28.2.13

Aesthetic Thursday: Surrealism in Film

Perhaps one of my favorite films of all time: Luis Buñuel's The Phantom of Liberty (1974). 
Interpret this nonsensical "dream sequence" however you want - I think it is pure brilliance. Compare this scene to Buñuel's other dream sequence in Los Olvidados (1950). Interesting, right? 

24.2.13

Lower East Side, New York

A woman lights candles in a post Lunar New Year ritual.
Photo Credit: Greig Roselli

21.2.13

Aesthetic Thursday: Surrealist Drawing

Toyen, Tir VI / The Shooting Gallery, 1939-1940

Toyen (née Marie Cerminova) is the name of a Czech artist. This drawing is on exhibit at the Morgan Library in New York City as part of a series of surrealist drawings.

This particular piece is notable for its juxtaposition of childlike imagery against a stark pointillist dessert.

The exhibit is open from January 25 through April 21, 2013.

18.2.13

New York City Subway 30 Day Metrocard Notebook

The MTA offers customers a 30-day
MetroCard; but, is it worth it?
Note to myself: Is my 30-day New York City Transit unlimited MetroCard worth it?

$104 Metrocard
Cost Per ride (with 7% discount): $2.09
Total Number of Rides: 64
List of rides with random notes made on a 30 day unlimited card purchased at the BMT 45th Street Station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn January 19, 2013
Subway List Graffito
1. $2.25
2. $2.25
3. $2.25
4. $2.25
5. $2.25
6. $2.25
7. $2.25
8. Tuesday aftn 01/22/2013 $2.25
8. $2.25 Wedy morning 01/23/2013
9. $2.25
10. $2.25
11. $2.25
Thursday afternoon after class.
12. $2.25 Friday night
13. $2.25
14. $2.25
15. $2.25 Saturday afternoon
16. $2.25 Saturday night
17. $2.25 Monday morning
18. $2.25 herald square Monday even
19. $2.25 Jay Street/Metro  Tuesday
20. $2.25 Tuesday afternoon jay
21. $2.25 Tuesday whitehall
22. $2.25 Wednesday morning (smoke on the track) 01/30/2013
23. $2.25 Wednesday night to 42nd
24. $2.25 Wednesday night home
25. $2.25 home
26. $2.25 Thursday morning
27. $2.25 Thursday evening jay
28. $2.25 Friday afternoon 45th street
29. $2.25 Friday at 33rd st.
30 $2.25 L train
31. $2.25 l train to the q then n
32. B63 bus
33. r train at bay ridge
34. Sunday afternoon 45 street
35. b63/Atlantic avenue Pacific street
36. 49th street night
37. 45 street R/N express
38. 42nd street times square
39. 45 street R local
40. Court Street R local
41. 45 street R Local evening
42. G at Bedford/nostrand
43. G at Nassau (church ave bound)
44. Atlantic/Pacific (I walked from the Fulton G station).
45. 36th street D express Thursday night
46. Union Square n/r Thursday night
47. 45 Street Friday afternoon
48. M1 fifth avenue
49. 47/50 Rockefeller center
50. 45 street Saturday afternoon
51. Astor Place Saturday afternoon
52. Grand Street Saturday afternoon
53. 36 street D train
54. E/M 53 street/6 51 street
55. 8th street NYU
56. 45 street
57. Q union square
58. 45 street ash wednesday
59. 42 street with melanie and Troy
60. Broadway/Lafayette Ave. D train night. I watched Lore tonight. I had butterfly shrimp with Melanie and Troy. I have $1.16 in my bank account.
61. 45 street waiting for Manhattan bound R train. Picked up money order at Western Union. Got a call back from a job. Transfer to the M3 bus

62. 14th Street Union Squre: Commute home
63. I gave my metrocard to a friend to use. I think she took the L train to Williamsburg and 64. came back home on the G (then a transfer to the R).
Metrocard expired.
Baby, it's worth it!

17.2.13

TV Review: I Like Girls

My roommate asked me today if I liked girls. My other roommate laughed. "No," my roommate said, this time more emphatic, "the show - Girls."
"Oh. Yeah," I said, I like that show. My roommate looked at me in that way I knew demanded more context, more explanation, a sort of impromptu lit crit discussion by the kitchen sink. He said, encouraging me, "I've watched it too. It's very popular, the show. That's why I watch it."
Lena Dunham in Girls
We then proceeded to talk about Girls in a way that everyone is talking about Girls: white privilege, young up and coming white girls living in a neighborhood in Brooklyn where only a certain kind of youth inhabit - and yes, the girls have trouble paying the rent, but, hey, it's real life, yada yada yada. Is it the same as Two Broke Girls? But that show stars Kat Dennings (what is not to like?) And why is James Franco ranting about this show? Why am I ranting about this show? If you Google Girls a ka-jillion hits pop up - the show is viral. Even my Dad watches it. Just kidding. I didn't ask.

7.2.13

Aesthetic Thursday: Bradley Rubenstein

Bradley Rubenstein, Unititled (Girl with Puppy Dog Eyes), 1996
What Is The Gotcha! in This Photograph?
At first I see this image as a brash conceit. All art is a conceit - right? - but this image forces me to see the conceit, to see that it's a mash-up. Maybe I am troubled because I have this ontological conviction that a photograph tells me something about reality. Maybe so. But maybe the reality that I am seeing is not so conceitful as I first think. What is going on here? Through the use of digital manipulation puppy dog eyes are inserted into a girl's eyes.

I Like Images That Make Me Re-Think What I am Seeing
I like images that ask me to question the image, to make me consider its mode of production. How did the artist do this? What was his method? I suppose this is Rubenstein's point. By making me aware of how this particular image was produced I am struck by another possibility - the genetic manipulation that would be required to produce a real girl born with puppy dog eyes. Rubenstein is playing with conceit to alert us to the biogenetic possibility that what we see as conceit could become a reality. What if someone decided that little girls and little puppies are a desirable combination? Is what we see in the art an image of a possible future? 

Two Paragons of Cuteness: Kids and Puppies
On the placard, a museum curator has written this, "Merging two paragons of cuteness—kids and puppies—into unsettling hybrids, the artist offers an eerie forewarning of the transgressive potential of genetic manipulation." Where is the transgression? In imagining such mutations? Is the point that the degrees that separate the photoshop touch-up from the biogenetic not that far apart? Perhaps. Maybe the most unsettling aspect of Rubenstein's photographs is that he is telling us we have already arrived at this stage - we are just waiting for the biotechnology to catch up. I think I need to go watch Bladerunner and re-read Kazuo Ishiguro's When We Were Orphans.