Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tiamet Salle

Vent Tia Mat Salle Pictures of tri eye guys found round town on New Years Day 2005, and altered Simianese Liberation Front/Trance Syndicate logo(c) on coiled picture stand in personal un-celebration of Enuma Elish, Sumerian solstice celebration ritual commemorating Mardok's slaying of Tiamat, seven headed water god of chaos, establishing solid ordered foundation upon which their civilization was built.

recommended reading:

the "Compressionists":
*on tiamat enuma elish: 'Chaos, Gaia, Eros: a chaos pioneer uncovers the three great streams of history' by Dr. Ralph Abraham
*on Arthur Young's sevenness: 'the Theory of Evolutionary Process as a Unifying Paradigm' by Frank Barr M.D.
*on heterogeneity of space in relation to shamanic practice: the 'Sacred and the Profane: the nature of religion' by Mircea Eliade

the "Po-Mo-Art-ists":
*on what the hell someone like David Salle might have to do with all this: Postmodernism and the Question of Meaning by Suzi Gablik

Thursday, March 23, 2006

SHELLING SKULLS: more clams per gallon than ever!

Looks like I'm not the only one out here who sees the grim visage of death when drive`n by these pumps. The images here are not mine own, and here I was thinking I might be driving myself skully seeing deathshead down on the street corner. Those who've read my recent posts probly're well aware, thoughts of death abound in my noggin; that is thoughts associated with the merchants of fossil fuels. I mean; just in cursory judgment of those booking around in gas-guzzlers by the cover: the title 'fossil fuels' oughta give one a clue about what it is we're really dealing with here. Fuel made of fossils, that in turn (of phrase) fuel the creation of further fossils by spreading death (because you are what you eat right?). This is no big secret right? 'Phi'--- the Greek's irrational death number of the golden ratio; which defines the downward spiraling arc of most shells, horns, fingernails, fibornaci sequences in the constantly shedding skin of reptiles--- is evident here. Shell oil's name and logo, itself a shell for the holdings of the corporate entity, advertises that fact. "Hey loyal consumer you know your car is powered by the desecrated/'refined' ancestral remains of life extracted from their ancient resting grounds. And look: we know it all to well too? So come on down and get your piping hot death juice by the gallon!" How many shells had to die in order to make the barrel used at your local pump every day? Marvel comics antihero 'the Punisher' makes sure that what goes around comes around. And the karmic wheels, on India's mothergoddess of destruction, Kali's bus go round and round. And once all that remains dries up, and the story unfolds whereby our earthly inheritance is finally squandered: the wealth of untold and unfathomable generations dissolves like so many holdings of Enron stock ; gone in a puff of smoke and mirrors, and exhausted like so many millions upon millions of tons of carbon dioxide. Like: how many of the four horsemen were really driving SUVS? Is the road to hell paved with good intentions driving on the way to &/or fro home or work? Or is hell brought to you by the fine people who brought you paved roads in the first? Are we bound to become just some more roadkill?
Or are they? Are we just on the cusp of an evolutionary shift of gears, where we see these guys as the dinosaurs they burn up? Or by the selfsame law of the jungle, where again: we are what we eat... If we can't kick the monkey off our back, will us talking monkeys be driving towards extinction? ... with all the rest of the natural world riding shotgun in tow in the undertow.

And while I obviously appreciate the prominent sentiment behind this artist's design, I always thought the original design had the skulls proportions more aligned with their logo. Basically I'd make the skull even bigger. Picture if you will projected over where the written word 'Shell' is well placed, your favorite dead and gone grandparents' dentures. If they were in their mouth, then the sockets would be more where the shell curves out. You can picture it probably better than I crudely can, but here goes nothing for you...

The whole head would have its chin held high, as it's set up to look down upon you from above. And in truth, this is the kind of disembodied perspective held by most transnational conglommerates in what has come to be defined as Late Capitol, where buisness interests have been legally extricated from having to keep any connection to their hometown roots: an enterprise's holdings may be traded freely across national borders. Achieving a kind of astral projection and immortality by virtue of their legal status as people extraordinarilly granted corporations, these artificial beings existing only in the mind, composed of interchangeable and replaceable human position, who can not be be held individually accountable for the actions of the group: should one head roll the hydra lives on. We see the archetypal icon of a severed head on a stake rear its ugly head, and sense an almost extra-terrestrial like presence looking down upon us lowly humans from above... as after all this is a sign designed to be lofted high and sell us from miles away.

But in an effort to "really see the skull behind the face", what are we to make of the use of this common business practice of utilizing "faces in places"(c.) at all? It's common place to seek to provide a surrogate for the human connection that Modern horsepower demands exclude. Business is all about fulfilling your clientele's needs... but sometimes its about creating a need you're in a position to fulfill. When you think about War for Oil think about the Opium Wars. Gas pedallers are in cahoots with armed forces (like literally in the case of Exxon-Mobil in Indonesia) driving the market towards them. If former cokehead, recovering alcoholic, and admitted Christian, President W., knows anything it's addiction... especially as he addressed the union: to foreign oil. Here in this biz its perhaps even more an issue than elsewhere, and mayhaps that's why you see such a proliferation of the "faces in places"(c.) tactic.
Is that why bp's pacman and Marathon's M
-man are the cutsiest, they have more to hide, or 'more face to save' as it were? Whereas Citgo's gentle giant nosed one is just generally attractive in truth more. If advertising is an appeal to genetically hard-wired emotional cues, endowed us by way of our reptilian, hind-brained, primitive ancestry; an attempt to use our instincts against our better judgment of the neo-cortical variety... than presenting us with another pretty public face to buy into is strategery intended to mask possibly insidious intentions. These are the same impulses that get our asses moving, mowing with petrol our solitary grass strain sown lawns in the heat of Summer, a yearning for returning to the "pre-historical" past of the Garden of African grasslands habituated by humans' progenitors Homo habilis. Nostalgia can be a bitch, just like life. Must we still go thru the tomb to reenter the Womb? or can we put the brakes to these viscous cycles of addiction?

Friday, March 10, 2006

New High Tech Burn Bomb

Q: Why does Phillips look so pouty with those full lips and doe 9y9s?
A: Perhaps its heard word there's a new gizmo out there; poised to revolutionize bombing as we know it, and make development of incredibly detailed stencils for adbusting an even more effecient tool for taking back occupied streets.

And now you too have heard it here, possibly first...

A new wave of high powered laser printers stands poised to permanantly etch its way into the hearts and minds of a new generation of disenfranchised art students and streetniks. They can literally burn holes through paper like butter. At UIUC's Art+Design building, students can now pay a nominal 15 cent fee per sheet to print paper with insanely intracately patterned holes in paper, effectively creating highly complex stencils or reusable screens for transfering patterns in ink onto flat surfaces. Before most stencilling was done by hand in pain staking process of exactoing out designs thru thin cardboard or thick paper. Now in mere seconds a design that would have previously taken dozens of hours, just in time to combat the aesthetics of hegemonized non-space, and flatness in visual material's urbanized landscape. Multi-color process, CMYK type design, can be replicated up to half tones, just so long as the negative space (say if one's using benday dot process; which photoshop can filter any image to) doesn't over crowd the positive. Basically the old stencil rules still apply, like when pumpkin carving let's say :

I'll update this post when I know more details or have executed actual examples. Thanks go to Katie Hargrave for filling me in on this exciting new media, after my jaw dropped at my first sighting of the technology in action, and in advance for being my hookup still at that school with printing lab priveleges she's sharing.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How bout it Mom!

To read all about the post here, see my last entry; to which this is really a kind of post-script (just as that post on Citgo's tri-eye guy was inspired in response to the BlogHead's at H+RBlock post previous to that) focusing on the good being done at Citgo and the three-pronged buisness modeling tool put forth by McDonough & Braungart. As I was writing that post: I mentioned their triumvarate of valuaters, the 3-E's (Ecology, Economy, & Equity) vs. the traditional 3-R's (Recycling, Reusing, and Reducing) of buisness as usual, to my mother with whom I share office space (or rather she's nurturing enough to share with me). And she got excited to understand me for once when I spoke of the benefits of fractals in modeling behavior, as the group she serves as Executive Director; the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, relies heavily on their own similar tool for planning moves in three directions: towards 'academic excellence', 'develomental responsiveness', and here again 'social equity'. Their 3-E's were the inspiration behind their logo in fact; she tells me. Where as how in the rat race they're always chasing the solitary bottomline, in education this more grounded technique measures sucess more fully than the 3-R's of education (Reading, Riting, & Rithmatic) focused on by test-results-crazy misleadingly named 'No Child Left Behind' does. In fact, it's very appropriate to use the term grounded to refer to aids that take a three dimensional approach to action. Just as profit only oriented means flatten the landscape into binary considerations of 'will this make me money? Yes or No?' So too does looking anything from a single point of view serve to sever an understanding of the world in all it's multidimensional/3-D technicolor splender. Maybe that's why they call it camera obscura. You can never appreciate the complexity of a given situation unless you look at in the full light of day, which has value scales encompassing all shades of grey and is colored by the full-spectrum of experience. Differing proportions of Red, Green, & Blue; all primary colors needed to see clearly, just as one needs three legs on which to build a table or as any experienced rockclimber will tell you, ideally your body should have three points of contact with the Earth at all times to insure balance. Symbologists understand this can explain why the Masons used the unfinished pyramid scheme and why the Christian Church uses the metaphor of the Holy Trinity to ground their teachings. The third eye is a universal symbol of enlightenment. I know for sure that's the hidden archetecture underlying my personal iconography, themes, and fondness for 'tri eye guys'. Thanks Mom for being on it this time.

Buy-Cott Cit-Guy


I want to use this opportunity to state for the record: I DON'T THINK ALL MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS ARE INHERENTLY EVIL, and I'm not just saying that because Wal*mart or somebody might be listening to what I say right now. Neither do I find the phenomenon of faces in places necessarily threatening. Nope, just like the question of whether people are basically good or evil can not yet be answered; as their full story has yet to unfold, so too QED are our conglomerates' heretofore morally ambiguous still. People form them, as cells likewise makeup their own bodies, and can therefore be seen as being, in the end, responsible for what form of life they assume, or tragically, whose lives they consume. But whereas it is not for us to judge Man, as various Amerindians' tribal bodies are incredibly consistent in believing; as Man is borne of the Land and therefore only within the Great Spirit creators' dominion to condemn or honor, it is incumbent upon us to hold ourselves libel when considering the impact of the societal structures we do construct. Social institutions must be judged by the actions or lives they take or improve. I find myself hard-pressed to offhand think of a human enterprise has a greater impact upon our land than the over-consumption of fossil fuels. Fueling what even 'W' now refers to as our addiction to oil, is the cynical attitude of consumers (or perhaps 'consumees') feeling unempowered (having had the life sucked out of them like so much drilled crude). The power resides in the people, even if the will to change is found lacking when considering brutal economic "realities". If the price of doing business most anywhere is that we have to make Faustian travel arrangements, we're reminded of the parable Neil Jordan's the Crying Game(1992) has Forest Whitaker recount of the frog, and the scorpion riding it's back across a river, who can't help but to do them both in. But does it really have to be so rough out there?
It ain't necessarily so; postulates businessman William McDonough, and co-author and chemist Michael Braungart, in their book Cradle to Cradle: Rethinking the Way We Make Things; as they offer industry a principle tool for economic recreate itself in a better image. Their Design Framework embraces the 3-E's, as opposed to the 3-R's; because 'being less bad is not good enough'. It's a fractaline triple bottom line approach to business that pursues in every decision maximum value by moving one's economic platform towards any of the three directions (Economy {the more familiar bottom line}, Ecology {considering reciprocal Environmental relationships}, and Everybody else {the social networks within and with whom we operate}). Shareholders in the future might be behooved to note that only the Economic was found lacking in the social principles of those afforementioned Indians. Design writ with the triple-edged (or one better 'double', minus the old hard line bottom) pen of intelligent design composes the trinity foundation of the unfinished pyramid envisioned in an emerging world in which all human industry is designed to celebrate interdependence with other living systems, transforming the making and consumption of things into a regenerative force. But can this principle really extend to businesses that by their very nature would seem to be cutthroat? Hugo Chavez seems to think so.
Of all the major oil companies laying claim to go "beyond petroleum's" black history: CITGO GOES ABOVE & BEYOND THE $INGLE BOTTOM LINE CALL TO INACTIVE DUTY. I mean just look at that cute face in place and you can tell the Venezuelans behind the wheel of this co. wouldn't cut corners like eXXon-aerators did with their now im-mobile-ized tanker the Valdez f'rinstance? Self-admitted scorpions like myself may not be able to change our evil ways overnight, lord knows, but we can at least start by at least becoming more considerate of where we do our dirty business. By god, we can join the Buy-Cott!