P E R S O N

If you have been following A Collection Of, you know that Gilda Davidian and Stefani Greenwood are the authors, dear friends and artists.  If you have arrived here for the first time let me introduce you to us...

Stefani on Gilda: When I think about Gilda my eyes are dripping honey and butterflies are kissing in my hair.  And most definitely the birds are singing -  the flowers too.  Gilda is gutsy and tough but insanely kind and thoughtful - a perfect mix that is never dull and always intriguing.  She has influenced my life profoundly, inspires me constantly and I love her dearly.  She dazzles me with her style, intelligence and energy - seriously, when I think of Gilda I get the feeling of opening a door to a secret dimension. I feel so lucky to have her as a friend.

Gilda on Stefani:  When I think about Stefani my entire being lights up. Stefani is a constant inspiration to me as a creative partner, a friend, and as a fellow human being. I have learned so much from who she is and how she does the things she does. Stefani is an extraordinary combination of thoughtfulness, kindness, genuineness, and loyalty. Her way of seeing the world and uncovering ways of looking amazes me continuously. Her tireless and heartfelt dedication to life and love and discovery are a daily reminder of how I want to be. I thank my lucky stars for aligning my path with hers.

 

Stefani asks Gilda - - - - - - - - 

What are some of your current obsessions? I’m preparing to leave for school soon again and my mind can’t seem to focus on much else so I think that may be my Prime Obsession at the moment. I’m a big preparer and packer so it’s hard for me not to lose myself and let the little things (lists/organization) take up too much of my time. So to counter my obsessive streak, I’m making sure to spend loads of time with my friends and my family and soak in as much of my favorite places in Los Angeles before I’m off to New York.

Tell us a story from your childhood? I remember playing in my parents’ backyard with my two closest cousins when I was five or six and one of them telling me that there are trains running underneath the ground, deep inside the earth, below our feet. I remember putting my ear to the grass and hearing the trains rushing by.

I also remember spending the night in that same backyard with my family after a nighttime earthquake (don’t ask me why my parents thought it was a good idea for us to sleep outside). My sister, brother and I slept on the grass on cushions from the red plaid couch that sat on our porch. I remember a bird flying straight down from the sky and clutching the grass with its little feet. I remember thinking it must be looking for solid ground because the earthquake must have tossed it around pretty hard when it was flying.

What is something you recently heard or saw that has stuck with you? The Charles and Ray Eames documentary – Eames – The Architect and the Painter - on Netflix! I was so inspired by their process, their home, and their lifestyle. I particularly enjoyed hearing the bit about a dinner party that was hosted at the their house at which they “served” floral arrangements for dessert in lieu of sweets - meaning they set them in front of the guests after dinner so they can revel in their beauty and smell.

What is one thing you think the future will have? I think a lot will change in ways we can’t conceive as we grow further from the understanding of life before the internet.

What is something you are really looking forward to? Turning 30 in July! I’m big into birthdays and this one feels particularly big. I’ve been waiting for it all year. 30 already feels like a change in view. I’m growing old with my body in ways I couldn’t really understand before. I’m understanding how to understand things in ways I didn’t know before.

 

Gilda asks Stefani - - - - - - -

What are some of your current obsessions?  The pursuit of ideas and adventure always. Currently - altered states, navigating through space, desire, repetition, and fantasy lives.

What have you been listening to recently?  Firstly, the new Rufus Wainwright album - Out of the Game.  Other things are animal sounds, found sounds, John Maus, Girls, Wilco, Moondog, Nirvana, Air, Yo La Tengo,  XX, Dinosaur Jr., The Shins, Ben Lee, Bob Marley and Stephen Malkmus.

What were you like when you were 12?  I was pretty much hating life.  To quote my dad, I was “Nasty” and to quote my mom I was “Moody”.  I was going to a new school that I didn’t want to go to and none of my friends were coming with me.  But on the brighter side of my dark life, I met one of my best friends that year, Becky Yamamoto.  I was introduced to new music like The Cure, Morrissey and Jane's Addiction and my mind was being blown! This will come as a shock - I loved the color black, crystals and weirdos.

I know that I was so totally ready to be 13.

What do you find yourself thinking about these days before you fall asleep? What are humans? Kitties! Serge is so sweet and handsome. B L A C K   H O L E S.  Did I set the alarm? Tomorrow? I always hope the phone won't ring in the middle of the night.

Tell us something you’ve learned so far being a human being on Earth that you think is worth sharing at this time (no pressure). While I was listening to Rufus's new album I heard him sing, "The open hearted have nothing to fear".  This is definitely something that is on my mind more than it has been at any other time in my life. Just today I was reading my horoscope from my most favorite astrologer Rob Breszny, and he was talking about overcoming biases for a rewarding experience. After posting about biases, wow like 1.5 years ago, I have never stopped thinking about all of my biases and how I can overcome and challenge myself.  I just keep looking around the world and seeing humans wearing shells of woven dreams, history, emotions and memories.

Also we only live once… or do we?

 

(The image above is a polaroid taken just last weekend at a wonderful party (art vs. science) where we celebrated our friend Brian's birthday at one of Los Angeles's coolest spaces, Synchronicity.  Thank you to our friend Ava for the forever memory of our costume as a John Baldessari piece.)

Gilda / Stefani / Brian / Sychronicity / Ava

I D E A

I read Reborn, excerpts from Susan Sontag's journals and notebooks from 1947-1963 about a year ago, and I love going back to leaf through it and hear Sontag's voice mature and her life change through the documented years. Reading Reborn made me feel closer to the flame of life. Sontag's spirit, strength and passion are clearly channeled through her vibrant opinions and emotions.

I recently came across this post on the Creatures of Comfort blog (which is a daily stop for me) that had a few quotes by Sontag (including the one above) from the New York Times. The quote rekindled my love for not just her writing, but for her way of thinking. Read more about Sontag and her life HERE.

A N I M A L

Did you know there is a mountain lion living in Griffith Park? The park service thinks the 3 year old male is most likely from the Santa Monica region, which means he travelled across the 405 and 101 freeways.  Or that it came from the San Gabriel region, traversing through storm drains and neighborhood streets. I love thinking about this guys adventures and all of the other animals that are walking around in urban areas.  According to an LA Times article, there have been 14 mountain lion attacks since 1890, six of which resulted in death.  That doesn't seem too worrisome, but just in case - do not run, if you have children or animals keep them close, start yelling, waving your arms and throw things. He will most likely be noshing on the mule deer in the park.  Sorry sweet deer - one of you a week will most likely have to go.

The mountain lion has been caught, tagged with a GPS collar, and is named Puma 22. He is about 2 or 3 years of age.  Good luck out there P.

In my searching, I found a cool site called Urban Carnivores. The goal of the website is to inform the public about research being done on native carnivores in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties by UCLA and National Park Service biologists. Worth a look if you want to know what else is out there.

 

LA Times / Urban Carnivores

T H I N G

We are big list-makers and list-lovers here on ACO (remember this?). So it's no surprise that I lit up when I recently came across Umberto Eco's The Infinity of Lists, an illustrated essay about what he calls "the vertigo of lists" which he worked on while a resident at the Louvre. In it he talks about lists being therapeutic, celebratory, as tools to cope with the incomprehensibility of the infinite. He talks about the role of lists in arts and literature, including practical lists, poetic lists, assemblages, cabinets of curiosities, curations, repertories, metaphorical alignments, and chaotic enumerations.

QUOTE:

The list is the origin of culture. It's part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. There is an allure to enumerating how many women Don Giovanni slept with: It was 2,063, at least according to Mozart's librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. We also have completely practical lists — the shopping list, the will, the menu — that are also cultural achievements in their own right.  (SOURCE)

Find out more HERE.

P L A C E

Three adjectives that come to mind are genius, never-ending, frightening.

Here are some things that I have been meaning to tell you about, but somehow put off or emailed to myself and then just moved to the A Collection Of folder.  Oopsies.

Selected from the selection:

- Louis Theroux - oh this man (major swoon). If you are interested in documentaries, people, humanity, funny things or interesting things in America, check him out immediately.

- Wade Davis - Have you read any of his books? Or listened to his TED talk? He opens my mind and heart in new ways.

- What are the most addictive sounds in the world? LINK

- Have you been to the Rainforest Flora shop? They have a huge selection of air plants!

- List of National Historic places in Los Angeles - LINK

- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - In particular the part about people living in their own dreams, their own minds. LINK

- Cryptomnesia?

- This video on seed dispersal had me entranced.  Fascinating to say the least.

-The Aymara in South America have a concept of time opposite to all the world's studied cultures. LINK

- My husband and I had Lomi Lomi massages in Kauai at Angeline's.  It started with a steam and then moved on to a scrub with Hawaiian salts followed by the best massage experience of my life.  I highly recommend it.  LINK

- Cottage Food Laws

- Listen to the first sounds ever recorded: LINK

- Make your own silken tofu! This idea was implanted by a lovely dinner at Robata Jinya, where they made tofu right before our eyes. And then we ate the magic. LINK

- Princeton's global consciousness project - LINK

- Artist Do-Ho Suh talking about home, place and space - LINK

- Cats are the worst by Nick Kroll - LINK

P E R S O N

 

I am excited to introduce you to the wonderful Katie McMurran who I met through Angela sometime last year. Katie is a radio producer, composer and audio artist. She studied at CalArts and currently works for KUSC. Be sure to check out her website to hear some of her beautiful compositions (I loved For Keith and Tilt) and projects.

Hi Katie! Considering your background in sound, I can't help but wonder what you have been listening to lately? The new Sigur Ros and new Beach House have been in rotation lately. I listen to lots of podcasts, and lots of radio in general. I am one of several in my family who subscribes to satellite radio. It has a great college radio station and some fun talk programs. Remember Jane magazine? Jane Pratt hosts a radio show. It's sassy.

Where is the last place you traveled to? Tell us something that happened there. My last big trip was Thailand. Seeing a falling star from a rowboat ride at night was one of the magical things that happened during the trip. But my favorite part was going down to the beach early in the morning, sitting in a rope swing, and listening to music.

Do you subscribe to any mantras or mottoes? It sounds cheesy but "go with the flow" - don't resist life. I strongly believe in practicing mindfulness so whatever is happening in this moment, try to experience that fully, good or bad, and then actfrom that place. Not that I'm able to do that all the time, but it's a goal.

What is something you are looking forward to? I'm going to Brooklyn in a few weeks and am looking forward to spending a day  recording a friend of mine who is an environmental activist.

Are you working on any projects right now? I have two audio projects on the horizon - one on our perceptions of physical beauty, and one on how music represents our feelings for others - why we're compelled to make mix tapes, for example.

Thank you, Katie!

W E B S I T E

I D E A

We over here at ACO are giving cheers at the statement above made in regards to gay marriage by President Obama.  We couldn't be happier that he believes in his heart that people should be treated equally.

Recently we had a way out of town guest visiting, and I will use some of his words for my toast to you all:  Here is to you, the nice colors, the coolness and the liberty!

Have a beautiful weekend friends - raise a glass and make a toast to equality!

A N I M A L

Our friend Miwa had posted the photo above on her facebook a while back and I couldn't get it out of my head! These beautiful fungi are called nidulariacea and are also known as fairy cups or bird nest's fungi, cause they look like bird nests with little eggs in them. They grow on mulch or bark and can be found in moist foresty or tropical areas (Miwa found this one in Stanley Park in Vancouver BC).

Interesting fact:

The nests are splash cups. When a raindrop hits one at the right angle, the walls are shaped such that the eggs are expelled a good distance from the nest. Some species have a sticky trailing thread, a funicular cord, attached to the peridiole. If that thread encounters a twig on its flight the egg will swing around and wrap itself around the twig. The spores can then germinate there and start the life cycle over again. (SOURCE)

Find out more / Read Miwa's interview on ACO / See Miwa on TED

T H I N G

On one of my trips down the rabbit hole I found an awesome site/project called 323 Projects, started and run by Tucker Neel. All of their projects involving calling in - their current project is The Patter of Tiny Brains, an exhibition curated by Doug Harvey. From their website:

For this group show sourced from dozens of contributors, Harvey presents a rotating selection of audio generated by children, up to and including adolescents.

Visitors who call into 323 Projects’ phone number will hear audio ranging from baby noises to musical performances, and a variety of surprising sound recordings performed by kids. In presenting the work of children, Harvey encourages listeners to bring serious, respectful aesthetic attention to works of performance otherwise disregarded as immature and amateur. This exhibition challenges value systems that deem children's creative output trivial or inconsequential, and instead critically and enthusiastically seeks to reframe the discourse surrounding notions of youth, professionalism, and creative expression.

(323) 843-4652 or (323) TIE-IN-LA

MISSION STATEMENT

323 Projects exists to provide a dispersed, peripatetic, and constantly accessible venue for artists of all kinds who seek to explore issues important to their respective practices. The artists involved with 323 Projects provide, create, or perform works that can be appreciated in bits and pieces, and at more than one time, in both public and private spaces, by an unseen, yet omnipresent, local and international audience.

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I love this.

Website / Tucker Neel

P L A C E

After spending most of the weekend driving up and down half the state of California, trekking through the Grapevine to wine country and up and down the curvy coast, I couldn't help but think of the quote above from artist Anri Sala that I read in this article in Frieze Magazine a while back. Sala's work deals with the crossovers between sound and space and time. He says, "What I call a place is where one remembers having been, which is not only made of space but also of time." Read more about Anri Sala and his ideas HERE.

 

P E R S O N

I feel so lucky to have met the talented and very sweet Angela Denny.  She is multi-faceted and has impressed me with her creative skills from the most endearing watercolors to sewing projects.  She works at shabby chic as a designer too! She has a blog - Bonne Chance - that features fortune cookie fortunes, projects and ideas.  Her heart is huge and we really adore Angie!

Tell us some of your current obsessions.  Recently I have re-acquainted myself with my sewing skills and have been sewing one project every weekend. I get obsessed with picking the right pattern and fabric to use. I love buying vintage patterns on ebay! I am always obsessed with vintage bicycles.

Tell us a story from your childhood. I lived in Virginia for a year when I was about 5 and I have very nice summer memories of catching butterflies in a field and fireflies by a lake, it was quite magical.

What are some of your daydreams? I daydream about sewing  mostly, what I am going to make next, what fabric I will use.  I love to daydream about traveling to far off places!

What is something you recently heard or saw that has stuck with you? I am a big Beastie Boys fan, and I am super sad that MCA , Adam Youch passed away. He was such a sensitive spirit and wrote some very beautiful songs.

What are some of your favorite LA spots? My boyfriend Will and I love to eat at Elf in Echo Park and go to the Cheese Store in Silverlake.  Cafe de Leche in Highland Park is a favorite for their horchata lattes!!  I enjoy fabric shopping dowtown in the garment district, near 9th st.

 

Thank you so much Angie!

 

Blog / Work / Listen to this!

I D E A

I thought these words from Jack Kerouac's Big Sur (which is a great read, by the way) were fitting for today since Stefani and I are heading to Big Sur this weekend to celebrate the wedding of two of our friends!

I wish you all weekends full of love and beautiful sights. See you next week!

A N I M A L

Even though it is a wives tale that these bugs are searching out your inner ear for their next home, I can't help but feeling a little ugh when I see one.  Plus those pincers!  The other day in the beautful early afternoon light, I took a good look through my macro lens at an earwig and found it to be quite fascinating. First, the sheen of it's body is mesmerizing, with colors that remind me of industrial materials. Secondly, those pincers... they look like hand crafted jewelry.

One crazy fact about earwigs is that they can fly - right into your ear... just kidding! But while we're on the subject, guess which insect is most commonly found in human's ears?  The cockroach. Oof.

Khan's Worm

T H I N G

(This post was "sponsored" by my husband - meaning he suggested the topic.)

The Planets is a 7 part orchestral piece by Gustav Holst written between 1914 - 1916. Holst interpreted each planet in the piece (except for Earth) astrologically instead of celestially. Each movement is intended to convey ideas and emotions that he associated with the influence of the planets on the psyche. He referred to this piece as "a series of mood pictures." and considered it to be a representation of the progression of life.

The 7 suites include: - Mars, the Bringer of War - Venus, the Bringer of Peace - Mercury, the Winged Messenger - Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity - Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age - Uranus, the Magician - Neptune, the Mystic

End note:

Holst never wrote another piece like The Planets again. He hated its popularity. When people would ask for his autograph, he gave them a typed sheet of paper that stated that he didn't give out autographs. The public seemed to demand of him more music like The Planets, and his later music seemed to disappoint them. In fact, after writing the piece, he swore off his belief in astrology, though until the end of his life he cast his friends horoscopes. (SOURCE)

Read more about the piece HERE. Listen to it HERE.

P L A C E

Major swoon at the Neutra VDL house over on Silver Lake Boulevard.  Oh man! I highly suggest taking the tour ($10.00) and spending some quality time checking out the space.  It has left a lasting impression and a strong desire to think more about and incorporate sun louvers, water roofs, "nature-near", and physiologically motivated design into my life.  Two things that I want to show you are the dreamy sun streaming in the window onto the bed, and the tree in the backyard/middle space.

Mrs. Dione Neutra wrote her impressions after living in the new house in June 1970, shortly after Richard Neutra’s death:

“Only those, who have lived in a Neutra House, would ever understand how wonderful the daily satisfactions and delights are and how much this experience helps to augment the joy of living. This is especially the case in this house, which is built on three levels. With the many glass surfaces, mirrors, pools that reflect trees and flowers, every step from room to room, stairway up and down, is an aesthetic and artist experience, which I have the good fortune to enjoy, while I move about the house and watch the changing weather. I credit much of this satisfaction to the detailed efforts of my son, Dion, who spent the better part of two years in daily supervision and design of the rebuilt version of this house, which has so many enrichments in comparison to its predecessor of the early ‘30s. I have been asked whether I would not like to live out my last years in my hometown of Zurich. No, I don’t think I would, even if I could transplant this house; the climate is simply too bad in Europe in comparison with the one here, despite occasional smog. I have a marvelous music room here with the excellent grand piano on which my father played for 70 years...”

From the website:

The house is open to the public without appointment on Most Saturdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. See dates when we are closed below, otherwise we are open - there is no need to call. Last tour starts at 2:30pm. Tours are approximately 30 minutes, and are given by architecture students from Cal Poly Pomona.

P E R S O N

I stumbled across Elizabeth Atterbury's artwork through an internet rabbit hole recently and happily clicked away on the different projects on her website. I was particularly drawn to her photographs and her erased lithographs, more of which can be seen HERE. Here is Elizabeth telling us a bit about herself.

Hi Elizabeth! Name 3 things that are currently of interest to you. Mono-ha, paintings, tennis.

What are you currently working on? Studio compositions (2 and 3 dimensional arrangements made to be photographed) and photograms. Mostly black and white.

Tell us about something you treasure (person, place, thing, animal or idea)? Richmond Island. 226 acres of paradise off the coast of Cape Elizabeth in Maine. It's privately owned but welcome to the public so long as you can yourself out there. My boyfriend first took me out four years ago. He built the caretaker’s cottage on the island and every summer we go out and camp for a number of days, usually on the beach. There are 10-foot tides in southern Maine, so at this particular beach we might go to sleep looking out at nothing but open ocean and the next morning, it’s totally different. Spits of land are uncovered, forming little coves. And there’s a flock of sheep that lives out there year round.  Also, the floors of the small evergreen forests on both ends of the island are covered in soft grass. Fields of taller grass make up the rest of the island. Summer is especially on my mind right now and when I think of summer, I think of Richmond Island. To me, it’s the sweetest place in the world.

What was the last place you visited? Tell us something that happened there. Los Angeles for a week in March. One day, we drove out to Joshua Tree with friends. We hiked to an oasis. That’s not a word I get to say often – oasis. It was totally surreal, kinda sci-fi. The red barrel cacti started to look like chubby little aliens.  The next day, we missed our flight back to Maine for no good reason.

Thank you, Elizabeth!

W E B S I T E

I D E A

Last week on a rainy Los Angeles evening, I watched the film Marley with some friends over at Cinefamily.  There  are so many reasons why the evening was memorable:

1.  Los Angeles rain/earth smell

2. Friends

3. Couches at Cinefamily

4.  Bob Marley, oh Bobby

At first I thought that I might get anxious in during the 2 1/2 hours, but I was completely invested through the entire film - it was a story that took me through deep sadness and great uplifting feelings. (I keep hearing this song in my mind). I have to say that I have had a skip in my step since the film.

"Bob Marley's universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. "Marley" is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best."

Check out this film at a theater near you! TRAILER

Check out the ground for amazing finds like the fallen dreadlock pictured above.

A N I M A L

Though I had a lovely poem about wild swans by Edna St. Vincent Millay to share, I'm hijacking today's ANIMAL post to bring to your attention some things that have happened this week and will happen this weekend that I think are quite exciting.

1. The flowers above don't really have to do with this post but aren't they lovely? They were a gift from our sweet friend Angela.

2. Don't know if you saw the tweets, but Stefani and I were both featured on the awesome Los Angeles focused art, design, lifestyle, and culture website, Los Angeles, I'm Yours earlier this week: HERE & HERE.

3. Speaking of Los Angeles, I know I talk about it and my love for it a bit much on this here blog, but I read this quote by Eve Babitz earlier this week and my heart went thump thump:

"People nowadays get upset at the idea of being in love with a city, especially Los Angeles. People think you should be in love with other people or your work or love or justice. I've been in love with people and ideas in several cities and learned that the lovers I've loved and the ideas I've embraced depended on where I was, how cold it was, and what I had to do to be able to stand it all. It's very easy to stand L.A., which is why it's almost inevitable that all sorts of ideas get entertained, to say nothing of lovers." -from Slow Days, Fast Company – The World, the Flesh and L.A.

4. There's an exciting group show organized by Dave Muller and Andrew Berardini called She's Not There that opens at Public Fiction this Friday night that Lauren Spencer King (who we've interviewed here before) is part of. Get the details HERE.

and lastly:

5. I stopped by the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock yesterday and saw their new exhibition space (which looks great). For those of you around this weekend, stop by for their inaugural exhibition, Mini Comic-Con, that's co-curated by our dear friends Andrew Cox and Laura Marchetti!

ok, and now for really real lastly:

6. Watch out for the SUPERMOON! this weekend. It's going to be the biggest full moon of the last 18 years (can you believe it?) and I get to be in the desert to bask in its glory (I promise to report back on its magnitude).

 

T H I N G

The other day there was a gorgeous blanket of white fluff all over the grass from a Thorny tree's seed pods.  Have you guys seen a thorny tree (Ceiba speciosa)?  They are so rad! I think that the thorns would be beautiful dipped in gold - is that going overboard? I didn't know that the thorns hold water in them for use during dry times.

The cottonesque filling inside the pods can be used as stuffing, to make paper, canoes, ropes or as wood pulp.  During World War II it was used to stuff Navy life jackets. You can even make vegetable oil out of it.  I suggest braiding it and putting it on top of an unsuspecting person's head.

If you are into altered states, it is even added to some versions of the Ayahuasca drink.  I enjoyed this National Geographic article on the experiences of the writer Kira Salak during his shamanistic experience with Ayahuasca.

 

P L A C E

We are big fans of Synchronicity here at ACO (the idea and the place). For those of you who have never been, Synchronicity is an art space in East Hollywood, just across the street from Scoops. The space is run by Chris Gere and Katie Vonderheide who we had the pleasure of meeting and working with a few years ago. Chris and Katie are dedicated individuals who make this space everything that it is. Their attention to detail and love of art shines through all that they do.

From the website:

Synchroncity's  doors are open to a community of contemporary thinkers whose goal is to  make thoughtful and intelligent work never limiting themselves to a  specific medium.  We host exhibitions, screenings, performances, and  parties.  Staying active within the community and also bringing others  into it remains the most important goal of the space.

Their current projects include The Outer Workings of Inter Space: New Work by Justin McInteer and Brian Dinkins, that also includes a mural created by chance  (watch THIS) as well as Telephone Blue, an extension of the collaborative web project, LA INTERNET. Visit the space when you're in the area and check out all that Synchronicity has going on!

Synchronicity Space: 713 N. Heliotrope, Los Angeles, CA 90029