Sunday, March 30, 2008


Today was the dedication of the new monument to the Spanish Civil War's Abraham Lincoln Brigade in San Francisco.

There's much of a story here and I will try to fill in some of the holes in-time...for the time being I did want to post the pictures from the phone.

Now, let's get progressive...

A quote from Paul Robeson:

Mayor Gavin Newsome

Artist Walter Hood

An image of Paul Robeson orating

The gathered crowd...

The artist Ann Chamberlain’s constant companion Victor Zaballa and their friend Jerome Garchik.

Chamberlain's been engaged in battle with disease for the past several years. Victor writes, "Please keep her in your prayers and good thoughts. She is capable of surprising everyone and recover from this. She has done it before; she is particularly gifted in performing well under pressure and against all odds. So I am confident that we have a Gatita Ann for a very long time."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Moira's Alice/Alice's Moira

She lives....she lives...on my radio, my BBC on a Saturday afternoon and in the mind and poetic sweet ramblings of Dr. Moira Roth.

Still an inspiration at 103
...The first thing I noticed about Alice Herz-Sommer was her incredible warmth and optimism. It's all the more amazing when you consider she is a holocaust survivor, her beloved husband died at Auschwitz six weeks before the end of the war. And then there's the not so small fact that she is 103 years old. Alice's energy defies age and she still plays the piano every single day. "For me music is God", she said, and it was her gift for music that saved her from death at the Terezin concentration camp near Prague where she spent two gruesome years with her young son. About 35,000 prisoners perished there...

writes the columnist...a year ago, actually. Today's broadcast had been recorded much more recently. I could not find the link to the media file, yet.

Moira Roth did a performance in tribute to her dear friend Alice Sommer a couple of years ago at MAGNES. Moira has performed it around the world.

To view full documentation about the performance, including reference to the MAGNESpresentation, you can download a pdf from DOCUMENTA magazine here. (It's a very cryptic-type web site...good luck.)

I did not know that Alice was as famous as it ends up that she is. I think she studied with Mahler... Moira speaks so quietly about her, as if Alice's life is isolated.

I think Moira still posts poems about Alice on the bulletin board at Nabolom -- Alice and her dear friend Rose. Nabolom is a tiny little off-the-beaten-path community bakery in Berkeley. It's not far from the MAGNES. It's where I first met Dr. Roth in-person and by happy accident.

Moira is one of the world's most respected art critics and historians. Moira's crafted a fictional character who transcends space and time yet along plausible arcs. Her name is Rachel Marker. She writes letters to Kafka as the Nazis enter Austria.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lev Manovich

For Lev, click the title bar.

For databeautiful, click the image above.

and see.

HIlary: The Terminator?

The article in this Sunday's New York Times by Maureen Dowd (read click here.)

She writes:

It is a tribute to Hillary Clinton that even though, rationally, political soothsayers think she can no longer win, irrationally, they wonder how she will pull it off.

It’s impossible to imagine
The Terminator, as a former aide calls her, giving up. Unless every circuit is out, she’ll regenerate enough to claw her way out of the grave, crawl through the Rezko Memorial Lawn and up Obama’s wall, hurl her torso into the house and brutally haunt his dreams.

“It’s like one of those movies where you think you know the end, but then you watch with your fingers over your eyes,” said one leading Democrat.

OUCH. Too vivid.

Dowd goes on:

On Friday in Charlotte, N.C., Bill Clinton, the man who once thanked an R.O.T.C. recruiter “for saving me from the draft” during Vietnam, sounded like Sean Hannity without the finesse.

Extolling John McCain as “an honorable man,” and talking about McCain’s friendship with his wife, the former president told veterans: “I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country. And people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics.”

Bill what did we do to you to make you talk like this?! Bill, what happened?

And to think they're all reacting to the speech below:

now mobile blogging...

...stay tuned

so I figgered out how to take pix from the phone, make a short comment and post it to the blog...may not do this much; but very interested to see the outcomes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

McCain Sounds Like Reagan

It was eerie...I was making Emil breakfast this morning. I usually have the Morning Edition playing on the background, y'know...and I hear Reagan's voice and I was spooked, I mean spooked!

What was he doing back on the sound box?!

They hadn't say anything about his birthday or an anniversary of him having done something or anything...and his voice appears out-of-the-blue.

ooooo, it was McCain as part of some regular news updates...McCain. McCain sounding just like that ominous, omnipresent voice of my youth -- the how I came to understand Big Brother, the reason I checked out of politics and being American...

Oh, please don't bring it all back. Not now.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Facing Horror & Language

I am just about finished with this collection of Orwell essays. Man, there is a frankness that may now be gone. Everyone lies now. Me thinks Orwell came at a moment of truth that passed within itself and in his very writing. As soon as it arrived it was gone.

Just as Marxism's practical utopianism was turning its corner and western civ's waking up from centuries of royal broke. And Orwell was there to report it all -- the Spanish Civil War was the moment maybe? And as the young bride turned flush around the corner, sweet and smiling...her life and life's mission were gone.

O.K., so everyone knows this about Orwell already, but...

Now I am to read about Nathan Shapell and am ordering Witness to Truth, his memoir about his experiences in Auschwitz and his life following. This may be way to much for me to bear. The factness of the Holocaust is not something we see here now. The blown off legs of American soldiers, if even on the cover of the newspaper do not persuade us to "disengage." To what?! All language is politics. Me thinks Orwell came at a moment of truth that passed within itself and in his very writing.

To warm myself up I am going to read Primo Levi first.

I will read myself to sleep with a glass of milk beside the bed. And I will keep my milk in a Care Bear glass. I hope to invoke childhood reverie before I sleep so I do not dream so drearily.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Great Piece on Transformation of Voluntarily Forced Interaction

Local Freelance writer' Dan Fost who has been getting amazing national bylines writes about his experience at the SWSX Interactive festival. He starts with a focus on the interview with Mark "facebook" Zuckerberg. Click the pic below to link to full interview or the embedded version further down.

Then Fost goes onto detail some of the new type occurrences at conferences, like:

When the panel, on "Social Media Metrics," started to drag, according to Dave Evans of Digital Voodoo, a social media consulting firm in Austin, "you could see the laptops flip up and see the twitters happening." The panelists saw they were not giving the information that the audience wanted, and refocused the presentation, Evans said. "It was a really interesting collision between the Twitter back-channel and the live, public-facing channel," Evans said. "We always say that the crowd is taking control in a marketing buzzword kind of way," Owyang said, "but now it's actually happening.

Read the full article at by clicking here. This is a good one that seems like its got some legs. The interview's all the buzz now.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Posting from

The piece itself is interesting, I guess; but more I am curious to see that this posting appears to be an almost inadvertent peek into the Chronicle exploring an on-line media-based offering through this broadcast.

If my impression's a right one, does that mean the marketing's scattershot or subtle and, um, "viral"? I only came across this because I was weblooking for Suzanne Herel who I think I met this weekend.

She was visting her friend, and so were we.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Kehinde Wiley

...saw a few Kehinde Wiley paintings at the National Portrait Gallery two weeks ago as part of a project there entitled Recognize!...schweet piece of sincere engagement.

And, man, they got this new Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard with the Norman Foster Roof...Emil had a blast.

My sweet, ten-ish nephew Gabe had no idea who Ice-T is. A Law & Order reference wasn't going to help, and certainly not "Cop Killer." In case you did not know, Ice-T's pictured in the portrait here, also looking like Napolean like the equestrian portrait above does.

An interesting essay in one of the publications available in the museum store around Recognize! was for an exhibitoin at the Columbus Museum of Art by Kehinde Wiley entitled Columbus...OMG -- some bada$$ museological practice. There's a nice essay in the publication by Franklin Sirmans. Sirmans cites a few artists, including:

Shinique Smith, who also happened to have a piece in the Recognize! project, a collaboration with Nikki Giovanni

Sun Tek Chung
Samuel Fosso
Marilyn Minter
Barkley Hendricks

...write 'em all down.