Letters (to the On the Street Penthouse Suite)
Again, it bears repeating, pretty much anything will be printed in this section. It could be the most direct conduit for the public-media complex, and yet, too often, it's a cyber ghost town with few letters to even be left out. This is a power void we're talking about here. It's one big electron cloud filled with empty space and loads of negativity. Luckily, OTS soldiers on through Curblog's awkward pubescence as new structures take shape and find awkward maturity. In this tragic-comic set up, finallyâ?¦
â?¦to the letters! (All two of them!)
No title was given because no title was needed. This was a letter from The Mechanic so I could only assume it was either related to Seinfeld insider jokes, anecdotes about new developments in fortified wines, political ramblings of British sports car journalists, or in this case, something related to two wheeled forms of transportation.
From: Gentleman's Gadgets
It looks fabulous all around. The price is of course ridiculous. I think this site is for trust funded drifters who like to feel like James Bond.
Evidently, there's more ostentatious displays of head scratching.
From: Gentleman's Gadgets
A $14,000 bike designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Unlike tight pants, designing a bicycle takes experience and knowledge of engineering. Who would spend this much money on a bike of dubious craftsmanship? To quote Peter Sellers in The Party, “I suppose it's all part of life's rich pageantry.”
#2 Hello, Again (MM Writes In)
A local artist writes in. I'm thinking this is in relation to the Artist Foundation art grant coming up in a few days. It's just so happens even I applied. Luckily, a good majority of the artists are in painting so my odds of winning in Film/Video go from non-existent to very unlikely. When the results come out in a few months, I'll make sure to let you know if I win and if I don't, then consider this the last we hear about it.
I have a brand-spankin-new website, hope y'all will take a gander.
best to everyone!
The Dragnet versus The Bicycle Thief
It's getting worse, and I'm not referring to some weirdo anarchist clown bike thief at Burning Man. Last week, Carlos the Carpenter got his bike snaked from a guy pretending to be a nice guy and not a thief. It was last seen at the Alamo. I even talked to the guy beforehand. The tragic-comedy of this is the last famous Bicycle Thief inspired movie in America was probably Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure, wherein Pee Wee travels all the way TO the Alamo to try and find his bike in the basement of the Alamo. Maybe, that's where the weasel is hiding...
This week at First Friday, the infamous Bikini Gary (although to me he was always Speedo Gary) got his $3000 titanium mountain bike stolen from Bluestar. On First Friday, cyclists park their bikes downstairs by the Lazarus coffee shop and then drink upstairs at Joe Blues. Somehow, while they were upstairs, someone made off with his bike. It's like they stole his bike and the clothes off his back, that's how bad it seemed.
Gary doesn't know the serial number of the bike to report it to the police, nor does he have a foto of the bike for us to post here.
The whole situation is lamentable. The rise in popularity of cycles was eventually going to signal a rise in crime. And worse, the location of each of these thefts is iconic — the Alamo, Bluestar, what's next? I would avoid the Tower of Americas and Bar America for now, or get a good lock.
Update: The Carpenter's bike was recently seen at a Labor Force type place on Fred road by Cool Crest (“The Coolest Spot in San Antonio”) but nothing was there when I went by the next day.
If there are any updates, feel free to leave note in the comments section.
First Friday of Fotoseptiembre (And the Beginning of the Rest of Our Livesâ?¦)
Perhaps it's the lingering CAM malaise that suggests continued confusion for the art community, but Fotoseptiembre seems a little less shiny (aka glossy) this year as well. It could be a developing crisis for photography itself. With almost all the artists using home computer prints instead of actual film prints from a darkroom, I wonder if a slight but perceptible â??bridge too far' has been crossed. Like video filmmaking, the tools are everywhere, and I'm not just talking about the artists. The access to the equipment continues its democratization, though in American fashion the democratization is of course hand in hand with the prosumerization of the materials.
These arguments are nothing new, and are probably better argued by Sarah Fisch in this weeks paper edition. Photography is at a decade long turning point, and as it evolves further into a digital medium, its place in museums further goes into debate. The internet best showcases the immediacy of digital fotography, though this aspect distorts the social aspect, and an online shouting match is a far cry from a Q&A with an artist in person. Also, the internet very often represents the status quo of quotidian life, whereas going to a museum is a place to exchange ideas, oxygen for carbon dioxide, fresh brain cells for brain cells steeped in Lone Star, and other more interesting endeavors.
I doubt any of that made any sense, but here is a slideshow of the evidence.
The night began at the continually under-publicized Main Plaza where Los #3 Dinners played an early evening set. The central fountains were fenced off, in what I thought was the result of some petty litigation but a sign indicated it was in relation to the trees, or something arboreal.
Bluestar at first didn't seem crowded when I came into the parking lot, but then I realized everyone was inside the various galleries. As night presented itself, more and more people filled the line for beer, and a hippy trippy band from Austin played marimbas on the patio. I once roomed with a marimbaist from Chicago who verified that the marimba scene at the zocalo in Veracruz is the real deal, even if the crafts for sale are pretty much crap, including the handmade pipes sold by that sweaty German guy I saw. Anywayâ?¦
Patrick Zeller's motorcycled fotos from Iran took centerstage in the backroom, with a couple of touring bikes on centerstand on display in the center of the room for good measure.
The vast number of images was impressive, which made me think frame building might not be such a bad business at times like this. Picks and shovels — I'm just saying.
I had seen Patrick around several times handing out postcards for his show so it was exciting to see him finally present them on a big stage.
In the “hutch” (the little nook/cranny between the backroom and the main room) Leslie Raymond presented walls of video monitors of moving landscapes. It was moments like this where the evolution of Fotoseptiembre seemed most evident to me.
In the main room were a variety of large scale prints. Oddly, nothing stuck with me compared to what was there at Bluestar a few months back for CAM. I still recall these hallucinatory nude widescreen fotographs, though I'm not sure if they were original to CAM or were from the previous year, perhaps even the past Fotoseptiembre. Nonetheless, a few iconic images do sneak back to me, such as the large soft focus image of the guy screaming in the foreground of what I thought was a museum. Was it the existential despair of the photographer that we've discussed? Or did I get it totally wrong, again? Who knows. On a side note, I took another image from the NW corner of the main room and had yet another flashback to that hanging rope that was on display last year for at least 3-4 months.
Joan Grona was closed by the time I made it down that way. 3 Walls seemed to be down for the month and the two neighboring galleries did not leap out at me. I went upstairs and was more intrigued by this weird cable that stretched from beneath the floor upwards through the ceiling. There were fotos all over the place upstairs, but nothing that compelled me to go back for a few months.
The night ended up at the Compound to see new work at Sala Diaz by Jesse Amado and drink a bit too heavily from a bottle of vodka. Well, the night was just getting started...
And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continued...