Thompson Ventulett & Sauron

Emersion
It was a wild and stormy night so I settled in to re-watch the last half of Peter Jackson’s 800 minute extended version of ‘The Return of the King’. At the point when Frodo finally reaches the entrance to the Crack of Doom I was struck by the design of the stonework around the entrance, all hard planes and jutting fins. Bereft of humanity, soulless and sullen, it looked ever so familiar and tugged at my memory but I wasn’t sure why. And suddenly, in the ruddy light of Mount Doom’s coursing lava, I knew. I knew where I’d seen that alien style before. I’d seen it in Atlanta…. it’s the in-house design style of the large Atlanta architecture firm Thompson, Ventulett & Stainback! Seriously. I kid thee not. Are you familiar with the AT&T Promenade building in mid-town? Sauron’s evil eye winters there. You know that stingy little building they squeezed in where Gorin’s diner used to be? I have it on good authority that it was designed by a very cross orc who was having a very bad day. No lie. Check it out. But that’s not all. These guys are so bent on filling the world with their inhuman designs that they are beginning by switching the meanings of words to confuse people and possibly to kill innocent fish. Read on…
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The Art Barrier

Darkside of the Garden
I know that art is subjective and that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but it’s hard to remember artistic aphorisms when you’re staring down the barrel of somebody’s trashy art collection. How many times have you found yourself turning your head sideways trying to make sense of what I like to call a “disaster in oil” perched on someone’s living room wall? How many times have you squeezed out an appreciative, knowing smile when that art-proud owner gestures toward a framed testament to bad taste to announce that it’s a “What-cha-ma-kinsky” as though the works of “Whatchamakinsky” were being taught in schools and sought after by money-laden 1980’s era Japanese businessmen? The reality is that very few of us will ever buy work by an artist who will break out and gain notoriety, the signal-to-noise ratio is simply too high. The best we can hope to do is to bore our friends and acquaintances with our perceived good taste.

Having said all that, I’d like to tell you about my latest purchase of a Whatchamakinsky, aka Atlanta artist Leann Zafuto, whose work is currently being shown at boswellGallery in Decatur. I think that Leann’s work stands a very good chance of breaking the Art Barrier and I’d recommend that you consider picking up one of her paintings while she’s still affordable.
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Running on Fumes

burger sackOkay, who’s the wiseacre that let Trump’s kids back in to Burger King’s ad department? What you see here is an unmodified, un-Photohopped scan of an advertisement from a take-out bag from Burger King that I was given a week or two back. I was sitting there watching television, eating a hamburger, reading a magazine, sipping a soda, when my eyes happened to land on the bag. I immediately sensed something was wrong but it took me four times through this paragraph to spot the error. I wonder how many of these went out before somebody caught the error. Scratch that. I wonder if anybody caught the error. Can YOU spot it?
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Grow Games

Grow Games Here, you be obsessed for awhile. I found a free online game this weekend and have been obsessed with solving its strange little animated puzzles ever since. All you do is to select things and watch what happens to “grow” the scene further. Done in the correct order the game reveals new animated sequences and new relationships between all the various pieces. It’s kind of like building a Rube Goldberg device. My favorite game is the Grow Cube. Click on over there and play it a little now… I need some other people to get hooked on this thing. Happy Monday!

My Collection and the Tate Gallery

The first week of August I received an email from the Tate Gallery in London, interested in an image of a Rem Koolhaas poster that I have posted on my website. They were publishing an article about Koolhaas and wanted to use the image in their magazine. I sent them a high resolution scan of the poster ASAP and about ten days ago I received a copy of the magazine in the post. If you’re sufficiently snooty enough to have a subscription to Tate Etc. the article begins on page 78.
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A Note from Douglas Adams

Of the many comic influences I’ve had in my life, the late writer Douglas Adams figures prominently. He was, and continues to be a strong influence on my inner comic voice; my meter, my rhyme, my ideas about low-budget science fiction television and so much more.

Back before Douggie left us, he had a website that he kept maintained for the fans. Not because he was egotistical, not because there was some kind of profit incentive….he did it because he genuinely liked the fans. A writer is never more appreciative than when they find a receptive audience because it generally means that they can step beyond all the awkward ideological translations and move straight into whatever it is that they’d like to discuss.

I dimly recall being excited at finding that “official” Douglas Adams website, and was delighted to discover that the man would actually answer people’s questions from time to time….even one of mine….
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They Built Landing: Our Hang Glider Residence Inn!

landing-horizontal

I recently learned that a project that I worked on with my friend Julie Sanford back in 1994 has finally been built by the property owner, up in the northwest corner of Georgia near Lookout Mountain. As soon as I had the time I grabbed my parents and drove up and to see it in person.  It’s a residence inn for hang glider pilots, which is the reason that the rooflets look like Continue reading They Built Landing: Our Hang Glider Residence Inn!