Monday, 15 November 2010

life recorded by nine eyes

since google streetview launched, accidental images of absurd, beautiful and shocking moments have been immortalised by this roving, nine-eyed machine - and then, inevitably, isolated and forwarded around by internet memesters.

but for 9eyes curator and artist jon rafman, it's opened a pandora's box of questions about photography, privacy, art and basic humanity.

he's penned a much more articulate explanation of his project than i possibly could right now, so i heartily suggest heading thataway for a proper background.

it reminds me of that robert rauschenberg quote i love so much:

“I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly, because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.”

beauty in the ordinary. wonder in the ugly. yes, please.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

a labour of (typographic) love

really loving bianca chang's simple, stunning paper sculptures. made from everyday photocopy paper using just a ruler, scalpel and compass point, they're real labours of love.

see how she does it here:

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

the awesome book of thanks

not much to say at the moment besides no, thank YOU, dallas clayton. infectious and happy-making.

An Awesome Book of Thanks! from Dallas Clayton on Vimeo.

Friday, 15 October 2010

make it beautiful

it's everywhere at the moment, but troika's 'shoal' installation is really very lovely.

TROIKA_SHOAL from Troika on Vimeo.

o perfection, thy name is schwartzman.

it's ridiculous, it's over-the-top, it's hammy and it's contrived. and it's jason schwartzman, and there is nothing he could do that wouldn't make my dimples deepen.

Monday, 20 September 2010

uh oh

lock up your bookish daughters - DBC Pierre is reading at the ever wonderful book slam this month. if it's anything like the last time i saw him read there, expect a swarm of girls crawling over him like angry bees, fighting for the dubious privilege of buying his many whiskies, while DBC takes it like a premiership league footballer at a strip club. odd. but kind of hard not to be riveted.

listen to him on his best behaviour being interviewed by my brilliant (in all senses that word may be taken) friend martin makenzie-murrayhere.

Friday, 17 September 2010

more vicarious shopping

oh, how i want this:
Frustrated by the hustle of NYC, Carly Margolis escaped to the Catskills with her boyfriend to work on art and record music in an abandoned cabin in the woods. During these months spent in the woods, a collection was born. The Sacred Mountain Collection is inspired by sacred objects of past and future. The pieces from this collection might pass as ancient relics from an indigenous Meso-American civilization or a symbol of some future nation. They are meant to resemble miniature kingdoms.

palace brick ring by magpie & rye.

i realise there's an awful lot of wanting going on at the moment. i'm still blaming my birthday. there's got to be some compensation for it, doesn't there?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

rampant birthday wishings

being perpetually skint of late has turned me into a rabid, foam-mouthed consumer. under the guise of daydreaming about things my many minted beloveds might like to get me for my birthday, here's what i've been hankering after...

...a candle in a sugar bowl made for walking

...a massive orange 'n'

...a blanket you can wear

...yotam ottolenghi's new cookbook

...colour you can send floating up to the stars

...a new pannier to replace my bike's collapsed box

...and a bunch of happy ranunculi

...or you could just turn up at my house with a record to listen to and i'd be a happy lady, really...

Thursday, 26 August 2010

on the shelf

on a sleepy sunday, the prospect of the seething masses and the cross-london trek tends to put me and HRH off the idea of going to brick lane, but having just perused the wares of shelf on cheshire street, i’m quite tempted to brave it…

i love the kissing dolls

the handpainted cockerels

the perfect picnic blanket

shinzi katoh's zoo print...

and this awesome painting by SCUBA…

also, I want to wear all 12 of these japanese tin parrot badges at once…

thank god the tides of money in and money out restrict me to window shopping right now.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

that's how slamming they cook at margot

junot diaz's incredible loose-flowing piece for gourmet magazine about the best dominican food in NYC has got me salivating.

But if you want to see the real El Malecon, visit after midnight. When everyone is returning from a dance, a party, a drive, a long stretch of work. Past midnight is when you will see the community best. When all the impediments fall away and the X-ray of who we are is almost perfect. And yes, no matter what, order the vaunted rotisserie chicken. Sometimes you’ll catch a bad bird and it will be dry—well, my friends, dust off the middle-school Spanish and send it back for another. The juicy ones are worth enduring the rolled eyes of the servers and your inability to conjugate querer properly; the juicy ones, you see, are divine.

the names of the dishes themselves are enough: alcapurria, friquitaqui, majarete.

mind you, it's hard to eat badly in the big apple. as diaz himself puts it, "If you’re in upper Manhattan and can’t score a decent taste of Dominican cooking, either you’re trying real hard to screw up, or something’s very wrong with your luck."

for my greenbacks, the best food i've eaten in new york is at la esquina's diner-style van - the pescado a las brasas tacos were gorgeously zingy, fresh, and charcoal-y, smothered in green tabasco sauce. i ate it with salsa running down my arms and a lunatic grin on my face. incidentally, i was sporting a similarly lunatic grin a few hours later after a baker's dozen margaritas downstairs at their secret bar.

freemans was the cat's pyjamas, too, if a little too model-y for my appetite. kind of hard to knock off a whole bowl of luscious mac and cheese while surrounded by people whose last meal was a cigarette, but still.

the union square coffee shop is an institution, and i can't pass the first 6 hours in new york without stopping in for shoestring fries and beers, at least, although you'll be rewarded for more adventurous ordering, too.

we had amazing food at il buco, too, if twiddly italian is your thing (and it is verily mine) - i ate pulpo a la plancha and had to refrain from plate-licking because of the rather more well-behaved clientele it attracts. i think from memory they also humoured me sending back about 3 bottles of wine, so they get extra points. for more down-to-earth italian grub, you can't go past lombardi's - it's touristy, mio dio, but it was recommended to me by an italian-american born-and-bred new yorker so dispute her claim that it's new york's best pizza at your peril.

for beers, boisterous behaviour, and sturdily executed food, stop into fanelli's. you'll think you're just popping in until you leave 12 hours later, happily sozzled, giggling, and having accidentally befriended a clutch of locals.

this time around though, all the eating out planets aligned for me at marlow & sons. i couldn't say, hand on heart, that it was the best food in new york (brooklyn, in this case) but the food was delicious, the wine was beautiful, the place feels like a tiny secret, and i spent one of those golden afternoons there that you find yourself grasping to recall on grey days when your shoes are wet and everything feels wonky.

but ignore everything i've said here, because the true joy of being in new york is finding your own favourite corners, your own favourite friquitaqui, your own unexpected golden afternoons. take as big a bite as you can.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

love is the message

life; confounding, ecstatic, banal, repetitive, jolting, exhausting, gorgeous, putrid sublime life.


from radiolab, which makes me think all things are possible and work is simply what you plough your curiosity into.

Friday, 9 July 2010

friday is for...

breton stripes... lipstick

...watermelon pip-spitting

...and brian eno & john cale

images from cali.v on, wiksten-made, and flypeterfly.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

glowing a little less brightly

harvey fuqua, motown legend, genius producer and marvin gaye's mentor, died yesterday.

he was 80, and he managed to wring so much juiciness out of life, so it's difficult to be sad. after all, not many people get to leave behind songs like 'your precious love', 'ain't no mountain high enough' and 'if i can't have you'. we should all be so lucky, no?

so long, harvey, and thanks for the music.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

sometimes i wish

"Sometimes I wish I had a job where I could be quiet, maybe as a jeweler cutting stones. But if poets don’t pass on the enthusiasm for poetry, who will?"

from Bookslut's too-short interview with the brilliant rae armantrout.

Monday, 21 June 2010

daily poetry

i would like to kiss the face of the person responsible for poetry daily, especially today's edition:

Cutting Apples

My father always carried a penknife
to pare his green apples, raising their skins
in perfect spirals. He never drew blood
slicing his bananas for breakfast,
their dark-seeded cores like little faces
dropping into the milk, one more item
in a life of a thousand chores,
one more notch in a life advancing
by millimeters or inches, not seconds or days.
I watched him turn himself as carefully away
from violence as a lathe on a table leg,
cutting each curve and flourish
from the flat face of a block
clamped in his hand. His hand and its thumb
never shied from the blade; he knew
that what you do with any tool gives it its value,
like a life—not too eager or afraid.

Michael Salcman

plucked from places obscure and obvious, they're always sparse and wonderful.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

i know it's wrong...

...but i can't help myself. i want these boots. oh, the adventures we'd have...

Monday, 14 June 2010

golden light and the golden age

if you're partial to long-haired boys, barefoot girls, treehouses, folk art and 70s lens flare - or have ever wanted to live inside a fleet foxes song - pay strange eyes a visit.

a place to nest

oh, to live here:

allandale house is stunningly beautiful, a modern day A-frame cabin in the woods designed by william o'brien, jr. that light! that view! that room empty of anything but books!

i'd still settle for linda aldredge's beautiful perch, though...

(treehouse image is via tree porn, if you're arboreally inclined.)

i've got the metallic taste of wanderlust in my mouth at the moment. baby, we were born to run.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

a love letter for you

i first came across stephen powers' philadelphia mural project, 'a love letter for you', about six months ago. i was waiting for the right moment to show it to someone, but there's no point waiting for the right moment (unless you're hatching an egg, maybe); there's only this moment.

so, here it is.

some are hip hop lyrics, some are sweet nothings; all of them are stunning.


go see.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

louise bourgeois

rest in peace, louise bourgeois.

i'm not sure i could say that i liked your work, but for your clear-eyed vision, your forthright ideas, your boldness and your commitment to turning impulse into reality, i thank you.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Thursday, 6 May 2010

sun is shining, weather is sweet...

tug off your shoe prisons, peel off your sock sarcophagi, and get dancing. because i said so.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

dancing through space

santiago calatrava's lithe, elegant buildings always look to me like solid forms paused mid-twirl, so the decision to commission him to create sets for the new york city ballet's new programme is inspired.

from the wall street journal:

'Mr. Calatrava, known for designing the sweeping, futuristic shapes of the Milwaukee Art Museum and the forthcoming PATH terminal in lower Manhattan, created artworks that will be onstage during five new ballets. The work includes sculptural forms, such as a series of gold discs floating above the stage, and sketches—to be used as backdrops—inspired by desert landscapes.

'For Mr. Calatrava, the connection between dance and architecture lies in the beauty of natural shapes. "I have a real devotion to the human body," he said in reference to his work. "The most pure expression of the body is given by dance."'

last year, i went to see sutra, where the shaolin monks leapt over, hid inside, and perched perilously atop antony gormley's simple architectural shapes, assembling, dismantling and reassembling fleeting buildings from the pieces. imagination meets imagination, and solidity meets motion: it's electricity.

one more reason to wish i was in new york...