Archive for May, 2007

Sweet slots

May 30, 2007

On that recent post about the delicate and nuanced relationship of the Wendover Nugget Casino and Starbucks, my former fellow artist-in-residence Matt McCormick left this great comment:

“i like how they only have donuts at that starbucks. most ‘bucks that i have been to across this great land offer a variety of muffins, scones, and the like. but ye ol’ wendover/nugget starbucks only offers six or so different flavors of donuts and nothing else. i wonder if some deep psycho vibe study revealed that people gamble more when sugar buzzed?”

So true my friend, so true:



Wendover misc

May 30, 2007




The hair loft

May 25, 2007




Perhaps as the word loft implies, the ceiling here has not been ignored.


May 24, 2007




Nugget brew

May 23, 2007

This is my favorite book right now:


I like to read it in the Starbucks in the Wendover Nugget Casino:


I find the little architectural setup interesting:


That partition wall between the casino zone and the Starbucks zone seems important – these two entities have strictly defined experiences. It may only be glass from the waist up, but I suspect it is there for a reason: both spaces are militant about their soundtracks. The volume in Starbucks almost always pisses me off, but I’ve never been to one where they’ll turn it down more than a wee notch because “the management says it needs to be on nine” or whatever, and I can’t even IMAGINE a casino without omnipresent slot machine blinging. More similarities than I expected.

Paint me a pixel

May 22, 2007

“…it is possible to demonstrate an ongoing dependence of computer graphics on the older history of art. … even where they set out to mimic nature directly, graphic designers tend to choose phenomena that are not only amenable to computation but are also in line with inherited pictorial versions of naturalism.

In so doing, computer designers recapitulate the history of art in various particulars: The history of three-dimensional rendering rehearses the early history of linear perspective; the current interest in translucent “mylar” layering revives diaphonous rococo effects of fresco and oil paint; and the routines for lighting gradients (such as Phong and Blinn rendering) recall seventeenth- and eighteenth-century interests in specular and diffuse reflections.

In a wider sense, the conventions of computer-generated perspectival scenes in military and scientific simulations, architecture, and commercial games appear “natural” or mathematically driven to their designers, even though they can be shown to derive from Western landscape painting of the last two centuries.”

[Excerpt from The Domain of Images, by James Elkins, emphasis my addition]


May 20, 2007



Visual meteorology

May 20, 2007

I was talking with my fellow artist-in-residence Matt McCormick about our strategies of preparation. Basically before we’d each come out here we’d been noodling the interwebs furiously for images of places and subjects that interested us. Matt had been into Flickr pools, I was heavy on Google image searches.  Of course we knew well enough that weird difference between the pictures and the experience of the place. Matt compared it to meteorology: you gather as much data as possible, but no matter how comprehensive or detailed that material is you still have to sort of squint, guess and wishfully forecast as to what the place actually looks like.

I covered my wall with downloaded images – tourist pictures by all kinds of internut folk – of a place I’d wanted to visit. I lived with them intimately for a couple weeks like that. When I came back from my visit to this site, it was the weirdest thing to see those pictures. Returning, having finally seen and studied the place myself in person, suddenly the pictures were totally unfamiliar; alien, as if I’d never seen them before and I was stitching together their space and meaning for the first time as the new memory of the place imposed itself, a total reorientation to images I thought I knew.


May 16, 2007


This is where I’m living. The brown structure at the bottom of the frame is the CLUI Residence Support Unit (my home base). Our neighbors, the Air Force, have been putting on a really lovely show today with pretty multi-colored smoke bomb type things whilst running around the chain link perimeter fence in camo with big, big guns. Lots of exciting noises coming from over there, still, well after sunset. They also set up a pink volleyball net.


May 15, 2007






Weed heights

May 15, 2007






It’s funny how Nevada spins its isolation as an asset.

But I think there’s some truth to it.

Roadside services

May 12, 2007


Hotel nevada

May 11, 2007





And it has wifi. I miss it already.


May 6, 2007





Cindy Sherman vs. T-Shirt Ninjas

May 4, 2007

I love this post by Tom Moody: he compares Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills with web cam shots of T-Shirt Ninjas. That’s 1979 vs 2002. Well played, Mr. Moody, this is a great pairing. I just realized that I actually spent more time looking at the ninjas.

There is a free-form use of text in the ninja pix that is almost like folk art. Even the most flippant text in contemporary art feels heavy in comparison, loaded with significance.

The ninjas are borrowing from print and television marketing models, which almost always have text together with imagery. The ninjas naturally include their own strap lines and slogans. Their pictures are participatory advertisements, not film stills. Maybe this subtly suggests a blurring: to communicate is now to publicize.

p.s. See Tom’s reply to the above post here. I’m still thinking, expect more smack soon.