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#a240 :: “Magnum” 13-tip tattoo needle

October 11, 2008

Tonight was big. For three-plus years, Justin has been installing and detailing my biomechanical arm. He does all the heavy shading with one of these nasty bastards – 13 tattoo needles epoxied together in a head and soldered onto a needle shaft. Tonight he finished all the principal work, leaving only some cleanup, and we’re […]

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#a233 :: Hexagonal mirror

October 4, 2008

Every year, about six weeks after Burning Man, the community of Burners gathers in L.A. for the Decompression event – a taste of Black Rock arts and nonsense plunked down in the middle of the city. This year, they moved it to the lovely L.A. State Historical Park (more photos here). I wore, among other […]

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#a222 :: Worn bicycle brake pads

September 23, 2008

So that’s what that horrible grinding noise was. Two or three mornings a week, I pump my Cannondale up the fire roads of Griffith Park, do my old-man stretches at the top beneath an ancient live oak, then bomb back down towards home. Do the math – a 200-coughcough-pound man on a 25-pound mountain bike […]

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#a219 :: L.A. Opera tickets

September 20, 2008

I was really excited about this production. No, I mean really, exuberantly, irrational-fan-boy excited. I had failed to get tickets in time, and by the time I went for them they were nosebleed-expensive. Then my dear friend (and client), Yael offered me a pair in exchange for some work that needed doing, saying that we’d […]

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#a213 :: Canon i9900 Bubble-Jet printer cartridges

September 14, 2008

This is the business end of the food chain that produced this. For $12, you get a little, meticulously machined and vacuformed plastic box half packed with lurid ink, the other with a cubical cotton swab that seems to absorb all the ink – eight flavors of which are required to keep the printer running, […]

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#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)

#208 :: Volcano House matchbox

September 9, 2008

One of the chief hassles of trying to catch a daily blog up to its obligations after more than a week away from it is that you don’t encounter, remember and then process photos sequentially. And so, a gap in my headlong, monthlong rush through catching up from a vivid, waking life in London is […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Jetsam | Comments (0)

#a202 :: Charcoal

September 3, 2008

This is the last of the Burning Man jetsam for a little while – a chunk of the true man transformed at the height of The Burn by several hundred fireworks shells and a huge, oily-looking propane explosion or two. We always make picture boxes out of our MOOP and ephemera, blenderizing it with photographs […]

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#a201 :: Fragment, burned Bible

September 2, 2008

Like a butterfly amid the Burning Man’s ashes – a scrap of a holy book that someone thought offensive, or more probably, oppressive enough to burn flutters in the playa breeze. When did any idea, story or work of art or culture threaten you so much that you had to set it on fire?

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#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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#a199 :: Melted neon tubing

August 31, 2008

The morning after, we bike out to the smoldering embers of the Burn, and we glean for souvenirs. Most prized among us early-Sunday ash-diggers are melted blobs of the Burning Man‘s neon veins. Twelve hours ago, you could still grasp the electrodes of a galvanometric device hookup that measured your pulse and send it up […]

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#a192 :: Refrigerator water filter

August 24, 2008

We replaced our fridge a few months back. Then it told us we needed a new one of these. For $36.95, you get a thick block of Lucite wrapped around a double-fistful of charcoal crumbs with a couple of hoses and gaskets on the business end and some helpful instructional pictograms on the “user” end. […]

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#a190 :: Pizza protector

August 22, 2008

Inside the box from Hard Times, an itty-bitty thermoplastic table stands, poised to protect our 18-inch half-bacon-half-mushroom-and-black-olives pizza from the combined effects of gravity, pressure and corrugated cardboard. A tiny insurance policy, a finger in the dike, a talisman against doom. Landfill material.

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

#a189 :: Tattoo needle

August 21, 2008

There’s a certain serenity to getting tattooed. You sit (or lie) back on the chair or table and agree to let someone cause you tremendous pain for several hours and scar you for life. What gets you through the pain is the promise of how marvelous the scar will be. I’ve been waiting months to […]

Filed under: Artifact, Instrument, Jetsam, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a164 :: Ice cream spoon

July 26, 2008

Zorro brings together the hoary old freedom-fighter superhero story with rock-hard flamenco performances, and it winds up being about four times as solid a piece as it otherwise would. The score, by the Gipsy Kings is a hoarse, melodic operetta, told in guttural moans of pain and delight, and the thunderous bootheels of dancers pounding […]

Filed under: Jetsam, Tool | Comments (0)

#a156 :: Demolished Croc

July 19, 2008

“Daddy, it’s stuck!” We’re coming up out of the Tube this afternoon after a long day noodling around Brick Lane‘s rolling flea market and art swap meet. My 6-year-old’s ahead of me on the escalator. “Get your toe out of there! Quit screwin’ around!” It’s been a long day, everyone’s tired and punchy and grumpy, […]

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#a151 :: Feather

July 14, 2008

Look, let me level with you. I’ve been slamming in four nights worth of HLOs for the past hour or so, just to get ’em done. In fact, I’m post-dating this one because I’ll be in transit 24 hours from now. We’ve been packing and prepping our own house for a big house exchange with […]

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#a143 :: Movie ticket

July 6, 2008

Dad brought home movies. All the time. He’d set up the projector. I’d set up the screen. And we’d watch – Citizen Kane, The Court Jester, Swingtime, The General, Soylent Green, They Were Expendable, Serpico – old movies, newer movies, all genres. I’m grateful for that, as with all things from my father. I love […]

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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)

#a141 :: Sushi erasers

July 4, 2008

And while we’re at it, sometimes you make mistakes so egregious that only wiping them out with a rubberized chunk of fish and rice will do. My wife found this at our favorite Japanese supermarket, and kindly annotated it with another HLO – the venerable Post-It note – about which, more later.

Filed under: Facsimile, Jetsam, Miniature, Model, Tool | Comments (0)

#a138 :: AAA batteries

July 1, 2008

Copper-jacketed slugs of chemistry power our gadgets. It seems we need them more and more. Only the advent of rechargable lithium-ion batteries keeps a tsunami of spent alkalines from sweeping us all away to the dump. Which makes one wonder about modern man’s dwindling ability to survive without electricity. Can you put yourself back two […]

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#a136 :: Metal shavings

June 29, 2008

Buy one large cantilever umbrella to keep the sun from killing you on the deck. Realize it’s too small. Buy two. Realize it would be nice to be able to shift them around the deck, to better block the coruscating sunset. Look for casters. Realize the umbrella stands’ feet aren’t fitted for them. Look for […]

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#a135 :: Bottle caps

June 28, 2008

They began life as sheets of tin (following a long and, one can only imagine, complex refining process) – punched into circles, crimped, printed, lined with plastic and clamped atop bottles of beer, soda, cider, seltzer. They rode in place, dutifully sealing out the world of dust, bugs and oxidization. They bent to our thirst, […]

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

#a129 :: Shipping plug

June 22, 2008

Removed. From what, I cannot remember. Draw your own conclusions. ….

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#a125 :: Rusty nails and screws

June 18, 2008

Our neighborhood was built in the 1920s. I don’t know when they set these telephone poles, but ever since then, people have been tacking notices up on them with whatever fasteners came to hand. The signs, posters and advertisements all came down – by weather or by hand – but the metal stayed put. I […]

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