Monday, August 3, 2020

BEAUTY: Photography--Peter Ravn

The crawling men in the photographic work of painter Peter Ravn capture the mood...

Saturday, August 1, 2020

BEAUTY: Painting--Alex Selkowitz

I love the simple imagery of Alex Selkowitz's work. They feel like memories. Lonely suburbs. California streets and parking garages.

Top to bottom: A Simpler Time; Barker Hangar; Convenience; Orange Door; Palm Springs; Saturday Night; Stairway To Somewhere; Storefront In Sunlight 2; Storefront In Sunlight 3; Storefront In Sunlight

Bienvenue Août 2020!

par Pierre Le-Tan

Friday, July 31, 2020

"America" by Sufjan Stevens

"Don't do to me what you did to America..."

"America" by Sufjan Stevens. Capturing the anxiety and apocalypse of our situation right now.

Is it love you’re after?
A sign of the flood or one more disaster
Don’t do to me what you did to America
Don’t do to me what you did to America

I have loved you, I have grieved
I’m ashamed to admit I no longer believe
I have loved you, I received
I have traded my lifeFor a picture of the scenery
Don’t do to me what you did to America
Don’t do to me what you did to America

I give it all up in laughter
The sign of the cross awaiting disaster
The dove flew to me like a vision of paranoia
The dove flew to me like a vision of paranoia

I have loved you like a dream
I have kissed your lips like a Judas in heat
I have worshipped, I believed
I have broke your bread for a splendor of machinery
Don’t look at me like I’m acting hysterical
Don’t look at me like I’m acting hysterical

I have worshipped, I have cried
I have put my hands in the wounds on your side
I have tasted of your blood
I have choked on the waters, I abated the flood
I am broken, I am beat
But I will find my way like a Judas in heat
I am fortune, I am free
I’m like a fever of light in the land of opportunity

Don’t do to me what you did to America
Don’t do to me what you do to yourself
Don’t do to me what you did to America
Don’t do to me what you do to yourself
Don’t do to me what you did to America
Don’t do to me what you do to yourself
Don’t do to me what you did to America
Don’t do to me what you do to yourself

Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation by John Lewis

Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation

By John Lewis
Mr. Lewis, the civil rights leader who died on July 17, wrote this essay shortly before his death, to be published upon the day of his funeral.

July 30, 2020

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.

Link to original article:


"Long Lost" EP by Jordan Hunt

I am pretty dazzled by Jordan Hunt. A classically trained violinist who has worked with Björk and FKA Twigs (previously here) and was the resident violinist for The Irrepressibles (previously here), Hunt has been making incredible music of his own for a while now. These four songs--"Mother," "Don't Fly Too Far," "I Once Cared," and "Peter"--comprise his extended play release "Long Lost" and they are exquisite, not only sonically and lyrically but visually as well. The delicate, trembling nature of the sounds are offset by arresting, unflinching visuals that remind me of the work of contemporary artist Matthew Barney. Hunt describes the video for "Mother" as "durational performance art."

He says, "When you are classically trained, you’re taught that music is the point. But I’ve grown to believe that an emotional connection with the audience is much more important. Trained singers can be impressive, but you also need that nugget of rawness to draw you in. Without that, there’s no substance, just performance. Iconic singers have both."

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Anthenea Floating Hotel Pod

Made in France, the Anthenea floating pod is a new kind of hotel room. The website describes how it came to be:

At the origins of this incredible project, there is the dream of Jean-Michel Ducancelle, Naval architect, directly inspired by James Bond’s floating pod in "The Spy Who Loved Me" , 1977.

For 25 years, Jean-Michel has been wondering about how humans can inhabit the Earth. He passionately cultivates the idea that tomorrow’s habitat should be at the heart of natural environment in order to offer to all, a life in an immersive marine & submarine world. He envisions a way to apprehend the future differently, with a solution for the increasing reduced availability of construction on the coast and a new look at the floating habitat.

His decisive meeting with the visionary industrial Jacques-Antoine Cesbron, enabled the culmination of such years of patented research and innovation.

With the birth of Anthenea, the dream has become reality.

The Anthenea pod comes with an adjustable sunshade roof, solar panels, a panoramic bathtub, and over 7 feet of bedding diameter. The pod is 100% recyclable, while its design has been studied to resist cataclysms and the rise of oceans. Only running on solar power, the floating habitat features an energy sensor dome that meets the electrical and hot water needs. The Anthenea pod is equipped with certified black and gray water stations, and produces what it consumes, releasing clean water only. The manufacturer might want to look at ways of adapting the pod for permanent living, since we are all going to be floating in another 20 years or so...