Tuesday, July 24, 2012

American 1900: DFW to DCA

Gate D21

American Airlines 2760: SAF to DFW

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Taos Pueblo and Huxley's Brave New World ... a memory visited

2012.07.20-IMG_5419The Pueblo people have always fascinated me. And of course, when you think about the Pueblos, the one that comes to mind first is the Taos Pueblo. As one of the longest continuously inhabited places on earth - and the longest in North America - it ranks alongside the Pyramids (in my mind) as the most significant structures created by humans.

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On this, my first trip to Santa Fe, the Taos Pueblo was my main goal. I had the chance to visit the Bandelier National Monument earlier on the trip so had the opportunity to see the ancient cliff dwelling Pueblo site there. It was a good introduction to the Taos Pueblo.

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Perhaps one of my first introductions to the Pueblo people came from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. In Huxley's novel, the visitors from the Fordian future go to the "Malpais" Pueblo. I'm not sure which Pueblo Huxley modeled his fictional spot on, but in my mind, it was always Taos.

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Quotes from Brave New World

The journey was quite uneventful. The Blue Pacific Rocket was two and a half minutes early at New Orleans, lost four minutes in a tornado over Texas, but flew into a favourable air current at Longitude 95 West, and was able to land at Santa Fé less than forty seconds behind schedule time.

They slept that night at Santa Fé. The hotel was excellent—incomparably better, for example, than that horrible Aurora Bora Palace in which Lenina had suffered so much the previous summer. 

A bird’s-eye view of ten or a dozen of the principal pueblos, then a landing for lunch in the valley of Malpais. The rest-house was comfortable there, and up at the pueblo the savages would probably be celebrating their summer festival. It would be the best place to spend the night.

2012.07.20-IMG_5346Uphill and down, across the deserts of salt or sand, through forests, into the violet depth of canyons, over crag and peak and table-topped mesa, the fence marched on and on, irresistibly the straight line, the geometrical symbol of triumphant human purpose.

2012.07.20-IMG_5331The mesa was like a ship becalmed in a strait of lion-coloured dust. The channel wound between precipitous banks, and slanting from one wall to the other across the valley ran a streak of green—the river and its fields. On the prow of that stone ship in the centre of the strait, and seemingly a part of it, a shaped and geometrical outcrop of the naked rock, stood the pueblo of Malpais. Block above block, each story smaller than the one below, the tall houses rose like stepped and amputated pyramids into the blue sky. At their feet lay a straggle of low buildings, a criss-cross of walls; and on three sides the precipices fell sheer into the plain.

Presentation on the #DPLA at the NAGARA/CoSA Joint Meeting

2012.07.21-IMG_5495Here's my presentation for the NAGARA/CoSA Joint Meeting (Santa Fe, NM, 21 July 2012). Also on my panel were Emily Gore and Julia Marks Young.

The Digital Public Library of America: An Overview and Working with the National Collections. Martin R. Kalfatovic. NAGARA/CoSA Joint Conference. Santa Fe, New Mexico. 21 June 2012.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kokopelli chianti

Have had some very nice New Mexico wine!

In the past, people were shorter & had large bumps on their heads

Because nothing says Rancho de las Golondrinas fiesta like a hot dog

With ketchup.

In the Sangre de Cristo / The Blood of Christ Mountains

2012.07.20-IMG_5331 One and one-half wandering Jews
Free to wander wherever they choose
Are travelling together
In the Sangre de Cristo
The Blood of Christ Mountains
Of New Mexico
On the last leg of the journey
They started a long time ago
The arc of a love affair
Rainbows in the high desert air
Mountain passes slipping into stones
Hearts and bones
- Paul Simon, "Hearts and Bones"

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rio Grande Gorge panorama

At the Taos Pueblo

Quite an amazing place

From Lunar Base Clavius to Tranquility Base

2012.06.29-IMG_4841July 20, 2012 marks the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. For many of us, however, the culmination of the US Space Program occurred back in April 1968, it was then that Stanley Kubrick released the amazing film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The movie was filled with icons of the space age: the Orion III Space Plane (which in 1968 was operated by Pan Am, but which today would probably be Virgin Galactic), TMA-1 (the Black Obelisk), the Discovery, and of course, HAL. 

I recently had the chance to see some of the original artwork (by Robert T. McCall)  from 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum (in a behind the scenes conference room). The iconic images of the Orion III and the space station were amazing to see again after all these years. Most interesting was the painting of  Lunar Base Clavius, where the astronauts are holding what could be an iPad!


For those interested in the iconography of the space age, I can't let this opportunity to give a nod to one of the best books on the topic, Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race, 1957-1962 by Megan Prelinger (2010).

For more look backs at the Apollo program, see here (and some related posts on the HAL 9000 computer).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bandelier National Monument panoramas

Starbucks #6442, Los Alamos

BHL button visits Atomic City #BHLib

Los Alamos, NM

Starbucks, DeVargas Center

Felt a bit like Stieglitz while in Santa Fe, "Hands"

2012.07.17-IMG_5093BWFeeling a bit like Stieglitz while waiting to leave the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. A very nice museum (and I'm not usually a fan of the solo artist museums). Just the right size with a good selection across her career. FYI, here's one of the Stiegltiz photos I used as inspiration.

Because nothing says New Mexico like "Panda in a serape"

On the Plaza

Livin' la vida loca, Santa Fe style

2012.07.16-IMG_4992While taking cover during a bit of a downpour right off of the Plaza in Santa Fe, what did I spy, but a perfect exemplar of the "Santa Fe Style".

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Banga, "let me die on the back of adventure"

2012.06.05-IMG_2859While I was in Berlin last month, I was excited to see posters up for a couple of soon to be released albums, one by Neil Young and the other by Patti Smith, Banga.

I was especially excited about the latter since it's been eight years since she's released an album of original music. And it was worth the wait!

The single most impressive song on the album is "Constantine's Dream." Smith's as ever rich imagery float over the band's* apocalyptic grunge, a slow building cacophony like Physical Graffiti being channeled by Crazy Horse.

Smith's lyrics tell a complex story of  Piero Della Francesca, St. Francis, the Emperor Constantine, and Columbus that all weave together and crash into a finale that reminded me a bit of Allen Ginsberg's readings of Howl.

Here's hoping Patti won't be "Wave"ing goodbye anytime soon.

 * with the great Lenny Kaye on guitar and Tom Shanahan playing some amazing bass! And oh, yes, Tom Verlaine

Merry Wives of Windsor at The Shakespeare Theatre