They are everyday reality… simply seen here in an extraordinary light.
French photographer Stephané Couturier blurs the line between landscape, architecture, humanity and dissolution.
between past and future…
exponential destinies and probabilities
of what we are becoming
and what we have lost.
The best torrential riffing and free form psychedelic jams. Dorset UK’s Ramesses.
Ramesses Baptism of the Walking Dead
Khali Mist from the forthcoming Take the Curse
Master your Demons from We Will Lead you to Glorious Timess
Ramesses live in Antwerpen
Ramesses live in gothenburg 2009
I found it to be a moving account, and an enlightening glimpse into one the grandest mistakes of post WWII American foreign policy.
For anyone interested in foreign policy issues, or for a better understanding of Iran’s hostility toward the United States this book is a must read.
It’s a riveting and complex story… It’s important to note that the US didn’t act alone… it was the British- and the greed of what would become British Petroleum that plotted relentlessly to remove Mosaddegh after he nationalized the nations oil industry. To convince President Eisenhower the plotters framed the concern around a fear that Iran may fall to the communists. And sadly many Iranians also worked unwittingly against their own best interests to help overthrow Mosadegh. In the wake of this BP got their hands back on the oil and the Shah consolidated his power and became a cruel dictator. And, well, you know the rest…
The CIA was a fledgling organization at the time and the success of “Operation Ajax” as the coup was called lead to many other covert coups from Guatemala to Cuba to Chile to the depth of our involvement in Vietnam and later Nicaragua … all disasters for those nations, with thousands of lives lost and decades of civil war, and decades of blowback. It’s no wonder so much of the world has come to hate the US.
On of the saddest things about this whole episode is that Iran had looked to the US to support it’s budding democracy, and instead we betrayed them.
“Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. “
“Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.”
“These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success.”
“Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.”
One reviewer said Burtynsky’s film Manufactured Landscapes:“Taken as a whole, Manufactured Landscapes is a mesmerizing work of visual oncology, a witness to a cancer that’s visible only at a distance but entwined with the DNA of everything we buy and everywhere we shop.”
“…in a way when you look at a work of art there isn’t a narrative, you are left to your own devices you are left of your own baggage to complete the meaning of that image…”
“This is a new form of epic history painting. Turning his camera lens to a fever dream, Burtynsky forges a new mythology for the 21st century from the lexicon of realism. With stunning detail, from improbable perches, in strange and beautiful colors, these pictures show their subjects with clinical accuracy, and with definitive force. But they also tell a parallel and more inchoate tale: a critique of civilization, and a foretelling of human ends.”—Paul Roth
It’s important to have time to wander
time to think and absorb ideas, time to not be doing something.
— disengage from corporate America, no more Walmart, no Chinese goods, no big banks, no Wall Street 401k investments. Buy things from your neighbors, trade, barter, reuse, re-purpose anything that can be made to work again. Find the community banks and credit unions and start moving your business there. Buy local food, no imports.
— vote out all incumbents in all offices from the local to state to national level. They have ceased to work for the taxpayer, they are owned and operated by business interests. Getting elected has become an industry that has perverted the process of running for office. Vote ’em out, even if you have to write in a candidate in single candidate races.
We the people have to go on strike. Keep working, yes — but stop feeding the machine that grinds us down. It is a major lifestyle change. Stopping smoking, drinking, drugs, overeating are easy compared to the task that faces us. If we do not rise up and walk away, we will be diminished serfs in a modern version of feudalism.
-R Matthew Songer
Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist.
A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation. Lend and borrow to the maximum—of both books and money! But especially books, for books represent infinitely more than money. A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold. —Henry Miller
There is a story that as God and Satan were walking down the street one day, the Lord bent down and picked something up. He gazed at it glowing radiantly in His hand. Satan, curious, asked “What’s that?” “This” answered the Lord, “is Truth.” “Here,” replied Satan as he reached for it, “let me have it –I’ll organize it for you.”—Ram Dass
The idea of heat death stems from the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy tends to increase in an isolated system. If the universe lasts for a sufficient time, it will asymptotically approach a state where all energy is evenly distributed. In other words, in nature there is a tendency to the dissipation (energy loss) of mechanical energy (motion); hence, by extrapolation, there exists the view that the mechanical movement of the universe will run down in time due to the second law.
Every man bears the whole stamp of the human condition.
—Michel de Montaigne
Interesting artwork from Dutch artist Hannke Treffers, aka Handiedan.
“Central to the restaurant’s concept is its “foraging program,” through which Bacon and Kim, along with the help of a friend named Eugene Ahn, encourage diners to bring in fresh fruits and vegetables from their gardens. Then, Kim and Bacon will create a dish, pastry or drink around those ingredients.
“We ask people to come in and we’ll do a tasting in the kitchen, then we can figure out how to use it that day — maybe in an agua fresca — or maybe we give it to our pastry chef and it becomes a pie tomorrow,” says Bacon. “Or it’s super fresh and we throw it in a salad right there. Then we work out a little barter and trade system with the forager.”
Visit them on Facebook too.
What can we do? you ask.
Make your voice heard.
Write your representatives at every level. Demand an end to this abuse. Demand they start working with one another and remember whey they are in elected office in the first place!
Mass engagement would send a signal to our representative that we care, that we are getting involved- that we won’t put up with obstructionist grandstanding any longer.
Alternet explores actions needed to end corporate dominance.
Its funny what we “see” and what we don’t when we are looking at art or anything in front of us. I started thinking about landscapes when I was growing up in Hopewell VA. I watched as the town essentially disintegrated into urban blight and suburban sprawl, consuming the land as it went, leaving ugly swathes of debris, vast empty parking lots, and more than a few shuttered shopping malls in it’s wake. The center of town was flattened. Only a few buildings remain of the original “downtown.” I was simultaneously repulsed and attracted to these ruins. Repulsed by the thoughtlessness of it, and attracted to them for the purpose of deciphering what really happened.
Only later when I encountered works by Laura McPhee, Stephen Shore, Sally Mann, Richard Misrach and David Maisel did something click. A bigger picture began to emerge.
What do you see?
My first impressions were simply renderings of the epic defiling of nature by civilization, but it has since broadened to be something much more. More subtle, and strange.
So many artists doing incredible work…(future posts will focus on some of these)
I know there is much discussion of this topic, classes devoted to it, and plenty of media attention, but I have yet to see a major museum mount a curated exhibit of the most intriguing work in this area. If you are aware of one, please let me know the details.
In the mean time I’ve decided to curate something myself.
I am exploring different bodies of work for a dry run on this blog, and if that is successful, then perhaps a more formal presentation and text in the upcoming issue (5) of my art journal Fluxion.
In Geological history we are in the middle of the Holocene Epoch, a division of the Quaternary period.
Recently, the term “Anthropocene” was debated by some scientists to describe the most recent period in the Earth’s history—and the notion that civilization is now reshaping the earth more than nature itself.
In my view many of these photographers are giving us glimpses of this new reality.
Landscape photography has come a long way.
I could appreciate the arc of landscape photography as it evolved through the 20th Century from the early plates of Matthew Brady and Timothy O’Sullivan to the majestic perfection of Ansel Adams to the experiments of Steiglitz, Minor White, and Aaron Siskind of nature as an allegorical path to spiritual rejuvenation.
To the somber aerial surveys by Emmet Gowin. Gowin’s book Changing the Earth was the first I had seen to serious look at the ways mankind was altering the landscape from an artists eye. The images are haunting duo-tone abstracts.
It wasn’t long until I started to see similar work by other artists like Robert Polidori and Edward Burtynsky.
Manufactured Landscapes which is also an amazing documentary.
These images highlighted the perverse majesty of the destruction of the landscape by civilization.
by comparison, the spiritual experiments of Alfred Steiglitz, Minor White, and Aaron Siskind
also seem quaint.
I was stunned by the timing of the remounting of the New Topographics exhibit (see previous post) which framed the beginning of the discussion and exploration of what constitutes “landscape” and our place in it. Looking at those images from the mid seventies and then at contemporary images opens up a new horizon in landscape photogrpahy…
I’ve learned to be cautious in any expectations of a film, and this was no exception.While the film has gotten generally good reviews, I was quite disappointed. The film is an achievement of sorts, the same way some music videos capture a certain spirit or sensibility. But ultimately this film is all about Tom Ford and his sensibilities. Ford’s sensibilities as a fashion designer are prevalent in every aspect of the production and costume design. There is no subtly, and style and I felt that so much exacting fashion overwhelmed the film.
Make no mistake, he does these things very well and they add to the film in many ways, but excessive. The story was originally about an average middle class man, but there is nothing average in this film.The real strength of the film are it’s leads, Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, and they are both are really wonderful.
Firth is more handsome than ever and his restrained performance will likely earn him numerous awards. Personally, I felt he was being directed to be overly maudlin and it didn’t feel authentic.
Like the book, In the last scene with the young student, George’s will to live is restored, but Ford takes the unnecessary step of actually having George die of a heart attack rather than go through the stream-of-conscious “what-if” approach that the book takes. And of course it is a spectacle. OH THE IRONY, THE TIMING! OH, PLEASE!
It was bad enough for him to be forlornly carting around a gun all day, but this was too much.
I thought the heart attack sequence diminished the film, reducing it to a melodramatic cliche.
Ford simply tried too hard. WAY to hard.
All the scenes where George is alone almost all the color is drained from the scene, then when there are flashbacks to his perfectly fit handsome young lover everything is saturated and bright and full of color. This happens all through the film.
Emotionally everything is behind a wall of artifice, which is a shame. The characters feel distant, everything is played too precious and overly sentimental. Too many lingering pained expressions, too many PROFOUND comments, too many ironic incidents and lots of unbelievable behavior that is supposed to be every-day routine.
Almost nothing of his daily routine feels authentic. In the book this provided the momentum… in the film these details are reduced to flourishes of self pity.
If Ford had only art directed the film and someone more well seasoned was in the directors chair it could have been a masterpiece. He made a valiant effort.
It is beautiful to look at and is composed and acted lovingly. It really just needs a little dirty realism to ground it.