visionaries: andrew moore

Day of the Trinity, Tereben

In a 2007 interview with PopPhoto, photographer Andrew Moore spoke of his (then recent) work in Russia:

In the case of Russia, I was quite familiar with both its history and culture before I arrived the first time, but I hadn't yet linked that knowledge to the more intimate understanding one gathers on the ground and in person. There is an amazing story of the poet Anna Akhmatova, standing in a line of women outside a prison during the Stalinist purges, all of them waiting in the remote hope of possibly seeing their jailed husbands. The women beside her knew she was a famous poet, and one whispered to her: "Remember this for us." Perhaps more than any other country, Russia is a place where history weighs mightily, and every individual's memory is laden, if not burdened, with the past. So I would say that despite what I knew of the country's history before I went, the most crucial and enlightening ideas were gathered from the stories people
told me.

- Andrew Moore

Abandoned Church, Vologda

Motherland, Kiev

Naval Museum Cafe, Sevastopol

Misha and Vladimir, Lake Baikal

Red Piano, Camp Artek

andrew moore

dear mr. president barack sir

A collection of kids' letters to President BHO, Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country, includes such sage advice as:

"If I were president, I would help all nations, even Hawaii."

"1. Fly to the White House in a helicopter. 2. Walk in.
3. Wipe feet. 4. Walk to the Oval Office. 5. Sit down in a chair.
6. Put hand sanitizer on hands. 7. Enjoy moment.
8. Get up. 9. Get in car. 10. Go to the dog pound."

Some of the special advisors read their counsel to President Obama on this YouTube treat:

The pressure is so ON.

:buy a copy at mcsweeney's store


Wishing you a beautiful, peaceful week. Wherever you may be.

:eibar, frank horvat


Happy Birth Year to all you hard-working, dependable, fearless oxen out there.

:china view


all-rock kumbaya

Kenosha, Wisconsin

I think that the rocks and stones of the World Beach Project should get some play during this remarkable week of One Love, One Heart, Let's Get Together and Feel All Right. Don't you?


The World Beach Project, an online gallery of art made by all kinds of people, features stones gathered on beaches from around the globe. The project was devised by artist-in-residence Sue Lawty in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum. Building on the experience many of us have of creating patterns on beaches and shorelines, the WB Project combines "the simplicity of pattern-making with the complexities of shape, size, color, tone, composition, similarity and difference." It is open to anybody, anywhere, of any age.

Have a look. It's gorgeous. And if you want to participate at a beach near you, here are the rules. Yah man.


Southerndown Beach

Pearly Beach, South Western Cape, South Africa


Rio Guadiato, Santa Maria de Trasierra, Córdoba

Between Overstrand and Trimingham

:v&a, world beach project; bob marley, one love, one heart on youtube


abridged in translation

State-run China Central Television was broadcasting President Barack Obama's inauguration speech live—an extraordinary event in a country that usually adds a delay of several seconds to every broadcast, just in case—when President Obama said: “Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism….”

The simultaneous interpreter proceeded smoothly with her translation but her voice faded out with the rest of the President’s sentence. The picture cut from the Capitol to an awkwardly smiling news anchor who seemed unprepared for the camera to return to her. Apparently, she turned to a reporter in the studio for comment on President Obama’s economic challenges. The cutaway seemed to misfire. While many Chinese may not have noticed, the more alert were soon commenting on the Internets. One said: “Why did CCTV do this? Too timid.” Replays of the moment are available on YouTube:

:bbc news; youtube

up and at 'em

There's work to be done.

trevir flickr via stewardesses

at last



i hear america singing

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,

Those of mechanics, each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The woodcutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown,

The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else,

The day what belongs to the day—at night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

- Walt Whitman, I Hear America Singing

:aliyah chan at deviant art

this is it!

What a gloriously bright, sunshiny day.

a legacy of eloquence

Anna Quindlen recently wrote that "there are moments in history when a leader needs to be much more than a manager. He needs to unite, to inspire and to challenge. There's no better way to do that than by delivering a great speech about great matters."

Today, after an interminably long, dry season, eloquence is restored to the White House. Here's a sampling of fine words from former orators-in-chief:

The foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world.
- George Washington, the nation's First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Employed in the service of my country abroad during the whole course of these transactions, I first saw the Constitution of the United States in a foreign country. Irritated by no literary altercation, animated by no public debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great satisfaction, as the result of good heads prompted by good hearts, as an experiment better adapted to the genius, character, situation, and relations of this nation and country than any which had ever been proposed or suggested.
- John Adams, 1797

Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.
- Thomas Jefferson, 1800

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
- Abraham Lincoln, 1865, in the last days of the U.S. Civil War

Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with other nations of the earth, and we must behave as beseems a people with such responsibilities.
- Theodore Roosevelt, 1905

These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933

So let us begin anew, remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.
- John F. Kennedy, 1961

:(photo) the crowd surrounding the east front of the nation's capitol, still under construction, during the first inauguration of president abraham lincoln, March 4, 1861.

it's today! it's today!

Pinch me.


you can't give up in life

The night before he was murdered, Martin Luther King warned, in his famous "I See the Promised Land" speech in Memphis, that "if something isn't done, and in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed."

In "A Christmas Sermon on Peace," broadcast on Christmas Eve 1967 on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as part of the Massey Lectures, Dr. King acknowledged "that not long after talking about" the dream in Washington in 1963,
"I started seeing it turn into a nightmare."

He spoke of the nightmarish conditions of Birmingham, where four girls were murdered in a church bombing a few weeks after his speech. He spoke of the punishing poverty that he observed in the nation's ghettoes as the antithesis of his dream, as were the race riots and the Vietnam War. King confessed that while "I am personally the victim of deferred dreams, of blasted hopes," that "I still have a dream."

By 1967, Martin Luther King had stretched his dream to include the desire "that one day the idle industries of Appalachia will be revitalized, and the empty stomachs of Mississippi will be filled, and brotherhood will be more than a few words at the end of prayer, but rather the first order of business on every legislative agenda."

These speeches place Dr. King's dream in the broader context of his spiritual and moral evolution over the last three years of his life. Set free from the ideological confines of his "I Have a Dream" speech, King's true ethical ambitions were free to breathe through the words he spoke and wrote as he made his way to the promised land. Perhaps even more so than when he dreamed out loud in Washington in 1963, Dr. King's act of dreaming in 1967 was a courageous act of social imagination and national hope:

Yes, I am personally the victim of deferred dreams, of blasted hopes, but in spite of that I close today by saying I still have a dream, because, you know, you can't give up in life. If you lose hope, somehow you lose that vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.

shed a little light

Mes enfants listen to "Shed a Little Light," James Taylor's tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., every other day, on average (i.e., today we're listening to it nonstop).

Let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the Earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood—
That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world become
A place in which our children
Can grow free and strong.
We are bound together
By the task that stands before us
And the road that lies ahead.
We are bound and we are bound.



Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

zena holloway

andrew wyeth (1917-2009)

One's art goes as far and as deep as one's love goes.

- Andrew Wyeth



forgotten, but not gone

Someone show him the door already.



klaatu barada nikto

I was checking out these excellent photos from Martin Kay and they had me waxing all nostalgic for the original
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), the film that gets my vote for the best sci-fi flick ever. (BTW, I've not seen the remake and I don't plan to, even though it features the luscious Jon 'Don Draper' Hamm. But again, why bother? Nothing could compare with the original. Care to disagree?)

The title of this post, Klaatu barada nikto, is a phrase from the film (the original!). Klaatu is the name of the humanoid alien protagonist (Michael Rennie) who arrives in Washington, DC, via flying saucer accompanied by an awesome silvery-foam-clad robot, Gort. We learn that Gort is a member of a race of super-robot enforcers invented to keep the peace of the galaxy. Gort will destroy the Earth if provoked.

Klaatu befriends Helen Benson (Patricia Neal) and commands that, were anything to happen to him, she must utter the phrase, "Klaatu barada nikto," to Gort. In fact, Klaatu is taken to be a threat and, subsequently, he's hunted down and fatally shot. Helen reaches Gort (see YouTube clip below) and utters the three key words in that inimitably seductive voice of hers. Gort aborts his attack on the Earth, retrieves Klaatu's body, transports him to the saucer and revives him from death. Phew.

After Klaatu is "brought back," he steps out of the saucer and delivers the following ultimatum:
I am leaving soon and you'll forgive me if I speak bluntly. The universe grows smaller every day and the threat of aggression by any group anywhere can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all or no one is secure. Now this does not mean giving up any freedom, except the freedom to act irresponsibly. ... It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.

I think Hillary Clinton and Janet Napolitano should have a girls' night out and share a private screening of the film (the original!) in the situation room. Just sayin'.

:martin kay, UFO images, modelled in modo, lighting by environment only, comped in photoshop;
klaatu & gort image via virgin media


things of beauty

A red wool suit in the wardrobe of Peter II, dating from 1727-1730, is richly embroidered in silver thread, characteristic of fashionable men’s dress for royalty and aristocracy throughout 18th-century Europe. Peter II was only 14 when he died. Most of the young ruler's clothes were made in France, as Russia had not yet developed the tailoring and textile-making expertise required to make western fashions. Many of the fabrics — silks, wools and linens — were imported from well-known European textile manufacturing centers. The coat bears the Star of the Order of St. Andrew, also worked in silver thread.

The underside of this snuff box (1754-61) bears the portrait of Grand Duke Peter Fedorovich, later Peter III, and comes from the collection of the Shuvalov family. An art collector and founder of the Russian Academy of Arts, Ivan Ivanovich Shuvalov was a favorite at the court of Empress Elizabeth Petronova. In 1917, a descendent of the family gave the box to the Moscow Armory.

Both pieces are part of the current V&A exhibition, Magnificence of the Tsars, on view through
March 29.

:v&a; images © moscow kremlin museums

a view from the holga

What you see isn't necessarily what you get when you take photos with a Holga camera (as you probably know). For the most part, this is a good thing. Much of the fun is discovering where the Holga's trademark distortions and light-leaks take you. When Paris-based graphic designer Stephanie Kac is doing the shooting, the Holga produces intriguing, evocative images. Stephanie took these striking shots of NYC last spring. Aren't they swell?

:stephanie ★ flickr


birds of a feather

I was shooting up some Selby last week and landed on images of Daniela Kameliotis's wondrous workshop. The gorgeous gold-drenched multicolored plumage (above) is but one piece (albeit a remarkably beautiful one) in her collection. (Sadly, I can't access The Selby today. Did I OD? Have I overstayed my welcome? What's happening? When it's all back up and I elbow my way through, I'll snag some more pics of Daniela's space. It amazes. I aspire to that level of creative exuberance and visual splendor in my surroundings.)

I have a notion that my primary visual cortex is overdeveloped; I tend to follow a string of visual associations when I see something that really strikes my fancy. Case in point: Daniela's feathers took me to Art Gray's shot of Jon Eric Riss's tapestry. And then on to the YSL multicolor feather coat that you see in both close-up and top-to-bottom below.

Please enjoy, come back for more ... and do let me know if/when Mr. Selby's place opens for business. 'Preciate that.

daniela kamiliotis at the selby; art gray and john eric riis; ysl