Thursday, May 14, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood Remixed

I came across this recently and thought it was kind of appropos in light of our remixing things like fairy tales, literary references, etc. next week. Apparently this video came out of an art-school assignment to reinterpret Little Red Riding Hood, in fact. See what you think:

To compound matters, I just came across this interesting essay on artists working with Little Red Riding Hood imagery and ideas to get at other things: Red Riding Hood in Contemporary Art.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unauthorized Public Art Links

So for my final project, I am working with the idea of public art, illegal public art that is, and if it is considered art. You know the inside of bathroom stalls, how ridiculous some of the things are that you find there, is that art? So what happens when you encourage an illegal street artist, or the general public to draw something beautiful?
some articles:
and a very long essay, but the first paragraphs sum it up:
and my favorite street art website:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Social Awkwardness or Casual confidence?

It's that weird social awkwardness that gets written in that sounds so casual even though you know it's... well, that it's not. I really don't know whether these are fake or not, but they're funny either way.

Justify Full

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"I saw you..."

Liars Club 3-27
You approached me as I sat at the bar. You invited me outside so we could get to know each other better, but i didn't go. I was with a friend and I didn't want to be rude to her, even though she laughed at me later for not getting your number. Still kicking myself about that. Still interested?

When: Friday, March 27, 2009
Where: Liars Club
I saw a: Woman
I am a: Man

tasting truffles at Whole Foods
I was getting a sample chocolate truffle, and you were nearby waiting to pick one out. So I helped you. When I was leaving the store, you were in your car; you rolled down your window and thanked me again for the truffle. I wish I had flirted with you, but I'm a bit shy.

When: Saturday, February 2, 2008
Where: Whole Foods
I saw a: Man
I am a: Woman

these posts were just a couple of what I've found interesting. I've never seen these "I saw you" ads on the internet but I think some of them are really funny so I will be looking through them sometimes.

Punk Rock Martha Stewart Baker Will Tear Your Kitchen Apart

So, I was reading through the best of Craig's List, and I said, "You. I would like to draw you."

Punk Rock Baker

As far as the folk tale goes, I had an illustrated version of "The Tinderbox" by Hans Christian Andersen when I was little. Sadly, that book (along with the coin that it came with) have fallen prey to me growing up. There are, however, countless retellings of it strewn across the internet.

Here's a bit to pique your interest.

" “Get money,” she replied; “for you must know that when you reach the ground under the tree, you will find yourself in a large hall, lighted up by three hundred lamps; you will then see three doors, which can be easily opened, for the keys are in all the locks. On entering the first of the chambers, to which these doors lead, you will see a large chest, standing in the middle of the floor, and upon it a dog seated, with a pair of eyes as large as teacups. But you need not be at all afraid of him; I will give you my blue checked apron, which you must spread upon the floor, and then boldly seize hold of the dog, and place him upon it. You can then open the chest, and take from it as many pence as you please, they are only copper pence; but if you would rather have silver money, you must go into the second chamber. Here you will find another dog, with eyes as big as mill-wheels; but do not let that trouble you. Place him upon my apron, and then take what money you please. If, however, you like gold best, enter the third chamber, where there is another chest full of it. The dog who sits on this chest is very dreadful; his eyes are as big as a tower, but do not mind him. If he also is placed upon my apron, he cannot hurt you, and you may take from the chest what gold you will.” "

- J

i saw u

Several of you have posted movies as a good place to start thinking about narrative. Now lets get back to the project at hand. What literary excerpts and classified ads will inform your projects this week? The more you post, the more we'll have to work with.

Speaking of classified ads, here are two from the Chicago Reader. I doubt these two would connect very well, but enjoyed the contrast:

girl walking dog congress theatre
u were walking it dog and said , he wants u to pet him, so I did. I was on break from working at the congress, zz top video shoot. I wanted to talk more but did not have time.

feeling "unsettled" about skyscraper foundations.
The only thing I got out of Clyde Baker's lecture was a tremendous amount of respect for engineers. Everything he said went way over my head. I went hoping to better understand the foundations of the world's tallest skyscrapers, and I can't say that I achieved that. But I had a good time regardless, and found the ravioli to be delicious. Anyhow, I think I caught you smiling in my direction. You were probably just amused to see a girl in red cowboy boots look so lost in a room full of genius engineers. Even so, I was looking forward to talking with you but my friend had to leave prematurely and I wanted to see her off. Send me a note if you see this, and maybe you can explain his lecture to me over coffee. I'm a visual learner though. So to understand I need pictures - that aren't covered over by numbers and scary looking equations.

Incidentally, I find it interesting that these things seem to describe footwear just as often (if not more often) than hair, eyes, or other characteristics: Chicago Reader "I Saw You" Ads.

All Dogs Go To Heaven

My favorite movie when i was a child. It is very strange to re-watch it now.

third eye

so apparently reptiles have a weird kind of hormonal 'eye' that can perceive light and stuff. funky, eh?   i loved this movie "which wa a book ;) so much, so much adventure and crazy creatures, and let not forget the mot important morals

The Mother and the Witch

This is from the Brothers Grimm version of Hansel and Gretel. I think it shows an interesting parallel between the mother in the story and the witch they encounter later:

"'I'll tell you what husband,' answered the woman. 'Tomorrow morning we will take the children out quite early into the thickest part of the forest. We will light a fire and give each of them a piece of bread. Then we will go to work and leave them alone. They won't be able to find their way back, and so we shall be rid of them...' 
"At daybreak, before the sun had risen, the woman came and said, 'Get up you lazybones! We are going to the forest to fetch wood.'"

"All at once the door opened and an old, old woman, supporting herself on a crutch, came hobbling out. Hansel and Gretel were so frightened that they dropped what they held in their hands...
"Then she went to Gretel and shook her till she woke, and cried, 'Get up, little lazybones! Fetch some water and cook something nice for your brother. He is in the stable and has to be fattened. When he is nice and fat, I will eat him.'"

Random interest

Tigers win.

LION Vs TIGER! The Debate - For more amazing video clips, click here

fat water dinosaur... rawrrr... rrrr...

I came across a couple articles about a giant prehistoric sea animal that was an estimated 45 tons. There should be fatter animals than that... right?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chicago We Are Project Blog

here is my blog.

if you guys want to post, let me know and I will invite you!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Very Good Story...

The Myth of Sysiphus

by Albert Camus

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

If one believes Homer, Sisyphus was the wisest and most prudent of mortals. According to another tradition, however, he was disposed to practice the profession of highwayman. I see no contradiction in this. Opinions differ as to the reasons why he became the futile laborer of the underworld. To begin with, he is accused of a certain levity in regard to the gods. He stole their secrets. Egina, the daughter of Esopus, was carried off by Jupiter. The father was shocked by that disappearance and complained to Sisyphus. He, who knew of the abduction, offered to tell about it on condition that Esopus would give water to the citadel of Corinth. To the celestial thunderbolts he preferred the benediction of water. He was punished for this in the underworld. Homer tells us also that Sisyphus had put Death in chains. Pluto could not endure the sight of his deserted, silent empire. He dispatched the god of war, who liberated Death from the hands of her conqueror.

It is said that Sisyphus, being near to death, rashly wanted to test his wife's love. He ordered her to cast his unburied body into the middle of the public square. Sisyphus woke up in the underworld. And there, annoyed by an obedience so contrary to human love, he obtained from Pluto permission to return to earth in order to chastise his wife. But when he had seen again the face of this world, enjoyed water and sun, warm stones and the sea, he no longer wanted to go back to the infernal darkness. Recalls, signs of anger, warnings were of no avail. Many years more he lived facing the curve of the gulf, the sparkling sea, and the smiles of earth. A decree of the gods was necessary. Mercury came and seized the impudent man by the collar and, snatching him from his joys, lead him forcibly back to the underworld, where his rock was ready for him.

You have already grasped that Sisyphus is the absurd hero. He is, as much through his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth. Nothing is told us about Sisyphus in the underworld. Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them. As for this myth, one sees merely the whole effort of a body straining to raise the huge stone, to roll it, and push it up a slope a hundred times over; one sees the face screwed up, the cheek tight against the stone, the shoulder bracing the clay-covered mass, the foot wedging it, the fresh start with arms outstretched, the wholly human security of two earth-clotted hands. At the very end of his long effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved. Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward tlower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit. He goes back down to the plain.

It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end. That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock.

If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that can not be surmounted by scorn.

If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. This word is not too much. Again I fancy Sisyphus returning toward his rock, and the sorrow was in the beginning. When the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, when the call of happiness becomes too insistent, it happens that melancholy arises in man's heart: this is the rock's victory, this is the rock itself. The boundless grief is too heavy to bear. These are our nights of Gethsemane. But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged. Thus, Edipus at the outset obeys fate without knowing it. But from the moment he knows, his tragedy begins. Yet at the same moment, blind and desperate, he realizes that the only bond linking him to the world is the cool hand of a girl. Then a tremendous remark rings out: "Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well." Sophocles' Edipus, like Dostoevsky's Kirilov, thus gives the recipe for the absurd victory. Ancient wisdom confirms modern heroism.

One does not discover the absurd without being tempted to write a manual of happiness. "What!---by such narrow ways--?" There is but one world, however. Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable. It would be a mistake to say that happiness necessarily springs from the absurd. Discovery. It happens as well that the felling of the absurd springs from happiness. "I conclude that all is well," says Edipus, and that remark is sacred. It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has not been, exhausted. It drives out of this world a god who had come into it with dissatisfaction and a preference for futile suffering. It makes of fate a human matter, which must be settled among men.

All Sisyphus' silent joy is contained therein. His fate belongs to him. His rock is a thing. Likewise, the absurd man, when he contemplates his torment, silences all the idols. In the universe suddenly restored to its silence, the myriad wondering little voices of the earth rise up. Unconscious, secret calls, invitations from all the faces, they are the necessary reverse and price of victory. There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his efforts will henceforth be unceasing. If there is a personal fate, there is no higher destiny, or at least there is, but one which he concludes is inevitable and despicable. For the rest, he knows himself to be the master of his days. At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that slight pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which become his fate, created by him, combined under his memory's eye and soon sealed by his death. Thus, convinced of the wholly human origin of all that is human, a blind man eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he is still on the go. The rock is still rolling.

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


if you've ever seen My Neighbor Totoro [it was one of my favorite movies back in the day... well, my day anyway.] someone made a Catbus like in the movie. Frickin awesome.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Here is something that I think my final project will look like:
The research in the subject is interesting.
I have one currently started. I will bring it over tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Half Baked

I just finished a pint of Ben and Jerry's Half Baked ice cream.  I started it last night. For those of you who don't know about this wondrous concoction, I will tell you about it. It is a combination of both chocolate and vanilla ice cream, fudge brownie pieces, and chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough. When eating this ice cream, it is difficult for me to concentrate on anything else (hence this post). 

Here is some nutritional information:
(as a serving size is only 1/2 cup, I just ate about twice this amount)
270 Calories per serving 
13 grams of total fat
8 grams of saturated fat
0 grams of trans fat (this is good for my cholesterol!)
45 mg of cholesterol (this is bad for my cholesterol)
85 mg of sodium
33 grams of total carbohydrates (good thing I'm not on a low carb diet)
1 gram of dietary fiber
25 grams of sugar
4 grams of protein

Also, according to the carton, the dairy for the ice cream is supplied by family farmers that don't use rBGH on their cows. This is great!

Note: I was not at all baked (not even half way) when consuming this ice cream or writing this post.
Honestly, I cannot remember my dreams.
Especially these days, I just can't remember them!! I know I had a dream, but it disappears right after I wake up (before even trying to write them down..) Or I don't even remember dreaming. I don't know if it's because I'm too tired every time I fall asleep... Sometimes I just remember little scenes like talking with someone or standing in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes I have the weirdest dreams like marrying someone completely random.

But once I remember my dream, I remember it for the longest time.
This one dream I had in elementary school or early middle school was probably the scariest dream I ever had... I was sleeping in the couch in my house, and when I woke up, there were two women in the kitchen. Same exact setting as my real house, and I remember just looking at them. They seemed like they were trying to rob the house. I got up and approached to them, hard to breathe for some weird reason and almost panting. I went up to one of the women who had a knife in her hand, and as soon as I pressed 911 on the phone, I woke up. I was sleeping in the same couch, and no one was in the house. I still remember the chills I had...

a most vivid dream

So I'm home for the summer but it's in the early evening and I've just arrived back from the airport and it's orangy sort of night, where it's fading to purple, but not for another hour, so it's still in that pinkish orangish red. I have the rest of my luggage in the car and for some reason, I have 3 grams of weed and two packs of cigarettes and a lighter- I know because my pockets are bulging and I'm pretty conscious about what's in or goes into my pockets.

I walk my house and into my living room and a lot of random people are there, from who knows where. My friend Abha's there for some reason, I don't know why. The orange color seems to have carried in from the outside into the house and it almost feels like there's smoke in the house, but I guess that's the dreamlike state.

Everyone's talking about something as if it's a good thing and I'm not very interested in the conversations going on. I go to my room and discover that it's not my room anymore but like a weird sort of storage room that my parents made. I still have my bed there though. I feel panicked because of that, like because it's become a storage room, sooner or later it'll become full and shove me out.

I decide I need to smoke because it feels like my parents have tried eliminating me out of their lives completely so I go out and I take my dad's car keys. I try driving and I manage it pretty well after driving around the Walgreens I used to hang out at, but the car is malfunctioning and I can't tell which is the gas or break anymore because it's not responding to me. I manage to circle back in the direction of my house but the car is now moving by itself.

Everyone in the house comes out to see me for some reason and I try pulling back into the driveway but I crash into the other cars in there. I crash into them extremely slowly, like when you see sheet metal slowly scrunching up and whining. Like that.

I can feel looks of disapproval coming from my parents so I try to back out and make everything better. Everything the car gets in the way of, it seems to crash into. It's weird. The pedals seemed to be reversed for a second, but they just aren’t responding to me at all. I’m pushing down on them as hard as I can.

I somehow manage to pull up to a deserted curb of a park that I recognize because it's like a psuedo combination of my old elementary school, the end of my house's cul de sac, and an edge with a guard rail where a small creek ran underneath my school.

I'm decide to roll a spliff when I see a rent-a-cop a ways a way and I panic and ditch the spliff off of the guard rail. The car turns into a bed inside a house overlooking the cliff. The man turns into a cleaner. I tell him that my cousin owns this house and he says he knows, he's just cleaning. He goes downstairs and all the while, he's muttering about additional stuff like 'he's the CEO or something'.

Weird dream...

I was on a boyscout camp out, and I had  broken knee, ki wanted go be faster so I got roller blades. First k had o try roller lading in the city. Just a few of my friends stayed, then I dithched them and learned how to ru up the stairs with the roller blades. Then I met up wth my daad, and I told him to watch me roller blad down this rocky trail, I made and did it with satye. Then we came to our campsite, there my dad wwas explaining the site, there was a a huge chandelier 1000 feet up that had fallen right next to the campfire, and it wwas made out of metal, y dad said there were heat boxes kin the middle that would ha\ve made it glow, I didn’t believe him when he said a thousand feet, then I looked odf into the distance and saw this mountain that looked jus like the one in the last lord of the rings, the second to last battle , u know the city one

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Full Moon and Your Sleep Cycle

Have you ever had trouble sleeping when the moon is close to the peak of it's cycle? Just last night, I only got 2 hours of sleep -- sure enough, we're a few days away from the full moon. I talked to James in the morning, and he said that he had trouble sleeping as well. Maybe we're just werewolves...

Here's an article about how the moon affects our sleep cycles.

Does the Moon Affect Our Sleep?

Best dream of past two weeks:

I had a dream that was actually edited, scored and shot like a movie trailer. It was entirely in the third person and owed a great deal to Blake Edwards. In fact, it was a blatant rip-off of the "Pink Panther" series. Except for one thing.
Instead of having Peter Sellers klutzing around, it was me. Also, I was half pig half man. It was absurd and absolutely hilarious. One scene I remember was me playing poker with a group of criminals only my cards were facing them. 
Worst pig spy ever.
Best dream ever.
Here is a visual aid to get you into the zone I was in.


Odd things we do in our sleep:

Confusional arousals

With a prevalence of 4%, confusional arousals are not observed very often in adults; however, they are common in children. Confusional arousals are occasional thrashings or inconsolable crying among children—they are characterized by movements in bed.

Sleepwalking (somnambulism)

Sleepwalking has a prevalence of 1-17% in childhood, with the most frequent occurrences around the age of eleven-twelve. About 4% of adults experience somnambulism.

Sleep terrors (night terrors)

Sleep terrors is the most disruptive arousal disorder since it may involve loud screams and panic; in extreme cases, it may result in bodily harm or property damage by running about or hitting walls. Unfortunately, all attempts to console the individual are futile and may prolong or intensify the victim’s confused state. Usually the victim experiences amnesia after the event but it may not be complete amnesia. Up to 3% of adults suffer from sleep terrors and exhibited behavior of this parasomnia can range from mild to extremely violent.

Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Bruxism is a common sleep disorder where the sufferer grinds their teeth during sleep. This can cause sleep disruption for the sufferer and bed partner, wear and fracture of teeth, and jaw pain.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome sufferers report an itching, burning, or otherwise uncomfortable feeling in their legs, usually exacerbated when resting or asleep. This causes sleep disruption as they wake to move or scratch their legs.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

Periodic limb movement disorder is a sudden involuntary movement of limbs. It can cause sleep disruption and injury for both the sufferer and bed partner. Many people who have restless leg syndrome also have periodic limb movement disorder.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Abbie Hoffman

In 1971, Hoffman published Steal This Book, which advised readers on how to live basically for free. Many of his readers followed Hoffman's advice and stole the book, leading many bookstores to refuse to carry it. He was also the author of several other books, including Vote!, co-written with Rubin and Ed Sanders. Hoffman was arrested in 1973 on drug charges for intent to sell and distribute cocaine. He always proclaimed that undercover police agents had entrapped him into a drug deal and planted suitcases of cocaine in his office. Hoffman subsequently skipped bail and hid from authorities for several years.

Despite being "in hiding" during part of this period living in Thousand Island Park, a private resort on Wellesley Island on the St. Lawrence River under the name "Barry Freed", he helped coordinate an environmental campaign to preserve the Saint Lawrence River (Save the River organization).In 1980, he surrendered to authorities and received a one-year sentence. On September 4, 1980, he appeared on 20/20 in an interview with Barbara Walters. During his time on the run, he was also the "travel" columnist for Crawdaddy! magazine.

In 1987, Hoffman and Jonathan Silvers wrote Steal this Urine Test, which exposed the internal contradictions of the War on Drugs and suggested ways to circumvent its most intrusive measures. He stated, for instance, that Federal Express, which receives high praise from management guru Tom Peters for "empowering" workers, in fact subjected most employees to random drug tests, firing any that got a positive result, with no retest or appeal procedure — despite the fact that FedEx had chosen a drug lab (the lowest bidder) with a proven record of frequent false positive results.

Bluebird and Coyote

A long time ago the Bluebird's feathers were a very dull ugly colour. It lived near a lake with waters of the most delicate blue which never changed because no stream flowed in or out. Because the bird admired the blue water, it bathed in the lake four times every morning for four days, and every morning it sang:

There's a blue water.
It lies there.
I went in.
I am all blue.
On the fourth morning it shed all its feathers and came out in its bare skin, but on the fifth morning it came out with blue feathers.
All the while, Coyote had been watching the bird. He wanted to jump in and catch it for his dinner, but he was afraid of the blue water. But on the fifth morning he said to the Bluebird: "How is it that all your ugly colour has come out of your feathers, and now you are all blue and sprightly and beautiful? You are more beautiful than anything that flies in the air. I want to be blue, too."
"I went in only four times," replied the Bluebird. It then taught Coyote the song it had sung.
And so Coyote steeled his courage and jumped into the lake. For four mornings he did this, singing the song the Bluebird had taught him, and on the fifth day he turned as blue as the bird.
That made Coyote feel very proud. He was so proud to be a blue coyote that when he walked along he looked about on every side to see if anyone was noticing how fine and blue he was.
Then he started running along very fast, looking at his shadow to see if it also was blue. He was not watching the road, and presently he ran into a stump so hard that it threw him down upon the ground and he became dust-coloured all over. And to this day all coyotes are the colour of dusty earth.

Friday, April 3, 2009

My sleep has been very erratic of late, lots of tossing and turning
I dreamt of bringing my german family to the ocean in a giant samoan Canoe, there was lots of rain and fire and wind. the colors yellow red and white were very prevalent.

Now I thought I would share something of myself with you, my dear res. college colleagues:
This is a woman who is the most avid collector I know, she has taught me a lot about it, as well as archiving, she is a treasure hunter and the single largest influence on me. Her work is what inspired me to become an artist, take a look and the it will be very obvious how similar they are...
why do you all wake up in the morning?
How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? (or whenever you wake up)

Aggressive and Irritable, Ecstatic and Cheerful, all I know is first thing I Hate an earful. 

What conscious truth are YOU avoiding in your dreams and daily life?

Something important, or something important to you.
Find it and feel it, maybe you can deal with it.

DreamLog Observations #1

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What's it all about?

I have a lot of strange dreams and sometimes I think it's fun to look up different parts of the dreams to see what they might "mean". Usually I just do a google search for a dream interpreter. Here's the one I usually use. It's nice because you can search for a specific part of your dream and it will give you various descriptions of its possible meanings. I don't usually put too much stock in these interpretations, but they're fun to read.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Peter and the Wolf

While i was researching and thinking, i came across the story "Peter and the Wolf" and realized how much i loved this story-or the music to be specific-when i was young. I don't have a clear idea what to do with it yet... this is the video of oscar-won short animated film Peter and the Wolf that was released recently, directed by Suzie Templeton.


(above) Bowie and Bolan, three days before Mrac Bolan's death.
Divination is the process of reading into the future, this can be preformed in a multitude of methods. Some of the most popular of these are palm reading, tarot cards, and reading coffee grounds.
An example of divination:
"David Bowie once went to receive some sort of divination, he was told that He, Jimi Hendrix, and Marc Bolan were some sort of mystic phenomenon that was only destined to be here for a few years. At the time it was laughable, as Hendrix was the only one who had passed. After Bolan's death Bowie was devastated and fairly scared. Luckily whoever the prophetic individual was turned out to be only 2/3 right as Bowie is still alive and performing today, some 25 years after Marc Bolan's death."
Ziggy Stardust, Bowie's persona at the time of this divination, did however die around the same time of Bolan's death, so in some sense the future interpretation was true.

The performance of divination is fascinating to me, and I constantly collect information on it whenever possible.
Man O man, the legal system is kind of fucked up...


Just a few sites with different animals that I found that I thought were pretty interesting, with their... weirdnesses and all...

Sunday, March 29, 2009


this is the hyperlink to this neat little site of many many pedastals, more diverse than i thought there would be for shizel!

Dream Machine

One of the things on our research scavenger hunt involved the recording of dreams. This got me thinking and I purchased a crappy little microcasette player to leave by my bed. Since then, every night when I wake up from a dream I just lean over and speak into the recorder. Also, it sometimes catches me sleeptalking which is always fun to revisit.
I transcribed the first night for your listening/reading pleasure.

Sweet dreams.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Garrison Keillor Editorial in the Trib

Garrison Keillor had a piece in the Chicago Tribune published on Wednesday, March 25th with a headline of, "Spring reminds that we'd rather be artists." As first glance, this piece looks like it would be pro-artist and have a positive outlook about the lives of those in the arts. However, if you read farther along in the article, you'll come across one of the most scathing remarks about artistic trades that has been made in a very long time.

"In spring, a person's thoughts naturally turn toward what you would rather be doing than earning a living, and in America this usually means Being An Artist."

I guess no artists out there make a living...that's encouraging for someone who is about to go into the arts as a business, huh?

Read Keillor's musings here, yo.

- Justin

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beastie Feastie Photos!

Holy wow, guys. Amazing work all around. Here are some of the photos from our evening, which will be up on the Res College Ning shortly for all to see. The full set can be found (and printed/downloaded) on Flickr HERE. Enjoy!

Study Results


squares: 20

green: 36
blue: 21

crunchy: 25
smooth: 21

Observations: Green keeps lead. Circles keep lead. Crunchy keeps lead.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Residents Wanted in Study

So, this is if we go in the more science-y direction...

In considering the invitations in conjunction with the theme I was reminded of those studies that universities do where the students get paid $50 or however much it is to participate in a study on sleep patterns or whatever.. So, I looked some up on Craigslist...

There are some other interesting advertisements on that page too..
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm potatoes :d

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm pancakes :d

Animated Food

zoo & science lab

I looked for some images of the zoo & science labs. I couldn't find any labs with darker atmosphere but these are pretty much the idea of how it should look like..? and found some images about the human zoo. If we're doing the zoo theme, i think it will be nice to use some ropes or caution tapes to roll around the area like a fence (once everyone is in the middle or one area). So.. what theme are we sticking with??

a zoo that's set up like humans are in the cage (left)

Human Zoo exhibit in london (below)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Zoo know?

Just as a formal FYI to everyone, I can work really well with video and audio. If we can come up with some ways to incorporate those into the feast I could totally help handle it. I can do some thinking before class and see if anything rattles out of my brain.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

More Thoughts on the Human Zoo

So, it turns out that someone actually already materialized Morris' "Human Zoo" theory and made a legit human zoo. The first link is to a poorly developed website for a zoo in Australia that appears to have done the human zoo as a fundraiser/reality television show. The second is a clip I found on YouTube where the Johannesburg Zoo had people dress up in endangered animal suits to draw attention to the issue of extinction.

As for what I'm going to contribute to the project - you guys know I'm pretty comfortable with food. I'd like to continue to look for interesting ideas and different approaches to the meal and the idea of experimentation. I'm really digging on Lococo's idea to mix things up as far as what we eat and when we eat it.

- J

Friday, March 6, 2009

Unusual Eating Experiences

So, out of curiosity and to follow up on the complete-darkness restaurant trend I'd mentioned earlier, I looked into the matter again, and was surprised to find that a lot of these places have popped up around the world.

I found a pretty comprehensive listing of blind eateries HERE, and it was interesting to note the differences between them. For instance, some use blind waitstaff, while others employ infrared goggles or just blindfolds, leading to a different sort of experience (being seen by others changes the dynamic quite a bit). Most emphasize the heightening of the senses that occurs when eating in the dark. Others, like Whale Inside, focus more on the loss of inhibitions (er, groping) that might happen in such a situation. Dans le Noir (In the Dark) has a very informative Q &A page.

All this led me to stumble across some more unusual dining experiences, including toilet restaurants, restaurants suspended from cranes, and (gasp) actually relevant to our project, this Hospital Restaurant in Latvia, which serves food resembling human organs as well as more traditional dishes designed to be eaten with scalpels, syringes, and IV drip bags, with the option of being fed while tied up in a straight jacket. Yikes.
The Sound of our Dinner,
is the atmosphere of our dinner. The Atmosphere of our Zoo...

In this respect, I'd like to add something to the sound of our Dinner.
I'm thinking of using a few different tools and instruments, but I could use some help/opinions for what the desired outcome of our "sound atmosphere" will look like...

Help paint me a picture and i'll perhaps my sound will sing you a nice tune,
perhaps from the clack of a spoon,
or the strum of a bass,
that yell from the goon,
it's more than half past noon,
Save me some space,
I hope you all are saving some face.
Floor Sixteen is a most Excellent Place.

Until next time comrades,
Bye Bye


When I Think of Zoos...

... I think of a story about a thieving orangoutang.

As a child, I sucked my thumb and carried a blanket wherever I went.

One day when I was four years old, my parents took my younger brother and I to the zoo; obviously I went equipped with thumb in mouth and blanket in hand.

At the orangoutang house, I found a monkey version of myself. He too was equipped with a burlap sack that served as blanket, and a thumb in his mouth.

The orangoutang and I stared at each other, as others admired the similarities between us. Through the his cage bars that separate monkey from man, the orangoutang reached out his arms; one empty, one with his blanket. He wanted to trade.

I stepped up to the human restriction bar and held my blanket out only in curiosity, with no intention to trade. The crowd around us cheered, and my dad held me steady over the bar that humans are not supposed to pass.

Then the monkey and I became enemies. He grabbed my blanket and almost pulled it away from me, luckily my dad grabbed it back before the damage was done.

I stared at the orangoutang, and he stared back at me. My mother said "Okay everyone needs to wash their hands now." We proceeded to the restroom, but I kept my eyes locked on the dirty monkey that almost stole my blanket.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

let's make pasta!!!

It may not sound good, but we'll see-- right? hopefully? maybe? please? pleeeaaaaaseee???? I think it sounds good!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The sound of angels

This guy needs no introduction.

food sculpture!!!

awesome food sculpture that's slightly raw...


check out the ballin- bread baker

Play with your Food

In the spirit of making art that incorporates eating, it seems pertinent to mention a few things I've come across recently. At the Sharjah Bienalle in the United Arab Emirates, Thai art collective SOI set up this unusual fruit stand that allowed visitors to fold printed paper fruit, then decide whether to keep it or exchange it for real fruit. Playful and provocative, the project raises questions about the economy of food (and of art) in an accessible and participatory way for both the art elite and everyday passers-by.

Rirkrit Tiravanija made a name for himself in contemporary art by, among other things, cooking and eating meals with people as a springboard for dialogue and connection. Just last year he hosted one such event here at SAIC's Sonny's Cafe. Hot on his heels is Corin Hewitt, who took over part of the Whitney Museum and turned it into his own kitchen/laboratory/studio. This NY Times article discusses Hewitt's practice, and also mentions many important precedents in the history of meal-making and food in contemporary art.

Finally, check out the lengths some people go to in making a visually appealing lunchbox!

What kinds of creative projects have you come across around the subject of eating and food? Post 'em!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Here's our zine in downloadable PDF form. Be forewarned that it's a pretty large file, so it may take a few minutes. Printed zines will be ready for folding and stapling next week!

This version is missing a few of the captions and headers that were hand cut-pasted in at the end (not to mention the colored covers)... but you get the gist of it. Download ReCollection HERE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kevin's Audio Narrative

Here's Kevin's radio piece with Leo, produced through our research collaboration with the nursing and rehabilitation center. Finally online for all. Enjoy!


Smooth. What I like about this blog... . . Beyond the wonderful images are the mini conversations around flattery. Go to for more elderly urban fashions.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Angee Lennard

As we wrap up our interview project with residents at the nursing and rehabilitation home, I wanted to spotlight another artist working with similar communities. She's especially relevant because she's a recent SAIC alumni (BFA 2005). Angee Lennard self-publishes Mossdale Estate, a comic book series inspired by the work she has done in nursing homes. While her relationship with the elderly is always evolving, she currently teaches computer classes and helps residents use the computer to complete cognitive exercises to improve age-related cognitive decline. Lennard is the founder and director of Spudnik Press , a cooperative print studio and alternative gallery space in Chicago.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Here is a clip from an interview. Hope you like it.

Rudy -da man

Me - "Tell me about the war"
Rudy - "The president, he pissed the Japanese off, and thats where it started. The war goes on and on and on, they say its gonna stop, they'll tell you that, but they're lying. I got shot in the bellybutton..."
Me - "Shit"
Rudy - "...yeah, and they didnt take it out!"
Rudy - "We take our men out there, and half of them get slaughtered"
Rudy - "Theres no stopping the wars. Were you in the service?"
Me - "No, I couldnt shoot anything."
Rudy - "I gotta shoot those sons of a bitches, or they'll shoot me, you gotta know that, ok?"
Me - "Ok."
Rudy - " Dont ever go into the service... were you in the service?... Its just rocks out there.... man its bad over seas."
Me - "Did you have family?"
Rudy - " Settled down, after I got back, i have my babies, have my wife, settle in an apartment. I put my two arms around her. Said hi to my babies, [they] said hi, and they send me back!"

Meet Leo.

I was immediately excited to have been partnered with Leo and after his first words with me on the record I knew this would be a good interview:

There's this cold going around. My ears are sore. So.
Am I talking loud enough?
Yeah, you are, but I can hear him, him, him...
(Leo points at two gentlemen right next to us and one fifteen feet away).
So, you have supersonic hearing?
Yeah. But It's on muffle.

There you have it. Supersonic hearing on muffle. Irony of the century. 

A Visit to the Nursing Home

I interviewed Jean, who was born in 1946 and lived in the UK when she was young. She lived mostly in Chicago throughout her life.

Well they cook for you but you have to do your own uh laundry… stuff like that. But uh, it’s almost the same as this. But here, you take your laundry downstairs to be done. But I like doing my own stuff. I miss doing that. Yeah, do your own stuff, having your own time. Yeah, being my own boss.

Interview Images

Hey all, here's a pool of photographs that Christa and Xavier took during our interview visit (move your cursor over the bottom of the slideshow for more images, including some from great ones from Etta and Irene). A lot of the "avant garde" compositional choices were for the privacy of the residents we talked with. There are more photos on our Memory Museum photoset. These are the start of our collective research archive, and can be used as the basis for zine illustrations or comics, repurposed into a slideshow, video, or collage.

Advice From Eddie

Put your mind to a goal. Achieve it, keep on goin'- don't stop. Don't turn, don't turn back. Alright? Don't turn back. Uh huh. You shouldn't, or you're not, you're not gonna get anywhere, know what I mean? Nope, you're not gonna get anywhere. That's true.

Experiences from the nursing home

I interviewed an elderly man named Robert last week at the Alden Nursing home. He was born in Chicago in 1951 and talked mainly about his time drifting as a hitchhiker with his band during the 60’s. He was very open with me about his personal life, and all of his experiences during his youth.

The things that struck me seem somewhat shallow to myself, but they were the things that I overlooked so easily, such as the fact that there was marijuana in the 60’s and that hippies did in fact smoke it, and that it did not just somehow sprout up in the last decade. It made me put that into perspective and realize which age group was a part of which social movement and I found that interesting. I’m hoping to interview him again next week to find out more about his life.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Alden Nursing Home - Part 1

My experience at the retirement home was very good. I was paired with a man named Milton Doogal. As you all saw, he picked me out of the line-up -- I didn't have to do much work at all. The common question he kept asking me was, "So what else do you want to know?" Immediately followed by him starting into another story without me asking anything. The information that he was spilling ranged back and forth between very personal accounts of life events, and an insider view of living at the home.

When I got it completely typed out, the interview came out to be 10 pages! I'm looking forward to sharing some of Milton's wonderful insight (such as how he made it to 81 and how to keep a successful marriage going) with you guys next week.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Interview REversal

S: Do you ever think you'll be put in that situation, What do you think your family would do?

P: I'll probably be put in a retirement home.

S: You think you'll be put in a retirement home?

P: All the people in my family have been put into retirement, why wouldn't I?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Katerina Seda @Renaissance Society, Hit Links for Essay & Video Lecture

Czech artist Kateřina Šedá’s primary media are her friends, family, and community of her native town Líšeň. Šedá (b. 1977) uses performance, staged activities, and public interventions to reactivate social concourse as it is the basis for a sense of self predicated on group identification. The Society presented It Doesn’t Matter, a series of over 600 drawings executed by Šedá’s 77-year-old grandmother, cataloging in size and type the various tools and supplies sold through the Brno hardware shop her grandmother managed for over thirty years under communism. While therapeutic in intent, the result is a profound reflection on memory and subjectivity as expressed through, rather than in spite of, alienation.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Contemporary Art + Collaborations with the Elderly

Since we'll be working with seniors for our very first collaborative project, I thought I'd start off the blog with some links to interesting projects created with similar communities by contemporary artists.

David Greenberger works as the activities director at a nursing home. Since 1979 he has produced zines, books, and radio programs for NPR under the name of Duplex Planet - all based on his interviews with the elderly residents he works with. Greenberger asks them questions like "Would you rather have a dizzy spell or stub your toe?"; "Why do people yell?"; "Who is Frankenstein?"; and "What can robots do?" Their responses range from funny to sad, from insightful to curious, and they say lot about the human condition . Get a sampling on the Duplex Planet site (click on the little buildings for interview snippets).

Anna Callahan is an artist who collaborates with non-artists in all sorts of ways, collecting their experiences and transforming them into bus signage, brochures, "encyclopedias" of local knowledge, and interactive websites. She was recently commissioned to produce a website exploring the history of the town of Deldridge, WA. The result is a multimedia experience that gives a sense of the place, the past, and the voices and stories of Deldridge's residents through photographs, text, and audio interviews with people who grew up there. Check out the Deldridge Oral History Project HERE.

Harrel Fletcher is another artist who is known for his collaborations with everyday people. He has celebrated the residents of small towns and community centers through giant billboards, curated exhibitions of the personal items that office workers keep in their cubicles, and collaborated with children, mechanics, housewives, developmentally disabled to realize their creative ideas.

Josh Dorman is a painter who worked with the organization Memory Bridge to create a series of paintings in collaboration with Alzheimers patients. He spent time talking and listening to their stories and created visual landscapes or "maps" based on the memories they were able to share with him.

How do you feel about aging? What do you make of projects like these? Which projects or parts of projects do you like, and what might you do differently? Take a thorough look at each of these sites and use them as a starting point to think about how you'd like to engage with the people at Alden. Feel free to post your thoughts or other artists in the Comments section below!