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Nobody does "delirious urban spectacle" better than Japanese animators, and Cowboy Bebop, which you might be lucky enough to catch on the big screen for a few more days, is sheer techno-poetry. Visual highlights include people watching a scratchy John Wayne western in cars parked in a multilevel cinema-stadium; a shootout in a high-speed monorail, intriguingly designed with tracks switching between the tops and bottoms of the train cars; a Macy's-style Halloween Parade with huge floating jack'o'lanterns casting ominous shadows on the crowds below; a descent into the atmosphere of a partially terraformed Mars where the sky is jammed with dancing, shimmering product logos; a walk through a multicultural Martian city where kids breakdance a block away from Moroccan market stalls--there is more sumptuous drawing on view here than you'll see in a month of gallery shows. Also, the chemistry of the bounty hunter protagonists is decidedly un-blockbuster; they work at cross purposes and frequently wander off on their own for no reason (the Onion describes their camaraderie as "uncommunicative, uncooperative cooperation.") Oh, and the Welsh Corgi "data dog" is cute as hell.
Cripes! With the news media announcing victory over the hapless Iraqis, the right wingers and '"liberal hawks" are dancing in the aisles. Finally, we can start imposing liberal democracy over there at gunpoint! Yippee! (Just like we did in Afghanistan!) Evidently a war is considered successful, or a "cakewalk," if American casualties remain low. If at all possible, I'd like to spoil the party by mentioning that a lot of innocent Iraqis did die (and are still dying) horribly. After watching the newscasting insaniacs on Fox the other night (I tried to avoid it but a friend of mine had me over for dinner and watches it "ironically") I came home and made myself look at some of the pictures on the web of people mutilated and burned beyond recognition by our military--what Fox would never show us. I'd been avoiding this kind of material but after an intense dose of jingoistic shouting I suddenly felt the need to see what my tax dollars were paying for. I'm posting a link here; I'm not saying anyone else has an obligation to look. But in response to Nat Hentoff, an old-school liberal who smugly announced he "would not be marching" because we needed to make Saddie the Baddie our business (forget all the torturers in the "coalition of the willing"), and to all the "liberal hawks" enabling Bush & Co--when I look at these pictures, I can't get around the fact that Saddam didn't do this, we did.
I'm tryin' to run an art weblog here, but it's been hard with all the war news. The daylight mugging of Iraq is appalling, and what's happening here in the US--the jingoism, the hate speech, the corporate media propaganda--equally abysmal. The moral minority used to complain bitterly and vitriolically about Bill Clinton--a President who did nothing to the country as bad as what's transpiring now--and I swore I'd never stoop to discourse that low. I've been cheating on my promise, though, because of the downhill spiral we've been in since the 2000 election. The "hands off the Saudis" edict to intelligence agencies obviously contributed to the 9/11 tragedy, and so far no one's been fired. The military takeover of Afghanistan, and now Iraq (and soon Syria, Iran, etc.) are the worst things to happen to this country since Vietnam. Suddenly after 9 years of (relatively) low-level conflicts, we're in total, pumped-up, IOU-funded war mode, with most of the world hating our guts. And our economy, which depends largely on selling products and rendering services around the globe, is sucking hard. (The war's been great for war profiteers, though.) Anyway, I just want to say it's difficult to focus on the things I know and love with all this wretched shit going on. End rant.
The title of this piece is Converging Pairs. Each sphere and strut is a separate piece of cut out, printed card stock, attached to the wall with map pins. I began adding struts to the spheres in this cluster; each time I added a strut I moved a sphere from the center of the cluster to the outer tip of the new strut. I kept adding struts until all there were no more unpaired spheres. I tried to make the arrangement as "zany" as these parameters would allow. I then photographed the installation with a digital camera, and uploaded it. (Who says conceptual art is dead?)
"Rolling Victory" declared in Iraq
From today's Washington Post: "During early preparations for war, one official said, some U.S. thinkers 'operated on the assumption that it was going to be a relatively clean break, that the end of the regime would be clear for all to see. That may not be the case. I think we're seeing a rolling end.'"
What a great concept! Now when your boss asks if a job is finished, you can say "Yes, it's kind of a rolling finish." All-your half-completed household chores, too, can be characterized as "in a rolling state." And so on. It's always exciting to hear a new phrase enter the language--I expect this one is going to be BIG!