will brady's ruminations
I've maybe been too serious these days.
Here's a pleasant distraction
Grip, is the first video of Roel Wouters aka Xelor. it's a one take, top shot music video with trampoline gymnasts simulating typical video effects. The video has been recorded live, as part of the opening 'Nederclips' at the Stedelijk museum
's Hertogenbosch SM'S (curated by Bart Rutten).
The project was commissioned by the TAX-videoclipfonds
. The important criteria were that the audience at the opening would be able to witness the whole shoot, and that the videoclip would be added to the exhibition immediately after the shoot.
Labels: distractions, humor, installations, typography, video, YouTube
Today is Bill of Rights Day
The Bill of Rights was ratified December 15, 1791. Congress adopted twelve amendments, of which only ten were ratified by the states by 1791. Over 200 years later, one more of the original twelve, concerning compensation for Congress was ratified on May 7, 1992, becoming the Twenty-Seventh Amendment. James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights and was inspired, in part, by the Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason. The Bill of Rights initially applied only to the federal government; however, the Supreme Court, through the Fourteenth Amendment, has incorporated some portions to apply to the states.
Only 17 amendments have been ratified since the adoption of the Bill of Rights.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt believed that "We cannot grant civil rights; we cannot implement The Bill of Rights as part of the Constitution unless we complement it with an Economic Bill of Rights
" which he said should include:
"...A second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all...regardless of station, race or creed. Among these are:
"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries, or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
"The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
"The right of every family to a decent home;
"The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
"The right to adequate protection from the economic fears, old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;
"The right to a good education.
"All of these rights spell security."
Labels: Bill of Rights, freedoms, government, historical documents
culture of violence
FROM AN ESSAY first exhibited at the Legislative Office Building, Hartford, CT August 1991
Labels: cultural values, essays, violence
Moyra Peralta gets interviewed on the BBC
. Only five minutes speaking about the growing crisis. She sensibly disputes London politicos who minimize the seriousness of the problem.
Her book, Nearly Invisible, is a sensitive, even intimate, look a people who are homeless. The focus of the book is on what each man and woman carries with them all the time - essential components of what they need and how each person sees him or herself, in spite of being without domicile.
She is not a voyeur. The people who agreed to be photographed, and have their possessions etched into the reader's memory - are her friends.You can find her book on sale through Amazon.com
MENTION MADE AT: Wood's Lot, one of my consistently favorite weblogs
Labels: homelessness, Moyra Peralta, social comment
This was trip into visual information overload
. We only wanted two small sconce lamps and a couple of cans to put into the ceiling for interior overhead lights. We got to see more than I could have ever thought of.
The experience was almost dizzying. This display room was, in comparison to others, almost subdued. I was glad I'm no taller than I am, for I'd not want to be impaled by some chandelier's crystals every few feet.
Labels: Connecticut Lighting, installation art, lighting, shopping
Would you trust this man with your children? John Kiriakou
[former leader of the CIA team that captured Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah] said by using the torture technique of water boarding he got his captive to talk in less than 35 seconds.
He looks so earnest. On ABC News this week he said "Like a lot of Americans, I'm involved in this internal, intellectual battle with myself weighing the idea that waterboarding may be torture... and I struggle with it.
This isn't your average frat-boy hazing mind you. Waterboarding is a harsh interrogation technique that involves strapping down a
prisoner, covering his mouth with plastic or cloth and pouring water over his face.
The prisoner quickly begins to inhale water, causing the sensation of drowning. Of it's infamy Rear Adm. John Hutson (USN Ret.) testified before Congress recently that, “Other than, perhaps the rack and thumbscrews, water boarding is the most iconic example of torture in history. It was devised, I believe, in the Spanish inquisition. It has been repudiated for centuries
I have no doubt that some shall call Kiriakou a hero. Not to me. Torture, though used through human history is of questionable value in achieving fair results
. How much, I venture to guess, would Mr. Kiriakou "struggle" with this if he had been subjected to waterboarding himself.
Labels: atrocities, iraq quagmire, torture, waterboarding
When the CT Yankee Nuclear Power Plant was dismantled
they sent a lot of nuclear waste down river on barges. I don't know where radioactive waste went... almost don't want to. But it went without any untoward effects, locally at least. But there was an "almost"...
The "almost" was observed by only a handful of people. Had there been an actual mishap, as it were, it would have made international news. It didn't. The event took place some four years ago now, hard to think it was that long ago. Here is what it was, which brings me to the pictures.
The picture above I took while leaving for work that morning. A barge was headed downriver toward the swing bridge [seen in the second picture], not even two miles south from where it is in the picture above.
Now, a barge's travel time is lumbering, but it doesn't take long to travel the distance from where I'd seen it to the bridge. I knew the
bridge would be swung open and a long wait would be in store so I missed the actual event by taking a different route to work. However, there were maybe 30 or so people, including a couple of state police, some town workers, the bridge operator and a handful of locals did witness the "almost" event.
Simply put, the bridge's operating mechanism failed to work. Cold winds, winter weather, whatever, had frozen the bearing housing in place and the swing bridge wouldn't budge. The bridge remained closed. The bridge man then came down from the control room and, with a sledgehammer or pipe, banged furiously on the equipment to dislodge it to get the bridge open.
Still nothing, yet the barge, and it's attendant tug boat was headed closer with every minute.
People watched in suspense and disbelief. Most of us know that you can't mess with a barge of any type. The bridge is always opened in advance. The bridgeman went up and down slam-banging on the bearing mechanism two more times as the barge drew closer.
On the east side of the river is a rock cliff and when the bridge failed to open, the tug crew tried to redirect the barge toward the cliff. The crew succeeded, and their efforts were met with a resounding slam of metal hull against rock. This slowed down the barge just enough. For no sooner did the barge slam against the cliff, that the bridge once more began to rotate out across the waters.
The tug then remaneuvered the barge and soon the load of toxic nuclear waste was once again on its journey elsewhere. perhaps the Carolinas. I really don't know.
After the bridge was returned to its normal position, the bridgeman came down from his perch and walked over to the town hall. His face was flush, and he was heard saying that the governor owed him a tall stiff drink at the end of the day.
I wish that I could say that this one barge was the only time that nuclear waste was taken from the old Connecticut Yankee site. It wasn't. A lot of waste removed was transported in trucks like this one on the right. It went down two lane roads rather like any other semi rig making a haul. The trucks went out with such regularity that I only needed to keep the camera in the truck to catch this shot.
Other waste remains on-site, buried in casks and entombed in concrete. I don't know how long that protection shall last.
But the main plant is gone now. Those of us who sat for years consciously not thinking about its presence, have resumed pretending that nothing risky remains in its wake.
Labels: Connecticut Yankee, East Haddam bridge, environment, hazardous materials, nuclear power, nuclear waste
Big Daddy Bush has spent more of our tax dollars on watching us
. I can't say I find this any surprise, but it's dispiriting.
More troublesome is the fact that the money in the federal budget will be removed from the public treasury and handed over to private sector [read "multi-national corporations"] where, doubtless, oversight powers of the People shall be denied. This is a travesty, but I feel I can't get so upset about it that I become paralyzed with fear.
From my perch it just means that Bushco has given us yet another good reason to try the bastids for treason first time the opportunity arises.
Labels: corporate control, spying, surveillance, treason
art + artists
Photographer Ian Grey
usually devotes his time to macro-photography
and team sports
but he's long expressed an interest in doing commentary photos, documenting in particular people who are homeless or otherwise disenfranchised.
His efforts at this are few, but go back to the homeless man in Northampton, Massachusetts [pictured above] and more recently [2004, below] Santa in the Berkshires. Ian takes the time to meet and speak with the people he memorializes. I have lifted [with Ian's gracious consent] the pictures and text from his PBase folio. Check out more of Ian's work
, which you can find on sale at the Williams College Museum of Art
gift shop in Williamstown and Papyri Books in North Adams, Massachusetts.
One week before Christmas I was prowling Main St in downtown looking for something to shoot, when I spotted a Santa working in front of the general store. We got to talking and I came to find out the poor guy was miserable. He lived alone, his health was poor, he hadn't had a job in a long time and he was stuck doing this crummy santa gig out in the cold. He was really in pain and down-and-out, yet, when the children showed up he was a prince. The irony in this pic is that the children were from an obviously well-to-do family - none of whom would probably ever know this man's heart-rending story - and he was giving to them when, in a perfect world and in the true spirit of Christmas, they should have been helping him.
Labels: christmas, homelessness, Ian Grey, photography, social comment
art + artists
Remy Jungerman, the Surinamese/Dutch artist perhaps best known for the installations "Flattened Toad Force"
and "Afro Intensity" is now on exhibit in "By The Way," a four person show at Museum Tongerlohuys
, in the Nederlands and on display from 15 December 2007 until 6 April 2008.
If that's too far to travel, you can also see some of his work [an installation titled "Sometimes Travelers Don't Come Back, They Become Villages Themselves"] as part of the Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art
at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York. That exhibition runs until 27 January 2008.
Jungerman's work explores how people from different cultures try to make themselves understood and how people communicate in the visual languages they use. His work raises questions about aesthetic inquiry with Africa and its Diaspora, as well as with intellectual notions of black, white and color as used to signify race and culture.
That's Remy [on the left] with a collector and Marcel Pinas, another of the artists in the Brooklyn Museum show.
Labels: art, artists, Caribbean, culture, Diaspora, Remy Jungerman
[written by my partner, a letter to a friend
I've wanted to write you a long letter but... I do nothing but whine lately.
1) We've been without water in the house since September. The well is dry and we are in a "mini" drought. I suppose washing with buckets of cold water builds character but I'm more of a Room-service type. So we live out of barrels and buckets, shower at the gym, and I whine(I think Will is enjoying it).
Seems we have to drill a new well (the old one is a dug well from the 1800s) which entails massive equipment, ramps, tree trimming, lots of luck and lots and lots of money! I whine...
2) We started a "small" construction project in August... a 4'x8' extension with French doors and side windows) and as Christmas approaches it is still not finished. The house in in CHAOS, I'm in a rage, and Will shrugs. Materials don't show up (or are lost); the contractors don't show up (or are lost); the building inspector enjoys tormenting us (and he's never lost).
Other than that, we are well. Writing this is a step in my recovery.
On the upside, the electrician comes tomorrow, the cellar floor is damp [it is, in part a dirt floor cellar dug out in 1820], and I've been able to paint the unprimed wood on the inside of the house. Though the photo here does not show it, the exterior is covered with camo print tarps. Since we live near the river, one friend has jokingly asked me if it is my duck blind.
Labels: construction, drought, household
Lube shop on East Main Street
Labels: commerce, connecticut, New Britain, winter