July 16, 2009

Objetsmart Summer Edition: Jheri Redding's Hammers


Since I concocted the term objetsmart 2 years ago, my definition of it has changed a number of times. Originally inspired by many years of obsessing over the late 60s Roy Lichtenstein's series of paper plates he created for Bert Stern's concept shop, On 1st, over time, I allowed the definition to meander. I admit: I abused the term to define anything I felt was cool. I justified it by believing that if I created the term, I could define it as I pleased.

But as time has passed, I've actually been able to discover objects that are closer in vein to the original proof of an objetsmart: a useful tactile object that when engaged, even in 1 time use, transforms into another, often useless object. Just think of it as a high-art glow stick.

Lichtenstein plate in point: it's a paper plate. Study it in all its graphic splendor, perhaps even frame it, but god forbid you actually use it as a paper plate! It's a real-life Lichenstein. But really, it's just a paper plate. In an era before mass modern art merchandising, the Lichtenstein paper plate was a strange and funny object to own, because it wasn't thought of as disposable. Everytime I look at my friend's one, I imagine him telling me, "I couldn't afford a painting, but I did manage to get a paper plate!"

My other favorite example of an objetsmart is Christian Marclay's glass drumsticks. A gorgeous object. 1 beat only!

Now Jheri Redding has molded hundreds of hammers out of wax. Perfect objects, they're in rainbow shades and on display this summer at the Samuel Freeman gallery. I'm tempted to buy one, just to see how long it can survive life in my house, before I try hanging up some art using it. These hammers are endlessly fun to contemplate and at the end of the day, what more can you ask for in an object of art?

May 12, 2008

A Fela Monday

Recently, I've moved my desk into the dining room to be closer to my records and naturally, my Fela Kuti boxed sets. The dining room, or whatever one desires to call the nook between the living room and kitchen, seems like a suitable center of gravity for my little house and I like the fact that it's sunny yet private. I have windows on three sides, but a wall on the left from behind where I write. My turntables sit on an old wooden desk we found on the street and a mid-century cherry cabinet turned sideways. All thanks to Mr. Rae who concocted the set-up when he was staying with me a few years back. While it's been moved a number of times and I finally replaced my studio monitors, much of my setup remains the same. Excellent needles, trusty MK-2's bought from a foreign exchange student a decade ago, an inherited mixer. There's something very soothing to me spending my afternoons writing and listening to Fela.

Always has been, always will.

But perhaps what has recently been thrilling is the discovery of the excellent new Tom McCarthy film, "The Visitor" and its 2 minute Fela montage, simply cinema at its most joyous. While I can't clip that, I offer you this: a title sequence project on the man whose music is the inspiration for so many of my words, then, now and always.

November 12, 2007

The Zoltar Films and the Zoltar Challenge

My mother used to have a red t-shirt when I was a child. It stated, "All I Really Want To Do Is Direct."
Sometimes I must admit I am my mother's daughter.

Today, I got inspired. Here's the first short in a new series I am curating, entitled, "The Zoltar Films." For all of you Zoltarians around the world, let's start sharing our fortunes...

Here's the rules:

A one shot film no editing.
You must incorporate a shot of a Zoltar machine and hear him recite a fortune.

Send me your films! May the best fortune win...something wonderful...(I have to figure out what)

August 14, 2007

Lovely Day - Old School Style

The only thing that would get me more excited than seeing Morris Day @ Sunset Junction would be to see Bill Withers.

And this amuses me....

July 31, 2007

The passing of 2 masters

When I was a child, film directors were everything to me. That's because we moved to Los Angeles so my mother could work with them. While other children practiced soccer on Saturdays, I practiced cinema, tagging along while my mother organized screenings and moderated discussions with directors about their films. It was inevitable that while fascinated by cinema, and enamored by the larger than life personalities of directors, I would reject film as an occupation. Nevertheless, this never stopped me from passionately loving it.

From time to time, I have one of those days where I gulp after I hear the news of a famous director passing. In the past 24 hours, there have been two: Sweden's Ingmar Bergman and Italy's Michelangelo Antonioni. While I could handle one in a day, the prospect of two has me in tears, for these were no ordinary filmmakers, these men were auteurs. These filmmakers changed people's lives with their works. They inspired others to dream with motion. Their works encouraged countless others to make choices to spend their lives devoted to creating stories of their own. Today, it is as if two of my great-uncles have passed.

Having never visited Sweden, I have always imagined Sweden through Ingmar Bergman's work. This paradoxical land of beauty and darkness, where the gorgeous grapple with death through long winters and celebrate with no abandon during all-to-brief summers. I was probably nine or ten the first time I watched "The Seventh Seal" and I remember lying in bed that night hoping that I got better at playing chess before I met the man in the black cloak. For some years after, I was convinced that everyone Swedish played chess and so whenever I met anyone Swedish, I'd always suggest checkers.

I was introduced to Antonioni later when I was in film school and watched "Il Deserto Rosso" five times one week. At the time, I don't think I had ever seen such a vividly arresting film made about female depression. The vacancy of the character's interior and exterior worlds resonated with my own feelings on privilege and wealth. The film left me utterly despondent and I was intent on figuring out why. Like a detective, I wrote extensively about the elements of it, trying to dissect why it fascinated me until I gave up and admitted it was just a fantastic film. Antonioni's verve for filmmaking, like Death in the Seventh Seal, prevailed. The minimal pre-techno score still gives me shivers, and for a long period of time after, every time I entered a red room, I couldn't help but hum some score.

But these are only remembrances of two films by filmmakers that collectively created many interesting works, constantly challenging themselves and their viewers. They seemed to approach filmmaking with the same precision that 19th century writers approached novels. Each work stood singularly on its own, each piece comprised of a meticulous individual world packed with a unique cast of characters. Many of their plots were simple, but the films possessed umpteenth transcendental moments. Shots, scenes and ultimately the film as a whole are essential parts of my own visual montage of life.

As I write this, I become less and less sad, and more and more curious to revisit some of their films and to watch others I've never seen. As this is one of the loveliest part about films, while its makers may be mortal, their works remain immortal.

In any event, cheers to the spirit of this two filmmakers..

July 30, 2007

99 entries and a David Lynch rap is one

I thought I would be watching a preview of Inland Empire.
Instead I found this.

June 28, 2007

Jphone doesn't work on Shabbos

It's been quite a camp week in the City of Angels with people pitching their tents for a glimpse of Paris, a listen of Paul and the satisfaction of being the first to own an Iphone.

So just to keep our obsessions in perspective, take a look at the Jphone. It reminds me a lot of talking to my grandpa, except it would be Bombay instead of Schnapps.



June 06, 2007

The Lost Remixes Collection on objetsmart

Moving On Remixed

The Knife redo a quintessential song from my life, Hird's "Keep You Kimi" featuring the luscious vocals of often Koop songstress, Yukimi Nagano, slowed down to sex changing speed. Yes, if you're expecting to listen to the enthusiastic jazz delight of Ms. Nagano, it ain't happening on this remix. The Knife's version is a radical change from the original, one of those feel good pinch yourself it's summer anthems that spent much time on repeat and is worth a download.

Nonetheless, my favorite remixes are those that share little from the original; that make you question how a producer retells a story that's already been successfully shared.  Too often we forget that remixes are not covers, nor should they ever be.

This particular record exists in radio space; driving in the car in the dark alone, thinking about everything and nothing at all. This is what I hear.  


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May 13, 2007


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May 08, 2007

CSI:La Quinta


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January 13, 2007

Do It Yourself Prints - Banksy II

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January 08, 2007

Plates Part Deux (2)


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