Archive for the 'the faith' Category

Border crossings

I drove to Montréal last week to show some of my stickers to Elise Luong at Fresh Paint Gallery.  They’ll be shown there in December along with some of Oli’s stickers from Hatch Kingdom – everything Oli, Nada, and I (and my students!) presented at SLU in the fall of 2010, plus some new framed stickers that I’m putting together on oil consumption (see previous post), the economy, as well as stickers from the 2008 Presidential election that I haven’t shown before and other miscellaneous stickers from 2010-2011 to bring the exhibition up to date.  Crossing the border into Canada wasn’t as easy as I had been lead to believe.  US customs folks had told me beforehand I wouldn’t need any sort of paperwork for this day trip since I wasn’t leaving anything in the country, and since nothing was for sale.  Instead, Canadian customs in Cornwall, ON, pulled me in to talk with an agent, and I had to open the back of my car and show him and another agent my portfolios of stickerboards.  It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was an interesting experience with authority that left me feeling somewhat cowed.  One portfolio happened to open to a sheet of German stickers with people throwing Molotov cocktails at the police, which was unfortunate, and caused the two agents to call over a third.  They all wore white gloves to inspect my goods, and one said, “I’m not touching those.”  Yipes.  I showed them many examples of stickers and luckily, the exhibition text panel from 2010 was in one of the portfolios.  One agent read it and said aloud “student film, okay” and that seemed to be the end of the inspection.  I was legit!

Later that week, I started to do some serious research on transporting items across the border.  I’ve rented a U-Haul and plan to bring 52 framed pieces to Montréal next Tuesday.  One Web site suggested I register for an importer/exporter account, which I did by calling a 1-800 number.  I asked what the importer/exporter account registration was good for, and the woman on the line said it was a post-9/11 homeland security measure.  It seemed kind of odd that I could apply for this thing without showing any ID or seeing anyone in person, but I gave my name and address and for what it’s worth now have an account.

Today I went back to the customs offices at Ogdensburg, NY, and Prescott, ON, to double-check that I have everything in order to transport next week.  It seems one can fill out a simple US form, and with my account number, cross over to Canada and take the chance that everything will go smoothly with CBSA.

Or, one can go through an international customs broker, which is what I have decided to do.  I’m working with Strader-Ferris, and the CA customs agent today assured this was the best way to handle the transport.  I don’t want anything to go wrong with this precious cargo!

The sticker exhibition at Fresh Paint is part of a much larger show they’re presenting called Arab Winter, “a multi-media, multi-disciplinary event with musicians, painters, calligraphists, graffiti artists and short films.”  I have about 800 square feet on the second floor of a gorgeous building at 180 St. Catherine Street East.  I plan to line the walls with scrap chain link fence gates that I scrounged behind SLU’s Physical Plant and will hang the framed artworks on the gates to give the show a sort of urban gritty feel.  Carole, Arline, Ray, and I will try to get it all done on Wednesday.  NP!  I hope!  Pics to follow….

B2B x 2

B2B = back to blogging!

It’s been over a month since my last blog post.  I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately with the flood of information that is available online to the point where I can’t write.  I leave tabs open in Firefox to remember all the cool stuff out there: a new online anarchist archive at the University of Victoria in BC, Canada; a book called OurSpace: Resisting the Corporate Control of Culture; Death and Taxes’s Occupy Wall Street Systematically Ignored by Mainstream Media; AP’s Wall Street protester’s dress as zombies in NYC; Occupy Boston at Dewey Street’s downloadable print and post flyers; the Anarchist’s Developments’s article called The Response of Cultural Studies to 9/11 Skepticism in American Popular Culture; a YouTube video about Peter Claussen als Diplomat in der DDR (Peter Claussen is a U.S. State Department colleague of a friend of mine now situated in Berlin and might be a great contact!); an Ai Weiwei photography show at the Martin-Gropius-Bau opening this Friday; and, of all things, a story about the spiritual side of the OWS protests, in which a Tom Beaudoin, associate professor of theology at Fordham University, writes,

“… when they embody visions of a possible future that influence the larger social imagination, and when they sculpt the desires of the protestors themselves for the better.  In these ways, resistance can become symbolic action, protests become like religious ritual — and in those ways, even more important.”

(Made me miss my dad, again.)

B2B also means back to Berlin!!!!!!  I’m heading over on Thursday for a week, and once again, same as my last trip, the stars are aligned for good things.  A series of demonstrations around the world will take place on Saturday, October 15, for “a global revolution.”  I’ve been trying to find a single Web site for the event, which I realize is impossible, but have only come up with various FB sites and YouTube videos.  Knowing what I’ve seen in German stickerland, however, I’m sure there will be some serious street art in Berlin.  I’m also making a short trip to Hamburg this time.  A few people have indicated that Hamburg has a pretty lively street art scene and left-wing political antifa culture.

I also learned today the Stroke Urban Art Fair #5 will be in Berlin this weekend, October 14-16, 2011.  Hot dawg!  SLU students, Spencer-la, and I traveled to Munich in May 2010 to see Stroke #2, and everyone said how the Munich show was much more focused on sales and $$.  Richer clientele.  The Berlin version is supposed to be a little more alternative.  We’ll see.

Okay, off to pack and do laundry.  Count down!

Dear diary. August 8, 2011.

  • The Los Angeles MOCA exhibition Art in the Streets closed today.  If I were rich, I’d have flown over to see it before now.  The show was supposed to travel east to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, but the BMA cancelled it due to “budget reductions.”  [Side note: their current exhibition on Vishnu looks pretty interesting, tho.]  Not sure if Art in the Streets will travel at all after LA, but I sure hope so.
  • The director emeritus (not sure what you call it) of Traditional Arts of Upstate New York, Varick Chittendon, is good friends with Martha Cooper, or “Marty,” as he calls her.  He told me today of a show called “Martha Cooper Remix” at LA’s Carmichael Gallery (reviewed here), in which over 50 street artists reinterpret her original photographs and create new works of art.  Sorry to have missed it, tho Varick thinks I should contact Marty to bring the show to SLU.  Right on, bro.
  • Other things I’ve not been able to attend this summer include The Response, Rick Perry’s prayer rally in DC last Saturday, which drew 30,000.  There was nothing on RP’s Web site about the event, however, so the link above takes you to the Huffington Post, whose headline today features a story on London Burning.
  • The Dow Jones closed nearly 635 points lower today after falling another some 500 points last Friday.  It’s the worst fall since December 2008, acc. to the Wall Street Journal tomorrow.  Yeah, dated August 9, 2011.
  • My old laptop is really overheating.  Hold on there, buddy!
  • I got a disconnect service letter from The NIMO Man over the weekend, or as he likes to call himself, “National Grid.”  Luckily I had paid $70 on August 1 (pay day) so the lights and computer are still on.
  • Also went to see The Time Warner Cable Man this morning to see if I could shave my monthly bill a bit.  Boy, they are foxy.  I can reduce the number of TV channels and pay more!
  • Okay, no more procrastinating.  Time for the RMS.  Have you noticed she’s been wearing a lot of make-up lately?  What’s that all about?  She’s sharp as a whip but talks too fast sometimes.
  • Nice thing about summer is that there is a little more time for links.
  • Sorry to complain about bills.  It’s a scary time everywhere.  I’m lucky to have a job I love, a house I love, and two kittehs and a pup who love me!
  • I miss my dad.  He would surely have quite a bit to say these days, aside from “hire a boy.”  🙂
  • Back to business.  A very cool show at the New Museum in NYC until September 25 called Ostalgia that includes work by artists from 20 countries pre-and post-fall of the Berlin Wall and Communist bloc.  I won’t miss this one!

Summer 2011

Summer tasks (or accomplishments, depending on how you look at it)

Configure new laptop (check)

Install InDesign CS4 (check)

Deinstall CS4 and install CS5 (ergh)

Learn inDesign (in progress)

Test Blurb print-on-demand (soon)

Import 3,000+ image files into iPhoto on new laptop (in progress)

Get admin rights for new laptop in order to download Dropbox (check)

Organize image files into an official archive on SLU server (in progress)

Scan earliest stickers in black notebook from NYC, 2005-2007 (need to find a student now that Joe Pomainville is gone= NTFAS)

Scan stickers in red notebook, 2008-2009 (NTFAS)

Put most recent 2010 and 2011 stickers into mylar pockets (moi)

Re-photograph sticker sheets from 2006 exhibition with professional camera and lights (check, thanks, Carole Mathey!)

Crop these sticker sheet large image files to make image files for individual stickers (NTFAS)

Continue cataloging stickers for ContentDM database (ongoing as time permits, thanks, Arline Wolfe!)

Get back to writing real content (SOON!!!)

The Book of Threes

Last one, I promise.  Back to sticker sticky business after this little diversion.

The Book of Threes, Part III

New ones, post-trip.

[Earth, Wind, and Fire – the band]; [Buddha, dharma; sangha]; [33 1/3, 45, 78]; [home phone, work phone, cell phone]; [Tupper, Viggo, Frankie (haha another inside joke)]; [black, white, and gray]; [uptown, downtown, midtown]; [bacon, lettuce, and tomato]; [Word, Excel, Powerpoint]; [rock, paper, scissors]; [Caesar, Crassus, Pompey]; [boiled, fried, scrambled]; [red light, green light, yellow light]; [Moe, Larry, Curly]; [phone, Internet, cable TV]; [RGB Roy G. Biv]; and two from Bob Natowitz = [shake, rattle, and roll] and [going, going, gone].  Thanks, bud!

The Book of Threes, Part II

[Atkinson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe]; [apprentice, journeyman, master]; [greater than, less than, equal]; [igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary]; [A, B, C]; [X, Y, Z]; [ear, nose, and throat]; [citius, altius, fortius]; [NBC, ABC, CBS]; [Guy, Roger, Mike (haha inside joke)]; [Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod]; [lather, rinse, repeat]; [me, myself, and I]; [red, blue, yellow]; [orange, green, purple]; [walk, trot, and canter]; [hop, skip, and a jump]; [gold, silver, bronze]; [veni, vedi, veci, or I came, I saw, I conquered]; [small, medium, large]; [1st, 2nd, and 3rd]; [Huey, Dewey, and Louie]; [1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person]; [sun, earth, moon]; [red, white, and blue]; [truth, justice, and the American way]; [id, ego, superego]; [I, me, mine]; [liberté, égalité, fraternité]; [It’s easy as 1,2,3]; [Cathy, Carole, and Todd!]….

The Book of Threes, Part I

Years back, en route to the Arctic of all places, two colleagues and I came up with The Book of Threes, and I’ve wanted to put it to pen ever since (shout out to Carole and Todd).  Here is Part I.

[proton, neutron, electron]; [ready, set, go]; [lock, stock, and barrel]; [flat head, Phillip’s head, spanner head]; [positive, negative, neutral]; [north pole, south pole, equator]; [guitar, drums, and bass]; [breakfast, lunch, and dinner]; [coffee, tea, or me]; [bell, book, and candle]; [Peter, Paul, and Mary]; [woman, dog, and tent]; [stop, drop, and roll]; [stop, look, and listen]; [the good, the bad, and the ugly]; [love, honor, and obey]; [head, hand, and heart]; [no shirt, no shoes, no service]; [body, mind, and spirit]; [Judaism, Christianity, Islam]; [faster, stronger, harder]; [blood, sweat, and tears]; [ketchup, mustard, relish]; [Canada, Mexico, and the US]; [Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria]; [forward, neutral, reverse]; [water, earth, sky]; [control, alt, delete]; [meat, potato, veg]; [baked, broiled, or fried]; [3 muskateers]; [Mickie, Peter, and Davey]; [Barbie, Skipper, and Midge]; [Nancy, George, and Bess]; [mild, medium, hot]; [JFK, MLK, RFK]; [morning, noon, and night]; [ice, water, vapor]….

More to follow.  I really need to get a life….


I’ve spent several days this past month organizing the some-odd 2,000 stickers I’ve collected in Berlin since 2004 and coming up with an outline of sorts with which to begin writing.  The organizing process itself was extremely illuminating, esp. as I begin to do the same with another few thousand stickers from NYC.  For one thing, I’m finding far fewer similarities than I expected – far fewer.  The next phase is what I call writing-to-think.  Not all that original, yadda yadda, but it’ll do.  I’ve team-taught writing to first-year students on-and-off, and with the work I do as a gallery director, I always encourage artists and writers to come up with that killer first sentence to draw in one’s audience.  Here is one from James Howard Kunstler’s most recent post “The Jobs Picture” from his Clusterfuck Nation that can’t be beat.  This guy can dance through a straw with his writing.

The clarion cries of “recovery” cut painfully through the crisp pre-Christmas air while the now-perpetually unemployed huddle in their tents around the Sacramento delta, and the state AGs slug it out with the foreclosure goons, and not a few mortgage payment drop-outs enjoy luxury living in McMansions with no monthly carrying costs, and the minions of Goldman Sachs (with fellow squids) groom their beaks waiting for the massive chum slick of bonus checks to be dropped by helicopters in this the third holiday season since Wall Street committed suicide by an overdose of Ponzi.

Brilliant.  Or nuts.  Or neither.  Or both.

I love writing.  This will be great fun.

“What is a cat?”

Today is my sister Jean’s 47th birthday, and with love and my dear Dad’s sense of humor, I share this poem that she wrote as a young girl.  It’s called, “What is a cat?”

“What is a cat?

I will tell you.

A cat is a funny thing (like a big fur ball).

Find a playful kitten and get under your covers and move your feet back and forth.  (See what happens.)

If a cat is pregnant it will roll back and forth, that is called heat.

The cat will go away for a couple of days then when it comes back her kittens will be tagging along.

I think cats are cute.



Flickr Photos

August 2022