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Sakura Season

We’re standing on a curb at Shibuya crossing watching the traffic lights change, like spectators of a carefully practiced sport. As the massive intersection slows to a stop, an orderly swarm of pedestrians begin crossing in every direction, even diagonally, as they run, stroll, and weave their way to the other side. This impeccable mastery of orderly chaos is the essence of Tokyo. … [Read more...]

Wharfside

Santa Barbara Summer Scenes         … [Read more...]

Portraits: Paper and Clay

Robert Kato, Emotional Biomes — Then I arrived at the capital, vaguely saturatedwith fog and rain. What streets were those?The garments of 1921 were breedingin an ugly smell of gas, coffee, and bricks.I walked among the students without understanding,pulling the walls inside me, searchingeach day into my poor poetry for the branches,the drops of rain, and the moon, that had been lost.I went deep into it for help, sinkingeach evening into its waters, graspingenergies I could not touch, the seagulls of a deserted sea,until I closed my eyes and was shipwrecked in the middleof my own body. - Pablo Neruda, Friends on the Road (1921)   … [Read more...]

Russian Repercussions

A. Borodin, A. Glazunov, N. Rinsky-Korsakov: “Les Vendredis” String Quartets, Excerpts A. Glazunov: Elegy for Piano and Cello, OP 17 D. Shostakovitch: Piano Quintet in C Minor, OP 57 Le Salon de Musiques, April 8th, Dorothy Chandler Pavillon —                                      News cycles at the moment are rife with tales of Russian influence, wealthy oligarchs and behind-the-scene businessmen with lavish country dachas. On April 8th, Le Salon de Musiques presented a concert whose background, although of similar themes, dealt with the world of classical music (circa 1890-1943)  rather than the current international … [Read more...]

Raag Malkauns

April 2018 celebrates the Centenary of Swami Vijnananand (P.R. Bhide) — In September 2010, an unusual video was posted on YouTube, by Mr. Bharat Upadhyay of Lata Mangeshkar singing Raag Malkauns. During the past seven odd years, 250K viewers have seen it and commented. I have had in my possession, for many years, a copy of this film that was more or less the same except for very last frame that had been severed in the above mentioned YouTube post. Hence began my search for the origin of this unusual film. Sometime around 2003, a friend sent me a DVD, with two folders. Both had Lata Mangeshkar singing Raag Malkauns for ten minutes. One was a digital version from audio tape, and the other was from a video tape, with … [Read more...]

Inside the Artist’s Studio – David DiMichele

Inside the Artist’s Studio is an-ongoing series exploring issues on contemporary art through direct encounters with the artists themselves. The Gallery In Ruins – In his 1986 book Inside the White Cube based on a 1976 series of Artforum essays, artist and writer Brian O’Doherty examined the pristine white gallery space as the required context and condition for appreciating contemporary art. He wrote of such spaces, “The outside world must not come in, so windows are usually sealed off. Walls are painted white… The purpose of such a setting is not unlike the purpose of religious buildings.” [1] As with congregants in any religious space, once within the gallery a special group shares its solidarity with art world values. The … [Read more...]

Sense and Sensuality

Extrasensory, Jacaranda February 24, 2018— Andre Jolivet, Eric Tanguy, Olivier Messiaen, Betsy Jolas and Claude Debussy Midway through its 15th season, Jacaranda presented an updated interpretation of it's two season 2007-2009 celebration of the centenary works of Olivier Messiaen and the 20th century French music informed by and that paid homage to the great composer. Entitled Extrasensory, the concert began with works by younger composers who were students of or influenced by Messiaen; it ended with a seminal work by Claude Debussy, historically the starting point for the kind of impressionistic "sound painting" heard throughout the evening. Jacaranda's creative decisions—from the choice of composers and musicians … [Read more...]

Theatre for Cartoon Demons

Olwui Okpokwasili’s Poor People’s TV Room, REDCAT , Los Angeles Premier —  Related Posts: Attaining the Singular, Death and the Avant-Garde in our Neoliberal Nightmare I had a vision not long ago. It wasn’t a particularly visionary vision, but it was very specific in a David Lynchy kinda way, and it involved a dark, fluid space alive with various currents and lit up with a spectral glow. The fluid was heavier than water but not quite as dense as oil, and out of it the quarter moon arc of a human profile would now and then appear in the form of a whirlpool-like structure, and I understood this to be the way a coherent self arises out of the flood of sensations and perceptions before dissolving again back into the underlying … [Read more...]

Wormwood

‘But still I was ordered to believe, even where the ideas did not correspond with, even when they contradicted, the rational theories established by mathematics and my own eyes' – Augustine, Confessions 5:3 [6] 'For secret assassination the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated' – A Study of Assassination, a CIA Manual According to Augustine, his break with Manichaeism came when he was ordered to see truth in descriptions of the stars and sky that defied all rational inquiry. In one of the most influential personal decisions ever made, he turned from a world of imagined ideas—gnostic metaphors for the eternal conflict of light and … [Read more...]

Pinking Pershing

Chalkupying for the Women's March, Los Angeles, January 20th, 2018 — January 2018 I was busy laying down some more chalk art in Pershing Square, this time for the 2nd Women’s March Los Angeles whose attendance I would learn reached 500K, the largest in the country. My concept of a raised Fist in defiance and defined by power, seemed to resonate with the crowds intent; be seen, speak out, be heard, be counted! The Fist was an overall pink experience and featured a nail job lacquered pristinely in ultra gloss, designed to invoke the spirit of this significant gathering. In the final photos, filmed by drone, I had my own epiphany and the impulse to extend my middle finger was a heartfelt exultant gesture combined … [Read more...]