November 01, 2004

War and Peace

Wednesday night the Red Sox were winning the World Series, the moon was in eclipse, and Aimee and I were in North Beach to hear a poetry reading at City Lights. It was an especially appropriate pre-election celebration for a new anthology called War and Peace, edited by Leslie Scalapino, that includes the work of writers and artists composed during the build-up to Iraq as well as the ongoing war. Scalapino was there to read her poetry, as was Norma Cole, kari edwards, Judith Goldman, Taylor Brady, and Juliana Spahr. Goldman in particular had me nailed to my seat with her piece about injustices done against detainees, but I confess that after she was done Aimee and I slipped out of the store to watch the eclipse hit totality. The moon really does turn blood red.

On my lunch hour Thursday I walked up to Fraenkel Gallery to see a show of recent work by photographer Nicholas Nixon. When I first stepped off the elevator I had a startled moment of thinking I was in the wrong place because the front gallery was dominated by a huge Sol LeWitt wall drawing...not that I'm ever unhappy to see his waves and lines of color. The Nixon photographs were around the corner in the back room, crystal-clear black-and-white shots of Boston taken from such an altitude that the urban sprawl is evident in all its glory. I especially liked the photographs of construction where it wasn't completely obvious whether something was being torn down or being built up, as well as his pictures in which the expressway snaked its way through the landscape.

Later that evening after work I walked over to the W Hotel to immerse myself in the geekdom that was the Remix Hotel festival, a convention for DJs and producers and their ilk that coincided with the audio engineer conference occurring simultaneously across the street at Moscone. I was just there to hear some music and ogle my idols so I avoided the exhibitors and bee-lined to the terrace stage. I arrived in time for the very tail end of the Sister SF panel before they yielded the floor to gorgeous freewheeling electronica from Boom Bip, and then I stuck around to listen to a Q&A with Domino of the Hieroglyphics. I never fail to be inspired by individuals who have found a way to make a living off their passions.

Also inspiring: Carol and Dan driving to Reno to volunteer for the Kerry campaign on election day. Saturday evening I invited them over for some Beef Daube Provençal (pretentious way of saying beef stew), and we ended up watching the very funny The Closet with Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu. Auteuil plays an accountant at a condom factory who becomes infinitely more fascinating to his coworkers and family alike once he starts pretending to be gay to keep himself from being fired. The ensuing hilarity was just the thing to take our minds off the nausea we feel every time we think of November 2.


City Lights Books Upcoming Events
Nixon Exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery
Remix Hotel San Francisco Schedule
W San Francisco
The Closet

Posted by nightfall at November 1, 2004 03:15 PM