On My Mind 01.06.12

AliStrange and Beautiful Things

Sunk deep in the night.  As one sometimes sinks one’s head in meditation, thus utterly to be sunk in the night.  All around people are asleep.  It’s a harmless affectation, an innocent self-deception, to suppose that they are sleeping in houses, in safe beds, under a safe roof, stretched out or curled up on mattresses, in sheets, under blankets; in reality they have gathered together as they once did of old, and again later, in a desert region, a camp in the open, a countless number of men, a host, a people, under a cold sky on cold earth, cast … Read More

The Line is the Feeling

AliStrange and Beautiful Things

I was sad to hear about the death of Cy Tombly today.  In my first year at university, when I was doing fine art, one of the staff noticed that I kept writing on my canvases and suggested that I checked out Twombly, who often incorporated scratchy text into his work.  I loved his paintings right away, especially the ones where he scrawled sentences across them, or bits of script that looked like made-up languages, or strange words half concealed behind thicker layers of paint.  At a later point, the university art staff suggested that I was writing a little … Read More

Love What You Love

AliStrange and Beautiful Things

What great births you have witnessed! The steam press, the steamship, the steel ship, the railroad, the perfected cotton-gin, the telegraph, the phonograph, the photograph, photo-gravure, the electrotype, the gaslight, the electric light, the sewing machine, & the amazing, infinitely varied & innumerable products of coal tar, those latest & strangest marvels of a marvelous age. And you have seen even greater births than these; for you have seen the application of anesthesia to surgery-practice, whereby the ancient dominion of pain, which began with the first created life, came to an end in this earth forever; you have seen the … Read More

In Caverns Deep

AliStrange and Beautiful Things

Turns out the cavemen didn’t live like this, after all. If you live near a cinema that’s showing it, I recommend getting down there to watch the Werner Herzog documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams.  Herzog has filmed the beautiful cave paintings in the Chauvet Cave and, unless you’re the world’s top paleohistorian, this film is the only way you’re likely to experience them. In many ways it’s a very straightforward movie.  Herzog shows the paintings in all their prehistoric resplendence and never once masks his own awestruck reaction.  This approach is, of course, entirely to his credit.  He gets the … Read More

Silence

AliStrange and Beautiful Things

Gosh, it’s been a month since I posted anything.  March has flown by: a month during which I lost my mobile phone and watched with bewilderment and déjà vu as both my computer and television died.  This seems to happen to me every spring.  It’s as consistent as the daffodils. All of which is a sort of excuse and apology.  I have a big announcement due soon, which I hope will make up for some of the recent silence here. In the meantime, I have been in the woods. And I have been loving Kate MacDowell’s sculpture And remembering the … Read More