Screen shots of the documentary Objectified (2009) by Gary Hustwit. 1. An archive of sketchbooks lovingly labeled and dated along the spines. This is the current image on my phone lock screen right now. 2. A Buzz Aldrin toy that I wish said this. | All images by Flower via iPhone.
Objectified is on Netflix Instant and has been for years. It is something that I revisit and play as background noise when I am working
I treat it as a semi-constant thing that is one increment from a tangible DVD on my shelf.
When I saw Image #1, I walked directly over to the TV. I was attracted to the handwriting labeling each book spine. I don’t actually want to see the contents of each item. I only want to imagine them. The imagining part is more intriguing and exciting to me. I also love the idea of a person viewing an image of a humanistic bookshelf on a monitor.
Years ago, I got my designer friend a very inexpensive book for his birthday. It had the look of an ordinary paperback but the pages were all blank. In the the card, I wrote:
Fill this up with your ideas and drawings and years later when you revisit it, it will be the best thing you’ve ever read.
1. A brace to correct the hazards of working with ones hands. Image via Loose Tiger. 2. A spread showing Kim Gordon using her hands and featuring a quote from Lee Ranaldo via Curse of the Multiples. 3. Striped hands. Room 9, Magda Laguinge by Jens Langkjaer for Rika (F/W 2013-14) via blk lavandula. 4. Mixed media work done by the hands of Robert Motherwell. Image courtesy of Aubrey Stallard.
“People who do not work with their hands are parasites.”
- Jenny Holzer
Holzer’s Truisms are meant to be seen. Most people have only read them, maybe on a palm-sized wood plaque or as a projection boldly burned onto the side of a building. But in the documentary About Jenny Holzer (2011), the quote above is audible. The words actually come from her mouth.
What will you do today with your Saturday? | A short exercise that will take 2 minutes:
Is it sunny outside? Go outside. Face the sun. Let that star warm your face and heat up your arms. Now close your eyes. Take a nice deep breath. Think about someone you miss. Now try to remember a story of you and that person – one which makes you smile immediately. Let the memory become as real as the sensation of the sun.
If anything should go wrong today, revisit what has surfaced in this exercise.
I became a bit obsessed with this spiky fruit sculpture that I spotted on the shelf at the hotel. I grew up eating durian and I love it. My mother would buy one as a treat and would toil and sweat splitting it open with a hammer and hatchet. Her knuckles would occasionally slip and hit a spike. As she would serve it, I would notice her hand wounds. Extracting durian is a labor of love.
Later on as an adult, I never understood the controversy behind it. I remember explaining to my mother that people found the scent repulsive and she responded in a way that said, “I don’t understand people”. It was all in her eyes.
When I was in Thailand years ago, I remember just one warning sign boldly displayed in the hotel elevator. It stated: NO DURIANS ALLOWED. So, you can see why I found it hilarious that they had this sculpture in the hotel.
Look closely. Order is chaos. 1. A army of dice. The post description included the following: “ed: I posted this photo last summer, and someone sent it back with this red circle pointing out an imperfection!” via Things Organized Neatly. 2. An arrangement of cubes with the history erased and rewritten via Bad Textures.
My childhood friends and I decide to go to see Monster one evening at the huge theatre on Broadway. The four of us split up to use the restroom, get concessions. Bijou Phillips comes up to my friend and I and asks where the bathroom is. Then Phillips does a weird dancer twirl in front of my friend and freaks her out a bit. I tell Bijou that I’m going to the bathroom so she follows. We take the elevator. I ask what movie she is seeing and she tells me – Monster. I get excited and tell her I am too. I head back to my friends who are already seated.
I am about to enter the aisle, my friends are quietly laughing, their hands covering their mouths and they’re pointing to the seats directly in front of us. I have no idea what is going on. I ask, “What’s so funny?” Then I look and realize that Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Bijou Phillips, and random guy are sitting directly in front of us. Now, I’m laughing. If I wanted to, I could tap Yoko on the shoulder or snatch her hat off of her head.
I vividly remember a couple of things from that night. 1. Yoko’s response to an anti-drug commercial was hysterical laugher. 2. The love between Sean and Yoko that still makes me emotional. Yoko had a raucous cough and every time it started up during the movie, Sean would quickly open up this bottle of water and hand it to her.
As the movie ends and the credits were running, the four of them get up to leave while the theatre is still dark. Sean looks at his mother and asks, “Where is your hat? Weren’t you wearing a hat?” Yoko touches her head and looks around. Sean looks under the seats. Then I watched him lay on the floor of the theatre trying to find and retrieve his mother’s hat. It was amazing.
They disappear. As we enter the theatre lobby, I see a man do a double take at the party that quickly breezed by him. He turns to his date and asks, “Was that Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono?”
While my friend was away at Lake Como, we were corresponding by email. About a month ago, I sent her an excerpt transcribed word for word from my sketchbook from last year during my CA/HI/OR trek.
>>> Excerpt below was written on a plane to LAX on April 16th, 2013:
A Moveable Feast, page 3 – Hemingway is in a cafe and is admiring a girl…
“I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all of Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”
Then, he looks up for her — and she is gone.
“I hope that she’s gone with a good man, I thought, but I felt sad.”
This snapshot* from Inventory Magazine triggered a lot of memories in me. I like the creepy, voyeuristic quality and the story you can imagine around this image. The photographer want to capture a memory. What happened in the terminal? What did the object of his/her affection say or do that caught his/her attention. Does he/she even know her?
We’ve all been there. Desiring from a distance. Admiring someone from afar while commuting to work. Glancing at people while standing in line picking up coffee. Viewing into the windows of our electronic devices, that shameful and radiant glow on our face.
I was looking at some of Arp’s work this morning and gave myself a quick exercise. Look at the object and quickly think of the first fashion ad or photograph that it reminds you of. Now, post and share.