Saturday, June 28, 2008

Camera Happy

In a strange turn of requests, I got to hang out with an interesting group of plastic camera-makers from Japan called Power Shovel, yesterday. They have a publishing imprint and record company under the same roof, all loosely interconnected via experiential and experimental sights and sounds. [Website at bottom of post, but the English is kind of stereotypically bad.]

Anyway, they were in town for one of their artist's big art opening in Chelsea. Rei Sato is a T. Murakami protegé circa Geisai, and this is her carrying a bouquet of sunflowers.

Below is her boyfriend performing Fushitsusha-style but like the uber-kitsch version, inside Sato's only site-specific piece. Her editor told me later this was a direct replant of all the contents of a cafe she opened in her hometown (somewhere in Ibaraki). She shut down the cafe after just one week, and made this instead. And even though the boyfriend is by Sato's side wherever she goes, not a single person knew his name. Everyone said, "oh we just call him Rei's boyfriend."

Anyway, it was really fun.
They being the camera-makers they are, we all took a little field trip into Brooklyn Bridge park with cameras in tow. They each had their amazing and enviable plastic Hasselblad-lookalike toy cameras, and took pictures of babies and dogs, while I had only my stupid iphone. Eventually one of them let me carry around their camera, and I honestly felt like a little kid who just got to do something "adult" and "sophisticated." I'm sure the pictures I took will not come out, but man was it fun taking them on such antique machines.

This is Nick (cut off by frame) and Sasaki-san, wielding their Black Bird, Fly cameras. [The most amazing thing about their cameras is that they're all named after songs or musicians. BBF is apparently a line in a Beatles song.]

But despite all my envy for plastic cameras, what we really needed were telephoto lenses. Check this guy out. The iPhone picture from 80 yards away does it no justice, but the man was wearing nothing but a yellow thong-thong -- i.e. the thong-bathing suit, went up his butt like a thong-underwear. Ah, New York.

Aforementioned Nick also gave me a CD he produced that was a tribute to the photographer Moriyama Daido. Moriyama Zoo No. 1 is sort of mind-blowingly good, and it makes me wonder why these things don't get more coverage. (Nick mentioned that the record and book businesses were almost invariably financial losses, and paid for exclusively by their cheap toy cameras.)

Anyway, check all this stuff out at Power Shovel.

1 comment:

sidewise said...

Where did you get the Black Bird Fly? I've been trying to find out where I can get my hands on one but unfortunately their website is very uninformative. :(