Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Modern Art/Makes Me/Want to ROCK OUT!

"So I'm in the Tate/And I'm looking at Hockney.
There's something about that blue/It touches me deep inside.
It makes me remove my tie/It makes me step outside/Sweet Jesus, my heart!"
- Modern Art, Art Brut

I went to the SF MOMA and the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco this weekend and OD-ed on the photographer Lee Friedlander. There were large shows of his work at both places, and the experience left me feeling renewed and awed.

His work is best viewed en masse, because it's not very striking when taken out of context. I remember seeing his shadow photos in college (below) and being indifferent to them. But when you see his whole body of work, you come to appreciate and marvel at the consistent and genius framing of every photo.

He has done many series over the years, but my favorite is his latest, "America By Car."

The title is pretty self-explanatory. The beauty of these photos is that he's working with two frames; the camera frame, and the frame of the car window/mirror. It's really subtle, and he makes it look easy.

I also love his self portraits and the photos of his family. A lot of his work is incredibly funny and sarcastic. Sometimes it seems that he took a picture simply because it amused him more than anything else.

I've been thoroughly inspired.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

High Tea

Here's another art piece that my friend Ryan did this year, and that I got to be a part of. (of which I got to be a part?). It's a photo recreation of a performance piece he did last year called "High Tea," in which his guests drank tea while sitting on top of 10 ft. high stools.

We did ours in a corn field, so you can't really tell how high up we're sitting unless you notice the tops of the corn. It's totally surreal and I think it's strongly remniscent of Alice in Wonderland.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

They call me MASTER CANNER!

Yesterday I went out for dinner with a few professors after a seminar and learned the most wonderful piece of information.

One of the professors is the current head of the UC Food Safety Program, and she did her PhD on sauerkraut fermentation. We had much to talk about. And apparently part of her job is to supply information on safe home food preservation.

So here's the big piece of info: There is a "Master Food Preserver" program in Sacramento, California! Seriously.

It's just like the Master Gardener program where you go through an intensive volunteer training program every Saturday for about 8 weeks and you spend a certain number of hours volunteering in the community, after which you become a "Master Food Preserver". I'm thinking I should do it.

Here are some good links for home canning that my professor uses herself:

UC Food Safety: Home Gardening, Preservation, and Storage

National Center for Home Food Preservation

The University of Georgia Factsheets
This is the ultimate source of info for canning instructions.

Ball Jar Home Canning Site

Sacramento County Master Food Preserver Program