Sunday, March 30, 2008

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Charlie Wolf
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Saturday, March 29, 2008


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Nila's husband died 5 years ago from pancreatic cancer. The onus is on Nila and her daughters to prove that his cancer came from his job at Rocky Flats. When checking in on the claim earlier this week she called the Department of Labor and they said they had sent the latest paper work over to NIOSH and when she called NIOSH they said they hadn't received it and when she called DOL back they said they couldn't trace it, once it was out of their hands the Department of Labor was done with the claim.

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Years ago Nila got a call from school that her husband hadn't picked up their daughter, but she hadn't heard anything from him. He had hit his head on an overhead pipe and was being treated for contamination... he was being scrubbed down. When he arrived home he was bandaged all around his neck because of the scrubbing and he was wearing Department of Energy long johns, top and bottom, with DOE screened on the front. She saved the shirt.

"We were acutely aware of how important our jobs were for the country and we felt that the country would protect us in return" -Judy Padilla

I have had a life changing experience today and that experience was a meeting with Judy Padilla. Without going into the details of our 3 hour meeting, I can say that during the course of our discussion I've decided to make a documentary film about Rocky Flats Workers and possibly a book. It doesn't matter if I make the documentary or if someone else makes it, it has to be made and shown and I will work my ass off to get the ball rolling.

Obviously, I am not a documentary filmmaker.... but I wasn't a photographer until I was 30, so there you go. Here's a little bit of what I'm working on.


Judy Padilla is a breast cancer survivor and former Rocky Flats Worker. She's been denied compensation and health care from the Department of Labor and NIOSH, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. She was told she could reapply "if (she) gets another cancer, even a skin cancer." Judy Padilla worked with weapons grade plutonium at Rocky Flats and worked in room 771.

Judy also worked producing plutonium ingots with 4 men who have had breast cancer. And she's worked with people who have had pancreatic cancer and brain cancer and lung cancer and bladder cancer and kidney cancer and thyroid cancer, almost all of whom have their claims denied and told that their cancers did not come from working at Rocky Flats. This is just the tip of the fucking iceberg.

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This is from latest denial Judy has received. They have lost 34 months of Judy's records from Rocky Flats. 34 months. And because they have "lost" her exposure records, NIOSH has "reconstructed" her exposure levels using a coworker's records. They don't say who the coworker is or where they worked.

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However, in the same report that states that Judy did not get cancer from her job at Rocky Flats, NIOSH states that Judy was exposed to plutonium more than once at Rocky Flats...
"there were several incidents of plutonium contamination over the years due to the nature of Ms. Padilla's job."
"The DOE (US Department of Energy) dosimetry files recorded a low level skin contamination in 1989 and a wound contamination in 1987."
"A small inhalation of plutonium was recorded in 2000"

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NIOSH has put the burden of proof on the Rocky Flats Workers and at her own expense Judy has been tested twice to see if she carries BRCA1 or BRCA2, the "breast cancer gene." She doesn't.

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Judy showing her reconstructed breast. During one of the meetings when Judy was denied compensation, she took out her prosthetic breast and slammed it on the table and said, "This is what Rocky Flats did to me." This was before her breast reconstruction surgery.

I really want to thank Judy for letting me such a powerful and intimate photo... it will make a difference when people are forced to confront what's been done to the workers.

Rocky Flats

Ex-FBI agent charges feds with radioactive coverup at Rocky Flats

Charlie's Daily Self Injection

Harry Charles Wolf (Charlie) is a brain tumor survivor, former Rocky Flats project manager and nuclear facility manager who worked in the most dangerous building in America... room 771.

Here's room 771 now, all of Rocky Flats has been razed. It's where Charlie worked for years and now he's suffering from glioblastoma multiforme, the most fatal and aggressive of all brain tumors. Charlie was denied 5 times before he received compensation.

Charlie is awesome, and awesome in the real sense of the word. Awe-inspiring. I am in so over my head here in Rocky Flats... the scope of what's going on is far beyond my ability to easily convey it and I will need a lot of help as well as a lot of time.
However, part of the Rocky Flats issue is that many of the people affected with cancer here do not have a lot of time and it's becoming evident that a strategy that the Department of Labor and NIOSH have is to wear people down and wait for the sick workers to die.

Rocky Flats Workers

Thursday, March 27, 2008

unsolicited product reviews

Canon Pixma all-in-one printer: BLOWS! It runs out of ink approximately every ten word documents printed. Seriously, it costs about 17.87 per page to print on this bullshit printer.

Redwing Boots: SUPERB! In need of amazing work boots? Look no further than Redwing... I was recently standing in about 5 inches of coal slurry and nothing got in! It was amazing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How Insane Is John McCain?

Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

Click above for an excellent chart on visualizing information and visit for more info. I wish I wasn't so busy... I would take this class about visualization for Business and Communication

And you could easily guess that as a powerpoint user with an avid interest in vision and how we ingest information, I am a big Edward Tufte fan.

"PowerPoint Does Rocket Science--and Better Techniques for Technical Reports"-
excerpt from The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within by Edward Tufte.

Thanks to my mom, Ilene Baker, for sending me the chart and for introducing me to Tufte.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I-95.06 video by Stan: In 3 parts

Part I

Part II

Part III

Thanks a million to Stan Sadowski, a stranger who came and filmed I-95 in 2006 and presented me with this amazing video out of the blue a few months later. Thanks for your tremendous generosity, Stan!

Works in Progress Slide Show: Every Man a King. Part 4, 2006

Works in Progress Slide Show: You're My Thrill. Part 3, 2006

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Women to Watch 2008 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Women to Watch 2008- 32 photographic works by 11 contemporary artists.

March 14, 2008 - June 15, 2008

At the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to recognizing the contributions of women artists.

1250 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3970



Representing a collaborative effort between 10 of NMWA’s national and international committees and the museum, Women to Watch focuses on 32 photographic works by 11 contemporary women artists.

The exhibition was designed to increase the visibility of emerging women artists—from the United States and throughout the world—who are deserving of national and international attention. Covering a broad spectrum of themes, styles, and methods the exhibition introduces the viewer to artists from six states: Marita Gootee (Mississippi), Joan Myers (New Mexico), Lissa Rivera (Massachusetts), Zoe Strauss (Pennsylvania), Tricia Moreau Sweeney (Illinois), and Tarrah Krajnak and Wilka Roig (Vermont) and four countries: ValĂ©rie Belin (France), Jin-me Yoon (Canada), Elisa Sighicelli (Great Britain), and Paulina Parra (Spain).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Local Boy Makes Good in Penal Colony

There no question that Alex Baker is missed here... by me, my lady and my mom. Australia is a far better place for having him there. Dude, you're spreading the good word! We can't wait for "It's All About You."
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How much do I hate to vote? I hate it. But I am more of a "by the ballot and the bullet" gal and there are real reasons to vote although it plays into supporting a corrupt system in desperate need of an overhaul. It's a luxury to be able not to vote and we don't have that luxury right now. I would hope that an articulated "non-vote" would be seen as a request to not participate within the flawed system, an aggressive abstention as opposed to apathy. But when real quality of life issues are at stake, including fundamental human rights, there's a obligation to vote. How could I participate in the world knowing I didn't vote against Dick Thornburg? Or Bush 1, or Bush II? The democratic candidates are far too right-wing for me, but I'll vote for one of them to prevent John McCain from becoming president. My vote will be less for a candidate, and more to prevent John McCain from getting anywhere near office.

I vote every election, and I will be posting some something later on about why I'm voting for Chris DiCiccio here in South Philly.

Check out "Candidate Questionnaire: Christian DiCicco, 184th District (Democrat)"

Here's who we have now in the 184th... Bill Keller.

5 years and counting

Keep on Keeping on- Occupation for 100 years by John "Fubar" McCain.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mark Cohen

Photo by
Mark Cohen
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

A few days ago I was in Scranton for their massive annual St. Patrick's Day parade. I've never been to Scranton before and am excited to go back; I really liked it. Of course, I'm big fan of Mark Cohen who lives and works in Wilkes-Barre, PA which is less than 20 miles to Scranton and is a comparable sized city.

I made some photos of the day but the winner is the one I made with an unconscious nod to Mark Cohen's beautiful "bubble gum" photo.

But here's the best part! At a rest stop all the way at the end of the NE extension of the PA turnpike, I ran into my friends Helen and Ted (and a shout out to Barbara and Jim who were in the car)... and they were on their way to see Mark Cohen. What the what?!?

Also, I love Helen and Ted.

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I-95 reopens

For this year's show, please be prepared to sign a waiver.

Just kidding.

Well, mostly kidding.

Thanks to Todd DosSantos of IMC Productions for sending this my way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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This is a difficult one... I prefer the direct of the top but I also think it's important to see that the text is complete within the sign. I'll figure it out.


This had to be posted because I was so sad that we missed "Borsch on Broad" with Susie Essman.


HeartWorks is a major group exhibition of more than 70 contemporary artists taking place in Philadelphia in April of this year. All of the works are being donated for auction, with the proceeds benefiting Mazzoni Center, a health center focused on the specific needs of the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.



Opening Weekend
April 18th, 19th, 2008

An ecletic mix of sights and sounds will greet you during the HeartWorks Opening Weekend events, taking place over two days at two different venues. Musical performances, video art, mixed media presentations and DJ sets by Gang Gang Dance, Douglas Armour, Cory Archangel, Professor Murder, Chad Brown, Megawords.

Closing Reception + Auction
April 26th, 2008
6pm – 10pm

ICE BOX Project Space
1400 N. American Street
Philadelphia, PA

An elegant reception, with silent and live bidding on artwork featuring master of ceremonies Maynard Monrow and live auctioneer Alisdair Nichol, of PBS’ Antiques Roadshow.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Which is worse?

Shields and Yarnell



I-95 2008 may 4 flyer for print american face paint making out web 95

This is what I'm working on.

Zoe Strauss Photography Installation Under I-95

May 4, 2008

Photographer and installation artist Zoe Strauss will exhibit 231 new
and selected works on Sunday, May 4th, 2008 from 1pm to 4pm under I-95 at
Front St. and Mifflin St. in South Philadelphia. The exhibition is free and
open to the public. Selected pieces of Ms. Strauss's art will be available
as color photocopies for purchase at 5 dollars each. The event will happen
rain or shine. It's going to be off the hook.

This is the 8th year of Ms. Strauss's ongoing 10-year photo installation in
South Philadelphia. Within the last 8 years Ms. Strauss has shown in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, had an acclaimed solo show at Silverstein Photography, is shooting for a book of her photography to be released in October 2008, been commissioned to create a ramp project at the Philadelphia ICA, had 8 prints purchased by the Philadelphia Museum of Art for their permanent collection, received a Leeway grant and become a member of the Leeway advisory council,shown a slideshow at the Philadelphia ICA and won "friends of Arcadia award" for her piece in the Arcadia Works on Paper Show.

Of all this fanciness, the 95 show is really the big thing in Ms. Strauss's opinion.

Zoe Strauss is the executive director of the Philadelphia Public Art Project

For more information on the May 4 exhibit or on the Philadelphia Public Art
Project please visit
contact Zoe Strauss at


If You Break the Skin showing tonight!

I will not be there, but I encourage everyone to go. Not just because this is the feel good movie of this millennium, but because County Theater is "one of a precious few remaining hometown art-deco movie theaters."

Mon (March 17): 7:00

County Theater
20 E. State St.
Doylestown, PA



From Philadelphia and Points South:

From I-95 take the Blue Route (I-476) north from Chester. Follow 476 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276). Take the Turnpike eastward to Exit 27 (the Willow Grove/Route 611 exit).

Following the signs toward Doylestown, take Route 611 North.

Just above the intersection of Edison-Furlong Road, stay in the right lane which becomes Main Street as you enter Doylestown.

The third traffic light in town is State Street. The County Theater is on your right.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

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Hillary getting embraced with secret service flanking.

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Seeing Hillary Clinton.
the bottom one is a keeper.

I couldn't care less about making a photo of Hillary Clinton, but I am thrilled to have made the photos of this Hillary Clinton supporter. Also, it was shockingly thrilling to see Hillary Clinton... it was possibly one of the first times I had a swell of affection despite my leftist political leanings. It would be great to have a woman as president. And I'm not talking "Thatcher" style either.

Not to worry, moments later I saw Ed Rendell and started screaming that we don't want casinos in South Philadelphia, immediately giving away my non-press status.
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Homage to Mark Cohen.
I got back from Indiana yesterday and then drove to Scranton today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Photos from USArtists Extravanganza

Here's 2 guys I love. Rennie Harris on the left... please, you know he's super. Dancer extraordinaire and great guy. Again, can I just repeat that South Philadelphia is BURNING UP with incredible talent. Rennie lives a few blocks from us and right across from my old studio on Passyunk. And Michael Doucet a brilliant Cajun musician on the right. Both Rennie and Michael performed the night of the ceremony, and both were incredible.

Here's Shen Wei and Anna Halprin and please look behind them at me talking to Allan Sekula, who I love, love, love. You know what really works out? When you love someone's work and then that person turns out to be great.

The Poet on the Moon by Brian David Mooney

This piece was read at the November USArtists award ceremony.  Honestly, hearing it read aloud was very moving.

The Poet on the Moon
Brian David Mooney

Part 1

There is a story that, shortly after the United States put a man on the moon, a NASA scientist was sorting through the mountain of data brought back by the astronauts and he said to his colleagues, “Someday we’ll put a poet up there and then we’ll find out what it’s really like.”

That is a bold vision, to actually launch a rocket and put a poet on the moon, and it’s a little more than we had planned for tonight... but metaphorically speaking, let’s do it.

Let’s, just for tonight, do the scientist’s bidding: let’s put a poet on the moon. Imagine that you are the poet on the moon—except that you are not necessarily a poet, nor are you on the moon. You are in Philadelphia, making photographs. In Alaska, making carvings. In Boston, making buildings. Mississippi, making quilts. Texas, making music. Chicago, making dances. You are wherever you are, living wherever you live, making whatever you make.

But aside from those minor details, you are a poet on the moon.


It is quiet on the moon: it is always quiet. There is no wind: there is never any wind. You have come to the moon to find out what it is really like. You walk through several inches of fine, white dust, and you think of the word poetry; it is derived from the Greek word poiesis, which means, “to call into being.” This is what an artist does, you think to yourself up there on the moon: an artist calls something into being. Baskets do not weave themselves; paintings do not paint themselves; sculptures do not sculpt themselves. And poems do not write themselves. They are called. Basketmakers call baskets from reeds; painters call images from color and light; sculptors call figures from bone and wood; poets call poems from the moon. They are called and they are made, and in the making is found meaning. No apologies need be offered; no excuses need be given. You look at the blue-green Earth and you understand what the scientist meant: you are not here to collect samples, to gather data, to accumulate facts; you are here to call into being. You are not here to take from the moon. You are here to
make from the moon.

Part 2

“Someday we’ll put a poet up there and then we’ll find out what it’s really like.”

You, the poet on the moon, look again at the swirl of clouds covering Earth. There are no such clouds on the moon: there are never clouds on the moon.

You think again of the word poiesis. You feel a responsibility to that word. You want to call what the rest of us cannot, do not, or will not. You want to ask fearless questions; you intend to take nothing for granted. No apologies. No excuses.

But it is not always easy to call something into being.

Sometimes you call and there is no answer. Sometimes what answers is not what you expect. And so you have practiced, studied, traveled, and apprenticed. You do not, after all, get to be the poet on the moon by writing limericks. You have given yourself permission to take risks, given yourself permission to fail, and failed better and better until you failed less and less. You have studied form, broken with form, and returned to form. You have resisted the gravitational pull of gimmickry. You have sought out mentors and have yourself been sought out. You have taught and been taught. Throughout your life you have made decisions that many people regard as personal or financial sacrifices but that to you simply involved staying true to the capabilities and responsibilities of one who calls into being. You have not sold out; you have not faked it. Not everyone understands the decisions you’ve made—but then, not everyone believes
that men have walked on the moon.

Yet here you are.

As you have grown more capable, you have called into being richer things, deeper things, challenging things. You have called and been called, made and been made, and you offer no apologies for that. Instead, you have accepted the responsibility that comes with capability: if you can call, call. If you can make, make. If you can help, help. If you can be a poet on the moon...

be a poet on the moon.

Part 3

“Someday we’ll put a poet up there and then we’ll find out what it’s really like.”

Now, there are people who, no matter how much they might value poetry, do not want to put a poet on the moon. They say you cannot control a poet on the moon. They say that once you put a poet on the moon, a whole bunch of other poets are going to want to go up there too. They say we can’t afford to put a poet on the moon.

But can we afford not to put a poet on the moon? Let’s not forget that the scientist did not mean that instead of astronauts on the moon there should be poets on the moon; he simply meant that in addition to science, serious art can help us understand who we are, where we are, and what we are doing. He meant that art is essential to our comprehension of the universe; we ask of art that it help us see, that it help us remember, that it help us speak, that it help point the way we have yet to go, that it help warn us from going where we should not. We ask of art that it give us beauty and hope. We ask of art that it constantly push the boundaries of our knowledge because knowledge cannot expand unless it is pushed. We ask of art to have the capacity to enlarge our lives—and it does.

We know these things to be true, we know that art is essential, and yet we often overlook the person who is making the art. But not tonight. We have, tonight, put a poet on the moon.

Sometimes, when you are a poet on the moon, you wonder if anyone sees your work, if anyone hears your work, if anyone is paying attention.

The answer is yes.

We do see you. We do hear you. We are paying attention. And we make no apology for rolling out the red carpet, for the praise and respect we make explicit tonight.

And now it is time to return from the moon.

Together we have journeyed out and have journeyed back. Patrons, donors, benefactors, families, friends: by virtue of your support, you too have made this journey. You too have called into being. You too are poets in spirit if not in practice; you too are poets on the moon. For this—for your kindness, your friendship, your support—we thank you.

You have all given generously of yourselves, and we would ask of you only one thing more for today:

Tonight, when you go outside, look at the moon.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Jesus Christ! I need glasses!

How much does that blow? I knew it was coming, but that doesn't mean it's not on my last gay nerve. I am still resisting until it's absolutely necessary but the day is near friends, the day is near. I've noticed that I've begun moving the computer farther and farther away from me. And then I noticed that I've begun to hold menus farther away. And then I noticed that I was most comfortable holding my cell phone almost at arms length to dial it.

I'm almost 38 and apparently going "through the change" a little early. This is disappointing, but not a surprise. I do yell on a cell phone like I'm calling the five and dime on a party line. Plus, my food tastes run "old." Like pickled herring. There's nothing I can do about it, that's just how I am. I do have youthful good looks, though.

However, this doesn't bode well for becoming pregnant, just based on the shift one's body has around this time. I know the decision has to be made right now and I'm just putting it off. I don't know. I don't know what I want.

Actually I do know that I don't want to have to wear glasses. Damn it!


FYI, I am not as bad as this.

- Carol Brady: Jan, I think you may need glasses.
- Jan Brady: Glasses! Oh, no, mom! Not glasses! They'll make me look absolutely positively goofy!

Like glasses are a fucking terminal illness!

Greetings from Depauw

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Posting is slow because of an enormous amount of work... Depauw show is this week and I'm finishing a slightly modified slide show for the "Women to Watch" DC show.


Until more insightful and deep posts return, please enjoy this video showcasing the talents of our 1988 Philadelphia Eagles. Thanks to Brian Mechanick for showing me this amazing 4 minute Eagles rap.

Philadelphia Eagles Rap 1988: Buddy's Watchin' You.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

If You Break the Skin showing tonight!

I noticed that it says that I'll be there for the showing, which I won't. I wish someone had asked me if I could be there before they posted that. And I'm pretty sure David Kessler can't be there either, so I don't know what the hell they're talking about. However the film will be shown and it should be a great success, even with the bizarre false advertising that I'll be there.

March 6

108 E. Butler Ave.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Whitney Biennial Opening 2008

My initial report is that this year's biennial wasn't as good as 2006 because I wasn't in it.

More later.

In Chicago? Check out Jason Lazarus's Show.

Jason Lazarus
Entire Three Minute Duration of 'America's Answer Fireworks Package' ($99.95), Independence Day 2007, Archival inkjet print, 30"x40", Edition of 3, 2007

Jason Lazarus
This is gonna take one more night.

Opening Reception: Friday, March 7th 5-8pm


Bucket Rider Gallery

835 W. Washington Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60622

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Air Kissing: An Exhibition of Contemporary Art about the Art World

Check it out!

Air Kissing: featuring 35 works in diverse media by 22 regional and international artists, artist teams and collectives. The show explores the double-bind faced by artists navigating their desire to work (and succeed) in a world they hold in low regard.


March 5 at 6:30 p.m, Arcadia University Theatre, Spruance Fine Arts Center. Panel discussion with exhibition curator Sasha Archibald and participating artists James Mills, William Powhida, Mira Schor, and Momenta Art co-director and artist Laura Parnes. Opening reception to follow immediately afterward in the gallery.

Arcadia University Art Gallery
Spruance Fine Arts Center
450 South Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038

Telephone: 215-572-2131
Fax: 215-881-8774
Web site:


Saturday, March 01, 2008

From the collection of Colin Black, Jr.

ZS and LB circa 1989
Piano Bar at the Commissary