Thursday, December 31, 2009

John Whitney: Arabesque

So this is a pretty decent version of a work which influenced (as it was the first) a lot of what most of us have seen in the Western World; screensavers, computer graphics, etc. The way I first heard it, they used old WWII anti-aircraft technology (relocated from battle ships to their studio) by running celluoid through it as music was played. The music generated the alterations is color and form and the layers were generated by running (I guess) more celluoid or the same reel through. And without further ado, the Whitney family's "Arabesque"(I attribute it to all of them, I may be wrong, but the brothers also did a lot).

Read more about John Whitney here:
And don't just read, make yo self image literate too. *smiley face*

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Cultural Studies

Studies on culture. Acting like probes, images like these are inserted into online communities as a form of popular culture monitoring. The questions I'm interested in ask things like;
"What is good/bad taste?"
"What is culture?"
"What is a text?"
"What does literacy mean today?"
"What is creativity?"
Followed by many more questions which eventually lead to somethings like;
"Is creativity the driving force behind humanity's rapid evolution?"

The graph below tracks the daily interest others have taken in viewing images I display online. It shows that subject matter greatly effects user interest. What does this say about the mediascape and the users which makeup that virtual community?

Specifically I'm thinking about popular bourgeois iconography among virtual cultural groups. In this case I believe my line-making to be steeped in traditions of various cultures and, if one is to have differentiations between high and low cultures, I believe it to be among the former. However, the subject matter raises interesting questions. The fact is that, as an image (or moving images), pornography has become a part of popular culture. I'm wondering about cultural taboos regarding what we see (the image) and what we do (the action). And in relation to this I am thinking about a capitalistic economy which may serve to promote particular art forms.

If money leads to the production of more art of a particular type I make the assumption that; So long as money is more readily obtained than an understanding of art, culture, literacy, etc, then, the artifacts that our present cultures generate may end up being little more than popular garbage. (Perhaps a deeper understanding of the ancient Greek fear of the demos is needed)

And even though I hate to refer to the same landscape more than once a week, I'm reminded of an article from Mediascape. The link is below.

The study of art can be used as a means of determining how a society will look in the future.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is what I did on Christmas day.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert - Nurturing Creativity - 2009 (19 min)

If you're an artist and things are difficult... Watch the below clip & maybe you'll come to realize that it's not your fault. And then you'll be able to think about the reverential awe with which the hordes show the Van Gogh Museum or the highest grossing excrement to come from the bowels of Hollywood, and you'll laugh, because it's hilarious!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Adam Curtis & his work, "The Century of the Self" 2002 (240 min)

If you understand the post from Dec 18, 2009 on the mediascape then you understand how new media enables us to challenge and expand upon preconceived notions of things like; the speech, lecture, academic paper, powerpoint presentation, and so forth. I've watched a few of the documentaries by the British film maker, Adam Curtis, and find them to fit into this category the same way one might categorize Michael Moore. One could see them as propaganda films, but I believe them to be more like modern means of communication in a landscape where new media provides us with the ability to include visuals, music, poetry, etc. to enhance things mentioned above (lecture, academic paper, etc). And to navigate through such a mediascape one should like to be as literate as possible. So, enough of me trying to fit many complex ideas into a small space, & without further ado, a film I saw some years ago entitled "The Century of the Self." (Presumably this link works)

I had looked for a trailer to post, but found this instead.
Find out more about Adam Curtist (Filmography) here:

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Mediascape - Eric Faden 2008

"Mediascape" Eric Faden
This is pulled from the intro of the above article.

"The works in this issue were first shown at UCLA's Critical Media Film Festival in April, 2007, and programmed by UCLA graduate students Adam Fish and Jason Skonieczny. The festival called for "theorized, historical, imprac tical, and experimental approaches to film production." Given this wide call, there was an astonishing coherence to the films screened and they demonstrated what I think is a new and important type of scholarly communication.

I'm so convinced by this new form's advantages that I, Eric Faden, hereby renounce my earthly, traditional, literary-bound scholarly practices. I vow to abstain from that most sacred but restricted of intellectual practices-the literary academic essay-no matter the temptation. From here forward I put my faith in media over text, screen over paper.

Thus, this is the last essay I'll ever write"

Click here to read the rest.

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Sounds like water.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

PLAN Colombia (58 min)

A policy that plays a major role in my work, whether it's directly evident or just one of those things going on in the background.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hashish : poetry

I bulls and bullets begin. The end of the world is before us and all is turn-to-grey. The Dalai Lama will certainly be the last human on earth. And in whichever reincarnation he makes his last, the blast of an atom bomb will be its last vision before departing. Mission over old friend. Mission over.
• Hey my head is heavier than my feet, what am I doing standing on my head when my feet are below the clouds. I have no clue as to how many masks must be made before I have mastered mask making
•Wherewithal had his communion at the age of 11 but he insists that he wanted to determine whether God, in so much as is possible, would provide him with virgins after the completion of an upright lifestyle.
• There were thirty kids that summer. All of them fat, all of them whining. We had taken the lease over its expected deadline and had the place for just one more summer. Just three months to return order to the world. The fat children were in our hands.

There were thirty kids that summer. All of them fat, all of them whining. We had taken the lease over its expected deadline and had the place for just one more summer. Just three months to return order to the world. The fat children were in our hands.

“The point is to have the alcohol inside of me. That way you can forget about living, if but for a time.” Claynton growled in response.
The room's bar was old, old and wooden. The kind of wood which would give you splinters if you ran your hand along it. And the two men who sat there wore the trappings of any lumberjack who worked in northern Ontario that time of year. Their arms were large and their hands were coarse. And the creases in their faces hid all but the slight gleam of candle light which would shine in this eye or that. The place was cold and large. The kind of large room whose dark corners provided comfort to outlaws, schizophrenics, and whichever lucky man happened to be getting head at that instant in time upon God's green. The place was oval, the door was oval, and the windows too. About everything in the place was made of Romanic curves except the wooden columns and the old bar. What was with that bar anyway? And didn't I say something about the people sitting at it? Oh yea, there were two of them as I remember. And they were old men, lumberjacks or mechanics I don't remember. You see, on that night I wasn't paying too much attention. It was long after closing time, I'd served them a bottle, locked up, and somehow or another I'd found myself in the corner again. One of those dark corners. One of those lucky men. Well, despite the way she worked her tongue, I saw – if but for an instance – I saw that candle light flicker and shine and I knew. I knew they had death in their eyes. Well, looking back on it I didn't really care that much at the time and I'm sure you can understand as to why. But it was there all the same. They were going to die soon and they knew it. One last round before goin on to Valhalla. Or maybe they were the only survivors. All comrades having fallen around them as the day went grey and their vision went red. And they drinking that flaming oil down like they weren't two men but thirty. And the bottle was half empty.

Jiddu Krishnamuti - Rede - Deutsch Public 1 - komplett (72 min)

"A very serious matter. Whether there is a cause for all this misery - for all this terrible chaos, uncertainty, terror, wars. A root cause. And if one can discover it. [..] You yourself will be free of the cause and, therefore, the effect."

Jiddu Krishnamurti. An important and underrepresented voice in our day and age.

One of his many many works, "First and Last Freedom" has one of the best forwards I've read which is also one of my favorite writings by a favorite author, Aldous Huxley. It is free and available online.

I think this is a link to it:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Maya Deren - Meditation on Violence - 1948 - (12:17)

Today I was thinking about photography and literacy mostly. About how, as time goes along it seems that, to me, people are reading less and watching more. I once assumed that image literacy (the understanding of the image & moving images [film]) would grow as fundamental literacy declined and eventually plateaued (or do you say valley-ed). It seems, however, that both forms of literacy are declining. It seems that the "truth" provided by an image (or moving images) is accepted readily by all of us most of the time.

Well, as I was thinking along those lines I remembered something from George Orwell's "Animal Farm." And I believe that without any grounding in history - and here I'm talking about moving images and the understanding of The Image and our collective mediascape - maybe some are already thinking things like "four legs good, two legs better." So, without further commentary I will begin presenting films from humanity's history. And should you desire to become more literate in the images that may very well provide the backdrop to your daily existence, I recommend UbuWeb as a good starting place.

The first film is by an important female artist, Maya Deren, as I believe females to be underrepresented.

Friday, December 11, 2009

People aye no

people aye no, originally uploaded by stuffedanimalbrigade.
These are works in progress

Killing the corrupt will remove karma, I guarantee


Quespues así es la vida

Fields of garbage

At the time I was simply drawing fields of garbage from memory. Even though I try not to drink or eat from disposable containers, I understand that others do and I understand how that lifestyle may be enjoyable. But eventually it will come to an end, and I'm awed by the scale and speed with which we create landscapes from all of our junk. (not to mention the way poorer countries accept the waste from moneyed countries with open arms)

Monday, December 7, 2009


Been doing this thing for some years where I take pictures of what I eat about once a week. One of these was in Ecuador, the other in Germany.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Painting with Tom

Was painting with Tom Cousins, renowned muralist, streetartist, sculptor, scholar, ghetto philosopher, philanthropist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and the list goes on.

Check him out here

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Schön, dass wir da waren.

Will upload a decent image soon enough. You notice the fade? How the stencil wasn't complete? That's intentional and at the advice of Paco Knöller. But it always takes him about half a year until he runs into some public piece I did at his advice.

. . .

Here's soon enough

Friday, December 4, 2009

Vincent: Burton & Heinrichs (narrated by Vincent Price!)

Once upon a time I did a lot of animation. And then another time I taught film. Check this website out if you're down with film history - or wanting to get into.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ladies in motion

lautrec used to do posters & people invented ways of removing the posters from the walls. lots of ways of removing them without damaging them apparently, but i only know how to glue, not unglue.

i would like to roll in a burkah

nice lines in this one, hope the people that live there like it... i would if i were them

This is the first. I just attacked the paper for a little while & eventually this form came out of it.

Drop art

Every now and again I gotta give one out to the old ladies. Yea, I know they be down with my marker skills of landscapes with architectural imagery. They old skool.

Street Posters

castro, originally uploaded by stuffedanimalbrigade.
Guayasamin did a nice portrait of Castro & when I was younger I met him once - I think it was by the palace in Quito, but anyway, here's what he'd look like as a raccoon-cat with alzheimers.
maybe can't see it so well, the egg has EU flag, little raccon-cat has some other flag, and the poster itself is my flag

This last one's in Neukölln