Archive for September, 2007


tool…musical instrument…and mimes.


saws are very handy. i carry around my jigsaw, and dream of owning something a little more fancy… but i was recently alerted to this blog… sawlady. she plays the musical saw in the underground of new york. the blog is full of interesting stories. i don’t know anywhere else that i would find a sentence like this…

“As Don was packing up and I was setting up we discussed the intrusion of mimes setting up next to our spot. Don is a morning performer, so he doesn’t get many mimes setting up on him (most mimes start working later in the day)…”

i love mimes.


ooh. pretty.


books become sculptures. become little stages. become web posts. see more of su blackwell’s work here.


what have i been doing?…


in the process of creating slides for a show that i am designing, i became obsessed with searching for the perfect imagery…ugh. sometimes it is nice to get caught up in the virtual world, but when you are just trying to get some designs done, it can be exhausting. so i finally sent my slides off to the processor. for designers who need slides for a show (for some reason i have had to do this more than once!), i recommend replicolor. they give a real nice discount for students and artists. and you can just send all the info from your computer. it’s pretty simple. i still have to design some posters for the show, but wanted to post about a few neat things…


for those of you that haven’t checked it out, the internet archive is a vast resource. i was looking for 1950’s stock films— mostly for imagery of scientists working in labs– and alas i found so many great and crazy short films (check out the prelinger archives). they also have a whole section devoted to the ads played at old drive-in movies. you can see how i got a little side-tracked… the image of sno-cones above is from one of the ad’s.


i also found this amazing collection on flickr… they are archived photo’s from the 1950’s- a lot of the pictures have a story attached. so great. the above photo makes me imagine so many things. the coffee. the toaster on the cardboard box. and all that alcohol. of course i can say it was all for my job, but i probably didn’t need to spend so much time rifling through these photos…


oh. and i did see dood paard’s medeia. i really enjoyed it. a very simple and profound re-telling of the medea myth. three people on stage. four panels of large white paper. and dangling balls of string. that’s it. i was thinking, “gosh, i need to use this idea in a design”- and then i realized i already had. funny how that works.


ucla. live.


yes. it is that time of year again. the time when i decide to forgo food and rent in order to afford going to theatre events at ucla live… i suppose it isn’t all that expensive. well. yes. it is. but after seeing bad play after bad play, i really need to reaffirm my faith that theatre can be good. tomorrow night i will be checking out dood paard (deadhorse)— a theatre group from amsterdam that is performing a contemporary version of the medea myth. sounds intriguing… and the big draw of the season (well, at least for me) is pina bausch (see above image). she is mostly classified as a modern dance choreographer, but classifying her is not so easy. if you are not familiar with her work, you should check it out. known for her amazing imagery… her work is a delight for all senses. so. yes. ucla live. many shows worth blowing your paycheck for. lear with sir ian mckellen. aurelia’s oratorio designed by victoria thieree chaplin. and a few more which might suit your fancy…




i love to use vintage wallpaper when i am detailing a set. it always adds depth to the surface of a wall- just one more level of detail that can pull the whole image together. i usually try to pick it up whenever i see it at local thrift store, but this weekend my sister-in-law (they are moving into a new and exciting house!) mentioned that she was having a hard time finding inexpensive wallpaper- it is true… wallpaper is expensive. but this website seems to have the largest stock of vintage paper at the the best prices. i have noticed a trend of people just wallpapering one wall in a room, or even just using the wallpaper as art and pasting it over a blank canvas. browse around. there is a lot to look at— the photo quality is not great, but you get the idea. the wallpaper from the 60’s is totally bright and garish- but the paper from the 40’s is detailed and nicely aged…





it is true. i have an endless fascination with pictures of marilyn monroe. it has been a long time since i actually purchased a book of her photos, but i just had to have this recent collection- marilyn monroe: the last sitting. by photographer ben stern. oh my. it is an amazing look at beauty. this is the last set of photos taken before her death, and there is such a delicate quality to the images. in most of the shots she has very little make-up on, and can be seen just naked in all the beauty that flaws create. the photos have a supreme honesty that i haven’t seen in a long time. i can see her wrinkles, her age spots, and even the scar from where her gall bladder was removed. this shedding of layers and protective packaging is refreshing- even if marilyn was never able to see the images. they existed.


wired. nextfest.


on friday i ventured down to the convention center to take in the sights of some pretty neato design and technology. lots of robots and interactive gaming… a ping pong game that you played with your mind. a bench equipped with sensors that could read your emotions- this was used in a theatre project. a printer that makes 3d sculptures (ooh. i want one). the fog screen (seen above) that you can project images on. and did i mention. lots of robots. i was a little out of my element for the most part, but looking into the future of technology is a fun thing to do. for more info… go here.


oh no.


so. it was nice. because it was a free play. it was free. and i can’t pass up free theatre. it was at the kirk douglas theatre. it was called clay. it was a one person hip hop show. and maybe i did not go in with the right attitude. maybe i was already disturbed that it was a one person hip hop show that was performed by a white guy. maybe that was my own bias. sitting in a theatre. a nice expensive theatre. my first thoughts were- oh good (sarcastic) there is graffiti painted on a scrim— unless graffiti is on a dirty wall or billboard, count me out. but- at least- it was not painted on a faux brick wall- boy- if there is anything i can’t stand- it is that. the fake brick wall. so at least there wasn’t a fake brick wall. but there was this graffiti. i tried to look past it. the actual stage layout was pretty great- very simple, but affective. and the light grid- was truly something to behold. ooh the lights. lots of fancy moving lights. i stared at the lights a lot. it was pretty darn good lighting- and if you are into lighting design- it might be a reason to see the show. otherwise. hmmm. how to say? white boy from northwestern grew up on upper east side NY decides to write a hip hop show based on fictional material in order to draw younger audiences into the theatre. okay. valid idea. but why not bring actual hip hop artists into the theatre and have them create the material? then maybe the material would be honest. as it is- this is safe- but the worst kind of safe- the kind of safe that thinks it is radical- and even dare i say the word- edgy. oh boy. edgy theatre. he uses bad words. and even throws out the “n” word. which totally offended me. but still people cheered. the young white audience seemed happy. as if to say. look we are in a theatre and it is hip. it is hip hop. but one thing it is not is honest. maybe i ask too much.


upcoming art in lala land…


sometimes i am not a big fan of the hammer museum, and sometimes i am. this month it looks like i will be a fan. they have two shows opening at the end of the month, that i am looking forward to. the first show to open is by artist, jamie isenstein. her work is always very intriguing- full of humor and commentary. this particular project is based on the antics of p.t. barnum. and ooh. p.t. barnum. such a fascinating case study. the show that opens just two days later is by francis alys. a belgian born artist, whose work is equally contemplative. hard to describe his work in shorthand, but definitely worth perusing. go here for more info.



new work…


opening tonight at the santa monica museum of art is work by a new artist, sharon levy. i am not sure about my feelings in regard to the work- as i have only seen pictures, but the most interesting aspect is levy’s use “materials and techniques from theater props.” the tree sculptures are so reminiscent of things i tend to dislike when i see them on a stage- but does bringing this work into a gallery make it more appealing? not sure. i guess i need to go to the show and see…