Something from Nothing

Something from Nothing Poster

Last night (Saturday, May 31, 2014) I had the privilege of attending Hal Samples private screening of his documentary Something from Nothing. It followed the journey of how Hal Samples met one distinctive individual, Tachowa Covington, one serendipitous day while visiting Los Angeles. Hal Samples, has long worked with the homeless taking their portraits and making them visible to a world that would rather forget them. Tachowa was not exactly homeless though. He was and is an ingenious man who turns what society deems as trash into treasure. He turned an abandoned, rusted out water tank into an art piece/home and invited Hal and Dylan to come visit it.

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Upon meeting Hal on the street where Tachowa a.k.a Rollerball was known to roller-blade in the area in a self-made suit of armor, Tachowa approached him and told him that he had seen him in a dream and Hal was going to make a movie about him. The only thing was there were two cameramen in the dream. What a coincidence that Hal happened to be in town with his friend and fellow photographer Dylan Hollingsworth!

What unfolds is a story in human ingenuity and true humanity. Tachowa has his faults just like all of us, however, he continually reminds us that we are not just a cog in the machine of society. We are part of a grander Existence and we should strive to do more than fit neatly into a place that is manufactured and far from our natural state of being.

From The Independent in an article by Tim Walker:

‘ “I watched it for a month or so,” Covington recalls. “Eventually, I climbed inside and saw that it was empty. I thought, ‘Wow. This would be a cool place to make a house.’ I picked it as a sanctuary, a place to kick back, to be close to God and to the ocean.”

Getting inside was a challenge: you had to scale a ladder, clamber on to the tank and climb in through a hatch at the top. But Covington was undeterred. He sanded the rust from the walls and repainted the interior. He salvaged plywood from the alleys of nearby neighbourhoods and made a level floor. He built shelves, and fixed pictures to the walls with magnets. He broke down a sofa and a king-size bed, squeezed the parts through the hatch, and then reconstructed them inside, like ships in a bottle. “It started more as an art piece,” he says, “but then it became a home.”

The police, apparently charmed by this friendly eccentric, would leave him alone when they came to clear vagrants from the hillside, sometimes calling up to the tank to say hello. The US postal service delivered mail to his exclusive address: 15145 Pacific Coast Highway. “People left me alone because they thought it was an empty tank and I was just climbing up there with a sleeping bag,” he says. “But I was building inside the whole time.”

After a few years of work, the tank had a generator which powered lights, a stereo, a TV, even a set of security cameras.” ‘ – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/the-water-tank-the-banksy-prank-and-the-later-life-of-the-homeless-elephant-man-tachowa-covington-8735581.html

Tachowa lived in this home for several years until one day Banksy happened across it and spray painted the words “This looks a bit like an elephant.”  Once news got out that Banksy had done this, the site became a tourist attraction and the tank was snapped up by an organization called Mint Currency to be sold as an art piece.

The true artwork was held within the tank and that artwork was now the lost home of Tachowa. However, that did not stop this man and his story. Tachowa became the subject of a play,  Banksy: The Room in the Elephant, by Tom Wainwright  and ended up traveling to the U.K. for performances of that play. Hal accompanied Tachowa on this chapter of his life’s journey and the reactions of people to him and his story are just amazing. One thing that really struck me was how Tachowa who always seemed to have a smart quip or reply seemed to become more introspective. I asked Hal about this and was told that Tachowa has been humbled by this whole experience, the good and the bad. He continues to grow and see the world in ways that many of us never will.

Tachowa has since lived in several innovative homes that he has made for himself but is currently living in a tent that overlooks the site of his beloved palace tank. This man truly is human royalty through his use of the color purple in his dress to the way he looks at this world and the people in it. Another moment, I’ll never forget in the film is Tachowa looking out over the old site with a tear in his eye. Truly a poignant moment. Again, this is not the end of this story. Tachowa continues to inspire and his friendship with Hal continues on.  The documentary was about 40 minutes long and Hal plans on making this into a feature length film. The version shown was made to play along performances of Banksy: The Room in the Elephant.

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Also at this event was artwork by Travis Randall Sykes of which a couple of pieces are featured here. The works are a perfect accompaniment to the documentary, Tachowa’s message, and to the Hal’s work.

Travis Randall Sykes

In addition, the evening included a beautiful musical performance from Ashley Myrick who also provided great insight to the film having worked as an editor of the film. Ashley stated that she has viewed this work several times now and each time it’s something different and the whole experience is something that is hard to completely wrap your head around. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve only seen this documentary once and I’ve been thinking about it all day. I know there is probably a lot more I could say and I hope I have not left out any facts or used any distorted information that I have gleaned from other sources as this story was not just about Tachowa but also about Hal and his compassion for his fellow humans.

Teaser: 

http://somethingfromnothingthemovie.com/

http://dylanhollingsworth.com/tachowa

https://ashleymyrickmusic.bandpage.com/

Space. The Final Frontier. A Music Video Tribute.

Us earthlings have a fascination with space. Artists, writers, film makers and musicians continually turn to space for inspiration. Lately, I’ve been on a kick of watching music videos with great music and space travel. Here is a selection for your listening and viewing enjoyment.

I had to include this as it so fits in with the theme of this entry.  “I’ll Sleep When I Die” by Daniel Perez:

“Four Three” by All India Radio:

“Solar Apex” by Chateau Marmont:

“Pump Up the Volume” by M|A|R|R|S:

 

***This blog is also dedicated to NASA’s last Shuttle launch today.

Rest in Peace Leon Botha.

Rest in Peace Leon Botha aka DJ Solarize.  Artist, DJ, and amazing individual with a unique perspective.  Until his death this past weekend, Leon was the oldest living person with progeria (rapidly aging disease.)

Many will recognize him from Die Antwoord’s videos:

DJ Solarize scratching it up!

Leon Botha’s Flickr Page:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarize-liquidswords/

Wiki’s Entry on Leon Botha:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Botha

My tumblr post on Leon Botha:  http://photoetrist.tumblr.com/post/6258452406/rip-leon-botha-you-were-a-unique-individual-with

On the evening of your 103rd birthday, Frida…

Many are thinking of you
The Google Doodle

Features your likeness
and my mind
keeps going back to
your life
work
art
beliefs
paintings
suffering
the spinal injury you occurred

that reminds me of mine
your pursuit to push on
your endeavors
to accomplish
what women had not done
your ancestry
your anger
your depression
your love
your passion,
Signora Kahlo
you keep on giving…

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In Autumn, with the long sighs of the violin, I regret nothing.

Autumn, you bring out the Reflective-Fall-Side of  Life.

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon coeur
D’une langueur
Monotone.
Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l’heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure.
Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

La chanson de Prévert by Serge Gainsbourg

Oh je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
Cette chanson était la tienne
C’était ta préférée
Je crois
Qu’elle est de Prévert et Kosma 

Et chaque fois les feuilles mortes
Te rappellent à mon souvenir
Jour après jour
Les amours mortes
N’en finissent pas de mourir

Avec d’autres bien sûr je m’abandonne
Mais leur chanson est monotone
Et peu à peu je m’ indiffère
A cela il n’est rien
A faire

Car chaque fois les feuilles mortes
Te rappellent à mon souvenir
Jour après jour
Les amours mortes
N’en finissent pas de mourir

Peut-on jamais savoir par où commence
Et quand finit l’indifférence
Passe l’automne vienne
L’hiver
Et que la chanson de Prévert

Cette chanson
Les Feuilles Mortes
S’efface de mon souvenir
Et ce jour là
Mes amours mortes
En auront fini de mourir

In a more figurative sense of Autumn being the time of reflection over the actions of your relative youth (No, I Regret Nothing):

Edith Piaf
NO REGRETS

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things
That went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the grief doesn’t last
It is gone
I’ve forgotten the past

And the memories I had
I no longer desire
Both the good and the bad
I have flung in a fire
And I feel in my heart
That the seed has been sown
It is something quite new
It’s like nothing I’ve known

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things that went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the seed that is new
It’s the love that is growing for you


Make Me a SuperHero

I found this great site through my friend Matthieu to play around with the concept of, “What if I was a SuperHero?”
The Hero Factory

Here are some of my favorites I came up with. I used myself as a model for most of them. 😉

A token Male SuperHero with an overly Suggestive Name.

The titles of the “comic book issue” were automatically generated based on choices one selected, thus, some were better than others!

Just because this kind of fits (old release now):

Stream The New Flaming Lips album “Embryonic” – only a few more hours left as of Monday 1:34am CST ~ I really enjoyed this! Thanks Colbert Report!