Saturday, 8 November 2008

Improv Everywhere

Improv Everywhere is a New York-based group which creates drama in public places. One of their most famous missions was sending over 200 "agents" into New York's Grand Central Station, and at the same moment they all froze in place for 5 minutes, while commuters continued to rush past them. In another stunt they gathered a set of pairs of identical twins and placed them in a subway car all facing each other so that their poses perfectly mirrored each other: a Human Mirror.

Fascinating stuff! There's lots more on their website.

"the substance of things, their being, their thingyness"

Peter Peryer, Photographer
Peter Peryer, Photographer

Peter Peryer has a new book of photographs out. I know this not because I have seen it but because Paul of The Fundy Post has written this wonderful review, which manages to convey what the book is like without showing any of the pictures, and also without any artspeak at all:

"Peter Peryer is a New Zealand photographer who photographs things. Here, for example is a sequence of photographs about a third of the way through the book:

26. Donkey, Legoland, 1997
27. Bulls, 2006
28. Punakaiki, 1997
29. Owl, 2003
30. Sand Shark, 1991

To explain, the donkey is life-size and made from Lego bricks. The bulls are of indeterminate size; they are six plastic toys. Punakaiki is represented by a rock formation of dense horizontal layers; again its size is indeterminate. The owl on the facing page appears to be real; the pattern of its feathers is similar to the rock formation. Although in nature there is a fish called a sand shark, this one is a shark made of sand, on a beach."

The review is playful and serious, like Peryer's photos. Read the whole thing
here. And you can buy the book here.

Peter Peryer has a very cool blog (and photolog) here. It's very straightforward in style, and it's worth keeping an eye on because you never quite know what will show up next. For example, his recent posts feature pictures of: a tree, a church, a submarine, a quail, a gravestone, and a cloud.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Hidden depths

The Unbearable Lightness of Scones: A New 44 Scotland Street Novel
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones: A New 44 Scotland Street Novel

"Angus, dispirited...looked down into his coffee cup. And a coffee cup, as we all know, is not something that it pays to look into if one is searching for meaning beyond meaning; coffee in all its forms looks murky, and gives little comfort to one who hopes to see something in it. Unlike tea, which allows one to glimpse something of what lies beneath the surface, usually more tea."

Alexander McCall Smith's new 44 Scotland Street novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, is delectably light and fluffy.

And it is more like tea than coffee. :-D

You can buy it at Fishpond.