Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Archaeology of the Music Video #3, Scopitone #18

Procul Harum, "Whiter Shade of Pale" (1967)

Dead Presidents #15, Architecture #10

Theodore Roosevelt waves to a crowd by the entrance to the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Colorado.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Before & After #1, Architecture #9

A House in Plainfield, New Jersey
Remodeled by Lewis Bowman, Architect

This house shown in its original state above is typical of many built twenty-five or more years ago. Not only are the details bad and the ornament meaningless, but the massing lacks coherence and dignity. It is interesting in comparing the remodeled house with this to note that its effectiveness was gained first by the paring of the house to its skeleton outline and then making it attractive by the use of the materials selected for its covering. Notice that the porch has been extended to include an extra room. Notice, too, how much the terrace and the retaining wall add to the stability of the house.

House Beautiful, August 1927

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Anniverseries #4, Auden #12

Wystan Hugh Auden, born February 21, 1907

For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.

Excerpt from "In Memory of W.B. Yeats"
(February 1939)

The primary function of poetry, as of all the arts, is to make us more aware of ourselves and the world around us. I do not know if such increased awareness makes us more moral or more efficient. I hope not.

I think it makes us more human, and I am quite certain it makes us more difficult to deceive, which is why, perhaps, all totalitarian theories of the State, from Plato's downwards, have deeply mistrusted the arts. They notice and say too much, and the neighbors start talking.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Order of the Universe #1, Cinema #12

Powers of Ten, office of Charles and Ray Eames/IBM (1977)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dead Presidents #14, Cinema #11

The Martyred Presidents: Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley (1901) camera: Edwin S. Porter

Edison Films catalogue description:

THE MARTYRED PRESIDENTS--LINCOLN, GARFIELD, McKINLEY. Ungueltig. We have just finished and now offer to exhibitors a picture which we consider most valuable as an ending to the series of McKinley funeral pictures. The scene opens with a beautiful woman who represents Columbia seated at the altar of Justice. As if from out of space there slowly appears a perfect and lifelike picture of Abraham Lincoln. The forming of the picture is first noticed by the appearance of what seems to be a mere spot on the front of the altar. This spot slowly enlarges and is focused into shape, until, to the amazement of the audience, the face of the great emancipator is clearly shown. President Lincoln's likeness is allowed to remain upon the altar just long enough for recognition, when, in the same mysterious manner that it appeared, it slowly fades and in its place their grows the picture of President Garfield. This in a like manner fades away, and again as out of the dim distance comes the picture of our great martyred President, William McKinley. The tableau is then dissolved into a picture of an assassin kneeling before the throne of Justice. Here the tableau ends, leaving an impression of mingled sorrow and sublimity upon the audience. We predict for this picture a remarkable success, and particularly where it is shown in connection with the funeral ceremonies of the illustrious McKinley. Class B 75 ft. $11.25

Copyright Thomas A. Edison (October 7, 1901)

Dead Presidents #13

Annals of debunking: Harry Houdini and the "ghost" of Abraham Lincoln (1920s)

Dead Presidents #12

Slightly atypical rendering of George Washington

Dead Presidents #11, Archaeology of the Poster #3

WPA poster, Federal Theatre Project (1936)

Dead Presidents #10

George Washington on envelope (c. 1860s)

Dead Presidents #9

Allan Pinkerton, President Abraham Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand at Antitem, Maryland, Alexander Gardner photographer (1862)

Dead Presidents #8

Friday, February 16, 2007

Archaeology of Madison Avenue #1, Aviation #5

Andy Warhol and Sonny Liston shill for Braniff Airlines

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love #12, Scopitone #17

Chet Baker sings "You Don't Know What Love Is" (1956)

Love #11, D is for Dickinson #1

Poems listed by subject in index of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson (1960)

Monday, February 12, 2007

History #2, Auden #11

History opposes its grief to our buoyant song.

From "In Time of War" (1938)

The Automobile #7, Scopitone #16, Cinema #10

Nico, "All Tomorrow's Parties"
Elle a passé tant d'heures sous les sunlights d. Philippe Garrel (1985)

Cinema #9, Scopitone #15

Brandenberg Concerto No. 5, BWV 1050, movement 1, Allegro
Gustav Leonhardt, harpsichordist (as J.S. Bach)
Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach d. Jean-Marie Straub/Danièle Huillet (1968)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Aviation #4, Manhattan #12

Dirigible passes over Tribune Building, Park Row

Friday, February 09, 2007

Dead Presidents #7

Secretary of War William Howard Taft on the links, Hot Springs, Virginia (1908)

Lines Taken Out of Context #6, Aphorisms #4

All men dream: but not equally.

T.E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Diptych #4, Antecedants of Pop Art #2, The Automobile #5

Top: Norwalk Garage, Bakersfield, California, Richard Neutra architect (1947) Julius Shulman, photographer?

Bottom: Standard Station, Ed Ruscha (1966)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dead Presidents #6, Foreign Lands #16

America #13

Always the same. The deliberate consciousness of Americans so fair and smooth-spoken, and the under consciousness so devilish. Destroy! destroy! destroy! hums the under-consciousness. Love and produce! Love and produce! Love and produce! cackles the upper consciousness. And the world hears only the Love-and-produce cackle. Refuses to hear the hum of destruction underneath. Until such time as it will have to hear. The American has got to destroy. It is his destiny.

D.H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature (1923)