Saturday, July 12, 2003

Green Lama
smoke ring in the sky
Botanical Art and Illustration by Wendy Brockman
Sound Signature
NOW: Theo Parrish Likes Mashing the Mix, Nov 28 - Dec 4, 2002: "'With the way technology has changed, we've lost the whole idea of the mix tape. The beauty of the mix tape is that you have to listen to the whole thing over and over again.
'There would inevitably be songs on there that you wouldn't know and couldn't find out what they were, which would put more of a struggle into searching for records. I want people to look and search and struggle for their art. If you have everything spoon-fed to you, it gets to a point where you don't expect to have to work to play records.
'We're in the days and times of disposable culture. Everything's ready-made. We don't want to wait. We don't have any patience. You pick up a CD, you go to the track you want to hear and if something else catches your ear it's all right, but otherwise, who cares?'"
01, chaka khan - papillon aka hot butterfly (lp: naughty)
02, mos def - may-december (lp: black on both sides)
03, groove theory - 10 minutes high (lp: groove theory)
04, david axelrod - mucho cupar (lp: heavy axe)
05, fred wesley and the j.b.'s - damn right i am somebody (same-titled lp)
06, shuggie otis - xl-30 (lp: inspiration information)
07, prince - she's always in my hair (b-side of raspberry beret 12")
08, savage progress - heart begins to beat
09, fela kuti - who no know go now (kalakuta, fela box #3)
10, bob marley - concrete jungle
11, kdj ?
12, roy ayers - life is just a moment pt. 1 (lp: mystic voyage)
13, theo parrish - unreleased track
14, eryka badu - bag lady (mix)
15, incognito - fearless
16, tony allen vs. kraked unit - the man with the drum
17, theo parrish - lights down low (sound signature 011)
18, theo parrish ?
19, liaisons dangereuses - avant apres mars (same titled lp)
20, theo parrish - people of the sun
21, james mason - sweet power your embrace (lp: rhythm of life)

twoplayer - sound signature: "
01, those guys feat. ras baraka - an american poem
02, moodymann ?
03, son dexter - sonrise dance (from: son dexter ep)
04, tortured soul - i might do something wrong pt.1 (yoruba mix)
05, theo parrish ?
06, round four feat. tikiman - find a way
07, blakk society - just another lonely day
08, lil’ louis - wargames
09, leron carson - china trax (sound signature 012)
10, ?
11, new sector movements - the sun (dwele's motorcity remix)
12, herbie hancock - chameleon (lp: headhunters)
13, dinosaur l - go bang (francois k mix)
14, tony allen - jealousy
15, tony allen - afro disco beat
16, tony allen vs kraked unit - the man with a drum
17, roy ayers - running away
18, donald byrd - lansanas priestess
19, dexter wansel - life on mars

mixed by theo parrish... "
St Mary Magdalene in East Ham. My dad's boyhood local late 20's early 30's.
A Modern Herbal

Friday, July 11, 2003

from Jamie Reid:

"Let light in, let images in, and by so doing, let man out."
Jerry Pethick

Jerry Pethick, a favorite artist and friend of many artists and writers in
British Columbia died July 5 on Hornby Island at 6 pm from brain tumors
which proved intractable and incurable despite radiation treatments and
other medical measures taken to save his life. Shortly after it became
known that the radiation treatments had been ineffective and probably would
not save his life, Jerry slipped into a coma but then there was a brief
rally and recovery, sponsoring the hope that Jerry and his friends might be
able to continue the project they were working on, but in the end Jerry
never recovered beyond the ability to sometimes get out of bed, eat at the
table and meet briefly with his friends who were with him throughout his
final weeks. He was attended by his wife Margaret, who greeted all of
Jerry's many well-wishers and provided all possible comfort to Jerry and
his friends during Jerry's last days.

Bill Smith, another Hornby Island resident who was Jerry's close friend and
companion in many artistic projects on Hornby remarked that Margaret was
nothing short of angelic in the way she was able to deal with all of the
details of the unfolding events surrounding Jerry's illness.

The loss of Jerry Pethick is an irreperable one to the British Columbia
artistic community because he was a man of relentless energy and creative
power besides the great kindliness and goodness of his personality, the
spiritual energy he dispensed to others as part of his dedicated life's
work. Although he was a great artist, there was nothing of the great man
about him except for his total dedication to his work and the absolute
energy and confidence with which he pursued his artistic aims. To his
friends and the other Hornby Island residents, except for his exceptional
energy and kindness, he was simply another one of their neighbours, ready
to assist them in their projects and with his great skill and knowledge of
the workings of material things so necessary to an artist of his kind.

He and his family were hugely self-sufficient, growing their own food,
making their own wine and beer and liquors which they drank and dispensed
with a supremely simple yet fabulous and open-handed hospitality. The
frugality of their means of life was overmatched by their generosity and
friendship. The outstanding self-sufficiency of the Pethick family was not
so much an ideological or religious quirk as the necessary condition of
Jerry's artistic production. Without these economies, in the absence of
significant official support or patronage, Jerry's artistic life would have
been impossible. The economies were part of the commitment and dedication
Jerry brought to his entire life's work, part of the important independence
that his art required.

The residents of Hornby still remember the arrival of the Pethicks in the
1970s when Jerry, Margaret, and their infant son Yana literally lived in a
cave while Jerry worked on his sculpture and other artistic activities,
struggling to build up the means to survive on the land, to build their
rustic living quarters that were nevertheless perfectly adapted to the
modernist direction of Jerry's artistic work, a series of cabins
constructed out of waste wood connected by rain-slippery wooden walkways.
In the final years of his life, Jerry was occupied in building a studio to
house his sometimes massive work. The studio embodied all of the same
principles that animated Jerry's art -- the use of simple and recognizable
materials from daily life, the recycling of old objects, the setting-up of
a dynamic relation between the organic world of nature and the human world
of mechanical industrial objects. The side walls of the studio were made
from stacked up hay bales, while the back wall was an array of recycled
propane containers filled with water which would act as both insulation and
energy storing devices. In front of this wall of propane containers, a
narrow glass enclosure was intended to act as a greenhouse wherein his
family could grow vegetables and flowers. Standing in that spacious room
with it's high ceilings surrounded by the smell of hay like sweetgrass, I
always felt a sense of huge freedom connected to the human imagination, its
flexibility, its direct connection to the things of the earth and the
industrial products of human beings. This studio and several other
projects were in a state of evolution while Jerry lived and now it seems
they may never be completed in the absence of anyone with the necessary
vision and energy to complete them.

His artist friend and fellow Hornby Island dweller, Gordon Payne, says
without qualification that the work Pethick has already performed is enough
to establish him as "the most important Canadian artist since Emily Carr."

There is no verbal description and no photographic representation that can
provide even the smallest sense of the marvellous and delightful effect of
so much of Jerry Pethick's extremely varied body of work. The advertisement
for a recent showing at the Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver gives an
unexaggerated summary of the substance and content of his amazing work:

"..employing both anti-technological and technological materials such as
bottles, hand-blown, glass, plastics, light bulbs, mirrors, lenticular and
Fresnel lenses, image projecting devices, photo graphs as well as more
traditional sculptural elements such as wood and metals both made and
found. Pethick's use of recycled materials inspires dual readings between
environmental interests and complex metaphors for visual perception."

Along with all of this, Pethick's typical artistic projects involved a
close investigation of the boundaries between two spheres of knowledge
usually considered separate, natural science and technology on one hand,
and art on the other. This was especially true of his truly radical
interrogation of the parameters of human ocular vision, of optics and of
light. In this regard, Scott Watson has remarked that Pethick is the
legitimate continuator of the work in color theory and perception begun by
the Impressionists at the outset of modern art. Some of his earliest
investigations in this sphere were in the art of holography, and he is on
record as the holder of a U.S. patent on a sand-based holography
technology. Through these investigations, Pethick showed over and over
again in varied ways that vision itself is deeply paradoxical and always
accompanied by enigma and uncertainty. In Pethick the trompe d'oeil was
often transformed into a literal and objective trompe d'ame, a "trick" on
perception based on the objective qualities of light and vision themselves.
It is not really a trick, however, because it is based on the real quality
and activity of visual perception itself.

Viewing a Pethick-made object for the first time, one is never sure what
one is viewing. Almost everything he has ever produced is surrounded with
this aura of visual enigma. Nevertheless, on closer examination, all of the
objects so whimsically yoked together in his constructions resolve
themselves easily into recognizable every-day objects, and objects of
playful contemplation. Often enough in modernist art, these apparent
disjunctures of vision are accompanied by anxiety and doubt, but with
Pethick, the equation is reversed, the ambiguity of vision is something to
be celebrated rather than a source of despair or uncertainty. It is the
sign of the delightful multiplicity of life and the world and our
perception of it.

With Pethick's work, as soon as one has a purchase on the object, one has a
satisfying and reassuring realignment with the materiality of things as
well as the inherent disjunctures of vision, its simultaneously objective
(in front of the eye) and subjective (behind the eye) character, become
part of that familiarity, even if unresolved, all of this accompanied by an
engaging funky humour.

Pethick's interrogation of vision and optics uncovers the uncertainties of
normal vision, the way in which visual phenomena mix objective and
subjective perceptions so that the boundary between the seeing and the seen
is impossible to place. All of these investigations, serious as they are in
scientific and human terms, are surrounded with an atmosphere of a great
and generous, clear-headed and clear-hearted humour and playfulness.

Like the dadaists who influenced him, Pethick's art was made from the same
materials which others had thrown off, the junk and rejectementa of
capitalist industrial society. Passing through his hands the worn out
objects of this world found a new and vibrant life, transformed by the
special power of his imagination and intellect, which in spite of the
humble materials in which he worked, were majestic and free-ranging. Though
his work in its immediate homely, not to say funky, appearance seems at
first glance to have nothing in common with what is called high art, the
second glance always brings out a world rich in surprise and humour, and
also of a suddenly apprehended deep intelligence and beauty, an art which
evolves a profound and valuable synthesis between social and aesthetic
concerns and epistemological and scientific ones.

There will be a memorial for Jerry at the ball park on Hornby Island on the
afternoon of Sunday July 20th.

Some references:
Danziger Cartoons
Warm Wine also loves Neko Case and Buffalo's grain elevators
Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Thursday, July 10, 2003

John Snow - a historical giant in epidemiology
Laurable's Poetry Weblog kindly notes my move
a link from Oakland's moon-worshipping Stephanie Young
office machines
David Shrigley's "Anti-Depressants"
Edward Lear Parrots
Flash Klaus Nomi
For a Verse, Scorned Is He in the Name of Uniformity
nice Miyazaki appreciation
Isn't this how everyone writes?
"the Grand Slam of Woodpeckers"
Morrell Nature Sanctuary
Drew on the return of Henry Grimes

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Dead Media
museum of techno
reviews of the new Moodymann, Madlib and Clientele
please let me wonder
i'm so young
kiss me baby
she knows me too well
in the back of my mind...
Beach Boys Today! today
Shockwave Bliss
excellent "It Happened in Boston?"--a great favorite of my youth--to be republished
memories of Oakland
let's hope Jordan doesn't over-estivate
Book Illustration in Victorian England: An Overview
Parable of the Monkeys