Sunday, March 5, 2006

Bit o stuff

Went gallery-hopping with Jordan Saturday. Saw some interesting stuff, like paintings with nails in them, several paintings of people underwater, sculptures of heads, blurry paintings based on photo collages, digitially-altered photos of taxidermy in nature, foggy New York scenes, comics about going vegan as performance art, rooms with words painted on the walls, photorealistic paintings of cloth wrapping unknown objects.

But the definite star of the show was Fields of Fire, video pieces depicting highly abstracted oil drilling and a 10 minute movie of flowing oil and blood that was amazingly intense. One weird thing is that I couldn't find out much about how the artist (who actually was hanging out at the gallery!) did what she did. The best clue was on this Corcoran page, which explains, "She achieves unusual effects of motion and color by re-photographing her images repeatedly, by transferring them from video to film and back again, and by using digital manipulation." (Also in the how'd-they-do-that category, a good article in Wired about rotoscoping for Scanner Darkly.)

Patois brunch was tasty, although they ran out of french toast, and the mimosas were pleasantly free-flowing until they ran out of champagne (!).

Catherine and I got caught up in the Project Runway marathon. It was actually very entrancing. I'm rooting for Santino, even if he is an ass. This, plus an article about collectives in the Times, plus the gallery-hopping, left me thinking about the production of art. I wonder how much real-world fashion is actually the result of a single creative effort, as opposed to soliciting input from coworkers, bosses, focus groups and such, as with movies, software, and books. It's interesting that industries like fashion seem to do okay despite the absence of a filter/promotion engine like a publishing company. It's not like the winners of Runway have a hope of being something-equivalent-to-an-artist-being-signed-by-a-label. But maybe I just don't know enough about the fashion industry.

Meanwhile, the Times podcasts are a dangerously blood-pressure-raising way of passing the time on the way to work. So much stupidity from the Bush administration, but nothing ever comes of the columnists' whining. Maybe they should lock Bush in a room with a stack of them and not him leave till he recognize how incompetent he is. And then there's David Brooks, insisting that the only things worth knowing happened in Plato (yay infringing copy, columns want to be free!). Is he really this dumb? Also, he suggests that people take statistics. If only he had. Is there really nobody smarter than him to take up that space in the Times? Even Dowd is more interesting.

Conviction is taping around the corner at 10 (that's life living near the courts). Sounds like a fun outing to me.