September 26, 2014
Since it opening day Moscone West at 4th and Howard has been adorned by a large black rectangle on the side of the building. Careful observers might notice that this rectangle is attached to a somewhat rusty track that goes around the entire building. Soon, this rectangle will be removed.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
When the building was first proposed in the early 2000s art firm Diller and Scofidio (now Diller Scofidio + Renfro) was hired to develop a public art element. And design they did. Their piece is called Facsimile. It was intended to show images of inside the conference center intermixed with playful videos of life in the surrounding hotels, while the screen moved back and forth across the track. While it’s certainly an interesting design, that design never quite translated to the real world.
Despite spending hours scouring the internet for evidence of the piece working as intended, I was only able to find conceptual renderings of what the piece was intended to look like. In practice, on the rare occasions it was switched on the screen didn’t move and only displayed occasional flashes of light.
SF Arts Commission voted to remove Facsimile on September 8th partly due to ongoing maintenance costs associated with preserving the non-functioning art. But if the Bay Area can’t get a piece of technology to work, it’s probably broken beyond repair.
September 19, 2014
For the past year or so, schizo rants similar to the one above have occasionally graced utility polls in downtown San Francisco. Exactly who is putting these up is unknown — the person in question has access to office supplies and seems capable of formulating grammatically correct sentences, which rules out many of SF’s best known colorful eccentrics.
So while it’s an amusingly bizarre read, it’s also a bit sad that the person behind this appears to be in the early stages of losing their grip.
Here’s the full text of the unhinged rant:
You are being influenced with remote-based computer programmed conversational skits when (1) you talk to yourself excessively with imaginary persons, (2) the discussion is with supervisors, friends, or famous people (for better influencing impact), and (3) it seems like you can almost feel what the other person feels like.
How it is done: Each person’s natural & distinct electrical cerebral emissions are assigned human tracking numbers. Our emissions are then constantly attached to thru usage of tracking medium (such as radiowave) which also has an open channel for transferring speech into and from our heads (i.e., our emissions are thus used like a transistor inside a radio – chip implants are not needed). Computers, programmed by operators for conversational manipulation, are at the other end of the tracker medium where our tracking numbers, name, sex, family members, likes, dislikes, and, all of our thoughts and statements are recorded. Libraried conversational skits, are applied into our hearing reception centers. Web query: Mind control and US Patents (beware, many sites include speculation).
Those of our leaders who are still with us and the law, are too manipulated to have sufficiently met and conferred on how to stop this; otherwise they would have informed us of more facts on the topic. WE MUST PUT OUT THE WORD and make this crime more public to enable the leg work by leaders necessary for a solution that entails the cessation of our manipulation.
August 29, 2014
Need to throw up? Just look at that billboard and try to imagine what Bud Light Lime’s awful new concoction would actually taste like.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to run to the bathroom and puke.
The above photo is a newspaper box at the 16th Mission BART plaza, which recently received a makeover. Who needs a boring black box when it can have a painting of what appears to be a girl on Mars pulling constellations out of the sky? More newspaper boxes should be this rad.
(Note: If you know who painted this, please do get in touch so I can update with proper credit.)
August 1, 2014
At some point recently, the ad on a Muni shelter at 16th and Valencia was replaced by a painting. But not just any painting, no — this one depicts what’s behind it. The trash can, the Muni map, the Well’s Fargo, etc.
Though I should point out that the guy in the painting was not, in fact, waiting for the bus when I took this photo. That would have been a little too weird.
Update: On Twitter, Factory 1 Design kindly provided details. This is part of a project called Art City, which is renting billboard space for the purpose of displaying art.
The piece at 16th and Valencia is by Oakland-based painter Brett Amory. See his work and others in the Art City series here.
July 13, 2014
Much has been written on the mysterious Mayan-esque face sculptures that have been appearing over the city in recent months. The only clue is that if you pick them up and turn them over, they say “Bini” on the bottom.
But of course, there is no real mystery here: as Mission Local reported, the painted plaster faces are made by local artist Bruce Hallman, who’s perfectly fine with people “liberating” them.
For more photos, Hallman himself documents the little Bini sculptures on his Flickr stream and in a Flickr gallery.
July 10, 2014
Recently we learned about a hip parking meter in the Mission. Today, I have news to share with you: hip parking meter’s cousin is a big fan of music.
Okay, maybe this parking meter could stand to get some better headphones, but still, pretty smart for a parking meter.
June 30, 2014
Over the weekend, NY Times covered a Dashiell Hammett tour of San Francisco. Great article overall, but one particular paragraph drops the ball:
I met Don Herron, one of Hammett’s pre-eminent appreciators, in front of the Flood Building in Union Square. The structure used to house the San Francisco offices of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, where Hammett was an operative during the early 1920s, and is one of the few landmarks to have survived the great earthquake of 1906. It has, however, undergone a transformation: It now is home to well-trafficked outlets of the Gap and Anthropologie.
The idea that the James Flood Building has undergone a “transformation” since Hammett’s days is not entirely true. Sure, the exterior-facing retail has changed, but the inside where Hammett worked? Not so much.
But like LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s some photos I took while I was inside the Flood building recently. Even today, it’s not so hard to imagine a private detective agency behind those marble walls and frosted glass windows.
June 27, 2014
Spotted near 2nd and Harrison
Tick tock, tick tock!
Yup, it’s that time again — time to get a small tortilla, fill it with your choice of beans, meat, salsa, etc. Perhaps you want to make it “super” (a Spanish word for “guacamole and sour cream”) for an additional dollar. Whatever floats your taco boat.
June 15, 2014
A few years ago the city installed new smart parking meters that accept credit cards and are powered by the sun. But did you know they’re also smart enough to wear clothes and enjoy sports?
Well, this particularly hip parking meter at 21st and Valencia is not only hip, but is also a 49ers fan. Take that, dumb meters.