"Night News" - an occasional missive from the darkness
"Oh Tule, it's on account of you that I've been weeping
Here behind my hand.
It's lonesome in my heart's land, as the sands of the desert.
"It's a sad song we always seem to be singing to each other
You and me, sweet and slightly out of key
Like the sound of a running down calliope"
-"Tule's Blues" by Warren Zevon (1969)
"Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head.
"Did I ask too much? More than a lot?
You gave me nothing. Now it's all I got.
We're one, but we're not the same
Well we hurt each other
Then we do it again."
-"One" (U2) from "Solitary Man," by Johnny Cash
January 24, 1947 - September 7, 2003)
February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003)
Friends of The Nocturnes,
Two more giants (noted above) of American Music gone - one truly larger than
life, an American icon - and what does this have to do with Night
Photography, you might ask? The Nocturnes' own Tim Baskerville replies, in
true professorial fashion: "If you have to ask, you've not been paying
attention." Now, with that out of the way, we'll move on, eh?
Welcome to this special end-of-year edition of "Night News." Again, we have
a lot to talk about, so we've divided this latest episode into two
parts - the current one, which you are now reading, will contain NEWS of
EXHIBITS (recently past and current), WORKSHOP NEWS (a year-end wrap-up),
BOOKS and ARTICLES NOTED (by those closest to The Nocturnes), and our NEWEST
section, CALL FOR ENTRIES as well as our usual, exhaustive LIBRARY NOTES.
The second part of this newsletter will go out by New Year's Eve and will
include our ALUMNI NEWS section, a further PREVIEW of the New Year's
WORKSHOPS, MUSICAL NOTES, LAST MINUTE and RELATED NEWS, and other tidbits.
Twenty-one artists participated in "Studio Nocturne," hosted by The
Nocturnes, at Fort Mason as part of SF Open Studios, October 18-19, 2003
(www.thenocturnes.com/studionocturne.htm). This year's event was a great
success - an estimated one thousand art lovers got to see/meet some
Nocturnes "in action!" Note that we are busy planning for next year's
event - again, the third weekend of October.
The 'march of the Dream Dates' continues! Work from the "Dream Date" series
by Tim Baskerville is part of the Members' Annual Exhibition at the Berkeley
Art Center (http://www.berkeleyartcenter.org), January 11th - February 15,
This past year, a number of Nocturnes showed work at local Castro Photo -
http://www.castrophoto.com - here in San Francisco: Mike Quinn, Todd
Friedlander, and Howie Spielman - all exhibited in individual shows.
Remember to support your local photographer / photo outlet (Wow! - we almost
said "photo shop")
The Nocturnes' own Lance Keimig (showing some new work, from Mono Lake) was
part of an Exhibit at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA, entitled
"The Photographer's Vision" in September and October.
Also in Massachusetts, there was a very strong Jan Staller retrospective
("Finding Art in the Strangest Places") at the Griffin Museum of Photography
in Winchester, September 25 to November 28, 2003. See CALL FOR ENTRIES below
for more Jan Staller news.
Our surreal online exhibit of Night Photography - "Surrealistic Nocturne" -
is now in place at http://www.thenocturnes.com/surrealnocturne.htm - judged
by noted curator Michael S. Bell (www.visualartaccess.com). As you all know,
Tim has many times pointed out the strong connection between surrealism and
night photography (as evidenced by his often-quoted statement on our home
page) so we thought we would devote a show to the study of that idea.
"Surrealistic Nocturne" explores the link between the Surrealists (with
their various manifestos) and the natural inclination of night photographers
to transform the everyday, the 'ever-seen,' the mundane, the industrial
sites ('readymades') into works of art.
CALL FOR ENTRIES
Preliminary work continues in the planning of the "Embarcadero Nocturne"
exhibit to take place at venues along the Embarcadero (from Pier 35,
southward to China Basin and the Ball Park). To date, we have a number of
dedicated nocturnists with work to show, but we are still looking at
locations to show this work. Any suggestions, contacts can be emailed
directly to us at the address below. We will keep you posted . . .
We are also pleased to announce that the Prospectus for our latest online
exhibit of Night Photography - "New York Nocturne" - is now in place at
www.thenocturnes.com/newyorknocturne.htm - judged by noted New York
photographer, Jan Staller (http://www.janstaller.net/photography.html) As
you may recall, we recently did a show entitled "California Nocturne," so,
in the interest of fairness, we thought it about time to devote a show to
the counter-coast metropolis. It took no longer than "a New York minute' to
know who we wanted as juror. Staller's moody, surreal studies of "the city
that never sleeps" helped define urban industrial night photography in the
1980s and 1990s.
"It's 4 in the morning, the end of December.
I'm writing you now, just to see if you're better.
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living,
There's music on Clinton Street, all thru the evening."
("Famous Blue Raincoat," Leonard Cohen)
Visit www.thenocturnes.com/newyorknocturne.htm - for entry info.
CALL TO ACTION
Re: The closure of the Laguna Street Campus of UC Berkeley Extension. This
item is now more related to a CALL FOR ENTRIES. We realize that many of you
over the years may have taken classes at UC Berkeley Extension (more
Alumni!), and as you may know, UC Berkeley is closing this campus in San
Francisco (where Steve Harper, Michael Kenna, Todd Hido, and other noted
Nocturnists have taught, and where Tim Baskerville currently teaches) as of
December 31, 2003. We have organized a number of Instructors, Students, and
Staff, and we are photographing the campus, much of it at night . . . for
posterity - and a possible exhibition - "Night School" - in the future. If
you are an Alum of any course at UC Berkeley Extension, and want to
participate in this project, please email us at email@example.com and
we can give you the latest information re: the closure. It would be helpful
if you already had images of the campus, as access in the next week or so
will be very limited.
All the people pariticipating in the project are concerned about the
ultimate fate of various programs previously held at this campus,
particularly the Certificate in Photography program. There is a sense that
"the powers that be" believe, in this wonderful age of the 'digital
darkroom,' that a traditional, 'wet' darkroom is no longer needed for the
serious study of photography. There is also a fear that programs for the
arts in general, are at risk - always a concern, it seems.
For a little more history of the campus (which originally was the site of
San Francisco State University) -
Again, as Tim points out: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying
WORKSHOP NEWS - Year-End Wrap-Up
Tom Paiva and Tim Baskerville conducted their first four-night San Francisco
Workshop on September 5, 6, 7, and 13, 2003. With a full complement of
attendees (10), this promises to be a great offering, each year. A repeat is
planned for May, 2004 - visit www.thenocturnes.com/workshop.htm after the
first of the year, for more details.
Returning to UC Berkeley for a moment - A bittersweet end on December 5th to
another semester of Night Photography at the Laguna Street Campus (we won't
be saying that phrase much any more). On a positive note, Tim's next 10-week
course starts Friday, April 9, 2004. Note that the new location for the
course is UC's campus at 425 Market Street. This might be an opportune
chance to register and show the University that you support fine art
education at UC Berkeley - visit
http://www.unex.berkeley.edu/cat/013441.html and register online! Another
positive angle on the new location is that it places our class sites very
close to the newly-refurbished Ferry Building and the Embarcadero, which
dovetails nicely with our Embarcadero Nocturne CALL FOR ENTRIES (And yes it
is coming . . . this year!) - see above.
Tom, Tim and I led TWO workshops in Death Valley this year. In addition, Tim
and I did some scouting of Joshua Tree National Park for an offering we are
planning there for late 2004. BTW, the time to sign up for our return to
Death Valley (in April) is NOW! Email us - firstname.lastname@example.org - for
news of this Workshop, as it's available, AND after January 1st, check out
the Web site for details - http://www.thenocturnes.com/workshop.htm - New
Programs to be announced will make it worth the wait! Also, have a look at -
http://www.thenocturnes.com/deathvalley2002/index.htm - for some work done
on previous trips!
BOOKS AND ARTICLES NOTED
The Los Angeles Times "Weekend Calendar" section for Thursday, October 30,
2003 featured a nice article by writer Brenda Rees about The Nocturnes and
our Death Valley Workshops - Have a look at the article -
http://www.thenocturnes.com/pdf/latimes.pdf - and let us know what you
Jesse Hamlin interviewed Tim for a piece on Open Studios, which appeared in
the September 28, 2003 issue of DateBook (San Francisco Chronicle) - for a
PDF of that article - CLICK! on the following link:
"Answer Yourself," the new Matthew Lennert (www.matthewdonovanlennert.com)
book of black and white night photography is out now - just in time for
Christmas! It features a foreword by Tim Baskerville, and can be ordered at
the Photocelt Web site - http://www.photocelt.com - And, be sure to check
out the review of this book - http://www.thenocturnes.com/backlist.htm - by
'card-carrying' Nocturne, Andy Frazer.
An interview with Michael Kenna appeared in issue #50 (Dec.-Jan.) of
LensWork. Michael was also interviewed for the Winter 2003 issue of
As mentioned above, we have recently added links to reviews of texts listed
on THE BACKLIST - http://www.thenocturnes.com/backlist.htm - the first two
appearances are reviews of Matt Lennert's new book as well as Troy Paiva's
"Lost America," both penned by devoted Nocturne, Andy Frazer
Postcards of the Night: Views of American Cities, John A. Jakle. Museum of
New Mexico Press, 2003. ISBN 0-89013-456-1
Answer Yourself, Matthew Donovan Lennert; foreword by Tim Baskerville.
(Review and an archive copy). Photocelt (www.photocelt.com) Press, 2003.
Walker Evans, James R. Mellon. Perseus Books Group, 1999. ISBN 0-465-09077-x
Geology Underfoot in Death Valley & Owens Valley, Robert Sharp and Allen
Glazner. Mountain Press Publishing Compnay, 1997. ISBN 0-87842-362-1
Capturing Light: Masterpieces of California Photography, 1850 to the
Present, edited by Drew Heath Johnson. Oakland Museum of California. ISBN
Guide to the National Park Areas - Western States, David and Kay Scott. The
Globe Pequot Press, 2002. ISBN 0-87081-408-7
California's Wilderness Areas, Vol.2 - the Deserts, George Wuerthner.
Westcliffe Publishers, 1998. ISBN 1-56579-282-3
Walker Evans, a Biography, Belinda Rathbone. Houghton Mifflin, 2000. ISBN
Joshua Tree National Park, Robert B. Cates. Live Oaks Press, 1995. ISBN
Death Valley National Park, T. Scott Bryan and Betty Tucker-Bryan,
University Press of Colorado, 1995. ISBN 0-87081-408-7
Brassai, the Monograph, edited by Alain Sayag and Annick Lionel-Marie.
Bulfinch Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8212-2668-1
The Joshua Tree, James W. Cornett, Nature Trails Press, 1999. ISBN
City Lights: Illuminating the American Night, John A. Jakle. John Hopkins
University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8018-6593-x
Lost America, Troy Paiva. (Review copy). Motorbooks International, 2003.
Death Valley National Park, James W. Cornett. Palm Springs Desert Museum,
Easy Field Guide to the Southwestern Night Sky, Dan Heim. American Traveler
Press, 1997. ISBN 0-935810-62-5
Death Valley National Park, an Interpretive History, James W. Cornett. Death
Valley natural History Association, 1996. ISBN 1-8788900-33-1
Death Valley: the Story behind the scenery, Bill Clark. KC Publications,
2002. ISBN 0-88714-235-4
Road Guide to Joshua Tree National Park, Barbara and Robert Decker. Double
Decker Press, 1999. ISBN 1-888898-05-4
Fall 2003, Aperture #172. The Aperture Foundation, 2003. ISBN 0-931788-17-0
This concludes this edition of "Night News." As always, this and past issues
of "Night News" are accessible at http://www.thenocturnes.com/nitenews.htm.
And remember - should you find yourself on Clinton street: ". . . let's
be careful out there."
"It's been ages since you visited any of us . . . "
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