"But Schlomo continued as he'd begun: 'When you go to a place where you might die that's one thing, but when you go to a place where other people are liable to die and you just stand there and watch them, that's something quite different. At least, that's what I think.' 'You're another one!' shouted Yehuda. 'Stop thinking so much.'"

Khirbet Khizeh by S. Yizhar (1949)


"...a body of work that is as astute as it is elegiac in its contemplation of the quotidian, offering an experience of the flux of time that is as elating in its duration as it is haunting for its sense of passing. It offers repose within the realm of the moving image at a time when images proliferate across hand-held devices, within a multitude of digital interfaces, and not least of all, in the liquidity of visual messaging across architectural and advertising screens that capitalize the city’s urban core."

Mark Lewis at the Power Plant (to January 3)


"There was no impulse I distrusted or admired more than that of exile. Distrust because of exile's narcissism, its modal insistence that, above all, location forged the content of one's conscience. Admired because of exile's bravery, its intransigence, the embrace hidden in its denunciation."

Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia by Tom Bissell


"'Human existence is nothing but solitude.'"

The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera


VIP observers sitting on the patio of the Officer's Beach Club on Parry Island are illuminated by the 81 kiloton Dog test, part of Operation Greenhouse, at Enewetak Atoll, April 8, 1951 (from the Ryerson Black Star collection holdings).

Nuclear photography from Hiroshima to the meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi. I find AGO's smaller side exhibits wildly unpredictable. They are sometimes one claustrophobic room with a few works and sometimes four large spaces jammed with work across many disciplines (if it fills four rooms and has a 300-page catalogue, why isn't it a headliner?). Camera Atomica should have been a main exhibit. But how do you market pain, horror and devastation? That's a tough sell! You have to be extremely talented and innovative as a marketer to convince people to come and pay to see some of their own species' worst acts. That's the only reason I can think of: no one knew how or wanted to try to sell this show, so it ended up with second (third?) billing. Camera Atomica is such a powerful, upsetting and obsessively curated show; you leave it disgusted with humanity and by proxy yourself. You leave it reflecting, despairing slightly and raggedly hoping for better. And that's a central function of art. Maybe it's too soon. Maybe we're just not ready for photography of this kind. Because it's strange how comfortable we are looking at paintings of ancient atrocities. We study them with a dispassionate eye. Massacre of the Innocents is one of my favourites at the AGO and its subject matter is brutally murdered babies, among other things (by "favourite" I mean it moves me, I mean I find it amazing, and it's weird that its gruesome subject matter bothers me far less than the photos of the children of Chernobyl. Must be because I can allow myself the fallacy that those brutal battles that happened a long time ago capture a different kind of human; we have all evolved since then. Except Camera Atomica tells me we haven't, not much). So, an open plea to AGO's marketing department: either ignore your board and take more creatives risks, or give up: sub the work out to a more avant-garde agency. If you can't sell the hard things about art, if you can only sell sexy graffiti shows and name-brand celebrities, then you're failing as an institution. 

Camera Atomica at AGO


"Omitted from Jobs's speech were the thousands of Apple's manufacturing and support workers, many hidden from his Stanford audience on the other side of the planet. But these workers are nonetheless essential to Jobs's "do what you love" message, since they are workers who helped facilitate his fantastic wealth. It is their work and the work of thousands of Apple's contract employees around the globe--from janitorial staff to cafeteria workers--that allow Jobs and the "professional" Apple employees to do their jobs." 

Do What You Love And Other Lies About Success And Happiness by Miya Tokumitsu


[quoting Hemingway] "'I like Canadians: they let women stand up in the street cars/Even if they are good-looking. They are all in a hurry to get home to supper/And their radio sets.'"

Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto by Shawn Micallef


"Sadie concentrated on cutting her reindeer into very tiny pieces and drank so much red wine her teeth turned purple. She held the thought of Marcus in her mind, like a Saint Christopher medal, or a dream catcher, or maybe just a hidden flask of whiskey in her purse--something that made survival possible."

Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny


"I loved not knowing what would happen next, loved that no one here knew me. I felt coordinated and strong, and the world seemed huge and vibrant. It was a relief to be alone, and I was accustomed now to the feel of the river and to the fact that I was actually pulling myself along it to a new destination...My happiness was a feeling of physical lightness, of weightlessness, like drifting on air."

Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff by Rosemary Mahoney


"There is a quality of dream, ideally, to arrivals after long journeys, and with all that has been lost as carriages and ocean liners and long-distance trains have given way to supersonic planes, something has been gained, in the simple jolt of flying from New York, say, to Bangkok, in a few hours, and changing seasons and centuries in a moment. We lose a part of our rational faculties, the wide-awakeness that is our usual guiding light; but something else in us, closer to the dark, comes awake. Bleary, confused and not sure if we are here or there, we walk without defenses through a province of the imagination. Part of us is in mid-air, and the rest is not quite sure what to make of the whispers from across the street, the generous smiles, the coins that could be pounds or could be pennies.
Later we will return, and photograph for the neighbors the Taj Mahal by moonlight; first, though, and unforgettably, we will encounter the bodies along the road, the campfires in the unlit night, the urchins grabbing at one’s sleeve outside the Taj Mahal Hotel."

The Dream Quality of Arrivals by Pico Iyer