There are still thousands of people in the NY/NJ area still without electricity after Hurricane Sandy last week. One casualty of the flooding in New York was powerHouse Arena, whose main floor was flooded with over two feet of water. They’re back open, but much of their collection is ruined.
This afternoon Orion staffers packed up 127 pounds of books to donate to powerHouse Arena’s Sandy Hates Books Fundraiser, happening November 17 in Brooklyn. Check out their Tumblr for updates on the event, and if you’re in or near the city, check it out and support powerHouse!
German artist Cornelia Konrads creates mind-bending site-specific installations in public spaces, sculpture parks and private gardens around the world. Her work is frequently punctuated by the illusion of weightlessness, where stacked objects like logs, fences, and doorways appear to be suspended in mid-air, reinforcing their temporary nature as if the installation is beginning to dissolve before your very eyes. One of her more recent sculptures,Schleudersitz is an enormous slingshot made from a common park bench, and you can get a great idea of what it might be like to sit inside it with this interactive 360 degree view.
What you see here only begins to sratch the surface of Konrad’s work. You can see much more on her website. All imagery courtesy the artist.
Gus van Sant is directing a movie about fracking written by (and starring) Matt Damon and John Krasinki—and also starring Frances McDormand and Hal Holbrook. It looks entertaining and we’re heartened by the Hollywood-sized attention on fracking, but can these guys sway public opinion?
(Either way: Matt Damon! We bet he’d like to go out for a beer with Orion and Sandra Steingraber.)
It sounds like the cracks and clicks of the house settling as the room warms in morning, it sounds like a fan whispered up. It tastes of wood smoke—sweet and then stale. It looks like the curve of a mountain under streaked sky, and everything pale blue just before sunrise, everything translucent, even stone. The stone is blue, it tastes, after all, like tea in a glass cup, it feels like wanting a blanket on your lap, nesting, hovering around a wound, no a break, where the mountain opens, wanting to heal, to soften the gap, to close it, like an empty room inside of me, and I want to give it fire and fill it with humming, and make it hum and vibrate—the resound of a chamber opened and filled with air—with beating. I want to fill the gap but it keeps opening, pressing inside to outside, unhousing and unseeding the husk of me. I am not a house with an empty room, a broken window in a wall. I am not sleep battered open by a dream, not even a mountain turning solid again as light rises, I am not a cave in the mountain. I am not I—that’s what it feels like today, waking alone in late winter. A spider hanging her web in the doorjamb, spinning in three dimensions—to catch what passes, trembling with capture, all wet and shine, moments when everything is a door.
— Cynthia Huntington
Congratulations to Orion contributor Cynthia Huntington, who is among the finalists for the National Book Award for Heavenly Bodies. Her poem “All Wet and Shine” appeared in our January/February 2010 issue.
“At ten o’clock in the evening we came to anchor in the midst of huge cakes and blocks about sixty-five feet thick within two or three hundred yards of the shore. After so many futile efforts had been made last year to reach this little ice-bound island, everybody seemed wildly eager to run ashore and climb to the summit of its sheer granite cliffs…”