Saturday, May 30, 2009

My "Lonely Porter" homebrew wins silver!

My most recent homebrew, a chocolate porter brewed back in the fall of last year, just won second place out of 7 competing homebrews on the Oberlin College Campus. Here's the review as it appeared in the May 23, 2009 issue of The Grape:

"2nd Place: Oberlin alum Ben Baker-Smith brings the black-sheep Dark Chocolate Stout to the table, securing a silver medal with a bold, bitter mocha flavor. The beer pours oily black in the glass with an enormous, thick beige head. One would be troubled to blindly distinguish the scent of this brew against a bar of fine chocolate. On the tongue, the beer was ascerbic in the best way possible, producing the same mouth watering pucker of a fine espresso. As the intense smokey finish subsides after many moments, the imbiber is left with the delicate aftertaste of unsweetened cocoa." (written by Liam Gordon)

I just got ingredients for a hefeweizen and an american wheat ale, and can't wait to start brewing again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Slavic Village Revisited - Generation JPEG

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These images are from Foreclosure, an old project of mine featuring foreclosed homes in Cleveland's Slavic Village, one of the neighborhoods hit hardest by the housing crisis. Aproximately 2,000 of the 8,000 homes in Slavic Village lie vacant.

One of the disturbing things about these homes was their new-ness. Though they were abandoned, they were almost all structurally sound, and many of them weren't in any sort of outward disrepair. In revisiting these images I wanted to express a sense of age and wear that was felt in person, but may not have come through in the original 35mm photographs.

These are 400th generation JPEGs.

100th Generation Obama

This is a 100th generation JPEG, but an artifact removal filter was applied after each recompression, resulting in the smeared effect.

I like to think of this as an analogy for the larger effect of Obama's PR people vs. his critics: who he is and what he is trying to do will be lost beneath the airbrushing and the shit. For better or for worse.