Weekly Rochester Events #271: Thirteenth of the Thirteen
Thursday, March 18, 2004This past week has been somewhere between atypical and burdensome.
First, I've been forcing my way around a moderate little cold. In the past few years I've beaten colds by increasing my metabolism at the outset ... I've been trying to ride my bike more than average, but the weather hasn't been supportive. Most people tend to favor bed rest but such cookie-cutter nonsense doesn't cut it for me. I mean, consider that if you want to perform well mentally, people often recommend exercise to get your energy level up so you can think. For some reason, though, they also think that when you're getting a cold you should save your energy. I guess this would make sense if you were laid up for three weeks and couldn't eat (and before the days of intravenous feeding) then trying to rest and fatten up to survive the onslaught would probably actually help. However, if you're able to be up-and-about, "keeping your energy up" seems to be a better model. Anyway, it works for me.
The next sort-of odd thing was that I went to two art openings last weekend ... odd in that I don't usually make an effort to get to openings. I stoped by Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) first to see the new installations. Hand Tools and Arms by Elizabeth Lyons didn't do too much for me. Who Needs Counseling? by Mark Sawrie fared a little better. I guess first of all, I should reiterate my definition of art: any creative endeavor that causes a response that is impossible or hard to put into words is art. A picture containing scribbled lines that makes me feel angry for some reason—more so. A picture of a mountain in winter—not so much.
Humor is an easy buy for me. I like stuff I think is funny. Mark's piece "Devil's Advocate" is a series of images with earthworms apparently writing out the word "sex" but the first row spells "6ex," the second "s6x" and the third "se6." I got a chuckle out of the idea that earthworms couldn't quite get the knack for sex ... and "6-- -6- --6," har har. None of his pieces gripped me, though ... I thought "Spielberg's Bible" was pretty good as well, but I wasn't "wowed" by anything. He also had an artist statement that commented that some of his images were disturbing ... I guess they might be to some people, but maybe I'm just less inclined to care what's "disturbing" than average. Maybe I just overestimate how disturbed the average person is.
As for Elizabeth Lyon's works, I was more puzzled about them than anything else. Although some of the pieces are entirely made of glass, most are a combination of glass and other materials. In one there's a rope ladder with glass arms for rungs. There's a series of functionally designed tools where the critical component is made of glass. There's also a series of fantasy implements where the handle (or what appears to be the handle) is a glass reproduction of the inner workings of female reproductive organs ... i.e. you'd hold onto the Fallopian tubes and the business end sticks out the cervix.
As a demonstration of skill, they're impressive. As art ... I just shrug. Is there a message here? If you make a wood-handled shovel with a glass spade, what do you get? Is the glass more fragile than the metal, or is it more durable, certainly able to outlast any chunk of steel? And what of the genital-handled tools? Is it a reflection on women being used as tools solely for their reproductive function? Is it just a big joke that jackhammers and women's inside bits look similar and that it's the jackhammer part that does all the work?
I left with an curiosity about the whole thing ... no clear perspective was revealed to me, and I was a bit put off by it.
I also visited The Center at High Falls Fine Art Gallery (70 Brown's Race) for A Photographer's Path 7. I was there a bit late, and I blew through it. I was glad to see such a wide variety of techniques and styles being presented. I was disappointed to find that I only liked the technique and style of a couple images. Maybe I'll get back there to do a more proper inspection. Regardless, there's a lot of images on the walls (probably around 400 if I were forced to guess) so it's not such a bad place to spend the afternoon ... heck, either gallery is worth the time and a few donated bucks.
While I was out on Saturday night I decided to figure out the difference between Johnnie Walker Black and Johnnie Walker Red (and be sure to make a distinction between the whiskey and the musician, Johnny Walker.) To be perfectly honest, I was listening to Leonard Cohen's song, Closing Time with the line, "... the Johnnie Walker wisdom runnin' high ..." so I wanted to see what that wisdom was like. (In point of fact, it's not much different from other whiskey wisdoms, but you can act like an arrogant ass for drinking Johnnie Walker because you heard it in a Leonard Cohen song.) Anyway, the black is the higher grade and probably worth the money as long as you continue to care about what it tastes like. The red is pretty good too, but right after black, it's obvious that it's lower quality. There's also gold and blue which aren't available at most places I go ... they step up by an order of magnitude in price at each step, reflecting a tiny incremental increase in quality.
So anyway, on Monday I get into more new things when I went to South Wedge Planning Committee (224 Mt. Hope Ave.) for the first session in the Urban League of Rochester's Business Planning Workshop Series where they basically tell you all about how to start your own business. Among several ideas, I'd like to try and make some money on this website ... presumably through advertising. Now I have to work on writing a business case for it ... hmm ... maybe I can just get a bank to loan me money instead ... you know "loan" me money ...
In making room for the "new," so to speak, I guess I'm trying to purge some of the "old" out of my life by going through my archived files and throwing things out. I've been amused to find some old receipts and such. For instance, an April 1998 receipt from The Ugly Mug (426 Washington St., Cape May, NJ) where much drinking was had by at least one and much tree-lighting-with-battery-power fun was had by at least that one as well. Or a February 1992 receipt from Rochester Telephone where I got the phone turned on in my first apartment in Rochester ... 513 Averill Ave., just a few blocks from "scary" Monroe. As you can see I have a lot of purging left to do.
But speaking of blasts from the past, I was doing research on links for Matthew Ehlers because he's showing his short film this week. I found out Marianne Buckley played a role in Matt's Autobank from a few years ago ... I saw it at Eggmark Film Festival last year but I didn't recognize her in it. For those who don't know, I knew her from drumming for the now defunct White Cotton Panties, but I've heard she's now in New York (duh, City) trying to be an actress. Well, she is an actress, she's just trying to make a living at it.
Gosh, what else. Oh ... the other week I was out mending my flag which I thought was pretty metaphoric. I figure I'd tie it in to the letter in the The City last week where somebody was talking about Instant Runoff Voting. Boy, I sure wish this could be implemented. All of a sudden the dreamy world of a more-than-two-party-system would become the reality of said dreaminess. Wow.
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