Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Off to HOT-lanta and flickring

Sorry for a delay in posting, it's just been so beautiful out in the Northeast. Bruce and I leave tomorrow for Atlanta for a wedding and to visit a friend. I've always had crazy times in this city so I look forward to seeing what will happen. We'll likely hit the High Museum and the Botanical Garden, among other things. I've been to the World of Coke, but maybe Bruce will want to go as he has never been.

In the meantime, there are some new pics posted on our various flickrs. It's always fun to look at pics of people. Check them out!

Monday, May 21, 2007

For Sale: 2 million square feet of Kodak

I just learned that Kodak is putting up for sale more than 2 million square feet of distribution space. According to my dad, "The buildings are some of the largest in the U.S. for distribution with millions of square feet condition space and 22-foot (HUGE) doors of massive truck entry....This was the main distribution center for all of Kodak. All of our products that were made in Rochester, and made elsewhere were shipped from/to here. Actually, this is where Paul (my brother) worked for the summer as a forklift operator."

As Kodak moves to digital and outsources more and more, such large spaces aren't needed anymore. The Marketing Education Center (MEC) where my dad worked for many years is still vacant. Add to that Elmgrove (left in 1999), a handful of buildings in Kodak Park, and several other buildings are/were being demolished, put up for sale, or offered for rent. This is not new news, buildings and products have been slowly downsized and as such they have even been the subject of documentary films, including "The Last Slide Projector," and short films. The artist Tacita Dean was spurred to make several films after learning that a film facility was closing down [Addendum: my film friends are disputing her understanding of what kind of film in the interview, I will try to nail down more and post on this soon]. She traveled to the French manufacturing plant to make Kodak, Noir et Blanc, and Found Obsolescence (all 2006). Her work is now showing at the Guggenheim. You can read an interview with Dean concerning her films about film here.

In keeping with the ideas of the last 2 posts, I think this requires a new approach: You are getting Kodak, buy Kodak...

More info on the sale/auction at this link
(and you can click on the below image for a closer look):

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Join the campaign - vote film

The amazing photoblogger Christian Patterson recently found an animated gif that touts "FILM IS NOT DEAD!" and has invited others to copy and post it. (He also found the PRC's color photography timeline a little while back.) The changing world of film and photo has long been an interest of mine. As you can see by the the following post, I am a product of a Kodak family and several family members and friends still work for Kodak (I hope), thus I am keen to spread the word of film!

Bummer, I couldn't figure out to save and post this so it blinks,
until then here are the urls. I'll keep trying.
Feel free to copy this and keep it going....
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

5 Things Meme (long overdue)

I was tagged...a long time ago! The "Five Things Readers Don't Know about You" meme was going around and it came to me. I did an earlier post to buy myself some time and included an explanation of the word "meme" and some links, but then this main post languished in my drafts box. Below, I present 5 things that some might know, but many may not. I figured most won't know all of them, so I will repeat some of my favorite odd stories here and with few family ones sprinkled in -- at least now they'd be all in the same place. Jeremias Paul, who tagged me, tried to track this meme to find its source. Thus, without further ado, I present:

1.) My dad named T-Max film
Yes, it is true. He presented several variants of TriX and ~Max, including TMax. As he was a company man, he received no compensation, but has the letter framed in his office. Older Kodak folks at trade shows know him simply as "Gordie."

2.) My brother and I were exposed to tuberculous when we were younger
Neither of us have it, but if we get a "tine" test, it would come back positive. We have no idea when or how this happened. Both of us were put on a medication and xray regimen for a year. The drugs basically killed the bacterium. All the doom and gloom aside, I feel in good art and historical company; many artists, authors, and musicians had TB. When I took a seminar on modernism in graduate school, I read a fascinating paper that compared Kazimir Malevich's abstractions to the spread of tuberculous and bacteria in petri dishes, both in terms of formal and philosophical concerns.

3.) My last name should be Green, not Brown
My grandfather was born in Cuba to Christian missionaries, the Greens. My great grandparents came to Cuba not knowing how tough it would be to raise a family. My great-grandmother died in Cuba when my grandfather was 2 and my great-grandfather couldn't still minister, provide, and take care of the kids so some went to family, others to friends. He was adopted by family friends in the US, the Browns! Thus, I should be Leslie Green - technically.

3.5) This same grandfather helped to design the engine on the first plane to break the sound barrier, Model B-29, the Bell X-1. He went to Syracuse for aerospace engineering but never finished due to the depression and later worked for Bell Aircraft of Buffalo. He died when my father was 18, so I never met him. The plane is on display at the Smithsonian.
4.) In elementary school, I participated in a super geek thing called "Olympics of the Mind"
Yes, I was one of those kids pulled out of classes occasionally to attend "gifted" sessions. In elementary school, this was so NOT cool. It was not fun to stand up, walk out of class with everyone watching and walk down the hall. In retrospect, it was amazing and taught me creative problem solving. We got to do all this cool stuff like make up board games and play with early computers and robots (programming a turtle to make math shapes). I believe it was fourth grade in which I started doing doing the competitions, which are now called "Odyssey of the Mind," but my group participated in the "build a balsa wood structure" problem. We had to build a light weight structure out of balsa wood and glue. Weights would be periodically placed on top of it and occasionally a billiard ball would come crashing into it on the side. While all this was happening, we also had to dress up and sing a song (our song was based on Kermit's "Rainbow Connection"). Much as in the Pinewood Derby, the kids that won definitely had adult help!

5.) Ansel Adams printed this picture of me (see below)
As you can probably see by now, my Dad is a font of great stories and experiences. During his Kodak days, he was the rep to the Ansel Adams workshops in the 1970s. He had heard that Ansel, at some point during a demonstration, would ask for a negative. So, my Dad put one in his pocket and saddled up beside him. When asked, my father furnished this negative to Ansel. He burned, dodged, and then printed it and then afterwards called my dad over to sign it and give it to him. My father, a RIT grad, was thrilled to meet the master, but his heart sank when he heard what he had to say: "Thank you so much for letting me print this. It's always great to demonstrate on a problem negative." That's me, age 2, sitting on the grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaguia, NY in 1975. I guess I was a good compositional element early on!

I have a few more that I will use as Monday Show and Tells (including, bowling and painting). Whew! Done!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Off to NYC...

I wish NYC was closer to Boston. It is the closest I've ever lived, but makes for a long day if you go and come back in one day (about 3 1/2-4 hours each way). We're off to make a quick trip to see some art, namely Jeff Wall at MoMA and all of the goodies at the Whitney (Taryn Simon, Lorna Simpson, etc.). We'll have to go again soon and just do galleries!

I have to have a blog day, but it has just been so beautiful out (finally). Here are the posts I owe:

Jeff Wall, "A Sudden Gust of Wind (After Hokusai)" (1993), MoMA, From: