Sep 21, 2015

planning the paleta

the time and place call for a pink paleta. (av. chapultepec, mexico city)

Sep 13, 2015

light effects

But most attractive to Seurat was the fact that at the viewing distance just before that where two complementary colours blend, the eye hovers on the verge of seeing two colors become one, and the paint surface seems to flicker as if luminous. This, Seurat believes, was how the artist could truly paint with light, capturing, for instance, the glow of sunlight on grass.
philip ball, bright earth

In the dot paintings, I took a large squarish canvas and painted it an even bright white ... Then I put on the dots, starting with very strong red dots, as rich as possible but only about the size of map pins, put them on very carefully, about one every quarter inch or so, such that they seemed neither too mechanically nor too crudely applied—either way they would have thereby drawn attention to themselves as patterns—concentrating them toward the center and then dispersing them less and less densely, missing one or two here and there, as they moved out toward the edge. Then I took the exact opposite color and put a green dot between every single pair of red dots, doing the same thing out to the edge, stopping the green maybe just a little before the red so that there was a slight halation of the two colors on the edge. But in the center they essentially canceled each other out, so that you didn't see either green or red but rather the energy generated by the interaction between the two.
more from irwin here.

Aug 31, 2015

in new england

cambridge, massachusetts and oakland, maine.

Aug 17, 2015

the emerald city

seattle, WA.

Aug 16, 2015

o canada

vancouver, BC.

Aug 6, 2015

root sounds

i was at the venice biennale on sunday. this year, france's pavilion features a single site-specific, time-specific work by celeste boursier-mougenot. to install rêvolutions, he's taken the glass out of the skylights over the central atrium in the french pavilion—a vestibule leading to a large atrium from which three shallow galleries branch off—and painted everything white.

three large scotch pines and their root balls had been excavated entire from the ground and brought to the biennale, still embedded in earth. two flank the entrance to the pavilion; the third, in the atrium, has been fitted with a low-gear motor and moves, triggered by sap flow sensors, slowly and erratically around the space.

the galleries are dim, lit only by reflected light from the central atrium, and have been fitted with silicone foam stadium seating on which one may recline and watch the tree in the atrium on its perambulations while listening to the sound of the pavilion. voltmeters buried around the pavilion measure the voltage differential between the roots of certain trees and the surrounding soil; the pavilion's soundtrack is a real-time signal-processing transformation of that differential. somber, serene, and enveloping, this deep and continuous tone fills the entire space gently but completely.

a transcendent experience to lie in the half light, listening to root sounds.

Jul 3, 2015


Soon I became aware that between the facts of life that should have been my raw materials and the quick light touch I wanted for my writing, there was a gulf that cost me increasing effort to cross. Maybe I was only then becoming aware of the weight, the inertia, the opacity of the world—qualities that stick to writing from the start, unless one finds some way of evading them. At certain moments I felt that the entire world was turning into stone: a slow petrification, more or less advanced depending on people and places but one that spared no aspect of life.
italo calvino, lightness.

Jul 1, 2015

an incomplete list of nearly perfect meals

[july 2015]

new: brawn, taberna do mercado, mother's milk, and postcard tea in london; essigbrätlein in nuremberg; chheng sim and les deserteurs in paris.

what is a nearly perfect meal? it is an idiosyncratic confluence of elements, the sum of parts. it has almost nothing to do with expense, other than that special dinners draw people together and place them in a suitable and shared frame of mind. this can be done anywhere, which is why this is not a list of restaurants but a list of meals. this can also be done for nearly any price, which is why some of these meals involve pancakes.

i now realise what everyone who opens an ambitious restaurant knows: it takes enormous effort to reproduce reliably what sometimes unexpectedly and serendipitously materialises when people get together to cook or eat.

in most of these cases, the food was confident and made with care, the beverages appropriate (but often not exalted), the company incomparable. some of these places i've been to many times, some only once. in every case, the particular perfection of the meal has not been reproducible in other places and at other times. your mileage may vary.

chheng sim; les deserteurs

10 greek street40 maltby streetotto'sst. john bread and winekandoo; brawn; taberna do mercado; morning coffee at mother's milk; saturday afternoon tea at postcard

shunsui; gesshinkyo; tsuru ni tachibana (with updates from our japanese correspondent)

las vegas

san francisco
kissquince; minakogreensfood inc (for their tuna niçoise sandwich on either a sunny day or a rainy one); pagolacchapeau!; firefly; jackson fillmore; pancake sunday 5.13.07

chez panisse; the cheeseboard

hungry mother; bondir; cooking with fire and clay; morning coffee at hirise

biryani park

palo alto
bay leaf cafe (yellow lentil sambar soup, on a wet day); homma's (outside on a warm summer night)

new york


the kitchen


new orleans
galatoire's, the parkway bakery



green pasture; fuli seafood

frederiks havekødbyens fiskebarnoma; ved stranden 10

fäviken magasinet

washington dc

Jun 27, 2015

on the mug rack

in the andalusian hills.

Jun 21, 2015

hardware and software

the traditional sherry bodega—a system of selection and sorting operating on collections of casks representing many years worth of gradually aging wine—is a method that allows each bodega to produce a set of consistent products despite the inherently variable solera process for averaging the flavour of wine across many vintages. it takes years of continuous guided observation for the capataz, the foreman of the bodega, to learn the patterns in how casks of wine develop and what interventions in their development are possible and desirable.

the complexity and optionality of the solera system gives the capataz enormous freedom to move particular casks into and out of different criaderas and soleras; each capataz makes a slightly different set of intervention decisions; consistently made, the differences in these decisions generate distinctiveness in the bottled wine.

the physical bodega and the know-how of the capataz are, in combination, a large part of a technology for reproducing style in wine.

the fino room at bodegas tradición.
3 plaza cordobeses, 11408 - jerez de la frontera

Jun 10, 2015

meaning and knowledge

1. The stranger, therefore, approaches the other group as a newcomer in the true meaning of the term. At best he may be willing and able to share the present and the future with the approached group in vivid and immediate experience; under all circumstances, however, he remains excluded from such experiences of its past. Seen from the point of view of the approached group, he is a man without a history.

2. Every word and every sentence is, to borrow a term of William James, surrounded by 'fringes' connecting them, on the one hand, with past and future elements of the universe of discourse to which they pertain, and surrounding them, on the other hand, with a halo of emotional values and irrational implications which themselves remain ineffable. The fringes are the stuff poetry is made of; they are capable of being set of music but they are not translatable. There are in any language terms with several connotations. They, too, are noted in the dictionary. But, besides these standardized connotations, every element of the speech acquires its special secondary meaning derived from the context of the social environment within which it is used and, in addition, gets a special tinge from the actual occasion in which it is employed.

3. In any culture the highest rank is accorded to one of the three types of knowledge distinguished by [Max Scheler]—knowledge for the sake of domination (Beherrschungswissen), knowledge for the sake of knowing (Bildungswissen), knowledge for the sake of salvation (Heilswissen)—and therewith to one of the three types of men of knowledge: the scientist-technician, the sage, the saint. The social acceptance of this rank order determines the whole structure of the particular culture.
Alfred Schutz, On Phenomenology and Social Relations

May 27, 2015

don't let your meat loaf

pass. saint-sébastien, 75011;
r. saint-jacques, 75005;
r. montorgueil, 75001.

May 5, 2015

california light and space

early morning (80mph) on I-94, dulzura, ca;
midday at sea port avenue on the salton sea, salton city, ca;
late afternoon on the montezuma-borrego highway, ranchita, ca;
sundown at torrey pines scenic drive, la jolla, ca.

May 1, 2015


561 valencia, sf ca.
3208 cesar chavez, sf ca.

Apr 28, 2015

Apr 5, 2015

Mar 28, 2015

on the street

bolsover street, W1W.

Mar 27, 2015

Mar 23, 2015

the eclipse

clerkenwell road, EC1R 5BL.
163 bermondsey street, SE1 3UW.
12 little portland street, W1W 8BJ.
grosvenor square garden, W1.

Mar 10, 2015

signs of spring

stanhope street, london nw1.

Mar 4, 2015

monkfish and herring

moxon street, london W1U.

Feb 16, 2015

frames per second

papagaio by gusmão + paiva is worth seeing. (at the very nice camden arts centre until march 29. and while you're there, don't forget to look at ruth ewan's french republican calendar.)

Feb 15, 2015

Feb 13, 2015

a sense of the real

When I was making A Sudden Gust of Wind I knew I wanted to show how the air would carry the papers. Hokusai had already solved some of those problems ... He composed something that had a feel of the accidental. It was not accidental, but he knew how to make it look that way ... There is no guide, it's just a feeling, a sense of the real, how things really are or would be.
previously: katsushika hokusai reaches a marvellous stage.

Feb 11, 2015

international klein blue

5-11 mortimer street. (and previously.)