Archive - Aug 2007

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portland - 13Well, as you might have guessed (if you didn't know already) by the 2-week silence on this blog (which ended 3 entries ago, i hate when bloggers post just to say how sorry they are for not posting for awhile), I was on vacation again. O and I drove north to Oregon in a rental car, outfitted with a borrowed bike rack so we could bring our bikes. It was a bit trying spending so much time in a car, but we had a lot of fun too. We camped a lot on the way, and we saw 4000 year old trees and volcanic mud pools and coastal dunes and coyotes and a seal and lots of old friends.
I have a set of my best photos from the trip on Flickr. Sadly my still camera seems to be dying, placing random crunchy bars of color on some photos. Which sucks because i can't really afford to buy a new one at this point. But to be fair, I've taken about 10,000 shots since I bought the thing in December 2004, so i've gotten a lot out of it.

Survellance as Speech

Good article by Naomi Klein is on Alternet about the SPP protests and authorities videotaping protesters supposedly so that the leaders being petitioned can see the protesters from a safe distance.

Like contestants on a reality TV show, protesters at the SPP were invited to vent into video cameras, their rants to be beamed to protest-trons inside the summit enclave. It was security state as infotainment

Getting Free

For the new, fourth issue of the Dry River zine, coming out soon, I wrote a review of a really good new book called "Getting Free." It's also sort of a review of John Holloway's book, "Change the World Without Taking Power." For those of you who don't want to wait to get a copy of the zine, you can
download the PDF of my review here.

Inland Empire

I saw David Lynch's Inland Empire earlier this summer and someone just asked me what I thought. As I told him, i've got mixed feelings, more so than his older stuff. i've been a Lynch fan for a long time (i guess since i first saw Eraserhead like 17 years ago). but his last 2 films, Mullholland Drive and Inland Empire, have disappointed me. i still loved to watch and listen to them just for the sensory experience (he's always been really amazing with the sound design on his films, in addition to cinematography), but beyond that I just have felt frustrated. i feel like he's been in a rut or a formula for his last 2 or 3 films, maybe even purposely repeating himself and being annoying just to see how far he can push his fans. and the gratuitous and almost sexist softporn bits are just plain juvenile and irritating, i think.

but i guess i'd like to see it again sometime and see if i feel different after repeated viewings, or if i can actually get more meaning out of the stuff that seemed like just gratuitous meaningless bizarreness for the sake of being bizarre.

in my opinion his best works are still Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart (and the Twin Peaks tv series)...

New Pan Left Video Blog

Last night we of the Pan Left video collective had a public party to celebrate the launch of our new video-sharing bloggy drupal-powered website, I built this site, the most complicated Drupal site i've done, though the custom theme was not my work. I'm pretty happy with it, though there are still a lot of tweaks to do on it, like I still don't have flash display of the videos working yet.

The party was fun too. I made a timelapse video of most of it that is quite entertaining to watch.

Now O and I are getting ready to go on a 2-week roadtrip to Portland via Yosemite and the Oregon Dunes. It's a vacation we have been wanting to take together for quite awhile. I will be pretty non-online for a lot of the next 2 weeks, starting tomorrow, so be patient if you email me...

IMDB Finally Lists 'On The Edge'

I'm not sure how long it's been there, but the entry for my film about the Juarez femicides is finally on the Internet Movie Data Base. I submitted it over a year ago, in March 2006, and for months afterward I repeatedly went back to check if it had been approved and posted, wrestling with the extremely irritating and difficult IMDB bureaucracy. There seemed to be some mysterious reason why they wouldn't post it and nobody to ask what that reason was. Eventually I gave up. Now suddenly I stumbled across the entry while searching for other Juarez information.

They also cite a review I had not seen before. In related news, the cheesy J-Lo movie about the femicide, "Bordertown," is supposedly being released into limited theaters at the end of this month. I have planned for a while to make flyers for people to pass out at screenings, explaining the real facts so people can learn that this isn't quite how the hollywood version portrays it. With my luck, the film won't even show here in Tucson.

rostock fotos

I've been way slower than I thought I'd be organizing my photos from my trip to Europe. imc in rostockI don't know what my problem is. I've had plenty of free time in the last month, but just haven't been bothered to deal with the hundreds of photos. Maybe this is telling. If I don't care, will anyone? And will I, later? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe I'm just a lazy dork.

Anyway, I've put together another Flickr set of the best of my photos from the G8 protests and just wandering the streets of Rostock. Coming up yet, a set of Prague photos, a set of photos from Documenta 12, and a set of other miscellaneous photos from Germany. Hopefully I'll get to these soon, but don't hold your breath, judging by my past few weeks of slothlike dedication.

Tierra y Libertad

Last night at Solar Culture there was a great event organized by a local group called Tierra y Libertad, which is not only a community youth organizing group but also contains within it a hip hop group of the same name. They mix radical hip hop of a really high musical quality together with radical political organizing that is nevertheless firmly grounded in the latino community here in Tucson. The event last night was a fundraiser and an outreach event for their Stop the Raids campaign, working to educate the community about the ICE deportation raids going on and what immigrants' rights are. They had tons of educational material, books, CDs, videos, and the hip hop group performed as well as a rapper from DF called Akil Ammar who was really great and politically militant as well.

Here's a rough clip I shot with my phone of Tierra y Libertad.

"Blast from the past that singes the present"

There's a great review in the New York Times of 2 shows in NYC of paintings by Peter Young, a really good friend of O's (she took the photo of him in Oaxaca, below, which appears in the article, though they failed to credit her). He's an amazing guy and a great abstract painter who sort of dropped out of the New York art scene and settled in Bisbee, Arizona 3 decades ago, lives in an old hotel downtown that he bought for almost nothing in the 70s.
I like this passage of the review:

He roamed about the American Southwest and spent several months in Spain and Morocco. By the time one of his dot paintings made the cover of Artforum in April 1971, he was gone for good. In 1972 he settled more or less permanently in Bisbee, Ariz., where he continues to live and work. He stopped painting when the war in Iraq began and involved himself more deeply in political causes.

He's a member of Bisbee-based humane border activists Citizens for Border Solutions and he appears in a video of mine about a bi-national fiesta in Naco.

O is pretty excited about this. It's the rediscovery of his career that Peter has always told her would happen. She has 2 of his paintings hanging in her apartment. The review is 3 pages in the paper version of the Times today and starts on the front page of the Arts section.

Read on for the complete article that i cut and pasted in case you don't want to log into the Times site or you're reading this after they archive it into the dumb non-free part of their site.