Wednesday, October 29

The Glow of White Women Yunus Valley

With The Glow of White Women Yunus Valley forcefully and riotously reverses the colonial gaze to comedically consider the erotic imagery and actual white women who have comprised his masturbatory fantasies and his libidinous relationships. Valley, a mixed race Indian/Black artist from South Africa, is an incendiary, unabashed director-subject who races through a confrontation of the sexual racism that made for tense relations and torrid desire during apartheid. With a devious grin and a subversive sense of humor encapsulated in his assertion that apartheid really wasn’t so oppressive because it meant that the black boys could sit at the back of the movie houses and masturbate to the images of white women on the screen, he plays at untangling his voracious appetite and contempt for Caucasian women- as a personal and a cultural phenomenon. Don’t expect conclusions or for every element of this film to be well-realized or logically arranged, but do expect an unusually entertaining social critique. This film exudes the personality of its maker, which is to say it is hyper and playful, with a tinge of artist arrogance. Just as he is perfectly comfortable espousing that women are frivolous and not worth living with/committing to, he seems self-satisfied in the structuring of the film, feeling no need to contextualize or conclude as convention would dictate. And why not, if at the end one has the sense that he is a competent commentator, agitator, and entertainer? In two regards he brings to mind Michael Moore. He is a strong, confrontational personality that will likely earn avid detractors and avid supporters among his audience, and he conjures Roger and Me with his laughable but rather pointless ambush of a beauty queen. On the flipside, it is a beauty queen (the Miss South Africa pageant is a recurring subject) who provides the most chilling moment of the film, as well. When interviewed about her family’s relationship to the African workers who constitute the labor force of the family business, Miss South Africa is a shocking embodiment of the sort of paternalistic racism that is utterly ignorant of itself.

Fortunately, other women articulate different shades of interracial relations. He gets some refreshingly candid interviews from white women who were young during apartheid and speak about their racial fetishes and their gleefully defiant miscegenation. As the filmmaker comments, colonial women often had rather repressed sexual relationships with their white husbands; when they connected with Africans they felt free to unbridle their primal libido. Likewise, this topic could be handled in a staid, politically sensitive manner, but the hard-hitting humor and honesty that this anti-racist rascal offers is a viable and delightful alternative.

-Kevin Langson

Monday, October 27

The WAY of Yoga

Yoga teaches that learning is a lifelong process. Doing the same
poses week in and week out, you learn them ever more deeply. There's
always more to learn, more to let go of, more to be aware of. At the
same time, as in any long process of work, it sometimes becomes
routine. I've gone through the ashtanga sequence a countless number
of times. I have to remind myself that each practice is a fresh
start, another opportunity for growth, and that even in the simplest
things, there subtleties to be discovered and rediscovered, that the
road to mastery is long.

Nonetheless, a change in routine can be refreshing, and I was caught
off-guard by the class I had last week. Leading a yoga class is an
art in itself--one has to be aware of the students and their needs,
maintain an aura in the room, give feedback in a way that reaches the
subconscious rather than the ego. It is also an improvisation, no
different from that of a jazz musician's, with all the attendant
surprises and pitfalls. The beauty of the class was one of those
unexpected joys that enter one's life unannounced. We did an
exquisitely choreographed sequence involving warrior poses and
balances and shifting back and forth between them. We did several
variations of dolphin pose and even some dolphin push-ups. We tried
some one-legged vinyasas for challenge. But it was less what we did
than how it flowed, so naturally, seemingly inevitably. It was a work
of art, found in the least likely of places.
-Ian Le

The Hypocrites' Awesome production of Our Town!

The Hypocrites' recently reprised their production of Thorton Wilder's
"Our Town" at the Chopin Theater, which first ran last spring to rave
reviews. Performances were once again sold out, and I hope they
remount again in the future. I haven't seen the play in years, though
I'll never forget how it hit me in the gut the first time I saw it.

"Our Town" is often criticized as sentimental in its portrayal of
small town folk. Wilder doesn't shape the characters fully, partly
because he wants them to serve as everymen and everywomen. While a
play like "Long Day's Journey into Night" acheives universality
through the specificity, the realness of its characters, whom we
relate to despite our differences with them, "Out Town" acheives
universality through prototypes through which we can see ourselves.
The triumph of this production is in infusing these prototypes with
immediacy, so that in Wilder's deftly sketched characters, we see
flashes of recognition.

I had never realized before how skillfully chosen Wilder's vignettes
are, illustrating experiences we all know--the magic of teenage love
as Emily and George admit their attraction to each other; George's
anxiety in growing up as he must find work and become responsible to a
family; Emily learning to negotiate her way in the world, doing well
in school, but insecure about her appearances (her conversation with
her mother about her looks is touchingly tender); Emily's mother
wisely holding back her pride at her daughter's accomplishments; the
way Emily shakes her head when her father treats her as younger than
she believes herself to be; the gossip among the town women; the way
George's sister looks up to him; the small talk between Gibbs and the
chaos of parenting as they decide whether to let George marry Emily,
also the difficulty for parents of letting go; Mrs. Gibbs' desire to
see Paris; Mr. Webb's quixotic dreams of owning an incubator. Though
the third act is devastating, each scene in the first two acts glowed
with such import that I always almost moved to tears before the

I had forgotten, too, the richness of the play, not only dealing with
domesticity, but situating it within genealogy, geography, geology,
meteorology, astronomy. It aims, perhaps a bit ambitiously, at cosmic
siginificance, something Viriginia Woolf acheived, but more quietly.
And it is easy to overlook how daring the play is--it is minimalist in
its staging and storytelling, deconstructive in the stage manager's
commentary, foreshadowing and flashbacks. In this production the
stage manager takes a more cynical tone, which both anticipates and
serves to undermine the first reaction of a jaded urban audience to
rural life. Perhaps the great feat of imagination occurs in the last
act, which Wilder labored over, when he tries to imagine how the dead
would look back upon the living. It was only after the play that it
occured to me that perhaps the reaction of the dead in the play was
unrealistic--might not the ecstatic glow of life outweigh the tragedy
of our blindness to it? But while you're there, the thought doesn't
cross your mind. And the decision allow the audience to smell the
bacon in the third act is a brilliant one, reminding us, as did the
great animated film Ratatouille, that smell is the most Proustian of
our senses. One never sensed the act of living so intensely.

-Ian Le


Watch from around minute 53 to minute 57:

New Works by Esteban Schimpf

Esteban is our new correspondent to hipness in all ways. Look forward to his videocasts and post comming soon. in the meantime, here are some killer previews of the man at work.

While he wasn't looking!

Pin Pong Culinary Experience

I've had a soft spot for Ping Pong ever since I came to Chicago,
because it was one of the first restaurants I tried. At a time when I
was still adjusting to big changes in my life, it was an island of
stability where I'd go with my friend Justin. Back then it was a
start-up with four tables, the same white walls and small white
tables, mismatched plates and silverware, and awkward waitstaff who
would stop to have conversation. It has changed a lot in the last few
years, expanding, and now extremely popular.

The restaurant now oozes style--the orange sign, the green lighting,
black stripes on the windows, candles at every table, Sex in the City
projected on Tord Boontje wallpaper, techno music blasting, and
attractive waiters that have turned it into a place where you want to
look good, just in case that guy at the next table might be looking at
you (the likelihood of this never prevents us from having this
fantasy). The over-the-top sensation both charms and titillates.
There are smaller touches as well: the cherry wood bowls, the
soapstone on which the chopsticks rest. But most of this is faux
idiosyncracy, easy thrills. As far as food goes, Ping Pong has lost
its way.

Ping Pong has always been at its best when it's offering twists on
traditional favorites. Salt & pepper calamari is one of their best
dishes, with the calamari served on a generous bed of onions,
jalapenos and garllic. The sashimi tuna dip, made with basil,
cucumber, sesame mayo, white and black sesame and served with wonton
crackers, is another classic, though it contains less tuna than it
used to. These were solid dishes made to please.

The sections of the menu used to be labeled by verbs--share, eat,
drink--but are now labeled more predictably--starters, sides, chicken,
etc. And though more extensive than it used to be, most of the menu
is various permutations of basically the same dish. It's always
exasperating to go with a white person to an Indian restaurant only to
have them order chicken tikka masala. I felt the same way when a
friend ordered orange chicken, which was lacking in orange peel, spice
and tanginess. The sauce on the Yu-xiang eggplant with pork was
similarly generic and the eggplant was undercooked. The classic fried
rice, one of the better dishes because of the novelty of making fried
rice using brown rice, was well executed, but, like the other main
dishes, was ungenerous in its portion of meat.

I was heartened, though, by a couple of things. Before the meal, the
waiter brought out warm moist towelettes for us to clean our hands, a
nice variation on the tradition of bringing hot towels to the table
after the meal. And the wheat gluten salad, with shitake, bamboo tips
and tree fungus, stayed true to this classic Buddhist vegetarian dish.
It was even charmingly served on the cheap knockoff dishware you'd
find in Chinatown. And when the fortune cookies came at the end of
the meal on a ping pong racket, I was reminded of the Ping Pong I knew
three years ago.

The best Chinese restaurants find their roots in family, and the pride
of feeding a loved one. While it was never authentic, the tastes at
Ping Pong used to be richer, more unusual and surprising. Judging
from the crowds and the wait time, most people don't seem to mind.
They're young people looking for pleasure after a day's work, carrying
with them the anxieties and insecurities of any young person. They're
willing to be lulled by the sensory overload. After my meal, I walked
across the street and passed by Wakamono, which has the same owner as
Ping Pong. Outside the restaurant was a moment of magic--a table and
some chairs, surrounded by potted plants. Right next to Broadway St.,
this little patch of space seemed to have been transported from Paris,
oblivious to the hustle and bustle around it. I then realized that,
while Ping Pong was never about food made with love and care, Ping
Pong isn't (or shouldn't be) about hedonism either. At its best, it
offers a place of refuge, an escape from our chaotic world. If it has
recently lost some of its soul, it would do well to remember this.

-Ian Le

Friday, October 24

Leyomi Vs. Jenny Holzer


Jenny Holzer is one the hottest artist today, she crosses the barriers of art, advertising and the everyday. She is an art superstar who anyone can talk with or appraoch. She is actively on mayspace and facebook and twitter-- so friend her and became an artist citizen.

Holzer's work has paired playful and cunning language with a mindful placement of text which inescapably draw your attention underline the emotional and scoietal concerns and fears.

With the active and growing concern for media voices and opinions, Holzer highlights the contradictory voices which shape contemporary life both here and the world. The 1990s heralded a turn in Holzer's practice toward greater visual and environmental presence. In this exhibition, which centers on her work from the mid-1990s to the present, Holzer joins political bravura with formal beauty, sensitivity, and power.

The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Smith, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the MCA. It is accompanied by a publication with essays by Smith and other authors and will tour the United States and Europe.

Projection works by Jenny Holzer
For the first time in Chicago, artist Jenny Holzer presents a series of temporary outdoor projection works in conjunction with the exhibition Jenny Holzer: PROTECT PROTECT. Texts selected by Holzer, who is renowned for her compelling use of language in public space, will be projected on the facade of the MCA on three nights:

Wednesday, October 22

Gallery: 400 Biological Agents

Eco-friendly and green things are all the rage as of late. Since art does not exist in a vacuum, it should be no surprise that the green trend is also reflected in the art world. In Gallery 400 There recently opened an exhibition “Biological Agents” Artists Brandon Ballengee, Caitlin Berrigan, and Natalie Jeremijenko collaborated making geodesic viruses and biologically hazardous confections as well as informative zines some of which you can take with you. The show is engaging issues regarding how we interact with the world, biologically and socially. The show will be running until November 22nd, 2008.

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Tuesday, October 21

Bailout Package Summary, A goodnight Kiss

Is it going to fail?

Well, it might. The basic idea is that we can buy up all the bad mortgage debt and banks will lend again. It's the equivelant of killing the boogey-man that keeps rich Americans from sending money to Bank of America: boogey man might take away all of our money!

Then add in $200 billion directly to the banks by buying stocks, which creates $2 trillion in new lending because banks lend out more than they have, and you have yourself a cool anti-recession prescription.

But it all depends on how big we think boogeyman is. All the mortgage-related stuff might be tens of trillions of dollars in size. A $700 billion goodnight kiss from Mommy Pelosi might not be enough.

Get Palinized.

Congratulation Joe, You're Rich!

Joe the Plumber might be an artist at work too. Regardless, at least he is rich.

The Art of Life and Inspiration

On a recent blog post the photographer Zoe Strauss wrote an homage to William Eggleston one of her inspirations. She has created many photo in his honor and created creative copies of his work. Not least of all the beautiful photo she took of a red motel ceiling.

Zoe Strauss writes:

I don't work in a vacuum, no artist does, and I look to always pay homage to works that have had a significant impact on my life... and by default, my work.

I am a huge William Eggleston fan. Man, I could look at his photos all day, every day. He is a quintessential American photographer, who's impacted American photography from both sides of the camera... he changed the way many make photos and changed the way people look at America.

On this point I want to take a moment to talk about the Art of Life. Some moments you will catch a glimpse of someone totally lost in their work. They are so absorbed in what they are doing that they forget where they are and they don't have a goal in site. It is often about opening yourself and your heart to the materials you are working wit the process of using them. Matisse the great turn of the century master was found of saying that when he was painting he would ask the paintbrush what strokes it wanted to make. The great writer Virgina Wolf said she would get so lost in her writing that if a tornado where to come hit the house she would still have to finish the sentence she was working on before fleeing.

Today in the blueline Jackson stop subway I saw a wonderful singer-- if he was on American Idol he would be a finalist for sure. Go see for yourself and let me know what you think. When I came onto the platform he was in the middle of a conversation with himself on a old telephone that didn't work--but as soon as he 'hung-up' the telephone he broke into Barry White's " I can't Get enough of Your Love Babe".

And I can't get enough of how great his voice was, it still resounds in my ears. His song might have been an homage to Barry White, but he was so lost in singing the song that it became truly his own. Here is to inspiration, where ever you find it.

Monday, October 20

Sarah Palin

Rhona Hoffman and Musings on a Green World

The new exhibition “SERGIO VIEIRA DE MELLO: RALLY PARIS-DARFUR” by New Catalogue is a celebration and attack on free market capitalism. By turning the art gallery into a showroom for an brand new motorcycle we are at once taken by our desire for the beautiful object and also repelled. The team imagines a rally from Paris to Darfur a new take on the Paris to Dakar Rally.

Through viewing the new motorcycle in the gallery space we are transfixed as consumers both consuming the art experience and imagining ourself as shoppers. The consuming experience is darkened by the realization that the motorcycle is a memorial to Sergio Vieira de Mello, a well known and widely respected Brazilian United Nations diplomat who was killed by a car bomb at the UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003.

Sunday, October 19

Roots and Culture Pizza Dog party

Last night Roots and Culture hosted and incredible evening of Pizza Dog.

Some things: that art is/isn't

Art is more than just a bunch of pretty pictures, paintings, sculptures or videos. Art is another language which dwells beyond words and still within. Art is another way of knowing. Art is conveying experiences particular to any given person/artist. Art is a dialogue of ideas and concepts which have been around, and inserting a new point of view into the discussion, or reinforcing an old point of view with new information. Art is a reaction to a cultural occurrence. One example is the advent of the photographic camera. Painting used to function as a means of recording images. Once the camera was invented, painters could move forth to really explore all the other ways of knowing paint could explore. Art is not thoroughly idiosyncratic. It has a life of its own. Art is not made in a vacuum. It is informed by when it was made and everything that was made before it.

Art is making meaning.

Edgar Gonzalez-Baeza

Friday, October 17

Caroline, or Change at the Court Theater

I could not help but jump out of my seat and join everyone last night in a standing ovation for Caroline, or Change. There was a cascade of applause that moved through the audience with the lasting impact of Caroline’s last song. The musical is fantastic, one that is centered on loving and forgiving—two of life’s most important principles. The story begins with an older Black maid named Caroline who serves the family of young but not innocent 8 year old Jewish boy named Noah who is infatuated with her.

The Jewish /Black relationship is a rich one, step in history because they are both persecuted. In my experience a lot of Jewish people have a thing for Black or African people some I know have a black fetish.

The Black / Jewish dynamic is played out in Caroline. The young Jewish boy Noah is obsessed with Caroline, he is in love with her and he is only 8.
The issues surrounding money bring out the most dynamic relationship. In stereotype, black people spend money and Jewish people save it.
Around money Caroline and Noah come together—both are steep in heritage and change. With money comes pride and around money they part ways—leaving both broken hearted.

The moment Caroline leaves by condemning young Noah it is the pinnacle of pride and judgment.

The story is OK, and it takes on important social issues—but what hits you in the gut is Kushner’s way of telling a story. Down south in the 1960’s social issues are hotter than hell and they are all in the family. In Caroline, or Change we see the family life as the force behind politics.

There is an interesting juxtaposition between the two families, Noah’s family and Caroline’s. Especially in their attitude towards violence at home and violence in the public sphere. Where at times the Jews promote public violence and condemn private violence towards family and visa versa.

Interesting contrast between the personal and the political , Caroline depicts the violence

Kushner doesn’t let the musical ever climax into a catharsis—like life the high drama seems never ending.

Thursday, October 16

New Program Untitled ( Portriat of Health)

Staring Dasha Polyakova and Jess Wood. Jess is a personal trainer and skin expert at a spa in Chicago. Dasha is a dancer and a sexual and relationship expert. Every-week they are tag teaming to bring you the best in skincare, makeup, fitness, food, health and sexual well being advice.

Please send Dasha and Jess your health-care and wellness questions.

Dr. Daniel S. Berger who is a primary care physician in Chicago will be answering any additional health questions.

Send questions to

This collection is Bananas-- Our Fashion Editor

Fashion Editor Obsession: Volume 1
Be still my freaking heart. This collection makes me want to cry…in a really-good way. D&G has managed to design a collection that would make me want to wake up every morning, just to get dressed. Can you say bow-tie? As my future boss Rachel Zoe would say, “I DIE--Brad, do you die?” And we all know his answer. Check it out. It’s Bananas…

-Ryan Beshel

Wednesday, October 15

post-debate inspiration


short list: edgar gonzalez

Scott Treleaven

Pansy Division

Stephen Lapthisophon

Jason Lazarus

Fringe of the Fringe

Outcasts to the outcast

Li Wei

Haunting memories

Ghosts of social justice (or lack thereof)

"Ghostly Matters" by Avery Gordon

Watchout! There's Ghosts

Purple Hearts

Edgar Gonzalez-Baeza

In welcoming our new editor of Art , Mr. Edgar Gonzalez-Baeza I am posting an incredible video from one of our favorite artists Latham Zearfoss. ENJOY! And more to come from Latham in the near future.

To Make, To Catch Up from Latham Owen Zearfoss on Vimeo.

Fall Program at Joffrey Ballet Opens Tonight!

Check out the new season at the Joffrey under new artistic direction of Ashley Wheater.

The evening program is Postcards, In The Night and the premiere of the Age of Innocence.

A nod to the late great Robert Joffrey and Gerald Alpino who is stepping down (sadly) from artistic director.

Choreography by Robert Joffrey
Music by Erik Satie
Postcards will be presented in honor of our co-founder, Robert Joffrey. This romantic piece was his last choreographed work for the company and is considered one of his best.

Did I mention. I am a MAC :) ( thank you steve jobs)

short list: gonia rejnowska

Our co-CEO Gonia is currently multitasking at least 4 tasks.

I asked her for a shortlist of what is on her mind at this moment:

JavaScript -
with a code
of music -
and chords
(my project -
apply tango music
to Nosferatu movie)
and macro economics
(and dance

(have you seen exhibition at MoCP?)

the chicago council on global affairs

Check out the lecture series on the credit crunch coming up:

With the Dow Jones plummeting to a new low for the first time since 2004, the Wall Street Crisis has entered a new phase, sending shockwaves across world markets with panic selling, credit tightening, and growing fear of a global recession. In the words of the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso “no country is immune from this crisis.” European banks have provided guarantees on bank deposits, financial and banking institutions have been nationalized, stock exchanges in Russia and Brazil have intermittently suspended trading in an effort to stem steep losses, and growth in emerging economies is now starting to trend significantly lower. United States legislators have approved a $700 billion rescue package and in a move of unprecedented scope, the world's major central banks lowered their benchmark interest rates in a coordinated fashion to restore global confidence and avoid further damage to the economy, but will this be enough?

nothing could be more important...

than to vote ( for obama).

The debates tonight promise too bring us more McCain uptight and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. I am not a Dr. but when McCain said "My fellow Prisoners" it seemed pretty clear to me that he needs therapy and hasn't faced all his demons.

Notice how McCains points to Obama and says ( with his stubby hands shoulder shrug) "uhh...that guy". McCain is still pissed at the world. There is so much pent up anger he can't even relax his shoulders.

There will be a follow up post by our political correspondent Madge Weinstein after tonights debates.

DO THE RIGHT THING. vote. (obama)

the credit crunch: captain meltdown

Over my captain crunch cereal this morning I couldn't help but thinking. Is the world ending? And than I went a head and had my normal cereal and soda.

But, what is happening in this economic downturn? How did we get here? I asked our resident expert and economist and blogger Robert Olson to give it to us in the easiest to swallow terms.

He choose to make the meltdown simple through this dialog:

Guy 1: “Hey guys, it seems house prices have been going up for a while. Let’s go buy something!”
Guy 2: “But we don’t have any money.”
Banker: “That’s alright, we’ll just won’t charge you any interest for the first year, then you can get a new loan and repay off the old one!”
Investor: “And I’ll buy that loan and add it to a bunch of others. Then I’ll go buy insurance from Goldman Sachs in case you don’t pay.”
Everyone: “Yay! Free money!”

One Year Later:
Guy 1: “Uhhh…I need a new loan”
Banker: “Sorry, the loan is worth less than the house. Prices went down. Can’t give you a new loan.”
Investor: “That’s alright, I still got my insurance!”
Goldman Sachs: “Uhh…I kinda sold that AIG…and he doesn’t know where he put that little contract…”
Everyone: “Where did all the money go…”

I hope this helps clear things up. More to come from Robert as he tracks the economic crisis 2008 and helps us all navigate these waters for the better.

Send any economic or financial questions to

Our other expert Elizabeth Schwarzkopf gives the smackdown on H's

Tuesday, October 14

short list: look and listen( in no order)

El Greco:
Assumption of the Virgin
Painting with a Green Center
City Landscape

Mi Tradi aria
Backwoods Barbie
Sugar in My Bowl
In the Dark
Domino Dancing

Final Trio

Humming electronics
procrastination "napping"

short list: ryan beshel



your shoes




saying less

doing more



all the details




finding it



Our Kingdom

Our Kingdom

When things seem unbareable I remember this--"Do the Dance"--life is not a battle.

In the poem by Mark Doty "Homo Will Not Inherit" the speaker faces his own spiritual crisis. He asks why god has forsaken him. The revelation comes when the speaker is "worshipping a while in his church"--while he is engaged sexually with an unknown stranger. The stranger replies "I’m going to punish your mouth."

The speaker of the poem says:

"I can’t tell you what that did to me.
My shame was redeemed then;
I won’t need to burn in the afterlife."

Before the first ever Queer Fest Midwest Art Exhibition in 2007 I met (again) Professor Robert Stiglicz who went by "Zack."

Professor Zack was drawing furiously in a stechpad from a series of paintings at the HIV clinic NorthStar. We talked and he told me he was creating a new body of work--a body of large and small paintings entirely dedicated to ghost bodies. He said he needed to get all the ghosts out from his past and into the world in paintings. Ghosts of the departed, via AIDS, cancer, accident, war, or an Unknown Scourge.

As Professor Zack put it the paintings were of "a random assortment of men (and women), whose spirits briefly touch, as they pass through some Ether of Being, The Bardo, Whatever"

Professor Zack was in the late stages of HIV/AIDS when I met him, he was sore, had arthritis, was losing his vision and would break out in sweats constantly.

In the basement of his small bungalow house he worked tirelessly to produce his last works. Hundreds of paintings lined the walls stacked up against each other. He was making 3 sometimes 4 paintings a day.

The Queer Fest Midwest lasted only a brief day, this is the only and last place these final paintings were show. He was so grateful get his work out there, to give himself up to the world. The fight as he saw it was over, "time to put down the gloves" he told me.

In Doty's poem the speaker gives up on the idea of eternity. This is the important lesson I have learned from my friends and peers with HIV/AIDS. When we stop trying to live forever we can truly begin to live.

Queer Fest lasted only one night. It was a one night stand of emotions, excitement, rage and, lastly, grief. I wished it could stay, we all did. I lost two friends who helped me put on the one night exhibition.

My friend Gilana Alpert who died an untimely and unexpected death by slipping and hitting her head. Also, Professor Zack Stiglicz, who passed away from an HIV related illness shortly after the exhibition. What they say--Ars Long, Vita Brievis--is wrong. Life is Brief, but so is art. Queer Fest is just a shadowy memory. It is another ghost from Professor Zacks paintings.

I honor and dedicate myself to the ephemeral, because everything in life is passing and that is all we have. When I asked professor Zack why he kept painting even when he was suffering, sweating, and losing his vision he simply said "I want to Live."

There is the truth: even when there are more wounds than skin, more delusion than thinking, and all is pain, we must put down the gloves and stop fighting, and, because life is still splendid, we must "Do The Dance."

When things seem unbareable I remember this--"Do the Dance"--life is not a battle. Life is an emphemeral dance, the dancer passes and other people pick up the moves, beauty never passes into nothingness.

-Justin Polera

Monday, October 13

short list: a short definition

everyday we will publish a list of fifty items or fewer. each contributor or reader can submit a list. we will short list, movies, magazines, books, music, ideas, people, places and things, plays, handbags, shoes, dresses , leather, cars, principles, habits, values, green innovations , inventions, technology, our world.

please send us your shortlist to

thank you

Short listed: ian le

Old Artists (get better as they age)
Young Artists (best when they are young)

Elder Photographers (live a long time (longer than most)
Observers ( really live )
Eye Witness
Asking Questions


paul krugman won the nobel prize, long live global trade

One of the most interesting and exciting economist working today (and a personal hero) Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel prize.

His work points to the future of the globalization and to the idea of the "Endless City" as more than 70% of the world is now moving to urban areas.

His work in patterns of trade and location and the effects of free trade and globalization. Paul Krugman formulated a new theory to answer these questions. He integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography.

Krugman's approach is based on the premise that many goods and services can be produced more cheaply in long series, a concept generally known as economies of scale.

The new theory clarifies why worldwide trade is in fact dominated by countries which not only have similar conditions, but also trade in similar products – for instance, a country such as Sweden that both exports and imports cars. This kind of trade enables specialization and large-scale production, which result in lower prices and a greater diversity of commodities.

Krugman's theories have shown that the outcome of these processes can well be that regions become divided into a high-technology urbanized core and a less developed "periphery".

Sunday, October 12

the list: from justin

Art Now
Antique America
Clean, Cleaning, Cleaner
Time goes by
Karita Mattila
Wendy and Lucy
The Alcholic
Friday Night

Short list: madge weinstein

Amy Winehouse,
Britney Spears,
Perfectly Normal,
Pig Guts with Yeast,
Podcasts, Prolapse,
Robert Scoble,
ate up with dumb,
blood fart,
clean blood,
election 2008,
get f@$ked,
ipod touch,
me and them girls,
sarah palin,
sit and bitch,
ugly people talk to me more than i talk to them,
yeast nation


Issues Surrounding Encounters with Undetectable HIV-Positive Men

By Daniel S. Berger MD

Sexually active HIV-positive individuals are better off undergoing treatment to suppress virus and reduce transmission within our community. Since there’s the prevalence of resistant virus, individuals that have persistent viremia, should be on therapy that is truly effective. Many new class antiviral drugs are available and can suppress HIV, even in patients who have “triple class resistance.” Also patients that are on these new drugs, should be responsible enough to take their medications so as not to spread or transmit more resistant viruses.

Although HIV transmission has been curtailed among individuals who are undetectable and barebacking (unprotected sex) may be considered safe in some situations, there is still the prevalence of Hepatitis C, syphilis and resistant staph infection. SSF is common and more the rule than the exception. On the other hand, HIV-positive persons in stable relationships with HIV-negatives, or individuals who understand the importance of adherence to HIV treatment while getting frequent STD (sexually transmitted disease) screening may provide effective harm reduction. Still, condoms should always be considered when sexually interacting with unknown partners.

-Dr. Daniel Berger is a leading HIV specialist in the U.S. and is assistant professor of medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago and medical director and founder of Northstar Medical Center.

Update from local EPA and Student Enviromental Association

Legislative Update:

Electronic Waste Bill is Signed into Law!

As many of you already know from my travels around to your group meetings,
the E-Waste bill has now been signed into law. For those of you who may
not have heard yet, this is a huge victory for Illinois, and one that ISEC
students played a significant role in securing. Here's the story:

Electronic waste (E-Waste) is the fastest growing component of the solid
waste stream as people look to dispose of their computers, printers,
televisions and other electronics equipment. Most of it winds up in
landfills, where toxic parts of the electronics equipment can leach and
contaminate drinking water supplies.

37 images of one horrible disease:WDR- Tuberculosis

XDR-TB, or extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis, is a new and deadly mutation of tuberculosis. This is a vital story that the world needs to know about, if we are to stop this disease in its tracks.

American democracy is campaiging door to door

This may sound like a cliche, but you can't understand American
democracy until you've campaigned door to door. The people we spoke
with were polite, thoughtful, concerned. Their views were much more
subtle and varied than one might gather from reading mainstream media.


Part III:

Most people were waiting for the bus to Iowa, which was,
unsurprisingly, late. I ended up getting a ride from a wonderful
woman, Birch, a former economist at the Federal Reserve and also a
former schoolteacher who was driving over. The Iowa office was
buzzing with energy. It was one of the most vibrant places I've seen
in recent memory, with handmade signs, posters, maps and newspaper
clippings on the wall.

It was moving to see all the volunteers--people of shapes and sizes,
from different walks of life. The diversity was surprising given that
we were in Iowa. The leaders of the training session were
enthusiastic, they got everyone revved up. We all received a packet
of our assignments, campaign literature and voting forms to
distribute, and directions on how to talk to people.

Governor Tom Vilsack made a surprise appearance and told a moving
story about calling to console a woman with two young children whose
husband had died in Iraq. Her husband was the main breadwinner in the
household, and Vilsack said he didn't know what to say to her. She
told him, "I'm sure that those men needed my husband more at that
moment than I will for the rest of my life." It was a beautiful story
about the bravery of ordinary people.

This may sound like a cliche, but you can't understand American
democracy until you've campaigned door to door. The people we spoke
with were polite, thoughtful, concerned. Their views were much more
subtle and varied than one might gather from reading mainstream media.
The McCain supporters we talked with were mostly kind and gracious.
People occasionally opened up, and their stories--of owning small
businesses, of raising children, of living in poverty, of remodeling
their homes, of doing volunteer work with the mentally ill or elderly,
of serving in the military--showed one the diversity of American life.

The afternoon was exhausting, but also deeply gratifying. The heart
of democracy lies in these person-to-person exchanges. One felt that
one was a small part of some glacial sea of change, a conversation, a
drawing of people into the political process, a building of consensus,
something that would last beyond one election. I encourage anyone
with the time to give it a shot.

-Ian Le


Part II

My friend Andrew called me up 8:30 pm Friday and asked me to come with
him to Iowa at 7 am the next day. I agreed reluctantly. My only
previous involvement in the campaign had been visiting a friend in
Princeton who was working for Obama and trying out the button machine.
My impression from that experience was that political organizing is a
fundamentally chaotic affair, which is to be expected from a
decentralized operation that really only becomes active every four
years and is run mostly by volunteers, many of whom don't lead, run or
organize in their regular jobs. Without institutional memory, it
seems that each office has to reinvent the wheel, and that large
chunks of time are spent on logistics and trouble-shooting. For me,
"grass-roots" had been a euphemism for ad hoc, do-it-yourself, thrown

But that judgment does a disservice to the passion that underlies the
enterprise. As volunteers gathered outside the Evanston Obama office
(which has a banner outside that reads "Evanston Ba-rocks for Obama),
some people passed around a recent article in the New Yorker endorsing

It is one of the most thoughtful, fair, well-argued endorsements that I've read.

-Ian Le


Obama campaign in Davenport
by Ian Le

Part I

Yesterday I went to Davenport, Iowa to campaign for Barack Obama. I
did this with great reluctance. I usually watch politics from afar.
I find too much of the political commentary in the media to be focused
on passing stories whose significance is overblown.

Rather than analysis, we get stories about personality,
he-said/she-said gossip, tactical maneuvers, and premature predictions
which are more often than not wrong. When there's no news, the media
makes news. Thoreau, in this as in many other things, had it right:

All this is fed by a desire to understand (and therefore to create the
illusion that we can control) the complex, bewildering world around
us. We fabricate stories to make sense of the chaos that is
life--this is the same impulse that lies behind the creation of art.
And the best art, rather than being reductionistic, takes a broad
worldview that embraces reality's complexities and contradictions.

One should take a similarly supple view of history--it is not the
history of great men, of politics and power or of dramatic events.
The story of human progress is glacial; elections aren't determined by
scandals so much as webs of unseen powers and forces that we can't
immediately comprehend.

It is for that reason that I shy away from any involvement with
politics, which I believe can distract us from the issues of living
that are timeless--love, death, reverence, ethics. I consider my
civic obligations to be to vote, to discuss my views with others, and,
most importantly, to live my life as an expression of my values.

I went to Iowa mostly to see what it would be like to campaign, to
canvas door to door. I did it more out of sociological curiosity than
political passion. And I have to admit I was surprised by the

-Ian Le

A veiw of the Earth

What Happened? The World after the financial Binge. Green Revolution

Broadly speaking, globalization entered a new faster more ramped up phase after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The world economy opened up and the roughly 1 Billion actors in the financial systems in Europe and American tripled with the entrance of Russia, India, China, and Brazil. These new players know tenderly as BRIC smashed open the doors of the financial systems the world over. Breaking open the doors was akin to opening the flood gates and massive amounts of wealth followed. China and India excellerated global trading and unleash a freedom revolution.

The price of labor was forced down as billions of global workers entered the labor market and for a while from 90-2005 it seemed like "Inflation" was over.

Flash forward and history is repeating itself. All productivity surges in the past including the first internet boom end in revolution. This revolution is an green revolution battled by world economies over the energy crisis.

Thomas Friedman's new book Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why we need a green revolution and how it can renew America is a road map to the future. America will become increasing less important in the world, but mother nature will be front and center.

“Mother Nature is just chemistry, biology and physics. That’s all she is.” You cannot spin Mother Nature. You cannot bribe Mother Nature. You cannot sweet talk her, and you cannot ignore her.

Saturday, October 11

A quick guide to the museum, understanding abstract painting by Rothko and Kandinsky

The story goes that American painter famous for large scale highly charged emotional color field paintings, Mark Rothko was influences into emotional abstraction through discovering Wasily Kandinsky. Kandinsky was a Russian painter, poet thinker who imbued his love of music and color into abstract paintings of powerful composition. In this brief tour of the work of these two abstract painters we track how they developed, came of age and finally found their voice as mature artists. Interesting to note, they both had a similar style when they were young. Look carefully at the early work and you may be surprised at how they were on the same course even at a young age.