Wednesday, October 20, 2021

NOT QUITE BURNED OUT

Okay, terrible joke. I still have a few pictures from Artica I want to use before I move on. The is another one of the fire dancers who performed before the immolation of Our Lady of Artica. The surrounding people and building give it a sense of scale.             

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

ANY AUDIENCE WE CAN GET

The Artica festival site is close to the Mississippi but almost all of it is behind a flood wall. However, there is a long bike trail that runs along the river for miles north of downtown. People ride on either side of the wall and it's common for them to stop by the festival. Bike clothing has become elaborate and brightly colored.

Been a long time since I rode a bicycle, although I did it a lot when I was younger. The last time I tried my knee got so inflamed I needed a steroid shot. (Thanks to you, Steve, if you see this.) It's scared me off since.       

Monday, October 18, 2021

ANTHEM

On the Artica main stage, the musician who calls herself Celia entertains the crowd. The festival has a pretty good logo, a graphic representation of Our Lady of Artica, the giant effigy that goes up in flames at the end of the last night.              

Sunday, October 17, 2021

DR. PEPPER

Jalapeños and poblanos make an effective shield to ward off evil. The headpiece helps scare everything away. This guy shows up for Artica every year but, you know, he's hard to talk to.        

                

Saturday, October 16, 2021

KEEP OUT THE MISSISSIPPI

                Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
                That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
                And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

                                                     Robert Frost, Mending Wall

Artica head guy Lohr Barkley leads the annual parade by the Mississippi River flood wall.       

Friday, October 15, 2021

COULD ANYTHING BE SIMPLER?

Artica has no censorship. You can  say or show whatever you want, and then the interpretation is up to the viewer. The rainbow border on this piece gives us a hint that there is more to it than X = X.          

Thursday, October 14, 2021

ARCS OF FIRE


More entertainment at Artica before the bonfire. Some good luck at 1/6 second with the image stabilization. If I was whirling that thing I'd want one of the fire suits like the guys on the right are wearing.           

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

PUBLIC HUMILIATION

St. Louis leading comedian-provocateurs are at it again. Audrey Crabtree and Lynn Berg placed themselves in stocks of a sort, stood on a platform and invited the public to mock and jeer at them for any reason, or no reason. Hurling water balloons was explicitly permitted although I don't thiink it happened. What sins they might have committed to deserve this were left to the imagination, sort of a Rorschach test for persecutors. Maybe it was cathartic for the audience. Maybe it just built bad karma.                  

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

WARM UP

Okay, terrible pun. I couldn't help myself. Before the immolation of Our Lady of Artica, there is always entertainment from fire dancers. Hard to shoot because there is not much light but the torches themselves so shutter speed is a problem.. Sometimes you get lucky. This was shot at 1/60 sec. using a lens and body that both had image stabilization.                  

Monday, October 11, 2021

ARMAGEDDON, ST. LOUIS STYLE

Artica always ends on Sunday night with the burning of the wooden effigy of Our Lady of Artica. Although I have hundreds of pictures from this weekend I have to cut to the big finale for the sheer drama of it. The structure is perhaps 10 meters high. It was a perfectly clear night and we wondered what the passengers in the planes flying overhead thought when they looked out the window.

Lots more of this to come. Ya know, there's a lot going on in this town if you know where to look.                 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

KEEP ST. LOUIS FREAKY

Seen in the Audience at Artica yesterday afternoon. Who says this is boring Midwestern fly-over country?

The big burn is tonight. Lots more to come.                

Saturday, October 9, 2021

ARTICA'S BACK!

Artica 2021, Brave New Harmony, starts today and continues through tomorrow night. https://articastl.com/artica-2021-brave-new-harmony It's STL's premier alternative arts festival. Performance, constructions, interactive whimsy and fun for kids begins at mid-day today. The traditional everyone's-invited parade is at 1:11 PM and the spectacular end comes after dark tomorrow when Our Lady of Artica, seen above, is put to the torch. It's tucked into a corner of the North Riverfront. Set your nav app for the William A. Kerr Foundation and you'll get there.                   

Friday, October 8, 2021

OLD LOCATION, NEW TOY

A week or so ago, the wonderful people I work with had a retirement luncheon for me. The core of us have been together for more than 30 years. One of the nice things they gave me was a substantial Amazon gift certificate. I told them that before the day was done it would be used to benefit a certain Japanese manufacturer of optical and electronic goods.

And so, a few days later, a Fujifilm 90mm f 2.8 prime lens arrived. It's something I coveted but wouldn't spend the money on myself. I had to take it out for a test drive, of course, so I went to the usual places in Forest Park. I'm very happy with the focus and clarity.              

Thursday, October 7, 2021

YOU COULD BE AN OCARINA PLAYER GOING FROM DOOR TO DOOR

Okay, I may be going off the deep end here. While I edit this picture and write this post I've been watching a lecture, if you can call it that, on Zoom by my artistic hero, Laurie Anderson ( https://laurieanderson.com/). I won't try to describe the program. It's impossible. The photo is another from the performance of songbirdsongs with members of the St. Louis Symphony playing ocarinas to imitate owls. It made me think of Anderson's song Monkey's Paw, which contains the a line with the words in the caption. You can listen to it at https://youtu.be/4S8rtxPmHTA.                  

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

JUST GETTING BY

With trash? Probably a lot, one way or the other. Another enigmatic sign from the exhibit in Park-Like.               

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

I BELIEVE


Besides the performance of songbirdsongs, there is another art installation in Park-Like. It is described as a group of sculptures by Chloë Bass, "inspired by public wayfinding signage posing question[s] that explore human emotions ranging from compassion and desire to anxiety and loss." It's sometimes visually arresting but the concept isn't new. I prefer the pioneering work in this genre by Jenny Holzer, https://projects.jennyholzer.com/, and Barbara Kruger, http://www.artnet.com/artists/barbara-kruger/.                 

Monday, October 4, 2021

MADELEINE MONDAY

Haven't had the kid on for a while, although I wish it were under better circumstances. Except for baseball, I have little interest in sports. It was a childhood pleasure. We rarely go to games because it's so damn expensive but I took the family Saturday night for the next-to-last game of the season. A major drawback for all of us is the sound technology. The owners whip up the crowd with ear-splitting, thumping pop music we often don't recognize. (I prefer unpopular music.) It's past the point of painful and about drove Ellie mad.

When I was a boy I could get a general admission ticket at Yankee Stadium for what was in a kid's pocket. Hard to believe now, but there were once cheap tickets at Yankee Stadium. The only sounds were cheering and an organ. Seems blissful by today's standards.        

Sunday, October 3, 2021

SURE, A PICCOLO CAN SOUND LIKE A BIRD

Another scene from the performance of John Luther Adams' songbirdsongs at Park-Like, across from the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. A piccolo is a likely candidate to imitate small birds. Part of the effect, though was the musicians were scattered around the garden, moving from place to place. It resembled the changing soundscape of a forest.                  

Saturday, October 2, 2021

MARIMBA IN THE WEEDS

Back home again, although I'll be posting more pictures from the Northwest on Flickr (link to come).  STL has some little gems like the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, https://pulitzerarts.org/, named for the late art collector and publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Across the street is a relatively new garden landscaped to resemble wild prairie called Park-Like (draw your own inferences). On a recent night members of the St. Louis Symphony performed John Luther Adams' songbirdsongs, which has a bit of a back story. https://www.allmusic.com/album/john-luther-adams-songbirdsongs-mw0002304061 Not a typical urban experience.             

Friday, October 1, 2021

CITY DAILY PHOTO OCTOBER THEME DAY - WINNERS

It's the first of the month and time for City Daily Photo's monthly theme day. This time the topic is Winners. Since I've been away for a while I went back into the archives and found this picture from St. Louis' Busch Stadium. Our local heroes, the baseball Cardinals, have a tradition of winning and have captured more championships than any team except the New York Yankees. They have also won 20 of their last 22 games as they head into the playoffs.