Hiroshi Sugimoto

I've just started reading Garrett Stewart's Framed Time and in his introduction he mentions Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto's Theatres project.

From my limited research: Sugimoto studied politics and sociology before becoming an art student at the Art Center College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. He typically shoots with a large-format camera (8" x 10") and was the winner of the Hasselblad Honour in 2001. He's influenced by Duchamp and the Dadaists and Surrealists, and known as much for his great technical skill as he is for the philosophical and conceptual aspects of his work.

For Theatres, Sugimoto takes long exposure photographs in disused theatres and drive-ins, allowing the camera to capture an entire film. The light of the films in all cases ends up filling the rectangle of the screen so that no traces of individual frames remain on the screen, instead leaving an almost eerie luminescence. At the same time the 8" x 10" format allows for incredible detail to be capture in the surrounding environment - decorative flourishes in the theatres, old seatbacks, the speakerposts at the drive-ins, the arcs of stars passing overhead during the viewing... All in all these works are pretty breathtaking and spur meditation on film's history, our (changing) viewing and exhibition practices, the nature of film and its relationship to light, and I guess, especially in Stewart's case, the relation of film to films as the physical role of film itself in "films" is challenged and mutated and augmented by digital processes.

Here are a couple examples from this series (click on the pictures to take you to some more Sugimoto information):


I'm thinking about moving here:

(William Hogarth's Beer Street [detail] 1751)

Beer, happy Produce of our Isle
Can sinewy Strength impart,
And wearied with Fatigue and Toil
Can cheer each manly Heart.
Labour and Art upheld by Thee
Successfully advance,
We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee
And Water leave to France.
Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste
Rivals the Cup of Jove,
And warms each English generous Breast
With Liberty and Love!

But I'll probably end up here:
(William Hogarth's Gin Lane [detail] 1751)


These are new shoes that I got

I got these new shoes here:


They are, uh, Nike Blazer mid Tech Packs in green and that is a subtle "ice blue" colouring you see on the toe.

I wore them for a lot of walking yesterday and now have twin blisters on my "baby" toes.


zune in, zune on to a tune that's live

Late last week I received a Zune in the mail.

In case you don't know, and I didn't know until I received a comment on a post a couple weeks back, Zune is Microsoft's own mp3 player. June 13th was the release of the product in Canada, however, they've been around in the States for a while now. Anyway, following up on the comment, I'm trying out a Zune to see how it works with the promise that I'd report on how it goes and who I talk to about it - I guess this is pretty anonymous, reader-wise...

So: so far... Well basically immediately there was a snag. During the phone interview prior to them sending me the player I was asked about being able to run Windows despite having a Mac in order to use the Zune software, and I said I could, because, you know, Parallels. But the version of Parallels I have isn't updated for the 2.0 USB necessary to use the Zune... So I need to find some sort of workaround. Interestingly (typically?) Microsoft has decided to go with a necessary program which will not work for Macs - like the one I've been using for a couple of years now and has all my music on it. Apple had done the same thing with the original iPod, I believe, and it wasn't until they opened iTunes up to PC users that iPods really took off. In terms of brand loyalty, I use a Mac because I like the operating system more than Windows, find that add-ons are better and programs crash with much lower frequency. But Apple is also just a big company without much invested in me in particular, and that's fine, but it means that if someone else had a better/cheaper mp3 player that worked in conjunction with my music/my computer, I would think about switching teams. And while that might be an atypical attitude, I doubt I'm completely alone in feeling that way.

So, for now I will work on figuring out how to get this thing working and installed. I would really like to get this unit working. The display seems to be better than that of the iPod from what I've read online and the Zune also includes an FM radio and syncs wirelessly via computer, Xbox, or to other Zunes in order to share songs - all features unavailable on iPods.

Otherwise I am really enjoying the sound quality on the "Premium Headphones" (earbuds) that they sent along with the unit - the sound quality is way better than anything similar I've tried before.