Cities, Media: Neon Hong Kong

There's no better visual shorthand for HK's hive-like urbanism than crowded streets beneath a glowing canopy of signs sprouting from nearly every available surface. The multicolored glare and audible electric sizzle of so many tubes blinking on and off is a deeply encoded childhood memory.

Postcards from the Future

Touring around California you could be forgiven for thinking you’re living in the future, and not just because of the Silicon Valley wizardry that surrounds us all. We also have to thank Hollywood’s movie magic, which has turned the state into a backdrop for countless science fiction films presenting futures both terrible and wondrous. It’s not just that so many are filmed here—writers and filmmakers have been exploring the future through California sets for decades.

Cities: Changing Shanghai

A friend forwarded this Telegraph post with photos of the same view in Shanghai, 26 years apart. The amount the city has changed is staggering. The first time I was in Shanghai was around the same time as this first photo was taken: Then, the skyline of the city was the Bund—a low-rise boulevard of … Continue reading Cities: Changing Shanghai

Last Night on Earth

An excerpt from the piece I'm working on, along with some images from the first night I landed in LA. It was really too appropriate, considering I've got sci-fi dystopia and apocalypse on the brain. "Every American city boasts an official insignia and slogan. Some have municipal mascots, colors, songs, birds, trees, even rocks. But Los Angeles alone has adopted an official nightmare." - Mike Davis, City of Quartz

Media: Hollywood Needs Women

In one of my Film & Digital Media seminars this spring, a classmate had us do an exercise: She showed us a series of photos of well-known female directors, such as Lynne Ramsay and Sally Potter—women whose movies a group of film students would likely have seen and admired, some of whose work I count among my favorites. With the exceptions of Jane Campion and Kathryn Bigelow, most of us weren't able to identify a single one by sight. And if we couldn't, who could?

On The Road [while Female]

Only once I started traveling on my own, at 18, did I understand that, as Vanessa Veselka says "a man on the road is solitary. A woman on the road is alone. This is not cute wordplay, but a radically different social experience." The mild suspicion of everyone from strangers on trains, to hostel staff, to groups of fellow travelers was first surprising, then irksome, and then wearily anticipated. While I'm sure that, on average, single men meet with far more suspicion than single women, it was made quite clear to me that in this context men were seen as being adventurous, while I was a cause for concern—"a dangerous blank."

Found Subject

Found Subject is my latest documentary project, and follows Robert Larson, a peripatetic found-object artist, and a member of the Tannery live/work artist community. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, he has also lived and worked in the industrial spaces of Oakland. While many choose to view Santa Cruz as an idyllic beach community removed … Continue reading Found Subject