Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NYT After the Games

Audio interviews with olympians- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Greg Louganis, Bruce Jenner, John Carlos, Olga Korbut, Mary Decker-Slaney, Nadia Comaneci and Mark Spitz talk about their biggest Olympic moments.

I loved hearing this.
As I'm working on the answers to the questions for the book interview, I have been thinking quite a bit about my job as a babysitter because it always seems as if I couldn't wait to get out of that job. But, honestly, in many ways I loved my job because I love Brian and Alex. No one chooses to be a domestic worker, and I might have had a different feeling had I not worked for the same family for 15 years, but I loved helping to raise those guys. I miss Brian and Alex tremendously and wish I could have hanging out with them everyday.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

San Andreas Fault Life

So I just finished the interview for the book with Steve and the minute we hung up, there was a 5.8 earthquake in Los Angeles. I am hoping that no one was hurt, because I am certain that the magnitude of the discussion was too much for California and I'm pretty sure I'm partly to blame.

Hope everyone's ok out there, and thanks to Lindsey for the transcription.
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Monday, July 28, 2008

Thanks to all who have offered advise and help with my recording and transcription incompetence! I believe I've got it under control now. And now I also own a telephone recording device from Radio Shack that looks like it was used to tape calls on "The Rockford Files," which is making me incredibly happy.

Also, I'm a little bitter about the Patriot Act... when the hell is illegal phone tapping finally going to work for us little people? Congress should offer free, immediate transcripts of illegally recorded phone calls in case we want to hear what we've been saying. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, July 27, 2008



OK, I have a phone interview on Tuesday for the book at 1PM, and I totally need help. Here's my dilemma, I need to record the conversation and then make a transcript right after it. I don't know the best way to record the call and I also can't type for shit, I average about 9 words per minute.

So here's my plea! If there's anyone one reading this who could give me some advice, point me in the right direction or help me out on Tuesday, I will be forever grateful, and will be happy to trade a print if there's a transcriber out there.

Please email me asap at if you can help a dagger out!

Thanks a million for your consideration.
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After a total fucking freakout today regarding the introduction to the book, it looks as if my issue's been resolved, by forgoing me writing something biographical -which was actually making me sick- and instead going with an more relaxed interview conducted by Steve, the AMMO head honcho, and yours truly. I think this is going to make a huge difference for the tone of the book. We had gone over and over and over who would be great to write an intro for the book and had some big names up in the mix, but because the photo choices were changing until the last minute and because the book is truly a work in progress, an offshoot of I-95, it seemed as if the book should just be as it is, without an introduction by someone else.


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I love this photo, and it's of great importance in the body of my work. But it's not going to be in America. I found that this image so directly speaks to gender that it was impossible to place. And I really wanted to have the book flow with implications about the removal of masks.

mask on back of head talking-1-1web

This photo is in the book, the mask on the back of the head allowing the wearer's face to be visible and open to the man facing the camera.

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This photo is also in it. A wearing away of the face paint and what the implications of "black face" mean for someone so young is very interesting to me in terms of exploring American identity. Is there an awareness of the historical context, conscious or unconscious, or is there no thought given to the implications? After meeting this good natured and buoyant kid, I think the latter. But what do I know? I don't know this guy.
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merci, encore.

Back to the grind on the book

Friday, July 25, 2008

SIGNS - A Group Photography Exhibit at Mt. Tremper Arts in NY

Open by appointment and after all Mt. Tremper festival events until August 31, 2008.

Featuring Tim Davis, Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, Zoe Strauss, Matthew Pokoik, Shannon Ebner, Christian Patterson, John Lehr and Brian Ulrich

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My talk starts at 70:30... much love and thanks to Antonia Birnbaum (who is Joanne Greenbaum's cousin! I know! I was freaking out!) for the translation.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


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if they don't win it's a shame_8028 web

Artonpaper diary

"For Art on Paper's annual Artists' Issue, artonpaper invited sixteen artists in their thirties and early forties to each write a diary entry about their lives as working artists. The contributors are Ellen Altfest, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Simon Evans, Ryan Gander, Katy Grannan, Beate Gütschow, Nina Katchadourian, Terence Koh, Ruben Ochoa, Peter Piller, Mika Rottenberg, Sterling Ruby, Katerina Seda, Zoe Strauss, and Kevin Zucker. A selection of these diary entries will be published in book form in the fall"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mark Lewis and Paul Pouvreau were both in the Lectoure show and both have incredible work. Also, I was very into the work of Lionel Loetscher, who needs to get a website up and going so everyone can see his stuff.
When I wasn't working on the actual installation, I had a difficult time balancing work with how much I wanted to be a tourist in Lectoure and so except for the visit to the circus where I wanted to do a little real work, I just took photos as if I was a tourist and it was awesome. Of course, I started to write something about the blurred transition between photos made for personal pleasure and my commitment to transparency of process but then I was just like fuck it because I just want to relax and turn my ovethinking off for a little bit.

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international friends!_0296

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In France, people actually wear berets!

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Here's a sad export from the US, the complete misuse of the word extreme. This is not "extreme" ice cream, it's just ice cream for Christ's sake. Like the now defunct driving range we had on Delaware Ave., "Extreme Golf." It's not "extreme," it's just golf!


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The arrow is pointing to my actual room key. This was the key I used to lock my room. WHATTTTTT???


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So I'm leaving, and someone is taking me back into Lectoure after this incredible afternoon at this beautiful house and he said wait I have to turn around to pick something up and really what it is is everyone standing on the steps playing music with a planned "au revoir, Zoe" send off. Again, how UNBELIEVABLE IS THIS?!?! I mean I don't even know what to say. What can you say to this? It was ridiculous and beautiful, everything you could want.


Also, I am never cool and I am not ashamed of being excited at the expense of looking like a buffoon and have no interest in trying to keep myself in check. Good night.

To add to this, here's a photo of me holding lion cubs in the South of France and you better fucking believe that I know how lucky I am.

holding lion cubs_9658 web

But to add even more to this story, that little rascal that I'm holding on my left dumped on my camera bag and led to a comical moment of trying to figure out where I could wash it off, but that lion could have dumped in my lap because how often is a chance to hold lion cubs going to happen? 100% worth it!
I am still a little jet lagged and off a normal time schedule after France, so I'm a little slow on the uptake about the experience. But I have to say that I was very lucky to go to Lectoure, which is a city of a little less than 4000. The length of the day is very different in France, which I kind of knew but never really expected to be as it was. It was genuninely shocking. The day included a 2 hour lunch and then a 3 hour dinner, for real. There's no take out, you sit to eat. Helloooo? So you get up and work and then a 2 hour lunch and then you work until like 7 or 8 and then you have a 3 hour dinner. Whoa. The day was much longer and not as stringently broken down into work/home. Because of the exposition and opening and because I was in a small town, the dinner and lunch thing was exagerated and the day was stretched longer than if I was in a city, and it really allowed me to see the true framework of how the French structure their time. I don't think I would have seen it if I had been in a city, I think it would have just seemed like longer meal times as opposed to a genuine cultural difference in time structure.


as an aside...

Yeah, thanks for nothing you asshole Henry Ford. Ford used the ideas of Fredrick Taylor to produce more for the owners at the expense of the workers, and subverted the basis of Taylor's ideas, that productivity improves the lives of the workers, the industry owners and the market by essentially distributing the "time and money" saved to the workers, therefore keeping productivity up. Ford implemented Taylor's increase in productivity but not the economic model and we have all been suffering from it since then.  There's many, many issues with Taylorism... but Ford.  Ford.  

Breaking News from Dickinson St!

My next door neighbor found a Ritz Cracker, right out of the package, that looks like Pac Man and he keeps it in an old Gimbles jewelry box.

Believe me when I say that I can not be happier with my life.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

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Butcher Shop, Lectoure

In Lectoure it's a little like a poster you'd possibly have in your high school French class, a drawing of a town street with the "Pharmacy," "Butcher Shop," "Pastry Shop," Shoe Store," etc. all next to each other on a little road that's a thousand years old or something. In Lectoure, that's the actual reality. Everyday I'd be like I can't believe that this is possible, but everyday there was the equivalent of a dog in a beret running down the street with a baguette in it's mouth.

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Oh, here's the last day of the opening festivities at Jon-Claude's home about 15 minutes from Lectoure. Actually I'm not 100% that it's Jon-Claude's house, because there was a Jon-Claude and a Jon-Paul and a Jon-Luc and I couldn't keep it straight.

Yes, just an afternoon soiree with all the workers and artists at a beautiful country home in the south of France, with discussions about art and politics and a meal of local duck sausage cooked in a fire and local fruits and bread.

The above scene is NOT POSED. THIS WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING! I'm sorry, but I can not pretend that my mind was not totally blown.
I can not believe that I was in France. It's just incredible.
well, nothing new really, except that I WAS JUST IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE. Oh, whatever, la la la. Holy fuck! The south of France.

OK, the downside of this trip was not being with my lady, because I like to be with her every minute and it would have been much more difficult for me if the trip was more than a week. But as it was, it was mindblowingly great. I am so appreciative of having been able to go. It was amazing.

So many different things happened there's no correct beginning. First, thanks a million to François Saint Pierre, Le Centre de photographie de Lectoure, Olivier Nottellet, Pierre Leoutre, Lionel Loetscher, Nathalie, Aurore and all who helped with the installation of my work and all who helped with translation. Thanks to all the incredible volunteers.

It was a 3 part installation in Lectoure; pushpin installation and projection in the "hall" and photos in the shop windows along the main drag in Lectoure, National St, "rue Nationale."

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Oh, here's my friend Madame Sentat. This lady was so great and so funny that I could have spent all day, every day, with her even though I can't speak a word of French. Francois told me that he lived in Lectoure and had been away for years and when he came back, she was exactly the same and the shop was exactly the same. And in her shop she had boxes from the 50s and 60s stacked up, containing the original shoes. It was unbelievable.


The cigarette/toy/sundry items shop wanted Daddy Tattoo for their window and wanted to know the story behind it. But the woman who owns the shop chose this photo of out of about the 30 photos I picked for the shop keepers to chose from before she heard the story. She loved the photo based on the image alone. Can you imagine how much my mind was blown when this woman fully got this photo and didn't she doesn't speak any English? And that she wanted to hang it in her store window in a small town in France? I was genuinely shocked. I needed a translator to tell her about this image, and that it's one of the few where there's a longer story about the photo. She was very into it and a had a lot of things to say, one of which was how perfect it was to hang the photo amid the toy planes they had hanging in the window.

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Here's the main crop around Lectoure. You are correct if you are noting that the main crop is SUNFLOWERS. Everyday, I was like, "this has got to be a joke." Oh no, this was real.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Dear Friends,

Perhaps you have noticed that I have been very lax with posting. This is because I have been IN FRANCE. AS IN FRANCE IN EUROPE.

Yes, I have been in the South of France, in Lectoure.

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Here is a photo of me holding lion cubs. There was a very small circus traveling around Gers and I was extraordinarily lucky to be in Lectoure when the circus was there.


I'm really not 100% sure what to say about this except that I was in France. More tomorrow. Again, I was in France. France.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Centre de Photographie de Lectoure

Live in the South of France? Please come see my show at the Centre de Photographie de Lectoure

Only 100KM from Toulouse. This show will be tremendous... and my part of the exhibiton will also include photos in the town shops and homes in addition to a slideshow and pushpin installation at the Centre. Off the hook! Du crochet!

Friday, July 11, 2008

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More details later.

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Photo Credit- French pre-teen on bench at moma
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