< > Alchemy for Dummies 2: April 2006

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tree Vandals

So here we are on Thursday. We have had a tree/tulip vandal since Monday(and maybe since last year-someone broke the catulpa tree last year too). Someone, most likely one of the punk kids who go to the middle school across from us, has been breaking branches off the catulpa tree and small maple tree on our tree lawn. Yesterday he escalated to breaking off a tulip, one of two Betsy had in the front yard up by the door and also he hung a condom on the catulpa. Humm, must have not have anyplace else to put one, right? So today I wrote him a small rap and left it on the tree.

yo' punk ass must be wise
to pick on someone yo' size
trees and tulip
yo' is so hip

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Gracias! Why is that man up there taking my picture? Posted by Picasa

Reporter as participant in San Sebastian Spain 22 April 06
Eat your heart out Sharon Reed. Posted by Picasa

Spencer Tunick in San Sebastian

A link to a Spanish site, Elmundo, with a short video and some good photos


San Sebastian 22 April 06

Spencer has done it again. Once again he has picked locations that contrast bodies in space and time and light in a way to make his poses fresh and different. To those who say they all look the same I say "Bah"
Sounds like it was cool agin however, about 12C.

On The Power of Blogging

Friday, April 21, 2006


Chateau Lalinde

While searching blogs for mention of Spencer, I ran across the blog run by "Red Shoes", the chatelaine of Chateau Lalinde in Lalinde, France. As she was nice enough to include my comment in a postscript, and as the chateau looks like a wonderful place to visit in France, I thought I would return the favor. Do go to her site and have a look about. I would love to visit France again, and this seems to be a great place to explore from


Thursday, April 20, 2006

More on San Sebastian

Spaniards Set to Strip


Sounds like a small group with mostly indoor shots. Several of the group are going.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I walked from right to left on Quai Pierre Scize. "Bonjour!" Posted by Picasa

Lyon-Most Surreal Moments-Part Deux

This is as posted by me in the Spencer Tunick forum :
Now from the already posted account of my trip to Lyon, you might think that I had learned no French at all. This would be incorrect however. I learned taxi, hotel, pardon, lampe ... hmm I detect a pattern here. Ah, I also learned pamplemousse-though I never had occasion to use it. How about bijou for jewelry? Ok, I knew that one already. Merci - that was useful. Excusez-moi and pardon -very handy when you are bumping ...elbows with naked strangers. But the word I found most useful was "Bonjour". And now to tell you why. I saw Spencer one last time on Sunday, and said thank-you. I noticed he looked very tired and worn. Kris and I, and Phillip parted company shortly after that. We had already said goodbyes to the others who had to leave. Kris hadn't originally planned to stay but called his boss and made arrangements so he could stay on in Lyon. I planned on doing some sightseeing, and did get a chance to visit the Roman stadium with Kris again helping out. Perhaps I should not have pushed so hard, as I was exhausted but I knew this would be my one chance. After the visit to the stadium Kris had to make travel plans for Monday. We had agreed he could take the floor of my room that night and we would go to the installation the next morning, before I had to catch my flight and Kris his train. I think I went to sleep around 1600 and never completely awoke till early next morning. By then Kris was lucky to have slept, considering I snore and I have sleep apnea. He probably wondered if I would awaken at all the next morning. But we were up early and we walked on over to the train station, Place St. Paul, moving extremely slowly due to my very sore feet. My infection had already started I think, and most likely I was not doing as well as I thought- but a lot can be said for adrenaline. When we arrived at the station it was very early and still dark but we were not the first ones there. The air was cool, but it warmed as it got light and was, I think, a bit warmer than the day before. Slowly the crowd grew, by ones and twos, sometimes by a group. Some walked, some rode bikes, and at least one woman came on a scooter. Finally we saw them moving small portable barricades. And then we were told we were going to separate the men and women, the women to go first to sign their release slips. They were taken away to Place Gerson, a small alley next to Eglise St. Paul, opening onto Rue St. Paul. We joined them a short time later, and people continued to trickle in. As most everyone had been in the shoot the day before there was a very festive air, and many people were shooting photos. I stayed with Kris for the most part just so i could find out what was happening. I did meet a couple of the other group members briefly. I was most surprised when Jonathan Porcelli said good morning, as I didn't know he knew me. Finally Spencer appeared, with a new translator. He then told us he planned to see if the translation worked by telling us two things, one funny and one serious. He then told us we were all going into the church to pose, then come outside and take a bath. The translator did his thing and everyone laughed. Spencer then said" Everyone get undressed." which the translator repeated and everyone was quick to respond. remember these were veterans now, and most everyone near me were out of their clothes in seconds. Meanwhile Spencer was having a meltdown. He hadn't meant for us to really undress, he was just testing the translation skills of the new person.Things were getting chaotic We all had to get dressed again, though most though it was pretty silly to bother to do so. Most of the people present were busy taking as many pictures as they could. I was so tired I forgot I had my camera with me. At some point along here, and Kris most likely remembers better than I , they told us that we might be doing a third setup. About this time someone handed out the instruction sheets, showing how we were to pose on the pedestrian bridge, Pass.St. Vincent. The women were to be standing with the men standing behind them on chairs. Rickety wooden folding chairs!! I could envision myself falling into the River Saone. That would be a dandy way to cap off my trip. Just then Jonathan came up and addressed me personally, saying they did not want me standing on one of the chairs. Whew! I was relieved to say the least. I was told to join the women when they undressed and move to the end of the line of them. Kris and I talked and I made the decision I could not stay for a third setup, as I had to catch my plane. Then the signal was given to have the women separate from the men again and undress and move onto the bridge. I could not get through the crowd to join them. And when I finally was able to undress and move out I was moving so slowly I ended up way at the end of the bridge. However they had not enough chairs to begin with as they had many more participants than anticipated so many of the men ended up just standing at the end that opened onto the Quai St. Vincent. By now on that end auto traffic was picking up and we had increasing pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well. This was near 0800. Several students and other people got quite a surprise on their way to work and school that morning. Some just went on by, some paused to watch. At our end we called out to them and waved at times, then we would get quiet to pose. After a few poses, most which seemed only to change the direction we were facing, as it was difficult to hear what we were to do, we were done on the bridge. Now back across the bridge to line up on Quai Pierre Scize. Women were to be standing behind the seated men this time. Once again my very sore feet put me at the very far end of the line, where we were all standing as there were no women left. Again we waited till Spencer was ready with traffic and cyclists passing us and only a few pedestrians, who were stopped when Spencer actually took the photos. The most activity was from the people in the apartments looking down at us. They were opening windows, standing on balconies laughing and taking photos. We waved and shouted back. Finally we were done. There was to be a third setup but I was tired and I had a plane to catch. And my feet hurt. So we started back to get our clothes. I was moving very slowly now, and everyone was pulling ahead to the Place Gerson. I had said goodbye to Kris a few minutes earlier. now I was walking slowly up the sidewalk, many meters to go be fore the alley. There were one or two of the security people still on the street at first but even they disappeared around the corner. Now I was just a naked man walking along a street in Lyon at about 0815 or so. I heard two laughing voices coming up behind me and soon realized that two young women in their twenties were making their way toward me. What should one do in a case like this? Running was out of the question. There was nowhere to turn into as it was still quite a way from the alley. So as they drew near and passed me on the left, laughing so hard they were leaning on each other, I drew myself up to my best posture, turned and called out in my most jaunty voice, "Bonjour!" which caused them to nearly collapse in laughter as one young woman replied "Bonjour!" And that was the most surreal moment of my life. I soon reached the corner of the alley, turned to find a few folks getting dressed, was asked if I was OK, which I both was and was not (already more ill than I knew), got dressed and found my way to the airport-getting lost briefly but with little real trouble, and later that very evening was home. All in all three wonderful days, not to be equaled or forgotten. Thank you my friends whom I met, to Kris for being my guide, to all in Lyon for being wonderful hosts, and to Spencer for providing a very good reason to get out into the world. I hope to see you all again in a future installation, but till I do; to past models carry on, and to you new folks WOW!, have you got a surprise coming!!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Taken at the Lakeview Cemetery on 15 April 06. Posted by Picasa

New Photos on Webshots

We have a few new photos on Webshots, and here is a sample.


Eggs With Legs

Friday, April 14, 2006

Remember Billy Jack?

"Listen children to a story that was written long ago .....

Long ago there was a movie that was for peace, against war by a warrior who was not exactly a pacifist.
Billy Jack was an early movie hero of mine, and Tom Laughlin is still carrying on the fight.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Two Most Surreal Moments In My Life Part 1

With Spencer having just had an installation in Venezuela, and one coming up in San Sebastian, Spain my thoughts go back to my last time posing .....
This time last year we were in a Tunick lull. All our poses were behind us (no pun intended) and we had picked up the Buffalo photo in January, amazed we could drive to Buffalo and back with no snow. We then found out there would be an exhibit/party in May. We picked up our Milford print in Pennsylvania, again with no snow. And in May we went to Buffalo again for the party and exhibit and again met friends. I was happy but also a little down as I then anticipated no more participation for a long while. Brugge came and went as did Newcastle-Gateshead. Then came August and the chance to go to Lyon. For the heck of it I had put in the fare to Lyon after a friend had booked a flight here in the US. The Lyon trip was only slightly more, I joked to Betsy. Betsy, who had worked an extra week, offered the money to by my ticket if I could pay for my hotel. I thought it over for two days- and booked my flight! I was going to Lyon. Lyon, France--I don't speak French!! I was worried I didn't speak French, worried about where my hotel would be in relation to where the shoot was. Then I learned the location of my hotel. Hotel Elysee was in the middle of the Presquile, near Place Bellecour. Where was that to be in relation to the shoot? How could I get a cab? Then instructions came. "The Spencer Tunick installation will take place on Sunday, Sept 11, 2005 at Edouard Herriot Harbour." That was great news. My hotel was on rue Pres. Edouard Herriot. This had to be close, right? But what else is there? A nude picnic! That sounds like fun. But where will I find food for a picnic? I check the maps provided. The site for the installation is not near the hotel. So it's a taxi and food I need. And the weather was going to be cold and rainy. All the internet weather services said so. Ah well, I was committed to go.My flight from Akron-Canto to Detroit on Friday the 9th of September and then on to Amsterdam was long and, while not bad, was boring. I did see the Oscar winning movie "Crash" as my inflight movie, which was great. When I landed in Amsterdam early Saturday morning I was amazed and pleased the sun was coming out. It had obviously rained but was clearing. When I landed in Lyon it was a partly cloudy day in late summer. Not overly warm, but by no means cold. I took a taxi to my hotel and checked in. Then off to do some sightseeing before it was time to meet up with my MSN friends at Place Bellecour by the Louis the IV statue. I went to the Place Bellecour, a short walk from my hotel. I had crepes. I bought a tee-shirt and I took a tour bus. For a little over an hour and 15 minutes I rode in the upper deck unashamedly gawking at the sights and taking photos in an occasional light rain shower. I was an American tourist in Lyon! ( For photos of this vacation email me and I will send a link to Yahoo photos) Tour over, I went to find the bistro I was to have dinner at, only to discover it was closed till 1900. It was only a little after 1600 so I returned to my hotel as I had two hours before I was to meet my friends. I fell asleep almost at once I think. I awoke with a start at 1800 exactly. I zipped out of my hotel and up the street. I arrived about 1810, just in time to get caught up in a political demonstration that was a bit noisy but in good spirits. (The rioting in France did not take place till later in the next month ) They were headed for Louis too. But as I wandered about I was rescued by Craig and Diane and taken to the rest of the group at the base of the statue. We quickly moved to a little cafe nearby and made introductions. Big Bad Jane, Simon,The Bernard, LJ, Kris from Belgium, Robert, Phillip, Craig and Diane and little Emily. I was made to feel as welcome as if I had known these people for years instead of just a little over a year online. We talked for nearly an hour , posed for a group photo taken by the cafe manager and then folks had to get back to their hotels and dinner. Kris, Robert and Phillip were willing to try the bistro with me. We made our way to Le Bistrot De Lyon where we had a terrific dinner and conversation for about 3 hours. We talked of past installations, told Phillip what to expect, as it was his first installation. It rained lightly but we were fine under an awning, and Kris was acting a translator for us to staff and our fellow diners, including occasionally folks who just happened to join us at our table. Then off to my hotel and bed about 2230 for a good, albeit short, night's sleep. At about 0230 I woke up, sooner than I planned but rested enough and excited. After my shower and getting dressed I gathered up the things I though I might need. By a little after 0300 I was asking the night desk clerk to call me a taxi, which came in 5 minutes or so. This was astonishing to me as taxis never come that quickly in Cleveland. I was off! The taxi driver spoke no English. My French crammed into the three weeks prior to my leaving was almost totally useless. But I did have printouts of the map. We drove to the intersection on the map, and arrived about 0400. But there were no signs, no people walking along toward the site. Hmm, what to do? We circled the blocks again, a fairly large circle due to configuration of the area. As we came back by , I noticed the street we had come down at first extended into a parking area. I motioned for us to head that way and within moments saw barriers set up. We stopped and security came up and when I said "Spencer Tunick" he waved us through. I paid my driver and he left, leaving me to wonder what had i gotten myself into. There were maybe 50 or 60 people milling about, all French as near as I could tell, and it was very early yet. I went over to turn in my release form but they were not ready to accept those yet. I was happy to learn that some of the people did speak English. A short time after that as more people came drifting in we moved to the place further back from the parking area, where we would eventually undress and leave our clothes. A place with cargo containers piled high on top of each other, now looking very much like an industrial port with a dirty, black asphalt and oily puddles. But the sky was mostly clear, with only a few very light clouds, and few stars.And then I saw Andy Eienhorn, busy filming away. I went over and said "Good morning, Andy" and he turned with a wonderful look of surprise which was worth a good deal of the cost of the trip. "What the Hell are you doing here?" and with a huge smile shook my hand, and went back to filming. (Why no DVD for Lyon, I wonder?)Now as I knew I didn't speak enough French to matter I had prepared some 4x6 inch photos of the installations Betsy and I had been in, and had laminated them so I could show them about. Within a couple of minutes or so I was surrounded by Frenchmen, who asked questions about the installations, and a question I had a hard time answering- was I a friend of Spencer's? Well, no I knew Spencer a bit and had lost the awe that I had felt the previous year, but still friends was too strong a word. How to say working relationship/aquaintance in French? Then came the most surreal moment in my life up to that morning. Now those of you who have read my accounts or know me know that the surreal is a big part of what draws me to pose for Spencer. There is an air(usually cold) of unreality about it, except then you step on a stone or something to tell you this is real. The first time I posed in Cleveland was topped by later event's but still was pretty high up there. Spencer came up behind me , "You're here!" in a happy voice, and "That deserves a French kiss." and proceeded to hug me and kiss me on both cheeks, to a small cheer by the folk surrounding us. He then turned and laughed "His beard is soft." I was speechless! How could I answer that? So I didn't try. That was the most surreal moment in my life. Spencer then went on his way to set up. I ran into a few people from the UK, and then Steve showed up and we "met" for the first time. He'd been unable to make the Louis the IV rendezvous but was here bright and early. After a while the rest of the MSN group showed up, silhouetted against the morning and I recognized them because they had a small figure half asleep being brought along. In fact most of us could have used a nap, and it was still a long time till the installation.In fact Craig, Diane, Emily and LJ went to the back of the crowd, so Em could catch a bit of a nap. The Bernard Alan, Big-Bad Jane, Kris and i tended to stay more or less together. After a while Spencer came out and gave a speech about the mystery of the cargo crates saying we get all the things we need from them, but we don't know what is in any one of them, and the interplay between them and our naked bodies. Then Spencer disappeared again, and an enthusiastic naked French fellow climbed one of the ladders and joked for a while. And finally it was time to undress and walk into the cargo crates. It was cool, but not cold, and as always folks were undressed faster than one might think, and with the usual nervous laughter and banter. We went down and around till we had a lane of crates and Spencer had us take up positions. This was not easy due to translation problems, which were to plague Spencer all day. We did various poses in the one area, including something new for Spencer, having us hold our legs aloft in the air. At one point while lying on the ground, I was able to see the soft pink curves of the woman near me, contrasted with the multicolored corrugated metal cargo bins piled to the blue sky, with small white fluffy clouds like whipped cream on an amazing multi-layered parfait. All this left us covered in black oily dirt. LJ at one point in trying to clean up managed to give herself a nice set of racing stripes. We also had little bits of asphalt and gravel lodged in our skin. We then moved to the far back at some point, got into a triangle with the guidance of a rope laid out by staff, and latter getting into a position only a chiropractor could love, with our heads and back arched over our bodies , resting on our knees. I couldn't maintain that one and just did an approximation.. I had some help in finding out what was going on from a young French woman, Julie, as I had long since lost my group companions. We would find each other and spilt up many times during the day. At some point I met up again with Kris and Phillip. At last Spencer was done with us men, and I went on to get dressed, and to wait on bendy buses to take us to the confluence. I also met up with more of the men of our group again. While on board the buses I again showed the photos, which were handy as one of the men had a flyer telling about posing in Lyon, and it had the Cleveland women's pose on it. Wow! I was able to show them the Mather in both photos. After a few minutes the bendy buses let us off and we hiked over to the confluence. Kris stuck by me more then, realizing I was in not too good physical shape and needed some looking after(Thank-you again Kris.)The first thing i had to do was use the portable facilities and so got into line. I couldn't resist showing my laminated photos to those waiting with me, and so had my second encounter with Spencer. He came up and said "What are you doing?" and when I explained he looked at the photos and said "That's what I do." (Of course, that was where I'd got the idea). He then said "You're crazy! But in a good way." He also asked if i had any food for the picnic, which I didn't but Kris had and I had my picnic cloth. Spencer had also provided some food and fruit.The confluence was much nicer, warmer with grass, and though it was clouding up it didn't rain. At some point we began to hear of a second set of installations on Monday morning. The women had been given flyers for it in their pose. We did several poses as a group, none quite so backbreaking as in the cargo containers, but again with legs in the air. Then we split off to do the men's pose, all of us lying about the tree in various positions till Spencer found the one he liked.Then they handed out flyers for Monday, and I realized i could go to that one too. Kris began thinking about doing so as well.Then came the picnic. Not quite what Spencer wanted I'm afraid. What he should have done was to tell us all to wait to eat till he got set up for his shot, but he forgot to take into account that by 1100 people were very hungry after a full mornings work. Everyone got into a picnic mode, some dressed some not, and some partly undressed. I was then i took a couple of photos with my phone cam, met my friend Kei and Nico, her boyfriend. But no one waited for Spencer. He was very upset for a while, but he made the best of it and went through the crowd taking shots of the people eating and drinking and having a good time. Kris and I had a Belgian wine, some bread and cheese all brought from home by Kris.After the picnic we were on our own and those of us who were staying over made our way back our various places to prepare for the next mornings shoot.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why we have a Spencer Tunick Forum

This noon while listening to an arts program, I heard Jill Snyder, the director of MOCA Cleveland, the museum that sponsored the Cleveland installation.
She was talking about the new MOCA being designed and its function and purpose, and made the statement that when museumgoers were surveyed about going to museums; they responded that it was a social occasion. They went to share art with others.

I got to thinking about our group and realized that this is also one of our functions. We share art, and our experiences of art, and being art with others. And we provide a place to share with people who have at least somewhat like-minded appreciation of Spencer’s works and other contemporary artists that have similar works. Oddly enough I had begun the photo album of exhibits before I heard this but I think that this in part was what I had in mind. The next best thing to being in a Spencer installation is reading the participants accounts of the shoot, and seeing the photos. The next best thing to being able to travel to the Baltic, or to Lyon, or Iceland for an exhibit is to see the photos from the exhibit and read the accounts of those exhibits.

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Bit of Humor in the "News"

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:22 am Post subject: A Bit of Humor

Spencer still has very little name recognition here in the US, even in Cleveland where his largest North American installation took place. However that seems to be changing. You will appreciate the small bit of humor that happened this AM on our local news radio, WTAM. A traffic report at 6:40 AM stated a naked man was seen near a certain intersection on the West side of town. Betsy and I laughed and jokingly said we wondered if Spencer was in town. As soon as the traffic/ weather ended one of the news personalities also joked, "Is that artist who does the naked people in town?" and the other came back with "Spencer Tunick. Is he in town? The guy is there naked(saying)"They told me to show up." It was a quick bit and funnier because Betsy and I had just said the same thing. Roger_________________

rcoss2001Site AdminJoined: 28 Mar 2006Posts: 43Location: Cleveland Heights, OH USA
Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:53 am Post subject: Bit of Humor Part 2

Today Betsy and I made the "news" ... and we missed it. As I posted in the above story, a local news station, WTAM, had just a small joke about Spencer. I took the opportunity to send in an email to the host and tell him Betsy and I were laughing along with him, as we had posed for Spencer, and gave him the address of our site. Today at about 0745 he read my email on the air! Betsy and I were on our way to work, but this morning had not had the radio on, drat it. However one of my coworkers heard it and called me when he came in. He said "When I heard them read an email about Spencer Tunick from Roger, I said to myself I'd bet $100 dollars that was you." Which it was. Alas we were not listening this time around.


Sunday, April 09, 2006


Betsy and I went down to Ghent OH and then on to Bath to see a small Tartan Day Celebration.
The sixth of April is Tartan Day. This club in the Bath area was holding it's fourth annual celebration. Very small, but nice. Food was great. I had meat pies, Betsy had chicken pasties.
For entertainment there was a small pipe band, the folk duo, Silent Lion, and two young girls dancing. We met a most interesting photographer- Jeff Roberts. He was proudly showing off his new aquistion, a Mamiya RD 67. It was huge. See the posted photos.
We had a nice afternoon.

Dancers Posted by Picasa

Akron Pipe Band Posted by Picasa

Pipe Major Posted by Picasa

Pipes and Drums Posted by Picasa

The folk duo Silent Lion. Posted by Picasa

Jeff in action. Posted by Picasa

Mamiya RD 67, Jeff's new pride and joy. Posted by Picasa

Jeff Roberts, photographer, photography historian, and camera collector. Posted by Picasa

Roger At Tartan Day Clebration Posted by Picasa

Caught in the act!

Image hosted by Webshots.com
by kokomojim

I wish I'd taken this one

Friday, April 07, 2006

Rainy Day 1

Rainy Day 1
Originally uploaded by rcoss2001.
A rainy Friday morning, and the weather matches my mood.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Park bench near the shrine.

Park bench near the shrine.
Originally uploaded by rcoss2001.
Note the pegs marking something. There were several at the site.

Cross near shrine

Cross near shrine
Originally uploaded by rcoss2001.
Nearby cross. Just a bit to the right and ahead of the shrine, a few feet away.


Originally uploaded by rcoss2001.
Distant cross, way to the left of the shrine across a field.

The car at the entrance of the drive

This shows where the car is in relation to the shrine, where I was standing.

Small Private Shrine 2

Small Private Shrine 2
Originally uploaded by rcoss2001.
Close up of the plaque on the shrine, with the verse fom John 14:27. I might add the day I found it I needed some peace and it was very nice to see it there.

Small Private Shrine

Small Private Shrine
Originally uploaded by rcoss2001.
This the small private shrine Betsy and I see nearly everyday as we come home from work. It is visible from the road, but looks like an historical marker till you get close. Obiously it is tended, and one day we came there were fresh flowers. But it does not seem to be a grave, though there are two crosses nearby in addition to the ones made of sticks.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Double Feature

We saw two movies Saturday. We ran errands first; we took Alice for her E-check. She passed and we got her her new stickers. Then off to the drugstore. Then home briefly and away to see "Eight Below". But as we went I remembered we also wanted to see the sneak preview of "Take The Lead".We had seen the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom" and "Take the Lead" seemed related to it. Little did we know. The first movie was simple but intense. If you love dogs you should like this movie. The story of a team of 8 sled dogs left alone in the Antarctic. The second movie ws the story of Pierre Dulaine, the man responsible in a way for "Mad Hot Ballroom" Also a simple feelgood movie, but well acted with good editing. Predictable, yes. But good. The dancing was terrific, and Betsy would watch damn near anything with Antonio Banderas.


The stories had one thing in common. Both were loosely based on real life events.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


The Spencer Tunick Experience Group is now the Spencer Tunick Forum at www.spencertunickforum.org