Monkey Dust

19 Apr 19

Hello guys A month ago, Whether is a lot of micro dust and very cold but spring came and pretty cherry blossoms were blooming. My hands are still sore, but I went to see the cherry blossom festival. The cherry blossoms in Ansan are pretty, but I went to Jamsil in Seoul. Because on special […]

19 Apr 19
Dinomyar Writes

“Private! What do you think you are doing?” yelled Master Sergeant Smith. The private snapped to attention “Trying to get a cup of coffee, sir!” “Why are you hitting the machine! This machine does not require to be hit in any of its operating instructions.” “I followed the instructions, but nothing comes out, sir!” “Look […]

18 Apr 19
CRUELTY-FREE TOYS

There is a dead clown on my couch. It has been there for about two months.  I came home late Sunday afternoon, unlocked the door to my apartment, walked in, closed the door behind me, locked it, put my keys up on the dresser, turned around, and there it was. Now, out of respect for […]

18 Apr 19
Filmflammable

This was a film that I had little enthusiasm for. I only really went to see it because it filled the gap between my other two films (Hellboy and Wild Rose). I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Another great film for breaking the typical gender stereotypes we so often see in animated films, our […]

18 Apr 19
sophieinmelbourne

It was the first week of the school holidays and we made the most of the free children’s holiday entertainment on offer in Melbourne (even unwittingly!). We stumbled on a kids magic show in the library – a small, slick Italian pulled colourful silk scarves and feather-flowers from mouths and ears, delighted his young audience […]

18 Apr 19
Love.Honor.Obey

Men are not incapable or worthless. Never say men have no direction, or are lazy, or unqualified. Do not say they can’t decide or have no creativity. Stop insisting you are two different people. Above all, do not claim he doesn’t love you. Every one of these assertions, completely go against God’s word for man. […]

18 Apr 19
Confessions of a B-Minus Mom

The other day, I finally hosted my first playdate at my house. That is, I actually had my own friends and their kids over. Despite having an almost three year old, and despite having a fair number of parent friends, I’ve never actually felt comfortable enough to have anyone over. So finally, I did. I […]

18 Apr 19
My therapist says I need to move on...

Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water so to speak I end up detoured at Set Back City. I was doing well. Heck, I started a blog lol! Yesterday I got an email from my lawyer and it turned my day and my night and I’m struggling with my […]

18 Apr 19
AR's blog

I had no idea a fruit ladden mango tree could arouse so much nostalgia. The April summer was filled with tenderness of dew drops, belli flowers and the enchanting cuckoo. Mango groves was a place of recluse eschewing from the relentless nagging of the siblings. Running into it every noon, pelting stones, playing monkeys and […]

17 Apr 19
Magnetricity

That’s right, it has a soundtrack. If you’ve made the choice to play Pokemon Black or White, you’ve already made a great choice. It has aged well as a true gem in the Nintendo DS lineup. You may be playing it, but are you playing it right? To play a game of Pokemon right involves […]

17 Apr 19

Nashville, Tennessee may be known as Music City but there’s so much more to it. Go for the music, stay for the atmosphere. FAVORITE LOCAL BOUTIQUES What’s going to a new city without exploring the shopping it has to offer? Ever Alice (2209 Bandywood Drive Suite G)“They are ALWAYS on trend, they are in a […]

17 Apr 19
Hmm Daily
I knew, even before I had opened the car door, that it was a mistake to release a five-year-old into a desert dust storm, even for art. The five-year-old didn’t care about art. What she wanted was fun. And to her, fun was the only explanation for all the people with hunched shoulders, chins pressed to chest, staggering against the rapidly shifting wind. Their destination, and ours, was an immense, neon-orange, rectangular box—Specter (2019), by the Los Angeles–based artist Sterling Ruby—resting on a patch of desert south of CA-111 at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. That was the fun of it, the journey of finding the works, or so I had thought. We were trying to take in Desert X, a biennial contemporary art exhibition only in its second edition, whose calling card is the desert landscape of the Coachella Valley. Since its successful inaugural run in 2017, Desert X has distinguished itself from the crowded schedule of international art biennials with its dedication to site-specificity. Just as in 2017, all nineteen works in this year’s exhibition are placed at outdoor locations, some more accessible than others. And that was the fun of it, the journey of finding the works, or so I had thought.  From the freeway, Specter flashed by in an instant; its fluorescent incongruence to the surrounding landscape barely registered. But up close, the 3,000 pounds of painted aluminum glowed like a post-apocalyptic warning sign. It radiated total artificiality, from its biohazard-orange luminescence, the machine-perfected edges, and the semi-reflective surface that calls to mind Gerhardt Richter’s disturbingly mesmerizing Mirror, Blood Red (1991). Its message was clear: Approach with caution.  Arriving in Palm Springs by air always inspires in me a heart-pumping excitement. After the plane passes the San Gorgonio Mountain, the Coachella Valley comes into view suddenly, like a mirage. Neat, alternating squares of beige sand and lush greenery fan out to the very edge of the ragged mountain ranges. Shimmering pools of azure punctuate the checkerboard pattern, while straight, black asphalt lines cut through and across, sometimes forming a border between uninhabited desert and unfinished housing developments. Once on the ground, the air is dry and clear. As advertised, golf resorts with fountains, new homes with swimming pools, and water-thirsty green lawns abound. It’s the desert, after all. In his curatorial statement, Neville Wakefield, Desert X’s artistic director, cites Bruce Nauman’s 1973 lithograph “Pay Attention Motherfuckers” as “the message of the art, in more or less subtle ways.” In the Nauman work, mirror-image capitals in bold type spell out the title phrase, stacked in four lines. It takes a moment for the eyes and brain to align. To solve the puzzle is also to follow its command. Simply driving from one location to another is to go on an extended sociological survey of the American West. For Desert X, Wakefield has also constructed a puzzle whose resolution requires following commands. In this case, the commands are those of a GPS. The 19 works are scattered on either side of a 60-mile-long diagonal line that traverses Coachella Valley. Bookended by the farming communities of Whitewater and Mecca, the route passes through six other cities, from the wealthy enclaves of Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Palm Desert, to the working-class neighborhoods of Desert Hot Springs, Indio, and Coachella. The neat squares seen from the airplane materialize as tracts with houses and inhabitants. Simply driving from one location to another is to go on an extended sociological survey of the American West. In their choices of works, Wakefield and co-curators Amanda Hunt and Matthew Schum display a canny understanding of what visitors to contemporary art exhibitions desire—dramatic backdrops for screen-friendly photographs that double as signifiers of intellectual rigor. In 2017, Doug Aitken’s site-specific installation Mirage House, a typical suburban one-story house constructed entirely out of mirrors, achieved total social media ubiquity while serving up a critique of the attention-seeking flocks. This year, the mantle of being virtual billboards for the biennial is shared by several works: Dive-In by the art collective Superflex, whose pastel pink temple or monumental fish tank furniture comments on the ecological past of the Coachella Valley, which was once the seafloor of the Gulf of California. The large-scale mural Visit Us in the Shape of Clouds, by Armando Lerma, a second-time participant and the only local artist, provokes with its location, a fenced-in water tank not far from the city of Coachella’s landfill. Ghost Palm by Kathleen Ryan is a transparent 20-foot replica of the desert fan palm, a beloved native California plant that gave its name to many nearby cities. The reproduction of an otherwise common object using industrial materials carries an echo of Mirage House. But Ghost Palm offers the additional sonic pleasure of plastic “fronds” rustling in the wind.   Desert X installation view, Superflex, Dive-In, 2019, photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X. Desert X installation view, Armando Lerma, Visit Us in the Shape of Clouds, 2019, photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X. Desert X installation view, Kathleen Ryan, Ghost Palm, 2019, photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X. By themselves, none of these three works are difficult to find. But visited in sequence, the vast distances of the desert become inconvenient, almost prohibitive. The Mexico City–based artist Pia Camil embraced these limitations of distance, intentionally locating her work, Lover’s Rainbow, in the United States and Mexico. Camil commissioned two identical rainbows made of painted rebar, placing one in Rancho Mirage, the other in Baja, Mexico. The “lover” of the title evokes the thousands of families forcibly separated by the Trump administration’s prohibitive immigration policy. But to Camil, the vibrantly colored rainbows, strong as bundled steel, are also meant to be symbols of hope and optimism. The dual location encourages those who have the resources to cross the border and experience the differences, if any, at the other end of the journey. The bridging of distances is also a theme in Wormhole, by Brazilian artist Cinthia Marcelle. Wormhole is a multi-site installation that takes place at six vacant storefronts in five different cities of Coachella Valley, plus one in Tijuana, Mexico. Television monitors set up inside the shops show the exterior of one of the other storefronts. The video feed creates a visual shortcut that grants access across time and space, from one site of abandoned commerce to another. The television monitors animate the empty shop windows in a way similar to how Desert X and other biennials aim to focus attention on disregarded localities. The vacant shops are comparable to a local community that needs to be renewed, revitalized, reclaimed, and just as often, dominated. In today’s highly globalized art market, this “transformation” often goes one of two ways. One outcome is gentrification, the substitution of a rootless, ahistorical, internationalist perspective for the hard work of reckoning with the violence that had sucked the life out of many urban centers in the first place. Desert X installation view, Pia Camil, Lover’s Rainbow, 2019, photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X. Desert X installation view, Cinthia Marcelle, Wormhole, 2019, photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X. Desert X installation view, Iván Argote, A Point Of View, 2019, photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X. A second, and the possibility that Marcelle is demonstrating, which seems to be the goal of Wakefield and Desert X as well, is a network of interdependent, mutually beneficial, parallel futures. In the Coachella Valley, this could take the form of preventing the ecological collapse of the Salton Sea; organizing local resources to enliven historic downtown Coachella, as Armando Lerma has done; respecting the land rights of the Agua Caliente Tribe in Palm Springs; and possibly, holding golf courses accountable for excessive water use. It would also mean more houses, people moving in and out, more man-made changes to the valley.  Desert X installation view, Iván Argote, A Point Of View, 2019, photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy of Desert X. But there is also a third option, that of accepting the ruin as it happens, as Iván Argote poetically articulates in his work, A Point of View. On a vacant plot north of the Salton Sea, five concrete staircases are arranged in an imperfect oval. Words in English and Spanish are engraved on both sides of every step on the staircases, bringing forth the possibility of new lines of poetry with every step. At the top of each staircase is a simple observation platform, from which the Salton Sea, the San Jacinto Mountains, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the Joshua Tree National Park are all visible. Since it was first installed, some stairs have cracked, and pieces have fallen. A few of the words are no longer decipherable. And eventually, the staircases will be gone too. All that will be left will be lot itself, which one day might disappear into houses. Or perhaps the houses nearby will be abandoned first. The five-year-old put on her unicorn-decorated hiking hat, then bounded out of the backseat into the dust storm. She approached nothing with caution. The wind immediately lifted the hat off and carried it into the desert. We both started running after it. It must have been a sight: a woman sprinting ahead, followed by a wailing child, while eddies of sand whirled all around.  Finally, a distance of two city blocks later, way past the normal viewing areas for Specter, the hat came to a halt, caught in the branches of a creosote bush. In the far distance, the electricity-generating windmills of San Gorgonio Pass spun round and round. The five-year-old, astonishingly, managed to catch up to me. But now she was tired and had had enough. She refused to walk one more step. The wind direction changed again and pelted sand in our faces. I put her on my back and slowly made our way to the parking lot. Back in the car, exasperated and exhausted, I thought of Argote’s staircases again. On the day we visited them, a construction crew was busy renovating a small public playground next to the road leading to the artwork. The playground had a simple play structure, with one slide, a short monkey bar, and a sand pit. The workers were putting in fencing. Across the way were two weatherworn houses with rusted scooters in the backyard. A few houses in the neighborhood looked abandoned. It was midmorning, and there were no kids anywhere in sight. I was sure that I would not be back to look at those houses again, not for a long time. But the new playground should be there for a while. The kids who grow up in that neighborhood, will climb to the top of the slide, look around, then slide down. They will do this over and over. They will see blue-gray mists rising up from the Salton Sea, the slope of the San Jacinto Mountains in the far distance, watch the train whistle past on the railroad. Then one day they will be all grown up, and they will want to go see something else. Desert X runs through April 21 in Coachella Valley, California.
17 Apr 19
Burning Feathers

I felt the scorching winds from the nuclear blast pour through the side doors as it howled like a ferocious monster. I held onto the nets behind me for dear life as the Blackhawk shook before fishtailing back and forth as the pilots tried to get ahold of what systems they managed to revive. I […]

17 Apr 19
ClementST

Opening Ceremony Part 2 Brotherly Love “So your name Spencer right?” One of the other students asked him. “Yeah it is, and by the way, why are you guys still following me?” He asked turning to the group of students that were following him since the bellum deo incident. “We don’t know where to go […]

17 Apr 19
Japan Safety : Nuclear Energy Updates

” The big question It’s been nearly eight years since the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, which sent radiation plumes floating across the world and forced the evacuation of much of the surrounding area. Now, with the Olympics coming to Tokyo next year, Fukushima is being set up as a […]

17 Apr 19

His Dark Materials at a Glance Author Philip Pullman’s trilogy, Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, has been given a two season order from the BBC, with HBO picking up the worldwide rights. to release in 2019. Pullman was born in Norwich in 1946, and educated in England, Zimbabwe, and Australia Secondary education at the Ysgol […]

16 Apr 19
Monkey Run Peru 2019

We thought we would treat ourselves to half an hour longer in bed this morning and a shorter day after yesterday’s mammoth effort. Destination: Huancayo, just 75km, but with the added complication of getting the jug there in one piece! Jack took on the challenge! We received a fond farewell from the family who owned […]