Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Babbling Nonsense 315

A sampling of my ART315 notes from this evening. They accurately reflect the structure of the course in all its ridiculousity.

25 Feb 2009

estaban's comment on kant after ducamp; "laced with opinion"
estaban calls out designs as being kitch
dani speaks
he really doesn't speak english like a normal person

cyclic arguments about what you like is what you like....what you take you alter it

jans comment
seans comment

"art" side of the room...fine artist
why is that funny
so they don't make art?
what does it say on this sheet fine arts visual communications. thats the end of that
james and brandon from other side of room: we're fine arts


ART---someone didnt have that concept....or Art or art
what would ARt be?

pretty pictures----avant garde "culture terrorist slash punk rockers"
i'm going to look into this square and you can't tell me what to look like

pastige="parody with purpose or humor"

right now

CAPITAL in conversation since mid 19th c
we haven't created anything new lately
what doesnt exist anymore?....
post post modernism
capital desolves, new forms arise
decter decter decter

no internets in their lexicon!

warhol reading-written while warhol was alive
"why was it obvious?"
warhol has more painting of jesus christ (that he did himself) than the vatican
brand become overwhelming
.....talking nonsense excitedly......
bathroom break.

talking about fashion, color

animal collective--new music that goes back to sewing and stitching

"why are you laughing?"
"she said she enjoys life"

meem, people find it funny..."i don't find it funny at all"-games

warhol not popular b/c of mini warhols

(last lecture: "greenberg is a duche")

technology references...lots of people on the planet
two girls 1 cup ?????

back to meem....james proctor "i was hoping you wouldn't make me define it"

"stealing credit card numbers"?


'anyone who liked modest mouse before 2001 is really pissed off'

omg...fucking damin herst
he thinks its one of the best pieces of art in the past 50 years
ahhhhh! goddamn it.
for the love of god; skull- mortality, platium- money, greed
damien hirst:art
the skull was brilliant because of michael phelps (smoking weed, fucking swimmers lungs)
he keeps drawing a skull


sometimes gives of a gay vibe via tone of voice

multi-national capitalism

"we talked dirty"....ew

i drank ovaltene and then burped up last nights cheeseburger i am wearing the remnants on a lanyard.

Vietnam: Day 8

Day 8 (Sunday, Jan 11, 09): Cruising Ha Long Bay (B, L, D, G)
Your time will be your own in the morning. Around noon, we'll check out of our lodgings and board the boat, a wooden junk build from the model of the old Vietnamese court vessels with sails, a wide transom and rectangular superstructure, that will take us first to the busy World Heritage area and then some less well-known grottoes and caves. Weather permitting, you'll be able to swim, fish, climb a hill for an overview of the Bay's remarkable seascape, or venture into some of the sea level caves in a small sampan. All meals will be provided on board, usually based on fresh seafood, and student pairs will sleep in a twin cabin with an en suite toilet and shower.

no journal entry for this day

random shot:

good shot:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vietnam: Day 7

Day 7 (Saturday, Jan 10, 09): Ha Long- Class Session (B)
Art 382: Alternative Process Session.

10 Jan 2009 11:09pm Ha Long City
I'm not really sure where to begin here. It really has been one of the least productive, most frustrating days of the trip so far. We got into the city last night, showered, washed clothes and slept in our first beds for days. The bed was great. The shower was better. Ange and I over slept breakfast this morning because my alarm clock apparently doesn't work correctly. Amiee, James and Sophie went to the hospital with P because they are sick, so the class session for today was postponed and then cancelled. Turned out, P's feet are swollen to twice their original size and she can barely walk. So tomorrow morning it is likely that she will leave the group to get treated in Hanoi. So, needless to say, there was some general tension and concern running through the group regarding that. However, its probably going to be fine. We get on the boat for the island tomorow and we'll be with the same guide we've been with and we'll just be able to shoot......And, especially after such a pain in the ass, frustrating day I really miss Ben. I just wish I had the one person in the universe who could really make me believe that everything wold be alright just through love and cuddles. I don't know what to do with myself for the rest of the night. I don't really feel like going down to P's and looking at photos, I'm not sure if I'm, I don't know.

Looking back....
Yea, wasn't a great day. We literally had to convince P to go to the doctor. We also had a crit were we looked though most people's 500 photos; that was totally ridiculous. Although, she did like a lot of my shots, which was good. Other than that...oh yea, a few people got Vietnamese pizza for lunch that day and I tasted it. Bad decision. Toppings, not bad. But the crust was some hard, nasty flat bread. Very bad.

random photo:

good photo:

Monday, February 23, 2009

String Theory, Line and Color

finally, some (small) new stuff:

oil on canvas paper, 9"x7"

oil on canvas, 8"x10"

Vietnam: Day 6

Day 6 (Friday, Jan 9, 09): Pu Luoong/Thanh Hoa/Ha Long (B, L, G)
This morning, we'll hike around the village, then head to Hin village where your vehicles will be awaiting for you to take you to a local market-on the way. It's an excellent opportunity to photograph the local commodities, the interactions between buyers and sellers, and the culture of Pu Luong's minority communities.
From there, we drive to visit the remarkable water wheels of the Muong people. After lunch, we'll take a ferry to cross Ma River and hike a kilometer to visit Cam Thuy 'Scared Fist Stream'. We then drive to Ha Long City where we'll spend the night.
The Sacred Fish Stream is a unique and mysterious experience. Fast-flowing water gushes out of a cave at the base of a limestone precpice. Just outside the mouth of the cave where the current is strongest, dozens of large freshwater fish with pink-tipped fins congregate and jostle to be as close to the cave entrance as possible. They remain there all day, occasionally breaking off to swim downstream to feed and then return to the group. They are entirely oblivious to people-you can pabble amongst them if you wish, but beware of slippery stones and the strong current. The nearby villagers revere the fish and protect them from poachers, which may account for the fishs' indifference to human interlopers.

no journal entry from this day

Looking back...
This is was very light day, thankfully. We walked from the homestay for about 5 minutes and saw the vans waiting for us, which was a reilef. Drove and drove and drove. Sacred fish stream...pretty cool, but not as exicting as it sounds. I also didn't get too many great shots there. We ate another delicious lunch. P ate chicken head. She also bought a large knife. We get to Ha Long City at night and ate some yummy pho and/or rice for dinner and P bought some of us our first beers that was had in the country. Yay for my first legel beer: Bai Hanoi!

random shot:

good shot:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

alternate processes: decals, emulsion lifts, tranfers and cyanotypes

Vietnam: Day 5

Day 5 (Thursday, Jan 8, 09): Pu Luong (another day of hiking) (B, L, D, G)
After an early breakfast, we'll explore a large limestone cave near the village. The route can be dangerous in some places, it's important that we wear suitable clothing and stout non-slip shoes and follow the guide's instructions in full. From there, we'll continue our route in the forest via some villages with stop en-route at Pon Village to assist a primary school getting chairs and tables repaired. Our guide will prepare a picnic lunch. The dinner and overnight stay will be in another stilt house.
If we travel to Pu Luong right during the harvest, we can join the local harvesting rice around the area. Moreover, teaching English for the children and locals can be considered for this route.

08 Jan 2009 9:10pm
Oh dear god, what word do I use to describe this day. Absurd, crazy terrifying, wonderful, fun, dangerous, stupid, wet, muddy, hilarious, frustrating, painful, beautiful, ridiculous, unbelieveable, unreal, and slide! Also, what the fuck?!?!?! I suppose an explanation is in order after that list of adjectives. We started the day high in spirits, as we ate breakfast of fried something wonderful and the best coffee I've had in my life. We ventured out of the village for some cave exploration and some long exposure shots. Little did we know what was to come. The path up and down the cave the steep, trecherous climb. Oh, and wet, did I mention wet? However, it was worth the climb, as the cave was incredible. I do no even have word for the enormous limestone structures that have formed. And I think I got some good shots. I also took my first shit in days in the cave. Then we began what was to be a, up a fucking mountain steep...hike. I still don't know how to describe it. It's a mircale we all made it out unhurt. Up a fucking mountain. Through huge, pointy rocks, plants, mud. The path was not much wider than we were and all the angle we were scaling were absurd. No one was prepared for this. I took about 5 hours, at least, to complete. The groups was seperated quickely, so it was me Emily and Ayelet for the dangerous and entertaining trip down. Climbing, crawling, and sliding down the moutain was the only way to do it alive. Walking and general balance and stablity were unheard of. It started off pretty bad but we managed to lift our moods from there. Luckily, by the time I made the mud covered mountain into a slip n slide, I could not stop laughing. And I may have started going crazy by the end. Endless, random songs stuck in my hear, thoughts of other study abroad trips, worries for the rest of the groups and "dear god, P better give everyone As". Half of us made it out before sun down. We found out later that the other half made it our just as it was getting dark. After hours of stretching and a soild dinner, we are all ready to pass out. Honestly, after that experience today, I can do anything. Never in m life would I have expected such a ridiculous adventure. And boy, I am looking forward to sleep.

Looking back:
Yea, that's basically how it went. P took a tumble or two and the people she was with literally had to drag her along. We never ate lunch that day or get to helping that school at all. Apparently there are pythons in that forest, which we didn't find out until much later. I didn't take a single picture of the expereince because I was busy holding on for dear life. I also almost lost my glasses in the forest, which would have been pretty darn unfortunate.
Oh, and that whole "after that...I can do anything" about a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sit tight, more craziness to come.

Random photo:

Good photo:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vietnam: Day 4

Day 4 (Wednesday, Jan 7, 09): Pu Luong (hiking through minority villages in the Nature Reserve area) (B, L, D, G)
After breakfast, we'll set off towards Eo Ken through pristine scenery which is, well off the beaten track high on a slope of a mountain. It's a stiff hike, but the effort is worth it. After a short break, your route will take you to Dong Dieng village for lunch in a local family. In the afternoon, you'll continue on the route before strolling downhill to Kho Muong village where we spend the night with a family in a traditional stilt house complete with a natural stream for our bathroom!
We will sample the villagers' hospitality and their competence in serving and preparing meals. The Pu Luong trekking route is a good example of effective collaboration between foreign NGOs (non-government organisations), mainly Flora and Fauna International (FFI- a UK based environmental charity), local authorities and individual communities. Apart from assisting families to conver their homes to host visitors, they are taught recipes, cooking techniquies, and other hospitality requirements. We are pleased to be involved with this community-based developement project.

Jan 7, 2009 5:20pm Kho Muong
It still amazes me how comfortable, yet unbelieveable this entire experience has been. This morning waking up in the stilt house was so interesting, especially considering how different the village looking during the day. We all passed out by about 9pm last night and, from what I heard, woke up at various points of the night due to roosters. There is something about rooster crys at 2:30am that make things very confusing and somewhat irritating. After a breakfast of noddles and fried duck egg, we began the first hike of the day. It took about 3 or so hours (most due to P's extreme tripod usage). It was a fairly tough hike, with plenty of uphills and mud, but beatuiful cannot even begin to describe it. It seems that every shot is amazing, even with the fog and the flat lighting we've been encountering. We've seen so many fields, rice patties, duck, chickens, cattle, dogs and the most interesting and friendly people. Everyone is very welcoming and always has the biggest smiles on their faces. Such a thing is so rare and forgein in the states. As fasinating as the people seem, I still find myself having trouble approaching people and asking to take their picture.
We hiked to the second village for lunch and we were all glad to have some relief from walking. Luckily, we got their just as colder weather and some mist picked up and left as it ended. We ate a lunch of sticky rice, hard boiled egg, and barbaqued pork. And we ate with our hands! I love it! It was great to relax. We also used one of the most primitive bathroons thus far...a straw hu (not enclosed at all) and a hole in the ground. Oh, and I almost forgot the highlight of the first hike: as we walked by a school, which was below us, an entire class of children ran up the hill to greet us and have their pictures taken. They posed and everything. It was perfect. Okay fast forward.... we hiked another 6 miles to the village we are currently at and spending the night at. Due to the mist and abundance of fog, most of us decided to put our cameras away. This also sped up the hike a great deal. Everyone was also experiencing some psychodelic imagery every time we looked up from the group into the foggy landscape. I doubt there was anything in the rice, but it was fun to watch the world contract in and out. It was also fun to listen to everyone else bug out about it. At this point in the night, we are waiting for dinner and watching the world get darker. Not to mention colder. It's amazing how much colder this damp enviornment makes everything feel. I am looking forward to food and rest so much. Gosh, my back hurts. I better rest up, for tomorrow we have a much more intense hike ahead of us.

Looking back...
Dear god, I miss that food. I am salivating just thinking about it. Hiking was the best part of this trip, I have never felt healither than I did in those few days. These last few entiries have been really good to go over and think about what I was thinking then. I think the journal entry pretty much sums up the day. Oh yea, that "much more intense hike ahead of us"....yea...about that....

Random photo of the day:
left: kids from the school
right: just some landscape

Good photo of the day: Priscilla ate this chicken head

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vietnam: Day 3

Day 3 (Tuesday, Jan 6, 09): Hanoi/Mai Chau/Pu Luong (Hang village) (B,L,D,G)
After breakfast we drive to Mai Chau passing through mountainous landscape on the way. When we arrive, we'll have lunch in a Thai ethnic minority group's stilt house in Pom Coong village. After our meal, a wander around the houses provides an overview of the community's daily life. The village operates as a community co-operative, set up by the people themselves. The villagers specialise in weaving brocade products and are always keen to show visitors their skills. Later, a 15km drive takes us to board a sampan to row along the Ma River, passing en-route to visit some of the nearby ethnic minority villages. After docking, your vehicle will take you to Sai village where you'll start the hike to Hang village to spend the night in a stilt house.
Mai Chu is the nearest ethnic minority community to Hanoi, and is therefore a popular trip for foreigners. Consequently, it's the most commercialised communicty we'll visit in the tour. The village is an example of successful community development.
We might consider a traditional folk song and dance performance by the local people. The show usually lasts about an hour and the artists are the peasants who work on the fields at daytime. Although it's very much amateur entertainment, it's good fun and an opportunity to mingle with the villagers and understand their traditions and customs.

06 Jan, 2009 8:38am Hanoi; on the van to.....mountains
So after a vast series of bumps in the road and changes in plans, many packing efforts were put in vain. From this point, we head out for the next 6 night, 7 days of hiking through the Northern Vietnamese it seems to be out of the loop in many of our activities. We are taking 2 vans up, with our daypacks and "a smaller version of our stuff" in our smaller duffels or, in my case, a plastic garbage bag. Meanwhile, duffel with remainder of clothes and my computer will stay in hotel storage. We also seem to be without water bottles. Steller. Alright, on the road for the next four hours...
8:48 Homestay: Mai Chau
Whoa, whoa, what a day. Between the van, the boat and the hiking, the day offered so many new sights and experiences. The day started with some uncertainty and a four hour- nauseau inducing van ride up into the mountains. (I don't remember all the names of the places we've been today, I'll fill that in later). At the first village, we at more wonderful new foods and got a chance to shoot around the village. The people living there are of the Thai minority and practice weaving as their craft and trade. The village was so beautiful and unreal, yet so comfortable and familiar. That's how I've felt about most of the trips thus far. After lunch, we had a short boat ride and then embarked on a 2 hour hike to a second village, were we are all spending the night, in the same room. As we all ate dinner, exhaustion sunk into everyone. The weather here is so humid and the days are hot. I am gratful for the cool nights. The owner of the house served us rice wine, which is more like hard liquior than wine....Everywhere we go, we see so many interesitng and beautiful people and things. Dogs, cattle, and chicken roam about everywhere, seeming not belonging to any particular person or family. The homes the people live in are completely exposed to the elements and more are near the edges of cliffs that look off into rice fields. Most people seem very friendly and even excited to see us. Others seen confused or uninterested. The land here is so beautiful and fertile, I cannot believe we are on the same Earth I've been living on. I am so thrilled and happy to be here, even if I'm not expressing it to the fullest. Hopefully within the next few days, we will all adjust to this early morning, exhausting schedule we have ahead of us. I cannot believe this is only day 2 of our travels.

Looking back:
Yea, this was the first truely amazing day. It was the first day in the country and it was so beautiful and new. For this day and the next few, everything was just a constant sensory overload. As new as everything was, I got a lot of deja vu in these next few days. I remember a particular moment from the beginning of the hike on this day: I turned around as saw Priscilla in her rice hat a ways behind me with a few other people hiking up the hill I had just finished and I swore I had see that before. Too bad I don't have a picture of it. It was a weird feeling.

Random picture of the day:

Good picture of the day:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Conrad the Fish

Vietnam: Day 2

Day 2 (Monday, Jan 5, 09): Hanoi (B,D,G)
This morning, we visit the Vietnam National University, Film studies department to attend a class day.
In the afternoon, we call in at the excellent Ethnology Museum for an overview of Vietnam's 54 distinct ethnic groups in anticipation of our trip to Sapa. Later, we have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Pupperty, an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a light-hearted introduction to its rural culture. In the evening, we have a 'Welcome' dinner at a restaurant in a restroed French colonial building. We'll spend the night in Hanoi.
Art 487: Vietnam Location Photograph, 3 credits;
Art 382: Alternative Photographic Process, 3 credits.
Syllabus and Topics

5 Jan 2009 9:59am Hanoi
On the bus, en route to VNU. Amazing, fasinating city. Transportation here is brillant-everyone is on motorbike, moving, flowing, dodgeing around each other, cars, our bus, pedestrains. The amount of items people stack on these things is amazing. Crates of alcohol, water, juges, produce, bages and bags and bags. All the shops are pratically outdoors. People sit outside, on stools, on sidwalks, eating breakfast. Everyone seems very open and relazed in their enviornments. I'm realizing that you can strap anything to a bicycle and still be able to travel and maintain balance. Traffic flows wonderfully; cars motorbikes, buses, bicycles. It makes the street feel so alive and organic. Another note: its about 65 degrees Farhenhit here and the locals are in winter wear.

Looking back:
That was a pretty cool day. The VNU students were great. The class meeting was ify, as P cut most of my work out of the slide show and they all looked like shit. Wilson, the students' prof, also called a girl out for being in the class when she wasn't even taking the class. It was pretty serious. We ate Pho for the first time of many and the students taught us how to eat. Wilson also tried convincing me to get an internship in New York doing film or something. We didn't go to the museum because it was closed, so we had a cyclo ride instead. That was really cool because we got to be in the middle of traffic and still be able to safely (mostly safely) shoot it. We were all still really tired and many of us almost feel asleep during the water puppet show.
That night we recieved a lot of suprise information about our travels for that next 7 days. Really, I was supposed to bring a smaller duffel bag? Well, these trash bags will have to do. And there seemed to be a serious lack in those who were supposed to have the info having no clue as to what we going on. Suspicions begin to grow!

Random shot of the day: Hanoi. And check out that totally safe telephone pole and all those wires.

Good shot of the day: Hanoi street, random hip shooting with auto focus. People eating lunch on the street.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Retrospective Begins... Vietnam: Day 1

Day 1 (Sunday, Jan 4, 09): Hanoi arrival (GP)
Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi at 10:25pm. (Korean Air 683), we'll be met and driven to our hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.

4 Jan. 2009 1:49am Hanoi, Vietnam
We have arrived! After the longest day or two days of traveling ever. One 14 hour plane ride, one 6 hour plane ride and 40 minutes to the hotel and here we are. Granted, we haven't seen much beyond the hotel, but I am excited to see the city tomorrow. I am hoping for a good night's sleep, although I am currently not tired and this first night without cuddles,...and Ben in a very long time. I am not too worried, but I do miss him already.
Off to bed, until tomorrow...

Looking back....
That's pretty much how that day went. I almost went insane during the flight. It was actually 16 hours, I don't know why I wrote 14. We almost lost someone in the airport after baggage claim, that was fun and totally ridiculous. Getting there was exciting, but we had no idea what we were in for.

Random shot of the day: the crazy street of Hanoi.

Good shot of the day: I think this was a house on Cat Ba.

Monday, February 9, 2009

5 days of home

I have been home for about 5 days now and I am happy to be here. It's very nice to have all the comforts and familiarities of home back. My bed, all my clean clothes, delicious hamburgers and pizza. It's good to be with Ben again and it's so good to see all my friends. I am going to miss so many things though: Tiger beer, spring rolls, the mountains, the hikes, the craziness and nonsensicalness. However, I am looking forward to taking some time from thinking about the whole experience so I can truly miss it. I have been writing my evaluation since we got home and have been telling the same stories over and over again. And now we still have another two weeks of class to make up for work that wasn't finished. Either way, it was all more than worth it.
I am still going to try to do a day by day reflection series, however it may not start for a while. However, keep a lot out for my final portfolio.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

23 hours and counting...

fallen into a wormhole, warping in folds in the time-space continuum. time shift: plop! different place. space shift: plop! different time. no sense of place or person. existing in a realm of...nothing. everything.

i keep thinking of fight club: lose an hour, gain an hour. single serving...everything.

hoi chi minh city:midnight
seoul: 7:00am
new york city: 11:00am (?)
newark: ????