Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"our defects usually spring, for the most part, from the same sources as our good points."

- longinus, on the sublime, 1st century ad

Monday, November 12, 2007

david zwirner, circus or caribbean orange

Just some book notes:

Walter Benjamin, in his essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (thanks Cyrus for letting me borrow the book!), discusses the connection between architecture and film. He suggests that the two disciplines are tactile arts. Architecture and film communicate primarily through the tactile realm in contrast to the pure visuality of painting. Benjamin’s idea suggests that, although the situation of watching a film turns us into a bodyless observer, the illusory cinematic space gives us back our body… both architecture and cinema have a hands on approach to discovering space, just as we rely on all our available senses to navigate through a physical space, a film is not just watched with our eyes, we feel it with all our muscles and bones and everything inside us…

Ok, like, duh.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

because, why not?

i love reading john maeda's blog, it's so refreshing. i found this short advice in his archives today, he brought it up in the context of branding vs quality but it can be applied to all aspects of life as well...

Do both. has been a recurring theme in my life just as much as Nike's Do it. Do I do X or Y? Both are extremely hard tasks. You would think that a good mentor would steer you in an efficient manner by telling you which to attack first. Turns out that all of my mentors (at least the ones I would respect) would damn me with the simple recommendation to Do both. Sure does solve a lot of problems. Kind of kills your personal life though ...

follow all things you love. this week i officially have two jobs: one as an interior designer, the other as a film editor.

Monday, November 05, 2007

photo by lili nguyen

Drove around Los Angeles this weekend with my brother, there was dust on the windshield and I asked “what’s that” and my brother said “it’s ash, don’t you read the news?” I took out my new (old) Leica and snapped some photographs of the fog around my home. If only it were possible to make a movie like that, I thought, the way we sometimes just open our eyes. Just looking, not trying to prove anything…

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

let me answer that with a quote by bob dylan, i was so much older then, i'm younger than that now!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

(copy and pasted from j's blog, but i'd just like to remind myself!)

things to do:

- draw a book-labyrinth that is the identical backwards and forwards, except mirrored in some manner

- create a website featuring photos of people on the street, kind of like those street photo blogs, but accompanied by a short interview: what is their favorite memory and favorite scene from a movie

- host a silent film party where everyone converses (silently) with captions that are written as they proceed, possibly to the tune of a pipe organ

- draw a history map, only places and events, between two people

- make a short film about a boy who perpetually wears a helmet

- illustrate a short story or poem written by or for a young child

- make a poster where the past and the future collide spectacularly (details to be worked out later)

- make a short film based on clips taken from footage of friends shot without them knowing, and afterwards, cut in a ridiculous way

- make a stop motion animation with voice-acting done by friends who've unwittingly been recorded in everyday conversation

- ask someone to describe the basic elements of their dream home and then create it in AutoCAD, render it in a 3D rendering program of choice, and present it to them in the manner of a real architectural pitch to a client

- make a three-part book where flipping the pages separately creates multiple landscape-scenario permutations

david adjaye

Maybe a movie is a room with light, but no view, light not as a bulb, but as a form, a physical plane. It’s like what Walter Murch, editor of films by Francis Ford Coppola, said: the last thing to include in a scene that requires blue lighting is a blue light.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

jun nguyen-hatsushiba

"film is a medium with as many pros and cons as any other. it all depends on how it is applied and in what context. for people who think multimedia is the future, i feel a little sad. it should be us and our perception of life that becomes multifaceted and multiflavored. then, everything we see will add something significant to our experience. compare the sound of a single mosquito vibrating its wings to a bass-enhanced hifi personal surround-sound theatre system. it's the imagination in us."

book designs by willy fleckhaus


So, I made one book for my job interviews, now I’d like to make another book… perhaps a children's book? book of poems? or a graphic novella!

Procedure (courtesy of Bruce Mau):

1. Establish form and content.

2. Collect materials (photograph, record, download, ask questions…)

3. Start with the spread (define the page dimensions, the number of pages is unlimited.)

4. Insert the grid (at its largest, follow the golden canon of Jan Tschichold, drawn in 1953: the inner margin is one-ninth the page width; the outer margin is two-ninth the page width; the top margin is one-ninth the page height; and the bottom margin is two-ninths the page height.

5. Select the images

6. Apply the appropriate templates and masks (templates define the position of content, masks control the degree of expression…)

7. Specify typography

8. Create a feedback loop (ask friends, collaborators, peers, and persons off the street, find conflict, amplify content.)

now... go!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This is my dream job: not a desk but a city, an office physically dispersed across three to four cities at any given moment and constructed on the fly, an office with no center, just consultants and collaborators and fabricators working together from around the world…

once, we spent a week
in a skyscraper
surrounded by forest

we were waiting for an elevator
and watching the trees

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

lost in translation

James, my friend in Hong Kong, had an away message up that read, “gno hei gei ho,” which I thought meant “I’m am doing very well!” in Cantonese. I asked him about that, and he said, “nooo, you mistranslated, gno hei gei ho… I am a gay ho!”
found in translation

photo from: jake dow-smith

I wonder about a couple, in a coffee shop, sharing steamed milk and tea, and one asking the other, “are you happy with me as the translator of the book of you?” I think we’re all translating someone else, all expressing someone else’s dream and qualities on their behalf.

Translation: moving an idea from one medium to another.

For instance, from sketch to construction, or even, as I hope to do one day, from architecture into film. This process brings into focus each medium’s particular qualities, potentials, and limitations for expression, as well as the structure and technique of the work itself. I think, the trick is to find the heart of the original and produce it in a new way.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I was leaving the No. 1 subway line in Times Square on my way to grab the shuttle to Grand Central. I was already late, and I was deliberately wearing the I-am-a-New-Yorker game face of the would-be anonymous man, distant and apart, eyes carefully lowered, never connecting with anyone else, neither granting nor receiving signals from other humanoids.

As I started to get off the train, the transit cop who had been riding in the same car and who had, I thought, been staring at me, came over. "You're Halberstam, aren't you?" he asked. I said I was. He had been one of my readers, he said, since he came back from Vietnam, where he had served with the First Cav, one of the most famous units to fight there. My books had helped him in that difficult time when he had just returned, and he wanted to thank me for them.

For a brief moment, both of us, all the while moving at the relentless, unfaltering speed of true New Yorkers, closed the gap between writer and reader. We did this on the move, leaving one train, hustling our way to another, never a stop lost because of the social amenity of this new instant friendship; the first law of the shuttle, whether it is the subway or the Washington or Boston shuttle, is that it must not be missed.

rest in peace, david halberstam

Thursday, April 12, 2007

baroquoccoco: infinitely surface, infinitely deep

Monday, April 09, 2007

perhaps, something along the lines of "the aleph": how one point can contain all points, one room can hold every room, one house can hold all homes, one moment contain every single moment, and how we search and fight and worry and dare to get this one moment, find this one space, and we once we do get it, we can only hold on to it for less then a second because if we had it for any longer it would be too much for us to bear.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Nail House

This thin, slim, thimble stand of land is a home in Chongqing, China, dangling atop a vast excavation. The locals call it the “Nail House,” like a nail that won’t come loose. There are so many stories in China of homeowners who refuse to move out for redevelopment and are arrested and sometimes even beaten. The owner of the “Nail House,” Wu Ping, has somehow managed to survive.

Here is an interview with her.

(more: global voices, nytimes)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

yaji and kita: the midnight pilgrims (dir: kankuro kudo)

I think once I move to San Francisco, I’d like to get a video projector and throw a mini-film festival every once in a while. You know, invite some friends over, open some beers, play some sunny songs, have a potluck, and watch a musical about a pair of gay Japanese biker samurai who journey all across Japan, time, and the heavens in search of peace and love and harmony.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

bring your umbrella

'cause its raining skyscrapers

(let's make more movies for the arch film fest!!!!!!)

Monday, March 12, 2007

i think

"zodiac" and "the host" are gonna be on my list of fav films of 2007. both so beautiful and creepy. well, creepy is the new beautiful, so you could say they were beautiful beautiful, or creepy creepy.

(fav films of 2006 were "science of sleep" + "a scanner darkly" + "half nelson")

("babel" + "the fountain" were pretty big dissapointments, i still need to see "inland empire" + "volver" + "funky forest" + "the piano tuner of earthquakes" really)

(next, i'm looking forward to "be kind, rewind" + "sunshine" + "blades of glory")

Friday, March 09, 2007

east beach

(east beach cafe design by thomas heatherwick, in west sussex.)

a little cafe by the sea, sliced into ribbons as if you dance with that girl for the first time, you're nervous and your body falls apart all over the sand. the more you try to pick yourself up, the more you come apart.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

you and me

we made a mountain

(rip curl canyon by ball-nogues studio)
a map of the real world is no less imaginary than a map of the imaginary world

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

hotel everland

tiny pre-fab modern hotels, courtesy of artist duo L/B . hotel everland is prefabricated from a wood frame and can be dropped onto potentially any forest, mountain top, wine vineyard, suburban mini-mall, skatepark, piazza, and skyscraper in the world. dope!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

(from the astonishing portfolio of raphael garnier)

‘cause cause cause i remember when we used to hang on the steps of Sproul Plaza. old friends, sorry that i haven’t been keeping in touch so well. among my new years resolutions is write more, as in heart to heart e-mails as in tiny autobiographies as in better scrabble words as in science fiction love stories. maybe we could even write palindromes together. you know, “pop” is a palindrome, as in “pop back into your life.” we’ll hang out soon, either in this city or the next. until then, hello hello hello, first week of lunar new year is passing, happy new year everrrrbody!

ps: i took out the friend links on the side, but don't worry i'm still your friend!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

what nice neighbors: adult swim and stones throw records stopped by today with a bag full of sugar and chrome children vol 2 for free download. what a swell bunch. they even baked us a pretty blueberry pie too!

here are some of my favorite tracks so far:

fourtet and guilty simpson - money motivated movements

clifford nyren - keep running away

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

amy bennett's neighbors

(oil paintings of suburbia via richard heller gallery)

invisible waves (dir: pen-ek ratanaruang, 2006)

if you want to take a trip somewhere, maybe you should see this in bed. it's a gentle ride. if you happen to want to go to sleep during the first hour and a half of the movie, go ahead, you'll dream that you're on a boat in the middle of the ocean with no where to go in particular, the sun bounces off some passing glaciers into halo shaped lights dripping all above you in the sky. you'll wonder where your loved one is and will start to panic. you'll plunge into the cold water and swim for shore just to get to her. you'll swim all night, you'll cramp up several times and will want to give up but you won't. don't worry: by the time you wake up it'll be morning and you'll be lying next to her. but if you watch the whole movie without falling asleep, good for you, the ending is a nice one.

Monday, February 19, 2007

crazy waves

hurricane photography by clifford ross

beautiful and terrifying how this planet roars. this lab reports that:

The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth's climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although we cannot say at present whether more or fewer hurricanes will occur in the future with global warming, the hurricanes that do occur near the end of the 21st century are expected to be stronger and have significantly more intense rainfall than under present day climate conditions.

here are some ways we can stop global warming. oh, and watch "an inconvenient truth." it's like, the best movie ever.

(images via bldgblog)

Friday, February 16, 2007

what, what, what?

gather crowds, and listen to them. a lonesome smile may be meant for you. go through them:
lightning, rain, thunder, ice-storms.
smile at the sun's temperature. at least. talking about insurrection, and subversion, and strategies, and tactics - the smile's your main concern.
be where you are at, and surrender. invisibilities surround you.
hands up! everything you say can be used for and against you.

scenes de la vie interieure... momentary orbit bow and arrow orgasm tension swells and subsides.
make one wave and multiply the floods. trips for fellow travellers.
smell: here i come. taste: here i go.
pied piper aimed at you. wake up, and realize you're in love.
how beautiful you are. sunset. sunrise. the same one.
we'll see the same things. do we? i'd love to.
i've been talking to you. remember: a piece of my mind, which is yours. a sign of life.
it feels good to be surrounded by friends and lovers.

everything you do is all right.
everything is all right.

- simon vinkenoog

Thursday, February 15, 2007

last night we watched the stars from different parts of the planet (i was on a beach and you were in a forest.) the stars were a faint shy blue, so you sang “if you rescue me, I’ll be your friend forever” to cheer them up (“let me into your world, I’ll keep you warm and amused... oh the things we can do in the rain!”) you trace the sky with your fingertip and point out the big dipper, orion’s belt, the north star. “see how the north star flickers? that’s my reflection waving back at you.” we see a cluster of stars way out west floating just above the Pacific Ocean. we think that a parallel version of us lives out there. they're like us but backwards. they wear matching track suits and all. we don't know how they got there, but they’re hanging out together at this very moment, watching the sky, wondering how we got all the way out here too.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

when we're together, a forest grows everywhere we go. when i'm without you, the forest grows inside me.