Saturday, August 29, 2009

Aiport collages

Sally and I recently made some tiny collages canvases and tried our hands at a collaborative art piece. Participants sent a few dollars in the mail to 'The Canvas Project' at the Atlanta Airport, and we received five tiny 2" by 2" canvases in the mail, and five random words chosen by the participants. We then made the canvases as inspired by those words, and the one that we made to the title of 'pilgrimage' made it up on the wall of the airport. It's not our favorite of the set we made, but it is very cool to see such a collaborative project take flight... get it? Airport art? Please, hold your applause.
Our canvas is among these, third row down, fourth from the left. But it's not really about us, it's about the collective appearance, and there are certainly a lot of canvases on display!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Book Lists

Because I love lists, I can tell you how many novels or long books I've read since the beginning of 2007. This doesn't count short stories, magazines, books that I only read half of and got bored, books that I read half of for a research project, or assorted other forgotten things, but perhaps it illuminates something about my personal tastes, and perhaps you might be inspired to pick one up off the shelf and give it a go.

I don't really know if there's a national average of novels read per year–this Washington Post article two years ago states that most people read four books per year, and 25% of Americans read no books in the last year. Pathetic! A national average is a pretty sticky situation: I wonder if it would have to be based on only particular regions of the United States, or weighted between areas of high literacy/affluence vs. illiteracy/poverty, and then also skewed the other end by ravenous sci-fi and romance novel fans. (Are comic books counted? What about average page length? Density of the topic at hand?...Does Playboy count?)

I'm never not reading a book, it just takes me a while to go through them. Then again, it also seems that I read just over one novel a month, which seems like a pretty good rate! I also realized that I've read most of them on various forms of mass transit, which makes me think, gosh, I've spent a lot of my life in moving trains and buses, thank goodness I can occupy myself somehow.

Here are the lists, averaging (at my current rate) just over 14 books per year! Not too shabby.

Assuming the Position: Rick Whitacre
The Final Solution: Michael Chabon
The Road: Cormack McCarthey
The Year of Magical Thinking: Joan Didion
Possible Side Effects: Augusten Burroughs
Sellevision: Augusten Burroughs
A Year in the Merde: Stephen Clarke
Einstein's Dreams: Alan Lightman
Buddha (Graphic Novels I and II, by Osamu Tezuka)
How to Be Good: Nick Hornby
Mysteries of Pittsburgh (again!) Michael Chabon
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Jonathan Safran Foer
The Beautiful Room is Empty: Edmund White
Yellow Heart: Poems by Pablo Neruda
Noone Belongs Here More than You: Miranda July
The World Without Us: Alan Weisman
The Rest is Noise: Alex Ross
Arvo Pärt: Paul Hillier

Andrea Zittel, Critical Space: Andrea Zittel
Invisible Cities: Italo Calvino
Winter Music: John Luther Adams
The Courage to Create: Rollo May
Independent People: Halldór Laxness
Thinking with Type: Ellen Lupton
John Cage: John Cage
Selections from "IV": Chuck Klosterman
An Introduction: Jay Wiseman
Endless Love: Scott Spencer
What to Listen For in Music: Aaron Copland
This is Your Brain on Music: Daniel Levitin
When You Are Engulfed in Flames: David Sedaris

2009 (So Far)
Musicophilia: Oliver Sacks
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (again): Stephen Cbosky
The Sparrow: JT Clement
A Model World, and Other Stories: Michael Chabon
Choir Boy: Charlie Anders
East Wind Melts the Ice: Liza Dalby
Vanished Smile, the Theft of the Mona Lisa: R.A. Scott
The Place Where You Go to Listen: John Luther Adams

currently: The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet: Reif Larson.