July 30, 2006

My dad had a heart attack and I find myself once again in Mount Clemens, Michigan (home of the Battling Bathers, seriously). My dad looks 1000% better today than yesterday. I've met my infant neice for the first time (not ideal conditions, but long overdue; she's 10 months old). I've spent the last hour on the front porch smoking one of the better cigars from my dad's humidor (he's not going to be needing these any time soon, if ever) thinking about all the things that have happened since I left this front porch at 17 to go finish up high school in France (Rotary exchange). It's not quite nostalgia, more reflection from a different perspective. Or a kick in the pants. Hard to tell now, really.
I was reading Bataille's The Accursed Share on the plane over (man, I hate Chicago Midway lay-overs). I'm only half-way through, but he seems to be arguing for a better method of wasting energy than what is currently happening (he wrote it in 1949, I think). It's a look at economics that works on the personal and the general. I've been considering what I take beyond my needs and how I expend the surplus. It's an ugly analysis. I'm not rich; in fact, last year I was working poor (didn't that used to be called working class?). But the energy that others have expended on me is much less than what I have given back. In Batialle's rubric, I am in friendship luxury at the expense of my friends.
To my friends, apologies.


July 27, 2006

eye-rhyme 8: the portraits just came in the mail today. It seems this'll be the last eye-rhyme issue, which is a shame since their design acumen is really sharp.

In the issue: Andrew Allen; Robert Bloom; Andrea Boll; Laura Brian; Pack Bringley; Emma Cline; Jen Currin; Patricia Fetters; Chris Fink; Anthony Garavente; Chris Gordon; Nathan Hok; David Harrison Horton; Elizabeth Ann James; Mary Kasimor; Michael Robins; Robert Schuler; Walid Raad; Della Watson; Joshua Marie Wilkinson & Holly Wilson.

93 pages. $7.



July 26, 2006

Jack Kerouac, Some of the Dharma (Viking, 1991). 420 pages. $32.95 hardback.

Comprised of reading notes, letters, poems, and other miscellany, this tome amounts to an overall sketch of Kerouac's involvement with Buddhism. Granted many of the things presented here would make my former Religion professor Shanta Ratnayaka squirm; for example: "KEROUAC said: 'Chinese saints get drunk/in a cornfield and never/ lose a thing, except maybe/ the pride of self'"(68). But it's fun to read through other folk's notebooks (Camus' notebooks are pretty insightful), and it's also good to see people at the height of their interest in something trying to work through it towards a deeper understanding. Some was definitely a work in progress, even in its finished form.



July 25, 2006

"Sampling Oakland" at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Curator Berin Golonu states the purpose of the show quite clearly:

"Some say Oakland today is what San Francisco was in the 70s: a place where younger artists can afford to spread out, hang out and create a thriving arts scene. It’s a community fueled by an independent vision, self-determination and grass-roots activity, but already in danger of being pushed aside by almost-inevitable gentrification. This exhibition aims to introduce the important work happening in Oakland to a broader audience at a larger, more mainstream art institution, while acknowledging the unique and vital scene happening across the Bay."

Comparisons between these two cities is almost always misguided and unfortunate. And while you might question the few artists out of the many hundreds operating in Oakland (see for example ProArts East Bay Open Studios) who were selected to represent a much more diverse set of artistic communities, it's nice to see an established San Frnacisco institution giving props and pointing people towards Oakland's smaller artist run galleries.

The show is too small a primer. To get a better sense of what's actually going on in Oakland, I recommend taking the BART one stop in (West Oakland) and checking out the "Community Virology" show at Lobot Gallery with 1500 artists on the walls at last count.

Also, Sarah Lockheart and Darren Jenkins of 21 Grand will be curating a night of performances by Oakland-based artists on August 31, inculding Mary Armentrout, Jorge Boehringer, Phillip Greenlief, Jay Korber, Alexander Kort, Dawn McMahon, Kristin Miltner, The Noodles (Suki O'Kane & Michael Zelner), Albert Ortega, Kattt Sammon, Damon Smith, Moe! Staiano, Leyya Tawil, Michael Trigilio, Matt Volla, and Weasel Walter.



July 24, 2006

It's bad enough that Boston beat the Athletics 7 to 3, but the fact that the red shirts owned the Coliseum, including the bleachers, and that a lot of A's fans left after the bottom of the 7th (still 6 home outs to go), makes me question the Oakland crowd.

Does Oakland even like baseball?


July 19, 2006

Sha was playing Jackson Pollock here last night.


July 15, 2006

Infection 4 (x 1554) at Lobot Gallery.

It started with six artists who were asked to participate, who each then asked another six artists to participate who then each asked another six.... The sheer critical mass of artists and styles of art works makes this a shouldn't miss. Runs until July 28th.


July 15, 2006

Cody's last day.


July 14, 2006

Ro6ert Fitterman & Dirk Rowntree, War, the musical (subpress, 2006). 400 pages. $15.

In much the same way that Marshall McLuhan & Quentin Fiore blended images with text to argue their point, Fitterman & Rowntree's images & blank pages drive their point home. This book needs to be read & viewed repeatedly, as each reading stockpiles more information onto the previous one.

"For the ground American soldier, going to heaven will 6e an honor. Oh, inquired Ms. Trekker, is your name going to be in the paper?" (78).



July 12, 2006

Late update on the Arks in Oakland.


Thursday, April 6, 2006


A. The ARKS – Mr. Amoroso pointed out that a copy of draft letter prepared by staff had been included in the package for your consideration and modifications, if any. Rena Rickles, representing one of the Ark owners, Rod Penebaker, thanked staff and the Commission for their support. The only new information not included in her letter was her conversation with Claudia Cappio, Director of Planning, City of Oakland. At her recommendation, she had confirmed with the planner working with Measure D funding, that there would be no impediment to the Shoreline Trails by the preservation of the Arks. A discussion followed regarding the year the Arks were built, Jack London’s involvement and the historical significance/survey. Commissioner Allen stated that she was not comfortable with the reference to Mr. London and the Chair requested confirmation on the year the Arks were built, perhaps through aerial photographs. Ms. Rickles agreed that any reference to Mr. London could be deleted. Commissioner Waespi made the motion in support of the letter with deletion of the reference to Jack London and Commissioner Allen seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Ms. Rickles agreed to provide staff with the historical criteria and a list of organizations that should receive a copy of the support letter. Mr. Amoroso added that additional comments/modifications could be submitted within this week and the letter will be ready for distribution by Monday.


July 9, 2006

This promises to be a meaty anthology. Check out the list of poets already accepted here.