Category Archives: Collections of Artifacts

essays and collections of photos with a theme or intent behind the assortment –more a dossier or exhibit – not to be confused with snaps and notes

Kintsugi-esque Postbox Haiku refresh – on a Goat Farm Visit

In the spirit of Kintsugi (usually meant for repairing busted ceramic pottery items with gold – and gluey goop but you don’t notice – to “emphasize” the imperfections), i repainted the worn-off top line of the haiku on the postbox at the “Rural Caprine Farm” in gold paint.

the “finished” fix-up / at this point, the paint is still wet so need to clearcoat next time over

Created this functional poetic installation (and the “inexact doppelgänger” on canvas) in 2018, scant days before meeting Ryoko.

the “shadow” of letters lost is poetic in itself but fresh up worthwhile

As it goes, this might be my most seen piece of art. And not only is it a functioning daily mailbox also – due to the exposure to elements and whatnot – the piece is constantly changing and evolving. Ergo: wabisabi / beauty in decay. Besides many insta-snaps, at least one patron painted the postbox itself.

Continue reading Kintsugi-esque Postbox Haiku refresh – on a Goat Farm Visit

Items: 4 machines of various condition & purpose

Four machines of various vintage, utility and states of disrepair / we didn’t purchase any of these items however, we came home with a lovely wooden cabinet for holding tea ceremony accruements

TheOtherOneIs

Rice Field Records: 3x video vinyl stories + 1 more to spark joy

Background: Rolling back to March 2023 when Michael (txtr @mschool) – who i noticed online doing video tours of records shops in this minor provincial city of Okayama and then met at a used record fair in Ushimado (post coming) – came over for a visit to talk about records, records, and more more.

don’t click this, watch the vids below, but dang, what a pose :)

How it started: I met him at the parking lot near the Tsuchida cemetery and the camera was rolling from the hop. I don’t get to talk about *all of this stuff* much and he and i had so many common checkpoints (including Internet Service Providers in the modem days!) that our convo turned into a heavy jam session which was released as a 3 part’r – all shared below with his blurbs + a sorta”part 4″ i made while tidying up all the records pulled out during the frenzy.

So, hold onto your toques, sharp turns ahead! All the records, all the time, so much more to say but this will get you started. Many stories, digressions, non sequiturs, a few missteps, mistaken dates, changes in latitude, fogging out mid-sentence as I remember something else meant to tell you about another time.

nope, don’t click this either… just a little bit more then you an click and watch ≠ look at that mess of records eh

Really though, give all 3 a watch, ask me questions, tell me *I’m totally wrong*, tell me you were there, and do the whole click and subscribe for this affable gent Michael of Rice Field Records who let me ramble in my “show n tell” (PS vid from the great record fair in Ushimado where i met Michael).

Part 1: “a 150 year old Japanese barn, vintage audiophile gear, and a very eloquent and happy man”

We meet Dave Olson, an EXPAT who is a music lover and record collector. Dave lives in Higashi (East) Okayama, in a Japanese home which has a 150 year old Kura (barn) that Dave has restored and repurposed to be his art studio and listening room. Featured is a 1980’s rare vintage Yamaha “Gigantic & Tremendous” GT-2000 turntable as part of his listening system.

Part 2: “a fascinating entrepreneur with stories told through a vinyl journey, tales from around the world”

“A decades long vinyl collection journey that begins in Canada, Dave Olson moves to the Pacific NW. Then criss-crosses the USA. Goes to Japan, Bali, and Europe. Records recently shipped from various storage rooms abroad to this resident of Japan. A fascinating story of music with a first hand knowledge of many Seattle and Canadian, bands, promoters and independent labels beginning in the early 1990’s.”

Part 3: “a 1990’s dial-up Internet ISP, a world traveller, a fantastic record collection, a very happy man”

“Anyone who knows my work history has a big smile on their face the moment this video begins. While Dave was the engine behind OLYWA.NET, I was the the Internet Service Provider marketing manager for Ascend Communications, who was the market share leader of access technology for ISP’s. Dave and I were marketing some form of dial-up access, ISDN, frame relay, and T-1 lines at the same time. There was so much excitement in our first meeting. I don’t know if this video deserves any more introduction. You have to be smitten by this guy’s infectious enthusiasm in the first 30 seconds.”

Bonus

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to *spark joy*)

All these records bring me joy so i am tidying up in the wake of a super enjoyable visit from Rice Field Records  and a used record fair in nearby Ushimado. I putter along talking about how i organize the records into “neighbourhoods” so they have pals to hang out with, pull out some box sets, try to find where i put that “one thing” and where *exactly* this one fits best while wearing an moth-eaten cardigan and noticing my beard is compensating for my thinning noggin (still cute :)). Finishes with flipping through some 7 inches while playing a live clip recorded at Ubud Jazz festival. 

So many name checks for fave artists including: Courtney Barnett, Bill Janovitz / Buffalo Tom, Buffalo Springfield, David Bowie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Joe Jackson, Talking Heads, Lone Justice, Ramones, Pixies, Weakerthans, more more more… and extra affection for compilations and soundtracks from Nardwuar, Flipside, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urgh a Music War, Life in European Theatre, Easy Rider, Times Square (movie) etc infinity.

More: Vinyl specific goodness from my Kura barn doing arts and craft

Post’d: inbound treats from India, Lanka, Ukraine, Ireland, City Lights, Bowen, Germany etc

I mean, I know no one is really worrying about this or hardly paying attention, but I have a strange obsession with documenting all the inbound mail, as well as often making videos of me simply chatting whilst putting the treats into scrapbooks – which kind of misses the point and I should just spend the time scribbling more letters.

However, i recently sent out six glorious bundles of a book which combines fine art, exquisite paper craft, time travel, astral projection, interactivity, and story of love, love, love and friendship across time, zones, islands, continents, and fictions – and I did it all without taking a snapshot of the luscious stack (which also included inscriptions featuring my new inky stamps). It’s all very exciting to me.

*And* when I went to my local post office – where I used to be a regular visitor however this year I’ve slowed down significantly for various reasons – my favourite employee was there to greet me and help me with significant excitement and enjoyment as we chose the stamps for each one plus, I showed her the well-traveled 11 month journey postcard to India, and she in return, told me about new postal regulations for sending packages to all countries which go into affect September. (Oh great… More complications :(, fortunately does not affect letters and postcards, so I’ll stick with those standards (aerogrammes seem to go missing) so you’re out of luck on international packages friendo.

However, onwards the inbound pile, there’s been so many interesting arrivals so while I am restraining myself from documenting everything and saying to self its fine just documenting a few things. Cool with you? Great. Let’s make a start:

What do Fred Rogers, Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein and the Heinz family have in common? Thanks to Tim Tulloch & family in CT for the great card packed full of stories all interlinked in the most unlikely ways.

A talisman of friendship across continents, oceans – circumstances often running parallel across astral planes. We continue to create in solidarity, collaboration (accidental or otherwise), constant creativity, cross-medium communication and unabashed affection with and from Andrew McLuhan (who has faced significant personal challenges and started/completed/attempted so many multidisciplinary projects, while keeping the legacy of his father and grandfather even more relevant… All of the above for which I have massive admiration)

2 fortunate correspondents enjoying the correspondence from Bowen Island with usual enthusiasm (hooray for ice cream on the dock!)

Ichiro *reading* this dispatch from my birthday twin in Germany, in his words was mostly about “dinosaurs, water bikes and stanely park and the number 7” Danke Astrid-san.

Arriving miraculously timed directly on my birthday, although without that specific intention, came this beautiful envelope from someone who is a semi-professional letter/card writer, stamp creator, community builder, and always includes very enjoyable paper craft in her dispatches from Austin TX (a city I used to visit so often and loved so gently)

And another exceptionally thoughtful friend who’s family faced many challenges from operations to hurricanes over the last, while you took the time to send a birthday card, which hit all the marks with luscious paper, lovely quote, and a glorious tree. Thank you to the palmy desert.

this quirky artwork arrived from a friend. I haven’t met yet (thinking about it, many of my correspondence fall into this category) who also lives in Japan and it seems to have a very interesting variety of skills from sketching to music. {It’s a really fantastic painting and remind me of another, we saw during the van Gogh exhibit in an adjacent gallery… its around here somewhere… oh here it is}

sorry don’t know the artist’s name

These “Fantastic” stickers were included with a very heartfelt and private typed letter, on luscious letterhead, describing an experience at a regional burning man type event, in which the writer set up a “post office” and delivered analogue communication from various camps to camps… That part doesn’t sound very personal, but anyway, here’s related stickers as a placeholder for this tender letter.

A young –I guess he’s no longer that “young” – Sri Lankan correspondent made a trip to India, I believe his first international adventure about which he was understandabl excited, and from this journey came a postcard featuring the mystic Sai Baba, whose movement/commune/corp makes the exquisite Nag Champa incense.

The same un-young fella sent another card on his return to Sri Lanka, the stamps/cancellation are included for your enjoyment in comparison. Learn more about Rasika and his postcards.

Also, no longer particularly “young” but of course, still youthful and in my eyes always a keen speaker, comes a postcard from Ireland (on a honeymoon with an exceptional decision). {Funny, all the places I’ve rambled, Ireland, and Scotland, and Norway, which are the origin points of much of my heritage are still unvisited. The good news is, those can wait as they’re relatively “easy” compared to some of the places of my rambles.} ty J&V, come visit

From another place, I have yet to visit and probably one not on the usual “tourist trap” these days – comes a lovely message from a Canadian, usually living in Vietnam but at this time in Ukraine (and soon to be in Japan). Note to self: give him a call

This fantastically well-travelled postcard, was harvested somewhere from the internets (Twitter?), but I have forgotten whom to credit so… if this is you, ‘thank you for sharing your remarkable artifact’ which seems to have leapfrog continents and hopefully eventually found a recipient (hooray for the incredible neural net work of postal services!)

My friend Katherine in Vic BC passed along this very cool “4 Sen” stamp from a bundle picked up at Smithsonian Postal Museum – I know that somehow along the way, the yen was all re-valuated as now 4 Sen (which means ¥4000) is about $40 CAD and in the old-timey movies, the money denominations seem to be all juggled up anyway, I just like the stamp. TY

One of us is very cool and nonchalant, the other is may be too excited, but, regardless, this is a fantastic postbox located on the 6th floor courtyard of a department store next to a hidden post office. I don’t understand the story behind at all but I’m always unusually excited when I have a chance to drop something in here and take the obligatory snapshot (you’ll find others with the same cheesy pose elsewhere no doubt).

Bonus!

New inky stamps and visit from a pal led to a postcard making session at a coffee shop (yes, my favourite thing to do) and, since I love trams/trolleys, combined it all with a note from a friend mailed to my own house. Doesn’t everyone do this? {the kanji characters say – from top to bottom: Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan + the postbox might well be modelled on the one above.

Snaps: additions to usual collections (phone, postbox, ship, stamps and coffee)

Compiling usual additions to standard collections, ergo:

* rotary phone (black, functional) at Tereya Cafe

* postbox (6th floor of dept store courtyard)

* wooden ship (hotel lobby with cutty sark booze)

* ink stamp rally checkpoint (at a traveling aquarium)

* coffee (Hawaiian Lion at hotel)

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to spark joy

All these records bring me joy so i am tidying up in the wake of a super enjoyable visit from Rice Field Records and a used record fair in nearby Ushimado.

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura

So, I putter along talking about how i organize the records into “neighbourhoods” so they have pals to hang out with, pull out some box sets, try to find where i put that “one thing” and where *exactly* this one fits best while wearing an moth-eaten cardigan and noticing my beard is compensating for my thinning noggin (still cute :)).

Finishes with flipping through some 7 inches while playing a live clip recorded at Ubud Jazz festival.

So name checks for fave artists including Courtney Barnett, Bill Janovitz / Buffalo Tom, Buffalo Springfield, David Bowie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Joe Jackson, Talking Heads, Lone Justice, Ramones, Pixies, Weakerthans, more more more… and extra affection for compilations and soundtracks from Nardwuar, Flipside, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urgh a Music War, Life in European Theatre, Easy Rider, Times Square (movie) etc infinity.

Continue reading Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to spark joy

Courtney Barnett xx Uncle Weed #vinyl #poster

A couple very special treats now in the kura barn studio from @courtneymelba & @Milk_Records / kind of over the moon so I looped Courtney’s 3 stellar LPs while working on arts and crafts today #swoon

The poster is from Primavera festival in Barcelona with art remixing the “lizards“ at Gaudi’s Park Güell which has a whole other backstory for me.

Seems to fit right in with Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg (reminds me of the fantastic performance of Billy and Courtney doing velvet underground “Sunday morning“ on RocKwiz in Australia.

Courtney Barnett hanging out with Billy Bragg, Joe Strummer and me in a barn studio in a provincial corner of Japan / thanks @milkrecords for the sweet sig

PS to you, yes you: “I’m thinking of you too” fondly

Records: things to say about these albums, but for now…

I have things to say about each of these albums.

Very different things in each case but important things.

Things about reinvention, transitions, kindness, confusion, discovery and comfort.

Stashing here for now to remind myself to tell you later.

shrine to help the passed along their way

rip Kim S & Paul J #peace