26 January 2010

thinking about bumper stickers

When I hear a pithy statement, I think of bumper stickers or sig files. And Fanny the Forester needs a bumper sticker. When I got my Isuzu pickup in Texas, I had a series of bumper stickers. The first one I remember was "I brake for Greek Revival." Bob took my pickup to work one day and someone wondered why he would want to brake for Geek Revival. Well, gosh, those westerners didn't get to live through Greek Revival so they might have been happier if I braked for Arts and Crafts or American Vernacular.

And then there was the bumper sticker from the Art Guys: "I [heart] the art guise." I was disappointed when it wore out.

Not having a car from 1995 to 2009 when I lived in New York City meant that I had to live my bumper sticker life vicariously. I guess I could have gone the sig file route but instead I added those pithy statements to my commonplace (e)book. A few bumper stickers came my way but none of them had a bumper to stick on. Now I can go there.

Aaron Krach is an artist who lives in New York City and works at Condé Nast or did the last time we checked in. He has done a series of "Indestructible Artifacts" and a couple of them are bumper stickers. The one that just knocks me out is "Art makes me horny." For me, art is indeed a sensual experience, thrilling from head to toe. I found the bumper sticker and will attach it to Fanny as soon as the weather permits. Yesterday was 58 degrees when I left Oneonta, melting snow, flash floods, gusty winds. Today is more like 30 degrees with a dusting of snow overnight and occasional snow in the air. Now, that's more like it ... but probably not bumper sticking time.

more Maine

I meant to use the lower photograph above in the blog entry a couple days ago but the one I did use did show the way the water was different colors because the sky was blue and gray. Very civil. But neither of the clouds and water pictures grasped the intense silvery brilliance of the day so you probably weren't ready to see Maine as the Sunshine State. The skies and landscape, and waterscape, were incredible.

23 January 2010

Maine: the Sunshine State

Our days in Maine have been delightful in a variety of ways. The weather has been incredible: bright and sunny, low winter sunshine, crisp and clear air. JL and I drove up from Boston to CDS's in Orland, Maine on Wednesday. The drive was pretty as the amount of snow along the road increased slightly. Supper was prepared at home: pork loin, wilted spinach, potatoes. On Thursday, we drove around on Blue Hill Peninsula: the village of Blue Hill, Sargentville, and Castine; nice mix of dry roads and snowy bits; lots of coves and other views of the water (fresh and salt); a interesting tidal waterfall near Castine. Friday we went off to Deer Isle. The bridge between the Blue Hill Peninsula and Little Deer Isle is one of those skinny and scary suspension bridges with narrow lanes and a curvy causeway between Little Deer Isle and Deer Isle. Stonington is down at the bottom of Deer Isle and we stopped for lunch at the Harbor Restaurant, with great clam chowder. We drove out to the Sunset area a bit North of the village center and the landscape was delightfully snowy. We also meandered over to Sunshine where the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is located. I drove on Friday and really loved the narrow roads with lots of snow still left on the trees and a bit on the road. Today (Saturday), we went over to the Schoodic Peninsula, the point of which is part of Acadia National Park. The day, yet again, was bright. After breakfast at the Seabreeze Restaurant in Bucksport, we drove through Ellsworth out on the Schoodic Peninsula to Winter Harbor. We drove down Grindstone Neck before heading off to Schoodic Point. The views were sometimes quite similar to earlier days but the main reason we picked Schoodic was the chance to see the open ocean as well as the closed coves and snowy interior roads. The ocean was pretty calm and the low winter sun landed with a blinding silvery glow. As we drove out the island, I noticed that the Hancock Grocery had "fresh scallops" and we stopped for some on the way back toward Bucksport. We got home and supper was divine: scallops, collards, and squash. It might be hard to go back to peanut butter.

We got glorious sunsets both last night (red!!) and tonight (more golden). The curvy roads and snow-covered trees along them were delightful. The conversations were a wild mix of catch-up and landscape. Tomorrow, it's back to Boston and then turn West toward Alfred.

More pictures from the Flickr photostream link at the bottom of the page.

19 January 2010

words to look at, seeing songs

Before I went off the Museum of Fine Arts, I stopped at a favorite neighborhood bookstore here in Cambridge: the Harvard Book Store on Massachusetts Avenue. When I got in the store, I was thinking about the book on words in conceptual art and thought I remembered "art words 1970s." The clerks didn't find anything in their database. It was the old trick that librarians get all the time, of course. I want the green book that used to be over there on that shelf by the window. When I got home and searched worldcat.org, I found it was Words to be looked at: language in 1960s art by Liz Kotz and that the paper edition is coming out in April 2010.

After getting a bit of food and talking to Darin Murphy (librarian at the School of the MFA) who also happened to be in the MFA cafeteria, I went into the "Contemporary outlook: seeing songs" show. Again, rather a twist on the senses: looking at words, seeing sounds. One of the prominent pieces in the show is a 30-monitor video installation by Candice Breitz, each monitor with someone singing along to a Queen song or some other number. The variety of movement, animation, devotion is really great and very cheery.

And lest you think I wasn't keeping buildings in mind (see previous post), I noticed Moving rooms: the trade in architectural salvage by John Harris (Yale, 2007) in the bookshop. Watch those geographic coordinates or declarations of unmovable objects. They did have a copy of Words to be looked at in hardback but I knew I could be a bit patient and get the paperback soon. Joseph Miller (Sears SH editor at Wilson) was also in the bookshop and we were both ogling Roberto Calasso's new book entitled Pink Tiepolo.

buildings moments at ALA

I've been in Boston for ALA Midwinter and now have a day of whatever before Janet and I go up to Maine. One day we were seeing sailboats out on the harbor and, two days later, I was nearly being blown off my feet by gusts of wind coming off the Hancock tower. Those gusts were accompanied by pellets of ice. It wasn't especially cold so it was strange to be in a blizzard but not particularly uncomfortable. It WAS sloppy underfoot!

In addition to looking at various interesting buildings, I did have a couple cataloging moments that showed me the "buildings" issue will always be with us. It is our friend. Diane Hillmann said she'd been in a CC:DA conversation about whether buildings were places or not. I need to look up the CCO chapter and verse for her. I would argue that not all things with geographic coordinates are places though you might want your fancy linking software to treat them that way. At the Subject Analysis Committee meeting, we talked about whether memo H1095 of the Subject heading manual could be effectively divided so that widely free-floating subdivisions could be coded distinctively from those that are free-floating under persons, classes of persons, ethnic groups, nationalities, corporate bodies, and other categories. It made me realize that one might do subject-oriented subdivision lists such as -- ta da -- buildings.

OK, enough of this. I'm going out in the light snow to see the Dürers at the MFA and maybe stop at Calamus Book Store to see if they have a copy of Steven Riel's The spirit can crest. We were talking about the Radical Faeries and his poem "My invisible dress." We're men, we don't want to be women, but still we're interested in the transitory and ambiguous nature of gender and dress.