Jon Sasaki is Instant Coffee's newest member. He contributed the following thought for this issue's editorial -
"Instant coffee is like a grain of sand in an oyster. Over time it accumulates layer upon layer of community, resulting in something precious and jewel-like."
This is the first anniversary of Saturday Edition. We've done nothing special to celebrate it. Things have been too crazy for all of us to bother. With Jon's help, Instant Coffee produced a cd-rom of artist's screensavers, and opened a show at the Helen Pitt Gallery in Vancouver.
Jinhan's exhibition Waiting Room opened last Thursday at Vancouver's Centre A Timothy's co-curated The Small World Show opened a week ago at Sis Boom Bah.
Jenifer likes to watch TV.
Kate has taken off on a South Asian Grand Tour and will be away until June.
Cecilia contributed this issue's Week in Review, so you can all read about how busy she is.
Stephen -- now an Instant Coffee alumni -- is seeking typotherapy.
Send letters to the editor to email@example.com
|Saturday Edition Feature
1. Second Annual First Day of Snow Contest
It's time once again for the First Day of Snow Contest.
With all this cold weather, this one might be overwith sooner rather than later.
Last year's winning day was December 14th.
And by the first day of snow, we're talking centimetres, transformed landscape, etc, not 7am flurries which flirt with the concept and entice you through your layers with the promise of the snowboard slopes. If it records your footprints and causes fenderbenders then that snowfall is the winning one.
It's also important to add, you don't have to be from Toronto to participate (our version of 'no purchase necessary') but you have to guess Toronto's day.
This year's prize includes a copy of Caffeine Screens; The Instant Coffee Screensaver Show, a CD-ROM featuring the screensaver concoctions of over 40 artists, which we'll be launching locally in November. (Heck, if it snows before the launch, you'll get a sneak peak). Also included is a mystery prize by Jon Sasaki.
Email in your day to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Some Notes toward an essay about Chris Dorosz' eyelevelgallery show |
Chris Dorosz' is a young Canadian artist whose "Staple" paintings (I said
vis-a-vis a Plug In show in a 1999 unpublished piece) were made by gluing
thousands of loose industrial-sized staples onto a blank canvas, and then
pouring paint inside each staple compartment. This technique gives the
finished work a pixilated look. Dorosz recreated stills, babes from
exercise TV or a frame from a Puff Daddy music video, in this laborious way.
Some canvasses, however, consisted in a filigreed grid pattern of staples on
a white-primed surface without poured paint, as if to represent not only a
blank canvas but also a blank television or movie screen.
Dorosz' slow working method -- the sweat-shop-like hand work -- is
reminiscent of the work of process painters such as Canada's Eric Cameron,
Jeffrey Spalding, and Garry Neill Kennedy, artists to whom a 'layering' of
paint resulted in a cumulative record of hand work. Like Dorosz, these
artists had found a reason to reintroduce hand painting into a discourse
that was about to exclude it in favour of new media. But in the older
artists' classic layer paintings there is usually no imagery at all except
for paint layers. (There are more recent examples of these artists using
charged imagery, of course.) Dorosz, being twenty to thirty years younger
than the Camerons and Kennedys, combined and combines an innovative process
technique with spectacular imagery, perhaps to offset a viewer's
identification of his work with the older process artists while
acknowledging the precedents.
Unlike the older artists Dorosz grew up not only in the era of
television, but also in the era of the computer monitor. His Plug In show
followed an exhibition there called "Monitor Goo," (curated by myself and
Peter Dykhuis) that examined abstract painting in the age of video and
included artists of Dorosz' age and sensibility. Most surprisingly, these
young artists, Shannon Finley, Dell Sala, Dan Rushton, Kym Greeley and
Rachel Beach shared a disdain for the traditional dichotomy between
"abstract" and "representational" painting. For them the old debates are
stale and making an abstract painting is little different from making art
about other kinds of popular culture. We so often forget, they seemed to be
saying, that there is an image -- many images, in fact -- of abstract
painting in popular culture.
Dorosz characterizes his painting practice as being about philosophy
rather than the medium. For the 1960s and 1970s process artists, the basic
stuff of a painting was paint, but for Dorosz and his "Monitor Goo" peers,
the ground zero of a painting is not paint but an image. Dorosz' creates a
tension between the material processes of painting and the immateriality of
More recently, Dorosz has spoken about his work as having always
developed out of a material discovery, and that he likens paint drops with
pixels. His most striking recent innovation is his move to three
dimensionality using plastic rods to create a grid-like illusion of
suspended paint in the form of bodies.
For a couple of years since writing about Dorosz' Plug In show I have had
the pleasure of living with his work in the Winnipeg studio I inherited from
him after he moved to San Francisco. Dorosz' staple and rubber band
paintings (the latter made by pouring paint into rubber bands that have been
glued to canvas) are now stored within a few feet of where I make my own
paintings, and I look at them frequently: sometimes I even show studio
visitors his work. Every time I look at these works the colour seems to get
brighter, as if back-lit.
Although we lived in Halifax at the same time, I was barely aware of who
Dorosz was during his stint as an MFA student. The MFAers kept to
themselves, mostly, as if incubating.
I will not be able to see whether or not Dorosz exhibits some of his sex
works in Halifax, but I hope he does. Expressions of sexuality have long
been discouraged in Halifax, as if Victorian edicts against sexual
explicitness had transmuted themselves into fitting Conceptualist versions
sometime around 1967. Dorosz's sex work will not initiate Halifax's long
delayed sexual revolution by itself, but I can hope...
Dorosz' laptop works are yet another way he has of turning wispy pixels
into sensuous paint and of reminding the viewer that, as the physicists say,
a photon can be a particle or a wave depending on how an observer initiates
a quantum system's collapse. In other words, paint is made of the same
material as the world, however you look at it.
Cliff Eyland email@example.com
15 September 2002
The Toronto International Art Fair happened. None of us attended.
Actually, Tim was there, but he was sitting a booth, so that doesn't count. Jo Cook went and wrote the following in a letter to Tim:
"Went to the art fair yesterday before flying back here. Heard a woman on
her cell phone outside the booth that had the David Urban paintings
say, 'I wanted the blue one but it was untitled so I'm going to get the
Alaskan Chocolate Scrambled Eggs
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1 tablespoon black pepper
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3. Serve and enjoy.
Review - The covers of the books nominated for the Booker Prize (British Editions) | Timothy Comeau
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The cover features an aerial shot of a tiger at one end of a boat, while a figure in the fetal position is at the other end. The view is from directly overhead, and one sees a school of sharks with a couple of turtles swimming beneath. The colours are muted, and it almost has the feel of a medieval fresco.
This cover would not make me want to pick up the book, let alone read it. The art is somewhat crude. The fetal position silhouette screams some kind of philosophical sentimentality, and the presence of the tiger makes no sense. The fact that these are details that the text takes care of seems beside the point. I wouldn't want to read a story about a tiger lost at sea, but that's just me.
Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
I find this to be a very attractive cover. The title text is in a purple or a blue (scanning usually distorts colours right?) and the author's name is in red. It is a photograph of someone looking out over the sea; the allusions to Freidrich's paintings are obvious. The fellow is wearing a gray hat and a matching coat, and is holding an umbrella. We see him from behind. He is also wearing white pants that are short and we can see his bare ankles. The details of his shoes are lost in the darkness at the bottom of the photo. Overall, you have a composition divided into three: the sky/water, the top of the concrete, and its side. The man straddles all three and dominates.
With the hat and the umbrella combo, an anachronism today, the picture is evoking a 20th Century romance and the aesthetics of Beckett, with his tramps in bowler hats. Beckett had said that Freidrich's paintings helped inspire his work, especially "Waiting for Godot". This image brings the 19th Century romantic and the 20th Century existentialist together under Mistry's theme of emigration (Mistry emigrated to Canada from India when he was 20) which seems to embody the existentialist doctrine of determining one's fate while at the same time alluding to the romance of travel and adventure. Freidrich's characters confront nature with their independence, while Beckett's are crushed by nature's indifference. The 20th Century wrestled with those two concepts in wars that proved man could control nature, but which also showed that nature couldn't care less about our pettiness. In uniting these two disparate philosophies, this cover is excellent. I'd pick up the book and want to read it.
Unless by Carol Shields
This image at first glance evokes nothing of what the potential contents could be. It is a black & white photograph of mostly tree, but then you notice a girl in the lower right, stooping to pick up (?) or push (?) a ball. She has a bag at her waist, but it looks old as if it could be made of leather. You can also see that her hair is tied in a pony tail, and that she is wearing a white shirt with a skirt. The message conveyed is that she is either on her way or coming from school. Has she found this ball? Is she picking it up to toss it back to an afterschool soccer game?
The tree is an oak, and by it's size one can see that it is very old. A creature of endless centuries next to one so delicately young. A picture from the 1930's or something. I wouldn't be inclined to pick up this book. The image is a sentimental evocation, and the author's name is bigger than the title. At the bottom one reads that she won the Pulitzer Prize: obviously now the author is a literary Midas and if she wants to bore us with some sentimental memoir cast as fiction, than the publishing industry isn't going to stop her, because, hey, it might get nominated for the Booker Prize or something.
The fact that the novel isn't a sentimental memoir set in the 30s is why this cover ultimately fails semiotically. The image is a nice enough photograph and it would look nice in a hallway I guess (the hallway of some dreary bourgeois). In the way it freezes the dynamics of the scene it leaves me uncomfortable, which creates a dynamic nonetheless.
The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
For some reason, amazon.co.uk doesn't have a "see larger photo" for this title, so I have to work from the unclear image provided on it's sales page. At first glance it looks like the stone markers of some prehistoric Stonehenge-like ring, though through squinty eyes, one can make out the ripples of sand on a beach. This image then is perhaps the weathered and eroded wooden stumps of on old pier at low tide. Both the initialy percieved image and the one actually present convey age, and the handwritten title, white against the gray-blue sky, also implies a story set in an era before typing was so common.
The sea sure is popular with these cover designers. The use of handwriting points to an historical story. The book begins in the 1920s, so this is effective. But the use of the sea image is so generic, and in the context of the other nominated books, cliché (it's cliché anyway but worse when next to 3 other books with the same subject matter) but the designer cannot be faulted for that. I'm bored by this cover and wouldn't pick it up off the shelf.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Is the text set in the 19th Century, or are these the gloves of an archivist? They have buttons, so I doubt it. Perhaps these are servant's gloves? The title's font features an elaborate "f" and the rest of the word is a little shaky, like something that came from an oldschool press with a metal typeface.
This cover would entice me to pick up the text, though, I must say at this point, reviews always reflect the bias and predilections of the reviewer, and just because I have a thing for old documents and the dust of archives can't necessarily translate into your wanting to pick it up too. I'm just sayin'...that because of my interests, this text featuring an image of white gloves on an old table top lying next to a patterned something or other which looks like some book from the 19th Century, would pique my interest.
The online review at amazon.co.uk describes the text as "engrossing lesbian Victoriana". In communicating the era, this image is effective semiotically, though it still looks a little prissy, and the author's name is printed too large and with too much kerning.
Dirt Music by Tim Winton
This image conveys a youthfulness that comes across in somehow framing another sentimental sea image (it's like a rule in book design or something: all novels must have sentimental covers to tug at the heart strings of nostalgia...but then again, I shouldn't talk, considering the covers of some of my bookworks...). It conveys this youthfulness through the use of the title fonts and the framing. If they'd used a more standard "Times New Roman"-esque serif font, this would have been sentimental. But the use of a sans-serif font speaks to younger folk, and in the way the title is italicized gives it sarcasm. The youth, afterall, are dripping with sarcasm and irony.
Ugh. I thought post 9-11 irony was dead. I was thankful for that, but no, it's like aspirin, (a cheap and simple miracle drug): there is no better defense against the bewildering stupidity of the status quo than the roll of the eyes. The humor-irony formula is what gets us through the CNN days. That, and turning off the TV to read books with covers of beached boats, seen from the front, with waves gently in the background, the text hovering above the horizon line sans serif, simply conveying author's name and title.
I'm attracted to the subversion of what could have been another sentimental image. But gawd, another fucking sea cover. I'm in the bookstore browsing and I'm getting seasick. This is absurd...
You can't judge a book by it's cover, but you can judge the cover. This year's winner of the Booker Prize was Life of Pi but my winner is Family Matters.
1. A reply to your Saturday Edition Feature titled , "Honey, I Shrunk the Art"
By Liz Wylie | Otino Corsano
I currently have a show up in a gallery that is listed on the Queen West
circuit. My paintings in this show are small (7" x 7"). I made them while
I was in L.A. where I could not afford a large studio; however I did not
make small paintings for this reason. I do not see my work as related to
interior design or decoration. I guess they found themselves in a Queen
West space because I did not have the opportunity to show them elsewhere. I
am sure that people would spend more time viewing them and thinking about
them if they were in a larger space. I had proposed to show my work in
larger (established?) spaces with little luck. I did not see the need to
make larger work as my intentions were well suited to the scale of the
finished works. I did not make small paintings because I thought they would
have a better chance of being sold. I don't see my work as solely an
economic investment so I don't usually consider risk as a factor in my
decisions to make my work.
I was hoping that people viewing my work would receive the work in
complicated ways and that the work would not be lumped into formalistic,
generational or regional groupings. I guess that is why I eventually
avoided placing the work in more traditional spaces and contexts. I recall
being really excited when I first saw Duchamp's Boîte-en-valise because I
thought that he was reconsidering the space of art's existence. I assume
that he eventually wanted to sell them but I don't think that was his only
reason for making them. If galleries and museums take down some of their
larger paintings there would be more room for emerging artists to show their
work. Some young artists may need more physical space than others; still I
would imagine they would wish for their work to be received with
consideration for their independent intentions.
- Otino Corsano
2. Tastebud Requiem | Jon Sasaki There are around 10,000 total taste buds on the average adult's tongue.
A taste bud has an average life span of ten days.
Mid-August 2002: for the first time in my life, I experienced hayfever. I have had this lingering sinus congestion since then, and haven't been able to taste anything I've eaten.
By my calculation, roughly 75,000 taste buds have lived and died on my tongue during that time, never to fulfil any purpose. That's like, practically the same population as Whitby.
3. Timothy's Letters | Timothy Comeau
A. Letter to Google News
To: Timothy Comeau
Subject: Re: Google Arts News [#930186]
Date: Thursday 26 September 2002 2:46 PM
Thanks for your helpful email about Google News. We're considering a number of
improvements based on feedback from our users, and we will certainly pass your
comments on to our engineers. Given that we're still fine-tuning this service,
it's too early for us to know which of the many great ideas we've received will
be implemented. Thanks again for taking the time to write us and please visit
Google News in the coming weeks to see our additions and improvements.
For the latest on Google News and other Google innovations, you may want to sign
up for our Google Friends newsletter at:
The Google Team
From: Timothy Comeau
Subject: Google Arts News
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 02:41:43 -0400
I really like the Google news so far, but think you definitely need an arts page.
I don't give a shit about sports so your algorithms are wasting processing power
on that one when it comes to people like me - and you know there are a lot of us
out there! The lack of arts coverage in the media in general is depressing. With
Google News which is new and hot, why shouldn't you add to your hipness by
making sure arts gets covered just as thoroughly as sports?
B. Letter to CBC Newsworld Program CounterSpin
To: "Timothy Comeau"
Subject: Re: not that pleased
Date: Friday 18 October 2002 10:25 AM
Thanks for your comments. CounterSpin is an independent co-production and
all decisions regarding scheduling, broadcast frequency and commercials are
made by the CBC management. I encourage you to forward your comments
directly to the CBC through firstname.lastname@example.org, or by contacting CBC
President Robert Rabinovitch.
At 01:11 AM 10/18/02 -0400, you wrote:
>....it seems that whenever the higherups take a great show and make it
>once a week, than it's on its way to being cancelled....
>Counterspin is such a great and important show (though you too often have
>the same right-wing windbags on -Jonathan Kay from the National Post and
>Jason Kenny from the Alliance Party / please find more intelligent people
>to articulate the views of the right -who with them as their spokespersons-
>often seem like the Wrong Wing, which can't be true given that they're so
>popular out west....) that I would hate to see it made irrelevant by being
>on only once a week. Please say that it'll be on for at least an hour and
>half, or failing that, commercial free. Last season you were lucky to have
>any conversations at all, since you kept going to commercials (which is
>actually quite insulting to the demographic who is watching the show,
>young people like myself who are concerned about contemporary
>politics/state of the world, and not McCain's french fries).
>Regardless, I'm looking forward to the new season.
>ps. I'd nominate Mark Kingwell from U of T to be the new host (if his
>schedule permits of course. I also realized it's far fetched, but hey,
>wouldn't that he great?) or Daniel Richler (god Big Life was a great show)
C. Letter to his MP
From: Timothy Comeau
Subject: Please support the Kyoto Accord
Date: Monday 21 October 2002 8:11 PM
To: Right Honorable Dan McTeague
Member of Parliment for Pickering, Ajax & Uxbridge
Room 302 Justice Building
House of Commons
Mon. 21 October 2002
I simply want to express my support for the Kyoto Accord, and hope that you will be voting in favour of it when it comes up later this year.
I am a young person (27) who is very concerned about the world I am in the process of inheriting. While I understand that Kyoto will have economic consequences, I believe that scaremongering on this basis is both irresponsible and representative of a narrow minded parochial view. It would seem to me that those so heavily invested in a fossil-fuel based economy are refusing to see the economic benefits (and I would think, great opportunities) of a Green based one. The jobs that will be lost are - like an "executioner"- jobs that probably shouldn't exist in the first place, since they are detrimental to the long-term survival of the biosphere.
You are from a generation older than mine. You have experienced and enjoyed an ecosystem that will probably not exist for my children or grandchildren. This is something new for us as human beings and as citizens of Canada; the rural generations of a century ago did not imagine their descendants not enjoying clean rivers and clean air. Why should we make the future pay for our selfishness? Kyoto may be considered a small and almost insignificant step, but we have to start somewhere.
Please vote in favor of Kyoto. You can count on my vote in the next election if you do.
4. Cecilia's Week in Review | Cecilia Berkovicspinach (pre packaged but not rinsed)
feta cheese (loose from bulk bucket)
1/4 yellow pepper
bunch of cilantro chopped finely
Saturday October 19
Things I put in the salad for dinner:
Things Amy put in the salad dressing:Dijon
rice wine vinegar
Potato chips for dessert.Juxtapose. Aug 2002
Lola with modified Allyson Mitchell cover
Trash by Dorothy Allison
old TPW catalogue. "2000 words - Musings on the Medium"
On the Beaten Track, Lucy Lippard
The Culture of the Copy by Hillel Schwartz
True Lies by Mariko Tamak
Toronto Life, May 2002
Vice, the Iraq Issue
Shift, Sept 2002
C, Fall 2002
Mix, Fall 2002
New York Times magazine, June 2002
C, Spring 2002
Sunday October 20
Emails I got today.
subject header: Indie Porn Universe
subject header: Polyphony of Voices
Feeling lazy and uninspired.
Monday October 21
reading material on bedside table
That and some TV.
Tuesday October 22
Task: Clean up closet.
Things to fold:
orange l/s jersey with number 22 on it
black sleeveless shirt
Brit flag tank top
"Tattooing for Jesus" t-shirt Jillian Macdonald altered in her "tailor made" performance
gray wool hooded zip sweater
pink wool cardigan
red acrylic poncho
blue Adidas jogging pants I wear as pajamas
blue t-shirt with cat on front
"Tattooing for Satan" t-shirt, unaltered
weird hippy shirt I haven¹t worn since I was a teeneager
Things that were folded but not put away:
2 black bras Andrea gave me - one halter push up style
5 (!) assorted black t-shirts
Things I need to put in the laundry:
black and pink baseball t with skull silk-screened on front
leopard print red l/s shirt
red and black toque from Value Village
three black socks
red and white l/s shirt
Things I left on the floor. (previously the OTo hang¹ section)
leather biker vest I got at a clothing swap last month
Denim skirt Jo-Ann gave me
red and blue gingham shirt
stripey black zip up
gray and blue skirt from Le Chateau that I bought at Value Village
new brown skirt I was going to wear in Rochester but didn¹t
4 pairs of jeans
brown cargo pants
black cord skirt for around the house (too short for public consumption)
western style shirt with horseshoes embroidered on it
black cropped pants
black wool sweater shawl thing I may never wear
Wednesday October 23
Got that cold everyone has.
8am - still in bed
9am - making coffee
10am - sitting at kitchen table, reading
11am - finished reading, put batteries in smoke detector
12am - at computer
1pm - en route to Workplace
2pm - meeting with Angela
3pm - going to OCAD
4pm - in class
5pm - running errand for mum
6pm - killing time til v-tape talk
7pm - change mind. feeling sick, go home
8pm - take matzoh ball soup out of freezer to defrost
9pm - in bed, watching crap tv: the bachelor
10pm - blind date, fifth wheel
11pm - fell asleep watching the Daily Show
Thursday October 24
the following people called today:
jo and kev
unknown name (mum)
Friday October 25
Worked and coughed all day.
Tripped on the way UP the stairs and scraped my arm. Dropped pumpkin pie
slice face down.
Bill came over around 7 and thought the flyer I was working on looked too
halloweeny instead of wintery. Add snowflakes. Revise some time this
Maybe go to Vazaline.
Instant Coffee Saturday Edition is our (sort of) monthly email/online zine. Saturday Edition compliments to Instant Coffee's email list service, which has been promoting local, national and international events to a targeted audience since 2000.
Instant Coffee Saturday Edition takes submissions. We're interested in graphics, articles reviews and links about music, video/film, art exhibitions, architecture and design for the sections as above ... and self indulgences for the Sanka section. Send submissions to email@example.com
instant coffee is a pearl
just read &delete
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