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Aflote #15 Mushrooms

Around the turn of the century, I met photographer Don Harbor. Every Saturday, Don would visit the CD store where I worked. He is the most informed fan of the Nordic symphonic composers that I know of. His knowledge and openness for music sure makes a lot of music lovers and academics blush.

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Aflote #14 No Now No Future

Recently I watched again two movies from the 1980s.* Both are about the future – in the mind of the 1980s. The creators predicted what would happen in the first decade of the 21st century. Well, almost every prediction was wrong!! To start, Japan no longer dominates the world. In the 80s, it did feel like Japan would eventually become the leader of popular culture, style, and gadgets. There are no flying cars; definitely no Mr. Fusion powered car using beer and banana peels. The easy reading of this wrong prediction is: The world is still very much dependent on fossil fuel based energy. We all know why. The filmmakers also knew back in the 1980s that there wouldn’t be...

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Aflote #13 A Bridge

In Public Speaking (Martin Scorsese, 2010), Fran Lebowitz talks about the “120-million-dollar Picasso” being destroyed by “the man”.** She is amused that no one can tell her which Picasso except the “120-million-dollar Picasso” – and the figures keep changing. She sums up that we live in the era of the Blind Art Collector! Lebowitz also sighs that there is no art scene, just art market nowadays. In a market, of course the price is the headline. It is a fascinating story. The time was 2006. Fast forward to 2017. Last week the most expensive American painting was sold. In the same fashion, the dollar sign goes first (110 million). Worse than the 2006 story, Basquiat was not mentioned as much....

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Aflote #12 Unintentional Islander

In the middle of interviewing the artist, I came to realize that soph-o’s art is the same as her thought process. She is a labyrinth of color and energy. Her art and words burst out from a psyche perhaps even more robust and psychedelic. At the surface soph-o unequivocally embraces influence from popular culture: animation, graphic design, poster-art, manga, and above all, street art. I will say soph-o’s work is – with a very cautious disclaimer up front – attractive and inviting, but not in an eye-candy way. Nor is it kitsch or decorative. Line and color, the two golden threads, connect many different genres of popular art. The narration of line and color is the purest. They make the...

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Aflote #11 A Shoe and An Inverted Cross

I am always interested in how my mind processes, especially art – in creation and in appreciation. When I say mind processes, I do not mean in terms of neuroscience, psychology or anything you can put a science cap on. (I do like neuroscience, psychology, and science in general.) I. An IdeaIdeas come to you. I am biased towards ideas that appear to you as opposed to ideas that you “think up”. I marvel at ideas coming from nowhere. However, I suspect ideas do come from somewhere inside the psyche; we just don’t know where inside us. Whenever we don’t know, we tribute the ideas as coming from nowhere, the universe, the mythic place, God, and whatnot. I do believe...

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