One Year Anniversary Issue :: Five Cool Things 3.20.11

We're one year old!

Of the few things of which we can be certain, certain death and taxes are said to be high on the list. But here’s my list; death certainly, taxes for sure and the mysteries of who we love. Paul Klee pulls a DaVinci and sort of imagines and draws the future. I’m hoping my friends in the UK, Jamie Jauncey and John Simmons will catch No. 3 – where an artist/activist (artivist?) in New Orleans has turned an old house into a document. When he first exploded onto the jazz scene, saxophonist Ornette Coleman, also this month’s birthday boy, was pretty much on the moon. And he’s gone further out from there. James Gulliver Hancock is in a New York state of mind meld. Let’s blow out the anniversary candles with Henny Youngman – “I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by four o’clock.”

1. Surprise! | “Something Amazing About Harry”

Love in Disguise

Culled from the ‘so good it must be true’ department. Three years after their marriage, Annie  Birkett announced to a relative that she had discovered “something amazing about Harry.” (Annie had a gift for understatement.) Shortly thereafter, Annie Birkett disappeared. You have to read this story to believe it. It comes from a series of mug shots by the local police in Sydney, Australia from 1910-1930. NPR has the goods where you can get Harry’s secret and a whole lot more >>

ed update: This is from a group of thousands of photographs from the Forensic Photography Archive in Australia. There’s a book, Crooks Like Us, by curator, Peter Doyle.

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2. Paul Klee Paints the Future | The Twittering Machine

Paul Klee and his Twittering Machine 1922

A MOMA description of Klee’s painting sounds to some like a description of Twitter itself.

The hand crank conjures up the idea that this “machine” is a music box, where the birds function as bait to lure victims to the pit over which the machine hovers. We can imagine the fiendish cacophony made by the shrieking birds, their legs drawn thin and taut as they strain against the machine to which they are fused.

Hat tip to: clusterflock.org

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FRIENDS

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
~William Shakespeare

Please have a look at the top of this page — find the navigation link, our friends. I’m posting a brief snippet and a link to the websites of people who are friends of mine and who are big fans and supporters of Five Cool Things. How to get listed on that page? Tell your friends. Spread the wonders of Five Cool Things and get your friends to sign on the line which is dotted. Sign ’em up!

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3. Urban Writing Spaces | “Before I Die”

One person's abandoned house....

is another person's Moleskine.

The urge that human beings have to express themselves (for good and otherwise) can be found in the most amazing places. An abandoned house in New Orleans has become transformed. Through the creative agency of one Candy Chang, an empty, forlon home has become another sort of home — home to a collective, community-wide yearning.

....understand, beat sense into you, go to the Galapagos Islands, get rich and retire, be ok with not understanding, learn a second language, be completely myself....

This project is called Before I Die…In NOLA. You can visit the artist’s website here>>

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4. Blowing Out More Than Candles | Happy Birthday Ornette Coleman

Jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman turned 81 years old on March 9, 2011

Fantastic new discovery for jazz music lovers. From the website: Welcome to LOST TONES, a series featuring tracks from hyper-rare recordings that aren’t available anywhere else on the web. These treasures are courtesy of George Scala, who runs the invaluable Free Jazz Research site. He’s generously shared them from his amazing archive so they can be enjoyed by more than just collectors. Scroll down for the music!

In 1969, Ornette released a single Man on the Moon, to commemorate the moon landing. It might have proved too much for Americans. It was released only in France.
Listen to Ornette play Man on the Moon

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5. Draw Me In | All the Buildings in New York

The artist’s name is James Gulliver Hancock, which might have a lot to do with what our man is up to. You get yourself born with a name like that, and who knows what comes of it. Currently, JGH is trying to draw all the buildings in New York. He also cooks up fictional characters like the one below. You can check out his bio here>> His main illustration page is here>>

I've been thinking a lot about all the people on the street in New York, what there different lives are, and I started fictionalizing these characters I saw around. Pairing them up with buildings I draw. Here's two paintings I recently exhibited.

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