Friday, March 30, 2007

Art #9, WCW #2

The only realism in art is of the imagination. It is only thus that the work escapes plagiarism after nature and becomes a creation

William Carlos Williams, from Spring and All (1923)

Monday, March 26, 2007

America #15, Diptych #5

Top: A cross roads store, bar, juke joint, and gas station in the cotton plantation area, Melrose, Louisiana. Marion Post Wolcott, photographer

Bottom: Children in the tenement district, Brockton, Massachusetts. Jack Delano, photographer.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Order of the Universe #3

Quelle chimère est-ce donc que l’homme? Quelle nouveauté, quel monstre, quel chaos, quel sujet de contradiction, quel prodige! Juge de toutes choses, imbécile de ver de terre, dépositaire du vrai, cloaque d'incertitude et d'erreur, gloire et rebut de l'univers.

What a chimera, then, is man! What a novelty! What a monster, what a chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, imbecile worm of the earth; depositary of truth, a sink of uncertainty and error; the pride and refuse of the universe!

Blaise Pascal, Pensées, VII, 434

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Foreign Lands #18, The Automobile #8

Briggs Cunningham's Cadillac C-1 a.k.a. Le Monstre in the pits at Le Mans (1950)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Time #6, Apocalypse #7, Shakespeare #6

When I haue seene by times fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworne buried age,
When sometime loftie towers I see downe rased,
And brasse eternall slaue to mortall rage.
When I haue seene the hungry Ocean gaine
Aduantage on the Kingdome of the shoare,
And the firme soile win of the watry maine,
Increasing store with losse, and losse with store.
When I haue seene such interchange of state,
Or state it selfe confounded, to decay,
Ruine hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my loue away.
 This thought is as a death which cannot choose
 But weepe to haue, that which it feares to loose.

William Shakespeare, Sonnet LXIV

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Food #8

Never would it occur to a child that a sheep, a pig, a cow or a chicken was good to eat, while, like Milton’s Adam, he would eagerly make a meal off fruit, nuts, thyme, mint, peas and broad beans which penetrate further and stimulate not only the appetite but other vague and deep nostalgias. We are closer to the Vegetable Kingdom than we know; is it not for man alone that mint, thyme, sage, and rosemary exhale “crush me and eat me!”—for us that opium poppy, coffee-berry, tea-plant and vine perfect themselves? Their aim is to be absorbed by us, even if it can only be achieved by attaching themselves to roast mutton.

Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Art #8

Les plus forts y ont péri. L’Art est un luxe ; il veut des mains blanches et calmes. On fait d’abord une petite concession, puis deux, puis vingt. On s’illusionne sur sa moralité pendant longtemps. Puis on s’en fout complètement. Et puis on devient imbécile...

The strongest have died there. Art is a luxury: it wants pure and calm hands. First, one makes a little concession, then two, then twenty. One deludes oneself over his own mortality for a long time. Then one doesn’t give a damn at all. And then one becomes stupid...

Gustave Flaubert, letter to Ernest Feydeau, (late October/early November 1859)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Manhattan #14

LONDON is 1950 years old
PARIS is 1560 years old
ROME is 2670 years old
NEW YORK is 310 years old

NEW YORK, compared to other cities, is like a boy of 18.

The characteristics and features of its manhood are now discernible.

The Heart of This Great City Is Now Settled for All Time


Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Order of the Universe #2, D is for Dickinson #2

The Fact that Earth is Heaven --
Whether Heaven is Heaven or not
If not an Affidavit
Of that specific spot
Not only must confirm us
That it is not for us
But that it would affront us
To dwell in such a place --

Emily Dickinson (c. 1877)

Scopitone #20

Bob Dylan performs "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" in a London hotel room; Donovan looks on. D.A. Pennebaker, camera. (1965)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Scopitone #19, Archaeology of Madison Avenue #2, Foreign Lands #17

Walker Brothers, "Look Chocolate" advertisement (late 1960s)

Manhattan #13, The Iron Horse #1, Cinema #13

104th Street curve, New York, elevated railway

Taken from the front platform of a special train run backward over the celebrated S curve. Not only are the passing trains and crowded platforms of great interest, but the view of up-town New York is an excellent one, showing acre upon acre of roofs, towers, steeples and towering apartment houses. As the "special" slows up at 92nd Street, a Harlem express dashes by, the engineer leaning out of his cab, and waving a good-bye. 150 feet. $22.50.

(filmed late March to mid-April 1899)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

In Memoriam #1, Dead Presidents #16, America #14

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.



2. The United States Government must have ready a white paper on Cuba, and should also be ready to give appropriate assistance to Cuban patriots in a similar effort. Action: Arthur Schlesinger in cooperation with the Department of State.