26 Articles
Analia Saban

Editor’s Note: This review first appeared November 18, 2010.

For the last week, I have been thinking of what to write about for my first post on an internet blog. Since the practice of blogging usually seems personal, I decided to write on experiences that contribute to the thinking process that promotes the art-creation process. I’m intrigued by creativity: where do ideas come from? I thought that by blogging on readings, exhibitions, and other input that spark thinking, we might shed a bit of light on the output.

For my 30th birthday I booked a ticket to Berlin to visit two concurrent exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum in Wolfsburg: Rudolf Steiner’s first retrospective (originally organized by the Vitra Museum in Basel): “Alchemy of the Everyday” and an exhibition on his influence on contemporary artists: “Rudolf Steiner and Contemporary Art.” In due time, Steiner got the institutional recognition he deserves.

Tom Long

Editor’s Note: This review first appeared May 13, 2011.

My knowledge of Nottingham, UK, extends to the Robin Hood movies I grew up watching as a kid courtesy of WGN Family Classics (featuring Douglas Fairbanks) and Disney (with a cartoon fox). I don’t know much of its music scene, yet I’ve been obsessing lately over instrumental recordings from a pair of bands that hail from there — Kogumaza and Souvaris.

With all the yap-yap and chatter by the talking pixels of the 24/7 cable news/internet, my brain needs a break. I don’t always have the attention span for listening to songs. What I particularly enjoy about a well done instrumental is the freedom it allows me to imagine. No whiny, sappy, heartbroken, political or obtuse lyrics to badly date an era. Just get right to the good stuff.

Kogumaza is a trio that create a dense, cinematic experience on their self-titled release that just came out this week. The two-track download plays like an LP (if you don’t actually buy the vinyl). Each side features a four-piece suite of ambient, hypnotically droning, reverberating guitars; fuzzed out bass and drums cleverly stitched together. The approach is simple and well-crafted, never proggy or flashy.


John Hicks

The other night I was watching Blue Velvet for the 26th time. I am helpless against the power of Blue Velvet, especially if it’s an uninterrupted (looking at you, IFC), uncensored showing, which this happened to be.

I’m a big fan of David Lynch. Generally speaking, I think Lynch makes movies about The Movies, and that alone would normally be enough to keep me interested. But he also has a terrific imagination and a painter’s eye for color and detail.

Just about everything Lynch has directed, including the oddly successful Twin Peaks television series, is by turns familiar and eerie. It’s hard to identify a tonal baseline in a Lynch film. Things get weird fast, and they just get weirder as the story unfolds.

The landscapes of films like Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart (1990) are relentlessly gorgeous and, well, Lynchian. You know you’ve accomplished something when your last name becomes an adjective. Hats off, sir!

Derek Bridges

What: A “Special Collector’s Edition” magazine called Oliver North: Portrait of an American Hero.

Where: Purchased in 1987 for $3.50 at an Eagle supermarket in northern Illinois.

Why?: Yes, it’s true, almost half of all Americans at one time were hot for Ollie North.

Huh?:  You didn’t answer the question: Why?: I bought it to prove that I’d seen it. I recently dug it out of a box I had in storage and …


Sam Jasper

Fringe Fest is this week, which you no doubt know unless your head has been under a rock. As usual, I scoured the list of shows, then culled them, then arranged them by time and location. It’s a difficult process given so many interesting offerings. Several pieces really stood out and one I was determined not to miss started off last night at NOCCA with Never Fight a Shark in Water.

To say it was moving is to understate things. To say it was strong is still weak. What I saw was nothing short of the personification of sheer will, faith and optimism walking around in front of me in the person of Greg Bright.

To give you some background, in 1975 Greg Bright, then 20 years old, and Earl Truvia, 17, went to bed one night in the Calliope Projects. Later that night with the requisite banging on the door and shouted threats to open up, Greg was arrested for the murder of a 15 year old boy. After a Kafka-esque trial including an incompetent court appointed attorney, withheld evidence, testimony against him by a paid schizophrenic heroin addict testifying under a false name due to her own criminal record he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Did I mention that he and his co-defendent, Earl Truvia, didn’t even know each other?