Saturday, September 06, 2008

Path of Voices: Series of Madison sculpture installations focusing on violence and loss

I Cannot Remember His Voice
"I cannot remember his voice." For many of us, the voices of loved ones gradually fade away after their death. We remember the people, of course, but the reality of their voices gradually blur and become less distinct in our minds.

Path of VoicesI encountered this powerful statement about the pain of loss and mourning completely by accident. I was taking pictures on East Washington in front of East High School a while ago and noticed the series of sculptures in front of the school, pictured on the right. As I went over to look, I heard voices. They were quiet and conversational -- and came from speakers that were part of the sculpture installation. They were the voices of students recalling their experiences with violence. The effect was haunting. The installation is part of a series of four -- one at each public high school in Madison -- by New York artist and Madison native Bradley McCallum called Path of Voices.

Path of VoicesThis is the Path of Voices installation at West High School on Ash Street. When I stopped by the sound wasn't working, but perhaps it had been turned off for the weekend. Although this is near where I live, I had never noticed it, just as I was unaware of the entire series, even though I'm interested in public art in Madison. They're not usually included in lists of Madison public art (scroll down). Perhaps they fall into a bureaucratic jurisdictional black hole, since they are linked to the public schools and have been positioned as anti-violence statements and memorials as much as works of art. But I think the series is one of the better public art projects in the city.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A gloating, gleeful note from the Earmarks Queen of Alaska to the Wasilla City Council

We had a politician like Sarah Palin in Wisconsin once. He was just as gifted at using hypocrisy, lies and distortions to tap into a deep vein of anger and resentment, and he also made a career of promising to clean up Washington (in his case, to rid it of Communist sympathizers). Who knew Joe McCarthy would someday be reincarnated as a moose-hunting hockey mom with an attitude?

Palin's fast-and-loose way with the truth is proving to be a field day for fact checkers. This scrawled note was found in the Wasilla municipal records by The Washington Independent. (Via Kos)

It's a "That's Not All!" note appended to Wasilla City Council Informational Memorandum 99-62 that Mayor Palin sent to members of her city council.
FYI This does not include our nearly one million Dollars from the Feds for our Airport Paving Project.

We did well!!!
To hear her talk at the convention, you'd think she would have argued that, in the spirit of Alaskan self-reliance, the good citizens of Wasilla should roll up their sleeves and pave their own airport, instead of burdening taxpayers in the lower 48 states. But no -- when it came to earmarks, she was all for them before she was against them.

9/6/08 UPDATE: Or, as Barack Obama put it in Terre Haute today while talking about Palin's record on earmarks, "Come on. Words mean something. You can't just make stuff up."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Madison's Goodman Pool really went to the dogs on Labor Day -- and the dogs loved it

Madison's Goodman Pool Really Went to the Dogs on Labor Day
"Come on in, the water's fine!" -- hundreds of area dogs went for a swim and competed in events like jumping, retrieving and splashing. It was the second annual Dog Paddle at Goodman Pool, aimed at raising money for the Madison Police Department's K-9 Unit, on the day after the pool closed and just before it was flushed and drained for the season.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Biking to the Dane County Farmers' Market and a lakeside brunch on football Saturday

Monona Terrace Bike and Pedestrian Elevator
When the streets on the near west side of Madison turn red, I get the urge to flee. It's the perfect time to take the Southwest Bike Path downtown and catch the tail end of the Farmers' Market. Start just after game time and the crowds thin out once you get past Camp Randall. It's a great ride right down to Lake Monona. What about that big hill to the Capitol Square and the Farmers' Market? No problem -- just take the bike/pedestrian elevator at the Monona Terrace. I'd call it really cool, except it's actually stifling hot in the summer, because it's glass-walled and not air conditioned. But you get a great view of the lake, and think of the alternative.

Getting Away from the Saturday Football Crowds in StyleAfter filling your bags at the market, head back to the elevator. Back down at lake level, Sardine is just a few hundred feet to the east, right on the lake. There's no crowd because so many people are at the game -- and a bellini makes a great complement to their great Saturday brunch.