Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig"

Back home she is. Celebrating Christmas holidays with her friends and family from the 23rd of December onwards. Getting into the right mood at the annual (and indeed very German) Corvus Corax Christmas concert in Berlin - and then beaming over to Witten for the rest of the package.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Leaving New York Never Easy"

There she is, sitting in front of her computer and checking back on her flight schedule online. Apart from a little naughty delayed flight in sweet little London town, everything seems to be okay, the big iron birds are all on time it seems. Got my stuff in my bags, handed in all papers, and still got one precious day left in The City - intending to meet friends to have a proper last supper and say goodbye for now.

Once I am back in black in Europe I will return, and probably give you quite a few final thoughts about living and studying in New York. It is also quite likely that I will continue to enlighten your life with reporting from "small town" Berlin, Germany.

In case I don't make it on time, I wish you a nice Christmas and make it a merry one, lads!

So long,

... and I leave you with


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Metropolitan Art, Random Fragments"

[non-verbal] ... ;).


Today I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art - FINALLY! Something I always wanted to do since my arrival but never got down to, as I had so many other things in my head and on my busy schedule. But I would've hated it not to be able to go, so I took one of those last precious days in The City and went uptown.

I already got lost after the sections on ancient Greek and Roman art. Felt quite Pergamon to be there. Maybe the first signs of the coming transition evolving from my unconscious.
However, I didn't feel like staring on the plan - as there were more important things to stare at. And after a while, I saw quite familiar faces again: The Burghers of Calais, by Auguste Rodin (above). I was kind of surprised that there are so many of them. I already saw those fellows in London during my year on the island. The sign below the statue said that they also hang out in front of the city hall in Calais. And now a third group? Call me a layman, but what happened to copyright in this case?

I kept strolling around, watching for suitable images to catch with my not so new anymore favourite toy. I spotted quite a few new things, and got to know art from Oceania for the first time in my life. Quite impressive. I skipped most of the Medieval section though, as I was more drawn to the classics.

Obviously I was quite eager to get to the part on modern photography, too. One of the most promintent images I took with me, I show you below now, without further comments for my part.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

"Snow White - Frostbite"

Yes, there was snow in The City!

Today, it is all gone again and the sun is shining - which is really good actually, as it'll drag me away from my computer - as soon as I have finished this final exam thingy.

Another weather condition that drags me out of my dorm is the fact that there are visitors from yet another island in The City - I already very much enjoyed their British company for one evening, including having to smell "wet dog" again, and reciting nasty slang words whilst walking up Christopher from the piers, and almost gotten brain-eaten by a gargoyle.

You don't believe that? Well, I admit, I never thought I'd be brave enough to hold my nose over a glass of Hobgoblin again ...
Ah - you don't believe the gargoyle thing either. Well, we spent parts of the evening at a very suitable location in The Village, a restaurant and social club for explorers and mad scientists. And apart from fiddling death, Jekyll and Hyde in cages, a pretty exhausted Frankenstein on a stretcher and Sir Standalot in the corner, there was a hungry gargoyle staying quite close to our table.
Very hungry.
VERY hungry.
He was willing to trade his wings for brains in the end. Of course everyone denied initially. And so did I.

Then I gave it some second thoughts.

My brain. A pretty nasty greyish blob inside my skull. Smells probably rather disgusting, too.

.... Wings ....

My brain. A greyish blob that makes me stay in libraries, in front of white sheets of paper, and behind books since quite a few years now.

.... Wings ....

My brain. A blob that makes me write final exams and essays and papers and response papers all over again.

.... Wings ....

Hmmm ....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"It's The Final Countdown ..."

What?! Already! No way ...

Yes, it actually is the final countdown, again. I am in the process of finishing my final exams and papers and I just came home from giving my last presentation for this year. I already sadly said goodbye to some people I got to know and like in my time over here, and I already shed a tear or two over those goodbyes, even though I still have more than a week left in The City. I do hope and believe to see them again one day, but still.

There's nothing worse in life than doing things for the very last time.


Monday, December 10, 2007

"Curio At Astor Place"

I missed two trains the other day waiting for this photo to happen. It's been worth it, isn't it?

It made me smile the whole trip uptown to 86th street where I was meeting another visiting scholar to finally go into the Guggenheim museum. I am actually considering the renting of a public toilet in Berlin now to change it into a record store. Anybody with me?

Guggenheim itself was even more fun that evening. It's been very crowded, as on Friday nights you don't have to pay the regular entrance fee, but give a donation of as much as you think is appropriate (we figured five bugs for two students was more than appropriate).

Apart from that I was happy to finally see the Sonic Nurses by Richard Prince, and to visit my favorite Yellow Cow again, a painting by Franz Marc I had already seen in Germany before. I kindly added this faithful photographic reproduction of the original two-dimensional work of art to my blog - as it is now part of the public domain because its copyright has expired, but only in the EU, the United States and Canada and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years. Anyone dropping by from a different country, please close your eyes


Saturday, December 8, 2007

"Final Photo Project: At Janet Goldner's Studio In Brooklyn"

Final Photo-Essays are stressful, but just until you know what you want to do and how to do it. So basically until the week they are due ... ;o)

I was lucky though, as I kept in touch with Janet Goldner and was able to convince her of the fact that being a fly on the studio-wall is one of my easiest exercises ...

As the attentive reader already knows, she is well into sculptures and steel-art, using a welding torch as a drawing instrument and combining cultural influences from Mali with her own North American experiences - frequently drawing on contemporary social and political topics, too.

This afternoon she prepared little pieces of steel-art for a giveaway art project that took up the idea of the "Art-in-a-Box" project in California where people used old cigarette automats to sell small pieces of art instead of small rolls of tobacco, filter and paper.

I was lucky with my timing, because by now she is already on her way to Mali again for another two months of togetherness with local artists and friends.

It's been a really nice afternoon of learning a lot, listening to the radio, drinking good tea, messing up my camera settings and at long last getting my jeans really dirty again, because of all the ash and sparkles flying around.

It felt a bit like being @home again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"My Roommate's Sister's Art"

My roommate has put up some small pictures in our dorm-room, painted by her older sister from California. Over the weeks, I got to really really like them - so I wanted to share them with you.

Unfortunately she didn't continue painting after this class she took, my roommate said. I wish she would though. I love those pictures!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

"Blipfestival 2007: - The Aftermath, or: I JUST DID IT!"

I don't need to say anything else, do I?

=> As for PaddleWar! - I won 21 to 8. That is 8 points worse than I was 15 years ago. The age?
=> As for the Baby Sitter - I am still on that rescue mission. Do you think she could show a little more patience? I doubt it though, I mean, after



years ...

"Blip Festival 2007: Game Boys and Console Girls - Wasted Global Youth?"

Cultivated nerdism reached Chelsea's Eyebeam Atelier this weekend: The Blipfestival celebrated international artists and performers who are well into chiptunes and 8bit music.

Celebrated what? Some of you might ask now. Well, for the ignoramus amongst us: There are several lads and ladies around who were nurtured by early video games, wasting away their spare time after school playing games on Ataris, commodore 64s, portlable Game Boys and early consoles. All games had particular soundeffects combined with their moveable visuals. Some of you might be able to recall the music coming out of rather crappy speakers of the machine involved while you or your children were playing yet another level of Asteroid, The Great Giana Sisters (one of my early favourites, I have to admit), Frogger, Tetris, X-Wing, Super Mario Land (a later favourite of mine) or whatever game they were into before or instead of sleeping. Those sounds are now remixed and new songs are created with the early sound programs. Different approaches are taken, some include other music instruments such as a guitar or a set of drums, others include vocals or dance-beats: the old sound of the nurseries enters stage and dancefloor.

Saturday night at the Eyebeam was a sold out night.
Dress code: hoodie, jeans and trainers for the masses and a little costuming for a few extroverts, "nerd chic" presented by a few hipsters who tried to look like Giana or Mario themselves. I was especially struck by a girl with bright red tails and a red xtra large "Nintendo Rehabilitation Center" shirt and a pretty heavy looking japanese underground Grindcore DVD at the merch table that was kind of re-evoking the prejudices I had when I first heard of that kind of music. That night, people were happily bouncing to the tunes of Mark Denardo, Tree Wave, and watched the visuals of No Carrier and other artists that were brought together by The Tank and the 8bitpeoples community.

After about three hours I felt three very urgent needs:

1. to get rid of the second half of the now stale "Brooklyn Weisse" I bought with a little to much enthusiasm upon arrival (man - they should NOT be allowed to call that stuff "Weisse", it tastes like a mixture of wet dog, sugar and vinegar)
2. to sit down, and