Links Worth Exploring (Pack A Lunch First)

I’m not kidding: each time I came across one of these, I had to dig all the way back into them. Order out, lock the door, take the phone off the hook(!), whatever it takes.

Wayne Bremser

Levi Wedel

Ricardo Armas

Ron Slattery

W. o’ W.: Roy Harris

“I was born into a family of farmers. Farmers don’t talk very much, the ones that I’ve known, anyhow. They sit around the table, have dinner, and very little is said. That doesn’t mean that they are not thinking, but they are thinking in other terms. They are not thinking in the conventional word terms. They are thinking in terms of the essence of things—what a tomato looks like, what is the texture of a peach, what a horse can do in terms of power, what the sun feels like, or what the quality of moonlight is. They are thinking in these terms, I think, more than they are in the terms of words and the social implications of words… I think that is a wonderful and fortunate beginning for a person who is going to become a composer. This is because music is not a word language but a time-space language… It’s a matter of subjective identification and transference.”

“I don’t think one really decides to be a composer; it sort of happens… I got into music, I suppose, because I was drawn into it, and I think probably this is the only real way to do it. I think life has to draw you into things. I don’t think you make decisions about things.”

“The temper of the family has to be fairly even. If people are having tantrum fits, squalls, and all that sort of thing, then the creative work just goes down the drain because it doesn’t work. It requires a certain serenity and a certain kind of happiness… When I’m working very hard, I want somebody around who is very simple, very direct, very earthy, very matter of fact—like a peasant. But when I’ve finished work and I want to play, then I like somebody who is a sophisticate, who has been all over and knows many things, who is a fine conversationalist and is amusing, and who likes good food and all the arts, and all the fine values. I find that when I’m working very hard, my values are rather coarse in the sense that farmer’s would be—not coarse in a moral sense, but coarse-grained, rather. The people that I prefer to be with are people whom I can count on, people who are rather solid, not very full of subtleties. There is nothing that annoys me so much as subtlety when I’m profoundly interested in something else.”

Q. o’ th’ D.: Dave Hickey

…from an interview with Sarah Douglas.

SD: In a lecture in Michigan not too long ago, you talked about the problems inherent in art education—that it’s not something that can actually be taught. The conundrum of grading, for instance. I think you said that in your class one would earn an A for not turning anything in.

Dave Hickey: Well, I think artists should be proud and too cool for school. I told my students in my last class that I always had my TA grade their papers. They asked why I didn’t read their papers. I asked them how much they would enjoy teaching a swimming class where everybody drowned. So, I’m quitting teaching, too, and saving myself from that sort of desolation. Also, I’m too far away. I’m not competent to critique the work of young artists over whom I have so much leverage and experience. It’s like crop dusting with a 747. Bad for the crop and bad for the plane. This doesn’t mean I’m that much better, just that I’m ‘way older. What do you say about a painting or a story by a kid who hasn’t seen a million paintings or read a million books? Also, nobody cares if it’s good, anymore, and everybody hates it when something’s really great.

Legacy Gear


“Ralph Gibson uses Andreas Feininger’s tray, Abe Frajndlich uses Minor White’s, and John Coplans’ tray is used by Amanda Means. The tradition of darkroom printing carries on, regardless of the arguments surrounding it and its supposed demise.”

I inherited an armload of items from Mrs. D.’s uncle, and I have a precious one-of-a-kind film drying…device… from Eileen Weber. On occasion, when donations to the Huge School darkroom arrive, we see fit to bequeath sundry pieces to diehard devotos who’ll give ’em a good home.

Richard Learoyd used a 19th century lens loaned to him from a portrait camera in Thomas Joshua Cooper’s office at the Glasgow School of Art.!/2012/11/camera-as-artifact.html

Garry Winogrand’s Leica.

Somebody has Joel Peter Witkin’s enlarger.

What I Learned Last Weekend

1. A middle-aged self-proclaimed “Lesbo Commie” tends to fidget during a panel discussion.

2. An unanticipated thunderstorm need not nix street shooting in a city of broad shoulders.

3. One can unwittingly become like unto an employee whilst dining at a family-friendly neighborhood joint.

4. Not every academic authority is willing to dismiss a connection between Storyville and klezmer.

Contact me for details.


…from The Bad Plus’s Ethan Iverson.

“During the last five weeks in Europe, many jazz piano students came up to me after the gig  and asked advice. To one and all I officially say: play some ragtime, play some stride. Read copious amounts of Joplin, James P., Teddy, and whoever else you can find. You won’t regret it. It’s an advanced and swinging interpretation of Bach’s major-minor tonal system. Down with “jazz harmony” out of a theory book, long live “harmony.” None of those cats knew what a chord scale was…”

In photography, our equivalents might be, after choosing what to photograph (and where, and when), deciding where to stand and where to place the edges (cf. Harold Allen). Select for yourself whom to take as role models, and how to produce interpretations of the tonal scale to suit your needs. 


(Much more Iverson at

W. o’ W.: Tom Griggs

“We are in some sort of photographic Golden Age – the number of photographers today and the quality of images produced, as shown in this exhibition, is unprecedented, even if finding truly new and fresh ideas and territory to explore is increasingly a limited proposition as the medium enters adulthood. I’d just as soon do away with individual names, contests, and the fetishism of certain work. What does it serve beyond the market and egos?”

Lesson Plans For Hall “Duty”


Sit, on furniture designed for students, at a designated spot in the hall. Do not attempt to concentrate on anything, or to make effective use of the inadequate work surface provided.

Graciously open the door to admit employees from the Republic of Special Services who went out for “fun food” and have no keys to the locked outer door (but who choose not to enter through the unlocked doors).

Compile a concise list of the many things you could be doing instead, that have more to do with skills you acquired as part of your own education, as well as with the reasons you chose to work here.

From time to time, wave to the surveillance cameras.

Elliott Carter, 1908-2012

“As a young man, I harbored the populist idea of writing for the public,” he once explained to an interviewer who asked him why he had chosen to write such difficult music. “I learned that the public didn’t care. So I decided to write for myself. Since then, people have gotten interested.”

“There are many kinds of art. Some kinds are hard to understand for some people, and easy to understand for others. But if the works are very good, then finally a lot of people will understand them. And it seems to me that if a work has something remarkable to say, then someone who wants to whistle it will find something in it to whistle. But these things are very subjective.”