…. on the culture blender….

I love blenders. They make great drinks, soups, etc….

But what about culture blending… there are pros and cons…. one of the pros can be – it’s just so damn entertaining. This has been proven, time and again, by many serious musicians. Some of you may remember a comedy called SPINAL TAP that lampooned every hair metal band that existed to that point in time.

Well, there was a movie in 1989 by Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki called LENINGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA…. A fantastic comedy if you like your comedy very dry and dark. The “Leningrad Cowboys were called The worst rock and roll band in the world. In many ways they were the Finnish version of SPINAL TAP….. not afraid to mix in their cultural roots with communism and rock and roll they pretty much live up to the SPINAL TAP of world music comparison….. Of course just like SPINAL TAP – the band – the cowboys started taking themselves too seriously even daring to write some of their own rock standards and phasing out the cultural mishmash that made them so much fun to begin with….. But that’s the way of all things….

So here is a reminder of what once was. This live video was titled LENINGRAD COWBOYS TOTAL BALALAIKA SHOW…. featuring drums mounted on a tractor, guitars shaped like tractors big, BIG hair and pointy shoes and of course the actual Red Army Chorus/band and Dancers from Moscow – all doing a cover of ZZ TOP’s “GIMME ALL YOUR LOVIN'”…What more could a citizen of the world ask for? LOL
May it put a smile on your face this weekend. 🙂

and here’s a trailer for the movie that started it all.

Leningrad Cowboys Go America – Free Screening at The Loft Cinema from The Loft Cinema on Vimeo.

…..on the story of our lives…..

I once saw a sign and my first thought was, “Hmmmmph, that’s the story of my life!”…..

In the past few months I’ve noticed that has been my reaction to more and more signs. These signs just seem to be coming into focus of my awareness in a way they haven’t before. In fact there almost seems to be an oppression by signs. Some are just general informational signs. Things that announce operating hours, directions to a place, time it takes to get somewhere, who to call (and it ain’t Ghostbuster’s), and other general announcements. But I’m finding, and maybe it’s just my growing awareness, that more and more signs are dictating things. Signs that tell us to do one thing or another, telling us what we can and can’t do. And there are signs that are used to threaten and control…..

That is the focus of this new photo project I’ve started. These signs make up the story of our lives and can tell us things about ourselves, our culture, our perceptions and misconceptions about the world in which we live. So while one may dismiss these images in this project as just pictures of signs. I am asking the view to go further. To go beyond the obvious. To ask questions and let these signs bring new understandings.

Here are eight of the 20 odd images I’ve collected so far (in no particular order). Enjoy.

….on….bored with color….

Is there such a thing as too much color?
In a world where saturated color and manipulated images have become the norm is black and white more real?
In our so-called modern society, and culture, image saturation is not only 360 degrees around us but also gets embedded in us as it’s imprinted on our minds. Technology now is primarily image based and all of it is in color; brilliant, vibrant, glowing, saturated color. Printed matter whether publications or advertising is 99% image-based.
Is there such a thing as too many images?
By having so many images do we become desensitized to the image and color?
Or, are we still in the process of becoming desensitized?
How much is too much?
I read a recent article in a publication that people today prefer to look at art online than actually going to a museum. Does this devalue art?
 

Well, these are just some of the things floating around in that vast empty space between my ears….. I had these thoughts as I have found that color images no longer interest me. I’ve gotten bored with images – specifically color images….. As a result, all my newer work is strictly in B&W. For me B&W feels more real. I find greater nuances in the images when I’m working in B&W. The image in B&W does not bore me – it makes me look closer. Will that change? Probably, at some time. But then, again, maybe not as long as our world is – the way it is.

Here are some recent B&W images I’ve created. Enjoy.
As always you can click on an image for a larger view and then use the arrows to advance to next image.