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#a253 :: Desk cleaning time

October 24, 2008

You own a lot of shit. You accumulate more of it every day. Sometimes, you have to pick through it to get your desk clean. And you make little piles. That might or might not be photographs of your life told in debris. And yet, you never seem to get rid of the things as […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact, Blahg, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Instrument, Jetsam, Life form, Miniature, Model, Objet, Part, symbol, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a248 :: Straits Territories penny

October 19, 2008

This is an artifact of the colonial government that bloomed out of the East India Company, after the firm set up shop in and around Singapore to do some trading. Nearly 100 years after the Brits founded it the territories were still passing currency. The corners of this penny tease you to play with them. […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Found Object, General, symbol, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#A244 :: Obama campaign pin

October 15, 2008

THE U.S. MEDIASPHERE (Oct. 14, post-debate) (HLO) – Joe the Plumber. Indeed. Look, this blog isn’t political. I don’t dump my heart out about the government here. Most days, this stuff is just one more step in my years-long tabletop parade of things. But please, if you’re thinking of voting for one would-be U.S. president […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Objet, symbol, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a230 :: Tintype

October 1, 2008

Balefully he stares at the lens and struggles to hold his pose. The photographer has gone to lengths to make him appear comfortable – with a little wall and urn upon which to lean poeticallly – and “natural” – with tufts of grass and twigs underfoot and a bough of oak leaves overhead. But he […]

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#a224 :: Amelia’s USB

September 25, 2008

A soft, mushy, pungently overripe spot has formed in my brain over the years to accommodate certain industrial finishes. I sweat and pant for the chrome of bicycle handlebars, the deep metalflake of kustom kars, the wrinkled black baked-enamel of 1950s cameras and the liver-colored hammertone of certain antique audio gear. So it is with […]

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#a223 :: Sawyer View-Master

September 24, 2008

In the 50s multimedia realm of celluloid filmstrips and magnetic tape, this was, arguably, the iPhone of its day. You could get “reels” of stereo photos or cartoons on virtually any subject – 8 shots each – and completely immerse yourself in 3-D imagery – even sometimes with a soundtrack. Sawyer’s View-Master put images of […]

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#a221 :: Petrie

September 22, 2008

At the obvious risk of being (as well as sounding) thoroughly sexist, you never know what nerve you’ll hit with a woman until you hit that nerve dead-on. At the same time I bought RayD8 to back up my photos, top-secret work projects and random droolings, I bought this little orange Mimobot and gave it […]

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#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)

#a215 :: Bus

September 16, 2008

Parallel to the spine of the bus: LEYLAND ROYAL TIGER COACH MADE IN ENGLAND BY LESNEY (and then just beneath the engine compartment) #40 From my wife’s collection.

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#a212 :: Hand-carved Indian candlestick

September 13, 2008

This appeared in the house some time in the past month. I have no idea where it came from, beyond the tiny “India” sticker on its base. Around it, a lion chases an elephant that threatens to trample the elephant that flees the lion. Candlelight sounds nice.

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

#a210 :: Exposed film

September 11, 2008

Digital imaging technology has robbed us of the act of uncovering mystery. I shoot everything digital now – but I still have a handful of exposed film cassettes lying around that I never bothered processing. I remember with more than a little nostalgia the wonder of darkroom work. I learned it in school, and honed […]

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

#a198 :: Hell cash

August 30, 2008

In keeping with yesterday’s ode to manufactured gifts, here’s an utterly beautiful hell bank note, designed to follow this year’s BRC theme, The American Dream, that someone gave to my wife. Tonight is the burn. (I’m writing this a few weeks later, to report that a hissing, howling dust storm enveloped the camp for five […]

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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 […]

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#a191 :: Metal ant

August 23, 2008

A birthday gift from my aunt. I kid you not. Eight rods of steel, artfully bent, and welded to three metal spheres. Where’s he off to? What’s his business?

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#a187 :: iPhone 3G

August 19, 2008

My birthday gift. My wife’s love in a handheld marvel. My new video game platform. My toy. My crack pipe. My next-gen paid-content conduit. My memory bank. My little wallet-suck. My preeeeciousssss. My underestimation of Apple‘s continued brilliance at industrial design. My PDA. My GPS. My portable Thomas Guide. My jukebox. My phone. The blue […]

Filed under: Art, Fetish, Instrument, Objet, Part, symbol, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a168 :: Rubber coasters

July 30, 2008

Part space station, part sex device, they come in orange and gray and keep your cold wet glasses from making permanent stains in your … Formica, or whatever. It occurs to me upon posting fetishy (kitschy?) stuff like this that I’m rarely in the position of being able to point you to where to buy […]

Filed under: Art, Fetish, Tool | Comments (0)

#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)

#a140 :: Shrunken-head tiki mug

July 3, 2008

My wife gave me this for my birthday a couple years ago, to add to my growing collection. Tiki culture is a marvelous cross-pollination of camp, partying and 50s mass-marketed hipsterism. This one was designed, slip-poured, glazed and fired by Tiki Farm, but if you’re hunting for others, Munktiki turns out some beauts. You pull […]

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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)

#a111 :: Moo cards

June 4, 2008

Why is this – get up to 100 of your own images printed on the back of little half-width business cards – such an immensely attractive offer? Because you can print whatever the hell you want. Because it’s like owning the factory. Or perhaps renting it. Because since they’re double-small, people look at them twice […]

Filed under: Art, Instrument, Jetsam, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#103 :: Cast-iron mermaid

May 27, 2008

She waits, coyly fanning her hair. Demure yet voluptuous, sensual yet pensive, she waits for the tide to rush in and bear her away. At barely five inches tall, she weighs more than a pound. And she is magnetic, both figuratively and literally. With no maker’s mark to introduce her, no indications of origin to […]

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#a87 :: Fabric from Christo’s “The Gates”

May 10, 2008

Let’s skip the art theory and get right to the point: Christo’s work impresses on a visceral, monumental level. I’ve been fortunate enough to see two of their works: Surrounded Islands (1982 or so?) – drove down with a colleague to Miami to where the artist had floated skirts of bubblegum-pink polypropylene around 11 or […]

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

#a85 :: Australian stamps

May 8, 2008

The lickety-split digitization of all human commerce runs into a brick wall when it comes to sending physical messages. Until mass production sufficiently cuts the cost of 3-D printing and, thus, the 3-D fax, humans must carry hand-made documents and machine-made objects from one place to another. To subsidize the cost of the trucks, trains, […]

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

#a82 :: Rattan pouch

May 5, 2008

This came from Hawaii, wrapped around a much more significant HLO that I’ll blog about later this week. Someone – Hawaiian or Chinese, I’m left to assume, since there’s no maker’s mark, wove it together from strips of reed. The top fits beautifully over the bottom – and resists casual attempts to pull it off: […]

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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 […]

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


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