Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Architecture of Dreams.

Museum of Modern Art / Feb.05 / New York City, NY / Nikon Coolpix 5700

Architects can be so arrogant. Including my so-called self. I mean you can say all you want about Disney and its Architecture.

- Oh this is so Disney Land you say whenever you want to critique, and reference to an eclectic object of Design bordering the cliché – or beyond.

Who are you?
Give the guy a break; you practically grew up watching what he did and created for you. All he cared about was to build an empire for you; a palette of dreams and hopes for you to dip your brush of being in.

I am not asking you to accept his architectural taste, and to promote it; far from that.
All I’m saying is that you could shut up about it already.

Come your children, what do you think they are going to watch?
You didn’t even bring yourself to go see “my architect”. And this is a movie about Louis Kahn, one the Great Ones you highly respect.

What do you think they are going to like?
Do you think they’re going to ask you to take them to the MoMA, or to Disneyland?

Shut up already!

Get your ass off the couch and do something useful for humanity. Let your work be criticized.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Bitch Please!

There is a woman that rides the same bus I take to and from work everyday, that drives me nuts. If you knew me in person, you would know that I usually have high tolerance for breathing life around me, especially human beings, but she just hits me on THAT nerve.

As much as possible, and whenever I can, I always try to circulate towards the back of the bus, where it is always more spacious, and where there is a better chance at finding seats. Many of you do the same I presume. And when the bus is fully crowded, you just find a decent spot in which you stand and hang on to something, and wait for the bus to halt so you can try to proceed towards the back.

She, on the other hand, needs to find a seat no matter what. No matter how crowded the bus is, she straddles, shoves, and crams, trying to find her way towards the back, sniffing for an empty seat, while uttering her uber annoying trademark: excusez, excusez (excuse me, in French), which when she pronounces it, comes out as sssscussez, sssscussez.
AAAAH, she just kills me!

I even had an altercation with her once: the bus was so full on that day, that it seemed that it was going to spit passengers out on every corner. I hardly had one inch to move, and unmistakably, in she comes – ssscussez, ssscussez – forcing her way in, and pushing people out of her way, and you could tell that passengers were annoyed. When she got to my spot, I refused to move. In fact I held on as tight as I could in order not to let her through…
She looks at me… ssscussez…

- There is nowhere I can go ma’am, and there is nowhere you could go. Look at the bus! Stay here and we’ll move on the next station.
- Ssscusssez…
- Ma’am, there is nowhere to go. I am not moving, if you want to move to the back, you have to climb on me.

And I promise you, climb on me she did!!! Ssscusssez.

Today, it happened that she was at the same stop I was waiting at. She was late, and I saw her running from afar as the bus came to a stop in front of me. I swear to you she tried to come in before me despite the fact that I was waiting there long before her. I walked in to the middle of the cart, and she made her way in ssscussez towards me. There was nowhere to sit. She pushed me out of her way, and went towards the back only to find that there was no seating. You could read disappointment in her eyes as she exhaled. Her eyes met mine… she remembered me… I gave her the look.
Then suddenly, and as if to prove that there is a God, the seat right in front of me emptied, I looked at her, she was ready to move in. I calmly looked at her, rotated 180 degrees, looked at her again, smiled, and sat. I opened my book, crossed my legs, gave her another look, and let out the biggest exhale ever registered on this planet.

She looked at me furiously, and ssscusssez ssscusssez, she left the bus.

O Sweet and Divine Vengeance!!!!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Recycle your Gum.

Here's a superb invention to be added to our library of ideas, in our ongoing struggle to save our fragile blue planet.
From now on, and thanks to designer Anna Bullus, we will not have chewing gum stick to our shoes anymore. She created a new biodegradable material she developed made from sterilized used chewing gum and bio resin.
The Gumnetic: Bubble Gum Bin, in the shape of a bubble, can plug to any urban furniture and will hopefully keep chewing gum litter from our sidewalks and shoes.
When the bin is full, the entire container is recycled to make even more bins.

So next time your gum looses its sugary taste and pop, don’t just throw it away! Recycle it!

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Happy Birthday.

His birthday occurs three weeks after hers.

Before they had even celebrated her birthday, she was planning his.
Is there bigger love?

She doesn’t give a flying f. about the day she was born on; she cares only for his existence.
There is no bigger love.

And he loves every breath she takes.

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les poupées russes_

"poutine québecoise" / June 2007/ Montréal, Québec / Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi

Katyusha - Russian Folk

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

on shopping.

For me, shopping is like masturbating in public. There is a feeling of exposure and, at the same time, depersonalization: you watch yourself finger a polo shirt, or inspect a cuff with the sort of creeping existential dread normally reserved for the characters in a Sartre play.

-- Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek (1998).

I think it's a little bit of an uncomfortable space, which I like. It's probably a good thing that the store makes you self-aware and self-conscious - a clothing store, a shoe store - because in part you're scrutinizing your identity.

-- Store designer, Rafael de Cárdenas.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Building Memories.

If you were convinced, and surely you were going to go... to depart, what would be your last words to your love?
Would they be “I love you” or “don’t forget me’?

Selfishly I think, I would choose the later.

She knows that I love her, she can read it in my eyes, but I want to make sure that she will never forget us.

All we have left are memories.
Promises yes, and hopes sure! But the only element that remained true, constant, and kept on building throughout the years, is memory.

You don’t want to lose that.

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my sky.

__________________________________the flâneur [a trip with emily]

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Destabilizing Nature

Sept.2007 / Mont Ste Hilaire, Qc / Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wake up Call.

The following picture deals with mature subject matter and contains scenes of nudity and coarse language. Viewer discretion is advised.

Ladies and Gentlemen... Maroon 5!

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Justified Paranoia?

I live in one of the many colorful neighborhoods of Montreal. From on my tiny balcony overlooking the street, I can witness a whole palette of ethnicities meander by the lenses of my camera.
Despite the fact that every Sunday the neighborhood transforms into little Manila, I think that the Jewish community is still predominant in the area.

Every year the JCC (Jewish Community Center) undergoes some sort of renovation or innovation even; and this year is no different; they will be working on adding an extra building to their school. They will remove parking space and relocate kid’s playground, to make way for new architecture.

It just so happens that the firm I work for, got the commission to work on this ambitious project. Out of convenience (since I live close to the site), my boss approached me and asked if I could pass by the JCC and take photos of the existing condition; a normal and habitual procedure before embarking on the design, so we know our way around the site.
- _z, would you be able to pass by the JCC tomorrow to take some pictures?
[a moment of silence]
- I would… except you don’t want that; I am Lebanese. (I said with a smile)
- So What?
- You don’t seem to understand. The JCC is under surveillance most of the time, and there are police cars patrolling the area around the clock.
- It’s true I didn’t think that way.
- It’s just that they are going to ask so many questions, and being Lebanese will most probably complicate things.
- Give them your business card, and you’ll be fine!
- Hahahaha, you think?
- Okay! I’ll ask M-E to go.
A few minutes after this conversation was over, I felt like shit. This wasn’t like me. I never thought this way before. I have always tried to evade prejudice and classification, and more so, I never was afraid of anyone. Something stung me that day, and made me decide to see race and religion.

Nothing will ever be right, as long as humanity is still plunged in this mechanism of hypnotic paranoia. I also fell in her trap. I am stupid.

A day goes by, M-E comes back from photo day, her face black with anger. A. had gone with her. He is going to be working on the project also, and might as well visit the grounds; his tagging along had proven to be an excellent move. Upon arrival, the guard intercepted their work. He forbade them to take further pictures.
He never addressed a single glance at M-E.
She spoke; he pretended she is not in his realm.

When they told the story, we all laughed, and started picturing what would have happened, if I had accepted the task.

The first layer of the story details, how my Paranoia was justified, and how I had the right to have been skeptical and hesitant.

The second layer tells a different story: Any “center” or institution, would have asked questions if approached with a camera lens.
It is even imperative in times like this.
So why am I telling the story to begin with. Why am I writing this?
Forget about the part of the guard not looking at M-E… that’s fanaticism. I despise fanaticism in any shape and form, so that’s not the issue.

Why am I telling the story this way? Why am I presenting it like that?

Here’s what I think about differences:
At first level, there is no fear.
We have personal friendships.
When it groups to a big number, it gets a bit weird.
At the level of communities, the “malaise” occurs.

So it’s all a matter of scale really.
And maybe, just maybe… my paranoia was justified after all.

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