October 1, 2009

Gerda Taro

Don't know why I it took me a year to discover a link to this Gerda Tara show, but I was totally wowed by the work of this photographer I knew very little about. She was Robert Capa's collaborator/girlfriend and they worked together for only two years before she was killed in the Spanish Civil War just shy of her 27th birthday.

Gerda Taro Exhibition Catalog

Times article on Ms. Taro.

More of Taro's story on Wikipedia

Related: The Mexican Suitcase

October 8, 2009

My best advice for parents to be:

Always be careful to lift with your arms.

October 15, 2009

Andres Gonzalez' Golden State

I've been a fan of Andres Gonzalez' work for some time. He just posted a new work in progress project titled Golden State featuring work taken around his home town of Chino. I'm eager to see how this one develops.

Related: Tarlabashi

October 17, 2009

Short Review of Where the Wild Things Are


I saw Where the Wild Things Are today: it's a movie for adults about what it felt like to be a kid—a deeply considered interpretation of the book, beautifully rendered, but not a terribly good adaptation. There's a huge distinction in my mind between interpretation, which I see as someone's distinct vision of an original work, and adaptation which is a more neutral transformation of work from one medium to another, one that allows space for you to project your own interpretation. Of course a true adaptation of this book is impossible, so a strong interpretation was the way to go and in virtually every frame of this film you are reminded that this is Jonze/Eggers' Wild Things, rather than Maurice Sendak's Wild Things.

I've been asked if I'll take my kids to the movie. I don't think I will. Raul Andres who is almost 5 has a particularly deep love of the book. I'm pretty sure for him the book is about the joy of rebellion, the power of imagination, and the love of home whereas large sections of the movie are about dread, loneliness, and the inevitable messy consequences of things. These emotions are large parts of every childhood, but for me (and I think for my son), these were not the emotions stirred by this particular book. If I were to take Raul Andres to the movie, I'm almost sure he would be scared by the film but love it anyway. Still, I would hate to have the Jonze interpretation of the story overwhelm the one he has in his head. That's the danger of movies for children. They can obliterate narratives which are still being formed. So I'll wait a few years for Wild Things to become his own. I hope by waiting his ultimate enjoyment of someone else's love for this book made real will only deepen.

October 19, 2009

On the Appeal of Static

We're headed for a day when static will be a thing of the past. Signals will all be binary, either there or not with nothing in-between. I couldn't be more sad about this.

Radio Static
Truly local radio was once one of the great appeals of a long backroad drives. Dime store preachers in Texas. Blues in Alabama. Punk whenever you hit a college town late at night. Ranchera down along the border. Almost as good as hitting a great station was listening to it fade away. It gave you a sense of that you were going places and it made you feel you were traveling from someplace known into the unknown.

Record Static
When I play a record I often imagine the stylus bouncing up and down along the grooves of the vinyl moving the magnets that send vibrations up to be amplified. Part of me knows that each play will inflict tiny scratches and bits of wear. One day the records will sound like like grandfathers' obscured by a warm blanket of noise. Play a record enough and noise is all that will remain.

Telephone Static
It wasn’t so long ago that most local calls were as clear as a bell, but long distance calls were progressively degraded depending on the distance you were from the caller. It made long distance calls seem special. The static volume determined the importance of the call and as those calls were often from people you loved, the high noise to signal ratio made the love seem that much stronger.

Walkie Talkie Static
We were kids in the woods with walkie talkies exploring alone but together just out each other's of visual range. The static was the tether that kept us safe.

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