Monday, 18 September 2017

On Tour To See Kuala Lumpur

Sarah and James have arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ready to enjoy their next three-year posting. Let the Asia adventure begin!

The State Department is great in getting you acclimated to your new post. Housing is provided. A couple, who acts as your "sponsor," shows you around, answers all those typical logistical questions. "Where do I find tahini?"

In Kuala Lumpur, there are also U.S. Embassy-organized little city tours one can take. It's a dozen people in a van for a quick romp around the city to see the highlights. No time for getting out, best to soak it all in as the van drives around.

Snap! All images are quick shots from the van. Hey, it gives you the feel of the tour.

Some sort of skyline. Moving on, driving on.

Craning to see the tall buildings, built and promised.

Asian brand, Malay language, temple to commerce.

Signs of a modern society, giant outdoor video screens.

Combining it all, video boards and the urban fabric.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Shooting With The Big Dog

People are always excited by James' vocation, since he's in the film biz. In truth, the hours can be long, the work unpredictable and the clients a bear. No complaints!

And then a day pops up that makes the career all worth it.  What does James do? Why, he gets to shoot with an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Trying to blend in with the other production equipment.

Hot-dogging it is serious business. "Tell me again, how much mustard do we need?" The job was for Ford's new 2018 F-150 pickup. Just another day driving down the highway, dog on your right.

Shooting and cueing. "OK, slow down dog."

Dog on our back; dog gaining on the F-150.

So that's the life, cruising with the Wienermobile, giving a little props to our old hometown, the 305.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wild Still Life At Washington DC's Natural History Museum

The immersive dioramas are gone, leaving it a bit to one's imagination how to envision some of the world's wildlife in its original habitat. Maybe it's time for a more abstract appreciation.

Polar bear on a ledge.

Furry figures getting emotional.

Getting bug-eyed.

Trying to create the natural order in an unnatural setting.

So who still gets the full environmental treatment? Ancient humans, perhaps in a nod to righting past treatment of the taxidermied animals.

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Surreal Environment Of The Urban Office Building

It's a big, tall, concrete hulk. How do you integrate it for human consumption, the typical urban species? Plant away.

Looking a bit like Magritte.

Friday, 8 September 2017

The Emotional Underbelly Of A Train Set

You look at a big train set over a holiday and it's all bucolic small town scenes, humming trains, joy all around. You need to pay attention to the details.

Dejected conductor.

Freaked out dog. Traumatized goose.

Shoveling topless in the snow with a bent spade. What is going on in this train set?

Brakeman checking his imaginary cell phone. Angry conductor. Train work is stressful.

Handless, almost faceless tractor man.

Run, run from this train set!!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

A Day At Dia Beacon

The Dia Foundation has a great museum up the river Hudson a-ways from New York City and it's well worth a visit. It specializes in artists from the 1960s onward, showing work that's high in concept and site specific. It's a primal experience.

One of the heavies, Richard Serra. His work seems like ship steel bent to his whim.

Art that sums up Dia's purpose, white on white (ode to Bob Dylan?) and a painting that depicts the day it was painted. 

Dan Flavin, who worked in fluorescents. Impossible to photograph faithfully, which is probably part of the fun of seeing the art transformed as an image. Art that keeps evolving.

Surveillance footage of a loft studio and a pile of broken glass works as art.

Sarah, getting green.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Selling The Life In An (Un)Real Estate World

Forget a big sign that says, "Now Leasing." That's not going to get your big, new apartment building filled. In the Arlington, Virginia area, landlords show sought-after renters what their life will be like if they choose a specific building. They need to push the fantasy.

So what is the fantasy?

Plaster the ground floor with images of a perfect life.

OK, so what specifically is the fantasy? You want to know? Evidently, women working on laptops.

Maybe also a hunky guy. So that's the life, on your laptop.

Wait! All that sitting and finger dragging means you're going to have to exercise. Feeling the fantasy yet?

Right, there must be kids. There's no life without family, kids. Right?

Slow down, slow waaay down. OK, let's go with the dog, you can handle the life with a dog. Still too fast? Back to work, always work. Hey, it's your life.

Is it a life or just a ghost of one?