Saturday, November 20, 2010

On my mind:

Congrats on all your art busy-ness lately; it's fantastic! I've been in a slow-making, kinda-researching, mostly-nesting sort of period. But a few ideas are planted, getting me pumped for future projects.

In the studio: Working out some details for C's and my collabo, mainly building prototypes and laying out the ground. I'm considering other ways to use this soft geography. Perhaps it will become a set for a tiny film?

On the net: After watching this really cool TV special on the history of Chicago's theaters, I've gained a renewed interest in early 20th century American entertainment. A few weeks ago, C and I visited one of the historical theaters still operating. These old buildings are architecturally inspiring, but more intriguing is the idea of a mass audience (from rich to poor alike) filling these temperature-controlled spaces for hours of varied entertainment. Having the vaudevillian era already in mind (Mabel's), the early movie shows--including a night of live comedy acts, orchestras, and silent films--seem a natural progression for me. And as plans often collide, work life is fueling the fire a bit. I'm researching the history of the moving picture and animation for a class I will teach in January, discovering beautiful hand-drawn and nostalgic framing devices to play on visually (examples at top and bottom of this post).

All of this leads to...well, the wheels are spinning. What better way to get my hands in all sorts of making than recreating this "night at the movies?"

"The Chicago Theater, a film palace, can be described only in superlatives." Check out this 1921 article about the then new theater:
Wow! And just stumbled on these hauntingly powerful photos of abandoned theaters:

At home: Settling in from the cold outside, I'm baking warm bread, practicing Mandarin, and rearranging things. C and I recently picked up this fabulous chair for our living room. It was a craigslist find. The woman that refurbished it, has a house full of amazing mid-century pieces. You can see some of her past work here:, I've got more to post on recent art/design faves.
Love you!