Thursday, June 26, 2008

something called pre-college

i have been mia on the blog front. but i am ok with that. pre-college is pretty intense. every second is packed for these kids. classes and lectures and meals and field trips. and every tarc (teacher assistant/resident coordinator) is along for the ride. checking to make sure they are traveling in groups of three and not causing any trouble.

i can't help but compare this all to my own early college experience in chicago before senior year. i left after that roller coaster three weeks and told myself that i could never do an art school. and somehow i ended at mica. and on top of that working at a similar program.

i know now what an important move that was to make. i was able to come to mica already a little broken in. i was prepared for the not being the best in my class thing. and i was prepared to bust my butt. not much has changed. two summers later i am still thinking the same things. (it's not anti-social. it's personal enlightenment.) and now i can pass on all of those things i wish i had known to a raw crop of high schoolers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

fathers day

when i got the word that tiger stadium was finally slated for demolition, i did what anyone with an appreciation for photography and baseball would do. panic. it shouldn't have been that big a deal. they've been threating/planning this for years now. and my dad has already gotten his memorabilia. but seeing as i will be in baltimore for the next few weeks, i won't be around to chain myself to the fence when that wrecking ball comes. (i'll leave that in harwell's hands.)

at the very least, i had to go down one last time and get some pictures. it's a totally different scene down at that ballpark. deserted. (well, obviously.) and really eerie. (jackie and i got sort of lost on the way to death cab last week. and somehow ended up on trumbull. and all of the sudden, there's tiger stadium. just chilling.) i convinced my dad to drive down to detroit, and it turned into this father's day outing. which worked out quite nicely.

happy fathers day, dad!


"doctorate students at the university of fine arts of budapest work on a project titled 'the concrete.' it involves 12,000 books embedded in concrete. the politically outdated books were donated by the research institute of radio free europe."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

drink plenty of water and always brush your teeth

my think arete email voice of reason told me the other day to start drinking more water. (this same weekly email scolded me about not flossing regularly a day after i got in trouble for the same thing at my visit to the dentist.)

turns out i've been slacking. i always thought i functioned best with caffeinated beverages and caffeinated beverages only. people would tell me to drink water, but they never really told me. according to this email, water actually gives you more energy and better skin. two things i can totally go for. the challenge is to 8 cups a day for a week and be "surprised with the boost in your energy levels."

starting now, i will drink massive amounts of water. i will have my tall java chip in one hand and my nalgene in the other. sounds good.

A number of years ago I asked a mentor of mine what one thing he would recommend. His advice: Do the little things to the best of your ability—from putting a sock straight in the hamper to washing your dishes immediately to flossing your teeth.

His point: there are no little things and when you get in the habit of living at your highest potential with the mundane things, it becomes second nature for the bigger stuff.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

fashion (and art)

this is the story of geoff larue. a fellow avondale ap art student who occasionally calls me to gush about things like project runway in somewhat of a british accent. the story of a wayne state fashion student who lands the cover of metro times and decides to make me his muse for the summer. except for one catch... i won't really be here this summer. somehow i still managed to convince him to make me a strapless dress out of lined vinyl picnic tablecloth material. i can't wait. when i was getting measurements (very official) for said dress he handed off this magazine to me. which is, according to him, the new vogue. it's called dansk.

any magazine ballsy enough to have entire pages left completely blank or entire articles in .8 type is immediately of interest to me. not to mention this issue is all about art. (and includes a wonderful interpretation of jeff koons through calvin klein.) so i'm sold. especially when i can borrowing it from a friend without paying 15.50.

the only thing is i can't tear pages out. which i wanted to do multiple times while flipping through it's pages. i'll just scan instead. (my favorite pastime...) the issue tackles the age old question: is fashion art? i guess, being on the other side of the coin, i never saw this as an immediate issue to address. but this magazine has me convinced that the two have more to answer for each other that one might expect.

"if you don't understand it, it's probably very profound. or possibly just pretentious."

you'll have to zoom in quite a bit for this one...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

we went there to feel alive

spending time on my laptop today, i started to organize all of the websites i've bookmarked this past year, putting them into their respective categories (design, art, blogs, baltimore, museums, etc.)

i came across a link to something called sweet juniper, and couldn't remember what it was. i clicked on it, and from what i could gleam at first, it is some sort of a blog. it appears to be a stay at home dad discussing diapers and the necessity of low expectations. i scroll down to find this relevant post about the validity of "blogging" to begin with. (something i am agreeing with now that the school year is done and i am finding fewer things of worth to write about...)

and that post leads me to a link discussing a recent discovery of his: the abandoned detroit public schools book depository. and i am in awe. he writes first about growing up and going into abandoned buildings "back in the day." how he puts it, "the town had died, but we went there to feel alive."

i think it is hard not to feel something (whatever that something is...) when looking at these. i find the whole thing enthralling. below are some snippets of text that had particular resonance with me, but i urge you to flip through the pictures and read the blog entries and comments on your own, too. find the meaning for yourself. let the links take you where they may...

"books that once sat in boxes on shelves are now strewn about the floor in post-apocalyptic confusion. perhaps the missing shelves were made of some metal worth hauling to the scrapyard for a few dollars that could be traded for crack. who knows, maybe some kids just got bored one day and wanted to make a big mess. there is no longer any organization in this warehouse. there are no longer any supplies here that appear 'usable' in the sense they would have been in 1990. here, chaos will reign until it all is destroyed"

"the photos, it seems, spoke for themselves: to some they said black people couldn't be trusted to govern themselves, to others that the taxes we pay for education are inevitably wasted, and that our system public education itself is a failure. and here I just thought they were beautiful."

"all that's left is an overwhelming sense of knowledge unlearned and untapped potential. it is almost impossible not to see all this and make some connection between the needless waste of all these educational supplies and the needless loss of so many lives in this city to poverty and violence, though the reality of why these supplies were never used is unclear."

"what seems clear is that sometimes a system simply breaks down and fails."

"were the warehouse to be destroyed, like any other of the hundreds or even thousands that are torn down in detroit every year, its bricks, its crushed concrete, rebar, and its contents would be hauled away in garbage trucks to be dumped in a landfill somewhere, covered up by more trash, and lost to us, forever. instead, because this is detroit, it just sits there. it is left unsecured, open to scrappers, looters, crackheads, graffiti artists, suburban taggers, vandals, prostitutes, and local bloggers."

under one of the pictures, he included this quote as a caption:

"but instead of the old gods, [it] is a greek tragedy in which the postmodern institutions are the olympian forces. it’s the police department, or the drug economy, or the political structures, or the school administration, or the macroeconomic forces that are throwing the lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no decent reason... individuals are often portrayed as rising above institutions to achieve catharsis. in this drama, the institutions always prove larger, and those characters with hubris enough to challenge the postmodern construct of american empire are invariably mocked, marginalized, or crushed. greek tragedy for the new millennium, so to speak."
david simon, talking about his show, the wire.

hmmm. back to baltimore. i'm taking that as a sign that i finally need to figure out how to see some of that show....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

summer slices of life: wednesday

and they carried on like
long division as it was clear
with every page that they were further away
from a solution that would play
without a remainder

Monday, June 2, 2008

summer slices of life: monday

"the point of life is not to get anywhere—it is to notice that you are, and have always been, already there. you are always and forever in the moment of pure creation. the point of life therefore is to create—who and what you are, and then to experience that."
-neale donald walsch

Sunday, June 1, 2008

summer slices of life: sunday

“We fancy it rhetoric when we speak of eminent virtue. We do not yet see that virtue is Height, and that a man or a company of men, plastic and permeable to principles, by the law of nature must overpower and ride all cities, nations, kinds, rich men, poets, who are not.”

“I will have no covenants but proximities. I shall endeavor to nourish my parents, to support my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife, - but these relations I must fill after a new and unprecedented way. I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the hear appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly. It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men’s, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth.”

“We must go alone. Why should we assume the faults of our friend, or wife, or father, or child, because they sit around our hearth, or are said to have the same blood? All men have my blood, and I have all men’s. Not for that will I adopt their petulance or foly, even to the extent of being ashamed of it. But your isolation must be not mechanical, but spiritual, that is, must be elevation. At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock once at thy closet door, and say, “Come out unto us.” But keep thy state; come not into their confusion.”