Friday, April 23, 2010

Image of the Day

Seattle resident Michelle de la Vega in her 250 square-foot former garage, converted into a really amazing little house with a budget of $32,000. Read about it and see a slideshow at

Is Photography Over?

Alright alright, I've been meaning to mention this too and didn't get to it in time, but since most of us don't live in San Francisco we wouldn't have been able to go anyway:

Unknown, Untitled (Man Reflected in Mirror). Photograph, undated. Collection of SFMOMA

As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, yesterday the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art kicked off a major forum on photography, wherein guests such as Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Peter Galassi, Vince Aletti, Jennifer Blessing, and other experts in the field weigh in with answers to the question "Is Photography Over?" Here's part of diCorcia's answer, which I enjoyed:
William James said, "Wisdom is learning what to overlook". We now look at everything, including the invisible. Photography, a mechanical form of looking, is intrinsically limited in what it can show. There lies the wisdom. The current crisis is partially caused by attempts to extend Photography's capability. Maybe it will succeed and show us something new we don't really need to see, or maybe it will fail and be the wiser for it.
Read the rest, and everyone else's initial responses to the question, here – and follow SFMOMA's blog throughout the month for more on the topic.

Serge Gainsbourg "Negative Blues"

Swing My Way

Solicitor General Elena Kagan before the U.S. Supreme Court last
September, arguing on the (ultimately losing) side of democracy
in Citizens United v. F.E.C.

Now that we know for sure that we're losing Justice John Paul Stevens, the best ally any thinking and open-minded American has on the Supreme Court (and someone who really knows how to wear a bow tie), we might as well discuss President Obama's list of potential replacements. My money's behind presumptive front-runner Elena Kagan, the current Solicitor General (first woman to hold that office, incidentally) and former Dean of Harvard Law School. Kagan is probably not progressives' first choice – as Tom Goldstein notes, 7th Circuit Judge Diane Wood is more appealing on that score – but she is a confirmable bad-ass with the skills of persuasion necessary to get Justice Kennedy to vote on the correct side once in a while. Personally, my decision was made after reading that Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom Kagan clerked following law school, nicknamed her "Shorty." Case closed.

K.P. and Envyi, "Swing my Way"

P.S. Happy Belated Birthday to Justice Stevens, who turned 90 this past Tuesday.

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans

Littlejeans thinks the sole purpose of the bathroom sink is as an auxiliary watering hole waiting to happen whenever he jumps up on the counter and demands it.

Dammit, Jeans. Life does not stop and start at your convenience. I'm trying to teach him to turn the faucet on himself but he just looks at me like 'you do it.'

So the sink fills up, he wades in...

And once again I am powerless against the cuteness.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's a Disaster. It's Art.


Speaking of Banksy, the artist made his directorial debut last Friday with the release of the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop.

From "Banksy versus Bristol Museum," a free exhibition last year
at the Bristol Museum in England. For the show, Banksy interspersed
his own work throughout the institution's collection.

Billed as "the world's first Street Art disaster movie," the film has its roots in over a thousand hours of footage of street artists doing their thing, captured by a French filmmaker who then turned his raw material (and camera) over to Banksy. The completed documentary has its Seattle premiere tomorrow night (April 23), at the Harvard Exit.

From New York magazine's review:
Banksy decided to “have a go” at more than a thousand hours of video shot by an obsessive Frenchman named Thierry Guetta—unprecedented footage of guerrilla street artists at their clandestine labors, among them Shepard Fairey, Invader, and Banksy himself—after Guetta’s own assemblage turned out like the work of “someone with mental problems … an unimaginable nightmare.” To get the unemployed, sad-sack Guetta out of his hair, Banksy gave him a metaphorical pat on the head and told him to go back home to Los Angeles and try making his own art. This leads to the documentary’s final section, in which Guetta, having adopted the ridiculous nom de plume “Mr. Brainwash,” attempts to conquer L.A. with an immense exhibition. So the film’s original director has become its subject, and its prize subject its director. Narrated by Rhys Ifans with the dryness of a dessicated toad, Exit Through the Gift Shop is both an exhilarating testament to serendipity and an appalling testament to art-world inanity.

More info and an extended 5-minute sneak peek of the film at (and more Banksy at his website).

All Dressed Up and No Place To Go

These were my birthday present from Strath this year. (!) I'm keeping them, of course, because that's just what a girl does when her number one dun presents her with something incredible that she'd never dare buy for herself.

But because I don't spend a lot of time hanging around the Tuileries or the tents at Bryant Park, and because unfortunately these won't fly in the library, I now require an excuse to wear them.

I'm thinking that no excuse is as good as any, yes?

Happy Earth Day, Earth

Glad you're here. Sure hope you're around a while longer.

Earthrise, a.k.a. NASA image AS8-14-2383,
taken by astronaut William Anders
during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Image of the Day

Organizing the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970: "From a small Washington, D.C. office, Environment Teach-In, Inc. organized the first Earth Day as a coordinated teach-in involving several schools across the U.S. Denis Hayes [above, seated, with Judy Moody] ran the small activist group co-founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson. The teach-in was designed to educate Americans about growing problems with environmental pollution and overpopulation."

See more images of the first Earth Day at
PBS and National Geographic, and watch
The Seeds of a Revolution: Earth Days online at American Experience.

Pacific Standard is celebrating Earth Day tomorrow by not driving.

Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

One Fisherman sweater, one or two sizes too big
[Women's wool crew neck sweater, 170 at John Molloy]


One pair of shorts
[Joe's Jeans Ex-Lover Burke cut-off shorts, $128 at Neiman Marcus]
(better yet, cut off your own)


One pair of waterproof boots
[Onguard black rubber boots, $16.30 at PK Safety Supply]

One pair of leg warmers, thigh high
[Merino wool-blend leg warmers, $21.95 at
The Vermont Country Store]

One windbreaker
[Cotton-backed yellow PVC raincoat, $60 at Kiosk]


Ladies' Choice
[La Perla]


One early spring weekend on the coast.

Sunset at Cape Disappointment, Washington.

And the Morning Lasted All Day

I'm not even kidding: when I went to QFC this morning (for those outside the Northwest: QFC is like a giant Gourmet Garage – an upper-middle or lower-upper quality grocery store), the homeless dudes that sit in the corner of the doughnut shop area every morning were singing, in unison, a passably good, if uncontrollably Tom Waits/Baby Gramps-ian version of Dream Academy's "Life In A Northern Town."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Meanwhile in the Boom Boom Room

There's a big backlog of stuff I have meant to post but never got around to writing about – so just a heads-up that I'm gonna add all this semi-old stuff into the mix as we make our merry way forward at ye olde Pacific Standard.

First up, in case you missed it, an interesting interview with Olivier Zahm, the founder of Purple Magazine, at Say what you will of Zahm (that he's kind of a dirtbag, or that he thinks he's Serge Gainsbourg, for example) but Purple has been around for a long time and has broken ground in so many directions – the dude is living his dream and his magazines are always worth a look. Here Zahm discusses the future of print, and I have to say that I agree with him on many levels and find his thoughts on the matter quite inspiring. For example:
So you don’t think the Internet will replace magazines?

The commercial magazines may be replaced, because the Internet is a better place for commerce and immediate information. The Internet is a chance for magazines because it forces the magazines to be more creative and to really explore what they are, what is the essence of a magazine and what a magazine is meant for. And it’s not meant for commerce…Magazines are also made for instruction, for energy, for voyeurism, for sexiness, for pleasure, for a lot of things. Not only a place to sell products. This is why you don’t have any good magazines now in Japan. It’s a disaster because they just consider magazines like an extension of advertising…This kind of magazine, strictly commercial, will certainly disappear because you have more information, more contact, more possibility of buying on the Internet. But a true creative fashion magazine can’t be replaced by a true creative fashion site because it doesn’t exist and it won’t exist. You don’t want to look at a fashion shoot on your screen, do you?
Well? Do you? Read the rest at and see more Purple here.

In Memory Of


Rest In Peace, Guru.

Image of the Day

Olivo Barbieri, site_specific_NYC_07, 2007 [Coney Island].

From a current exhibition of Barbieri's photographs at Yancey Richardson
(more info here). Since 2004 Barbieri has been using a large-format camera with a tilt and shift lens to capture aerial views of iconic sites in major cities (Rome, Shanghai, Montreal, Los Angeles, and NYC, among others).

Monday, April 19, 2010


I loved almost everything about this collection (even if the third look down does kind of remind me of Lloyd Dobler).

Neil Barrett Fall 2010 RTW

Image of the Day

Ross Palmer Beecher, Auto Log Cabin Quilt, 2009.

Part of the current group exhibition "Made in U.S.A." at Greg Kucera. Check out some of the details:

It made me think of this photo Strath took when we were in Tennessee a few years ago - some creative county or township had the bright idea of shoring up the banks of their river with a bunch of old cars:

"Made in U.S.A." runs through May 15. More info here and here.

I Should Just Let Them Go, But

I know it's not really a summer song, but I always think of it that way. So the little warm weather preview we've had in Seattle the last couple of days makes it seem appropriate (that and the fact that it came randomly off the record shelf this weekend when we were playing musical roulette). I'm not embarrassed to say that it's easily in my top ten of all time, or at least close. I can't believe that 1984 was twenty-six years ago.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Image of the Day

I love the floor in the new Stella McCartney store in Milan. At first I thought it was carpet but it's actually hardwood, designed by Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay of Raw Edges for Established & Sons.

[via The Moment]

While We're Discussing Detroit

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson "We Almost Lost Detroit"