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Chris Ashley, Untitled, 2005, HTML, 420 x 360 pixels
Another nice one from Ashley, whose abstract html paintings make browsers all over the world burn with a hard, gem-like flame.
Interview with Sam Hamm, who wrote the screenplay for Homecoming, Joe Dante's Showtime antiwar zombie movie. Hamm was a year ahead of me at the University of Virginia, making waves even then as a student film critic and festival organizer. His program of Sam Fuller and Don Siegel films, called Shit Fest, had a flyer that got censored by the University--they made him black in the capital "I" so it read SHOT FEST. He got famous with the script for the Tim Burton Batman, and I'm a fan of his Monkeybone (directed by Burton protege Henry Selick), an amusing sleeper* film that happened to be a big critical and box office flop. I don't have Showtime so missed Homecoming, with its dead Iraq war vets rising from the grave to vote against the Republicans, but it's great to hear films like that can get made and distributed in this age of pro-authoritarian media. I like this comment of Hamm's from the interview:
The moment you attempt to address right-wing punditry, you are in a realm beyond parody. How do you top the vaudeville duo of Falwell & Robertson, announcing that 9/11 was God’s retribution for rampant homosexuality? How do you top that necrotic turd Bill O’Reilly, offering Coit Tower in San Francisco to Al Qaeda? A couple of decades ago you would’ve paid fifty cents to see these circus freaks in a tent, with the bearded lady and the dog-faced boy and the India rubber man. Now they’re part of our national political discourse.*heh heh--it's about a cartoonist plagued with sleep disorders.
This hype for the Aeon Flux movie is so full of shit:
"Aeon Flux is set 400 years in the future, in a supposedly utopian society, where a secret rebellion is brewing. In the coming war between the totalitarian government, who impose order with ruthless efficiency, and those who oppose it with ruthless abandon, the one person who may prove that individuals still matter is Aeon Flux. Flux (Charlize Theron) is the top operative in the underground "Monican" rebellion and when her assignment is to assassinate a leading government official she begins to realize that there is more to uncover than even she expected."All Hollywood adaptations now are about normalizing the weird. Find me some sort of moral in the cartoon series on which this movie is based. "Supposedly utopian?" Dystopian from the get-go. Ruthless efficiency vs ruthless abandon? The Breens and Monicans never fell into such neat categories. The amoral Aeon proved that individuals still matter by regularly playing tongue hockey with Trevor, the dictator. Such a bunch of crap comes out of Tinseltown. I don't want to see this one. I did just order the refurbished cartoon on DVD and am curious to see what was restored. Like, will the pool of blood Aeon kept waking up in in "Chronophasia" be returned to the original red color? (MTV freaked and tinted it brown.)
(Illustration from Mike Russell's "Not So Secret History of Aeon Flux"--thanks to the Eyebeam reBlog for spotting it.)
I have been wanting to eat at wd~50 for a while now, since the chef is a friend of friends and I've been hearing so much about the place. This past Thursday, as a sort of belated birthday present to myself, I went, and wow. The chef, Wylie Dufresne, is celebrated for adventurous and artistic cuisine: I missed his appearance on Iron Chef America but as a sometime watcher of the show I know the culinary experts who get invited don't screw around.
His restaurant, at 50 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side, is spacious and comfortable. I went with a party of six and we did the ten-course tasting menu. The staff brings a succession of very small, elegant dishes to the table, and Wylie's father Dewey drops by to discourse knowledgeably on the different wines you're drinking. The experience is folksy and unpretentious even though the food and drink is so ultra-refined it could be caricatured, say, in a Cohn brothers movie. (For some reason I'm thinking of Maude Lebowsky.)
Just a few examples from the tasting. The first dish out is a fig in a perfect cube shape with a slice of anchovy balancing on top. Awesome to look at and a mind-bending combo of flavors. More geometry came in the form of a smooth cylinder of foie gras (yeah I know, tortured ducks--I don't feel good about it), which breaks open to reveal a liquid center with some kind of oozy beet concoction. The taste resided somewhere between Satori and Nirvana. A bowl of fishy consomme with a hint of chocolate (!) came with a tiny squeeze bottle, complete with orange cap like Elmer's. You squeeze thin ropes of yogurt, thickened with some kind of space age enzymes into the broth. A little weird, and the fish and cocoa combo I found discordant, but a lot of great art is offputting. Many of the dishes come on beds of shavings the waiter described as "soil," as in "pea soil" or "chocolate soil," and the small dabs and smears of sauces on the plates jazz up the views and tastes.
Not a place for starving artists, but every artist should save up some money for a once in a lifetime trip. Simply amazing on every level.
I am in a two-person show in Dallas next month at and/or gallery, along with the artist Saskia Jorda. The gallery'll be showing some of my animated gifs, the Guitar Solo vid, a molecule-tagged product box or two, the nine-drawing "wormy abstraction" series, and additionally, I'm working on a new piece in the "layered" style (possibly two, depending on how long they take). I'll be documenting the latter work on the blog as I make it. Above are a couple of early stages.