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Nesting Instinct – First Encounter

The Nests of Lindsay Wildlife Museum This is the first installment of a three part series on the Nests of Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Part 2, "Behind the Scenes" will take a look at how the nests are collected, categorized, conserved and studied before display. Part 3, "Outreach" is an interview with the museum's Natural History Curator, Marty Buxton. First Encounter I am not a birder, too much looking through binoculars and neck strain, but that doesn’t keep me from being fascinated by their lives. I first came to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and Hospital with a small finch, a pine siskin, that had flown into my house, having been attacked by my cats. After delivering my bird, who sadly did not make it, I walked around the … [Read more...]

Citi Wallz

Mission District Wall Painting – I spent the most of the '80s in NYC back in the heyday of the train graffiti. It was such an alive art form; fun, ironic, unashamedly bright, daring and political. Just the way the paint was applied had a living energy. You had to enjoy it in the moment because you might never see it again. Some of it ended up in books and galleries, but most was power-washed away or painted over. You never knew for sure who did it or why. I worked as billboard painter or "wall dog" at the time, which prompted my appreciation of these works of art in progress. There were similarities in the brash, temporary slickness of both mediums and they often competed for real estate. Unlike more formal painting, walls are … [Read more...]

The Politics of Hand Made

The Art of Pam DeLuco— On a recent foray to Michael’s – “The Arts and Crafts Store”, amidst a jungle of fake flowers and pre-assembled memories I had an “epiphany beside the wall of Easter Bunnies”. It would appear that hand made has not only lost its place in “art” but also its place in craft. It seems to have morphed into a ready-made elite pastime fashioned on figurines, stickers and plastic jewels. As we carefully decorate, glue and frame with pre-packaged stuff made in far away lands, are we not just supporting the art of mega industry? In our attempts to feel a feigned sense of loving hands of home are we not undermining the very politics of hand made? The time honored politics of "hand made" are those of self-sufficiency; … [Read more...]

Man Forgets the Earth Remembers

The Photography of Robert Kato – Robert Kato's photography is about finding beauty in the most unlikely anythings and anywheres. The images from his San Francisco Bay series "Man Forgets the Earth Remembers" are neither Kodak moments nor hero shots, but tributes to the grandeur of common places and the singularity of the ordinary. These bayside landscapes speak to the most quotidian of scenarios that under the watchful eye of Kato become opulent photographic renderings. Kato pursues his images with both controlled precision and serendipitous intent. He purposes only to be present, a certain place at a chosen hour, trusting that the images will come. Then, from the moment the vision alights on his lens it will go through a rigorous … [Read more...]

Remains of the Day

Astroboy Unbound  Photography by Naomi Pitcairn – The photographs of Naomi Pitcairn's Empty Nest series remind us that deconstruction is immanent. That inherent in all possibility is also the inevitable demise. These packages, once disembodied, cease to hold it together. Take Astroboy. He is first seen forward facing, standing at attention, full of potential. But when next spotted he has become Icarus, back now turned away, heading towards his destiny. How quickly promise can turn into ambitious defeat. Fated, singed by aspiration he floats away untethered on his space walk into the sunset. Initially designed to preserve and protect, a few of these leftovers possess a built in means to inflict injury. Child endangerment is a … [Read more...]

Out of the Box

Empty Nests – Photography and Artist's Statement by Naomi Pitcairn  In this photographic series entitled "empty nests" I focus on a set of ordinary objects - the packaging of children's dolls and action figures. Removed from their larger context these items of material culture become extra-ordinary, providing a micro-context of their own - one that is emotionally manipulative, sensorial-ly seductive and ultimately, persuasive. Though often manufactured abroad, these "fictionalized" mini-environments for plastic homunculi bear surprising truths about our culture of consumption and the western world view. Sans "toy" the packaging can be viewed for its semiotic quality where it works on many layers to reify culturally constructed gender … [Read more...]