Mar 7, 2015

Ordos

by Weng Fen (via)

When I was 19, I lived in China. My time there sticks with me like the smell of fried onions in a cook's apron.
ORDOS, A MAGICAL LAND in the just north of China, is a dazzling pearl in the world history and culture. That’s what it says — verbatim, in ungrammatical English — on a plaque that greets you as you enter a rotunda in the Ordos Museum. ... Signs welcome visitors to “the famous tourist city,” “the most excellent tourist city” and “the top tourist city in China.” The word Ordos itself is a kind of boast: In Mongolian, it means “many palaces.” The outside world has come to know Ordos by a different title: as a ghost city.
...
It is true that China is in the throes of a transformation without analogue or precedent. Experts say that in the next two decades, hundreds of millions of rural Chinese will move into hundreds of newly built cities — the biggest building boom, and the largest migration, in human history.

- "The Colossal Strangeness of China's Most Excellent Tourist City" for T Magazine (link)
I've never been to the city of Ordos. I am haunted by its condition. Recalling the strangeness of finding something desolate in China gives me feelings that I just can't shake. I will never forget the times I spent in places like this. My reminiscence lives somewhere between dysphoria and elation - somehow like the calm surprise of discovering a bruise as you run a finger down your leg. I can't stop thinking about deserted streets where welding sparks shower from the tops of rebar and cement sky-scrapers as they are pieced together at all hours of the night and day. I can't forget assembling around car trunk wares with friends during warm spring nights on the edge of the desert. This article and these photos have captured a feeling and a comprehension that I have never been able to convey.

Mar 3, 2015

Who Madeleine Østlie

Who is Madeleine Østlie? Is she an editor? Is she a photographer? I found this shoot titled DISTRICTIC MTV in her portfolio.

Who are these models? They're so badass. Who put this together? It's so badass. I am so sick of fashion trying to sell stuff using dead fish and a deeply exclusive sense of self-importance. I want to experience stories and ideas told by people who are using fashions as a medium.

Interesting from the same source:
MADDIE, JUKE, CLASH

via Madeleine Østlie

Even when I am in a state of 'fashion disgust'. I will never stop exploring. Discovering something that feels original, passionate, and honest is like hitting a way-point when I thought I was hopelessly lost. Maybe, because fashion magazines were my most accessible window into culture growing up, I am still deeply interested in the work within their pages. I revered the presentations that spoke the loudest and felt the realest. This particular one would be a good example.

Nowadays I appreciate fashion advertising and editorials as cultural compasses. I like to see how the interests of designers trickle their way into society. All things start somewhere, and the process of wearing things starts with a designer. So, whether you like it or not, sometimes flared pants will be the freshest thing in the supermarket.

CAT workboots, for example, are being showcased in this shoot. I recognize them as Timberlands at first. I don't see this as an advertisement for these boots, even if whoever was culling these pieces for this story had them placed in their hands. Timberland boots are one of your few options for footwear if you are in prison. Since their design, these work boots have now acquired the power of a million stories. (Interestingly, Timberland boots used to carry a lifetime warranty for any consumer, though the offer has recently been revoked to incarcerated peoples.) These boots are being applied to this project like a texture; they were picked to tell, not sell. This texture shows me two girls owning a massive male street swagger. The fashion in this shoot is acting as a foil to highlight both the status of black men and the flex of women.

If you ever do see an advertisement for Timberland they will show you either 1) a proud and massive workman with a jackhammer or 2) Nordic guy with a rugged leather satchel full of important documents and ice-climbing gear walking briskly along a cobbled city street.

Paper glossies are obsolete now, I am grown up. It's time to get real.
Fashion is made by gigantic threshing machines threaded by the commonwealth as their uber wealthy and self-absorbed multi-national overseers Instagram pictures of manicured fingers clutching pastel-colored French macroons #tru. I am not interested in fashion that sounds like a little klipp of heels in an alley.

I haven't outgrown fashion, not in the slightest! The clothes are finally starting to fit. If I want things done my way, maybe I should just start doing them myself.


Feb 26, 2015

Exercize

I wonder if my neighbors ever watch me exercise? I mostly dance after dark so I can use my windows as big mirrors. I don't mind being a weird person that does that thing because, whether we realize it or not, we all need people like that in our lives.
I am still uncomfortable with the idea of visiting the community gym. My job demands that I spend a lot of my time on display. When I'm at work, I feel like a hamster who's cage doesn't have a hut. In my private time, I much rather engage in situations that don't demand convivial banter.

Feb 24, 2015

Chocolate Box



I made this giant chocolate box.
There is about four feet of snow on the ground right now.

Feb 17, 2015

Chickadee Hill Flowers

Winter has got a lockjaw on the island right now and she is not letting go anytime soon. Winter reminds me of playing fetch with dog who won't give up her fetching stick. Once you do succeed in chucking her stick as far as you can, she brings it right back to you and refuses to give it up again. It takes so much effort to thrive during winter. The summer is short. Summer is salvation.

Gazing at these absolutely exquisite flower arrangements from my pal Chickadee Hill Flowers has been like medicine. Her work is beyond superb. Not only is she a brilliant artist, she also grows most of her materials (an appreciable task!). Maybe they will fill you with as much awe and hope as they have me. I can hardly remember what it feels like to have full sunshine beating down on my back as I turn warm fragrant soil with fork.
 

by Wylde Photography

Here's a picture of all of us on a lunch break during one of our biggest flower arranging gigs of the summer. As tight as our schedule was, we still found time to have some lunch in the sunshine.



Feb 5, 2015

Christophe Lemaire, Pre-Fall 2015

I love the lighting in this shoot. It has a strength to it that I can't quite describe. The cold and salty wet feeling from the sea helps put me right into these big jackets. Given that I live in a landscape much like the one depicted here, I really appreciate the juxtaposition of these clothes and the elements. This entire collection is wonderful - here are my favorites:






*The photographer and model are currently unknown to me.
I will update as soon as I find out.

Jan 27, 2015

Blue and Yellow

Private
I took this picture in the fall. I was sitting on my bed thinking about how blue the gloaming was and how yellow the light melting in from the kitchen felt. I think this photo captures that moment perfectly. The nights were starting to frost around this time - a chill that I love, when the sharpest colds are still distant enough to feel romantic.

Jan 26, 2015

Ama 海女

↑  by Fosco Maraini (via)

by Eishin Osaki (via)
 
by Yoshiyuki Iwase (via)

The ideas and fishing practices of the Ama pearl divers are so different from the ones used in the community where I live. These ladies are so legendary to me. They have such a strong faith in nature and the ocean. The picture above gives me a great feeling of summer and what is like to be a human.

"Ama – The Pearl Diving Mermaids of Japan"
One of the lesser-known but fascinating parts of Japanese culture is that of the Ama pearl divers. Ama (海女 in Japanese), literally means ‘woman of the sea’ and is recorded as early as 750 in the oldest Japanese anthology of poetry, the Man’yoshu. These women specialised in freediving some 30 feet down into cold water wearing nothing more than a loincloth. Utilising special techniques to hold their breath for up to 2 minutes at a time, they would work for up to 4 hours a day in order to gather abalone, seaweed and other shellfish. ...

This is an awesome short documentary on the Ama and features a great interview with a real live woman of the sea!


I highly recommend checking out this article ("Ama – The Pearl Diving Mermaids of Japan") by Michael Gakuran if you'd like to learn more!

Jan 19, 2015

Gouro Zaouli Dance

As far as seduction dances go, I say this is a pret-ty good one. 

Jan 15, 2015

Red Velvet

The World Nightclub, NYC 1980's (via)
I love when people use the word 'underbelly' to describe the darker plane of society. Underbelly makes me feel that everything on culture's opposite side can be exposed all in one go, like flipping an alligator over. Truth is, the underneath is full of folds and creases and is soft, hard, perilous, comfy, and full of fleas.

Jan 13, 2015

Onfim

"This is my Dad! He is a warrior. When I
grow up, I want to be a warrior just like him!" 

This is a little birchbark drawing by a boy named Onfim. He lived in Novgorod, Russia sometime during the 11th - 15th century. I wish my dad had rakes for hands. For more on Onfim and his drawings check The Art of Onfim.

Jan 3, 2015

Fully Dressed at the Seashore

Students in Amsterdam, 1960's (via)

Nova Scotia, 1962 by Volkmar Wentzel
for National Geographic (via)


Dec 17, 2014

Put me in, Coach

Kirsten Owen in 'Sportswear', Marie Claire Germany Nov. 1993 (via)
 
Who says you need to wear "exercise clothes" to work out? Theoretically, if you're exercising in something it then becomes exercise clothes? I really like this outfit because it's got the appropriate stuffeddoggie 2/3 ratio; two things one way, one thing the other. In this case,  you've raided a huge football player's duffel, stolen his underwear and track bottoms, and replaced them with your own skirt and stockings. He will be so surprised when he goes to get dressed for practice. You can watch his reaction via military binoculars from a mossy hillside .4 km away.




Dec 14, 2014

Maine Hockey

Umaine Black Bears Hockey 2014, vs. University of Vermont UVM

I went up to Black Bears hockey game at UMaine last week.
We lost to University Of Vermont
I love the smell of hockey rings - to me, the ice has a large soft fragrance that chills your cheeks and sticks in your clothes. Up close, you can smell the boys' hockey pads. In person, the game feels so different. I love the loud ting of a puck hitting the post. When a shot rockets into the wall, you can feel the resounding crack all through the arena.

Dec 12, 2014

Leo and Diane Dillon

These are two of the most impressionable book covers from my youth. The artwork of Leo and Diane Dillon is really fantastic. I love how certain aspects of these designs echo Japanese paintings illuminated like ancient European manuscripts. Through Leo and Diane's powers of illustration, you are preemptively thrilled by Lirael and Sabriel's strange and ambiguous danger. I was so eager to explore these worlds as a little girl. Maybe someday I'll pick these books up again. Also, how cool are those tunics and bandolier?

1995 (via)

2001 (via)

Dec 2, 2014

C'mere

Adelaïde Hall - Creole Love Call, with Duke Ellington and his orchestra (1927).
What a lady. I love this song for Adelaïde's lilt and lustful churning. Ai ya.


Nov 30, 2014

No Flex Zone

Wintertime is setting in. I dance for exercise - keep the heat at 58°F. My houseplants typically go into a state of dormancy due to brief daylight hours, low temps, and lack of humidity. Some whitefly came in with the colocasia (aka black magic elephant's ear, pictured right) and I've been treating the outbreak with Safer Soap. If you love the smell of powdered doughnuts and hate toxic chemicals, Safer Soap is the organic plant pest treatment for you.