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#a218 :: Optical-illusion button

September 19, 2008

Your mind could fall straight out of the top of your skull, trying to wrap it around this object. In 2-D, it’s a bit drab, but once you turn it beneath the light and watch the 3-D strands of Pearls finding their way across its honeycombed surface, you become persuaded you’ve found Fate’s master plan […]

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#a217 :: “Leight Sleepers” brand earplugs

September 18, 2008

I’ve worn a lot of earplugs. I’m a light sleeper, I have kids and I camp on the playa, which readies you for pretty much any cacophonous grab-bag of a soundscape the world can dish out – while making it impossible to cobble together 3 decent minutes of sleep for the noise of hooting, bumping […]

Filed under: Adornment, Tool | Comments (1)

#a216 ::

September 17, 2008

Also from my wife’s collection: hollowed, hand-hammered silver of questionable virtue, yet molded with the heavenly curves of a nimbus cloud.

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Found Object, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#a200 :: Jawbone

September 1, 2008

Another item gleaned from the burn site – or maybe just fancy-lookin’ MOOP that landed there in the middle of a dance, a debauch or an idle walkabout – this jawbone of a squirrel or a raccoon (or something) bears three hallmarks of Burning Man couture: It’s goth-y. It has a mounting hole drilled through […]

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#a197 :: Patch

August 29, 2008

Of all the sorts of trinkets given out at Burning Man, the gorgeously mass-produced ones always grab me a bit harder than the small-run handmade items – probably because I’m a shallow consumer in love with manufactured goods. A guy handed all of us one of these today as we picnicked on the shady second […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact | Comments (0)

#186 :: “Thunderbird”

August 18, 2008

The decision had cost Daniel. Which is why he was standing here now with this ridiculous knife in his hand. Ankle-deep in all the tools he had yanked from the toolbox and flung to the floor as he rifled fruitlessly for a real weapon. weapons. Both blades out. Ready. Wicked. He tried not to look […]

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, Objet, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a182 :: Bluetooth headset

August 13, 2008

Six weeks ago, California law did not require me to wear this while driving and using my cellphone. Five years ago, this sort of gadget did not exist. Fifteen years ago, I counted myself lucky to be using a cellphone the size of a brick – one that had been issued by the Philadelphia Inquirer […]

Filed under: Adornment, Tool | Comments (0)

#a175 :: Printing blocks

August 6, 2008

Carved in Africa or India or perhaps on some island, I know not where, these found their way to the gift shop of Brighton Pavilion. They were lumped in mysteriously with all the other gift-shop trappings of chinoiserie, the Chinese-design fantasy that George IV lost himself in while having Sir John Nash design his summer […]

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#a150 :: Glitz stickers

July 13, 2008

comes home with my daughter it sparkles when you turn it push back the darkness.

Filed under: Adornment, Art, symbol | Comments (0)

#a144 :: Rosary

July 7, 2008

Another Tuesday, another morning with little Kylie, the niña pequeña she cared for three days a week. She trudged uphill once more, the rosary draped over her fingers. “Nomini patri et fili et spiritu sancto,” the sign of the cross trailing from her lips as she kissed the little madonna milagro and worried the yellow […]

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#a142 :: Rubber watch

July 5, 2008

They gave these out to the kids with tickets for Wall-E. Movie – gorgeous to look at, groundbreaking, but not nearly as smart and funny as Kung Fu Panda. Watch – blue silicone rubber around a little cheesebox chip of Chinese chircuitry. My son’s came broken.

Filed under: Adornment, General, Instrument, Jetsam, Tool | Comments (0)

#a134 :: Word beads

June 27, 2008

The notion of the exquisite corpse is simple: By juxtaposing random words, you create a new reality. You can manufacture newfound logic that approaches poetry. Or you can hash a bunch of meaningless verbiage that probably only sounds really cool after a couple of bong hits. Leave it to the American kitsch industry to commoditize […]

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#a115 :: Ivory manta ray

June 8, 2008

We swam with manta rays in Hawaii last summer. Yes, it really was that idyllic. We tell ourselves it was kharmic payback for a summer of pain – our dear friend Keith died horribly and too young, we were both working 14 hour days and struggling to be with the kids, our daughter broke her […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Facsimile, Fetish, Life form, symbol | Comments (0)

#a98 :: Refrigerator magnet

May 22, 2008

Home turf’s on my mind today. Senator Ted Kennedy’s illness left a vacancy on the commencement program for Wesleyan University this Sunday. Barack Obama is stepping in. So, it’s a big deal but: I grew up on the Wesleyan campus (Mom and Dad have worked there for decades). Let’s hope they hold it somewhere more […]

Filed under: Adornment, Model, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#a93 :: Hawaiian fishhook

May 17, 2008

I hunted it down, searching from gift shop to gift shop in Kona last summer, wiith a will. I wanted something real – of bone – something distinct from the beautiful, overly-copied and -cheapened polynesian talismans littering the tourist coast of Hawaii’s big island. I eventually tracked this down at a shop specializing in such […]

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Fetish, Instrument, Miniature, Model | Comments (0)

#a90 :: Pull tab

May 13, 2008

“Hold him, Teck, I wanna piss on him.” Boomer loomed over the prostrate sophomore and began unbuckling his pants. Kyle looked up – as much as Teck’s kung-fu grip on his neck would allow, at least – sighed, and resumed staring inches away at the defocused glitter of burst Lowenbrau bottles and Molson caps in […]

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Facsimile, Found Object, Jetsam, Microfiction, Part, weapon | Comments (0)

#a89 :: Rubber LED pendant

May 12, 2008

In the realm of burned-out rave gear trends, the blinky LED pendant burns on – loud and frenetic as an 8-year-old on his fourth bowl of Cap’n Crunch. In fact, it’s always as perpetually in style as the good Cap’n himself. Squeeze this complex polyhedron in the right place and it bursts to life, its […]

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#a81 :: Stickers

May 4, 2008

Our endless list of household projects marches forward because of my wife, the movie producer. This week’s tribute to her ambitions is me shoveling out the large storage area in my office – which means going through virtually every bit of hard-copy media I’ve ever owned, sorting, refiling and throwing out crap. The room looks […]

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#a55 :: Yoda handlebar ornament

April 8, 2008

I’m actually a little proud of this. I built one for everyone in our camp at Burning Man a couple years ago to mount on their handlebars: I found a box of little “crystal” Yoda figure kits for a quarter apiece at a flea market. I glued each together, drilled the base out and inserted […]

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#a52 :: Tattoo needle & inks

April 5, 2008

This evening, Justin (this gifted gentleman) used these to finish my arm (front | side | three-quarter | full | video). Not just fantastic work. Deep art.

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#a43 :: Paste jewel

March 27, 2008

The azure promise of bogus gems. So alluring. I’m listening to Roy Orbison’s “Leah” right now, and falling right into this one’s watery depths.

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#365 :: Ring

February 14, 2005

Here are some of the posts I had the most fun writing and/or shooting.If you like any of them, maybe you’ll email one to a friend who might enjoy it, too. And if you just discovered this site, any of these is a good place to jump in: Rubber Ghoul Drain Valve/Bell Photo-Theremin Saab Front […]

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Objet, Part, symbol | Comments (4)

#358 :: Bow

February 7, 2005

This is the cultural equivalent of a successful GoogleWhack: A purpose-built frippery with one and only one use. The peach-satin confection came flat in a glassine envelope, a little stack of ribbon rectangles. To set it up, you pull a little thread at its center, which bunches the strips into loops forming a perfect, gift-ready […]

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#277 :: Coin-silver Cross – Africa

November 12, 2004

My sick affinity for pop culture trivia takes up a frightening amount of already very-limited brain power. The fact that Eddie Deezen plays the geeky kid with a deer rifle holed up at the top of a ferris wheel on guard duty against Japanese invasion in 1941 has completely crowded out more useful information like […]

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#238 :: OoogieBoogie pin

October 3, 2004

From the sublime (yesterday) to the ridiculous: A piece of Disney ephemera that actually delights rather than insulting the intellect. Disney barely laid a creative glove on “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” preferring instead to make money from lucrative licensing deals, and official memorabilia. This pin is a single chunky slab of pot-metal, in the shape […]

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