October 4, 2011
Most nights with my kids after we read books we have question time. Question time is an open forum. The kids have to keep their eyes closed and they can ask any question about anything. It's the favorite part of my day.
Gabriel: Will you die if you don't have a brain?
Me: Yes. You have to have a brain and a heart to live.
Gabriel: What about other things like stomaches and arms and eyeballs.
Me: You can live without arms and eyeballs and even a stomach, but life is harder.
Gabriel: What if you have no arms and no legs and no eyeballs?
Me: Then you would need a lot of help.
Gabriel: What about a sore?
Me: A sore? Like if you're leg is sore?
Gabriel: No inside your body.
Me: A sore inside your body, like if you are sick?
Gabriel (frustrated with me):Not a sore, a soua.
Me: I don't understand.
Gabriel: You know a soua that makes you a person.
Me: Do you mean a soul?
Gabriel: Yes. That word is hard for me you know.
[Gabriel knocked out his two front teeth last year and has a problem with hard Rs and words that end in L]
Gabriel: Do you have to have one to live?
Me: Everyone has a soul.
Gabriel: But what if you didn't have one would be a vampire or zombie or something?
Me: Vampires and zombies aren't real, but that's what we imagine people would be like if they lost their souls, but we all have souls even if we forget sometimes.
Gabriel: Where is it? Is it in your head or your belly?
Me: It's just part of all of you. It's what makes you you.
Me: A soul is what lets you feel what other people are feeling. It's what lets you think about other people instead of yourself. People with good souls are kind. Real kindness is hard.
Gabriel: Not for me.
Gabriel: Even Darth Vader had a soul, you know.
Me: I know. Even terrible people have souls, but sometimes they shrink or are hard to find.
Gabriel: What about parrots? Do they have them? Parrots are confusing.
Me: Some people think only humans have souls, but I think animals have them too.
Gabriel: Even parrots? Because sometimes they just say mean things all day.
October 5, 2011
October 13, 2011
I'm printing a new body of work and have to free up some storage space, so I'm selling a number of editioned 20x24, 30x40, and 40x60 prints from my Travels Without Maps series at deep discounts. Most are c-prints. If you are interested, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send a price list of what's available.
Update: Thanks for the great response! For the last few prints I have a special offer. In addition to the discounted price I'm offering the option to donate half the cost to The Brooklyn School of Inquiry. That portion of the purchase is 100% tax deductible! Some of the final prints are large ones, so it's a great way to get a large photograph for not so much money. The Brooklyn School of Inquiry is one of New York's 5 citywide G&T schools. It's the only one located in Brooklyn and kids from all over the borough attend.
October 21, 2011
I never tire of these.
Hsieh created a number of fascinating performance pieces including Cage Piece (1978-1979) where he locked himself in a cage and didn't allow himself to talk, read, write, or listen/watch media for an entire year and Outdoor Piece (1981-1982) where he lived outside in New York City for a year without shelter. Hsieh stopped making art in 1999. Read his Wikipedia entry to learn more.
October 24, 2011
I love this proclamation by children's book author Mac Barnett and signed by Brian Biggs, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Kevin Cornell, Carson Ellis, Isol, Laurie Keller, Jon Klassen, Matthew Myers, Tao Nyeu, Sean Qualls, Aaron Renier, Adam Rex, Christian Robinson, Jon Scieszka, Dan Santat, Lemony Snicket, Erin E. Stead, Philip C. Stead, Scott Teplin, and Maria van Lieshout.
October 24, 2011
Feuerwerksbuch by Martin Merz details 15th century artillary, siege equipment, and battlements in a series of fantastic drawings. Scans of the entire book written in 1473 are available from the Bavarian State Library. I'm downloading the whole thing to print out for the kids. They'll love it. (via the always excellent BibliOdyssey)
October 25, 2011
"What is the impact of the closing down of the Wilderness on the development of children's imaginations? This is what I worry about the most. I grew up with a freedom, a liberty that now seems breathtaking and almost impossible. Recently, my younger daughter, after the usual struggle and exhilaration, learned to ride her bicycle. Her joy at her achievement was rapidly followed by a creeping sense of puzzlement and disappointment as it became clear to both of us that there was nowhere for her to ride it—nowhere that I was willing to let her go. Should I send my children out to play?
There is a small grocery store around the corner, not over two hundred yards from our front door. Can I let her ride there alone to experience the singular pleasure of buying herself an ice cream on a hot summer day and eating it on the sidewalk, alone with her thoughts? Soon after she learned to ride, we went out together after dinner, she on her bike, with me following along at a safe distance behind. What struck me at once on that lovely summer evening, as we wandered the streets of our lovely residential neighborhood at that after-dinner hour that had once represented the peak moment, the magic hour of my own childhood, was that we didn't encounter a single other child.
Even if I do send them out, will there be anyone to play with?
Art is form of exploration, of sailing off into the unknown alone, heading for those unmarked places on the map. If children are not permitted–not taught–to be adventurers and explorers as children, what will become of the world of adventure, of stories, of literature itself?”
(Thanks Larry for lending me the book)
October 26, 2011
I'm late in discovering Matt Eich's project Sin and Salvation in Baptist Town but I recommend checking it out as he tells a powerful story. This is a long form project exploring Baptist Town, a troubled neighborhood of Greenwood, Mississippi. Eich talks about his work and gives it more context in blog posts (here and here), and in an interview with Joerg Colberg. More images from the project can be found on photoshelter.