jesse nathan

SF Station Writer

jesse nathan's Articles
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Through a Glass, Very Darkly
By Jesse Nathan (Jun 05, 2012)
New technology always generates new art forms, mediums, and modes of exhibition. The rapid digitization of our globe -- with its accompanying technologies of hyper-communication, intimate surveillance and documentation -- stands as no exception. “Dark Matters” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts addresses the information-technology drenched society we reside in head-on, uniting a range of artists, each one using a dramatically different medium to reveal the invisible and the shrouded. More »
I Go Searching For Music
By Jesse Nathan (May 02, 2008)
Katie Ford and I crossed paths for the first time on a sultry day in Iowa City. I was quickly enthralled by her keen sense for what makes good poetry, her urgent probing of every line of verse she encountered, her willingness to push further into the heart of things, to carry conversation about the art to fresh and exhilarating levels. Ford’s own poems are durable and elliptical and lovely. Her work, like the work of so many poets of this generation, eschews easy categorization into school or style pigeonholes. It is neither inaccessible nor easy -- and thank goodness on both counts. More »
Joe likes Nancy
By Jesse Nathan (Mar 25, 2008)
For Joe Brainard love hit like a freight train the first time he spied Nancy: “The first time I saw Nancy she was eating a chicken salad sandwich at Joe’s, just around the corner from my father’s hardware store. I didn’t know what to do, she was just so beautiful. So I just stood there, looking. Bright red lips. White oval face. (Soft) big black eyes.” To be clear, Brainard’s talking here about the cartoon character Nancy and the year is 1963. More »
Ran Out Of Money, Kept Singing On My Own
By Jesse Nathan (Feb 13, 2008)
I met Chris Johnson -- and shortly thereafter saw him and his band, Telegraph Canyon, do their thing -- in a bar in Fort Worth, Texas while on assignment on tour with an act from Lawrence, Kansas called The Roseline. Chris was sitting off to the side before the show fiddling with a steel pedal and trying to balance a precarious but formally interesting array of CDs that were for sale. We got to talking, about Tex-Mex and the price of gas in nearby Denton, and eventually he handed me his group’s album, [b]All The Good News[/b]. More »
A Whimsical Selection
By Jesse Nathan (Jan 15, 2008)
The Richmond District’s Park Life Store is only a store some of the time. Other times, it’s a gallery -- often both at once. It’s not the first venture to do double duty by a long shot, but it’s one of San Francisco’s best examples of blending a curator's instincts with a designer's commercial sensibilities. More »
Verbatim Theater
By Jesse Nathan (Jan 08, 2008)
James Baldwin believed fervently in the salvific power of literature -- and in the power of a writer to affect change. “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” There were limitations to that power, he believed, but had no other course than to address whatever corrupted principalities permeated the day. More »
The Uses of Enchantment
By Jesse Nathan (Dec 19, 2008)
It’s late fall in the Boston suburb of West Salem. There’s snow and cloud cover and so it’s hard to say what time of day it is exactly. Two teams of girls playing field hockey shiver on their respective sidelines, waiting for school officials, as they inevitably will, to call the game and let them go home. Just before that happens, though, one of the girls slips off, allegedly to go to the bathroom. Instead she makes her way to the parking lot, where she taps her hockey stick on the glass window of a car idling there. More »
Elegy for a Dying City
By Jesse Nathan (Dec 19, 2008)
When I asked Katherine Westerhout why she chose to focus her creative energies on photographing Detroit, no longer the splendid center of American auto manufacturing it once was, she replied that she was enticed by this very glory, former as it might be. “Detroit was once the richest city in America,” she says. “The vestiges of its success are still apparent in the beauty of its architecture, much of which has been lost to fire and demolition.” More »
Surrealist Mapmaking
By Jesse Nathan (Dec 04, 2008)
Part designer, part surrealist cartographer, Portland-based Francesca Berrini creates fantastical geographies from maps that have been cut apart and re-arranged. This comes as a more specific manifestation of what she’s known for: exploring strange combinations of found materials. But her works are not overtly popish, not purely found and presented, more thoroughly scrambled and recast. This is perhaps because Berrini arrives where she does as an artist via an unconventional course, at least as compared to other more ambitiously Warholian artists. More »
Long Live the Gadfly!
By Jesse Nathan (Oct 30, 2007)
The Gadfly, as described by Plato in reference to Socrates ’critical stance toward the Athenian political scene, represents, perhaps, the earliest articulated example of a Muckraker. Though the term "muckraker" didn’t come into the language until American writer Upton Sinclair burst on the scene with his industry-busting [b]The Jungle[/b] in 1906, a long tradition of Gadflies -- both before and after Sinclair -- have combined the illuminating light of the whistleblower with the prose of good letters. More »
jesse nathan's Articles
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