Letters (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)
#1 The Hegemony of Cycloptic Mountains
Lady Vicki writes in with news of an art opening tonight at Sala Diaz (Stieren + St. Mary's) for local DJ and provacateur John Mata. What follows seems to be a statement from the artistâ?¦
â?¦ For his exhibition Sala Diaz is Open John Mata will utilize the east and west rooms of Sala Diaz to present an art show and record store respectively.
In the East Room, Mata will be presenting an installation entitled "Your Black Majesty: My Facade Says A lot About Who I'm Not". Mata's work incorporates drawings, collages, and sculptures containing images of Apocalyptic Cartoon Landscapes, often referencing the fall of the common person to the hegemony of cycloptic mountains in molten pits of hellfire and sunflowers.
#2 DIY and the Avante-Garde (Panel)
New Media artist and instructor Leslie writes in with this notice for an event in Februaryâ?¦
What: "DIY and the Avant-Garde" panel
When: Thursday February 19, 2009, 7-9pm
Where: UTSA Downtown Campus, Multipurpose Room FS 1.402
Announcing the upcoming panel: "DIY and the Avant-Garde: artists creating
alternative venues for cutting edge art." The panel brings together local,
national, and international sound and video artists for a conversation about
the use of unconventional venues to show and perform non-traditional
#3 The Continental
Rumors have gone out that I've moved into a new place, perhaps the smallest place in town, which most likely prompted this letter from Carlos the Insider that came in through the Penthouse window, so to speak. All those in small spaces can appreciate the chateau humor, I think.
â?¦ a little look around and i found two episodes....this is what i think about when i hear chÃ¢teau...
#4 Westside Creekways
Former City Bike Czar Abigail sents notice for opportunity for community involvement in the revitalization of several Westside creekwaysâ?¦
â?¦ The Committee is working with a consultant team led by Ed Garza with AECOM to develop a vision for the restoration of four Westside Creekways (Alazan, Apache, Martinez and San Pedro) that are all tributaries of the San Antonio Riverâ?¦. 1st public meeting TENTATIVELY scheduled - Saturday March 28, 2009 9AM-noon El Progreso (1306 Guadalupe St)
ABA in San Antonioâ?¦Again
For those that don't know the American Basketball Association is still around and has a local team, recently renamed The Fuel. What's interesting is that the team's name is part of a larger inspiration to promote awareness of alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar, and one that I hadn't heard as much aboutâ?¦algae.
Sports and progressive politics rarely ever go hand in hand (at least in this country, I'm sure futbol has that connection to some degree outside the US.) With an invitation from the team, writer Greg Schwartz and I went over to see them play on Sunday on the East Side at the Antioch Church's high-end gym. This was the gym that former Spur Avery Johnson helped fund, giving $200,000 of his own money. Visiting NBA teams are known to practice there I've been told.
The game was a showdown, with the second placed Fuel playing the #1 team in the league from Beaumont. That's another great thing about minor leagues — smaller towns getting unexpected representation.
The game was close in the first half. The coaching styles between the teams couldn't have been anymore different. Beaumont's coach was a volcano of a man — at any moment he seemed ready to explode in a fit. He looked like George Kostanza, to a degree, but had a level of focus that George never could channel. Beaumont had a long list of plays that their coach barked out throughout the game. At several times, he yelled out “motion” for their offense, but in a way that somehow sounded like a 4 letter word.
The Fuel coach was relaxed and hands off. I'm not sure how this affected the game. The score was close for the first half, but then B-town roared ahead in the 3rd quarter. The game looked pretty much over for us, as they had as much as a 16 point lead for several points.
And then a comeback from out of nowhere.
The Fuel recharged and came back to within a point or two within the last minute. A Fuel guard charged the lane but was called for a block and that was as close as we came.
Other points of interestâ?¦
â?¢ A rabid fan base. No cheerleaders but several young kids worked themselves into the role, running up and down the baseline with signs proclaiming “Go Green!”
â?¢ You really get to hear the heckling and yelling. The crowd was an awesome mixture of East siders and dudes wearing tight Wrangler jeans.
â?¢ For less than $2, one can get the old school frito pie — a bag of fritos, in which a chili and a stick of cheddar cheese are dropped in.
Estate Sale Culture
Now renting the smallest apartment in town, I've been pulled into looking for estate sales in search of furniture. And though that was all I hoped for, in reality, it's a window to someone else's world.
Garage sales, in my mind, would be the opposite of an estate sale, at least philosophically. Garage sales are basically someone saying “Here's my junk. Perhaps you like rooting around in my trash.”
An estate sale is a collection of all the possessions that a person did not want to get rid of, and only through death are they finally able to let them go.
A room full of photographic equipment.
What's most interesting is getting to glimpse into someone else's life's body of work and collection of memories, in some ways, perhaps, like the rings of a tree (sort of). And to make this personal experience all the more odd is that you get to battle elbow to elbow with other people. It's somewhat a clash of the sincere and the profane, though this isn't something to turn away from — in actuality, it lends the experience a deeper layer.
At a recent estate sale off Vance Jackson I bought:
â?¢ A circular table top for $2 to make a breakfast table
â?¢ An awesome hand-made light stand to view film slides (though I'm using it more as something to light the chateau) for $35
â?¢ A loveseat for $15
â?¢ A plaque for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for $2
The best time to hit an estate sale is at the very beginning to see the best items and interact with the biggest freaks, as well as the last day when typically items are cut to 50% off.
The Pile On
Last Friday I briefly stopped by Limelight to hear a great selection of bands — Blue Means Go, Yoshimoto, and Druggist, though I missed the former two. Druggist was releasing a new CD called “The Pile On”.
It was an odd night. The crowd didn't seem as enthused that night as I would have expected. And, the sound mix seemed a bit off, which seemed to rob the music of it's drama.
Of course, others easily could have experienced it totally different. The bands are all excellent and I'll check them again next time, if possible.
Craigslist Paean to Sexy Garbage Men
image: Alicia Ybarra
Films get lost in the shuffle in San Antonio. Most filmmakers gravitate up to Austin but on Saturday morning I gut pulled into a film shoot on Adams street. Director Sam Lerma hoped for me to drive a scooter with the DP sitting on the back for a couple of moving shots.
Sam describes the filmâ?¦
It's a screenplay adapted from a craigslist posting i found on craigslist
i thought it'd be cool to experiment and bring an Ad to life, we read
them all the time, and visualize them, why not film it? The script is
pretty much word for word, except for some added trashmen dialogue. it
should time out to two minutes tops.
Here is a snippet from that craiglist personalâ?¦
I love your strong muscles; not matter how heavy my waste is, you have no problem lifting it. Sometimes I hide bricks in there just so I can see your sweaty big muscles in real action. You may know my house specifically because I always leave my old lingerie lying on top of all my other trash. I put it out there for you, you know. I want you to have them. Don't worry, I spray a little perfume on them before I toss them so they don't smell anymore.
image: Alicia Ybarra
My involvement was small and brief. I did my part and then ate some tacos from Craft service. More to follow if I hear about any eventual screenings.
And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continued...