YHBHS Interview Benoît Pioulard

"blurred sonic photographs"

I never stop documenting - I always try to keep a dictaphone and camera nearby for anything that may appear to me, and have used a great number of those kinds of recordings in the background of my songs, and often in the foreground of the instrumental pieces.

"Since a young age, Thomas Meluch has been fascinated by natural sounds and the textures of decay. He began playing piano before his feet could reach the pedals, and for more than a decade has sought to create a unique sonic environment by combining remnants of pop song structures with the lushness and unpredictability of field recordings."

via kranky...

Have you always known you wanted to pursue music as a career? At what point were you confident in your decision?

It's still not a career, really, and I don't envision any circumstances under which it will become one - but I retain my hopes.. Some of the most enjoyable work I've done has been for film scores, and that seems like a reasonable avenue to pursue more fervently; as with most things that'd be a matter of good luck & timing, though.

For the time being I still consider myself a rather fortunate dilettante, and am quite happy with that. As for confidence, I still don't know what compelled me to send around a demo when I did, but I'm glad it didn't happen any sooner or later and certainly things have gone all right since then. I feel the most marked change in confidence in the realm of live performance, in that I swore off singing or playing actual 'songs' for the longest time, but now am able to do both without hesitation and with more enjoyment than I ever envisioned.

précis (2006)

I think the first time I was introduced to your music, I was instantly attracted to the cover of "Precis". Is cover art an important consideration for your albums?

It's inextricable. The cover and sleeve for Précis were created by my very talented friend Will Calcutt, but otherwise I have done all of my own artwork, and tend to pore over that as much as many of the recordings once I've begun to assemble everything for a release.. The images used throughout the sleeves of Temper and Lasted are all Polaroids that I've taken in various places of personal significance.

Your polaroids remind me of the feeling I get listening to your music: a half dream state, a faded memory. How would you describe what you do, and what you would like to accomplish with sound and visuals? Do you still record field recordings, and how do these tie into the songs?

I never stop documenting - I always try to keep a dictaphone and camera nearby for anything that may appear to me, and have used a great number of those kinds of recordings in the background of my songs, and often in the foreground of the instrumental pieces.

The track I called "Ardoise" is, in my mind, a quilt of sound collected while I drove across the country when I moved to Portland in 2007, and feels like a blurred sonic photograph of the whole experience. If someone asks, I never really know how to describe what I do beyond 'keeping track'.. I make things because I'm unable not to. And I feel immensely privileged to know that it seems to resonate with a few other people so well.. That to me is a pure connection, and a rare thing.

Any artists that inspire you and your music?

Many, many of them.. I would say overall my favorite creator of things is Harmony Korine. I don't think there's a misstep in his entire, rather bizarre career, be it in film, on paper, or on recording. He's a huge inspiration, even though I've been told that that's kind of hard to ascertain in my work. I also adore Terrence Malick and Werner Herzog, and musically cannot imagine a life without having heard Boards of Canada or William Basinski.

In a past life, you might have been?

My mom swears I must have been an Eskimo. I sometimes feel like I may have been a woodworker of some kind in a now-defunct Soviet state.. Don't ask me why.

I see you will be passing through Marfa on this tour, have you played there before? Have you ever seen the Marfa lights?

I have never been there, actually, though my wife's family is from San Antonio & they told me about the lights - I'm definitely intrigued & will see what happens when I'm there..

Kranky states about Precis, "Precis arose as a documentation of a coming to terms with impermanence, marked by analog residue and the imperfections of human influence." Do you find decay / impermanence still to be important themes in your work?

Oh my, yes, constantly. Probably half - or more - of the elements of any given piece that I record are run through tape machines at least once to get a sense of softness, of distance and hiss.. I don't know what attracts me to these things, apart perhaps from the fact that I grew up listening to cassettes & always enjoyed listening to the radio just a little bit detuned. I also recognize that making things is a natural, human, and vain thing to do, because whether consciously or not it's an attempt at immortality. I'm going to get old & weak, & then die.. So why not make something nice while I can?

an older song/video, using found video....

Your favorite time of the day to write songs, and record?

It's all over the place, really. I recorded most of Précis super late at night because I was doing 18 credits and working 35 hours a week when I was making that album, but most of Lasted was made during the daylight hours.. In general I do the recording throughout the morning & early afternoon (I'm an early riser) and save the more detailed work & assembly for later at night, when I can have a drink & float from idea to idea a bit more easily. Guitar & voice are always the most important and difficult things to get down - and usually require the greatest number of takes - but the rest is always very easy & natural-feeling.

Anything you fear?

Ah, that's kind of a waste of energy, isn't it? I recognize that I'm rather skeptical about a lot of things, but I'm also very trusting & have great faith in people generally.. I think a (hopefully) healthy level of naïveté that I possess precludes me from fearing a whole lot. I also think I have some kind of mental barrier that makes me unable to imagine worst-case scenarios, and consequently taking risks & just saying 'yes' is much easier.

The perfect / dream venue to play music is..........

I feel equally comfortable in living rooms and in concert halls - and I've played both extremes & everything between - so I don't particularly care. My favorite venues, however, were probably the huge old synagogue I played in Lower East Manhattan and Le Comptoir Général in Paris.

The last three songs you listened to in random order........

"Toil Theme Parts I-III" by Brian McBride
"Passage" by Rafael Anton Irisarri
"Tried" by Grouper

(read more favorite records here..)

Thank you Thomas!
& see you in Los Angeles..
go to his tour dates here..

YHBHS Interview
Benoît Pioulard
"blurred sonic photographs"

You have read this article benoit pioulard / music / sonic photographs / YHBHS interview with the title October 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2010/10/yhbhs-interview-benoit-pioulard.html. Thanks!
B l i n k y P a l e r m o

Retrospective 1964–1977

October 31, 2010–January 16, 2011

Blinky Palermo, Untitled, 1968

"The very name, Blinky Palermo, surprising for a contemporary German artist, evokes a rush of romantic associations. It provokes a desire to know more about this artist, (1943-1977) and the circumstances of his brief career, just some 15 years in duration. And, to learn of his proper place in the pantheon of contemporary art. Particularly, his position in the movement of making site-specific wall drawings and where his often flat, monochromatic fabric pieces/ paintings fit into simultaneous developments in the New York School.

Also, just what was his relationship as a student of Joseph Beuys and a peer of the artists, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter. There are complex questions as to why Palermo pursued reductive, abstract art, in a Constructivist/ Suprematist manner, in apparent contradiction to the, “social sculpture,” of Beuys, and the complex media and imagery of Richter, Polke and others of the Dusseldorf school. And, what other influences were there on the development of Palermo; in particular, the influential artist and teacher, Otto Piene, and Group Zero, with its interests in abstraction as well as science and technology. Just how to unravel the complex mix of artists, students and teachers who were the focus of Dusseldorf during Palermo’s formative but brief years.

taken from here....

B l i n k y P a l e r m o


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fall reading
The Poetics of Space
by Gaston Bachelard

"It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality."

P O E T I C S - O F - S P A C E

"The Poetics of Space is a book by Gaston Bachelard published in 1958. Bachelard applies the method of phenomenology to architecture basing his analysis not on purported origins (as was the trend in enlightenment thinking about architecture) but on lived experience of architecture. He is thus led to consider spatial types such as the attic, the cellar, drawers and the like.

This book implicitly urges architects to base their work on the experiences it will engender rather than on abstract rationales that may or may not affect viewers and users of architecture. It is about the architecture of the imagination.

"Sometimes the house of the future is better built, lighter and larger than all the houses of the past, so that the image of the dream house is opposed to that of the childhood home…. Maybe it is a good thing for us to keep a few dreams of a house that we shall live in later, always later, so much later, in fact, that we shall not have time to achieve it. For a house that was final, one that stood in symmetrical relation to the house we were born in, would lead to thoughts—serious, sad thoughts—and not to dreams.

It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality. "

-Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space


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Bojan Šarčević
Comme de chiens et des vagues
13 October – 13 November, 2010

She, 2010, onyx

via Modern Art London

"Occupying a room to itself is a sculpture carved from a large single block of Persian onyx. To acquire the stone, Šarčević travelled to the ancient Silk Route city of Yazd in central Iran, from where the block of raw stone was transported by road to Britain for carving and finishing. Precisely worked with rectangular, square cut shapes and cavities, it suggests a semi-functional form, while its sensuous materiality and ambiguous purpose lends a disquieting presence.

The interplay of shape and man-made geometry effects properties of change and transformation, while revealing the fundamentally unchanged and highly aesthetic qualities of this rich and elemental material. Its presence offers a constant reflection on sculptural tensions: fragility and resilience, weight and gravity, shape and texture, geometric and organic form, organic and mineral flesh."

from here...

Bojan Šarčević

Comme de chiens et des vagues
13 October – 13 November, 2010
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Joseph Dirand
interiors + architecture

It is only when I don't have enough work
that I cannot sleep.

"One of the first roles of architecture is to answer to a function, but one of my obsessions is to try and create abstraction around this functionality and dissolve domestic functions into sculptural forms. My work is often composed in two different phases, the first is to create a frame according to the context and after to confront this space with a sculptural composition and to create a discussion between space and architectural objects."


"During my studies I had the opportunity to start in 1996 working for private clients since I was 21 years old. I did a few shops, private apartments and houses in the same time as my studies. I can remember images and experiences when I was young that made be want to become an architect.

For example, about 20 years ago I visited a felt room by Joseph Beuys at Beaubourg, the visit of the Ronchamp Church by le Corbusier, a sculpture of light by James Turrell, the Versailles garden's of Le Notre, a picture of a traditional Japanese tea room, the Cistercian abbey of Thoronet and a chair from Gerrit Rietveld.

Your inspirations can come from anywhere and everything and your personality comes from your reaction when facing things and the way you transform your culture into your personal experience.

"All projects have their own challenges and I feel that in general great projects come out of major constraints. One of the difficult things in minimal architecture is to make everything disappear. The important point is to never forget an idea because you think it will be too difficult to realize. Probably the only negative constraint is when we do not have enough time to realize a project the way that you want and when we need to change an original choice because we don't have the time to make it right."

Joseph Dirand

interiors + architecture

all text taken
this interview.

You have read this article architecture / interior design / joseph dirand / rick owens with the title October 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2010/10/joseph-dirand-interiors-architecture-it.html. Thanks!
Rachel Lachowicz
Craig Kauffman


"Rachel Lachowicz is known for turning her witty eye on the masculine-centric world of Modernism and for making radical incursions into the canon of art history by reconfiguring famous works. She falls under a multitude of headings: feminist, appropriationist, post minimalist, conceptual artist, and conceptual sculptor."


“California was never ashamed of being a new society."

- Richard Armstrong,
director of Guggenheim

Rachel Lachowicz
Craig Kauffman

"Mr. Kauffman’s early paintings were critical in defining this new style. Mr. Plagens called them “the first evidence of a Los Angeles sensibility.”

Mr. Kauffman’s later work blazed splashier trails, as he experimented with the effects of light on works that were painterly yet three-dimensional. “The true power of what he did was his incorporation and then redirection of light inside sculpture,” said Mr. Armstrong, who was the curator of a show of Mr. Kauffman’s work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1987.

“Many of them glowed,” he said. “Others were translucent. Even the supposedly opaque had a noteworthy shimmering quality to them.”

taken from here...


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nude ware + more
by commune for heath

nude ware
by commune for heath

On November 6th at Heath, Los Angeles, we will be launching a collaborative show between Alma Allen, Adam Silverman, Heath Ceramics and Commune. Supposedly their new nude line will also be appearing that nite. I'm getting nude just thinking about it!

what can't commune do?
go to the community shop here!

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Brendan Fowler

projections and performance.
part of L.A.N.D.
10 pm - 12 am

Los Angeles Nomadic Divison

10:30pm: Video selections by Brendan Fowler
11:30pm: Performance by Stephen/Steven (Brendan Fowler)

Address: M Bar
1263 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026 Parking: Street

RSVP not required.

"A programming series with an eye toward film, video, and the moving image in general, Frame Rate is presented in conjunction with simultaneous LAND exhibitions, at other site, as a means to further explore the work of the exhibiting artists, the exhibition's thematic, and how the two relate."

You have read this article artfilms / brendan fowler / film / land / los angeles events / m bar / photography / video with the title October 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2010/10/brendan-fowler-projections-and.html. Thanks!
interiors & exteriors
wood + black
+ stone

interiors & exteriors
wood + black
+ stone

(slowly beginning to collect images /samples for current project.)

1. Pinch Design, go here. London designers.
Thomas M. Beeton & Associates
Saunders & Wilhelmsen Arkitektur AS, go here...
4. The Brick House Tumbler, go here.. (Is there a better tumbler out there for interiors?)

You have read this article black / cabinet / furnish a room / interiors / stone / wood interiors with the title October 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2010/10/interiors-exteriors-wood-black-stone.html. Thanks!
Baughman Thayer Coggin
(ebay now....)
take me there....

you want to go, from here to there,
where is this valley? take me there....
I will pull ridge to ridge, with great stone cracking
make wondrous bridge.

- bonnnie prine billy (afternoon listening)

Baughman Thayer Coggin

Rosewood Table Bleached Rosewood Table
by Baughman, Restored
go here...

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when blocks become us.
limited internal space and unlimited external space.
the artist has left the continent for good.

"A painting is an object which has an emphatic frontal surface. On such a surface, I paint a black band which does not recede, a color band which does not obtrude, a white square or rectangle which does not move back or forth, to or fro, or up or down; there is also a painted white exterior frame band which is edged round the edge to the black. Every part is painted and contiguous to its neighbor; no part is above or below any other part.
There is no hierarchy. There is no ambiguity. There is no illusion.
There is no space or interval (time)

- Jo Baer (above)


Immediately following her midcareer retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1975, Jo Baer relocated to Ireland. Her self-imposed exile coincided with the moment of her greatest critical recognition. For her, the search for a more substantive art required establishing a keen distance not only from the values, ethos, and ideologies that had dominated the New York art world in the 1960s but also from its wider sociopolitical matrix.

She has resolutely maintained this distance, both literally and figuratively, in succeeding years

via here....

Through a string of events yesterday, I was directed to this entry on Dan Graham.... His work left a huge impact on my last year when it was shown here in Los Angeles at MOCA. Luckily for us here in Los Angeles, Regen Projects is about to open their new show, of Dan Graham's works on October 30th. His work surrounds ideas of architecture, space, memory, scale, mirrors, and interior architecture. In his entry, it states:

"Minimalist art stripped art down to only its fundamental and bare essentials. Rarely were pictorial or illustrative imagery were seen in minimalist works. Minimalism focused on the experience the artwork created for the viewer. The artist purposefully disconnected himself from the artwork. Even in the face of a chaotic world, minimalism was a calm, cool, and stable art form. This minimalist aesthetic was seen not only in visual art but, throughout the art world in literature, music, architecture, and fashion."

"The soul of sculpture is in the center of space and every piece of sculpture is a fragment that recomposes the center. Sculpture is the fullness which opposes the emptiness inside and outside the environment. The full form opposes the emptiness of a room, it is interpreted in a way opposite to that in which one interprets the walls which make up the architectural box. Thus sculpture defines by compressing itself in a silent expansion into both limited internal space and unlimited external space. When the volume of a work of art can be called sculpture, then it is soul. Today it clearly and surely is, because it has been recomposed and resuscitated. "

Michelangelo Pistoletto,
go here...

when blocks become us.
limited internal space and unlimited external space.
the artist has left the continent for good.

1. Jo Baer
2. Talisman London, vintage mirrored cabinet
3. Michelangelo Pistoletto,
4. Rachel Whiteread
5. ROLU Studio


You have read this article artists / conceptual art / installation / minimal art / rolu / when blocks become us with the title October 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2010/10/when-blocks-become-us.html. Thanks!
Sylvia Sleigh
1916- 2010

I wanted to give my perspective; portraying both sexes with dignity and humanism.
I don’t mind the ‘desire’ part, it’s the ‘object’ that’s not very nice.

- Sylvia Sleigh

(repost from here.)

"Sylvia Sleigh, a British-born artist who put a feminist spin on the portrait genre by painting male nudes in poses that recalled the female subjects of Ingres, Velázquez and Titian,
died on Sunday at her home in Manhattan. She was 94. "

via here, and here...

"Sylvia Sleigh, 89, is best known for her valiant effort in the 1970's to institute a new genre of feminist painting by changing the gender of the traditional odalisque. Whether because of her limitations as a painter or some deeper sociocultural resistance, the idea never took hold.

Today her flatfootedly realist pictures of young, beautiful, extravagantly long-haired nude men in states of voluptuous relaxation remain fascinating artifacts of their time. Like other things about the 70's, they are embarrassing, unintentionally comical and oddly creepy, yet they remain somehow touching in their quixotic ambition to establish a new humanely erotic tradition for the heterosexual female gaze."

taken from NYT here..

You have read this article death / obiturary / paintings / portraits / sylvia sleigh rip with the title October 2010. You can bookmark this page URL http://gigibytes.blogspot.com/2010/10/sylvia-sleigh-1916-2010-i-wanted-to.html. Thanks!
Something about always moving forward.
Something about giving.

(for victoria)
in lieu of words.

1. Two works by Jason Rhoades: 1. Light 1997 2. Inner Light, 1998 via here..

Jason Rhoades:

"July 9, 1965 in Newcastle, California – August 1, 2006 in Los Angeles was an installation artist who enjoyed critical acclaim, if not widespread public recognition, at the time of his death, and who was eulogized by some critics as one of the most significant artists of his generation."

Something about always moving forward.
Something about giving.

2. Felix Gonzalez-Torres Untitled (March 5th), Executed in 1991 40-watt light bulbs, porcelain light sockets, extension cords in two parts.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996)

In 1993, in lieu of a standard biography/bibliography, Felix chose to write a portrait of himself:

"This is the Biography that we have chosen to print, which is in the true spirit of this gifted artist. 1957 born in Guaimaro, Cuba, the third of what would eventually be four children 1964 Dad bought me a set of watercolors and gave me my first cat 1971 sent to Spain with my sister Gloria, then went to Puerto Rico to live with my uncle 1979 returned to Cuba to see my parents after an eight-year separation 1981 parents escaped Cuba during Mariel boat lift, my brother Mario and sister Mayda escaped with them 1978 met Jeff in Puerto Rico 1976 Gloria and I moved to our own apartment-small, but full of sunlight 1977 Rosa 1976 met my friend Mario 1979 moved to New York City 1980 met Luis at the beach 1983 received BFA from Pratt Institute 1981 and 1983 attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program 1987 received MFA from the International Center of Photography and New York University 1983 Ross at the Boybar 1985 Jeff gave me Pebbles and Biko, two Lilac Point Siamese cats-hardly able to support myself, and now with two cats to feed, only Jeff 1985 first trip to Europe, first summer with Ross 1986 summer in Venice, studied Venetian painting and architecture 1986 blue kitchen, blue flowers in Toronto - a real home for the first time in so long, so long, Ross is here 1987 Wawanaisa Lake: beavers, wild brown bears, Harry retrieved every buoy he sees, New York Times every morning, duck cabin 1986 Mother died of leukemia 1990 Myriam died 1991 Ross died of AIDS, Dad died three weeks later, a hundred small yellow envelopes of my lover's ashes-his last will 1991 Jorge stopped talking to me, I'm lost - Claudio and Miami Beach saved me 1992 Jeff died of AIDS 1990 silver ocean in San Francisco 1992 President Clinton - hope, twelve years of trickle-down economics came to an end 1990 moved to L.A. with Ross (already very sick), Harry the Dog, Biko, and Pebbles, the Ravenswood, Rossmore, golden hour, Ann and Chris by the pool, magic hour, rented a red car, money for the first time, no more waiting on tables, 'Golden Girls', great students at CalArts, Millie and Catherine, went back to Madrid after almost twenty years-sweet revenge 1989 the fall of the Berlin Wall 1991 Bruno and Mary, two black cats Ross found in Toronto, came to live with me 1991 the world I knew is gone, moved the four cats, books, and a few things to a new apartment 1991 went back to L.A., hospitalized for 10 days 1990 first show with Andrea Rosen 1993 moved to 24th Street 1987 joined Group Material 1991 Julie moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan 1992 the forces of hate and ignorance are alive and well in Oregon and Colorado, among other places 1993 Sam Nunn is such a sissy, peace might be possible in the Middle East 1992 started to collect George Nelson clocks and furniture 1993 three years since Ross died, painted kitchen floor bright orange, this book


Something about always moving forward. (light)
Something about giving.
(inner light)

(for victoria)
in lieu of words. (untitled)


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matt connors
new work
at Canada!

installation of current show, You Don't Know.

"Some of these emblems are gleaned from everyday usage and seem oddly familiar. Some of them are mysterious and open the door to the possibility of private meanings. Exploring the idiosyncrasies of personal vision while directing the viewer in a loose, yet insistent way, Connors’ paintings elicit an emotional and visceral response while at the same time allowing for a range of intellectual questions. It has been suggested that Connors’ pictures are not so much abstract paintings as paintings of abstract paintings. In some sense this is true, yet, at the same time, Connors' paintings have a not-to-be overlooked handmade aspect that thoroughly grounds viewer and object in their own space."

- taken from cherry & martin, here...

new work matt connors

You Don’t Know,
October 22 – November 21

at Canada Gallery

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (upcoming)
Lüttgenmeijer, Berlin, Germany (upcoming)

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Marc Hundley
These numbers are

a futile attempt to capture
fleeting moments.

"I generally make things that advertise the way I feel — or celebrate things I have chosen to have meaning. My work takes the form of posters and t-shirts and incorporates text from books, song lyrics and found images I collect. (These pieces of information may express something that I'd like to share or reveal how I'd like the world to work.) In order to anchor the feelings or thoughts first evoked by the texts or images, I often add dates and times as part of my designs.

These numbers are a futile attempt to capture fleeting moments.

The prints I have made here are unique — but say the same thing. I am interested in graphic design, and I have used the simple exercise of rearranging elements on a page to figure out which layouts work. Ultimately though, this is of no real consequence. If the final placement means something to me, then it does, and if not, then it doesn't. The same thing goes for the words. In a way, the information on the print meanders — aimlessly and idly. "

Marc Hundley
These numbers are

a futile attempt to capture
fleeting moments.

Element Editions here..

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like thread
through a needle.

like thread
through a needle.

I'm not exactly sure where these buildings were photographed, but I am sure that I want to go visit them in person... Emma Gaze, of Electrelane has a site with her photographic works. She's able to capture a sense of faded glory and afternoon stillness with her work that I love.
Side note: Electrelane's songs twist, lull, shake, and put you in a trance.... If you don't own The Power Out, you should.


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"I think that true freedom is rare
and that you have to hunt for it. "

- Andrea Zittel

Andrea Zittel. These images are a few of the works that
are installed at Andrea Zittel's Joshua Tree home and studio.
(Finally unloading some of the images off my camera from a couple weekends ago.)


"In the early 1990s, Andrea Zittel began making art in response to her own surroundings and daily routines, creating functional objects that fulfilled the artist’s needs relating to shelter, food, furniture, and clothing. She produced her first “Living Unit”--an experimental structure intended to reduce everything necessary for living into a simple, compact system—as a means of facilitating basic activities within her 200-square-foot Brooklyn storefront apartment.

"One of the main things that I have been wondering about is how one can actually live a "liberated" life, or if this is even possible. My idea right now is that perhaps the only real way to liberate oneself is to slip in between the cracks of larger authoritative systems. It interests me how often we do this by making smaller, more enclosed systems that are even more restrictive than those in the outside world. You can become so cocooned in these little self-invented structures that you almost believe the larger systems don't actually exist anymore. "

I wanted to try to remember an Allan Kaprow quote that I read last summer that really stuck with me. It was about how you take art, figure out that rules that make it art, and slowly eliminate them one by one. He was talking about the non art object. It was so interesting to me – I think about what a normal human reaction would be to the eventual creation of non art.

I think that the irony is that Allan Kaprow took art to the non art status to such an extreme that he almost eliminated art itself. Ultimately, by eliminating rules he brought up the importance of rules as a form of social consensus. It made me think how rules and structures are ways that we create bonds with other people. They help define communities and identities. Perhaps we should see rules to some extent as creative gestures and not purely as limiting forces.

- Andrea Zittel in conversation with Allan McCollum, here...

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Hotel Vendome, Boston
Beaux Arts vs. Brutalist and fires...

Hotel Vendome, Boston, 1881

"Built in 1871 and massively expanded in 1881, the Vendome was a luxury hotel located just north of Copley Square. The Vendome was called by its owners “one of the most palatial and most elaborately furnished hotels in the world.” The hotel hosted a sitting president (Grover Cleveland) along with many other dignitaries.

The popularity of the hotel led to the fateful decision, around 1890, to carve a new ballroom out of several rooms on the first floor. To create the larger space, the main load-bearing wall that ran across the first floor of the building was removed, which left only a single cast iron column to support the weight of the four floors above. Nobody could have possibly imagined the sequence of events that would doom nine of the men whose job it was to save it from fire 80 years later."

Present day, with Brutalist additions.

"Built in 1871, the Mansard-roofed French Second Empire style corner building of the Hotel Vendome, on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, was designed by William G. Preston, who had studied in Paris. The western section, designed by J.F. Ober and R. Rand, followed in 1881.

Hotel Vendome was for many years the city’s premier hotel, but by the late 1960s attempts were made to demolish the outmoded building. Renovations were almost complete in 1972, when a fire destroyed the southeast section of the original structure. Nine firefighters died when part of the building collapsed after the fire was out. There is a memorial to the nine firefighters on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall at Dartmouth Street.

A 1970s addition to the Vendome by Stahl/Bennett in the Brutalist style replaced the destroyed section. The building today houses apartments, offices and stores."

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Abitare 1994
and more.

Spending the morning reading vintage ABITARE magazines that Beth, of By Land By Air By Sea, sent to me in the mail yesterday. Beth's gorgeous collaged packaging almost makes one not want to open and destroy her art. She has just posted some new work on her site that will be part of an upcoming project for Chronicle Books. Thanks again for your generosity........

The first ABITARE AIA Edition is from May 1994,
and the entire edition is devoted to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, 1994,
The Urban Landscape and Development
The Wonders of Sunset Boulevard
The Geography, The Architecture and Styles
The Young Architects, The City of Signs
The Film Industry
Schindler, Neutra, Eames, Wright, Ellwood

Thank you Beth!
Abitare 1994
and more.


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Lamps in
the 1890's

Lamps in
the 1890's

1. Dixon, Arthur Stansfield, hand beaten brass table lamp, 1893
2. Charles Robert Ashbee, 1895

"In 1895, Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942)wrote an article, 'Suggestions for Electric Light Fittings', for the Art Journal. He imagined how the ancient Greeks would have designed electric lights - as the epitome of simplicity - stating that, as light falls, the best solution for fittings is high-hanging lamps, in preference to low table lamps. He also approved of the shape of bulbs which looked like drops and therefore should be seen to hang. The exposed wires, to be covered in coloured silks, were to be very much part of the design. Ashbee also stressed the importance of a central rose, preferably made of an embossed and enamelled metal sheet, to cover the porcelain ceiling box.

In the Art Journal article, Ashbee described this chandelier, designed for the drawing room of his house, 'The Magpie and Stump' at 37 Cheyne Walk, as 'a rather elaborate arrangement of a nine-pendant rose.... Here, almost the whole effect of the design is got in the manipulation of the cords, and - a little detail in light designing that is so often forgotten - their arrangement is such as to cast pleasing and broken shadows on the ceiling. The nine-pendant circular rose in question spins a sort of grand spider-web upon white plaster'."


via the victoria and albert museum, london

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Ettore Sottsass: Un Piccolo Omaggio a Mondrian
November 4 - December 18, 2010
Friedman Benda, New York

"Sottsass has used color to determine shapes within
a composition and the relationship of
exterior surface to interior function. "

Ettore Sottsass

"This series of architectural cabinets conceived by iconic 20th century architect Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) in the last years of his life is dedicated to the de Stijl master, Piet Mondrian. Never before exhibited, Piccolo Omaggio a Mondrian, translates architectural ideas into sculptural cabinetry of stunning color and form.

This remarkable body of work stands at the end of an unaparalleled career spanning six decades, in which Sottsass challenged the conventions of modernism and continuously helped reinvent the course of contemporary design."

Friedman Benda
515 West 26th Street

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Evil Toxic Yellow
Friendly Happy Modernist.

"Chrome yellow, developed in France by the chemist Nicolas Louis Vauguelin, and available in 1809, was a pigment discovery that produced a more affordable and stable intense yellow.

Prior to its discovery bright yellows were unstable —
fading rapidly, or were highly toxic.


Evil Toxic Yellow
Friendly Happy Modernist.

1. Talisman London. Next stop to London, I'm here...
2. Benjamin Critton's "Evil People in Modern Homes" read interview on Dwell about Ben's current project.

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"continuity between that which was,
that which is, and that which will be"

"To be modern is not a fashion, it is a state.
It is necessary to understand history, and he who understands history knows how to find continuity between that which was, that which is, and that which will be.

-Le Corbusier

They're Justified, and they're Ancient,
And they like to roam the land.
(just roll it from the top)
They're Justified, and they're Ancient,
I hope you understand.



Yesterday + Finally!

I received my used $ 1.50 copy of the 2001 Ancient + Modern, by Cynthia Inions, with photography by Simon Upton. Originally discovered from Kelly at
h p n f r h p y a c d n s, and not to be confused with the epic 1991 art prank band KLF's house hit, Justified and Ancient (with guest vocals by RIP Tammy Wynette, for those keeping track!)

I'll probably be scanning in images of this book for the next month. It's that good!
Confident, assured, historical, with killer quotes thrown in.

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M. Design Interiors
Los Angeles

A friend reminded me today of how much I enjoy looking at the

designs of Molly Luetkemeyer, founder of M. Design Interiors based here in Los Angeles.
Take some time and discover her work. Go here...


Molly Luetkemeyer founded M. Design Interiors in 2001. From the outset, her mission has been to guide her clients to create personal, comfortable, chic homes that reflect their needs and particular tastes. Luetkemeyer's mantra is that no one should live in a showroom or someone else's house. If you are a family of four with young kids, you probably don't need the bar front and center (although she'll happily make sure it's tucked away for decompressing once parental duties are done!). Inspired by a range of sources from modern and contemporary art to nature, fashion and vintage design books, Luetkemeyer has developed an expressive, lively, fresh style all her own.

She takes a unique approach to each project, combining her personal inspiration with a thorough understanding of each client's needs. Her creative style has earned her a place on House Beautiful's list of Top 100 Designers in America four years running.


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