Friday, May 22, 2009

It's been a busy week, but here are some highlights:

Favorite thing AM did this week:
Smiling is a big thing to do (on demand) these days, but somehow in her newly-formed mind, AM has equated closing her eyes (i.e. squinting really hard) with smiling. After many failed attempts, I have finally captured on the camera this smile/squint in all its glory. It cracks us up every time. Above is the photgraphic evidence.
Favorite thing I read this week:
Okay, so it's no literary triumph, but this website is hilarious, and was brought to my attention by my good friend Ashley. Enjoy, and hide those awful family photos before they fall into the wrong hands...
Favorite thing I saw/watched this week:
Mary Lucier is a fabulous contemporary video artist. Her video "The Plains of Sweet Regret," is both beautiful and haunting. Now on view at the Birmingham Museum of Art, this work gave me the chills, and brought me to tears, as it poetically speaks (with few words) of the abandonment of small towns in the Northern Plains of the US. The installation incorporates an entire room, and is engulfing to say the least. AM was even quiet as we watched!
I can't find the 18 min. video in its entirety on the web, but the North Dakota Museum of Art, has wonderful still images from it, and also includes the haunting music from the first section of the video. At the BMA's site,, you can link to a podcast of a lecture by Lucier. The end of this podcast features the second half of the video, which is definitely worth watching online. It is set to--I know this sounds odd--a very dramatic remix of George Strait's "I Can Still Make Cheyenne." I'm no country music fanatic, but the way that this song has been altered, and then matched with the images from a rodeo are truly beautiful.
I could go on and on about this, and since it is up at the BMA until mid-July, I'll be back to view it again. I'll also be making my ARH 101 students see it this summer. Ah, there's nothing like spreading culture to those who are just looking for an easy A!

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