Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cyber Gallerie

Yves Tanguey-the best surrealist
Paul Klee-synthesis of many art movements struck his own path
Feinneger-vastly underrated
Max Ernst--a master

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

White Tower #8

The mighty White Tower restaurant number 8, Baltimore MD circa 1985. It caught fire soon after and was gone to the world.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fluorescent Kiowa

Announcing a new research project: The reconstruction of the painting "Fluorescent Kiowa". While doing research in our archives, our staff member Ed Porter located this interesting fragment.After many inquiries our staff have determined that the image displayed above was intended to serve as a reference for a repainting project of a lost painting by the artist Lee Hiway. What we have determined is that the original painting was done in the early 1980's on a drum head for the band "Color Anxiety"--a local Wakefield County Virginia Punk Rock musical outfit.

Somehow in a later incarnation the band changed into the group known as "9353" and the drum head was loaned back to Mr. Hiway to repair some flaked off spots. According to 9353's lead signer, Mr. Hiway went beyond his original instructions and completely transformed the painting into what became "Fluorescent Kiowa". From that point the story gets murky, but the bottom line is that the location of the painting is not know and the only evidence we have of its appearance is this fragment.
As we see above Mr. Hiway left some indication of his thoughts as to probably the dominat color schemes. Those being the terms Facility Blue, Antisceptic Green, Caution Yellow, Emergency Red, and Warning Orange which we knew were his way of naming colours that fit into a unique industrial themed color palette that bypassed the traditional color systems established in the long tradition of western art.
Based on this information and the background research conducted recently concerning the execution of My. Hiway's other paintings created durning that period Such as the painting depicted here (image courtesy of the Clyde Randall collection),
our research team is considering to attempt the re-creation of the painting "Fluorescent Kiowa". Hopefully, we will get the funding and institutional support for this project and keep you posted on its progress.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cassette Tape Covers

At one point the entire industrial output of the FBC Graphics department produced nifty cassette tape box covers. Here is an example circa 1984 of the recording "Green Concert Tape" by the band Sanction Smith.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A note from our Sponsor

Have YOU thought about a new TV lately? Come down to Fred Walker Magnavox and talk to one of our salesmen and ask for the latest in Televisions, Hifi sets, and transistor radios.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Philadelphia Branch

We have been busy expanding operations to take advantage of recent economic developments. Pictured here is our temporary headquarters of our Philadelphia Service Center. Come drop by during our business hours between 9pm and 5 am.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nether Region

The Standard has shifted most of its production machinery to the creation of these nifty new photomontage products. What were we waiting for all these years? Again thanks to that wonder crew at Lee Hiway Productions for the soundtrack, and also Mr. Ed Porter for the fine imagery.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Midnight City

The Standard is please to announce the first installment of a new creative product line from the Kinorama Imaging Division operating under the RicknMikenBill unit. The Photomontage: "Midnight City" is the first attempt to merge our Ed Porter photography unit, Lee Hiway Music Division, and KinoRama together. Perhaps it is all too confusing. Never fear, this is what we do--we explore and create without thought of borders and deadlines, rules or restrictions. Order out of chaos and too much chaos creates order. The blend of Dionysus with Apollo.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gas Stations and Taxi's

Ponder the fate of the mid-century metal-wrapped building. Perhaps the classic American diner is the best example of this phenomenon of combining sanitary surfaces with streamlined eye lines. Metal-wrapped buildings are all but gone from today's contemporary commercial landscape. Lost are the days when one could pull into a nice brightly lit Midwestern gas station and be greeted by a crisply starched uniformed attendant who cheerfully would top off your tank, wash your windshield, and check your oil.

By the mid 1980's many of these wonderful edifices to American can-do mercantilism were either abandoned or re-purposed such as the taxi cab depot pictured here. Somehow in its decrepitude there is still a faint allusion to the ordered harmony of what was once a bustling, trim , and efficient petro-chemical transaction. We pause and tip our hat to the clash and harmony of the random color tones of this scene, and find nothing out of place, while the photographer pauses in entropy.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Headquarters

We are happy to report that our Mid-Atlantic Division exceeded all expectations last quarter. Pictured above is our division headquarters located in the Majestic Bowers Building in downtown Newark New Jersey. Our Division Director Mr. Clyde Randall is driving past our building in his brand new 1966 Chrysler Newport Imperial. Of course in the lower left and right of this picture are two from our fleet of black Cadillacs.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Warehouse Green and Red

Due to an increase of internet chatter the Command Post has been relocated here. The little old lady who lives next door in the red house has no clue about "Those nice young men dressed in kevlar" who moved in next door. Meanwhile we finally got another report from our forward recon base in the eastern sector. It doesn't look good and we advise to lay low.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

239 Central Avenue, Yourtown USA

While our field unit is currently deployed in an advance recon mission in the heartland. We have retreated to this command post to wait out the sit reps.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baltimore Architecture

Basically this says it all: one side of a duplex tenement boarded up by the railroad tracks where even the radiator repair shop couldn't stay in business next to it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The GC Murphy Building

One of the activities of the American National Standard and its affiliates is to document, analyze, and preserve aspects of the American cultural and creative output and present it to new audiences. One of our specialities is documentation of American Commercial Architecture from the time period of the 1920's to 1976. 
It is our contention that buildings, clothing, style, typography, and other forms of design have been in decline ever since. We no longer shed tears for the demise of this era for it disappears more and more everyday. We are steeled in our resolve to unleash the considerable photo-documentation in our archives and encourage our affiliated research centers to do the same. You may want to peruse some of the efforts of our Berlin branch who are undertaking a painstaking effort to bring a fresh viewpoint to the heritage of this city.

Introducing the first installment to this effort: the GC Murphy Building, formerly located in the Clarendon area of Arlington Virginia. 
Seen here shortly before its downfall in 1986, the Standard sent an emergency photodoc unit to record its essential characteristics. We must caution the casual viewer of historic images that there is no substitute for visiting and experiencing these structures and building sites first hand. We note that in the digital age there is an ubiquity of imagery, but less analysis and discourse concerning what is depicted.

One may note in the image above that the facade of this structure takes on a particular aerodynamic shape with its pointed roof line and strips of glass windows. The front entrance is oriented down toward the Federal City as it scoops up potential customers into its mighty maw of commerce. Once inside patrons were confronted by a dizzying array of products pausing at its luncheon counter for a BLT and a Coke for refreshment. 

Notice below that this building's rear facade illustrates that the architects and designers considered all facets of the building as a complete structure. Unlike today where design and material choices are made only to maximize profit.
Linked to its sister structure the Hecht Company building in the Parkington Shopping Center further up the mid-20th century Wilson Boulevard commercial corridor in Ballston,
 and Anchored by the Radio Building to the South in the Courthouse Section. 

We hope this brief foray into our archives has stimulated and informed you of the vast heritage of the American built environment. We wish that there is no lapse into needless sentimentality about days gone by, but to instead re-invigorate the concept of the impact of design on the the urban scene and one's interaction in it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Parkington '51

In 1984 we made one of our first successful art products, the Super-8 movie "Parkington '51". It has been showcased many times in the local independent movie scene in Federarlington, District of Corruption. In 2008-9 it was re-issued and offered up to the internets.

We are stunned today to learn that our research team in our
Metropolitan Continuity Division has discovered a processing error affecting several of the films created by our Lee Hiway Productions Film Division.  As you can see here the motion picture, "Parkington '51" is by and large originally shot and processed in negative.

The evidence is in and we must admit that the integrity of our film efforts have been compromised and must be re-processed. It must be done for scenes such as this one rely upon negative imagery for emotional impact and statement.
In particular, the scene starring William Peters is greatly enhanced in its original negative polarity. It was this sequence in particular that caught the eye of Mr. Clyde Randall who had remembered the original theatrical release in 1984 and noticed that the re-issued version had lost its original polarity.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

We take all reports seriously

Our friends over at the Otto Mannix Report have experienced a catastrophic computer failure that has had the Standard scrambling for its Business Continutity Plan. We take all reports seriously. In fact we staff a 24/7 help line shown here to field all of your calls. 
In the event that we have a disruption of service, our Computer analysis datalab is fully equiped to initiate backup sequence Delta-5.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


To: Shareholders
From: American National Standard, Warehouse Division, Sub-facility Management Team
Subject: Downsizing

To Avert an impending Government forced restructuring of our business operations we are shutting down our Berwyn Heights storage facility effective immediately. Please inform all staff that surplus office furniture, holiday decorations, vital business records, supplies, and obsolete equipment will be discarded at the close of business tomorrow. The facility pictured here will be shut down and locked up until further notice. Trespassing, vandalism, and strange photographers will not be tolerated.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Back from Vacation

Well now we are back from our much deserved vacation visiting the back roads of this great country. Here are some snapshots of the fine establishments we stayed at while on the road.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Before we go underground for awhile

We are going underground for awhile here at the standard so we want to leave you with a little collection of oddities. We have an acquaintance who has a bizarre collection of different items.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We have reasonable information that the Standard and several affiliated blogs have been infiltrated. Advanced monitoring facilities such as the one depicted here are in the process of monitoring and datamining our activities. We wish all those government agencies luck wasting their time monitoring this and others blogs. Who knows, perhaps readership will increase.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Our Friends over at the Otto Mannix Report have opened up a significant discussion concerning the placement of the movie "Easy Rider" in the pantheon of Biker vs Road Movies. Here at the Standard we don't like to pick winners and losers in the cultural wars, however we could not sit idly by and not make some contributions from our personal archives. We do suggest that "Easy" spawned many spin off wanna be movies such as the "Cycle Savages". We note that several collateral actors such as Harry Dean Stanton and Bruce Dern were staple character actors in this genre. We leave it to our friend Mr. Ivanlandia, to set the record straight where movies such as "The Trip" and "Planet of the Apes" fit into the cultural landscape of late '60's alternative films.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


A found city in complete decay. I find myself wandering in a city and it seems unreal to me. It is unreal. It is so real that it disappears in the mind's eye. I go back to the same location and it is never the same again. Sometimes things have been completely changed or destroyed. Other times the obvious stays hidden in plain sight. You can't step in the same river twice.

The American city is in decline. Has been for awhile. White flight and riots have made their mark. There is a quality of craftsmanship and care in old structures that is missing in today's temporary environment. As the vacant lots multiply nature is slowly biding her time to reclaim the urban environment that man is gradually abandoning.

There are no tags, or identification of these images beyond the title because they are not pictures of places. They are places that are pictured. Unique and universal at the same time. Not a spectacle of urban disfunction but a paean to a culture in its waning years. 

Pseudopolis is every city, an imagined city, imaginary parts of real cities, discovered and rediscovered, and the city of myth.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dundalk Facility

Our colleagues over at the Otto Mannix Report have provided a valuable public service to our world-wide customer base by exposing the activities of your hard working yet humble staff here at the Standard as we try to bring you the latest obsolete information regarding American Cultural History. We can not stress the amount of support that the Mannix operation have given to the Standard over the years. So as a way of expressing our thanks we have located deep within our corporate archives images of our Dundalk Maryland information fabrication plant and our loyal staffers Ed, Bob, and Jim who have been manufacturing flat plate information and stamped steel digital foil for over 50 years. We salute you.