What i read today…

Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, December 07, 2021… the heroism and death of Messman Doris Miller, a black man, in WW II… he was on board the U.S.S. West Virginia in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked… he survived the sinking of the West Virginia but later perished when the U.S.S. Liscome Bay was sunk by a Japanese Torpedo, November 24, 1943…

I hear a lot these days about how American democracy is doomed and the reactionaries will win. Maybe. But the beauty of our system is that it gives us people like Doris Miller. Even better, it makes us people like Doris Miller.

In Defense—God Help Us—of Lauren Boebert, Chris True… i read the article and understand the point being made, but on the fence about whether i agree… my great frustration is that individuals that “no decent person … should give the time of day” get the time of day, get traction, take cover behind the protections of the system they are working towards dismantling… it puts those of us who want to stop them at a great disadvantage… we may be at a place where lines have to be drawn… on the other hand, it is a slippery slope…

No decent person should give Lauren Boebert the time of day. Congresswoman Boebert, however, is a different story. Congresswoman Boebert is representing over 700,000 people and those 700,000 people deserve the same representation in Congress as everyone else, even if that makes Democrats feel unsafe. Sticking to your principles often does._  International Court of Justice Rules Azerbaijan Must Stop Destroying Armenian Cultural Heritage in Artsakh, Yelena Ambartsumian… the ICJ apparently has the authority to refer its decisions to the UN Security Council which has the authority to do something about it… i am in sympathy based on what the article tells me, but wonder how straightforward the issue really is… last night Rachel Maddow’s opening monologue talked about the taking down of monuments to war heroes of the Confederacy… would the Confederacy, such as it exists today, have the right to appeal to the ICJ for relief?…

… a cartoon by Guy Richards Smit in Hyperallergic… last week, on Deadline Washington, Donny Deutsch lamented that the people he talked to in his crowd (he’s pretty wealthy) weren’t particularly concerned with whether democracy survives or not…

The Power of the Dog Is a Different Kind of Western Film, Ela Bittencourt, Hyperallergic…

In Jane Campion’s elegant adaptation of Thomas Savage’s novel The Power of the Dog, nature is an instrument of both wonder and violence.

The audacity of the original book comes from Savage combining a heated sibling rivalry, an illicit love story, the Western myths of male virility, and a murder mystery all within its slim pages.

How Marisol, “the True Trailblazer,” Paved the Way for Andy Warhol, Karen Chernick… “Behind every great man there’s a great woman.”… Marisol was quite well recognized at the time, so, not living in the shadows… but… an interesting exhibition…

Marisol, “Andy” (1962–63) (Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, image © Acquavella LLC (1962-63), © 2021 Estate of Marisol / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

The Hungry Eye: Eating, Drinking, and European Culture from Rome to the Renaissance, Leonard Barkan, review by Lauren Moya Ford, Hyperallergic… for art lover epicureans… there don’t appear to be recipes, but i suppose we can find our own…

… this image from the book catches my attention in particular… so many layers to dig through…

Joos van Cleve, “The Holy Family” (c. 1512-13) (the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

New Study on NFTs Deflates the “Democratic” Potential for the Medium, Jasmine Liu, Hyperallergic… yesterday i upgraded my micro.com subscription to premium to take advantage of the new email signup feature and begin posting short videos which i call video stills… i was ambivalent about doing this because i have viewed these video stills as ideal for the NFTA world… it is interesting to see that the market is shaping up to be a reflection of the physical art world system of value creation and art distribution, where there are taste makers serving as intermediaries advising the well to do on their art purchases… i struggle with this system because it is exploitative and elitist and a direct reflection of the power structure in which art is created… artists don’t often make out well trying to participate in this system… i don’t have to make money from my art at present, so i don’t have to participate in the system if i don’t want to, and lately, i don’t want to… right now, i create my art and offer it for free on a platform that isn’t profiting from my free content…

NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens)

a new platform to help artists make NFT art

… which reminds me of another rabbit hole i need to get back to…

First Thoughts

… Heather Cox Richardson is about Tucker Carlson, Hungary, Victor Orban, Christian authoritarianism, and how the United States is being pushed in the same direction… it saddens me that at present it is hard to perceive that this push will not succeed… i have no desire to live under Christian authoritarianism, or any other kind of authoritarianism… Democrats have been unwilling to do what is needed to reverse course… or at least a handful of Democrats…

… i once told someone that i have no interest in power, at least the kind of power that is power over… i loath people who have power and use it to shape the world to their personal vision of how things should be… i loath minorities that try to do the same… one size fits all is rarely a good solution… one size does not fit all… multicultural adjustability fits all…

… i started looking into Non-Fungible Token art yesterday… i find myself getting excited about making art in a way i haven’t been for a while… there is a way of making and distributing things i have been making but didn’t know what to do with… the flattened cans project, the video stills project… there are also the image poems, a short sequence of images played in video fashion… it seems to be opening up possibilities for exhibiting and selling… it seems to offer a chance to bypass the gate keepers… of course, there is no reason there will be any more interest in my work than there is now, just because the venue for sharing changes… there are issues with NFTs, especially environmental ones… they require a great deal of computing resources as individual object certificates (and the objects?) get distributed across many servers around the world… the redundancy is what protects the system from fraud…

From my titled post on my video stills…

Until recently, I have not known what to do with these video stills as an art product. Beyond my mixed feelings about the “art industry,” I truly had no idea how I might sell such a thing to a collector if I wanted to. I placed one of them in a group show once and agonized over how to present it in a way that was salable.

Video Stills, Zen Moments, Non-Fungible Token Art

I have, for some time now, been experimenting with, what I call, video stills. These are short (less than twenty seconds) videos that capture a not quite still moment. Here is an example.

I think of them as video zen moments, or, if you will, video stop and smell the roses moments.

One idea haiku poetry has keyed me into is that the simplest of scenes are both exactly what they are in the moment, and pregnant with the possibility of insight. A famous Issa Haiku illustrates this point:

The world of dew

Is the world of dew,

and yet, and yet.1

Until recently, I have not known what to do with these video stills as an art product. Beyond my mixed feelings about the “art industry,” I truly had no idea how I might sell such a thing to a collector if I wanted to. I placed one of them in a group show once and agonized over how to present it in a way that was salable. How do you supply a digital copy that can’t be replicated? I tried a digital frame which would be solely dedicated to the video, but none of the commercial ones were suitable to how I wanted to present the work. How do you supply a digital copy that can’t be replicated?

Enter Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Art. I am still not entirely clear about the specifics of how it works (I’ve just begun my research), but it seems promising.


  1. Issa Kobayashi, The Dumpling Field: Haiku of Issa [return]

HEN, Non Fungible Art Tokens

… ok, another rabbit hole to go down… Non Fungible Token art… turns out, this may be a way to sell photography and then receive royalties on future sales… anyone out there dabbling in this?…

HEN is an open source iteration of blockchain art sales…

The present decentralized application allows its users to manage decentralized digital assets, serving as a public smart contract infrastructure on Tezos Blockchain.1

a series on how it might apply to selling photographic artwork

06 Rhiannon Adam, Polaroids and NFT’s

Bangkok. 2012 (remixed 2021) - Developing Polaroid © Rhiannon Adam.

an article in the British Journal of Photography about Rhiannon Adam

… the artist mixes polaroids with NFT’s (non fungible tokens)… in the above example, a succession of images of a developing polaroid, made of a polaroid… NFT’s intrigue me, the idea that royalties can be built into the artwork, which when transmitted to a new owner, are paid to the artist… blockchain can do that…