“Six years have passed since Lieko Shiga came to Miyagi Prefecture” -

We learn entering the photographer’s latest exhibition.

After finishing a residency in Europe, Lieko returned to Japan and headed straight to Miyagi after she saw the beauty of the beaches that pulled her in. Suddenly, she came to a place by the ocean, dense with pine forests, and found herself “falling in love” with it. There was a community along the beach called Kitakama. She started knocking on doors to ask if there was an empty house available in which she could live. She introduced herself as a photographer. The first few residents were puzzled. It was the first time that a little woman calling herself a photographer had come knocking on their doors to ask for a place to live. They took her to the former director of the community center, who was culturally exposed, and he took her to the neighborhood association chief. The community center director said that the area had never had a historian and archivist, and it would be good to have a photographer living in it who could be entrusted with that responsibility. The neighborhood association chief said he knew a small house, the owner of which lived elsewhere. This person was called up, agreed to Lieko living there for a pittance, gave her carte blanche to do whatever she liked with it, “but just be careful, for the house is very old.” So, Lieko became the community photographer. This was a new identity for her, a “title,” distinct from that of an artist. It demanded a different set of skills that made her initially very nervous, but also gave her immediate access to the life and spaces of the community. For almost a year and a half after that, she concentrated on teaching herself this kind of public, often bureaucratic, photography. She also started sorting the funeral portraits at the local shrine and scanning old photographs of the grave markers, doing little work of her own. It was photography that allowed her in, and art that made her an “alien.”

Being an alien within a community. Fun in a “mad, chaotic” way, with everybody saying “straight away” exactly what they thought about her life and work. Yet, this candor, with its capacity to form instant relations, did not make the people of the community, and its shifting network of relationships, any less complicated and inscrutable in Lieko’s eyes. To her, they were “talking bodies” that began to entrust her not so much with their lives and histories as with their words and bodies. This was the way they drew her in, but also made her wary of losing her distance and freedom as an artist to the ethics and emotions of working within a community. The people of Kitakama gradually eased her out of her nervousness with official photography. She also lost her shyness with the karaoke mike: “I didn’t exist if I didn’t sing.” She photographed the meetings in the community center, the summer and autumn festivals, the annual holiday for the elderly in September, the athletics, golf, gateball and beer-drinking, the rituals in the shrine and the seasonal flowers. 

For more than a year, this work within the community remained separate from Lieko’s work as an artist. But the difference between photography that was art and photography that was documentation was not relevant to the residents. One day, an elderly woman came to Lieko and asked for her funeral portrait to be made. The woman wanted to keep the portrait in her shrine at home so that her family members would understand that this photograph should be used for her funeral. Lieko was surprised, because the woman looked quite robust. She had come to be photographed on her bicycle and her hair was all over the place. So, Lieko took a comb and arranged her hair before photographing her. A new quality of ritual entered the shoot, and it felt to Lieko that she had crossed a line. From around that time, the line between her work with the community and her art began to blur. 

However, the residents needed her strangeness, as much as she did, in order to maintain their distance from her. So, as an artist, her relationship with ethics had to be fundamentally different from that of, say, an anthropologist or historian. Yet, her long encounter with these “talking bodies,” rooted in her love for a place that she came upon almost by accident, was making her work a “cross-point” between the individual and the community. Rather than alienating the residents, what was inexplicable in the art she made with them became the basis of a new set of relations. Both the artist and the residents were equally in the dark about what the images meant and where they came from. This became a new game that united, instead of divided, them. What fascinates Lieko is that the residents would enjoy looking at this work at every stage of its making, but they never asked “why.” They were only curious about “how” she made it and “what came next”: “I am in the world before the image. That’s why nobody asked why.”

Her goal was to not only photograph this isolated village – a population of about 320 – but to assimilate, converting from stranger to villager and in turn revealing the town’s hidden stories.

Selections of Shiga’s photographs of the town – 240 of them – were exhibited in a swirling pattern at the Studio Mediatheque in Sendai giving visitors an unsettling experience of experiencing the feeling of approaching an new place and community.

More Leiko Shiga

"—En el fondo —dijo Gregorovius—, París es una enorme metáfora."

(“In the end - Paris is a one giant metaphor.” Said Gregorovius.”) 

Julio Cortázar, Rayuela, 26

For those Spanish speakers - Rayuela by Julio Cortazar is a masterpiece of Latin American Magic Realism. An awesome “hopscotch” adventure set between Paris, Buenos Aires, and your mind.

The book alone is a great - but A mad genius has mapped out points in the book onto the Google map of Paris to make it even better. For the helpless romantics who are swept away by the affair between La Maga and Horacio check the following map out. Magic.

Cartografiar la Rayuela

Bird’s Nest Installation by Mark Reigelman.

|| CREST OF THE STRAWBERRY MOON ||

June 21 is the astronomical summer of the Northern Hemisphere.

June 23 is the solstice full moon.

On June 22, 2013, we invite you to Bolinas, California, to dedicate the night to the solstice and revel under the FULL MOON at the peak of the season.

Bolinas is a clandestine coastal community in Marin County, California. The census-designated place is located on the California coast, approximately 13 miles (21 km) northeast of San Francisco by air.

On June 22 the climax of the solstice will be imbued with the milky volume of the moon’s illuminated disc. We invite you: our dear creators: to build a cathedral with us, a pantheon to the solstice moon in Bolinas. 

The show is hosted and inspired by Mickey Murch’s unique honor-system farm stand, an experiment with trust and vegetables on Gospel Flat Farm. Mickey’s single room space was constructed with intention, to house artist practice and performance. It’s a nexus of creativity, fertility, community, and exchange.

Please help us fill this vessel, and create an undeniable invitation to ascend. Suspended sculpture. Mobiles. Wind chimes. Art in space.

DIRECTIONS & DETAILS > > > > > > > 

Camping is $7/person - there are only spots for 30 or so folks…so first come first served!! We’ll accomodate as many of you as we can but there will be a limit!

We’ll be making a spread of food so dinner should be covered. 

BYOB encouraged. Also: BRING YOUR OWN DRINKING VESSEL! Plan to drink out of your own cup all night. :)

Parking will be in the nursery or the church parking lot just across the street. NO PARKING in front of the Farmstand - the community still needs to get to the veggies! Let us know if you need a ride up, or a tent, or other accoutrements and we can help arrange. 

PERFORMANCES by:

Freemountain Pulsewave

Skate Laws

"One question for technology boosters—maybe the crucial one—is why, during the decades of the personal computer and the Internet, the American economy has grown so slowly, average wages have stagnated, the middle class has been hollowed out, and inequality has surged. Why has the information revolution that is supposed to be as historically important as the industrial revolution coincided with a period of broader economic decline?”
GEORGE PACKER in his article CHANGE THE WORLD
Silicon Valley transfers its slogans—and its money—to the realm of politics.
Something to consider between the dynamics of class, work, employment,  policy, government in the Bay Area.
Interesting read.
 

"One question for technology boosters—maybe the crucial one—is why, during the decades of the personal computer and the Internet, the American economy has grown so slowly, average wages have stagnated, the middle class has been hollowed out, and inequality has surged. Why has the information revolution that is supposed to be as historically important as the industrial revolution coincided with a period of broader economic decline?”

GEORGE PACKER in his article CHANGE THE WORLD

Silicon Valley transfers its slogans—and its money—to the realm of politics.

Something to consider between the dynamics of class, work, employment,  policy, government in the Bay Area.

Interesting read.

 

Solid Nepenthes Lookbook: ”TOTTORI” Directed by Masumi Sakamoto

Summer Island Ryokan Adventures.

Window with Fake Newspapers @ La Biennale de Venezia 2012

Dutch artist Mark Manders on his Fake Newspapers.

"I covered all the windos of the entrance with fake newspaper. Like a thin layer of skin, the outside world is separated from an inner world.  

I cannot use real newspapers because my work would then be linked to a certain date and place in the world. All of my works appear as if they have just been made and were left behind by the person who made them. There is no difference between a work made twenty four years ago or just a single day ago. Like the words in an encyclopedia, they are linked together in one big super-moment that is always attached to the here and now.

The newspapers consist of all the existing words in English language. Each word is used only once. 

In this exhibition, I only use a small portion of the words that are in the these papers: cup, bone, chair, table, head, newspaper… The photos in the fake newspapers are taken in my studio and are mostly of studio dust. I try to avoid including language in the pictures”

It’s art Dad.

Razzle Dazzle Camouflage is the best.

Dazzle Camouflage Canoe (for Peter) / 2008 / c-print / 45 x 60 inches by CARRIE SCHNEIDER

Killswitch is a game that was supposedly created by Soviet gaming company Karvina Corporation in 1989. Only limited copies of the game were produced (between 5,000 to 10,000 copies) and it was very popular among Soviet gamers. The game itself was a pioneer in the survival horror genre. You had to choose between two characters, a girl or an invisible demon. The goal of the game was to navigate through an abandoned coal mine while battling demons and coal monsters. As it was hard to navigate the game with an invisible character people choose to complete the game with the girl character. Unfortunately, No one ever completed the game with the demon, because upon beating the game all trace of it would be erased from your hard drive.In 2005, an unopened copy of the self-deleting game surfaced on Ebay where it was promptly bought for $733,000 by a man from Japan named Yamamoto Ryuichi. Ryichi had planned to document his play through of the game on YouTube. The only video Ryuchi posted was of him staring at his computer screen and crying.