16 January 2009

Some Contemporary Artists

I enjoy the Taschen book Art Now, a 190-page rapid survey published in 2001 of the artists the authors think are worth knowing about. Sure, that method has its drawbacks, but I really responded to some of the snippets in there. Did some web browsing on them:

Matthew Barney, who "stages timeless fictions in the form of hybrid installations, filmed performances and stylized videos." From what I gather, he films intricately-staged fictional environments, and then exhibits photographs (still frames) of those films. I think. They had it at Mass MoCA once. His Cremaster series is evidently his best-known work. Here's CREMASTER 1, which includes the cinematic trailer.

Thomas Demand also photographs fictional scenes, but he is more likely to create a stark office out of simple materials and than take a snapshot - but we don't realize it's of a fake office. (Once the PHOTOGRAPHS page loads, you can moveover to scroll some of his collection. I like "Studio.") The MoMA exhibition notes say, "Demand begins with a preexisting image culled from the media, usually of a political event, which he translates into a life-size model made of colored paper and cardboard."

Katharina Fritsch's eerie super-sized models of, I don't know, people at meetings and giant rats.

Jenny Holzer, but, hey, everyone likes Jenny Holzer. I mean, a strong sense of duty imprisons you, right?

I'd like to see Henrik Plenge Jakobsen's work in person:

And I doubt I will tire of Jeff Koons. His site is an exhaustive catalog of his work.

Steven Pippin "...succeeds in recalling for a brief moment those sentimental hopes that were once placed in photography and television..."

I wish they had included Arthur Ganson, Anna Hepler, and Steve Hollinger.


14 January 2009

Pantry Dinner: Diced marinated pork with bacon, cilantro, rice, and beans

Hello -

(This post is for the "benefit" of my Facebook friends.) From time to time I like to share my culinary adventures and mishaps. In the middle of cooking this, I thought that it was going to trainwreck into disaster-land - but somehow it all came together. Fortunately this is a keeper for me, rather than an entry from the diary of my disqualification from Home Top Chef. Not yet at least.

  • 2 boneless pork chops cut into 1"-cubes
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans - open and drain the beans now so you don't burn the garlic later
  • 1/2-ish cup of chicken stock
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup of Chiavetta's marinade (come to think of it, it's unlikely you'd have this on hand, but I suppose salting the pork would get you halfway there) (thank you Bridget)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 5 pieces of good bacon - e.g. Boar's Head - sliced into 1/2"-wide fingers
  • 1 little packet of Sazon Goya (why we have this I have no idea)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Rice, like a few cups of brown or white rice

Find yourself a decent sautee pan, like a heavy Calphalon
  1. Put the pork cubes into a bowl or bag and marinate in Chiavetta's for 15-30 minutes
  2. Fry the bacon fingers (excuse me, lardons) on medium-low heat until they're done, remember to flip them, and transfer to a paper towel-covered-plate
  3. Turn heat up to medium-high
  4. Place the pork cubes into the pan, shaking off the marinade, for about 4 minutes per side. Check the pork to make sure you don't over-cook it. They should brown nicely.
  5. Transfer pork to a bowl and set aside
  6. Turn heat back down to medium-low and sautee the garlic until fragrant
  7. Add the cilantro
  8. Make sure you don't burn the #&@! garlic, tough guy!
  9. Add both kinds of beans
  10. Stir up all that goodness
  11. Add the chicken stock, Sazon Goya, pork cubes, bacon, and stir
  12. Bring to a boil
  13. Bring down to a simmer, add the lime if you actually have it
  14. Reduce it until you're tired of reducing it; the goal here is to keep it wet
  15. Cover the pan
  16. Taste it and marvel at your impromptu brilliance
  17. When the rice is done, feel free to add it to the pan and mix well, and let it simmer some more. Add some chicken stock to keep it moist, if needed.
  18. When your tired family comes home from their play date, feed them, and bask in your own glory

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13 January 2009

Scott Kirsner on his _Inventing the Movies_; 3-D conference

Hi -

Just a quick note; if you are interested in the history of cinema or the ups-and-downs of marketing a disruptive technology, you might want to attend journalist Scott Kirsner's last two East Coast book tour events: Thurs. Jan. 15 (Concord Free Public Library) or Wed. Feb. 11's chat at the Boston Public Library. He'll be discussing his new book, Inventing the Movies.

Also, the SPIE-IS&T's Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference is next week in San Jose, CA. 20th anniversary! Hoo-ah. You don't need to bring your anaglyph or polarized glasses, because, as all the cool kids know, they give them to you there.


ps Optics people: have you seen the great talks scheduled for the New England Section of the OSA? Photolithography, computational photography, and biological imaging...

10 January 2009

Brief graphic design / packaging rant

Hi there -

It's possible that I'm drinking too much espresso-that-I-thought-was-coffee, reading webpages about how to use my Moka Express, and traveling to Helvetica-saturated continents. But have you seen the awful redesign of the Tropicana brand?

I was shopping at Stop & Shop and almost missed the orange juice section because it looked like a blankish wall of... I don't know... industrial-grade biochemical products, or no frills dry milk, or signage for a Swedish hospital.

No! It's the Tropicana redesign! Enjoy it here. (@ underconsideration.com )

Don't even get me started on the Eurostile-ification of MA, the newest victim being the Capitol Theatre (following the Alfewife typography mishap, I guess).

Woah, who put the extra snobby in my espresso today?


02 January 2009

Private Equity glossary (humor) / EDGE 2009 Questions

Happy New Year!

I thought this was funny: peHUB's "Translating PE-Speak" by Erin Griffith. But let's stick to our knitting.

Edge posted responses to their 2009 Annual Question, "What will change everything?" Hear what Brockman's posse has to say.