Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wayside gems: Megan Cump at Station Independent Projects (LES, NYC)

Megan Cump, Black Moon, installation view, at Station Independent Projects (NYC)

Cump, untitled (fox)

Cump, untitled (white deer)
[All images copyrighted to Megan Cump; non-commercial use intended here]

One of the many joys of New York City is coming upon gems in the less frequented byways.   This morning I came across a lovely small gallery--Station Independent Projects-- nestled among apartment buildings on Suffolk Street just below Houston on the Lower East Side.

Inside, perfectly arranged and curated, is a show called Black Moon by Megan Cump.  The individual images are mesmerizing, and the overall effect leaves one with the sense of having been someplace else, a place you cannot quite remember, while you stand blinking on the side of the road at dawn.

For more on the gallery, click here.    For more on Cump, click here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston: The Polis Unbowed, Undaunted

The "Sacred Cod" That Hangs in the House of Representatives in the Massachusetts State House, in Boston

This week's horror in Boston momentarily stilled our tongue and bruised our carapace, so the Lobster & Canary will be brief.

One thought only: 

The bombs went off right on the doorstep of Old South Church, whose congregation has played a mighty role in the forming of American liberty.  Samuel Sewall was a member, he who wrote the first abolitionist tract, and so was Phyllis Wheatley, and Benjamin Franklin's family. 

The bombs exploded across from the Boston Public Library, the first municipal library in this country, the first to allow patrons to borrow books (and not simply read them on the premises).

The bombs scorched Copley Square and Boylston Street...tore at the heart of the modern plaza, the core of the polis...and the citizens and all good members of civil society responded with swift, selfless love for their fellows, for the values heart-drawn from the deep well of our shared civitas, our commonwealth, our city on a hill. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Istvan Anhalt's Symphony of Modules

Istvan Anhalt, Symphony of Modules, sample score notation (1967)

Thinking still about Lebbeus Woods and his architectural forms that were never built, and the imagined libraries of Rauzier, the parrot-towers of Vega (see the two previous entries of Lobster & Canary), I offer another example of hypertrophic vision: the never-performed Symphony of Modules by Istvan Anhalt.  John Cage, in 1969, published some of Anhalt's novel formats for scoring the symphony (see above).  

Reportedly, Anhalt expected that an orchestra would need 50 hours of rehearsal before playing the piece's 28 minutes of music.  

Perhaps somewhere an orchestra is tuning up to give the Symphony of Modules its one of the winged buildings sketched by Woods, while savants listen in remotely, in a pari-colored library deep in the Brazilian rain forest...

For more on Anhalt, click here.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"The Inexistent Plausible": Parrot Libraries, Toucan Theaters / J.F. Rauzier; Sergio Vega

J. F. Rauzier, Bibliotheques ideales (two from a series, 2012?) [images copyright Rauzier; non-commercial fair use intended here].

Last Sunday we mulled over the legacy of Lebbeus Woods, the visionary architect of spaces that might-be-but-have-not-yet-been-built.  Riffing further on this theme-- the exploration of the Lands Between, sketching out the vedute ideale, limning what Paulo Herkenhoff calls the "inexistent plausible"-- I offer today samples of Rauzier's "hyperphotos."

For more on Rauzier, click here.

...and then we need to join Sergio Vega on his tireless search for what he calls "the edenic stage," the strange paradise at the heart of an ambiguity just beyond the next curve in the boulevard, proclaimed with buoyant charm on travel brochures and the facings of airline tickets.

Vega, Banana Building (date?)  [Image copyright Vega; non-commercial fair use intended here}

As Vega puts matters during his quest:

"It seems plausible that the next trend in architecture will openly embrace shamanistic strategies. After all, it has already done it in a somewhat restrained manner. In the near future we may come to see a bizarre array of organic buildings acquiring the status of natural specimens. Parrot color-chart architecture, banana institutional buildings, pineapple churches, crocodilian houses, snake promenades, toucan theaters, orchid subway stations, etc. If in the process, all species end up being represented, cities could become entire inventories of the natural kingdom and the whole of the modern world a monumental paradise."

For more by Vega, click here.