Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Take a look at . How to characterize this? A road show, performance art with unlimited actors or psychological research? A group of artists built this thing that looks like a cartoon speech balloon. There is a video booth behind the curtain, in which visitors are asked to spend two minutes stating what truth means to them. It has gone around much of the world, visiting Afghanistan before St. Louis, where it stopped in front of the main branch of the public library.

It's a fascinating idea. You can see and hear many of the participants on its website. I gave it a shot, prattling on about the scientific method and the subjectivity of of consciousness. If you care to, give us your definition in a comment.                    

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Gentle reader, please interpret for yourself. That's the Paint Louis section of the flood wall along the Mississippi on the right and a railroad bridge across the river behind. My guess is that it's someone's nom de graffiti. However, it also reminds me of Two Buck Chuck, the nickname of super cheap wine sold across America under the Charles Shaw label at Trader Joe's food stores. I understand that with inflation, it's now $3.79 a bottle. Cheers!           

Monday, October 21, 2019


Our children's museum, The Magic House, has a Halloween event last weekend and next. Daughter Emily took this beautiful phone cam shot of Ellie in the garden. The kid knows how to pose, too.       

Sunday, October 20, 2019


As noted earlier, the Sunday night of Artica ends with the immolation of a wooden effigy, Our Lady of Artica. The central figure is essentially the same every year but the details and surroundings vary. I liked this year's version with the multiple arms/flags suggesting a Hindu deity and the halo-like structure surrounding all of it. 

These pix could be better. I was seated some distance away and didn't have a tripod. What was scary was that part way through the burn a gust of wind blew up from the northwest, sending a blast of fire toward the crowd on the right of the lower picture. The crew were all in professional fire protection suits and several members of the STL fire department were on hand. Still, I'm told that some of the audience had a wow, cool man attitude and didn't clear out quickly. Fortunately, no one was hurt.                             

Saturday, October 19, 2019


Artica takes place in an area of semi-abandoned commercial buildings north of the Arch. It's a bit desolate and no one much cares about graffiti. One of the Articans, Robert, I think, created this near the entrance gate. The the set of tools is complicated.                  

Friday, October 18, 2019



If you have been to Artica you know why the caption is a terrible pun. It is a Saturday - Sunday event. When it is fully dark on Sunday evening, the fire dancers come out to whip up the crowd. This is followed by a torch thrown at the wooden effigy of Our Lady of Artica. We will see some of the finale tomorrow.

I was lucky to get these photos. My back was bothering me, the field where the effigy was located was very rough and it was pitch black. There was a free lawn chair maybe 50 m away where I set myself up with an f 2.8 medium telephoto. Pretty hard to grab focus.          

Thursday, October 17, 2019


I swear the sky had these hues late afternoon on the second day of Artica. They may have been, um, enhanced in the computer but I did not add a color filter. The circle contains the festival's logo, a stylized version of the wooden Our Lady of Artica. The structure is the light bridge over the day-glo croquet field.