sasha frere-jones writes sentences

And they are good ones! A while back I briefly mentioned a Sleigh Bells concert review that he wrote for the New Yorker in 2009. After watching their set, he wrote, "I knew they were my favorite band in New York." STRONG FEELINGS ALERT. He also wrote some other things that I thought were good sentences.

"Sleigh Bells are part of a scene that will probably never have a name, because it is probably whatever pop is now."

"...almost any of their songs could find a home wherever pop lives now: TV shows, movies, commercials, concert halls, tiny electronic gizmos that blink in time with your heartbeat." 

"abstract post-punk lyrics are probably a threat to approximately nobody."

Read his whole review about this "new crazy" band that by now in 2012 is a bit "old hat"and think about where they are now? Do I like these sentences because of his use of the word probably? Probably.

This was my favorite song off that album: "Wonder what your boyfriend thinks about your braces. What about them. I'm all about them."



what's new in the world of toys

Have you ever wondered what a toy convention is like? Have you ever wanted there to be cool watercolors accompanying a funny story of what a toy convention is like? You should definitely read The Toy Fair over at The Hairpin. It's a classic. I'm already clearing my schedule for next year's toy fair. She also says about her friend Tim, pictured above, "Tim is my quintessential New York Friend: erudite, droll, always up for hijinks." I'm pretty sure she nailed that one on the head. 

(images via The Hairpin)


recovered lost keys

We wandered around Middletown, NY and ate tacos, Easter bread and more peas than I would have ever believed. We did Vogue model poses in the streets and then took a $7 cab back to our chain hotel. The second time around, she left her key behind the radiator in my apartment. I found it because there was a lanyard on it - one of the colorful, plastic ones from summer camp. You know the type. She actually uses them! And bakes bread too. 


James Turrell

A few years ago I was lucky enough to experience my first James Turrell piece in the perfect circumstances. I was wandering around the MoMA by myself, listening to music on my headphones - as I am wont to do to avoid human interaction - and I came upon a darkened entryway. I walked in and was listening to a song by Love Letter Band as I slowed my pace to walk down the pitch black hallway. As I shuffled, they sang:

I was scared, scared, scared to the bone
You said there, there, but I still felt alone
I was there in the corner signing songs to myself
And they filled up the room without making a sound
And you stood there with me 
As I stood there alone
And we danced without moving 
And glowed without light
As I thought what a beautiful ghost you would make
I got scared, scared, scared to the bone
You move like a ghost and I shudder
You move like a ghost and my hair stands on end
And you're beautiful

And as I came around the corner, I was overcome, overwhelmed, enveloped, even coconed by light, by color. I really could feel it, down to my bones. It was one of the most peaceful and beautiful experiences of my life. Somehow the music was describing exactly what I was feeling, and simultaneously the light was transporting me from the reality of being awake and aware to some middle drifting ground. 

Working with light as his medium, James Turrell is recreating this with every work he makes, and has been since the 1960's. As Rhys Graham writes, Turrell creates "a sculptural distillation and articulation of these transitory moments between light and dark, reality and dream, between sight and blindness...using pure light and colour as material to explore and challenge our assumptions about perceptions about sensation."

Turrell himself has said, "Light is a powerful substance... But, for something so powerful, situation for its felt presence are fragile. I form it as much as the material allows. I like to work with it so that you feel it physically, so you feel the presence of light inhabiting a space. I like the quality of feeling that is felt not only with the eyes."

I couldn't agree more.

(top images via Triangulation, bottom image via The Buoy Archives)


today is the day

That I say "See you soon" to New York. That I might look back and say, "That was the day." That is also just a day like any other. I'm not feeling strong, but my chin is up, and I'll always love the accordion on this song.


carsten höller: experience

Me at Carsten Höller at the New Museum

To begin with: there was a slide through three floors of the museum. There was also a quasi sensory deprivation tank, a super slow-moving carousel, numerous pairs of kooky goggles, and many other pieces, that in concert, contributed to the exhibition's reputation (in multiple places) as a "playground" and/or "amusement park."

I participated in all interactive pieces, including completely disrobing and entering the Giant Psycho Tank (the sensory deprivation tank listed above), and let me tell you, being nude in an art museum, even if no one can see you is a strange experience. And it's not at all like the conundrum of the tree falling in a forest: if you are nude in a museum but no one can see you, you are still nude! However, the piece that I enjoyed the most and that really made me think about my "experience" with and of the art, was the piece pictured here, Infrared Room.

Its components are listed as:

"Three infrared cameras, three infrared lamps, three video projectors, three computers with specially designed software, monitor, and cables, dimensions variable." 

At the New Museum the piece was set up in a completely dark room that you enter through a curtain, like many video installations at museums. So I entered like I typically would at a museum: slowly and quietly so as to be least obtrusive to the other viewers. There was one other lady in there, but after about a minute of both of us standing very quietly and very still, she walked out, bored of looking at our static "reflections" on the three video feeds. 

When she left, I did what any slightly childish yet self-conscious person might do: I oriented myself directly in the center of the room and started doing an utterly inane and overly exuberant dance. As I was dancing, watching myself on the projections, I realized that sometimes Left Sarah was moving slightly before Right Sarah and Center Sarah, and sometimes Center Sarah took the lead, and so on and so on. My "reflections" were not really in-sync with reality. It was a very out-of-body experience, seeing myself doing three different things at different times. Sometimes I felt that one reflection was "me" because it was in-sync with my movements. I also became hyper-aware of the "now" and "the present" and could feel the out-of-time-ness of the "reflections" affecting my perception of my own relationship to time and space. 

The video room was not only a fun thing, in creating a small, badly coordinated group of Sarah cheerleaders, but it also made me think about the experience of viewing art, and particularly how video art is frequently presented in a quiet, dark room. There is a reverence and respect to entering and experiencing most video art in such a room that requires that one be quiet, be respectful of others, be unobtrusive. I might never have noticed the "specially designed software" altering the video projections had I entered into a room with many people. I would have come and gone quietly, and made as little movements as possible so as not to disturb the viewing experience. My small, inconspicuous movements would not have been enough to notice the delayed playback. 

The piece takes the typical behavior and experience of viewing video art in a darkened museum gallery and turns it completely on its head - changing not only the experience of viewing the art, but the relationship of the viewer to the art. Because without any viewer - without anyone to be filmed and projected onto the screen, is there really any art at all?

This has been my months old reflection on an experience that I quite enjoyed and will hopefully remember for some time to come. Thanks for reading!


belmont birthday

A few weekends ago it was my friend B's birthday and she knew she wanted to watch some old-fashioned horse races, so we hopped on LIRR out to Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. We placed bets, drank beers, and ate hot dogs. It was loads of fun and I even won a few dollars! I didn't bet on 3 in the race picture above, but isn't it just spectacular how the horse noses ahead and wins the race?

(images by me!)


vice quotes #6

"Life is beautiful for people who refuse to be jaded by it. Even in the bleakest, most miserable of all situations there're always little glints of hope and joy peeking through the awfulness. Never stop looking for them."


springtime twenty twelve

1. Park Avenue across from the Armory
2. Magnolias at Grace Church on Broadway and E. 10th
3. Lucy kissing the trees at Storm King

(images by me!)


big ups for baggu bags!

So if you know me, you know that I am unapologetically obsessed with Baggu Bags. I have at least 6 of the regular size, one or two of the small, a backpack, and a set of the small zip bags, and I am CONSTANTLY coveting more. Above are my Electric Purple and Papaya Baggus laying on the floor in my room as I was unpacking after the day. Next time I can rationalize buying more I am going to get an Electric Poppy and a few more sets of the zipper bags. I definitely need another Small set, and then a Medium set and a couple of Large sets. I just love compartmentalizing and Baggu makes it so easy! 


skate church / natural neon

These pictures seem to have been taken while on vacation in Bordeaux. They're from the lovely blog ledansla where apparently everyone lives in an alternate reality where there are half pipes in churches (see above, duh) and even folding laundry and messy rooms are charmingly ethereal and whimsically bright.....

(images via ledansle)


sheila marquez wears the best outfit ever?

This is just possibly the best outfit ever. I'm not one for a lot of color in my outfits, but this is somehow working for me. The colors are good and weird, bright but somehow not overwhelming. The coat is amazing and really pulling it all together with its non-structure and those shoes!!! I recently saw a friend's pair of thrifted burgundy work shoes and now it's all I want. Let's also mention that the tags on her clothing read like my dream list of place's I'd shop if I were rich: YSL, Balenciaga, Acne, Rag & Bone, Marni... all she's missing is a little Prada and Jil Sander. I'd also like to note that Sheila Marquez has always been a model favorite of mine, if that is a conversation anyone would like to have (along with Karlie, Kinga, Omahyra, and Tasha Tilberg, among others). Ain't she pretty?

(image via I'M KOO)