What We Feel and What We Mean
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Jimi Hendrix

Opps! after doing a last check through of work done I found that I missed the artist one so he is mine!:

“Oh Say, can you really see?” was a seminar offered by the Wolfe Institute on Jimi Hendrix and his connection to escapist science fiction. Will Fulton describe the sound painting that takes place in Jimi Hendrix’s music that illustrates the science fiction aspect of the music. However, this was only the surface, as beyond the fantastic lyrics lay social subtext. Jimi Hendrix’s isolation, he says, served as an impetus for this new form of writing. Coupled with this shift in lyrical style, the 1960s technology was changing music production.

To this “Allegorical atomic science fiction” rock and artists utilized different technologies to enhance the estrangement. Multitrack allowed for addition parts to be recorded and overdubbing, which permitted further manipulation of composite sounds. Examples of these techniques were depicted by “1983… (A Merman I should turn to be” a late Hendrix Song. Several effects can be easily noted: whistling and breathing vocals through ADT delay, echo on lead vocals, flute, and bass. VFO on flextone that made the bouy sound, tape speed variation to sound the fish, panned echoes of cymbal “bubbles” echo on headphones feedback to represent seagulls, and live fade ins/out to mark transitions.
So what does this mean in retrospect? The 60’s were a time of great change, or rather an immense desire for change. However, Jimi Hendrix who often avoided much social commentary believed that “the only happiness is the kind that you hold in your mind.” As such, the only happiness to be found was not on this world but those beyond, a fantastic escape.

December 24, 2011   1 Comment

Mark and Michael’s Final Project

December 20, 2011   No Comments


Where else can one jostle through crowds of elbowing 70-year-olds and climb six flights of stairs to reach the cheapest (read: 55$) and highest (read: nosebleed) seats then at the Lincoln centre opera house? The show, spectacle, the crowds, regally unruly, the bellboys, fake brits. Where has this arcane art form gone? But that’s a trite question asked by better critics than I, so rather than struggle to find some relevance of opera to pop culture or even touch on the music, which to be on display at the Lincoln opera house must be of some quality, I’ll focus on one aspect: the destination of opera.

The median age of the opera house being about 2.5x the life expectancy of some east African countries, one is troubled not to wonder who will be yelling, almost asthmatically, the “bravos” of tomorrow. I find this social phenomenon really interesting. Considering that none of those present are old enough to have lived when opera was popular, most of them growing up with bebop and early rock and roll most likely, how have they come to this place? Perhaps at some age a subconscious switch flips and forces one to pay 5$ for a coke and sit down to enjoy an incredible show for three hours. And there is no doubt; Faust was incredible, epic, and amazing produce. For the price, especially compared to Broadway, opera is definitely worth it. However one must also look at the seats, while the cheapest one’ll pay is 55$, one will also need to invest in some good binoculars. At Broadway, even though the cheapest is closer to 100$, the dimension is so much smaller that it essentially equals out. However it is in marketing and public perspective that Opera is dying. Unfortunately I am not schooled in Sociology, Marketing, or even Opera to be able to deduce any actual action, but recognizing the problem is a start.

Perhaps operatic singers should go back to the saloons, the bars, and the intimate scenarios where one can not only attend for less money, but also establish a relationship with the music. That I feel at least is the key for the survival of opera. Along with being generally very old, those who go to the opera, know opera, and that is something that is missing for the majority.  They don’t know the music, they don’t know the stories.

December 7, 2011   No Comments

Brooklyn Museum

While everyone else goes on their diatribes about the vulgarity of vaginas on plates and whatever that means to whomever, I personally cared nothing for it. Not only was it, in my opinion, a success by getting people to talk about it and analysis what that meant for feminism, but also it represents a monster in the Brooklyn Museum that overpowers the others. Not so? Look at the majority of people and what they wrote about.

No, in this piece I will talk about the Art of the 20s. I found the exhibition to be excellently presented, displaying a wide array of the art of the time. The pieces offered images of flappers and of postmodern preoccupations. However I felt the exhibition was flawed in its presentation of minorities. While in other mediums literature, music, etc. the Harlem Renaissance is in high regard and much celebrate, here in the heart of the twenties, the movement was placed in a four-panel wall at upper right corner. The few pieces while good only depicted the Jazz life. They failed to portray the struggles and fight for equality as depicted by Jacob Lawrence, Aaron Douglas, David Driskell, James Porter, Charles Alston, and William Johnson, among many.

This lack of representation, I found, severely puts in jeopardy the main goal of the exhibition, to present the art of twentieth century and the prevalent ideas of beauty

November 30, 2011   No Comments

My New Dublin

Note: I have always been interested in old, yet unsung connection between the Irish and Puerto Ricans. Not only did each have an impact in the modern foundations of the other, but they also are undoubtable connected to New York City. With that in mind I went a little out there in my brainstorm and created a New York that was taken over by… the IRA! This is my envisionment of a different New York, a sort of historical mutation right in the middle of Operation Bootstrap (Industrial development project in Puerto Rico that led to the mass migration).


New Dublin

Valleys of steel, cement, and damned souls not worth saving as far as the eye can penetrate through the smog; Rows, rows, rows of decrepit buildings reminiscent of the lost America. Empire State no longer, The Spire; Brooklyn Bridge no longer, Ha’penny; Rockefeller neither, Donnelly.

Smoke slowly rising somewhere distant, but it doesn’t matter anymore, ‘cause it’s probably shadier than the darkness cast by the buildings, no one will bother investigate and the smoke’ll continue to rise and spread. Its heart purrs, hisses, and dies. Smoke still rises though, refusing to be put out, to be evicted as its victims.  It rises rises rises, it engulfsthe clouds above it like if they were marshmallows. From the white centre, the blackness breaks through, further polluting this “beautiful” city; but sarcasm is unnecessary.

This city is beautiful, a collection of hidden flaws. Well perhaps that would be true for some folks if you never really got off the plane. New Dublin was new, now, and naked, but not untouched. New York wasn’t much different (less Irish if you can believe that) just as dirty, just as dark, and just as shiny.

O’Dwyer was the last “mayor” which doesn’t mean much anymore I suppose; he wasn’t expecting it, poor soul. I wonder if he was used to these streets; if everyday he walked passed the hussies, the pushers, the knaves and wondered, why? Did he used to creep through the sinuous alleyways of the loisaida trying to avoid the bad men? Did he visit the tattered, battered, happy flushing brothels; was he attended to by the abused women; did he feel their scars, did he smell the alcohol on their breaths, did he see their souls? Probably not, he would just have used them like everyone else; and he still wonders why. Why has this brilliant city of artists, muses, and corruption died? It will remain mystery; the first victim of the IRA revolution, poor fool.

Among the chaos, the Irish screams, Chinese bullets, and Latin blood, there is silence still. A silence you can feel all take you like a furry spider crawling slowly almost sensually over your body. It’s hidden though, the spider’s nest, within the dark corners, at the end of this citywide labyrinth silence still lives; more than lives, it thrives. Perhaps on the isolation in which it has survived through everything or nothing at all as is silence’s nature.

This city is wilde.






November 15, 2011   1 Comment

Alternative Media and Why it Matters Now

On Thursday, November 10th the Wolfe Institute invited DeeDee Halleck to speak about alternative media. Without a clear image of what the event was, I went on the notion of, “perhaps they’ll talk about how alternative media is effecting the way people express themselves or report things.” However, it was not so.

The first hour and a half consisted of stories. Stories of different radio programmes in different countries and how they came to be. They ranged from a communicative Bolivian Miners’ Radio to an empowering Honduran Teenage Radio. Each came with a little historic context and then, almost formulaically, their current success and influence. Despite the almost universal fact that these stations were representing the demands and preoccupations of “the people”, I felt that Halleck, for some reason, did not mention places that one would assume have much to do with rebellion, protest, and freedom of speech, namely, Egypt and the rest of the Middle-Eastern countries. The utter lack of any mention of the “Arab Spring” seemed odd and detrimental to the lecture because of their importance in the movements of Occupy Wall St. and the related causes.

Despite this, Halleck covered many different movements that while not inciting global occupations brought about practical and immediate change in there conditions. For example, the group that Halleck focused on the most was one of illiterate, rural, Indian women. Trained by a local university professor and given A/V equipment, these women were about to document their farming practices and related process to illuminate the damage certain government changes had caused and also to fight against the establishment of Monsanto terminator seeds. Their reports, sent to the government, helped pass legislature that benefited them and eased their woes.

But they are not alone, along with them were many others that worked in what Halleck called, “community media.” It is this resurgence of alternative media as a way of empowering and unifying the community that Halleck believes will be able to accomplish the dreams of movements like Occupy Wall St.: liberté, égalité, fraternité.

November 12, 2011   No Comments

Doors: ICP

At IPC, my favourite photo was the real old school one of the house in black and white. Something about the wooden panels, use of shade and contrast along with the general humbleness of the abode gave it not only a an eerie ambience, but also a sense of history. For that I decided to write a little something.


“That creaking door, it leads to the bastard’s basement. That’s where they keep the children I hear.” Seán claimed, but I whispered back, “Ludcrisity!” He responded, “No, little injun Conall, he said so.”

We laughed, uncontrollable. Kept walking down the city land. The old youngster Paddy sat on the corner of the chemist’s house, panting, unrestrained.

“Don’t run in the mornin’ mate, it’ll kill ya.”

I knew it would but that didn’t stop me, or Paddy.  I told him, “Good on you, have a fair journey.” He said fine but still followed.

“I oughta have one.”

He did. We passed through the lane, swiftly dodging the drunken fathers on Amsterdam Avenue. Their children left in the bars as collateral for unpaid tabs. It was a sad affair surely. Seán came along too, step-by-step, right behind us, beyond us as well but only he knew that.

He whispered to ‘imself, thinking no one could hear him but hoping someone did, “Oi avent tha sloightest idea wher’ hes goin’. I ‘ont know.”

Paddy headed to a house in the middle of the lane, no different than the one to its right, no different than the one to its left, undistinguished among the rusted ruins of skyscrapers reminiscent of the overthrown empire. It was just dark, but he was cowardly; he was worried, frightened. Paddy was an ol’ pal. He had tripped up with us a fair lot. We almost got the dreaded sores together, yet another odd experience.

“Goodday o’ sunshine, dark-

day reins over night, sometimes.” I sing, a popular song of the city, sombre thing it is.

Paddy, the pal, and he was here, insufferable as he be, was. A nice, tall, square man, he was before door. An annoying fool. Dead to me, dead to all he was then. That house there had a nice old man with a 12 gauge shot gun and a jumpy finger.

It was to be expected though; that genius Paddy, it wouldn’t av happened any other way and I know how god abhors the immortal. Somewhat a hypocrite, that god fellow eh? Yarbles. Paddy would say if you asked him. He was one of them religious types, sorta. Thou shant have other gods, other than meself, god would go round sayin’. What a scribbish god. Paddy that fool.

The house was mighty cold, hellishly so, Satan ‘imself probably batin’ his wings in the basement, that masochistic fool. An irrevocable fetter ice is to one’s heart, but more importantly, one’s feet. It was a self-imprisoning classism, impossible to exit but all too easy to get caught in, poor Paddy.

It was a beautifully cold house though. Sparkling too, definitely a feast for those that such is of interest no doubt, but warily one must chew as it is one you are bound to choke on. It had these golden streamers on the walls, all mixed up with each other. There was a stairway to the left that led to an open door, this stair’s streamers were black, didn’t match the walls, hurt my eyes. We went up ‘em, crouched a bit, silent as could be. Paddy ain’t the fastest, that nervous prick, but once in he off’d the top lights, maybe he warn’t as scared, we needn’t be blinded but so we were, We went the first left and were left in the right, though left to stare at the blackening white wall, decaying from the inside out with a sort of vomit orange foam that poked out of a few holes. There green couch with the white man in it, black wears, black gun, silver bullets, red blood, pink n’ purple wall, yellow faces, back door.

We ran.

We ran.

We Ran.

Bright light, dark eyes, even darker, tainted souls; we were corrupted if we were innocent.

Poor Paddy, paddled in his own blue blood, benevolent.

October 18, 2011   No Comments

Art is…

What would a jagged mountain of color have to do with New York? It’s sort of like asking, “what does art have to do with New York?” As a foreigner looking in, the wild, unbridled energy of New York is something that is very unique. Go to Paris, Florence, Vienna, Munich, San Juan, DC, and you will never find the sort of ambience that is in New York, and every New Yorker knows it. They know it, love it, or hate it. No matter what, it plays an integral part of their lives and its absence is often felt, even to the most subtle degree. Art, like NY, is an accessible source of innumerable amounts of innovative ideas, aesthetic intents; a figurative fountain that shots out techicolour cranial explosions of creativity. The raw energy  just does not stay still, it is in a constant vibrato, a constant vibration; like an ADHD kid on cocaine and Ritalin, it is agitated by its own inner energy that is just forcing its way out, pushing its way through the psych to the canvas, to the sax, to the lips.

Laying in soft slumber, a slobbering child of the subconscious, Art invades electronic pathways, finding its way of escape from the claustrophobic entrapments of the human mind.  It does not scream from free enclosure, but rather wraps itself around such prison and makes it its own. The possessed is now the possessor and the mind is left to Art’s discretion. The rudimentary tasks are now put to flow into grand rivers of subconscience awareness that form even grander waterfalls into the active conscience to further explore and become small streams that end in the ocean of reality. What one sees as art is not what art is but rather art’s diluted, emasculated form. For true art one must not look in the pages of a book, the composition of a portrait, or the melody of a song but must stare at the colours of words, the sounds of brush strokes; true art is synesthesia. Art hides though, it doesn’t want to be found, for being found would make it lose its meaning as silence would be lost due to sound. It is scared of company and jealous of competition. Art is true to itself and is not one to suffer for any less. It is the most demand of slave drivers, directing its hordes into creative supernovas. Still the world is yet ready for such exstatic explosions, limitation and restriction must be held; for the benefit of mankind, art is held bound by the chains of reason and expression.




October 6, 2011   1 Comment

9/11 Memorial

Maybe it is because I may not have that deep of a personal attachment to the site, but I felt sort of disappointed. The arrangement of the trees and the art noveau buildings in the space seemed to be a like the work of a deranged, angry hipster, not like the symbol of hope for the future, or the patch of green in the desert. The alternating cement and trees was, for me, reminiscent of a prison, and though it may attempt to symbolize the fate of those aboard both flights, my expectation of the memorial was one of recognition but of transcendence, not wallowing. However, the very impacting and very appropriate feature was the two waterfall-pits. The positioning and seemingly endless abysses were not only the only esthetically pleasing things at the memorial, but the only significant ones. The water that never stopped flowing represented not only the tears for those lost, but also the acceptance of their passing, just as the water passes.

October 3, 2011   No Comments

Oh! You temptress in a red dress.

Below is a series of three photos that I took during my time in Italy. Their sequence is supposed to mimic a man being pressured by both of life’s pleasures artesanal beer and an artesanal fruit tiramisu.

For me both, brewing and cooking has played a major role in my life that has yet to be further developed due to external forces, here in NY, school and law.

The artistry behind a well made meal and that behind that of a well made brew, for me, require the same skill as painting a Van Gogh, writing a Ulysses, filming a Rojo Amanecer.


September 20, 2011   No Comments