Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Something is Happening...

Bob Dylan performing Ballad of a Thin Man, referenced on page 104-106 of Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage, in another YouTube clip of unknown origin. There is a definite visual similarity to D.A. Pennebaker's Don't Look Back. A truly amazing, spirited performance. McLuhan must have been impressed with the song as well, dedicating three pages of the book to Dylan's likeness and the words:

"Because something is happening
 But you don't know what it is
 Do you, Mister Jones?"

Although many have tried to link the lyrics to specific people and events, the song can be interpreted as a universal critique of people unaware of the world around them. It was one of a very few songs Dylan kept performing over the years, typically introducing it with the reflection that "there are still a lot of Joneses out there."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lauren Semivan's World: Observatory

Lauren Semivan and Lorne Carroll visiting Appleton, Wisconsin, 2014
iPhone portrait by J. Lindemann

Lauren Semivan left Lawrence University with a Studio Major in 2004 determined to live and work as an artist.  An MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art Photography Department prepared her to be self-reliant and creative with what she found around her. Sympatico with Lorne Carroll, a public health nurse and mandolin player devoted to attaining complete self-sufficiency through raising food and other means, the two have melded their aesthetics into a life that has lead them to inhabit a gracefully decaying Victorian mansion in Pontiac Michigan for a few months. Lauren is an accomplished and established artist and teacher showing her work at David Klein Gallery, Detroit, Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York and Paris Photo. Her recent series, Observatory, consists of still life assemblages made in her studio, which she photographs with an 8x10 view camera and prints in cyanotype or inkjet. Lauren and Lorne visited with Lawrence University Digital Processes students on January 27, 2014, in the midst of the polar vortex, to share their story.

The Pontiac Mansion, 2009
Postcard format photograph by J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

Monday, January 27, 2014

Robert Frank's Journey to the Outside

Robert Frank tells us it wasn't so much about art as it was about life in this 2008 interview, conducted on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first printing of    The Americans.

Sarah Greenough discusses the structure of The Americans in this video. She authored the 528 page volume that investigates Frank's Guggenheim project and the resulting 180 page book, first published in the United States in 1959.