Spring cleaning is ushering in the end times.

So it's not actually Spring, but nevertheless I am changing up a few things here at The Apocalypse. Nothing severe. No major remodeling or amputations. Nothing requiring stitches or a change of breeches. I have, however, added three (Read it: THREE!) new links.

I'm making Graeme Mitchell's blog a permanent feature (until God dictates otherwise), so I can check it easily...from no matter what computer I am using in the WORLD!

Now if I only knew how to pronounce that first name.
"Legs" - Graeme Mitchell

Learning to Love You More is a wonderful web-based collaborative assignment by Miranda July, who's very special film is Me and You and Everyone We Know, not Yours, Mine and Ours (learned that the hard way), and Harrell Fletcher. Each task they present requests participation from the online community, participation that requires engagement in the beyond-online world. I was particularly impressed with the manner in which they encouraged readers to spend time with individuals who are dying. I was fearing affected, overly-indulgent photos of the visitor/visited or treacly craft projects masquerading as earnest homages, but it was only a list of names and a few stories. No prize game to impress us all with. Just respect.

I'm a little late finding this, but it's still a gem, and I thank Ani for directing me to it.

The ever-employed Lyndsey has a blog for her mother to read - It's Always Something - but I'm going to snoop.

On a sadder note, I am removing the Viva Pedro link until further notice. Of course my opinion of the filmmaker has not changed - he's absolutely God-kissed - but the showings are over, and now our only option to catch the series is by purchasing the pricey boxed set. HERE. HERE. NOT HERE. HERE.


It's those little New City moments that are ushering in the end times.

"classy lady and man - feb 08" by the fantastic Graeme Mitchell

There are many reasons why I love this city. This is one of them:

Last week, while acting the part of Receptionist #1 at the Hiro Haraguchi Hair Salon, a client approached the desk. She was very well put-together and well-preserved with an impressive, rat
her bodiful coiffure to match her impressive and rather bodiful fur coat. She wore a pair of sunglasses with cold, silver frames - not the head-swallowing dinner plate variety so popular with sluts nowadays but something more akin to Aviators. After paying with her AmEx (because who doesn't pay with their AmEx in New City?) and returning her wallet to her purse, she faced me and, almost apologetically, she said, "I'm going to ask you an insane question."

"OK," I thought and said out loud.

"I just had my eyes done, and I'm going out to dinner tonight with my daughter and her fiance. I need to know which pair of sunglasses I can wear...

to a restaurant...

for dinner...

at night."

I then closed my eyes, thanking God for this city.

"These? I just picked them up from Prada. Or..."

And she removed the current pair,
allowing me to briefly view the bruising which followed the natural lower curve of the eye socket - purple, blue, and red blots, like a toddler playing with markers.

"These? I can't remember where these are from."

She replaced the sunglasses with another pair, a throwback to the 50s. Unlike Prada's hard lines, these were a bit playful, translucent with a pinkish, skin-toned hue.

Now, let's be honest. They were both sunglasses. No one would mist
ake them for anything else. She knew that. I knew that. What we needed to do was choose the pair that didn't shout the fact so damn loudly. And so I directed her to the latter option, praising their subtle qualities, attempting to instill in her the confidence she would later need that evening as she stepped from her elegant, chauffeured ride into the elegant, impossible-to-book restaurant past the elegant, impossible-to-please fellow patrons in her furs and sunglasses. Which she will not remove for the entire meal.


Here are a few more selections from Graeme Mitchell's NYC Journal series. The subject matter is not new. The streets of New City have been covered many
times over by numerous photographers, including Walker Evans, Diane Arbus, daughter Amy, and many other masters of the genre, but Mitchell's execution, especially when studying people, is faster-paced and seems to play with the unseen more, allowing for/encouraging confusion and mystery.

"girl being carried"/"boy on train - jan 08"

"man's back - oct 07"/"garbage can - mar 08"

"street light - feb 08"


Two things to do before the world ends

A Saturday or two back I was walking up Orchard around 4 AM after a solid night of dance-dance-dancing, and I saw a storefront window that read "ABSOLUT MACHINES." Intrigued and hungry, I clippity-clapped over to the door and recognized right away that, whatever it was, its hours were suspiciously gallery-like. So I clippity-clapped over to Veselka to eat a little chili. And did nothing with this spark of interest for hours.

Rested and belly full in Queens, I tracked down said machines at absolut.com/absolutmachines and created the below musical composition with Absolut Quartet.

Ha! I kind of just lied to you. Didn't create it per se. By playing a simplified keyboard at the website, you feed a magical code to the machine in Manhattan, and it, in return, composes a piece based on the theme you introduced using percussive instruments, a marimba, rubber balls, and wine glasses. (Sounds l
ike someone's going to get an STD!) It's spectacularly exciting. Better than the Absolut Choir, which is robotic voices and no rubber balls. But Absolut Choir did allow me make a collection of blocky figures in Sweden sing "George W is god" and "Bush is Lord" in repetition. Both machines are part of a project Absolut developed with tech magicians under the heading: In an Absolut world, would machines be creative?

On Tuesday I stopped by the installation with Joy and Ben and was able to interact with it live. Below is the video of me dancing to one of my pieces. It really gets off-the-hook around 1:35. If I look a little awkward, it's because the machine didn't give me much percussion during my song...and because I'm awkward. Added bonus: my hand-in-coat-pocket dancing is really just me flashing elementary age children.

If you're in NYC, visit the installation. And bring your wide-eyed eyes. If you're not in NYC, then why aren't you? But if, for whatever reason, you currently are not blossoming in the New City, visit the website. It's a like playing God, manipulating something from miles a
nd miles away. Sometimes Good results. Sometimes Evil.

Also currently accessible in New City is Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind installation at the Deitch Projects' Wooster location. Like The Science of Sleep before it, Gondry has created an interactive exhibition in conjunction with Deitch based on his current film. But this time it's better because within 2 1/2 hours you and your less attractive friends can
create an amateur movie in the spirit of his own. The space is filled with multiple sets that can be altered to show daytime/nighttime or city/country surroundings. With the provided props and the low-tech/no-tech visual wizardry Gondry is known for, you can put together a sloppy masterpiece, decorate the VHS tape display case, and leave it in the video store for others to watch in the in-house theater. (Avoid the selection with Sophia or Sofia in the title. Something about a mother/daughter or lesbian couple - hard to tell - with a fortune teller and a train.)

Although all the group slots for filming are reserved through the entire run, most of these are open groups - meaning they will take additional participants. So contact Deitch to add your name, and, while making a fantastic, poorly-edited home video, you'll also be making some new, less attractive friends. Nice.