18 December 2008

"The emblem, depicting the image of three people-you, me, him/her holding hands together, symbolizes the big family of mankind."

"In a group, the exchanges are always between the same people, whereas in collaborations, it's occasional: the associations are temporary and more diverse, they disappear and reappear, taking on new forms elsewhere, producing singular situations. Discussion has become an important moment in the constitution of a project; you can enter or leave it at any moment, which also affects the modes of production and allows you to escape a rigid and monomaniacal way of thinking. (...)
"We all have a relationship to the group that varies in intensity. It starts with the groups that form at school, the little gangs, then you never cease moving from group to group, and you keep fine-tuning your relationships with each one; that way you are paradoxically independent and attached at the same time. (...)
"[The group that I began working with in the '80s] didn't have so much to do with the ideological dimension [of the groups of the '70s] as with the dynamics. There were six or seven of us doing interventions in public space. It was a very short experience, but enough to see the limits of a collective, whereas with collaborations, a re-negotiation is always possible. It's a way to keep on learning. When you ground yourself in one form of knowledge, you domesticate it, you polish it. But knowledge should remain rough. To remain that way it has to be fed by a continuous dialogue."
- Pierre Huyghe, in Hans Ulrich Obrist Interviews Vol. 1.

10 December 2008

This song reminds me of my mam and dad spliting up and no-one giving a shit

Apparently M's dad is designing and building an artificial island
for ferrari off the coast of abu dhabi. Supposedly it will have a
shopping mall on it that will have a roof made of imitation metal
bamboo, printed to look like real bamboo. I may be conflating more
than one project here, but have been promised links. The intention was
to use real bamboo, only in the desert climate it would have dried out
and crumbled away, and also collected a 10cm layer of sand on top, and
to deal with this the owners would have had to employ workers to
constantly patrol the roof and sweep it away. Because the mall will
have enormous TV screens dangling inside displaying advertisements,
the roof has to be counterbalanced by having dangling sculptures
outside, hanging from the eaves. I think I suggested giant pandas
(maybe live ones in cages?) would be appropriate. but I'm not sure how
far this will penetrate the design process. I feel like I'm saying
this more than ever, but you really can't make this shit up. A baroque
acid dream indeed.

The Duck Prostitute

These two have been the principal companions of my enterprise, and the art is indefensible as a whole if it does not make clear the nature of my debt to them. In all those areas where our occupations have been distinguishable during the period in which the art was thought about and made, theirs has furnished my own with its most demanding context and its least uncertain purpose. In view of their close attention to the deficiencies of succeeding tests, I am confident that responsibility for the remaining failings rests with me.

25 November 2008

Are you patronizing me when you use emoticons?

"You know, fame is fleeting, leaves you hungry, leaves you cold, leaves you tired. Fortune never comes with it." - Joe Wurzelbacher

18 November 2008

You remind me of a younger version of myself

"Reader, you too are a butt-fucker. When you shit, your own crap fucks you."
-René Magritte, 1946.

15 November 2008

Santoka's tooth dream

"Writing about the artist's state of mind when working, Ruskin asserts that there is an "uncontrolled " dimension tied to the phenomenon of inspiration. The vision of the artist does not come (solely) from within, but rather passes through like a wind, the divine breath or spirit, that at times seems to alter the mind, driving the artist toward madness. (...) Ruskin associates the vision of the inspired artist to a mirror onto which the divine truth is reflected while, at the same time, it is blurred, or agitated, by his fallen (human) soul. The grotesque emerges through this movement, between the elevated divine truth and the base, natural nature of the human realm."
- Caroline Dionne, Architectural Creativity in Lewis Carrol's The Vision of the Three T's, in Architecture and Authorship.

6 November 2008

Seme della mela del Johnny

Under the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (Protocol I) there is a specific prohibition on perfidy:

"Article 37.-Prohibition of perfidy

1. It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy. The following acts are examples of perfidy:
(a) The feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender;
(b) The feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness;
(c) The feigning of civilian, non-combatant status; and
(d) The feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict.
2. Ruses of war are not prohibited. Such ruses are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly but which infringe no rule of international law applicable in armed conflict and which are not perfidious because they do not invite the confidence of an adversary with respect to protection under that law. The following are examples of such ruses: the use of camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation."

30 October 2008

Credit Crunch, Wheat Crunch, Oil Crunch...

For his first exhibition in a gallery, Pharrell Williams created some furniture with vibrant colors and slick surfaces. One chair with the legs of a man and a woman evokes a sexual intercourse. The chair is produced in four different colors, with a choice for the seat in leather, veal skin or velour leather. For this chair, Pharrell Williams diverted examples of classical furniture and updated it into his vision of style with intense colors and sensual material.

Pour sa première exposition en galerie, Pharrell Williams crée du mobilier au couleurs vives et aux surfaces lisses et brillantes. Une chaise avec les pieds d'un homme et d'une femme évoquant un acte intime. La chaise est déclinée en quatre couleurs, avec une assise en cuir, en peau ou en cuir velours. Pharrell détourne du mobilier classique, qui correspond à sa vision, avec des teintes vives et des matières sensuelles.

25 October 2008

There is no friend as loyal as a book. Ernest Hemingway

"5. To know that one does not write for the other, to know that these things that I write will never cause me to be loved by the one I love (the other), to know that writing compensates for nothing, sublimates nothing, that it is precisely there where you are not - this is the beginning of writing."
R. Barthes

18 October 2008

Our Vital Bodily Fluids (Land of Milk and Honey)

Letter: Andrew Lahde, Lahde Capital Management

By Andrew Lahde

Published: October 17 2008 19:09 Last updated: October 17 2008 19:09

October 17, 2008

Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say goodbye.

Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

There are far too many people for me to sincerely thank for my success. However, I do not want to sound like a Hollywood actor accepting an award. The money was reward enough. Furthermore, the endless list of those deserving thanks know who they are.

I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they lookforward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.

So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voicemails within normal time frames or at all. Andy Springer and his company will be handling the dissolution of the fund. And don’t worry about my employees, they were always employed by Mr. Springer’s company and only one (who has been well-rewarded) will lose his job.

I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life – where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management – with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.

On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal. First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government. Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt. George Soros, a man of staggering wealth, has stated that he would like to be remembered as a philosopher. My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man’s interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft’s near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken.

Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won’t see it included in BP’s, “Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions,” television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM’s similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country? Ah, the female. The evil female plant – marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other addictive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous. It has surely contributed to our dependency on foreign energy sources. Our policies have other countries literally laughing at our stupidity, most notably Canada, as well as several European nations (both Eastern and Western). You would not know this by paying attention to U.S. media sources though, as they tend not to elaborate on who is laughing at the United States this week. Please people, let’s stop the rhetoric and start thinking about how we can truly become self-sufficient.

With that I say goodbye and good luck.

All the best,

Andrew Lahde

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

17 October 2008

Maybe that's why curators find us so disgusting

"For Fritz, when he was writing, the lines meant roads and the letters ride on motor-bicycles - on the pen - upon them. For instance, 'i' and 'e' ride together on a motor-bicycle that is usually driven by the 'i' and they love one another with a tenderness that is quite unknown in the real world. Because they ride together there is hardly any difference between them, for the beginning and the end - he was talking of the small Latin alphabet - of 'i' and 'e' are the same, only in the middle the 'i' has a little stroke and the 'e' has a little hole. Concerning the Gothic letters 'i' and 'e', he explained that they also ride on a motor-bicycle, and that it is only a difference like another make of bicycle that the 'e' has a box instead of the hole in the Latin 'e'. The 'i's are skillful, distinguished and clever, have many pointed weapons, and live in caves, between which, however, there are also mountains, gardens and harbours. They represent the penis and their path coitus. On the other hand, the 'l's are represented as stupid, clumsy, lazy and dirty. They live in caves under the earth. In 'L'-town dirt and paper gather in the streets, in the little filthy houses they mix with water and dyestuff bought in 'I'-land and drink and sell this as wine. They cannot walk properly and cannot dig because they hold the spade upside down, etc. It became evident that the 'l's represented faeces. Numerous phantasies were concerned with other letters also."
-Melanie Klein "The Role of the School in the Libidinal Development of the Child," 

1 October 2008

Chubby Banker Bunker

"I saw that my uncle was about to be metamorphosed into the fearsome Professor, and I made no reply.
'Now,' he went on, 'look at the manometer. What does it say?'
'It indicates a considerable pressure.'
'Good. You can see by descending gradually, and accustoming ourselves little by little to the density of this atmosphere, we have avoided any sort of inconvenience.'
'Except for slight ear-ache.'
'That's nothing, and you can get rid of it by breathing quickly, to equalize the pressure inside your lungs with that outside.'
'Yes, of course,' I replied, determined to say nothing more which might annoy my uncle. 'It's even a positive pleasure to live in this dense atmosphere. Have you noticed how clearly you can hear everything down here?'
'I have. A deaf man would soon come to hear perfectly in these conditions.'
'But won't this density increase?'
'Yes, in accordance with a rather uncertain law. It is true that the weight of matter will diminish as fast as we descend. You know that it is at the surface of the globe that weight is most perceptible, and that at the centre of the earth objects weigh nothing at all.'
'I know that; but tell me, won't this air we are breathing end up by acquiring the same density as water?'
'Probably, under a pressure of 710 atmospheres.'
'And lower down?'
'Lower down the density will increase even further.'
'Then how shall we continue our descent?'
'We shall have to fill our pockets with stones.'
'You have an answer for everything, Uncle.'"

Jules Verne, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, p. 145.

19 September 2008

Dotted i's and crossed t's

"Lastly, if I may be forgiven a spasm of self-consciousness, I wish to state that, even had it not so befallen that much of this book was written during a time of almost unexampled crisis, I should have been under no illusion about the importance of my subject. The mind of one who happens to have an eye for a comma is not necessarily incapable of comprehending larger issues or embracing wider interests.
Boreham Street
January 1939"

G.V. Carey, Mind The Stop: A Brief Guide to Punctuation, p. 10.

15 September 2008

Passionately Swiss™

In Lehman’s London office, the bridgehead for the Wall Street firm’s international expansion, many were evidently determined to minimise their status as creditors to the firm.

“Some have more than £100 on their pre-pay canteen cards, [so] they’re buying hundreds of bars of chocolate, bags of roasted coffee and anything that’s non-perishable,” said one employee.

Others were more actively seeking employment. Recruiters were stationed at Canary Wharf coffee shops to collect curriculum vitae.

Some staff said they had been banned from sending e-mails, adding that BlackBerrys and mobile phones no longer worked.

“I’ve had people calling me from telephone boxes. In the old days you’d just pick up your Rolodex and you’d bugger off. Now everything in your life is with the company,” said a former employee.

- Financial Times, Shocked Lehman staff told to ‘move on’. Published: September 15 2008 21:42 Last updated: September 15 2008 21:42

22 August 2008

Hot Box

"Like the suspect smoke of hot tobacco in the pipe clenched between my teeth, my irritated ideas waft in shapeless currents, traceless after collision with solid objects. And there are so many solid and semi-solid objects. Shapeless smoke and ideas slither against them..."

- Jeanne Randolph, Ethics of Luxury, p18. YYZBOOKS, 2007.

20 July 2008

Take a look at this image. Where do you see your mother in the picture?

"The word 'Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else."
- George Orwell, What is Facism? 1944.

19 July 2008

Masculine Silk Factor

US Patent 7159994 - System and method for generating a flickering flame effect

The generation of a flickering flame effect is important in entertainment applications, since it provides a mechanism for simulating the flicker of a candle without actually using a candle. This is important since it provides numerous safety benefits as well as an ability to keep the artificial flame "burning" in the presence of significant air pressure variations.

One type of device that generates an artificial flame is commonly known as a "wiggle wire ball." Specifically, this device is a relatively large ball that has a flat filament, wherein the current in the filament takes a random path which alters from time to time, thereby simulating a flickering flame effect.

Another such device includes a series of orange and white LEDs that are cast in resin having a flame shaped surface. A current supplied to the LED's in a particular sequence gives rise to a flickering flame effect.

Yet another device is commonly referred to as a "silk flame." The silk flame includes a piece of silk that is blown upwards by a fan, causing it to undulate. A light projected on the silk piece is reflected off of the silk while it is moving, thereby creating a flickering flame effect. Another device for generating an artificial flickering flame effect is a lamp having a flicker wherein the flicker circuit is used to modulate the glowing light source within the bulb, thereby giving an appearance of a candle burning inside a lantern or a sconce.

Another flickering flame device is a light bulb inside a flame shaped plastic object, which has wires incorporated into it. The wires interact with electromagnets causing the flame shaped object to tilt from side to side under control of an electronic circuit.

13 July 2008

20 June 2008

Le Smoking

"Is Montreal the new Vancouver?"
Sarah Milroy, the Globe and Mail, May 30, 2008

12 June 2008

"Vogue Menthol Superslims

British-American Tobacco, lightly perfumed.  The first cigarette I ever smoked was a Vogue, and they still keep me company in my studio and in social situations. Their elegant, slim look and sublime taste do not help one entertain the thought of quitting.  (They do, however, help one entertain the thought of owning a fur coat.)  They've recently become available in a pink orchid-emblazoned special edition pack.  But don't try to call them ladies' cigarette - plenty of blokes smoke 'em too."

-Paulina Olowska, Artforum "Top 10", summer 2007 XLV no. 10

10 June 2008

Two right hands

"Common friendships can be shared. In one friend one can love beauty; in another, affability; in another, generosity; in another, a fatherly affection; in another, a brotherly one; and so on. But in this friendship love takes possession of the soul and reigns there with full sway: this cannot possibly be duplicated. If two friends asked you to help them at the same time, which of them would you dash to? If they asked for conflicting favours who would have the priority?" 
-Michel de Montaigne, The Essays of Montaigne XXVII: Of Friendship (1580).

2 June 2008

The Ralph Lauren paint rep only visits stores in places navigable by yacht

Me: What's it like, Ralph?
Ralph Lauren: (laughs and nods) It's incredible. I like your shirt.
[I was wearing Polo.]
Me: Thanks, I like it too.
Ralph Lauren (to Kate): I like yours too.
[she was wearing my Polo sweatshirt]
Kate: Thanks, it's his.
Me: How long have you had it?
Ralph Lauren: About a year now.
Me: Did you just take it out from your ranch?
Ralph Lauren: Yeah.
Me: I can imagine.
Ralph Lauren: What do you think of it?
Me: It's beautiful. Absolutely incredible.
[short pause]
Me: Sorry about all this.
Ralph Lauren: Don't worry about it.
Me: Thanks so much for bringing it out.
Ralph Lauren: Sure.
Me: Goodbye.
Ralph Lauren: Goodbye.

31 May 2008

May 31 2008

A provisional artwork by Knowles Eddy Knowles as response to the artist Lawrence Weiner in the interview with Cliff Lauson in the pages of Fillip 7 (Editor Jordan Strom), made from 'Type' lifted (from John Baldessari's late 60's paintings) by the curator Joseph Del Pesco for the purpose of "The Black Market Type & Print Shop" exhibition at Articule, Montreal.

You are looking for something that's already here

26 May 2008


"The art of our time, a thousand years from now, will be ceramic sinks and toilets, the only plentiful and durable objects. The ancient masters will be Kohler and American Standard, the latter obviously at the heart of American values."

- Donald Judd in Donald Judd: Architecture, Hatje Cantz Verlag

4 May 2008

Out of the Grauniad

Quand la fumée de tabac
sent aussi de la bouche 
qui l'exhale,
les deux odeurs
s'épousent par

Marcel Duchamp's back cover design for "View" (NY, V, nr. 1, March 1943)

26 April 2008

4.1 Crumpled Sheet Structures:


Crumpling a sheet means a ruleless deformation of a flat sheet through uncoordinated forces.  The act of "crumpling" is the result of the disordered impact of non-cordinated forces on an object.  Crumpled sheets are produced by a deliberately disordered action applied to a sheet.  In my experiments, I have applied crumpling to wire meshes and thin metal grids.

I do not find such crumpled sheet structures to be less solid than those folded in regular patterns.  Crumpled sheets can be easily represented, as they actually were, in a Fourier analysis, as the sum or as the interference pattern of different regularly undulated 2-d surfaces of sinusoidal character.  Their deformation under pressure is difficult to predetermine.  As a consequence of this, crumpled surfaces are uncomfortable to calculate and are thus neglected by engineers. 


The problem of implementing crumpled patterns in architecture arises less out of the technical problems involved and more out of the emotional reasons they raise.  In spite of our familiarity with such shapes, in many cases, we find them aesthetically repulsive since they hurt our instinct for order.  "Homo Faber" tries to impose his/her own geometric mind onto artefacts he/she creates.  But is this attitude the only possible attitude?"

Friedman, Y. (2006). Pro Domo.  Barcelona: Actar

"In particular, the extension to an ever greater number of wage-earners of the lack of any distinction between time and work and time outside work, between personal friendships and professional relationships, between work and the person of those who perform it - so many features which, since the nineteenth century, had constituted typical characteristics of the artistic condition, particularly markers of the artist's 'authenticity'- and the introduction of this 'modus operandi' into the capitalist universe, can only have contributed to disrupting reference points for ways of evaluating people, actions or things."

Chiapello, E & Boltanski, L (2005). The New Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Verso