Sunday, March 29, 2009

I love letterpress

I am currently bidding on some type on ebay. Perhaps it is time to finish my table-top press.

Ralph Gregory

Dearest Sign Painting,

I shall conquer thee yet!

Love with all my heart,


Sparkle Mag

I got my copy of Sparkle Mag today. It indeed sparkles, and is filled with things both awkward and amazing. What are you waiting for?

Oh, P.S., Did you know I was a contributor?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wasted Time

Dear Ryan Barone,

Google Analytics has ruined my life.

Thank you very much.


Douglas Wilson

I don't know much about Douglas Wilson, other than that he has good taste, and also seems to be interested in hand painted signs, letterpress, and vintage design.

His blog is full of gems.

Nina Katchadourian

Nina Katchadourian spoke at the College of St. Rose last night. Be sorry that you missed it.

Katchadourian is an interdisciplinary artist dealing mostly with conceptual and many times humorous subject matter. Her work involves collaborations with nature, exploitations of misunderstandings, organization and appreciation of the disarray that comes from perceived failures in her work. Katchadourian was articulate and personable, slightly resembling Rachel Griffiths, both in looks and mannerisms, and I overheard the terms "cute" and "adorable" more than several times from the people around me.

Some of my favorite pieces of hers included her Mended Spiderwebs, Renovated Mushroom, Artificial Insemination, Animal Crossdressing, and CARPARK, where she organized cars at a college campus by color.

If you live where I live, you may have seen some of her work recently at Mass MoCA (Falls Colors) or a few years ago at the Tang at Skidmore, such as Accent Elimination and Talking Popcorn.

In Talking Popcorn, Katchadourian translated Popcorn popping noises using Morse Code and a computer program. A carnival style popcorn machine with a microphone inside is hard to miss in a gallery. She even had bronzed a few kernels "Talking Popcorn's First Words". You may be saddened to know that Katchadourian received a phone call from a gallery curator, letter her know that Talking Popcorn had, in effect, committed suicide. Luckily (perhaps in a silver lining sense) for Katchadourian, the computer housed within the base of the popcorn machine was not badly damaged by the flame, and she was able to have Talking Popcorn's Last Words.

Friday, March 27, 2009

That's why.....This is why.....

Students at Schenectady High School freaked out on Thursday. That is, those of them who were not otherwise on a field trip, or skipping school (Senior skip day is traditionally the day that Jumping Jack's opens, and according to the students still in school yesterday, it opened that day). The students who were left freaked out to find that rapper Mims would be hanging out in the cafeteria at lunch. Apparently, he went to college with one of the teachers or administrators. I'm sure the day was purposefully picked.

"You've never heard of Mims?!" One students asked me, flabbergasted.
I told her no, because I had never heard his name before. And quite honestly, I don't think he is that hot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tang Maohong

If you google Tang Maohong, you probably won't find his website. He is a Chinese artist working out of Shanghai. His work consists of illustrative imagery with a perverse twist. Much of this seems to be incased in circles (for Caroline), which I suppose helps create a distinction from the rectangle of the TV screen, at least in regards to his digital animations. Try to check his stuff out, but if you are for some reason offended, don't blame me. You were warned, and I'm rather fond of it.

A Gift

Sometimes people give me things they think I will like. Sometimes those people do not know me very well, if they have ever met me before (read: old people my mom knows). This, however, was not one of those times.

It should be mentioned that my mother invited my friend to a garage sale in her town....she told him about it, as she and he are both avid garage-salers. That she is inviting him to a church garage sale 45 minutes from where he lives was weird in its own right. Apparently, this friend, bringing along another friend of mine, ran into my mother. Collectively, the three decided that this would be something I would like.

They were right.

Also, it inspired me to do this!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Plug for With Hands

I set up a blog for my project. You should look at it. And then come back later and look at it again. I will be updating it as I am able. Right now, there is an illustrated pamphlet scanned for your viewing pleasure. You just might learn something. About vinegar.


I made sunless raisins. In the oven.

Steal This Book

Steal This Book Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This seemed like a book that I should have read, just because of its role in history. It began with some radical content, discussing how to survive on very little money, and the theory behind this. I enjoy reading of the schemes and scams he proposes, but I have ethical conflicts with their being carried out. Hoffman provides great resources such as inexpensive simple recipes, and lists of organizations and societies that may or may not be outdated. Some of what he suggests has been nullified by the dawn of the internet, and when he begins to suggest violence and ways to create bombs and weapons, I begin to understand why his book has been banned in many places. At the end he provides a section about several major cities (f*** Chicago, f*** New York, f*** San Francisco) and tells where in these cities to acquire goods and services for little to no money. Much of this, I trust, is outdated, but I really appreciate the spirit of the thing.

Also, maybe what bothers me most is the justification for shoplifting. It is clear that Hoffman is never trying to screw over a brother, as he always suggests leaving generous tips when pulling a dine-and-dash or whatever other scam he has devised. He claims that it is required of one to shoplift, as this "loss" is built into the price of the item.

Indeed, stores do set aside money for loss and damage, but at least in Wal*Mart, where everyone feels most justified shoplifting from, your Free-99 purchase has just taken money out of the pocket of everyone else in the store.

All of the money left over from the Wal*Mart loss pool is divided among the employees as a bonus. You, by stealing from Wal*Mart, are stealing from the people greeters, the cashiers, the old man back in lawn & garden.

But perhaps Abbie Hoffman was never aware of this sort of thing.

View all my reviews.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rainn Wilson in Galaxy Quest.

Who knew? ....or at least, who remembered?

Spock Scares Me, Too

When you google my name, you may get a whole bunch of information that has nothing to do with me. It is one of the perks to having a relatively common name.

This is less true for my friend Erin, who googled her own name and found a profile about her, with pictures and all, on the website Spock. The reason I am concerned, is that it included links of people who Erin is friends with. And of the first four or five listed, I was one.

It seems that Spock has scoured my MySpace page. I hardly use it anymore, but I keep it up for the few people that might not be able to be contacted elsewhere. I'm going to have to go back and re-read the privacy policy, because Spock has information about me that should be set to 'friends-only', as my profile is private.

It seems that this whole thing isn't so new, and I'm a little behind the ball. Read what WIRED has to say.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Introducing.... People Math

I am constantly talking about this. Ask Luke who, according to everyone else =~ Seth. I tend to disagree. When I was in Spain, everyone had a dopple-ganger. There was even a Karene Faul x Spain (yes, the nation). Anyhow, I've just begun, but once I remember my times tables, I will enrich your lives.

How do you spell a "u"?

I am currently reading Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities. I suppose I was destined to read this book, as it haunted me for two years while I worked at Ben & Jerry's. Someone had once left a copy and it sat on our shelf waiting to be claimed. For all I know, it could still be there. I don't believe I ever really read more of the book than the author's name and the title, but later when people began to mention the work of Kozol, I had a vague sense of familiarity - 'oh right! Savage Inequalities!' Some time later, in a discussion with my friend Ian about the repercussions about names like Tanajaiqua and Queenasia versus names like Madison and Francis, he recommended (what else), as it deals with inequalities (clearly). I read this to fend off the bourgeois intruder persona that could creep up on a person who grew up in Saratoga and now would like to do community-based work (art projects) in three small cities. The book looks at equity from an education standpoint, seeing this as the seedling to society. As a teacher, this resonates with me.

I substitute teach nearly every day, in districts both urban and suburban. I usually do not consider the race of the students unless the majority is overwhelming (for being practically in Troy, the school in Green Island is awash in white). Kozol talks a lot about how poverty and race lines often break at the same point. He talks about urban schools a short distance from suburban schools, and about what a difference money makes. What a school in disrepair with not enough supplies speaks to children. About using rooms for purposes they were never designed for - such as a classroom in a urinal.

As a sub, I mostly notice the behavior differences within schools. More often than not, the suburban kids are more quick to bow to authority, and kids in the city schools will press this a little more. I never really considered the facilities unless it made my job more difficult; ie, a classroom without walls, in a 'cluster' with two or three other classrooms of this type, or perhaps subbing for the art teacher who did not have a room or even a cart. She was art in a milk crate.

Things like this make my job as a glorified babysitter (some days) a little more difficult. I never really considered the effect on the students.

I began to think. I felt a little weird reading this book in Schenectady High while fighting with students who I shouldn't even bother fighting with. I think - your facilities are beautiful! You have a DANCE STUDIO in your art WING for crying out loud. I shall feel no pity for you.

Then I think back to some schools in Troy. The things Kozol was talking about, I found there.

Some elementary schools have converted bathrooms and locker rooms into offices and remedial reading / math classrooms.

There are not enough supplies for the students. I know that the art teachers depend on the supplies each year, they do not have enough to last from the year before, and it might be October before they begin receiving anything.

For a few years I have done a lot of equating children's success with the involvement of the parents. While I still think this is important, I am beginning to understand what Kozol is talking about. We trap people into self-reproducing societies. We usher our middle class tax payers into the suburbs where their children will go to school in well maintained buildings with well funded programs. Many of the people still living in cities with the money to afford it will send their kids to private schools. The people who understand how to push for better conditions are pushing for those improvements in areas where the current standard is something that many in city schools only dream of.

There are many people who are fans of the notion of pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps. How is one to do this when one's old bootstraps have disintegrated and there isn't money for a new pair?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Now give me 50 cents.

It is a beautiful day. I got out of work an hour early today, which was superb. I'm not really wearing green, though that is the requirement for getting your free cone at Stewart's. At least, that is what it always was for as long as I can remember, and I've lived in the Capital Region since I was little. When I asked for a cone, the cashier sort of looked at me funny, and then eyed me up and down, seeing if he could spot my green. I held out to him the translucent green circles hanging from long chains dangling from my ears. We had a brief discussion about how they were just barely green when he cuts me off--"you know that'll be fifty cents, right?"

"You're joking" I say.

This is not the first time today where someone asked me for a small portion of money for something that shouldn't cost anything. The security guard at the door of the school I subbed in told me he would let me back in (I had to go to my car), but for a dollar.

However, unlike the security guard, the man at Stewart's was not joking.

"Everywhere?" I ask.

He explains that because college students had exploited the free cone day last year, going from shop to shop, they now have to charge.

"But that's what you do." I replied, as I reluctantly handed him two quarters.

As he argued the value of this purchase I tried to explain to him that I don't really like ice cream, and that now I might not be able to afford beans. At this point he was no longer listening. Perhaps he thought I was joking.

Schenectady Gazette Article featuring Duto.

Pre-Duto Lark Street Free Cone Day:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Renegade Craft Fair

I would really like to apply to the Renegade Craft Fair, Which is taking place in Brooklyn On June 6 and 7 from 11am - 7pm. I went last year and it was bustling and awesome. It is free to get in (which means one wants to spend more money) but to get a booth the fee is $300. The space is 10'x10' and I've got a craft fair tent and some tables. I'm looking for 1-3 people who would like to split the fee and the space with me. Of the craft fairs I did in Troy this past winter, I made $100 a day. And that's in TROY. (Think of the money to be made in Brooklyn!)
Who's with me?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Indie Bands for Ads for Brands

Though I'm unable to find it, a few years ago, in a hostel in Madrid a TV broadcasted, mostly unwatched, from the kitchen. At one point I looked up because I noticed music from a song I was particularly fond of - Tiny Paintings from Architecture in Helsinki, if my memory serves me. The music was accompanying the ad for a TV Channel self-promo spot. Maybe Canal Cuatro?

Not long after, my friend Allie told us all that she had heard Of Montreal in an Outback Steakhouse ad. We all told her she was crazy until 15 minutes later when Jesse burst in the door claiming the same thing.

Later I heard an American TV ad Featuring another Architecture in Helsinki song.

Mates of State got into the act, making an appearance in theirs.

And my mom, who loves Regina Spektor, is always telling me about how she's heard her in commercials.

I know it isn't TV, but in a Wal-Mart in Mexico last summer, the ambient music being played included Peter Bjorn and John (In addition to James Taylor's Ohhh Mexico)

This is hardly related.

So none of this really upsets me. What does upset me, however, is when companies blatently rip off the style of a popular underground musician for their own benefit.

Case in Point?

Watch all of these Comcast ads.

Not familiar with Kimya? Start by listening to Tree Hugger by Antsy Pants (Kimya & Friends)

Some MP3s via her site: The Beer
I like Giants

And read this blog post by Kimya.

Heartless leeches.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hobo Banned Breakin' Out?

Albany's Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned was featured on the most recent NPR podcast hilighting some bands playing SXSW. Check it out.

"These are bands we've never heard of...and wanna go see"

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Armory Show - Christine Hill & Volksboutique

Woman after my own heart. I did not quite need to mention this other thing I am drawn to to my friend, who had heard me yak about hand painted signs for at least a year. This is one of the things I hope to learn to do within the next few years, and perhaps there are a few old timers around willing to have me on as an apprentice.

I'm not sure if apprenticeship is still looked upon fondly by people with such a business, but I'm always scheming ways to become someone's apprentice to learn a skill or trade.

The hand-painted signs of Volksboutique's Armory Apothecary screamed to me from across the fair. While I never quite fully digested what it was Hill was doing and selling, I was inspired by the kinship.

Perhaps Hill was selling inspiration in the form of prescriptions and peppermint candies.

I like that she describes her work as projects. This is most likely the label I will adopt for what I'm beginning to do.

The Armory Show - Julian Opie

This is for Beth to see.

At some point, I had to add to my friend that there was another thing that constantly draws my attention - stylization.

Watching Suzanne is a very sexy collection of lines, positive and negative space.
After encountering more of his work at another booth, I recognized him at the artist who did that one Blur cover. Why hadn't I known his name before?

The Armory Show - Kelly Reemtsen

If it is not clear to you why I love the work of Kelly Reemtsen, then you obviously have not really known me lately. I don't feel quite right explaining why, except perhaps that it is Figurative, A Subject Manner That I Like and That Relates To My Interests and My Artwork

This is another for Caroline to see.

The Armory Show - Robert Devriendt

In the booth of the Belgian gallery Baronian Francy, I found myself drawn to two collections of tiny and intricately crafted paintings on tiny canvases by
Robery Devriendt. These were both titled "Le Noveau Rituel" and were each of a different, seemingly unrelated image, such as a ramshead, a piece of furniture or a womans face. Apparently, Devriendt really likes sequences, and these seemingly unrelated paintings begin to create a story, in the same way that the story creating flash cards create a story, a possibly random combination.

I wanted Caroline to see this.

The Armory Show - Kwang-Young Chun

Kwang-Young Chun is a Korean artist whose work involves wrapping Styrofoam triangles with mulberry paper taken from old books. Then, these triangles are wrapped with string, and apparently tied together to construct free standing or wall-mounted sculptures. The piece that drew me was titled "Aggregation ". I had earlier explained to my friend the things that draw my attention at something as hectic as an art fair: New Tricks, Things Demonstrating Extraordinary Amount of Skill, Figurative With A Subject Matter That I Like, and Things That Relate To My Concerns or To My Art.

Chun fits into the new tricks and skill category. Though I'm sure it was tedious, his work paid off with beautifully undulating triangles that increased and decreased in size while shifting slightly in hue. My eyes enjoyed his work, finding solace in the repetition of shape, and recreation in the variety of sizes and colors.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Unfortunately, Jesus died for you too.

So I just was informed that Fred Phelps and the Wesboro Baptist Church are coming to Albany tomorrow to spread around their hatred.

They are going to protest both SUNY Albany and Albany High School, which they claim are both "fag-infested".Apparently, these kids drove them away. Here's hoping a similar thing will happen tomorrow.

The WBC wants everyone to know that God hates them and that He is punishing us for not obeying His commands and killing homosexuals. Or something like that.

Also, they think Obama is the antichrist. I really thought Bush was better suited for that role. Did people think that JFK was the antichrist?

I want to know what sort of crack they are smoking before they sit down to read their bibles. I want to know what they think when they read passages condemning pharisees. Did they miss the entire character of Christ?

I don't usually broadcast my faith because as I've matured I've come to realize that no one wants to be beaten over the head with anything. However, I can't help but rant about this!

And what about the whole book of Galatians? Do they not realize that they are bigoted legalists?

You can go up to a drunken hobo on the street and tell him he has a problem, but I doubt he will care or listen to you. However, if you have a friend with an alcohol problem, and he or she knows that you care deeply about him or her, and you go about it with love and respect, that friend is much more likely to listen to you.

Also, just because you see something as a problem doesn't mean that person does. If someone doesn't care about God, why would they care about things God says are sins? If we had to clean up first in order for God to love us: 1. No one would ever make it, and 2. There wouldn't be need for Jesus.

But there would be, and that's just it. The WBC puts the cart before the horse, and if Jesus were around today, he would probably be at the Oh Bar, getting to know the locals. And the WBC would crucify Him. Or drag Him behind a car.

This is one of those times I sort of wish that I didn't believe that Jesus died for everyone. Like Fred Phelps. But I do believe that Jesus died for everyone, even bigots.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I really like this clock

and did I mention that I still love cut paper things?

Bovey Lee

Maybe I need a website...

I used to have a website. It was fairly complicated, most of the links were broken, and I could only update it if I used a certain computer. Needless to say, this wasn't high on my priorities. I often forgot that I had it. Most of my hopes for this website were solved by Etsy, that is, to sell the things I make. When I received my yearly e-mail asking for more money, it was simple to tell him I didn't think I should have a site anymore.

Now, however, I think I need one again. I've got dreamweaver on my computer, and I don't really know how to use it. Also, I haven't really tried.

My roommate at my last residency told me that it is really important to have a website. I suppose I should listen to her, because selling paintings is her primary source of income.

And when you google my name, you don't get anything associated with me. There is a website filled with art and design I am proud to say isn't mine.

Here's hoping is available.
I suppose I should get on that.

This company might design nice objects, but there is something lacking in their website.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Closed due to Illnis

I received an e-mail from my friend Ryan Barone. I figure he wouldn't mind a little extra promotion:

On Friday, March 6, a solo exhibition of my work entitled Closed Due
to Illnis will open at Amrose Sable Gallery in Albany, New York in
conjunction with First Friday. It will feature a small selection of
photographs from the series Stump City, a long-term investigation of
my hometown of Gloversville, New York, as well as a series of hand
drawn commissioned portraits of my immediate family created solely
from written recollections.

If you are in the area, please come by and say hello.

Amrose Sable Gallery
306 Hudson Avenue
Albany, New York 12210

Ryan Barone