn't process.

self-portrait, 2011, fuji neopan 400

Here I was about five years earlier, on the NY subway.

self-portrait ca. 2006, new york, fuji neopan 400

When I find one of my old cameras that still has film in it I usually have no easy way to tell when I made the pictures. This one happens to have been pretty easy.

time to make the donuts
my desk, some of which looks much the same five years later.

I wanted to run a fresh roll through the camera. I was near Georgetown, so where was the closest place to get film? Urban Outfitters. I got a three-pack of Lomo's "fine (for fine-grain, I presume) color film." I don't know what part of it is the film, what part of it was overexposure due to an inaccurate meter, but the colors are washed out:


The cab was a darker blue. But high sunshine (and record heat) may have been a factor too. This seems about right.


I finished the roll trying to relive the glory days of my old boring aesthetic. I didn't quite get there, but this reminds me of the subgenre of boring photos I once played with, the establishing shot:

establishing shot

Saturday, July 23, 2011

photobook review: how terry likes his coffee, by Florian van Roekel

Article first published as Book Review: How Terry Likes His Coffee by Florian van Roekel on Blogcritics.

The ingenuity of Florian van Roekel’s How Terry likes his Coffee begins with the cover. With any photobook of these dimensions, you’d expect the pictures to be laid out in landscape orientation, and this is true of van Roekel’s photos. But the cover label is set in portrait orientation. From this angle, the plain black cover has the appearance of  a premium legal-sized notebook, which is exactly what you get when you open the book: a series of lined pages reproduced from such a notebook, with a variety of doodles both ornate and simple. Van Roekel’s subject is the office, and these are the very kinds of doodles you’d make in the middle of a boring meeting where you can’t be bothered to take actual notes.

This office paper trail recurs throughout the book, with blueprints reproducing the layouts of cubicles and other office spaces. The meat of Terry is the photography, but the meta-framework puts it into context and shifts our perspective as the photographs do.

The office is not uncharted territory: Lee Friedlander's At Work tackled the subject in a more photojournalistic vein (while still with his signature art) as he visited workers in factory and office settings. Van Roekel’s approach is more abstract. Rather than simply document the life of the worker, he breaks down the office experience into “chapters” taken at different and increasingly obscure viewpoints in a series of Dutch office buildings. The banal views of the water cooler and the weary office worker at the photocopier may be common. But then van Roekel goes deeper: a close-up of a stray rubber band at the base of an empty swivel chair. Ankle-level views close in on oxblood shoes and dark pants cuffs as workers busily wheel around their cubicle. Subjects are shot from various obscuring angles - from behind, from above, head on but with their face turned and covered by long hair. The people are lit so that their backgrounds often appear black, as if they are on stage. This is the office place as performance space, but a stage where the players are anonymous and interchangabie, in a interchangeable glass tower with interchangable flora that tries in vain to add an organic touch to the blandness inside. Instead, it’s locked out, and likely singed by the hot glass.

Who is the titular Terry, and how does he like his coffee? This is not made clear, though you might guess he’s the one with the Ubuntu coffee mug. As soul-destroying as office work can be, there are little consolations to make one’s dreary career pass more easily, be they doodles or black java. Is Terry a scathing critique of the office or a celebration of the people who toil in its dull conforming glow? The subject matter is loaded, but van Roekel doesn’t tell you how to feel. The artist’s eye simply immerses you in the details of that world. He does what artists do: takes the familiar and makes it strange.

As part of the PhotoIreland Festival, Martin Parr (Magnum photographer and co-author of The Photobook: A History) recently compiled a list of the Best Photobooks of the Decade. How Terry Likes his Coffee made Parr’s list. The book was just published in 2010, but its limited run of 500 copies made it scarce from the start. I lucked into one of a few copies the ICP bookstore got hold of this spring, and that’s probably the last time anybody will be able to get a copy for under three figures. The collector’s market for photobooks is heating up, as evidenced by an article in the Guardian  which notes that limited print runs all but guarantee that prices for good titles will quickly double or triple in value.  I wish I could tell you this didn't earn its costly stripes, but Terry is worth the hunt.

Friday, July 22, 2011

the bloggy, bloggy movie review: tabloid edition

Joyce McKinney
From Popcorn & Candy: Manacled Mormons and Androgynous Aliens Edition, July 14, 2011. See this week's movie roundup here. Also on (ironic definite article alert) The DCist, read my thoughts on Lindsay Rowisnki's Transformer Gallery installation Trying to be There (ironic awkward pronoun juxtaposition alert) here.


What it is: Erroll Morris' latest portrait of an obsessive looks at the strange case of Joyce McKinney, beauty queen -- and kidnapper?

Why you want to see it: Miss Wyoming 1971, Joyce McKinney could have had her pick of men. What made her not only choose bumbling Mormon missionary Kirk Anderson, but fly across the pond with a hand-picked team of accomplices to abduct him at fake-gunpoint? Morris told theNew York Times that McKinney was one of his most fascinating interviewees -- "if there was an Academy Award for best performance in a documentary, she'd win."

But Morris' new film is more than just a lurid story, although sensationalism is part and parcel of a tale in which a former Miss Wyoming ties a Mormon missionary spread-eagled to a bed and reportedly rapes him over the course of three days of, in McKinney's words, "fun, food, and sex." This Rashomon for the supermarket aisle is about how we tell stories -- not just the tabloids, but all of us. McKinney tells Morris that her training as an actress came in handy during her 1977 trial, and she performs for the camera today as surely and expertly as she performed for the jury thirty years ago. But we get no less a performance from Daily Express gossip columnist Peter Tory, one of the tabloid journalists who originally covered the story.

In the 1970s, rival British tabloids sold conflicting versions of McKinney as small town sweetheart and S&M call girl -- neither of which exactly lines up with her own version of the truth. For that reason, she has waged a campaign against the film. But is there such thing as a reliable narrator? Morris uses the visual language of tabloids in the form of contemporary newspaper clippings and of titles and fonts designed to mimic vintage tabloid graphics. Film footage is framed as if on a television screen against vintage wallpaper out of Diane Arbus. In other words, we all frame the truth through our own particular lens, and we are all performers -- even Morris. But some of us tell better stories than others. McKinney turned up in the news again a few years ago, but if you don't recognize the name, I won't spoil it for you. It just goes to show you that the best storytellers never stop telling stories. Like Joyce McKinney, and Errol Morris.

View the trailer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

every camera i own: the olympus om-1

The Olympus OM-1 was my first real camera, a hand-me down from my brothers. I started using this one in the late 80's and continued to use it through the early 2000s. Before I began acquiring  cameras - which not coincidentally was around the time I joined flickr,  it was my only camera.

I've had it shelved for ages - the meter died twenty years ago even after repairs, and the shutter speeds seemed sluggish the last time I tried it. But after years hauling around the Nikon N90 as my go-to film SLR, I was surprised how light the OM-1 is. I'd forgotten how easy it is to carry around. I ran into Chris Chen aka furcafe, and although he's not an OM-1 owner he admires the compact size - not much bigger than a classic Leica rangefinder, he pointed out (as he frequently does, he had a Leica for comparison). Chris pointed out that the shutter-speed controls on the front of the camera, around the lens, strikes him as strange - most cameras have shutter speed controlled by a dial on top of the camera. But this is how I learned it.

The earliest OM-1 shot I can find on my flickr stream, the late Willem Breuker, ca. 1996:

RIP Willem Breuker

I loaded my OM-1 with Fuji 200 and expected the shutter speeds to result in a lot of overexposed shots. But the roll turned out alright. This old school corner shop is home to the Capital Bikeshare station I use. It also seems to be the only place on the Hill where I can find Pom juice.

every camera i own: the olympus om-1

Olie's Trollie downtown - the blown highlights may be due more to my not compensating than to slow shutter speeds:

every camera i own: the olympus om-1

Friday, July 15, 2011

the bloggy, bloggy movie review

More highlights from my weekly movie column for the DCist. Visit the DCist for this week's column, See this week's column, Popcorn & Candy: Manacled Mormons and Androgynous Aliens Edition, in which I review Tabloid, the new Errol Morris film. I also reviewed three offerings from the Capital Fringe Festival this week, my favorite being the Pointless Theatre Company's Super Spectacular Dada Adventures of Hugo Ball.

From Popcorn & Candy: Technology is a Blessing and a Curse Edition, June 30, 2011

Larry Crowne

What it is: The second feature from writer/director/auteur Tom Hanks, whose portrayal of the lowly worker is a stark rejoinder to the oppressive hegemony of the Roumanian New Wave.
Why you want to see it: The titular Crowne (everyman a King, yo) is called to the front office at the big-box store where he works, boasting to his cow-orker that he's won Employee of the Month designation an Ed Rooney-esque NINE TIMES. [Ed. note: I had (and still kind of have) no idea who Ed Rooney was when I wrote this, but my editor inserted the additional qualifier.] But this time Crowne is a different statistic: he's laid off, allegedly because he lacks a college degree. And thus, multi-millionaire Tom Hanks (who I'm sure is a nice guy) takes an imaginary bullet for The People. Oh the catharsis! Hanks wrote and directed -- his first such project since 1996's That Thing You Do, which painted a picture of stardom in a more innocent time. But is this the right time for innocence? Is Forrest Gump II going to make America sleep better through this economic crisis? No, but Hanks' studied naivete magically transforms this picture into a live-action Spongebob Squarepants, in which the forbidden sexual tension between Spongebob and Squidward (Julia Roberts) is finally, subversively fulfilled. Co-written by Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame; exercise extreme caution.

View the trailer NINE TIMES.
Opens tomorrow at a pineapple under the sea near you.

Rear Window

What it is: The AFI's Hitchhock retrospective continues with one of his greatest films.
Why you want to see it: Photo-journalist L. B. Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) is holed up in his Greenwich Village loft after breaking his leg shooting an auto race. (Be careful out there, kids!) Bored and restless, he watches the comings and goings of his neighbors across the way. Rear Window is one of the classic thrillers. But it is also a case study in the power of photography, and of seeing. The film's main action takes place entirely in the space of one character's apartment, and what he sees from his window: the courtyard, a distant street, fragments of his neighbor's apartments, framed by their own rear windows. Does this presage the internet? People-watching has long been a favored past-time, and with a lens trained on nearly everybody it's hard to know where to look. Can what we see hurt us? This masterpiece from fabled voyeur Alfred Hitchcock examines the dangerous nature of photography while celebrating it with finely-crafted suspense and one of the great screen beauties, Grace Kelly. A Bernard Hermann score [I only realized after I wrote this that Hermann would not begin to collaborate with Hitchcock until The Trouble with Harry] might have made this a perfect movie, but Franz Waxman's treacly music serves as a fluffy counterpoint to the brooding danger within. Trivia note: the score is performed on screen by a young Ross Bagdasarian, creator of The Chipmunks.

View the trailer.


From Popcorn & Candy: Young and Misunderstood Edition, July 7, 2011


What it is: The birth of the shower scene.
Why you want to see it: Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is an office drone entrusted with enough money to blow Phoenix for greener pastures. Too bad she has a change of heart -- at the Bates Motel. Hitchcock's beloved avian imagery -- both predator and prey -- explodes a few years later in The Birds, but here it plays a more subtly sinister role: flight is arrested and animal urges are kept in check by man's own cages. What is the shower but a birdbath, the carving knife our hunger for fresh KFC? Psycho is the ur-slasher movie, the iconic shower scene the first in a long line of brutal punishments that are visited upon any sexually active bodies with the misfortune to find themselves in a horror film. Its influence goes far beyond the theater, to music ("Psycho Killer"), art (Douglas Gordon's 24 Hour Psycho), and even the collector's doll market (the shower scene became a liimited edition Madame Alexander doll). And thus, the film itself is like a phoenix: out of the horrific crimes of Ed Gein (who inspired Robert Bloch's source novel) rose something like poetry. Or is it kitsch? For all its strengths, the movie is flawed, the psychological exegesis ridiculous, the plot twists so much a part of the collective consciousness that it is impossible to watch it with the intended suspense. Then again, seeing the film with an audience helped Hitchcock realize the movie was, in fact, a black comedy. It may not be as funny as, say, Eraserhead, but rather a stark look at the arid morality of the American desert, an Oedipal western with Perkins as a troubled outlaw. And mother? She's the sheriff.

View the trailer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#photobook review: in almost every picture 10: pig, by Michael Campeau

Article first published as Book Review: In Almost Every Picture 10: Pig, by Michael Campeau on Blogcritics.

The tenth volume of the vernacular photography series In Almost every Picture, edited by Erik Kessels, is printed on a pretty pink stock. It’s nearly the color of the Financial Times, but rather than conveying fickle market trends, this tome sets in print a singular, enduring obsession.

When Michael Campeau gathered his family photographs nearly forty years ago, he noticed an unusual image from 1963. It was of his mother, bottle-feeding a piglet in the middle of Au Lutin Qui Bouffe (The Noshing Elf), a popular Montreal restaurant.

The success of a great many photo books goes beyond the quality of the photos themselves. Sequencing and book design - from layouts to paper stock - are all crucial parts of the puzzle. But it all starts with a concept. Campeau’s took shape by coincidence. In 2005, he worked with a friend who was gathering his own family photographs. Among those was a familiar image: in the same restaurant, another piglet was being bottle-fed by a customer.

The photographer placed an ad in local senior’s newspaper in search of similar photos, and his piglet obsession became a study in the piglet obesssion of others. In Almost Every Picture selects over a hundred such images commissioned by restaurant proprietor Joseph B. McAbbie from 1938 to 1973. McAbbie later hired “society photographer” Jean-Paul Cuerrier to make the photographs, which Cuerrier continued to do even after the owner’s death. Cuerrier’s son told Campeau that in a single night his father might take over two hundred and fifty photographs of feeding time.

The piglet and the decor are a constant, but multitudes are to be found in customers of varying ages and social background, from solo diners to couples, from a nun to a gathering of Shriners. Conflicting stories abound as to the fate of the piglets. By some accounts, the milk-fed pink delight grew up to feed elfin customers. But others tell a tale of long pig lives led on an idyllic farm. Au Lutin Qui Bouffe made thousands of piglet pictures, but many are lost. A fire closed down the Montreal landmark, and closed the door on the photo op memorialized In Almost Every Picture. We must rebuild.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

every camera i own: the gevaert rex junior

This week's camera with a kitty is a little late, owing to the usual film problems as well as a few other pieces that took priority. You can read my recent reviews of Running Drill at Transformer Gallery, and the Washington Shakespeare Company's production of Richard Foreman's Hotel Fuck, on the DCist.

The Rex Junior Gevaert is a bakelite toy camera with a collapsible lens that twists out for shooting and twists back in for compactness. It's similar in design to the German Pouva Start, although the Argentinian Junior began its commercial life in 1950, the year before the Pouva debuted.

The Rex Gevaert uses 620 film.  I bought it at the Feria de San Telmo in Buenos Aires, one of the world's great flea markets, and used the camera just once since then.

I don't remember having to tape up the frame window for that initial roll, which I shot in the cold light of winter. I really need to start taping these babies up, especially in summer heat. You can see the backing paper text cleanly burned through to the image, shot in New York last weekend.



Friday, July 08, 2011

the motion picture show: highlights from my weekly movie column

Dick Dyszel as Mayor Wicker in The Alien Factor.
I've started writing the weekly Popcorn & Candy column, a roundup of the coming week's movies, for DCist. It's at once my most visible gig (who doesn't check movie listings?) and my most ephemeral (who's going to look up what I wrote about a video screening of Night Patrol?). For some reason this column stresses me out more than anything else I write, and perhaps I end up overwriting now and then to compensate.  I'll occasionally highlight some of my P&C blurbs here.


From my first column, Popcorn & Candy: Criss-cross Edition May 26, 2011. You can see from the url that I originally planned to use the subtitle "Why is My Body Changing? Edition," but I shelved that for the following week.

The Hangover Part II
What it is: The start of summer movie season.
Why you want to see it: Drunken blackouts are a primitive form of teleportation. One minute you're tossing back a wine cooler and then BLAM: you wake up in a strange room with a chicken from an advanced civilization that visits hotels in search for human blood. The first Hangover took this bacchanal as a jumping off point for fraternal hilarity and even something that approached human feelings. Director Todd Phillips' sequel ups (or downs, considering on your perspective) the ante with a scenario in which our favorite drinking buddies are teleported to Bangkok.
What to expect: Culturally insensitive hijinks.
What not to expect: A cameo by Mel Gibson, which was scrapped after his very public breakdown last fall. Maybe he should have pulled out The Beaver?

Opens tomorrow within projectile vomiting distance.


White Irish Drinkers. As a commenter pointed out,
this is supposed to be 1970s Brooklyn?
From Popcorn & Candy: Why is My Body Changing Edition, June 2, 2011.

White Irish Drinkers
What is it: A tale of working-class Brooklyn circa 1975.
Why you want to see it: The words, "from the creator of The Ghost Whisperer" send this movie columnist into a cold sweat, but as long as Jennifer Love Hewitt doesn't show up cooing to her carrier-pigeons with a fake brogue, I will try to reserve judgement. Writer-director John Gray cut his teeth making 8mm films in his Brooklyn neighborhood, to which he pays homage with this story of coming of age among alcoholics, mobsters, and The Rolling Stones. Does this melodramatic return to the borough of his birth mean a return to low-budget roots? Or has he never really recovered from that Jennifer Love Hewitt dream sequence with a white tiger?
What to expect: Highly coached Brooklyn accents.
What not to expect: Vajazzle


Euro-Asia Shorts 2011
What it is: A festival of short films from around the globe.

Why you want to see it: Young couples, cantankerous elders, a planet where women are macho and men weak, and a clown that can't make people laugh are just some of the subjects on tap in this sprawling survey. "Five nights. Nine countries. One Theme" -- the last being Men and Women -- is the focus here. How that relates to Cuore di Clown (Clown Heart), (Tuesday, June 7th at the Japan Center on 18th Street) is anyone's guess, but it will only take 14 minutes of your time to find out.
What to expect: Where clown hearts beat, clown tears surely fall.
What not to expect: God willing, Jennifer Love Hewitt.


From Popcorn & Candy: You Are Tearing Me Apart Live Edition, June 9, 2011.

The Room Live
What it is: Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero appear in a live adaptation of what some call The Worst Movie Ever Made.
Why you want to see it: Cult hit The Room is not by any measure a Good Movie. But it's a Great Bad Movie. Tomorrow night, the AFI Silver presents auteur Tommy Wiseau in a challenging new medium: live theater. The Room Live promises your favorite scenes as well as new scenes from everyone's favorite possibly Louisianan filmmaker. Will it be a train wreck or a revelation? I'm hoping for the latter, and here's why. What sets The Room apart from your typical midnight cult classic is Wiseau's complete lack of irony. Tommy -- as his fans intimately call him -- never winks at the viewer as if he's letting them in on a joke. He's completely earnest, and completely, heroically himself, despite a nation recoiling in horror at The Room's love scenes. And as strange and silly as his vision may be, he's true to his own star. Tommy's first new work since The Room was last year's short The House That Drips Blood on Alex, and he was the best thing about it. Sadly, he didn't write the self-conscious, knowing script -- you could practically hear the air quotes around any dialogue not spoken by its star. More successful is the recent short video series Tommy Explains it All (assaying, so far, Citizen Kane and Love) which makes the right decision to just let Tommy talk and let the magic happen. And if you go early enough, you can make a double bill of unparallelled aesthetic contrast with our next featured pick. [Diary of a Country Priest, which I saw right before The Room Live with no measurable aesthetic damage to either.]
What to expect: God to forgive you.
What not to expect: To be torn apart.

Read my full review of The Room Live here.


From Popcorn & Candy: Music and Martians Edition, June 16, 2011.

The Stuff
What it is: Schlockmeister Larry Cohen's prescient satire of consumerism.

Why you want to see it: "Pre-swhu-huh?" you may ask. Cohen made his mark with the mutant homicidal baby series It's Alive. Horror movies are often manifestations of deep societal anxieties -- sexual hysteria in vampire movies, mindless consumerism in zombie pictures, growing pains in I Was a Teenage Werewolf, clothing manufacturer's inconsistent sizing practices in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Thus the intelligent B-movie is no oxymoron, and The Stuff is enjoyable, thoughful and just well-acted enough to put the lie to the notion that Psychotronic necessarily equals "bad." A natural fount of bubbling sweet white stuff is found in Alaska and marketed as a dessert. But is the stuff...alive? Michael Moriarty (whose aw-shucks with a hint of menace would have made him perfect for The Killer Inside Me) investigates the titular material's mysterious contents for a rival company, only to find himself face-first in it. Could this satirical story of the killer inside us have foretold 21st century cupcake mania? You will eat a cupcake. You will eat a cupcake.
What to expect: Better acting than you'd think.
What not to expect: To leave The Passenger not yearning for a cupcake.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

#photobook review: More Cooning with Cooners, edited by Kalev Ericson

Article first published as Book Review: More Cooning with Cooners, edited by Kalev Ericson on Blogcritics.

In the last few years, the independent UK publisher Archive of Modern Conflict has released a fine streak of photobooks, from their handsome collection of Kodachromes, The Corinthians; to Larry Towell’s exquisite variation on the family album, The World from my Front Porch; to Nein, Onkel, a collection of snapshots that supposedly gives us a look at the more "fun-loving" side of Nazi Germany. The Kodachromes of More Cooning with Cooners may at first glance seem a more focused sequel to The Corinthians. But the second glance is telling.

The discomfort with which I type or even shorten the title is the first sign that this is not your ordinary collection of vernacular photography. The title is based on a 1924 book called Cooning with Cooners, on the culture of Ohio raccoon hunters. The phrase is seen early in the present book, emblazoned on a trailer hitched to a station wagon in front of which one proud hunter poses with this hound. The photographs gathered here were made by one such hunter who worked through the 1960s, which places it in a context in which the changing world outside them seems to have had little effect on their language and bloodlust. It is a cruel tease that the book opens with a photograph of two playfully alive raccoons, for the rest of the book documents the plundering of the animals (if not, as the accompanying essay points out, to their extinction, as the buffalo), and the dogs and men who hunt them for their pelts.

What the photos lack in sharpness and technical prowess (flash lights glow from racoon, hound, and human eye alike), they make up for in cumulative power: this is what hunting looks like, from suiting up, to dog prep, to the chase, to the kill, to the season’s total. The fact that a 1924 poem called “Dat Scanlus Coonhunt Itch” is used to place the photos in historical context increases the unease, but it is almost overkill - the spirit of the times may not be spelled out in the photos, but you can see between the lines well enough.

The book's endpapers indicate the dramatic arch of the photographs, with an illustration of a raccoon head inside the front boards and a raccoon skull inside the back boards. The accompanying essay does not judge these men who pose with rows and rows of pelts, but posits these photos as the document of a lost subculture. I’m no card-carrying member of PETA, but it’s hard not to look at these images of good old boys with guns and shudder a little. Maybe I’m just a city boy who doesn’t want to know what’s going into his hot dogs. More Cooning with Cooners is a smartly designed book whose selection and sequencing leads the reader places you may not expect to go. It may enchant you. It may disturb you. Sounds like a great photobook to me.

Consumer note: the book is limited to 500 copies, and is already fetching a premium at Amazon. The curious will do better to look for this at places like Dashwood Books or Photo-Eye, or directly from the publisher, who offers a special edition with a photo print and an original copy of the 1924 book, enclosed in a raccoon fur slipcase.