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Entry no.: 1364
29 Sep 2014, 10:31 AM
When the stuff you're counting it's years, it seems particularly difficult to pass over ten. You might unconsciously hit a wall at ten and just sit there for a while. Oblivious.
I thought this blog turns ten today—but no, that happened last year and I apparently erased it from my mind—today this blog is 11 years old.
Entry no.: 1339
16 Sep 2013, 11:34 AM
Having a bunch of cats around is good. If you're feeling bad, you just look at the cats, you'll feel better, because they know that everything is, just as it is. There's nothing to get excited about. They just know. They're saviors. The more cats you have, the longer you live. If you have a hundred cats, you'll live ten times longer than if you have ten. Someday this will be discovered, and people will have a thousand cats and live forever. It's truly ridiculous.
Cat eyes time machine.
Entry no.: 1336
26 Aug 2013, 11:51 AM
"It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness and of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature, and everlasting beauty of monotony."
—Benjamin Britten on music.
It applies to many other things.
Entry no.: 1316
28 Jan 2013, 12:00 AM
Entry no.: 1310
13 Nov 2012, 10:13 AM
The estrangement, the strong dark shadows and the surreal 23-letter sign—where is De Chirico when you need him? After jumpstarting the "illusionist" surrealism for Dali, Ernst, Tanguy and Magritte with his oneiric pittura metafisica, De Chirico suddenly went batshit crazy at 30, pretending he's a Titian-league classicist. He was very far from it, but believed he got better as he got older.
Aren't we all?
Entry no.: 1308
30 Oct 2012, 6:08 PM
Entry no.: 1299
23 Aug 2012, 10:56 AM
Entry no.: 1291
21 May 2012, 9:50 AM
"The future is already here," says Mr. Gibson, "it's just not very evenly distributed." Pure brilliance, of course, but reverse-engineer it and this holds equally true when observing the past: spotty and unevenly mapped, yet very much still here, solidified into time-glaciers receded into the crevices of Hong Kong like some sort of time-fjords of past one can navigate equipped with only a good pair of sneakers as a powerful time machine.
Entry no.: 1290
7 May 2012, 9:41 AM
There are the 12 usual signs of the zodiac, of course—Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and, finally, Pisces—and little did I know about the other, hidden signs. The incomprehensible, mysterious ones, carried by chosen people living eternal lives in the oldest cities of the world.
Then, one day, I met a man born under the sign of The Dark Side of the Moon.
Entry no.: 1279
31 Jan 2012, 10:02 PM
Digitally speaking—if you'll excuse my lexical cruelty—in a world of app stores and game console wars, of crashing satellites and getting photos sent directly from Mars to your phone, of hysterical Facebook addiction and Twitter lunch menu broadcasts, this kid is Mowgli.
Entry no.: 1276
15 Dec 2011, 9:55 AM
Get ready, we're leaving at midnight, controls are set to years and years ago. We'll fire up the neons in the dark to lure regrets closer and hunt the brightest, most beautiful ones with iron harpoons. Drag them ashore back to the present and kill them with knives. We'll sell their skins to the best listener.
Entry no.: 1275
4 Dec 2011, 2:32 PM
I am fascinated by those lonely men taking care, without any help from anyone else, of the remote places where this world ends and the other world begins. Half guardians, half stalkers, priest-thieves of the Zone1 where strange happenings occur, they'll watch but won't tell when you pass by that you're a mere mortal in the land of inexplicable.
1 I'm talking about Strugatsky brothers' Roadside Picnic and Tarkovsky's Stalker.
Entry no.: 1274
27 Nov 2011, 2:20 PM
Entry no.: 1266
3 Oct 2011, 10:11 AM
There are 66 books in the Bible—editor needed. 66 is a sphenic number, a triangular number, a hexagonal number, and a semi-meandric number—obviously. The atomic number of dysprosium is 66, if you love lanthanides—I adore lanthanides. The international dialing code for Thailand is 66—hi there, Bradut! In his Sonnet 66 Shakespeare criticizes three things: general unfairness of life—check, societal immorality—check, and oppressive government—crummy not oppressive, Mr. Shakespeare. Just crummy.
Entry no.: 1261
12 Sep 2011, 1:05 PM
Regret is like the view from under the brim of a stylish hat that fits perfectly: picture it like a voluptuous slow scene from a Wong Kar-wei movie, barely spoken—in Cantonese with English subtitles.
Regret is like an old rock ballad's vinyl release—and I'm talking about that very rare Japanese mono edition—, like that black and white photograph with a lost man and a lost cat in a big city, or the thought about those first notes of autumn scent detectable in the evening air.
Regret takes years of careful preparations and should never be left to amateurs.
Entry no.: 1259
7 Sep 2011, 11:30 AM
There must be some sort of self-destructive mechanism buried in the minds of men, linking this subtly bizarro shop window in central Bucharest with Charles Bukowski's — probably inebriated — words:
the thought has occurred to millions of men
the removal of life might be preferred to
the removal of hair
But then again, Bukowski died of leukemia.
Entry no.: 1202
26 Jan 2011, 8:49 AM
Wikipedia entry on Edgar Allan Poe's poem:
The narrator reasons that the bird learned the word ”Nevermore” from some ”unhappy master” and that it is the only word it knows.
On the other hand(mythology),
In the Talmud, the raven is described as having been only one of three beings on Noah's Ark that copulated during the flood and so was punished.
Ok. Well, I'm asking: could that "unhappy master" been old Noah? Just asking.
Entry no.: 1193
11 Dec 2010, 7:43 PM
Entry no.: 1190
3 Dec 2010, 1:20 PM
Entry no.: 1142
28 Aug 2010, 2:58 PM
I found the title in a Leonard Cohen's novel from 1966. Here is the paragraph—you'll see why it stuck.
The telephones kept their steady black, the one stable shape in the shifting gloom. They hung there like carved masks, black, gleaming, smooth as the toes of kissed stone R.C. saints. We were sucking each other's fingers, slightly frightened now, like children pulling at lollipops during the car chase. And then one of the telephones rang! It rang just once. I am always startled when a pay phone rings. It is so imperial and forlorn, like the best poem of a minor poet, like King Michael saying goodbye to Communist Romania, like a message in a floating bottle which begins: If anyone finds this, know that —
—Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers.
Entry no.: 1139
21 Aug 2010, 2:32 PM
You might also want to take a look at the previous episode from the "Metropolis features special effects and set designs that still impress modern audiences" series.
Entry no.: 1056
14 Apr 2010, 10:07 AM
Old habits die hard in Transylvania — and that should be taken kinda fucking literally. Exactly. So, please bear with this OCD urge we cannot resist: impaling somebody (or at least something) once in a while. No big deal — and respecting tradition is a beautiful thing. Besides, you do not want to mess with us.
Entry no.: 1036
29 Mar 2010, 11:34 AM
I think Cosmin Bumbuț first talked to me about this project—an art photography magazine—long ago, but then, during our February and March meetings this year he seem determined to really pull it off.
But that wasn't the first chapter of the project though, because Punctum1 started as an internet forum five years ago. After the forum's demise, from November 2006 until July 2007 Punctum resurfaced as an on-line magazine. It was discontinued after 3 issues.
Now Punctum starts again—in a new league this time—as a printed trimestrial magazine with an initial print run of 2000. Its focus will be on photography as an art, featuring photography work and artist portfolios while avoiding the technical and hardware sides. A significant detail: the magazine's policy specifies that all contributions will be paid.
With editor Cosmin Bumbuţ bringing aboard collaborators like Alex Gâlmeanu, Voicu Bojan, Gicu Şerban and Elena Stancu, the magazine has enough endorsement to hit the ground running. Young publishing designer Raymond Bobar takes care of Punctum's layout.
In the first issue: photographers Hajdu Tamás, Alexandru Tomescu, Ikuru Kuwajima, Brooks Jensen and an article on Carol Szathmari by Alex Gâlmeanu.
In stores from November 30. Godspeed!
1 In his 1980 book Camera Lucida, the French literary critic Roland Barthes develops the twin concepts of studium and punctum: studium denoting the cultural, linguistic, and political interpretation of a photograph, punctum denoting the wounding, personally touching detail which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. —From Camera Lucida entry on Wikipedia.
Entry no.: 895
13 Nov 2009, 8:45 AM
Entry no.: 888
7 Nov 2009, 12:33 PM
Entry no.: 872
28 Oct 2009, 11:18 AM
Entry no.: 867
26 Oct 2009, 2:30 PM
She is Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, the director is Ridley Scott. An atrocious alien creature is following them from the surrounding darkness, ruthless and inhuman... Will they survive?
See also: This day so sweet will never come again., the disturbing opening sequence from "War of the Worlds"—don't look if you're squeamish!
Entry no.: 860
19 Oct 2009, 10:58 AM
Entry no.: 857
16 Oct 2009, 10:03 AM
Entry no.: 848
8 Oct 2009, 12:41 PM
Entry no.: 800
24 Aug 2009, 11:39 AM
Men theorized for a long time about women's cloaking ability that gives them the superpower to suddenly disappear in thin air (often together with valuable possessions or large amounts of money) and/or to dematerialize and wormhole between widely separated regions of space-time. Here's—finally—the proof as captured by our investigators. Research continues.
Note: Blog entry № 800.
Entry no.: 729
4 Mar 2009, 8:07 AM
Not a sound, not a step, not a soul on the streets. Silence: the sound of extinction. Everything stands idle, abandoned. Monstrously overgrown weeds seizing hold of the deserted buildings. The drama is completely quiet—and unspeakable.
I am the only one left, the only survivor and I'll be posting this to my blog.
Do not attempt a rescue.
I repeat: do not rescue me from this dead Bucharest. Because I like it.
Entry no.: 718
15 Feb 2009, 2:12 PM
Right in the middle of the alley—one of those aseptic Singapore back alleys—this gaunt old man was dozing in a wheelchair, feet down on the ground and looking rather comfortable. Maybe the chair was not his, then again, maybe it was. Silence so deep I could hear the doves behind him stepping quickly on the asphalt—also he could hear me sneaking closer.
I could only take one picture before he opened his eyes, looking at me without the slightest move.
Hands down, I bowed my head toward him, in a sudden sense of gratitude, apology and obligation.
With the understated grace of a reigning prince he acknowledged my deference with a nod and a slow blink, then—almost dismissively—he closed his eyes again. I immediately left, careful not to break the silence. I left him with the doves, on that patch of indecipherable serenity.
This is the picture I took.
Entry no.: 545
19 Aug 2008, 12:38 AM
It takes a while to get used to a film camera again after 6 years of shooting digital and digital only. Forget for a second how delicate film is—a blink of clumsiness—and it turns into a wreck in your hands. But then again. Even heavily damaged film has lots of character and style.
See? Light leaks on film. Love'em. Love'em!
Entry no.: 476
28 Apr 2008, 1:17 PM
As a hopeless office inmate, I often fancy the idea of working in a public space—a nice café like Cafe Wintergarten at Literaturhaus1 in Berlin—but I never actually try doing it. I wonder whether its mild noise of dishes and chatter would inspire or rather distract.
Moreover, I just learned that my preferred café in Bucharest, Crem Cafe Royale, has been acquired by a local restaurant chain and will be murdered in order to make room for another mediocre luncheonette with greasy spoons.
While passing by it, I'll murmur —The price of progress!, and I'll keep looking the other way.
1 Right across the street from the Leica Store—even looking through its window inflicts serious damages to a bank account.
A river or a lake on a windy day—water with small waves.
A building reflecting in the river/lake, that is. More lines in the architecture, more intricate the texture. A sunny day helps.
Shoot that building's reflection in water. Play with the picture, change the colors, get crazy if you feel the urge.
Entry no.: 429
5 Feb 2008, 1:10 PM
While playing with the pictures above (large on black here and here), I thought about writing something about the melding past and future, about time stretching like a grotesque accordion, freaking enormous and grossly out of tune.
Until I saw the glistering white tops. One in the painting and one in the picture. I stopped in bewilderment, trying to get my mind around this like when you bite off more than you can chew—choking, unable to move jaw, unable to spit all out.
I shot these pictures thousands of kilometers and a couple of years apart. Fucking long accordion!
My friend Bogdan Dumitrache showed me an impressive "Henri Cartier-Bresson visits Romania"1 photo retrospective right off his iPhone yesterday—a fine opportunity to drift into a rather lengthy discussion about Leica rangefinders (Bogdan collects Leicas, affectionately naming them "musical sculptures").
That's why today I find appropriate to post a photo of Prizzi posing with/in homage to Cartier-Bresson's Manhattan shot from his 19472 American series, a work that I love and I was lucky enough to see in Amsterdam a couple of years ago.
1 I wrote about his 1975 visit to Romania a while back.
2 The year when together with his friend and colleague Robert Capa and David Seymour, Henri Cartier-Bresson founded Magnum Photos agency.
I walk through the narrow underpass of an unfamiliar town—uncomplicated people hurry to attend their first lives1—when it bursts out with overwhelming clarity: the watercolor beauty of the real world.
1 "First Life is a 3D analog world where server lag does not exist." Darren Barefoot, Vancouver web geek, getafirstlife.com.
A voicelessly despaired brass robot head, all beaten up, scratched and dented—look closely and you'll notice those tears. Heartbreaking.
A take on that Faces in Places mildly delusional idea.
Update: Yes, it made it to the Faces in Places blog!
Later update: The picture, it seems, has been published in Scotsman Magazine.
Listen, if The Sartorialist guy can do it, then I can, too: real-life style photography. Staggering findings of urban sophistication. Elegance. Panache. Hell, why not even style commentary—if I want to.
Now really. Look at this: les annees folles of transition economy, wild parties and champagne in the morning—a few sips too many—and she hits the street dressed with a sofa cover, prettified with an assemblage of lovely fluffy tassels dangling limp like a strangled family of little forrest animals.
Quite a warning. There are things going on underneath, mysterious things. Ambiguous and intriguing things. Artifacts obliviously hanging out, probably by design—post-modernly quoting the misfortunes of wardrobe malfunction. Design should be, though, because those flowery baits will shrewdly entice your hungry eye—like a stupid little puppy—toward the vicious curves concealed underneath like boas in the jungle, unmerciful and relentless.
And then, the finishing BDSM touch: cheeky not-so-tiny golden hand-cuffs, sprinkled with blinding Swarovski crystals, teasingly barring the way to the vast carnal temptations sequestered underneath. Do sailors blush?
"Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idealized it all out of proportion." Then, he stops, corrects himself, substitutes "romanticized" for "idealized," and continues, "To him no matter what the season, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin."1
Just messing with you, really—this is Bucharest, can you believe it?
1 Henry Jenkins, Tales of Manhattan: Mapping the urban imagination through Hollywood film.
There are situations when dogs are much more delicate and well mannered than humans—the totally wrong situation, usually. For instance, this civilized and respectable dog awaited for a menu with patience, even if he was the only customer sitting at a terrace table while the waiters ignored him repeatedly.
I wish he chased the monkey suits around a little bit, challenge the food chain. Get some respect. Put an end to this discrimination where every crassly ill-bred barbarian dressed with embroidered jeans like a bankrupt fat Elvis sporting shovel fingernails and a biohazard hairdo gets more respect than a clean, exemplary behaving dog.
True, there's little water around here, but our sponsor sends us plenty of soda from Earth. As soon as we're done with the wiring, flick a switch—Bang!—"Planet Coke." Can't wait, really.
On the other hand, NASA is annoying. They keep sending their freaking Pathfinder rovers that are roaming around taking pictures and sniffing for cooties like some goddamn sleepwalking paparazzi. Lucky they're utterly confused and functioning in slow-motion so we have enough time to collect all the chewing gum and the cigarette stubs littered in their way.
Remote controlled snapshots-taking robots! If this is not a tabloidization of cosmology, I don't know what is.
There's a secret passage between worlds, right after the eye, ear and invisible soul trio of ivy-covered columns. If the light bulb is lit you can pass safely, if it's dim, open the door and you'll be sucked into the void and your whole existence deleted. Don't smoke — and don't try to smuggle cigarettes to the other side — God hates that.
Entry no.: 193
30 Jul 2007, 12:13 PM
Speaking of graffiti and walls, I have some crazy-textured wallpapers for you: two from Moscow with love and one from Bucharest with murmured anger. Handmade.
Graffiti over Peace Wall's thousands of tiles painted by schoolchildren on Arbat pedestrian street in Moscow. Corny cold-war name — Peace Wall — but cool texture.
The Wall of Tsoi on Arbat St. in Moscow is covered with graffiti dedicated to Russian rock musician Viktor Tsoi (Russian: Виктор Робертович Цой), leader of the rock group Kino, who died in a car accident in 1990. Rough and sincere like spilled guts.
Scratched inscriptions on a house wall in Bucharest. A blind, distressed murmur relentlessly corroding the street.
For the graphic professionals that cannot afford saturated colors on their desktop, low contrast grayscale versions are available:
If you decide to use one of these wallpapers and you don't mind sending a screenshot of your desktop (e-mail to kit at kitblog followed by dot com) along with your name and/or web site address, your precious captures will be appended to this post, after the jump. Now is a good time to acknowledge your obsessive-compulsive need for maniacally ordered rows of icons, or to admit your lazy-ass style of obliviously piling random yet completely useless stuff.
Be brave — if you’ve got it, why not flaunt it? Send 'em in!
Cosmin Bumbuț confirmed his professional stature once again at this year's edition of International Photography Awards Competition / International Photographer of the Year Competition by winning a 1st place in Editorial category with images from Aiud prison series and a 3rd place in Travel-Tourism category with images from Transit series, along with no less than 12 Honorable Mentions.
This results qualify Cosmin's work for inclusion in both IPA 2006 Annual Awards book and 2006 IPA Best of Show exhibition.
I am very proud I could contribute to his outstanding results by sponsoring the cutting-edge custom pre-press process of his Transit book, a first in Romania.