Category Archives: Libraries / Museums / Archives

online repositories of knowledge, art, literatures, historical texts

Exhibit: Beat Museum & environs / SF, 2018 / feat. Allen’s Organ, Jack’s Jacket, Gary’s Japa-cap and Beat Typewriters

Along a ramble…

Along the wanders, I found myself in San Francisco, really mostly in Pacifica, one of my favourite hideaways and just south of the city… but anyway, ventured into SF proper to (finally) get some time at the Beat Museum and wow, what a great job these folks are doing. As such, a few notes and artifacts from the museum and history dripping neighbourhood for your amusement and my memory.

Inadequate backgrounder…

Now I could go on and on about the importance of *the Beats* connecting literary traditions, sparking countercultures leading to the revolutionary “pranksters“ to the *hippies* (for lack of a better term), punks (no I’m not talking mohawks here), indie-making artists of all medium, everything… while also looking back to Whitman, cummings (sic), WCW, Wolfe, Twain, Thoreau, Dostoevsky… you get the general gist.  Or what I’m trying to see is wide-thinking, free-roaming, do it yourself souls sharing empathy for others, breaking conventions to find out who you really are and then manifesting the distilled results t into one’s own life which infuses your own soul, then effectuates inspiration in others – also (critically) this ain’t always pretty, rarely is. That’s not the point.

Work in progress…

Anyhow, the Beat Museum was (maybe is) undergoing some construction as the building needs an earthquake-resistant upgrade, – I’ve shared some various fundraising campaigns and podcast riffs about their history over the years in this archive maybe you’ve come across and supported their noble efforts… but anyway, the building was surrounded by scaffolding in a bit of commotion and for a guy like me has easily sensory overload it, it could easily be intense but I stepped in and disappeared for an afternoon amongst the curated exhibits.

This is not some fancy-pants museum, this is a grassroots effort with everything done by intention and in an attentive spirit. I took some crappy snapshots along the way just to remember for my own memory as i wander far and wide and sometimes the twist and turns get a little too quick for me to process real time in my noggin.

Artifacts and abstractions…

note: There is a little mini-theatre room looping a film (was it “Pull My Daisy? It’s all a bit hazy now a few countries later), which pleased me for the visual abstraction of Beat life as well as regrouping in a small / dark / cozy room.

Notable artifacts include:

“referee shirt” Neal Cassady famously wore while driving Furthur, the Merry Prankster bus

a plaid wool jacket Kerouac wore (I’ve had one just like it)

Continue reading Exhibit: Beat Museum & environs / SF, 2018 / feat. Allen’s Organ, Jack’s Jacket, Gary’s Japa-cap and Beat Typewriters

Japanese Cinema etc: quick hits/notes

Shintaro Katsu as Zatoichi, wanders – blind with cane-sword, ready for massage

Consider this a sloppy and not complete by any means roundup for Japanese and Japan-related cinema and other visual entertainment. 

Just quick hits, a few links, please take the time to add to it if you have something to say.

First, buddy Banghi puts forth:

a quick and dirty list focusing on directors highlights or favs rather than spamming a list of Kurosawa…

* Tokyo Story
* Tampopo
* High and low
* Castle of Cagliastro
* In the realm of the senses
* Kwaidan
* Akira
* Any/all Zatoichi
* Ballad of Narayama
* Rodan
* The Burmese harp
* Battle royale

Next, I made a little list of Japanese and related for folks coming to wedding as a primer – a few ideas to load up on your device for plane viewing to get ya in the spirit: Continue reading Japanese Cinema etc: quick hits/notes

Items: Excerpts from “Tintin et le Quebec City” book – illustrations, commercial, and ephemera

At the exhibit “Hergé et Moi” i attended (on opening day iirc) in Québec City, QC, i documented various accoutrements and artifacts and then, whilst exiting through the gift shop, acquired a few notebooks and a wonderful book called “Tintin et le Québec” with photographs of ephemeral pieces including advertisements, puppet shows, test proofs, letters, sketches and so on. Many of the items included were somehow related to the Montréal world expo (not really the ones shared here) and related events. 

I am especially fond of the letterheads, telegrams, commuiques and other stationery type items.

Respectfully sharing a few lousy snapshots of a variety of pages here for personal memory and amusement as well as scholarly research since the book is hard to find (and my copy is in a distant place from my physical location) and to give a sense of the variety within this lovely tome. 

Continue reading Items: Excerpts from “Tintin et le Quebec City” book – illustrations, commercial, and ephemera

Van Gogh’s travels informed the works…

Van Gogh’s travels informed the works we revere today.
By Gina Barton via Vox.com

 

Museum Exhibit: Kobayashi Issa (haiku master), museum and grave in Shinano, Nagano

In May 2019, Ryoko and I wandered around Japan on a shinkonryoko (honeymoon) with the aims of riding various trains, visiting some folks, sampling accommodation types and visiting small museums along the way. 

In Shinano, Nagano, we visited my old pal Steve – a former Minnesota US Navy man who has lived in mountain high Nagano mostly on, but sometimes off, for better part of 40 years. With him, we checked out the Issa Memorial Museum dedicated to the haiku poet Kobayashi Issa (who was usually referred to mononymously) and is regarded as 1 of the 4 GREAT classical haiku poets (along with Basho, Shiki and Buson).

Anyhow, not sure if we just got lucky with timing or Issa isn’t a big pilgrimage for others but this was a stop i looked forward to and enjoyed very much. The place was so calm because very few patrons (mid-day, mid-week in May).

Many rooms of scrolls, artifacts from his wanders, and scale models of towns and places. Most everything was only in Japanese so if you don’t read Nihongo, you are kinda outta luck but still worth viewing all the artifacts and figuring bits and pieces out as you see it.

Simply observing the book binding craft, scroll creations and map-making techniques is highly enjoyable. 

Especially enjoyed seeing his travelling clothes, pipes, book bundles , maps and journals as these are the items i have with me whilst traveling (obviously). 

Continue reading Museum Exhibit: Kobayashi Issa (haiku master), museum and grave in Shinano, Nagano

Katie Lee: the Desert Goddess, Renegade Folksinger and Glen Canyon Activist #tribute

Adding to the variety of artifacts (including my recently re-surfacing essay “Damn the Dam”) about Glen Canyon, which turned into the “home” of Lake Powell, comes this tribute, link assortment and film preview featuring legendary Ms. Katie Lee, the famed model/singer/activist environmentalist who made a noteworthy trip into the canyons – many of which were never documented/explored – with photographers, shortly before the destruction, dam building and subsequent flooding.

Ms. Lee passed away in Nov. 2017 at 98 years old and remained a fiery personality advocating for the wildness of lands until the end.

As such, I’ve assembled a round-up of links about her extraordinary life which follows this film preview and blurb – consider reading all to learn of this exceptionally beautiful renegade.

#hero

Continue reading Katie Lee: the Desert Goddess, Renegade Folksinger and Glen Canyon Activist #tribute

Exhibit: Douglas Coupland mixed-media at VAG, vol. 7 (paintings, remix’d / G7)

Notes about Group of 7 and Coupland
here, this blurb tells all about DC and the G7 (which was a treat for me as i’d just published my mixed-media piece about Varley) – note to self: i need to get him a copy of the essays

Evidence from mixed-media master Douglas Coupland’s exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery – the assortment of items i captured from the wide-array of mediums he works with/in, are arranged into 7 volumes for convenience. This is volume 7, Painting, remix’d/G7 (my title, not his). Note: some of these paintings were “technically only sorta” part the Coupland exhibit as i recall. I don’t know really.

G7 painting (Varley?)
“don’t take photo on the 2nd floor” i was instructed – but Varley never told me that, so…

Continue reading Exhibit: Douglas Coupland mixed-media at VAG, vol. 7 (paintings, remix’d / G7)

Exhibit: Douglas Coupland mixed-media at VAG, vol. 6 (substrates)

QR code for the head
Coupland, “I wait and I wait and I wait for God to appear.”

Evidence from mixed-media master Douglas Coupland’s exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery – the assortment of items i captured from the wide-array of mediums he works with/in, are arranged into 7 volumes for convenience. This is volume 6, Substrates (my title, not his).

Ziggy Stardust
ziggy played with blocks, building towers for the hulk and all of his friends

Continue reading Exhibit: Douglas Coupland mixed-media at VAG, vol. 6 (substrates)

Exhibit: Douglas Coupland mixed-media at VAG, vol. 5 (cityscapes)

Cityscape of blocks
this project was crowd-sourced where folks built disparate parts, and DC assembled into a common aesthetic of a familiar architecture language

Evidence from mixed-media master Douglas Coupland’s exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery – the assortment of items i captured from the wide-array of mediums he works with/in, are arranged into 7 volumes for convenience. This is volume 5, Cityscapes (my title, not his).

Rather dystopian cityscape
this dystopian cityscape look idyllic at first until you see catastrophe and impending danger everywhere

Continue reading Exhibit: Douglas Coupland mixed-media at VAG, vol. 5 (cityscapes)

Gallery Exhibit: Douglas Coupland mixed-media at VAG, vol. 4 (Canadiana)

Old school goalie mask
the kid who had one of these, played goal, whether he was good or not

Evidence from mixed-media master Douglas Coupland’s exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery – the assortment of items i captured from the wide-array of mediums he works with/in, are arranged into 7 volumes for convenience. This is volume 4, Canadiana (my title, not his).

B&W TV showing parliament
CBC coverage of parliament – a communal experience for so many (and kinda like the TV we watched the World Cup on in Jamaica)

Continue reading Gallery Exhibit: Douglas Coupland mixed-media at VAG, vol. 4 (Canadiana)