Category Archives: Projects

50 Years Later, There’s a New Print of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And It’s Drop-Dead Gorgeous.

This MUST be watched in full screen!


Thanks to Christopher Nolan, there’s a new 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nolan saw the film as a child in London, and, like many people, never got over the experience. in a good way.

After the success of Dunkirk last year, he spent months overseeing the project to create the new print. He emphasizes that it’s not a restoration:

“For the first time since the original release, this 70mm print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative. This is a true photochemical film recreation. There are no digital tricks, remastered effects, or revisionist edits. This is the unrestored film – that recreates the cinematic event that audiences experienced fifty years ago.”

2001: A Space Odyssey opens on 18 May 2018, for limited runs in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, with more cities to follow. You can find ticket and engagement information at the 2001: A Space Odyssey website.

(Speaking of engagements, there’s no word yet on whether the 18 May release date will lead to a postponement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, which is scheduled for the next day in Windsor. What a dilemma for those poor guests!)

The recreated edition will be released on DVD and Blu-ray this fall, but you really want to see this on a big screen with big sound.


Here’s the original trailer for the 1968 release of 2001: A Space Odyssey:

“Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”

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Symmetry Breakfasts — Breakfast as an Art Form

One morning back in 2013, Michael Zee made breakfast for himself and his boyfriend, Mark. When he plated the meal, he noticed it was symmetrical, and took a picture of it with his IPhone.

That was the first of several hundred symmetrical breakfasts.

Zee, who was teaching at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, started posting the pictures to his Instagram feed, where they went viral. As I write this, he’s published images of 1,297 breakfasts, and has acquired almost 700,000 followers.

He still gets up by five every morning, to prepare an often elaborate and always beautiful meal. His breakfasts are literally works of art.

(Me, I’m not a morning person—I often get less done in a whole day than some people do before breakfast. If I have any breakfast at all, it’s either a warmed croissant with lots of Irish butter, or cereal with cream (real creamnot skimmed milk, not 2% milk), and some combination of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, golden raisins, and bananas, which some judgmental people have been known to describe as my “wake-up dessert.”)*

Last year Zee published a book called SymmetryBreakfast, which contains both gorgeous pictures of meals, and 100 of the recipes that produced them. You can see the full collection of Zee’s images on his Instagram feed at  Symmetrybreakfast.

All the photos here were found on the web.


*Ummmm, butter and cream. Gotta keep those cholesterol levels in the “Who wants to live forever?” territory.

The Naked Man at the Met Gala (Mildly NSFW — Brief Nudity)

“Art Is Anything You Can Get Away With”

That quotation is frequently attributed to Andy Warhol, and it certainly sounds like something he would have said, but it was Marshall “The Medium Is the Message” McLuhan who actually coined the phrase.

Sometimes, for some artists, Art Is Anything…whether you get away with it or not.  Take Russian artist/provocateur Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich, for instance.

Here he is doing a performance piece called Os Caquis (The Persimmons), outside the School of Visual Arts in Rio de Janeiro in 2015.


That’s Pavlov-Andreevich, sitting naked on a tall plywood chair at the entrance to the museum. His assistant is offering very soft persimmons to the visitors, who are invited to throw them at the artist.

The goal?

“By the end of the performance the artist and the podium will all be covered in the orange pulp from the more or less successful attempts of the visitors to hit the artist.”

Ah! That explains it!

And then there’s Fyodor’s Performance Carousel-II, a hard-to-describe collaborative performative installation he orchestrated last year in Vienna.

This is all leading up to what happened last Monday night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The Background

The Met Gala is the big annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. It’s an evening packed with celebrities—this year’s honorary chairs were Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams—and with the very, very rich.

Vogue editor Anna Wintour—the presumed model for the “Miranda Priestly” character in The Devil Wears Prada—is a trustee of the Met, and oversees the annual 700-person guest list. Those not on the list can buy individual tickets to the Gala for $25,000.

It was only $15,000 until 2014. They raised the price to keep out the riffraff.


Enter Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich

Fyodor’s most famous—maybe notorious is a more appropriate word—performance piece is called Foundling. Over the past two years, he’s staged it, uninvited, at art-related events in Venice, Moscow, London, and São Paulo. On Monday, 1 May 2017, he completed the five-part performance art project at the Met Gala in New York.

Foundling is easy to describe:  Fyodor gets completely undressed and curls up inside a clear plastic box. He’s tall, and it’s a tight fit. The box is then sealed and transported to the event du jour. The artist’s assistants deposit the box, and the naked artist within, at the selected site.

Here’s how it went down in New York:


The Aftermath

Despite the fact that the Gala attendees and staff shown in the video were amused rather than disturbed or offended, Pavlov-Andreevich was arrested on a bunch of bogus misdemeanor charges, including  public lewdness, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct.

So much for New York’s celebrated reputation for sophistication and tolerance for eccentricity—the police were never called in at any of the previous four performances of Foundling, and Fyodor has never been arrested anywhere else.

The box remains in police custody. “If anyone cares about the box’ fate, it’s under arrest as well,” Pavlov wrote on Facebook.

Free Fyodor!  And free the box, too!  

Je suis Pavlov-Andreevich!


All photos and videos came from the artist’s website, linked above. It’s well worth a visit.

2016 Cookery Project — Second Half Review

I saw an ad a few weeks ago for a novelty Christmas present. It was a 2017 day planner, with spaces on each daily page for progress reports on self-improvement projects, exercise schedules, diet notes, and financial budgeting. That is, it had that stuff for each day until about the third week in January. The rest of the pages were blank.

It was a day planner for realists.

That hit way too close to home. My own traditional New Year’s resolutions—develop a wine palate, learn French, walk more, play Internet less—tend to go down in flames early in the year.

This year, though, I did stick with one of those goals through the entire 12 months: The 2016 Cookery Project.

I learned a lot about food and kitchen skills in 2016. Despite—or maybe because of—any number of stove top disasters, the quality of my meals at home improved dramatically, far beyond what I’d expected when I started the project last January.

Back in July, I posted pictures of some of the things I’d made during the first half of the year. Here are some from he second half:

2016 Cookery Project — Peach and Bleu Cheese Toasts

Peach and Bleu Cheese Toasts

Peach and Bleu Cheese Cheese Toasts

Lunch today came from a recipe in Bon Appétit.

A few years ago, if I’d read a recipe that told me to blanch and shock the peaches, I probably would have stared at the page for a few moments, before thumbing through the cookbook until I found something more within my comfort zone, like a recipe that began “Take one can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup.” But now I know the things I know….

So I blanched and shocked the peaches, then peeled them over a bowl, to catch the peach juice. I added a little olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and honey. Meanwhile, I cut two thick slices of Country White bread and toasted them under the broiler. When they started to singe at the edges, I brushed them with olive oil, and scattered bleu cheese and watercress—my favourite green these days—on top of them. Then I topped that with the peaches and some of the sauce.

It sure beat Cream of Mushroom Soup.

2016 Cookery Project — Bean and Bacon Soup

Bean and Bacon Soup

Bean and Bacon Soup

Well, summer’s over.  It’s time from richer, heavier soups.

I based this Bean and Bacon Soup on a recipe from Cooking Classy, which has become my go-to source when I’m looking for something new and interesting to try.  With a few substitution–black beans and kidney beans instead of navy beans, Monterey Jack instead of shredded mozzarella–I already had most of the ingredients on hand, so this was an easy one.

Tasted great, too.