Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sebastiao Salgado: The Photographer as Activist

A conversation with Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism adjunct professor Ken Light and Photo Critic and Curator Fred Ritchin. Series: UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism presents.

Lawson Rollins - "Santa Ana Wind" Infinita Records

Thursday, November 26, 2009

John D. Loori, 78, Zen abbot and photographer, dies

...In addition to being abbot of the monastery he started, Abbot Loori founded a worldwide Zen order, was a respected photographer and teacher and wrote 20 books on Buddhism and art.

He is to be buried in the cemetery of his Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, where each year a “Hungry Ghost” ceremony honors the dead. In 49 days, according to Buddhist belief, he will be reincarnated. The funeral will be held then, Ms. Goddard said.

Although there are many Zen centers, some larger, Abbot Loori created one of the few Zen orders based in the United States that has members from Brooklyn to New Zealand. He published a 120-page quarterly journal and offered Zen instruction on the Internet, and on an online radio station (

He set up an institute to apply Zen principles to environmental matters, hoping to bring people closer to “the inherent intelligence of wildness.” He also began a program to teach Zen to prison inmates.

Abbot Loori enforced strict rules both for monks and for weekend visitors. He safeguarded traditions like the precise, meditative Zen way of eating, and decades ago made a video of the ritual that is widely used in Buddhist circles.

But for the thousands who have come to his monastery, he offered not just the expected instruction in traditions like Zen archery but also topics like gay and lesbian spirituality. And unlike traditional Buddhist practitioners, he promoted women as leaders of Zen centers...

~ more... ~

William S. Burroughs - A Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Day, Nov 28,1986 first appeared in the chapbook Tornado Alley, with illustrations by S. Clay Wilson. Gus Van Sant then made a short film of Burroughs reading the text.
This poem resonates today as exposing what has gone horribly wrong in the USA, or maybe what has always been wrong.
Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986

William S. Burroughs

For John Dillinger
In hope he is still alive
Thanks for the wild turkey and the Passenger Pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts
thanks for a Continent to despoil and poison
thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger
thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin, leaving the carcass to rot
thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes
thanks for the AMERICAN DREAM to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through
thanks for the KKK, for nigger-killing lawmen feeling their notches, for decent church-going women with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces
thanks for Kill a Queer for Christ stickers
thanks for laboratory AIDS
thanks for Prohibition and the War Against Drugs
thanks for a country where nobody is allowed to mind his own business
thanks for a nation of finks — yes,
thanks for all the memories all right, lets see your arms you always were a headache and you always were a bore
thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nikon Girl music video, The Photo Club

zero degrees - Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi

zero degrees is a remarkable collaboration between four of today's most respected artists.

Moroccan-Flemish SIDI LARBI CHERKAOUI is well known for his work with Les Ballets C. de la B. while AKRAM KHAN is world renowned for developing his own 'contemporary Kathak' style, winning numerous awards. For zero degrees they bring their unique styles together in this spellbinding piece of dance.

Mercury Award winning composer/producer NITIN SAWHNEY adds his own East-meets-West sound with a specially commissioned score played live by four musicians, and Turner Prize winner ANTONY GORMLEY has contributed the staging - two life-size casts of the dancers.

zero degrees explores borders - between countries, cultures and, most importantly, between life and death. It challenges, prompts and inspires, in a seamless fusion of dance styles, music and contemporary art.

Recorded live at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London

Lucas Samaras - 'Transformations'

Lucas Samaras (born September 14, 1936), is an artist, born in Kastoria, Greece. He studied at Rutgers University on a scholarship, where he met Allan Kaprow and George Segal. While at Rutgers, he joined Gamma Sigma (Rutgers). He participated in Kaprow's "Happenings," and posed for Segal's plastic sculptures.[1] Claes Oldenberg, whose Happenings he also participated in, later referred to Samaras as one of the "New Jersey school," which also included Kaprow, Segal, George Brecht, Robert Whitman, Robert Watts, Geoffrey Hendricks and Roy Lichtenstein. Samaras previously worked in painting, sculpture, and performance art, before beginning work in photography. He subsequently constructed room environments that contained elements from his own personal history.[2] His "Auto-Interviews" were a series of text works that were "self-investigatory" interviews.[3] The primary subject of his photographic work is his own self-image, generally distorted and mutilated. He has worked with multi-media collages, and by manipulating the wet dyes in Polaroid photographic film to create what he calls "Photo-Transformations"...

Monday, November 23, 2009

PABLO PICASSO "In the key of Picasso" - Music by Carlos Vamos

Niraj Chag - Bella The Musical (Teaser)

Teaser for Niraj Chag's musical, Bella.

Produced & Written by Marcus Flemmings. Cinematography by Rajesh Hirani. Directed by Ajay Chag. Starring: Yuvna Kim, Haider Zafar, Evan Regueira, Raheela Mahomed, John Lynch, Preema Chande, Amun Bhachu, Aradhna Bahanda.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Color of Pomegranates / Sayat Nova

Steeped in religious iconography, The Color of Pomegranates is a deeply spiritual testament to director Sergei Parajanov’s fascination with Armenian folk art and culture. It is also a controversial work, which, coupled with another of his films, Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors, led to his arrest and imprisonment in a Soviet Gulag for four years. The Soviets insisted he was guilty of selling gold and icons illegally and committing “homosexual acts.” In reality, his only crime was offending the tenets of socialist realism, both in his daring surrealistic form and in his choice of subject matter. While many of the popular films of this era in Soviet cinema were largely propaganda designed to serve the ideological interests of the regime, Parajanov chose to focus on the ethnography and spirituality of the Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia.

Friday, November 20, 2009

When Vincent Laforet released Reverie last year, the digital revolution seemed poised to sweep across the world of moviemaking. Shot entirely on a prototype of Canon’s then yet-to-be-released EOS 5D Mark II, the short film revealed the camera’s extraordinary low-light sensitivity and HD video capabilities, all with the photographer’s choice of lenses. It appeared to be an all-in-one movie studio replacement.

The fact that HD video and cinematic quality was being offered at consumer rates thrilled the online video community. “Laforet’s, in particular, showed off the real upside of working with the 5DII’s light-sensitive sensor: When you can work with smaller lights, your production budget goes much farther,” said photographer and End User writer Ryan Brenizer in an e-mail.

It seemed that a few big Hollywood studios would no longer dominate our viewing agenda, that an indie revolution was imminent and that the dam on a reservoir of creativity had been destroyed. But that has not been the case. So why are we not awash in studio-quality, low-budget flicks? The answer is complex, and it zeros in on an ever more important relationship between the tools of production and the actual talent of filmmaking — the two of which people often confuse.

Canon’s announcement last month of their latest model, the EOS 1D Mark IV, was coupled with another release by Laforet, using a Mark IV prototype. Again shooting under tight time restrictions and using no additional lighting, the short, Nocturne, immediately became the subject of intense internet chatter.

Video enthusiasts were thrilled by news of the expanded ISO range and ability to shoot at 24, 25 and 30fps at full 1080p, but before many had the opportunity to see the movie, Canon requested it be pulled. No official explanation has been offered by either the company or Laforet himself, although it has been noted his use of Zeiss lenses during production may be the cause. The incident is just the latest in a series of missteps and blunders which has caused consternation amongst potential subscribers to the DSLR as movie camera.

~ more... ~

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gastibelza & Maliètes - Le rebetiko ou la Grèce de l’ombre

6e Festival Strasbourg-Méditerranée
26 novembre - 20h30 - Salle de la Bourse

Méconnu en France, le "rebetiko" est une musique urbaine grecque que l'on pourrait comparer au fado portugais ou au blues américain... Venu des bas-fonds des ports d'Izmir, du Pirée ou de Thessalonique, il prend son essor dans les années 1920 en devenant l'expression des marginaux, consommateurs de hashisch et autres laissés-pour-compte...

Fortement décrié, voire frappé d'interdiction, le rebetiko finit par atteindre toutes les couches de la société et devient un élément essentiel de la culture grecque moderne. On peut l'entendre aujourd'hui, au détour d'une taverne d'Athènes, interprété par de jeunes musiciens qui en restituent fidèlement l'esprit, transmettant ainsi l'héritage des pionniers du genre que furent Markos Vamvakaris, Vassilis Tsitsanis ou Roza Eskenazi...

De la rencontre en 2008 de l’accordéoniste strasbourgeois Yves Béraud, de la chanteuse Fotini Banou et du bouzoukiste Dimitris Alexakis, naît Gastibelza, vite rejoint par le guitariste Babis Papadimitriou, bien connu des "rébètes" de Strasbourg et d'Athènes. À l’occasion de Strasbourg-Méditerranée, la "kompania" retrouve ses amis musiciens de Maliétès. Une soirée exceptionnelle !

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Planting seeds in Galatsi [7]

Day 3 - The preparation phase concludes

The dried clods will be 'planted' next weekend. For more information check out and magazigalnax (Greek).

Planting seeds in Galatsi [6]

Day 3 - The work continues with better weather