Saturday, August 29, 2009

seven days in a bmw

read about this fantastic book in the new york times' best books of 2008 list... i was meaning to get it for a long time, but then randomly stumbled across it at a thrift store the other day for two bucks! i'm well into it, but not finished, and it's totally engrossing. sarah thornton writes wonderfully, and after reading my other favorite art-world exposé, i bought andy warhol by richard polsky, it's a really fun look again at all of what makes the contemporary art world so crazy and awesome! i'm not even finished with this book, and i recommend it to everyone!

via dezeen

the new bmw concept car... vision efficientdynamics. looks like a dragonfly, and check out the lights in the grill. anyway, love this. bmw is always a favorite. and by the way, no matter what kind of car i have, i want to drive around in those woods.

Friday, August 28, 2009

are they coming back?

i have a confession to make. jamiroquai is at least one of my favorite bands, if not the favorite band. i love them. the only song that ever made it onto mainstream charts here "virtual insanity" way back in what, 1997? i was 12, so let's be real. i barely cared. but when i was about 16 or 17, one of my friends at work (who is still a close friend today) turned me on to these guys. so that was back in 2001 or so. and for my birthday that year, another friend of mine bought me every album they'd released up to that point. and i was set..

the problem is, or was, that there had been some not-so-secret discontent on the band's part, or at least the frontman, jay kay, with their record label, sony. their contract was up after the release of their last "album" -- more or less a greatest hits compilation with a couple of new tracks tacked on the end. those two tracks, i'm telling you... i used them to hold me over as much as i could, but... my friend and i have been waiting... and waiting... for even the tiniest tidbit of news we could nibble on. suffice it to say, i was reading all of the british newspaper rumors up until now; i wanted so much to believe!

and TODAY!! well, it was posted a couple of days ago, but one of the big fan sites,, posted a news item after an interview by derrick mckenzie (drummer) on what this all culminates in is the very real possibility that within a year, i may be holding a brand new jamiroquai album! mention of a tour was made, but i'm not getting my hopes too high yet for that. i do, after all, live in wisconsin.

via yatzer

the osler house, brazil, by marcio kogan.

i want to be here, right now. i love the modular aspect of it, the pivoted top over the pool. it reminds me of mid-century california architecture, which i suppose is perfect in brazil where it is also sunny and warm. the wooden paneling along the bottom opens up out into the pool; i think this is brilliant! it's warm even when it's closed. it's private and closed-off, but it manages not to look like a gigantic garage door. and i feel like the house as a whole just the right size. any bigger and the size would detract from the details, like those stairs at the end that seem to just float off the end of the house.

and on a final note... i love to take trips. yesterday i hopped in my car, still unsure where to go, though i had been thinking i would do the usual route along the northern edge of the door county peninsula. but i took out my wisconsin map and essentially decided i should just drive to northern michigan. i hadn't been up that way since i took a road trip to canada several years ago. the saab had a full tank of gas, so i drove up through green bay, stopping for a coffee along the way, and then just after hwy 41 veers north of green bay, i got off the highway and followed county roads along the lakeshore. some of the towns were so small i could almost blink and miss them... little suamico must have been so little i didn't even notice it.

i drove to peshtigo, wi., of peshtigo fire fame. i knew next to nothing about the fire, other than that there had been one, and i surmised that it was terrible. but i stopped into the historical society fire museum and a sweet old lady summed up what happened that fateful day in 1871. essentially, the town had been battling forest fires all summer, but that october, wind turned it into a real firestorm, and it wipen out the entire town. i looked around the museum for a while. continued up to marinette/menominee, mi. and continued along the lakeshore on m-35 until i decided that since i didn't really have a destination, and escanaba was just a little too far for my patience, i turned around. grabbed lunch at gas station that served like a camping outpost, grabbed lunch, and found a picnic area near the lake right off the road.

took some country roads back. the photo above is of an old school house on hwy j, north of green bay somewhere. i love old, abandoned buildings, and this one had apple trees growing all around it. it was great to get out for the day, and what a beautiful day it was.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

aesthetic apparatus

i've stumbled across a really fantastic graphic/poster design outfit based in the twin cities. aesthetic apparatus. i'm more into their posters and art prints, but they have a pretty solid portfolio of logo designs and whatnot also. i'm really excited about it; thinking of all the blank white walls i have to fill in a new apartment soon! there are some really fantastic test prints that are super rad.

also, it's no accident that i chose their poster for the march 24, 2009 a.c. newman show. even though i didn't go, a.c. newman is one of the half dozen artists i've been rotating in my ipod for a few months now. i've been a fan of the new pornographers for a long time, and enjoy neko case's solo stuff... a.c. newman is carl newman, also of the new pornographers, making a go at solo. it's good stuff! i'm a huge fan of solo projects! i started listening to him at the same time i re-discovered fleet foxes, and they make a nice mix-tape together, just the two bands.

enough artists to check out now for a while? ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

just jack and milwaukee warhol mania.

alright, so here's the deal. if you haven't ever listened to just jack, and you like u.k. music, and you like a good dance beat, WHY haven't you listened to just jack?? ;) jack allsop, a.k.a. just jack has this new album (coming?) out entitled all night cinema. he hasn't made it to u.s. mainstream at all, but i remember listening to his first much more hip-hop-infused debut the outer marker, way back in '03 when i was living out in northern california. i sort of forgot about him then, and for a long time, until one of my buddies asked me one day, "have you heard of just jack? he has a great album out." and it was his latest at the time, overtones, featuring people like kylie minogue and others, and much more electronic. i guess the song "starz in their eyes" had top radio play in the u.k. for a long time. never would have heard that here.

but NOW! since i've been waiting since APRIL... all night cinema has hit the racks, at least in some places, and it's beaten the last two for me. my favorite tracks so far are "embers" (the first single), "253," "the day i died" (the second single) and the instrumental "basement," which has a pounding beat i can't get over. and mind, i don't even listen to techno! you can hear clips from tracks and learn more about him here.

... onto the art world, ever-blossoming in wisconsin...

september 26, 2009!! you know where i will be? i will be in milwaukee, at the milwaukee art museum, checking out their new show andy warhol: the last decade... YESSS. someone i work with mentioned this is passing the other day, and i had actually not heard about it! i know! no idea. so there will be a day trip in order to go see that show. and maybe see it again, before it takes off on its national tour. i hope it's good.

below i've included a video that i like a lot. andy warhol eating a hamburger. it's so random, and like most things, that's why it's so great. plus, i like the sound emphasis on the bags and wrappers. it's just so... andy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

sierra alpha alpha bravo

this commercial is from the u.k., 1988... at that point they'd been making the car that i have now for about three years. in 1990 (which is the year of mine), they imported 771 to the states, in grey, red, and black. they called it a 16s, other parts of europe called it an aero, and in the u.s. they called it an spg (special performance group). special is right! :) i'm all amped up because after getting an oil change and a fixer-upper on the brakes and the clutch, mine is back on the road! saabs are notoriously hard to take care of, but the two cars i've ever owned have been saabs, and this one is really a great car. but more than anything, it just needs babying sometimes. but that's no problem, because it is my baby. :)

i ordered mine online, actually -- risky! i know! -- and had it shipped to me via open truck transport and picked it up in the grocery store parking lot one morning at 5am. it had no service history whatsoever, so all of the mechanical crap has always been a shot in the dark. and of course, when i got into that fender-bender this past winter, lo-and-behold what came off was a bondo fix-up over a body that had clearly been hit before. sad to see.

alas, every time i send it to get repairs, i'm always so excited to get it back... i've been driving around a land rover discovery while it's been worked on the last couple weeks, and even after driving around a piece of luxury like that, i still am so happy to get back into my 900 spg. it's my baby, what can i say. :)

plus, it turns into a jet when i drive it off of cliffs.

weekend pavilion by architecture paradigm

via archdaily

this weekend home for a client in bangalore, india is totally rad. the windows and the lined segments remind me of mid-century modern houses, except stacked and modular. it's got so much going on. it really does look like a retreat from the city. those windows above kind of make me think of a glorified RV camper. :) really glorified.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

alexandros vasmoulakis

street art by the one and only, the amazing alexandros vasmoulakis. i took this photo when i was visiting a friend in athens, greece earlier this summer. the green and yellow text below is not vasmoulakis (you can see his original work here, plus many others). he had a solo show earlier this year. this particular one is 'forever hungry' from september 2006. it's amazing it's held up so well. fabric's a little faded, but not gone. below is me underneath some more random paint about a block away. k for kate. :)

the more i look...

this is a sweet photo postcard that i found tucked inside a stack of vinyl records at work. it was printed in minocqua, wisconsin by herman the printer... back when postcard stamps were three cents. 1940s? i mean, this is a powerful peak-designed steam locomotive! this particular one did the chicago-milwaukee and st.paul-minneapolis routes. i found a couple other photos of this and other trains here. i've always been at least a little fascinated by trains... their design, their history, and the industry they spurred. the train rides i've taken -- the major ones to the west coast and then also to the east coast from milwaukee... they've been real treats.

via dezeen

this table is crazy. at first, i looked at it and wondered, okay... what? but the more i looked at it, the less i thought about it as a table, as a utilitarian object, and started thinking about it more as a piece of art. it is very suggestive of tendons and ligaments in the body, or blooming florals, or falling water, or tiny intertwined bodies... the more i study it, the more i see and feel the energy in those table legs. and it's just a table! granted, i could see this sitting more effectively in the new modern wing at the art institute of chicago, but it would look pretty awesome with one of my lamps on it too.

the table was designed by pascal smelik, and was devised by pouring hot wax into cold water, creating a mold in the shape of the wax, melting it out, and then pouring in aluminum. modern lost wax casting!

Friday, August 21, 2009

nils jorgensen

nils jorgensen... my friend katie shared this with me just now. i'm totally in love, so i had to share. photos of my favo(u)rite subject -- england! but they are also really, really witty!

not much else to note today, except there was one of those fantastic stormy-skies sunsets tonight where the clouds are thick and dark and heavy, and the sun illuminates them all in these brilliant shades of magenta and orange and violet. mom and i went to downtown appleton to check out "art on the town" (which was kind of... hm.) and the sunset was magnificent.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

nat geo photogs for the first time.

via nytimes

this image is a perfect way to end the day: hunting white tail deer with a camera, northern michigan, 1930, but george shiras III. one of 150 vintage images from the national geographic archives that will be on display at the steven kasher gallery in chelsea starting september 17. george shiras III is one of a dozen photographers on display. this totally rules. yes, rules!

florence & the chairs.

via dezeen

matylda krzykowski, a polish design graduate, created a series of destroyed chairs called "modus operandi" in which she took wooden chairs and destroyed or mutilated them in different ways. it's pretty rockin'. the link above takes you to many photos of all of the chairs. my favorite is, you might guess, the tarred-and-feathered one, but i also love the one that was submerged in a swamp, and the burnt one. check it out at the link above.

i'm a huge fan of pitchfork. i check it out almost daily because a) i find a ton of great stuff on there, and b) their reviews generally agree with mine. except i don't usually pay much attention to the reviews because if i like it, i like it, and then pitchfork can shove it. but for all intents and purposes, pitchfork is fabulo. today i was perusing as usual... about a week ago florence & the machine released the album lungs on island records. SO GREAT. i've gotten hooked on the first listen-through. the video below is "drumming song."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


woo woo.

this is via platform 5
, a firm out of london. they've renovated a house on mapledene road in hackney that's made of "london stock brick" walls (which i love) and added quite lovely glass and windows to it to make it really bright, and definitely not derelict.

i like it because it's bright and modern, and totally livable.

also. i am really in love with the song "fireflies" by owl city. i just heard it today, actually. i'm not sure how one would categorize their sound. "radio?" anyway. it's beyond happy for me. i'll be sick of it in three days, i'm sure, but it's such a great end-of-summer tune.

and just for kicks: i don't care very much for brett favre's back-n-forth (packers fan here). i don't need to go into that anymore, but ashton kutcher posted a really nice youtube video which, even coming from a bears fan, is right on the beam:

so here we are, and i should really explain.

this is a blog about stuff. and that means all kinds of stuff!

starting off, i like internet type without caps. but punctuation: yes!
and i'm not morbid, either, though the title might raise a couple eyebrows. except for fellow art historians (and i'm not even a snob either! but i suppose i'll have to prove myself), i don't expect most people have read oscar kokoschka's Die Traumenden Knaben (the dreaming boys). but, i must tell you, i don't generally care for poetry, and this poem has been one of my favorites since i first heard it in my 20th century european art course in college.

i have reproduced the first couple of stanzas here, from the (excellent!) book of german expressionist poems called music while drowning published by tate in 2003:
little red fish
little fish red
with my triple-edged knife i stab you dead
with my fingers asunder rend
to bring your mute circling to an end

little red fish
little fish red
my little knife is red
my little fingers are red
in the bowl a little fish sinks down dead ...

i should probably just mention a little about myself before i just start posting all this random stuff that i like. my name is katie. i'm 24. i graduated this past december from the university of wisconsin - madison with a degree in art history.

i worked at starbucks for the past couple of years and then my job was basically undermined by a) the economic freakout, and b) my moving back home from madison and somehow messing up the whole starbucks employment continuum as far as i was concerned. so in december i graduated from college, and in january i was jobless.

i sat around on my rump for a month and pretended to be a painter, but decided i just don't have the determination or the motivation to do that (at least right now), so i got a job at a kick-ass bookstore here in town that opened up in april. but other than that, i'm bored. i like to write, and i still paint a little here or there (i'll share, don't worry). i've become a much more avid reader since working at a bookstore. so you'll find all kinds of crazy things here. some of them will be total crap! :) but i still love it.

rather than posting all of this stuff on facebook, i just decided to devote a blog to all the cool stuff i find and want to share!

here's what this thing is in for: i'm a HUGE fan of modern and contemporary residential architecture, so i guarantee you're going to get your fill of the latest stuff i come across in my favorite magazines and websites. i'm also a self-proclaimed anglophile. i LOVE to travel, so that will factor in. i at least try to be all hip about my music and fashion and art tastes, but whether i'm hip or not is less important than the fact that i like it, and i think my taste in stuff is cool. obviously.

you'll learn most about me by just following along. i'll learn more about me too. so i should just get going, yes?