What is Nothing Something Sandwich?

A symposium dedicated to the cultivation of spontaneous occurrences and multifarious forms of communication, cooperation and presence.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Red Bird

A detail of "Red Bird" by Agnes Martin (on exhibit at MOMA in July 2009)

From MoMA: "Colored ink and pencil on paper, 12 1/4 x 11 7/8" (31.1 x 30.4 cm). Gift of Mrs. Bliss Parkinson. © 2009 Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York"

"For Martin, the grid evoked not a human measure but an ethereal one --- the boundless order or transcendent reality associated with Eastern philosophies." - from MoMA wall text

Capri Batterie by Joseph Beuys

Sandra made this still life
John photographed it (poorly)

Film still from Quo Vadis

Friday, January 29, 2010

By what light then do they see?

A beautiful world come tumbling down in song,
released from obligation though not free to act

How to know:
Take one step back
look left to find
a coin on a pilaster
reflecting history
but not much light

Now isn't that better than singing?
Isn't that better than a trip to the bank?

Who's to say the birds don't know
that old word haruspicate,
to offer up one's guts for news
filtered down through stars

Golden girl, he says
meaning the slant of the sun,
where are you running?


Quo vadis?

Poems by Steven Shearer

3 of 12 shown here
graphite on paper

The Message

"You can write poetry and then again you can't. It comes into this world of its own accord, not by the will of the poet."

—Gu Cheng
A cluttered page, but the video
(film tuc, tuc, tuc, tuc)
is worth the watch to see the
split-second moments of transition:

1. walk, bow, b e g i n s p i n
2. arms opening ARMS OPENING!
3. spin still skirt settling


Funny, that gnostic
on the fourth floor
is still awake.
He knocks and knocks
on the heating pipe.
The mob in front of the window
has gone, and now
on top of everything its starting to snow.

In the whole city
no shoe-laces are to be had.
The machine-gun fire where the banks are
has subsided
But in the fridge there are
a couple of asphodels
just in case.

from Kiosk by Hans Magnus Enzenberger

The Killing Machine

The Killing Machine by Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
(as installed at the Freedom Tower, downtown Miami, FL, late 2007)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

the one-
winged soaring blackbird,
above the firewall, behind
Paris, up there,
in the

from Force of Light by Paul Celan

argon night
awash in purity
moon tips and reeds

left to think
could this be it
the last admixture?

sparrow armies
shower and dress
to face the day

I set off now in a box upon the sea.

-Charles Olson from The Maximus Poems

The End Of The Age of Fribble

The end of the Age of Fribble
grumbling fremitus of Crack of Doom
grubbed in the ear of the groundskeeper
at Thunder Bay

Stirred from cuddlesome slackeye

Cock Swain
Dreary Deary
Long Pig and
Loosey Goosey

Scrambled to catch the freshet

casting off long johns
mother –naked
moving from Mute Speakerway
to Cucurbit Appendage
no boundaries inside sight
learning to navigate

french heels
tub thumpers
a massive armaessence
a mass of ar maecenas
in the spaetzle/spacebar of the poesy boat

Long Pig will be Death Watch

Dreary Deary will tryst and tryst

Loosey Goosey will be
Grouchy Grimalkin because
in the end, someone has to

“The cows are no longer
they loved them so dear
they’ll laugh at their cowplop
bending closer to hear…”
the souls of Cock Swain’s crystalliferous feats
faces aglow
feelers articulating
the is of what was happening

They are looking for the cowl of dawn
They are looking for the cowl of dawn
They are freebooters plundering the gardens of watery grasses

Greta Green Secret will cradle little Lanterloo
they had to bring her too
she knew

To udder in the light
the key is not the chest

To pan the lateral horse
forge its shoes

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Enn Ess Ess

When you speak the acronym Enn Ess Ess, it sounds a little like "Inness." So here's a portrait of him.

Notes on the image: "Inness, painter, seated in his studio with a brush in his hand and his hat in his lap. Inscription lower right: "Yours Respectfully, Geo. Inness." Annotation on verso (handwritten): If you have Fifty-Eight Paintings by George Inness*, you may be able to identify painting in easel. *by Eliott Dangerfield, published by F.F. Sherman."


"The true end of art is not to imitate a fixed material condition, but to represent a living motion. "
-George Inness

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Our most profound conception must remain subjective and ambiguous"

"I am for an art in which what you see is the just the beginning of an endless chain of allusion."

from the lecture "Illusions and Allusions" by Jules Kirschenbaum (thanks Joe. a good read.)


Backstory: Nuuchaanulth Ceremonial Curtains and the Work of Ḳi-ḳe-in

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


An excerpt from an essay by Donald Childs entitled 'Risking Enchantment: The Middle Way between Mysticism and Pragmatism in Four Quartets':

During an interview with Francoise de Castro in 1948, several years after the publication of Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot was prompted by the interviewer's observations about the inhibition of mysticism by intellect in Valery's creative process to talk about mysticism in general:

Eliot then said what seemed to me the centre and luminous point of the entire interview: 'But intelligence pushed to its depths leads to mysticism.'
'Do you not believe,' I asked him..., that intellect and mysticism are two faculties which are opposed in human nature?' A sign of denial was his only response, and this affirmation: 'All human faculties pushed to their depths end in mysticism.'

(From Words in Time: New Essays on Eliot's Four Quartets, edited by Edward Lobb)

This view of intellect and mysticism can also be seen in the writings of long gone alchemists as laid out for us by Carl Jung in his book 'Psychology and Alchemy', in which he explains the nature of the alchemical work as both physical and metaphysical, requiring the chemist to be in the correct state of health and in the right state of mind in order to pursue the philosopher's stone, focusing the intellect with a religious concentration. The examples he gives are not unlike the guidance offered by Shunryu Suzuki on the practice of zazen through Right Mind, Right Effort, etc. Descriptions of Atget's decisive moment and a sniper's steady hand also have a hint of the mystic in them, and many other human efforts bad and good.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The view from my window, Led Zeppelin notwithstanding.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
Hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new land,
To fight the horde, sing and cry: Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are young overlords.

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Brice Marden made this drawing:

Cold Mountain Study 10
Ink on paper
20.5 x 24 cm.
Collection of the artist

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Han-shan wrote this poem:

My true home is on Cold Mountain
perched among cliffs beyond the reach of trouble
images leave no trace when they vanish
I roam the whole universe from here
lights and shadows flash across my mind
not one dharma appears before me
since I found the magic pearl
I can go anywhere everywhere is perfect

(translated by Red Pine)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Detail of Hanshan and Shide by Luo Ping
(from the exhibition "Eccentric Visions: The Worlds of Luo Ping (1733-1799)"
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. On view through Jan 10, 2010.


Manuscript minutes from a recent mini-symposium on the development of the word IDEA as an acronym

A Transcription:

Illusionist Drawings Erased in favor of Abstraction
Ill-fated Deacons' Elaboration Area
"Interesting" Derogatory Exclamation Artifacts
Itinerant Doormen's Elevator Appropriations
Inescapable Dread Ecclesiastical Abbey
I Don't Expect Anything
Inferior Delegates of Experimental Art
Insane Domain of Ego Alteration
In(-)Delible Elevation to the Angelic
Ignominious Detour Entering Anarchy
Illicit Dreams Eliciting Answers
Illegitimate Duty Encoders of America
Icky Dung Emits Aroma
Interior Denial Excitedly Applied
Icthyologist Debunkers of Evil and Absolutism
Itchy Doris Eats Ass
Illiterates Don't Earn Anything
Internet Dialoguers Exploring in Absentia
I'm Dealing with Existential Angst
Islamic Dependence Emotion Actualizers
Island Dwellers Entering Asheville
International Delegates for Evolutionary Agriculture
Incremental Decline toward Elemental Asininity
Inverted Descriptions of Excrement and Allegory
Imported Denizens of Elemental Anarchism
Impractical Dreams of Escape to Antwerp

Additional IDEAs:
Invisible Dead Elements of Anguish
Intelligence Department of the Exosocial Association
Immaterial Doctors for Ego Amelioration
Ill-Drawn Ears of Albania
Inglorious Drawlers' Entropic Atoll
Incontinent Drinkers Entreating Atilla
Iseult's Drunken Escapades Allowance

Please add the name of a group, organization, restricted zone, punk band, civic improvement goal, etcetera that either stands on its own or that might look good on a badge or a piece of letterhead above the words Benevolent Society or Action Committee.

All IDEAs welcome.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Savannah's international airport, I think.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shide & Hanshan

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR7qnd-E-cM&feature=email (if the sounds comes on, turn it off FAST! SILENCE!)


(shot today while driving through Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve)
Talking with J.S. about Beuys and Joyce. Amazing thing about both of them is their ability to deal with the intense negativity of the world and work it into the huge construction of their work- somehow the result is always life affirming. And not the sort of gooey saccharine Hallmark-card type- but something deeply layered and encompassing. Their work always seems to inspire a feeling of living fully. J.S. says that its due largely for a deep concern for people- that such a concern is inscribed in their work. Perhaps relates to the David Foster Wallace excerpt posted by RJM

Posted by J.B.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

See unseen.

"Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simply won't see it. It is, as Ruskin says, 'not merely unnoticed, but in the full, clear sense of the word, unseen.' " - from The Tinker at Pilgrim Creek by Annie Dillard

a new take-on.

"But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she's not usually like this. Maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible. It just depends what you want to consider. If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that's capital-T

True is that you get to decide how you're gonna try to see it."

David Foster Wallace, Commencement Speech at Kenyon University, May 2005


Ultimately, this is what constitutes the events and values in the world: that time and again one hears of someone who has said things that one had thought only obscurely and has done things that one had expressed only at a fortuitous moment. Such things make you grow. This awareness of conduits and lines reaching from distant solitary figures to us and from us and to god knows where and to whom, this I consider our best feeling: it leaves us alone and yet simultaneously patches us into a great communality where we take hold and have help and hope.

From a letter by Rainer Maria Rilke to Otto Modersohn, June 25, 1902. Taken from Letters on Life, p37, edited and translated by Ulrich Baer

Posted by HH

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Hohohoho, Mister Finn, you're going to be Mister Finnagain! Comeday morm and you're vine! Sendday's eve and ah, you're vinegar! Hahahaha Mister Funn, you're going to be fined again!"

posted by J.B.