Sunday, April 26, 2009
From "Women in Hollywood": My sister Kate is a cinematographer based in Brooklyn. She was on a panel at NYU in March (I meant to get this up sooner) about women cinematographers. The numbers are pretty bad, maybe even worse than women playwrights getting produced off Broadway. "According to the statistics from the Center for the Study of Women in TV and Film at San Diego State, women cinematographers made up a scant 2% of those who worked on the top 250 grossing films in 2007." The blog also mentions that Hollywood is not embarrassed by these numbers. There are plenty of artistic directors and producers who aren't the least embarrassed by the playwright numbers, either, and more than a few are women themselves.
From Brooklyn Based: If you're in the habit of taking trains that go over the Manhattan Bridge, you may have noticed this art installation between DeKalb and the Bridge. It lives in the now abandoned Myrtle Avenue stop. It was created in 1980, and recently restored (graffiti removed and lighting reinstalled). Here are two photos of the art, and creator Bill Brand. For more information about the original installation, click on the link above.
Tom's second online show goes live on May 1st at Upstream People Gallery in Omaha, Nebraska (link above). Omaha means "upstream people." He has five (5!) photographs in the 11th Annual Contemporary Art International Online Juried Exhibition. Here are three of them: The Hat, West 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.
My boyfriend Tom Bovo has three photographs in a Caladan Gallery show called “The Sixth Annual Exhibition of the Surrealist, Visionary and Fantastic.” This gallery is located in Cambridge, Mass., but the show can only be seen on the web. Click on the link above to check it out. The photograph is "One Way."
It isn't unusual in Brooklyn for there to be land use disagreements; there is currently a lot of difference of opinion as to whether the Gowanus Canal should be an EPA Superfund site. Over a century of industrial waste is in it, not to mention a venereal disease. And the residential developers are frantic that Superfund is a turn-off to purchasing luxury condos. They don't deny what's living in the canal- it's a matter of perception.
I think that this is the line in the sand with the real estate developers. Superfund it, and treat it like the hazardous site that it is. And stop all the whining! Here's a cute little whale to remind us of the whale that wandered into the Gowanus last year. And then died.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I literally found Karen Armstrong's book on the street (Park Avenue in the 70s), with the name of an Upper East Side over-privileged girl-child inscribed on the front of the dust jacket in black felt-tipped pen. Her underlinings stop on page 5.
I have just finished the book. It took some patience, but Armstrong is a truly engaging writer. The mere fact of the phenomenon of the Axial Age when Judaism, Greek religions, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoist, and Buddhism (and soon after Christianity and Islam) are evolving all at the same time is extraordinary in itself. The most familiar to me were the Greeks; the least were the Chinese. The most engaging were the Jews- I had no idea that there were Jews still worshipping gods other than Yahweh long after they reached Canaan.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I don't like serpents. They're right up there with rodents in my personal bestiary of horrors. Don't get to use "bestiary" much, do you? So I've had two encounters with snakes-on-the-page lately. First, I spent many Sundays in church as a child. These masses usually but not always contained readings from the Hebrew Bible. But the Catholic lectionary is pretty limited; it tends to be the same passages read over and over again. The Episcopal Church has a much wider selection, so I;m often running up again Hebrew Bible stories that I don't know. So a couple of weeks ago, I'm listening to this reading from Numbers (21:4-9, for the more Bible literate), and the Israelites are journeying to the land of milk and honey, and some of them are complaining that they're thirsty because there's no water. And what does God do? He send "poisonous serpents" that bite people so they die. What? I don't remember any serpents after Joseph turns the Pharoah's staff into one. This really blew my mind.
So this week I'm reading the New Yorker and there's an article by Burkhard Bilger ("The Natural World: Swamp Things," link above) about exotic animals in Florida that have escaped from pet stores or homes, and are living in the wild there, many in the Everglades. The most troubling of these animals (to me) are the Burmese pythons. There are a lot of them already, and they're breeding. At one point he mentions that there are so many that if you account for a hundred years of global warming, the pythons could be living in New York City by 2100. This is so freaked me out I had insomnia.