Saturday, January 10, 2009

Local & lower Mainland trees

Samuel Fuller's "White Dog"

Fuller’s hyperbolic ALL CAPS sensibility, for humor as much as for so-called humanity, saves all this (all his films) from the possibility of devolving into a soapbox statement/thesis. It’s a weird move, really, and tough to pull off with any grace—but that’s just it: Fuller denies grace. The edits and the angles and the performances and the dialogue, all his materials, remain rough to the end. Yet, his vision is not simple cynicism; rather, he sees the world as stew, a bog of trained idiocy, and all we can do is form tactics for survival. It’s all about trying. Try Keys does. After his delayed introduction (about 30 minutes), White Dog becomes his movie, not Julie’s nor the dog’s (as much as the film is always all about the dog), and we watch this strong and contradictory man work to make things right one experiment at a time...

Friday, January 09, 2009

in the field w/...Matthew Herbert
On this record, I did more sneaky, unauthorized recording than previously. For example, I didn’t get official permission to record inside the Houses of Parliament, or vocals at a landfill site, so I had to have something small that could fit in a pocket. Nagra makes great-sounding recorders but the operating system is a minefield...

Since being rescued 20 months ago from the dogfighting ring financed by Michael Vick...

It's impossible to say what Jasmine saw while circling the axles deep in the woods, but dogs can hear a tick yawn at 50 yards. The sounds of the fights and the executions undoubtedly filtered through the trees...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Neoconservatism dies in Gaza...
The Gaza War of 2009 is a final and eloquent testimony to the complete failure of the neoconservative movement in United States foreign policy. For over a decade, the leading figures in this school of thought saw the violent overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the institution of a parliamentary regime in Iraq as the magic solution to all the problems in the Middle East. They envisioned, in the wake of the fall of Baghdad, the moderation of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the overthrow of the Baath Party in Syria and the Khomeinist regime in Iran, the deepening of the alliance with Turkey, the marginalization of Saudi Arabia, a new era of cheap petroleum, and a final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on terms favorable to Israel. After eight years in which they strode the globe like colossi, they have left behind a devastated moonscape reminiscent of some post-apocalyptic B movie. As their chief enabler prepares to exit the White House, the only nation they have strengthened is Iran; the only alliance they have deepened is that between Iran and two militant Islamist entities to Israel's north and south, Hezbollah and Hamas...

Adam Harrison - 52 Studies




01. Palette, 2009, pigment jet print, 28 x 37 cm

Monte Clark Gallery announces 52 Studies, a new web-based project by artist Adam Harrison. Every week during the course of 2009, Harrison
will produce and present a new photograph that deals with or introduces new aspects of his practice.

52 Studies continues a strain in Harrison's work that explores temporally based image production and the web-based distribution of
photographs. This began with his daily online project 356 Sketches in 2005, and continued with the 2007 project Four, a collaborative
website with Evan Lee, Christopher Brayshaw and Jamie Tolagson. Since Harrison's pictures are often planned and conceived beforehand, he has
utilized this practice similarly to the painter's use of sketching or studies to create a space for experimenting with new subject matter
and pictorial strategies.

The ideas around the structures of production that such projects intrinsically evoke are central to Harrison's practice, which is
generally concerned with depicting situations that relate directly to the creation and reception of art itself. Where he often photographs artists and artisans in the process of making their work, these
studies themselves can be simultaneously viewed as in-progress, cursory traces of art production, as well as resolved and autonomous artworks that reflexively deal with their own independent concerns.

The photographs will be posted each Thursday by 11:00 a.m. PST to

They will also exist as unique prints in an edition of 1, available through Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver and Toronto.

Please include this information in any capacity possible; contact Monte Clark Gallery if you have any questions or are in need of further material.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday10:00am to 6:00pm.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Robert Fisk: Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask
What happened was not just shameful. It was a disgrace. Would war crime be too strong a description? For that is what we would call this atrocity if it had been committed by Hamas. So a war crime, I'm afraid, it was. After covering so many mass murders by the armies of the Middle East – by Syrian troops, by Iraqi troops, by Iranian troops, by Israeli troops – I suppose cynicism should be my reaction. But Israel claims it is fighting our war against "international terror". The Israelis claim they are fighting in Gaza for us, for our Western ideals, for our security, for our safety, by our standards. And so we are also complicit in the savagery now being visited upon Gaza...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Gaza Israel Palestine

Israel is "defending itself" against a people that it dispossessed and
has occupied for decades, and specifically by bombing a densely
populated territory that it has been collectively punishing for a year
and a half. Collective punishment is illegal under the Geneva Conventions. By bombing universities, mosques, lines of graduating police recruits, farms
and houses filled with women and children, Israel is violating the law
of proportional response. It is the same strategy it pursued in its
disastrous 2006 war against Lebanon, when it fired thousands of cluster
bombs into civilian areas in the south so as to force a Shiite
population transfer, and piling up heaps of corpses with the purpose of
"bolstering its deterrence."
Such actions, in which civilian casualties are accepted or even pursued
in the interests of achieving strategic goals, are a textbook form of
state terrorism, and under the circumstances of Israel's vise-grip on
Palestinian lives, no more morally justifiable than Hamas' repellent attacks. America should not be supporting such actions, whether they are carried out by an ally or not.

Monday, January 05, 2009

the Boulting Brothers interesting early anti-nuke thriller Seven Days to Noon on TCM tonight...

Charles Ives's Ears

Moreover, while Magee conjures up rich interpretations from Ives's major works by dating many of them to World War I, she fails to address the fact that they all sprang from the so-called experimental pieces that Ives began to write in 1906, beginning with The Unanswered Question and Central Park in the Dark. These still-astounding works really do precede anything comparable in European music--not that there was anything comparable until perhaps after World War II. These miniatures present the textures and rhythms that Ives would later expand into extended musical panoramas: superimposed musical layers moving at different tempos and with different harmonies that evoked a sense of cosmic mystery. They are the core of Ives's achievement, yet Magee is at a loss to explain them. Indeed, she mentions The Unanswered Question only as evidence of Ives's current fame because the title of the piece served as a running gag on an episode of Frasier...
YouTube - Lukas Foss conducting The Unanswered Question

Central Park in the Dark

Faits Divers de la Poésie Américaine et Britannique brilliantly addresses the deafening silence of most of the "post-avant" blogging community concerning the invasion of Gaza--

Well, Guernica’s come and go… As Gaza burned, Mlle Dark, the self-appointed U.S. poetry medium of Badiou, devoted her blog to a personal “Top-40 Countdown” of pop music hits in 2008...

Yes, and as Gaza burned, the avant with 2,000,000 hits, former editor of the Socialist Review, devoted his blog today to an anecdotal homage for the 70s sitcom hit, Starsky and Hutch...

M. Hassad addressed the speaker, M. Hicks: “Could you tell us, Sir, why the Flarf School is strictly Caucasian, heterosexual, and highly
educated?” “Because,” said M. Hicks, “It would otherwise be hard to mock Asians, gays, and other subaltern groups.” Then M. Hassad stood and hurled his shoes at the speaker...

12/26 through 12/29: Three-hundred and some dozens dead in Gaza; three dead in Israel. So far, post-avant bloggers have said not a word. Then
again, three hundred and some dozens of them are in San Francisco, at the MLA, wearing masks…

And there lie the bodies
As Israel has been preoccupied with Gaza throughout the entire week, nobody has asked whose blood is being spilled and why. Everything is permitted, legitimate and just. The moral voice of restraint, if it ever existed, has been left behind. Even if Israel wiped Gaza off the face of the earth, killing tens of thousands in the process, as a Chechnyan laborer working in Sderot proposed to me, one can assume that there would be no protest.

They liquidated Nizar Ghayan? Nobody counts the 20 women and children who lost their lives in the same attack. There was a massacre of dozens of officers during their graduation ceremony from the police academy? Acceptable. Five little sisters? Allowed. Palestinians are dying in hospitals that lack medical equipment? Peanuts. Whatever happened to the not-so-good old days of Salah Shahadeh? When we liquidated him in July 2002, we also killed 15 women and children. At least back then, moral qualms were raised for a moment.
Here lie their bodies, row upon row, some of them tiny. Our hearts have turned hard and our eyes have become dull. All of Israel has worn military fatigues, uniforms that are opaque and stained with blood and which enable us to carry out any crime. Even our leading intellectuals fail to speak out on what havoc we have wreaked. Amos Oz urges: "Cease-fire now." David Grossman writes: "Hold your fire. Stop." Meir Shalev wants "a punitive operation." And not one word about our moral image, which has been horribly distorted.

The suffering in the south renders everything kosher, as if the horrible suffering in Gaza pales in comparison. Everyone is hungry for revenge, and that hunger is excused by the need for "deterrence," after it was already proved that the killing and the destruction in Lebanon did not achieve it.

Yes, I know, war is war. After all, they brought this on themselves. They are a terrorist organization and we are not. They want to destroy us and we seek peace. Still, is there nothing here that will stop this blood pipeline? Even those whose hearts are hardened by "moral righteousness" will have to momentarily halt the bombing machine and ask: Which Israel do we have before us? What will become of its standing in the world, which is now watching the events in Gaza? What are we inflicting on the moderate Arab regimes? And what of the simmering popular hatred we are sowing throughout the world? What good will emerge from this killing and destruction?

It is doubtful whether Hamas will be cut down to size as a result of this wretched war. Yet, the face of the state has been cut down to size, as have civilian elites who are apathetic and scared. The "peace camp," if it ever existed, has been cut down to size. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz authorized the Ghayan killing, regardless of the cost. Haim Oron, the leader of the "new left-wing movement," supported the launch of this foolish war.

Nobody is coming to the rescue - of Gaza or even of the remnants of humanity and Israeli democracy. The statesmen, the jurists, the poets, the authors, academe, and the news media - pitch black over the abyss...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Orwell, blinding tribalism, selective Terrorism, and Israel/Gaza - Glenn Greenwald
Former McCain-Palin campaign spokesman and current Weekly Standard editor Michael Goldfarb notes that Israel, a couple of days ago, dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on a Gazan home which killed a top Hamas leader . . . in addition to 18 others, including his four wives and nine of his children. About the killing of those innocent civilians, Goldfarb writes (h/t John Cole via email):

The fight against Islamic radicals always seems to come around to whether or not they can, in fact, be deterred, because it's not clear that they are rational, at least not like us. But to wipe out a man's entire family, it's hard to imagine that doesn't give his colleagues at least a moment's pause. Perhaps it will make the leadership of Hamas rethink the wisdom of sparking an open confrontation with Israel under the current conditions.

That, of course, is just a slightly less profane version of Marty Peretz's chest-beating proclamation that the great value of the attack on Gaza is to teach those Arabs a lesson: "do not fuck with the Jews."

There are few concepts more elastic and subject to exploitation than "Terrorism," the all-purpose justifying and fear-mongering term. But if it means anything, it means exactly the mindset which Goldfarb is expressing: slaughtering innocent civilians in order to "send a message," to "deter" political actors by making them fear that continuing on the same course will result in the deaths of civilians and -- best of all, from the Terrorist's perspective -- even their own children and other family members.

To the Terrorist, by definition, that innocent civilians and even children are killed isn't a regrettable cost of taking military action. It's not a cost at all. It's a benefit. It has strategic value. Goldfarb explicitly says this: "to wipe out a man's entire family, it's hard to imagine that doesn't give his colleagues at least a moment's pause."

That, of course, is the very same logic that leads Hamas to send suicide bombers to slaughter Israeli teenagers in pizza parlors and on buses and to shoot rockets into their homes. It's the logic that leads Al Qaeda to fly civilian-filled airplanes into civilian-filled office buildings. And it's the logic that leads infinitely weak and deranged people like Goldfarb and Peretz to find value in the killing of innocent Palestinians, including -- one might say, at least in Goldfarb's case: especially -- children...
Micro-Wars and Macro-Wars
The big long-term problem Israel has is that its assiduous colonization of the West Bank has made a two-state solution almost impossible, turning it into an Apartheid state. And if you go on practicing Apartheid long enough, that begins to attact boycotts and sanctions. And forestalling a Palestinian state means that likely the Palestinians will all end up Israeli citizens.

I was on the radio recently with John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN, and he expressed the hope that Egypt would take back Gaza and Jordan what is left of the West Bank. You may as well dream of pink unicorns on Venus. It isn't going to happen. The Palestinians are Israel's problem. War on them, circumscribe them, colonize them all you like. They aren't going anywhere, and you can't keep them stateless and virtually enslaved forever, occasionally exterminating some of them as though they were vermin when they make too much trouble. That, sooner or later, will lead to boycotts by rising economic powers and by Europe that could be extremely damaging to Israel's long-term prospects as a state.

It may still be 10 or 20 years in the future. But because of Israel's economic and demographic vulnerabilities, for it to lose the war of global public opinion may ultimately be more consequential than either macro-war or micro-war...