Re: Particles - makoto yabuki

What Does It Mean? - Chapter 2

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          “Where did I leave off?”

          “The bronzed, buxom, lass gazing back toward...”

          “Ahh, yes...the eye is guided toward an undulating panel of graffiti—good-ugly public art—floating along the left extremity of Untitled Portrait of Self.  The letters don’t coalesce into clear words (standard for street art) and don’t seem to be painted on a wall; instead, the alphabet-curtain is apparently blowing in the wind.  Jangling wind chimes in the top-most corner add to this suggestion of motion.
          “Two figures inhabit the middle-ground behind the leg and in front of the water’s edge:  a study for Edward Degas' sculpture, Little Dancer of Fourteen Years and a donkey-zebra...”

          “Before the graffiti gets too far in the rearview, could you tell me how to differentiate between good-ugly public art and bad-ugly vandalism?”

          “Context and intent.  The difference between the staccato bark of a neighbor’s dog incessantly echoing off dark alley walls and a wolf’s howl rising and falling on the moonlit shadows of the wind.  Both wake you up.  One disrupts much-needed rest before another day of drudgery and the other opens your eyes reminding you that an entire universe continues unabated while you slumber.”

          “A nice analogy, but could you spell it out in more simple and direct terms?”

          “A vandal gets a dump of adrenaline when committing a crime of spontaneity and not getting caught, and—later—re-lives that rush when witnessing his results in the light of day (sotospeak).  There’s also an element of ‘pay attention to me’ and an enjoyment/expectation that the damage will cause negative reactions.  The adrenaline-part is no different for street artists, but they spend mxm effort, time, and money in design, planning, and preparation compared to the amount they spend during the execution phase and negative reactions are rarely, if ever, their goal.”

          “Got it.  Thanks.  Back to...”

          “...the zonkey looking back at us.  A visual metaphor for my cat, a lynx-point Siamese and striped tabby (mixing causes good traits to dominate).  When a two-dimensional image is depicted staring directly at the viewer, the intent of the artist is similar to a writer’s paragraph break; to cause the viewer to pause, look inward for a moment, and contemplate (here, I’m all pet owners do...the pony is really scanning the shoreline along both its flanks.  It is, however, listening ahead to both the crackle of the campfire and the tinkle of the wind chimes).
          “I want the viewer to wonder what distant object could draw the diminutive teenaged dancer’s attention away from a nearby, cute, young animal.  So they follow her line of sight and see she is focusing on a large .38 caliber revolver pointed in her direction (the second of three sidearms I carried; the first a .45, the last a 9mm).
          “The hand holding the revolver doesn’t have its finger on the trigger and—clearly—the gun is inoperative because its barrel contains a large, defoliated branch (suggesting winter or that the branch is dead...this rocky beach’s winter is June through August).
          “If I have a real dream with a gun in it, people rarely bleed when shot and never fall down and die.  My subconscious is stuck in the realm of backyard cops and robbers; one common denominator (no matter how many thousands of gory video game and film deaths my brain could reference) is me having to say: lie down, I shot you, you’re dead.  In my career, I had to point my weapon at a small number of people whom I was arresting and, in every one of those cases, I never needed to put my finger on the trigger.  So didn’t.
          “I have a theory:  Humans grow to identify their true self from a lifetime of partially remembered dream images.  Those fragmented slivers of subconscious, pasted together with cobwebs, are the makings of their deeply buried taproots.
          “Hanging below the branch is an image showing the interior of a human lung next to a leaf; below the lung is an image showing the interior of a human testicle next to an acorn.  No subtlety, I know, but I was trying for some visual humor:  the bronzed buxom lass immediately below could be flinching away from the low hanging it were.”

          “I get the pun.”

          “Walking along the branch, a small, extremely strong, hairy-humpbacked dogman caricature (common sense) is swinging a huge butterfly net over its head in order to catch an inordinately svelte woman dressed in lingerie (intuition) who’s gently double-pushing the arm grasping the treelimb-gun.  Neither common sense nor intuition are aware how close the net is.  She doesn’t know because her eyes are closed and he never knows because the staff of his net pierces through the moon, which (because of proximity) blocks his view.
          “Common sense and intuition are constantly vying to guide my decisions, while my conscience—the three-eyed evil mickey sun—is so rarely needed for consultation that its untroubled countenance floats outside the upper pane of Marcel Duchamp’s Fresh Window.  I understand that for many other people, their inner-angel constantly wrestles with their inner-daemon (which, I theorize, are the self-same people who routinely have/remember their nightmares and have become enured to their inner-terrible).  This is pertinent because it relates to other details (which I'll explain in a later chapter).
          “The window placement and size (relative to the chair) is intended to reinforce the layout of the Bedroom In Arles by Van Gogh (discussed in the previous chapter).
          “A string from the wind chimes is attached to the point of an umbrella (golf umbrella? beach umbrella? matter...I neither golf or beach on windy days).  The umbrella’s pole is hidden behind, or stuck into, the back of the moon (either way, the perspective showing the underside of the umbrella indicates height).  Next to the umbrella, the extreme up-shot of a nude woman walking toward the viewer reinforces this height-impression and, like the zonkey, she stares directly back at the viewer.”

          “Good bookends.  I'll bet that brings this chapter to a close.”

          “Don’t mind if I do—thanks for playing.  For being such a great listener, there will be cake at the end.
          “So once the shy skinnydipper skips out of the surf, to warm her exceptionally pert breasts by the fire, her visage will pass under the dogman's limb; he will glance down, snag his net on the window latch, open the pane, and permit the underwater ocean waves (with the appearance of thunderclouds) to wash away all the acidophilus bacteria (which looks like cactus-trees) culminating in an upset stomach, farts loud enough for the moon to hear, and the heart-shape hands typing the next chapter of the story in, on, behind, adjacent, and surrounding the head and left arm of Untitled Portrait of Self.
                                                                                                                                                 chapter 3

What Does It Mean? - Chapter 1

          “That’s hard to answer.  Explaining it (untitled portrait of self) or—worse—attempting to outline what I hope others see or feel when looking at it, will—I fear—ossify its meaning.”

          “You think its meaning changes over time?”

          “Each view a new set of eyes, each viewer a new set of preconceived ideas.  Let me provide an example.
          “Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, begins with an ape touching a black monolith and then using a bone as a weapon which he tosses in the air; the camera closes on the bone which morphs into a spaceship tumbling through space.  Two hours of film later, the protagonist learns about a monolith in space, approaches it, and is sucked into a tunnel of light, then there are a series of images of him in a white room, another monolith, and the film ends with an embryo floating in space near earth.  What does this film—specifically the beginning and ending—mean?”
          “I always thought Kubrick was being intentionally abstruse.”

          “After reading Arthur C. Clark’s original story and a subsequent article written by Harlan Ellison about them, I can provide this information:  The monoliths are of alien origin.  The first one imbued proto-humans with reason; when we uncovered the second monolith on the moon, it sent a beacon to a third orbiting Jupiter; once we became sufficiently advanced to follow the beacon, the aliens instil/infect/teach/decode-encode the protagonist (over time...the length of which is relative) and return him to earth in the form of a hybrid alien-human embryo.
          Although this doesn’t alter Kubrick’s intentional abstruseness, the plot is less confusing.  Right?”

          “Yes...if that’s the real explanation then...”

          “Your reluctance to completely accept this explanation as The One And Only says—to me—that you might prefer some uncertainty.  Abstract is attractive.  When a magician slows down and lets you behind the curtain it’s less exciting than watching a building under construction.  One board at a time.  One nail at a time.”

          “Except—and this is a big except—sometimes I don’t get art.  At all.  This is one of those times.  When I’m confused by something I ask for an explanation.  Although I empathize with your reluctance...I'd—still—like you to expound.  You spent hundreds of hours on it.  It means something to you.  I want to know what that is.  Please?”

          “...Ok.  I'm not adverse to an art deconstruction-explanation.  First, can you tell me what you feel when looking at it?”

          “Dark.  There’s so much going on I can’t focus on...  Bizarre.  Clearly you’re heterosexual.  I don’t know.  It’s disturbing.  I’m sorry, I don’t know.”
          “Thank you.  Those are the initial reactions I was striving for.
          “When people view things they consider “beautiful” (in quotes because one person’s adorable is the next’s deplorable) their brain chemically encourages them to continue this behavior.  The more beautiful the view, the less active the brain becomes.  You are calm.  Comfortable.  Serene even.  Conversely, looking at things considered ‘ugly’ is chemically discouraged.  In these instances, the brain initiates a ‘run away’ impulse (as if it were seeing a previously un-experienced and unidentified unknown).  During these times the brain is extremely active.  The ‘what does it mean’ message, however, becomes secondary to the ‘will never understand so stop trying’ message.”*

          “And, you want viewers of your artwork—their brains—to want to stop looking at your art?”

          “Umm, yes.  In a nutshell, initially, that would be an accurate statement.”

          “Seems counter-intuitive.”

          “Your average everybody—the facebook masses—don’t intentionally view art.  Not unless it has a cat in it, a bird on it, or a corporate stamp of approval around it.  Those who do are, mostly, other artists or those with the eye of an artist and they all understand the initial ‘run away’ impulse indicates ‘deserves further consideration.’  This is not to imply everything intentionally gonging the ugly bell is good.
          “I think there are many times the power of much (abbrev: mxm) bad-boring-beautiful artworks in the world; slightly less falls into the bad-ugly category; then comes all the good-beautiful and least numerous (because it’s beginning the creative process in expert mode) is good-ugly.
          “I know this work is ugly.  And I think it’s good.  And before you say ‘of course, it’s your own.’  Know this:  I only think about 20% of my own is good.”

          “I understand what you’ve said so far.”

          “So.  Here goes something snapperheaded.
          “I began with a title: Untitled Portrait of Self, which is—obviously—paradoxymoronic.
          “Artists leave their work untitled because they:
  •         Desire not to pre-influence their viewers in any way (Jasper John’s Untitled I).
  •         Prefer their audience to use their own labels (many Keith Haring’s are blank.  He began as a title graffiti is like naming the embryo you intend to abort).
  •         Think their work requires no title (Andy Warhol’s [no title] Marilyn prints).
          “I dislike untitled art.  It’s lazy.  You end up with conversations like, ‘What did you think of the Jasper Johns...the...ah...crosshatch one with the white background?’  ‘I bought a Haring print...the one with the numbers and the barking dog.’  ‘I like some of Warhol’s but I can’t explain the difference between the good-ugly and the bad-ugly ones, sorry.’

          “Self portraits are my least favorite type of art.  ...can’t think of anything to draw, think I’ll get out a mirror...  All shit—just like films about film-makers and stories about writers.
          “Then I upped my difficulty level three-fold:
  •         Black, white, and grey because mxm of my previous work is color.
  •         Representational image because ditto abstract expressionism.
  •         Only tell my true story.  Any other portrayal of self would be a sham.”
          “I guess that explains why it took you almost a year to create it.”

          “That’s very true.     
          “I began with the tube of paint.  My artist-symbol.  The human brain on the tube could be a label (as in: contains my imagination) or it could be resting on top (if so, then either the tube is immense or the brain is minuscule).  
          “The raptor claw beginning to twist off the cap is both visual metaphor and visual motion.  I admire every small flying dinosaur.  The four talons draw the viewer’s eye toward the cap; a tiny dog tag inscribed Veach Glines, O pos, Athiest, hangs from the only talon with a hidden tip (one item of many worn during my career).
          “Atheist is misspelled...I'm a bad speller.  When filling out the application for my ID tags in 1982, the choices were catholic, jewish, islamic, hindu, and no pref; atheist wasn't an option.  At the time I figured it was a typical example of government homogenization.  Later, I learned my No Pref label was for the corpse-handlers (guess I should have changed it to hindu; cremation...less fuss, less mess, less space, less cost).  The silenced ID tag (the rubber around it prevented them from clinking) reflects the encumber-impairment a job—any job—had/has on the creative juices.  (Feel free to draw additional analogous references from words in that sentence and my disdain of spawn.  [Hmm...I quite enjoy the verbiage of this parenthetical interpolation.])   
          “Immediately adjacent-below the tube is a drawing, Puddle, by M.C. Escher (whom I greatly admire; all referenced artists are among my top-favorites).  The drawing is on a roll of paper, the intent of which is to shift the two-dimensional image of the tube to the background perspective by suggesting that Puddle rests on a real Australian beach (two favs: beaches and the continent-country).  Below the paper is a glass of favored beer: Schneider Weiss, and dessert: vanilla ice cream (svelte, slender, or skinny have never been S-words used after ‘Veach is...’ usually stocky, sometimes stout).  Contiguous placement and changing perspective (tube - paper - glass - bowl) were deliberate choices.  Throughout the work, I intentionally designed visual-mental-contextual connections by the use of proximity and shape. 
          “Above the claw is a long sleeved button-down shirt (the style of which I wore for 14 years as a criminal investigator) the proportions suggest the claw-metaphor are ‘legs.’  Most of a scorpion comprises the ‘right hand’ and the ‘left hand’ is the scorpion’s stinger (holding the stem of a blooming daisy—she loves me, she loves me not—I’m a serial monogamist).  The bottom of the stem is a scythe (a well-known symbol) the arc of which guides the viewer’s eye back to the paint tube’s cap.  The blade of the scythe is either below the tube or is piercing the side of it.
          “From the neck of the shirt is the head of a wild boar, tusked snout raised, sniffing the flower.  The proportions and position of the boar, relative to the pelvis behind it, is a pictorial metaphor for my average-sized penis (and the reason I used a boar's head...well...homonyms and analogous interpretations abound).  From the right hip socket of the pelvis, the left leg of David, sculpted by Michelangelo, extends down toward the bottom left where it appears to be precariously balanced on the edge of the chair from Vincent Van Gogh’s, Bedroom in Arles.
          “Resting in a clenched fetal position on the seat of the chair, a miniature nude woman is clamped to the ankle by a coil of hose around her head (intentionally disparaging, overt, ball and chain symbol...I’ve divorced mxm).  Against the side of the leg is a second miniature with large breasts basking in the sun.  Not traits I prefer, but I needed visual motion (it’s natural to look where someone else is looking) and could find no untanned A-cups with a sharp backstage gaze.  Mirroring the position of her arms, the scorpion’s pincers grasp the upper leg (herpes flare ups begin with nerve pain.  Less stress = less pain = more intimacy; the strongest reason I chose not to return to law enforcement).”

          “Wow, you really stuck to the truth, nothing-but-the-truth, part.”

          “This ends the chapter.  If the campfire (another favorite) behind the scythe doesn’t cause Roy Liechtenstein’s Nude with Abstract Painting (a wonderfully ironic title) to turn on the fan (which I use every night...white noise) causing the butterfly (love 'em) on the back of Van Gogh’s chair to fly away, then snapperhead will return to tell you the part of the story in, on, behind, adjacent and surrounding the right arm of Untitled Portrait of Self.”

          * SEED Magazine, Beauty and the Brain, 16 SEP 08
                                                                                                                                                       chapter 2 →

Aeronautical hi-jinks future is fragile in peculiar taste Ignatius gives advice

kodgetts | hex | veach | thatjeffcarter
          I was uncertain about this being complete (it's 15px short) but learned thatjeffcarter overlapped his (bottom) piece on top of my 15px hint slice rather than abutting a full 200px slice to it. 

          It seems my old slices (I submitted the third for this in March) are all being finalized at once.

untitled portrait of self

Pick One Good Reason

          Avarice.  I don't think it would be an admirable presidential trait.

Tegels - johan ripjma

and she was Jade Turns any until the end

veach - quackling - doctormatt - dagfooyo
          This was a privately exhumed lightning-round corpse, with me acting as mortician.  The rules were the same as those at new exquisite corpse with the sole exception:  a pre-agreed 48-hour turn around.  We began on 1 May.  I sent my bottom 15 pixels before 3 May (which I apologize to quackling for making more than a little difficult):

          Quackling sent the next hint slice to doctormatt by 5 May:

          And doctormatt provided his to dagfooyo on or before 7 May:

          This finished product is an exquisite example of corpsing (our title—also stitched together in the dark—works nicely).  I intend to do more lightning rounds; the one complaint I have with is creating, submitting, and never seeing the finished corpse (three currently in limbo).

BEAT / or bar-el

          Points of relevance:  Currently (and for the last 222 consecutive nights) delivering 400-500 newspapers; sporadically creating an elaborate b&w digital rendering for the last 10+ months; very much love a good drum solo; always have been a bit of an anarchist anti-establishmentarian.

The Great Divide

           “There are two kinds of people in the world: those with loaded guns and those who dig...” —Blondie (Clint Eastwood, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)

          For as long as humans have been obstinate assholes they have been divisive.  To declare 'there are two types...' and then attempt to define the issue one has with all the people who presently occupy the other camp has always seemed—to me—an extremely sophomoric way of making a point.

          For the better part of my life, I have avoided aphorisms in both word and thought.  I tend to see an infinitude of variations; always shades of grey, rarely black and white.  Until now.

          There are two kinds of people in the world:  those who flick the fingers of their dominant hand towards their wrist and then allow gravity to take over, bringing the toilet seat from vertical to horizontal, loudly, and with the same structural vibration as a bowling ball being dropped from waist height (intentionally communicating:  Hey there family members, friends, roommates and neighbors, I've just finished!) and, then, there are those who close the lid of their toilet.

          A codicil is required at this point since only about 1/3 of the world has toilet seats.  The majority of the world squats.  So, when I say there are two kinds of people in the world what I mean is that there are two kinds of people in the sitting world; the portion with hinged seats and covers.

          Before moving to my current apartment I thought that only ADHD addled juveniles with four-to-eight-second concentration spans were slammers (which I solved by installing soft-close seats in the other bathrooms).  Not so.

          I live below a couple.  Both are slammers.  One slam means the seat was up and one of them is beginning to void; a second slam in about 30 seconds = her pissing; a second slam after several minutes = her shitting; no second slam = him shitting.  And...(no kidding)...the single woman who's bathroom abuts our bedroom routinely drops both lid and seat after her male friend leaves them up (it doesn't happen every day, but that is probably because he isn't there every day). 

          A 'closer' can accidentally drop the lid (or communicate their anger with a slam) just like a 'slammer' can choose not to aggravate their own headache with loud noise...but...99% of the time there's no grey area; one is either a slammer or a closer.

          Self-centered, inconsiderate, rude, fumbling, obnoxious, thoughtless, less intelligent members of the population are slammers.  Closers are considerate, kind, conscientious, thoughtful, and empathetic.  I have met no reformed slammers or ex-closers so I have no information on the possibility of their existence.  I also do not know if there are correlations to other character traits, for example are slammers also litterbugs?  Are closers more willing to park at the back of the lot and walk?  Do slammers text during the film?  Is it only closers who hold the elevator?  Which picks up after their dog and which doesn't even carry a bag?

          I'm interested.  Slightly.  Though I've already made up my mind.