electric literature [literature]

wielding fragmented stories and utilizing digital and print outlets, electric literature is a quarterly multi-media counter-insurgency, playing david to shortened attention spans and digital media's goliaths. they have big name authors and great artwork on their side, and they aren't above having fun (see the video above). i can't say it better than the times, so read up on them here. then see their page and their blog.


emiliano ponzi [illustration]

tatsuro kiuchi [illustration]

gabi campanario [illustration]

in my recent dawdling - this lull - i've been hanging up on illustrators. here are a few consecutive posts on illustrators and their work without many words.

first up is gabi campanario. i particularly like her blend of journal/comic/technical drawing. i'm struck by the way it feels like she's doodled them. appropriate then, that she has stuff up on doodlers anonymous (which is a treasure trove of this stuff).


blueberry molasses cake [food]

you know how to tell if someone loves you? like deep down in their bones, fingernail indentations in palms, quaking in their boots kinda love? baked goods. homemade ones. dead giveaway.

i had a sneaking suspicion as moseyed into the kitchen this morning that this was the case. turns out miss m had gone to the trouble of assembling the parts to concoct the old-fashioned blueberry cake i been drooling over at 101 cookbooks for a couple weeks now. i have to get going. there's going to be a candle later and i haven't thought about my wish. (thanks, lady.)

here's the recipe:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
5 tablespoons milk (divided)
1/2 cup unsulphered molasses
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, barely melted

1 1/2 cups blueberries, frozen (I freeze fresh berries)
1 teaspoon flour

Preheat to 350F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan (or equivalent).

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk together the cider vinegar with 3 tablespoons of the milk. In another bowl whisk the molasses with the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk. Whisk the cider vinegar mixture into the molasses mixture, then whisk in the eggs.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just barely combined. Stir in the butter. Toss the blueberries with 1 teaspoon of flour and fold them into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about thirty minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.


what is stephen harper reading? [books]

...I know you’re very busy, Mr. Harper. We’re all busy. Meditating monks in their cells are busy. That’s adult life, filled to the ceiling with things that need doing. (It seems only children and the elderly aren’t plagued by lack of time—and notice how they enjoy their books, how their lives fill their eyes.) But every person has a space next to where they sleep, whether a patch of pavement or a fine bedside table. In that space, at night, a book can glow. And in those moments of docile wakefulness, when we begin to let go of the day, then is the perfect time to pick up a book and be someone else, somewhere else, for a few minutes, a few pages, before we fall asleep. And there are other possibilities, too. Sherwood Anderson, the American writer best known for his collection of stories Winesburg, Ohio, wrote his first stories while commuting by train to work. Stephen King apparently never goes to his beloved baseball games without a book that he reads during breaks. So it’s a question of choice...
- - -
“The Prime Minister did not speak during our brief tribute, certainly not. I don’t think he even looked up. The snarling business of Question Period having just ended, he was shuffling papers. I tried to bring him close to me with my eyes.Who is this man? What makes him tick? No doubt he is busy. No doubt he is deluded by that busyness. No doubt being Prime Minister fills his entire consideration and froths his sense of busied importance to the very brim. And no doubt he sounds and governs like one who cares little for the arts.But he must have moments of stillness. And so this is what I propose to do: not to educate—that would be arrogant, less than that—to make suggestions to his stillness.
For as long as Stephen Harper is Prime Minister of Canada, I vow to send him every two weeks, mailed on a Monday, a book that has been known to expand stillness. That book will be inscribed and will be accompanied by a letter I will have written. I will faithfully report on every new book, every inscription, every letter, and any response I might get from the Prime Minister, on this website.”

Yann Martel


the book show [books // illustration]

here's another short notice bit, also put on by the school of visual arts, conveniently enough. since i won't be making the 7500 mile trip to see the exhibit, i've made up my own story about that deer in tighty whities - christopher darling’s 111th street is a story about a day in the life of a deer living in new york city - but that's beside the point. 111th street and nineteen other such works of pictorial genius are on display at the sva gallery [209 e. 23rd st.] through 14 october as part of 'the book show', an exhibit of mfa students in the school of visual art's illustration and visual essay departments.

quoc pham fixed shoe [bikes // fashion]

quoc pham makes dashing throwback cycle shoes and has a romantic ad to boot [pun intended!].
(via and via)


naked lunch [books]

this is short notice for the new york contingency. this very weekend - as in, already begun - totally free of charge and open to the public, the school of visual arts, columbia and nyu are hosting three days of talks, readings, and screenings to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the writing of william burroughs' seminal wig out novel, naked lunch. highlights include a reading by michael mcclure, a panel discussion entitled 'firsthand encounters with william s. burroughs & naked lunch', and the first east coast screening of words of advice: william burroughs on the road.


diow [bangkok]

griping the rain and photographing lavender clouds isn't a sufficient idea of bangkok as i've seen it to this point. i happen to be reading borges - who i doubt ever visited bangkok - and he says (of something entirely different and, in fact, wholly made up):
there is a nightingale and a night; there is a secret duel on the terrace. (though almost entirely imperceptible, there are occasional curious contradictions, and there are sordid details.) the characters of the first act reappear in the second - under different names.
wacky aphorism for bangkok? yes. amorphous, amok with vice and indulgence, labyrinthine, impatient, insomniac, these savages tout sweetened-condensed milk laced nescafe as real coffee! fumes assail nostrils every third step. gleaming, ancient temples appear from nowhere. you meet people, unbelievable people. proof: last saturday we'd no sooner plopped down in a dime a dozen storefront chosen solely because it advertised cheap beer, when bjorn ferm, 1968 modern pentathlon olympic gold medalist, began to regale us with stories of his famous-to-him acquaintances and sing the praises of unicorn - the best all-female rock band in thailand.

what i'm coming the long way around the bend to is the reminder that the people you meet in a place are often more important than the things you do or see in that place. i would be remiss if i were to yap any further without mentioning kosin jeenpradit - diow to you and me. a bang-up pen and ink artist, m and i met diow when we bought one of his drawings and asked him about the city. later he took us to a fabled hovel for pad thai and we three were all grins. since, he's helped us figure out a few bus routes and neighborhoods, but most importantly, he's taken us into some shadows that we'd have otherwise overlooked. as genuinely anachronistic as demure bell-bottom buddhist long-hairs come, diow undertook one of the great fool pilgrimages of our generation a few months ago when he forsook his office job to pursue things he deems real and worthy of his passions. so, this boy's gone and got it in his rose-colored glasses to up and learn guitar-making. in tennessee. he leaves tomorrow.

as a send-off, we all went out for that same pad thai, wandered a most ramshackle night market and then diow led us through a literal patchwork of corrugated scrap and pressed board to a tiny private dock directly across the chao phraya river from wat arun (temple of the dawn). yet another of the innumerable faces of bangkok revealed itself as tugs yanked trains of barges against the current in the otherwise silent night. diow wasted no words in telling us how he'd found the place ten years ago when, in a fit of insomnia over a girl, he'd gone wandering. women.

good luck, diow.

DOWNLOAD: carl perkins - tennessee [mp3]

robert bergman [photography]

robert bergman is a career photographer. at 65 he's about to open his first two well deserved shows. i've been slogging around trying to scare up more pictures, but if you're in d.c. or new york and that one doesn't spook you enough, don't go(, dick). click the photo to see a slideshow.

robert bergman: portraits, 1986-1995
national gallery of art, washington d.c.
oct. 11 to jan. 10

robert bergman: portraits, 1986-1995
moma p.s.1, new york
oct. 25 to jan. 14