Tuesday, December 2, 2008

and meanwhile, more words

Is it possible to speak without uttering judgement? Language differentiates, separates me from thee and us from all.

In the nonverbal realm, things merely are; the cosmos merely is. Images and feeling - un-contained, unconstrained by definition.

Hence, perhaps, the silence of meditators, monks and mystics.

Crystallization and dissolution.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shake Your Booty Santa

Now that all the witches and vampires have been put away (tucked into broom closets, crammed back into the basement crypts), the flashing, rattling, Xmas merchandise is out. Trees in store windows, racks of plastic Santas and gaudy red reindeer dusted with glitter.

Last week, I passed a little store in New Preston, CT where the tree was hanging from the CEILING; the base had been glued where a light ordinarily would be attached. The tree top ended about 3 feet above the floor, giving mice and renegade rug rats lots of crawling room. This tree, 100% artificial, was hot pink, perfect for the next money-making holiday (Valentines day), and still without ornaments. Perhaps the Yuletide angels or V-Day cupids didn't like posing for weeks with their heads down and all the blood rushing to their brains.

That was the best piece of Xmas decoration I've seen since encountering the "Shake Your Booty" Santa last year - Push button; gadget screeches some ditty as Santa lifts his butt in the air and his ass jiggles in time to the music.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Performance Art of Yogis

In an email, a friend wrote about Tai Chi: "When I heard that one position was called "Lady at the Shuttle" I naturally assumed it was the shuttle bus she was waving to. However...tai chi is about two thousand years old, so on closer thought, I figured it probably meant the shuttle on a loom..."

My reply: Well, maybe you could do the moves while waiting for the shuttle as well. You could wear a sandwich board (made of light weight foam core) saying "Crazy Lady in Motion", wear a traditional fool's cap, and turn your exercise routine into a kind of performance art......just in case some "do gooder" calls the leering men-in-white-coats to "rescue" the bus stop lady whose strange movements are overturning comfortable definitions of "what is normal"

You know how they (the nameless "They") like to assign days special meanings and labels? National Breast Cancer Awareness Day, National Literacy Day, Earth Day, and so on? Imagine a National Yoga Day or a National Tai Chi Day, when every practitioner or bumbling student does the movements while waiting for the bus, the train, or even that cup of Starbucks ultra-yummy cappuccino? While in line at the supermarket or the post office? For one day, every sidewalk in every city would be the stage for performance art. Maybe even some of the cops would join in.

And maybe this fragment from an email correspondence will have entertainment value for anyone who stumbles onto this blog.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sparkling dahlias and tie-dyed daisies

The lilacs are blooming; sniff me, inhale a whiff of hope, their fragrances invite, The lilies-of-the valley dangle, dainty white bells ready to chime in harmony with the music of the spheres. Yellow butterflies flit, as befits their species, and red-tailed hawks soar. Dragonflies hop across invisible bands of air. Lacy fern fronds unfurl from nesting fiddleheads. Buttercups blossom in a constellation of gold and dandelion seeds waft up, furry tufts on their journey of haphazard exploration. All's well among the flora and fauna, until one steps inside the supermarket.

Beside the check-out line, they tempt you with candy bars and magazines offering instant sex appeal.. They sell batteries, packaged razors, so many "Oops, I forgot about that; good thing they have it here" and "She'll kill me if I don't bring that home" items. Among the merchandise offered for impulse or last-second-thought sale are flowers. Roses factory-made from thin balsa sheets painted scarlet. Cut real flowers, presented as proper bouquets held in place by shiny silver paper spattered with candy-pink hearts. Mere flowers aren't good enough; they can be found in any garden and thus are too ordinary for the customer waiting behind a cart of potatoes, toilet paper and Friskies. Flowers, if intended for someone or something special, must be made special. The merchandising experts have special-ordered especially sparkly blooms.

Daisies dipped in vats of dye until the petals glow neon orange, lipstick-magenta, hot chartreuse and screamingly bright turquoise. Dahlias sprinkled with glitter until every petal glistens like a brand-new Hallmark card. Some glitter rubs off at the touch, drops onto the clothes like dandruff; the dyed daisies, if held too long, stain the fingers blue, but this is a small price to pay for a message of love or condolence or respect at that special sometime or someplace.

Spring time is a good time for the flora and fauna. At Christmas, when all the flora are hibernating, they sell live poinsettias varnished in several layers of glitter next to plastic reindeer that dance unembarrassed next to a Santa who shakes his booty at the press of a button.

Kvetching Cats

I listen to the joke about the partly deaf but extremely articulate dog who mishears "fetch" as "kvetch", and promptly starts complaining. "Hysterica!"; I laugh.

Meanwhile, my cats fuss at their food and meow "I send you out to hunt for real food, and what do you bring back? No delicious mousebacks. No filets of vole. No grilled toads. You do what's easiest and bring back some factory's left-overs pickled in chemicals, so-called preservatives which are really poisons. You bring back unnamables that someone's labeled 'grilled mackerel' or 'salmon feast', but the unnamable shreds stick between my dainty teeth and sink like balls of elephant dung in my gut. You, you're lazy and cheap and insensitive. My luck to have a lazy, cheap, and callous jailer. Step aside, you stingy lame-brained wretch, and let me taste what you take for yourself!

And so, Tessa the girl-cat nibbles tiny morsels of avocado from my salad and even laps up a bit of the italian salad dressing. The cat who mistook herself for a bunny? But then Marti, the polka-dotted and often comic, master-of-escape, hellraising Houdini cat licks the cottage cheese and smiles a Cheshire grin.

Cat's Paw - an art show

When her own cat decided to use an architectural model as a cat bed, interfering with the artist's work plans, Jacqueline C.MacKenzie deftly turned frustration into opportunity and found inspiration in her pet's pestiness. The giant sculpture of a cat's paw, which protrudes from and totally blocks the entrance to Joker's Child Gallery, features steel claws and white mink covering fiberglass. "When your cat won't let you work, you have to work around your cat", says the artist in a moment of unexpected profundity; viewers crowd the corridors outside the gallery and trip over the claws as they clamor to touch the gargantuan kitty, while critics shout their acclaim:

"Brilliant!" writes Felix O'Pause of New Barker Magazine. "Anything featuring cats is always popular. Combining this knowledge with understanding of the fact that bigger is always better, MacKenzie has created a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Truly American in its extravagance and size, this cat colossus is sure to put money in the kitty and mammoth smiles on the most stoic faces"

Further information on the exhibition and artist can be found at www.the jokerschild.com and www.tail_of_two_kitties.com. The websites also feature new Art Star Marti, the cat who scratched his way to fame to become a giant among his peers, resting snug as a bug in a rug inside the architectural model he mistook for a mere box.

Download the poster:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Allergic to Art?

Strange article about a weird art exhibit:
New Eldorado, New Mexico - May 20, 2008

Fort Neukem, closed for nearly two decades, has become the site of a new public controversy.
Behind barbed wire fences and abandoned sentry posts, ten Artists, calling their group "Screeching Canaries of the New Millennium" or SCNM. hosted an art show as potentially hazardous as military weapons. The show, titled "I'm Allergic To My Art" featured sculptures and flat work made exclusively from materials to which many are now allergic.

P.U.Nod of Cartersville TN wove a vest from unshelled peanuts and gloves from cat fur. "My house is carpeted with shed cat hairs and I always need to keep tissues on hand for the guests who sneeze" says the artist. who needed six months to vacuum up the ingredients of her wearable piece. J.P. Reynolds of Greensboro. NC created gas masks made from lobster claws, unshelled shrimp, fish eyes, live tendrils of poison ivy and moldy cheese. Noting that bees housed in differently shaped containers hum at different pitches, U.G. Craft of Harmonium, CA staged "The Honeybee Jamboree", a short concert in which trained bees hummed "God Bless America"; several bees escaped during the show, making this more dangerous and more memorable than her earlier performance piece, "The Squeaky Toy Jamboree".
Instead of the usual cheese, crackers and wine. visitors to the opening reception were offered antihistamine tablets in a bowl, a plate of syringes pre-loaded with epinephrine, brandy snifters of Nyquil and tablespoons of anti-itch cream. Tissues replaced the customary napkins.
Officials from the CDC, FBI and Homeland Security were called when John Buck, allergic to peanuts, collapsed in anaphylactic shock and was heliported to the nearest hospital. "I survived, thanks to an immediate shot of epinephrine," says Buck, "The artists were prepared for emergencies, but it was still irresponsible to expose the public to such dangers." Many share this sentiment and several visitors to the show are threatening to sue, despite suffering only runny noses and rashes.
Twenty FBI officers in Hazmat suits stormed the show just three hours after its opening, evacuating participants and seizing the art, as evidence and for testing. Homeland Security has barricaded Fort Neukem indefinitely as a biohazard zone. The artists face possible fines, imprisonment and litigation.
"Let them sue us," counters Nod. "My net worth is $300."
"We're the squealing canaries," says Reynolds. "So many more people have allergies today, and more serious ones, maybe because they've been sensitized by all the pollution and food additives. People with allergies are canaries in the mine, warning us what could happen to everyone. Our art is a wake-up call - listen to the canaries!"
Although the original art remains in federal custody, the artists are selling meticulously photographed posters of select pieces through their new website, artallergy.com.

I.M. Noone - WACK-E News