Saturday, September 27, 2008


Yesterday, I kept noticing people's shoes. Its hard not to do when sitting down among people who are standing up (when waiting for music to start that is). I actually had the fleeting and absurd notion to photograph feet I saw. But I really don't want a collection of photographed feet. And the more I looked, the more I really did not want a collection of dusty, dirty, photographed feet. Anyway, I was just struck by what the choice of footware might say about the owner. And how my interest and awareness of these sandals and shoes was directly influenced by the book I just read that morning: "New Fashion Japan" by Leonard Koren. The book speaks about and illustrates the evolution of fashion in Japan: the influence of American fashion on Japanese fashion after WWII, the lives and work of exemplary, influential Japanese fashion designers, and Japanese magazines and advertisement devoted to fashion. 

I also realized how closely this book relates to what I was thinking yesterday at the used clothing sale. "Our clothes never wore out - they just went out of fashion" (quote from page 13) Before American influence, used clothing was not sought after in Japan, sales did not exist. I did not write down the exact quote, but one fashion designer said "I don't know many people who are dressing a lie. Looking at what someone wears is a good indication of what they are like."

I saw chacos the most I think. Also a lot of converse, keens, toms, unidentifiable, unsupportive looking flats and flip flops. If ever anyone wanted to conduct a study on fashionable shoes at concerts...ACL might just be a good place to start.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


$1.00 clothing sale outside the FAC this morning. I don't cut through this way so often, and yet I happened to happen upon this exact sale last year too. Funny. Once again I could not pass by without stopping, even though much of the clothes are completely undesirable. Mounds of material cover the tables and I must dig through clutter. One girl has found a brand new set of sheets. Definitely can't be in the mood to find anything in particular. So, in this regard, maybe I am not getting something that I need. Its more about knowing what I don't want. But at only $1.00, I can certainly invest in something I may need in the future. Actually, now that I've found something, I definitely needed that. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not sure what this one is

Just some thoughts about exhibits and books I've been thinking between myself and myself lately.

You want an exhibit when it is necessary to see physical objects, walk through a physical space, participate in a physical and social experience and use all of your senses. To see real, historical artifacts or real animals real size in person. You probably want to experience the story rather than see representation, verbal or visual. In fact, if you wanted to see representations of the story, you would probably just read a book.

You would read a book when you want to create and choose the space in which you are learning. When you are interested in seeing/reading the story about something as well as seeing/reading how someone translated that story from imagination and reality into writing and 2D images. You also read a book when you want a more intimate experience away from a crowd, away from the security cameras. Or when you are looking to escape into the world of your imagination, a world which can become nearly as physical as looking at an 3D object through glass. You read a book too, when you want space to interpret the story and imagine the story in your own way, to become a character in the story, when you want a story that is still a story, not an organization of facts and histories. 

But that is not fair. There is the museum of Jurassic Technology and the museum of Ephemerata and others like them which are just as story-like and imagination and wonder compelling as any book. And there are plenty of books out there which are just an organization of facts and histories, just  information design overload. Exhibits can have characters just like books do. And what about online exhibits.

So, I don't know what I'm saying. I'm just trying to get at that something. That thing about books that makes them so wonderful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This afternoon...

...a last minute opportunity arose to get out to Hamilton Pool with some other couch surfers. This was my first time going. Ten things I noticed:

1) A water moccasin. Yeah, that goes at the top of the list. That's what other people said the snake was - I can't say I've seen one before. The reptile was wide and dark, moving slowly across the ground into the underbrush.

2) The fattest, biggest squirrel I have ever seen. A grampa squirrel. A very uncharacteristic squirrel. It was dark grey, almost black in color, seemed to like our attention, walked boldly across our blanket, sunned itself like a lizard, and, when a 3) lizard came into sight, the squirrel went and chased it around.

4) Cypress trees with knobby "knees" poking up from the stream bed.

5) I think they were bird nests. Round, grey structures with holes in them. High up on the cave wall. I only noticed them when I was floating on my back looking up at the sky.

6) Many tiny red ants.

7) Many tiny white shells.

8) Many tiny silver minnows. 

9) Bigger, gold-fishy types who enjoyed crumbled corn chips. collected around feet for food. It seems like it would be so easy to grab a fish, but hands slow down too much when they reach beyond air.

10) The sound of water hitting water.

Update: Later today, someone told me that park rangers at Hamilton Pool told him that that fat squirrel has been hanging out there for a few years...eating all the garbage and living the high life.

Monday, September 22, 2008


If only I had my camera. I am watching a squirrel dive into a trash can. He surfaces with a paper bag. She tears a hole in the bag and pokes her head through. Soon she is wearing the bag like some bulky article of clothing. Little paws tearing. Nose sniffing for crumbs. Doesn't appear to be anything edible in there. So back to dumpster diving.

A black bird has been eyeing the scavenging. The bird hops over to investigate. Pecks and tosses paper around until plastic sandwich bag drops out.

The squirrel emerges from garbage and scampers over to reclaim his find. She struggles for a time with the plastic. Again, No results. So leaves the scene.

At Harry Ransom Center

Notes and Quotes from first visit to HRC. Note to self: reading room not open on weekends. Enjoyed the exhibits presenting artifacts that writers, artists, designers produce in the process of creating final piece. Hand-written journal pages, letters, to novels... preliminary sketches and full-size drawings prior to the painting etc.

Look up Tom Stoppard and David Mamet
Tom Stoppard Arcadia poster - gorgeous, area of interest created by vertical line of A and horizontal line of apple leaf intersecting

"Reflecting on these qualities, A Cabinet of Drawings is introduced in the spirit of Europe's 16th and 17th-century cabinets of curiosities. In this wunderkammen or wonder room, groups of seemingly dissimilar works are arranged to encourage comparison and to elicit the discovery of new meaning." 
- Peter Mears, curator

Pierre Legrain - book binding designer, beautiful

Interactive book for audience. Turning pages digitally. Thinking of Selina's studies.
"To turn a page lightly touch the edge of a page and slowly drag your finger across screen."

Kate Breakey, photographer
stuck chalk on string attached to nail and drew circle then photographed

"I am interested in ideas," he said, "not merely in visual products" - Marcel Duchamp