Category From the Archive

Mike Collins Behind the Moon

Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin at the Kennedy Space Center in July, 1969. Just a few days before that Saturn V rocket in the background took them to the moon.


Neil on the left was the first on the moon. He was the one who said, “one giant leap for Mankind.” Buzz, on the right was number two stomping around on the moon. Mike Collins, looking so cool and humble in the middle never walked on the moon. Never even landed on it. He was the one who ran the Command Module, the craft that orbited around the so called dark side of the moon as the mission on it’s surface took place. Then he went home, never to return.

I’ve always felt bad for Mike Collins. To get so close and not to walk or land or anything. I felt bad for him until I read this paragraph from his autobiography, which gives a good perspective on how he felt about his unique mission.

“Far from feeling lonely or abandoned, I feel very much a part of what is taking place on the lunar surface. I know that I would be a liar or a fool if I said that I have the best of the three Apollo 11 seats, but I can say with truth and equanimity that I am perfectly satisfied with the one I have. This venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two. I don’t mean to deny a feeling of solitude. It is there, reinforced by the fact that radio contact with the Earth abruptly cuts off at the instant I disappear behind the moon, I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side.” – Michael Collins

Unrelated to the mission, the photograph reminds me that I need a haircut. I’ve got another style of 1969 haircut right now, less lunar mission, more Sonny Bono.


Now I live in Ljubljana, a city I’ve been a visitor to for a few years going. As a visitor I visit friends, drink some coffees, teach workshop on masks, talk about the workshop on masks, walk through night time streets guided by intuition alone. But now that I live here, I’m a lot less active.


What happened?

When I moved here in April I was ready to work. I had three months worth of visa waiver to rest on until I got a long term visa and could start working. Three months felt like more than enough time to get my long-term, it felt like an eternity. Unfortunately it was the purgatory kind of eternity.

You see, my application for a visa has been held up for two and a half months in the some ministry office waiting for who knows what kind of approval before they can pass it on to me and I’ll get to pass on to the next echelon of the process. It’s given me a lot of time to freak out about plan B, plan B. Because when you’re in visa approval purgatory there’s no chance of working. Not legally or even illegally. Who is going to take some one on who ends their pseudo-interview chat with, “it’s funny you should ask but no, my visa application is still in process.”


So what are you going to do?

I’m not making any money yet, but I’ve got a few projects to keep me busy. Casey and Barbara, two good friends from Helikos will be here in a few weeks and we’ll get working on a show they want to make. It will have something to do with birds.

As I was setting this site back up I looked back through the archives a bit to check that all the photos are showing up OK. I came across two posts that caught my eye as references in one way or another to this nebulous idea kicking around in my head about a bird show.

The first one is this cool dude. I was in Chicago when I posted this but I don’t know how I found it.

The second I found when I was at Helikos and thinking more specifically about masks. That’s these animal illustrations on human faces by Charlotte Caron. Seeing them again I think they’re an excellent scale for the human face.

From the Archives: A New Place to Live

On this day in 2004:

posted by matt at August 18, 2004 09:23 PM

Fantastic photos Kev. I especially like the movie. Just know though, that if you get too settled and don’t go to N. Z’ed I’ll have to move into your living room next August… Keep that in mind
posted by Sara at August 18, 2004 10:49 PM

well, as it is it isn’t very comfortable. there is no carpet, i pulled that up with my sister’s help yesterday. now there is just tile made of “a material that may contain asbestos.” I haven’t moved in yet, but as soon as the carpet comes…
posted by kevin at August 19, 2004 07:53 AM

kev, I can’t wait to come visit you in your new apartment. As long as it’s not a crazy bachelor pad full of beer and your delinquent friends. Except Matt, of course.
posted by sara at August 20, 2004 07:12 AM

Old New York

McSorley’s Old Ale House is pictured on East 7th Street on October 7, 1942

The Daily Mail has published a nice set of Kodachrome slides taken on New York streets in the 1940s. Seeing and 88 year old McSorley’s is cool, but nothing beats the antique photos on Shorpy.

Quick searches there turn up hundreds of fabulous photos from Brooklyn and New York City.  But there are some western gems to be found as well, including one of my favorites, a photo of Wisdom, Montana that shows off an exemplary Kodachrome sky. (Click to make it BIG.)

Climbing in Mali

My uncle Dan sent me a link to this terrific video of French freestyle rock climber Catherine Destivelle filmed in 1987 in Bandiagara, Mali.

It is very much worth the whole ten minutes of viewing time. Sure there are some stomach churning hangs and other examples of what looks to be fine climbing. But just wait for the appearance of a trumpet playing Dogon “witch doctor”, a pygmy cliff dwelling, a cave full of skeletons, an idiot in jean shorts shooting a gun and the masked dancing stilt-walkers. Thanks Dan!