I kind of love this. This bizarre video wouldn’t mean much to me if I saw it in an art museum, but imagine seeing it on television, innocuously nestled in a block of commercials you’re passively consuming during a rerun of Family Ties. I bet it would draw your attention.
The element of surprise and evoking a feeling of slight discomfort is at the heart of all disruptive art and many of my favorite films. Just like a surprise in a great film, it has to follow some rule - in this case the 30 or 60 second spot - for it to make sense to the audience. That’s context.
About the video:
“Back in the 60s and 70s and 50s, there were three channels. It felt that the TV, that form of media, was basically a one-way street, that it was screamed at you, and how could you get on TV? I kept thinking about it and thinking about it, and it finally dawned on me the way to get on TV was you would buy the time, just like any other product. And if you bought those 30 seconds, or 60 seconds, then they’re yours. You realize the programming is just fluff, and the real guts of TV, or the backbone of TV, is the advertisements. With that in mind, I started with a roll of 16 mm film and… made an appointment with the salesperson at Channel 9. He showed me the rates, and they were really reasonable, especially late at night. You could buy a 30-second commercial for fifty bucks, or a hundred bucks…. All of a sudden, then, there was me in a pair of Speedos in black-and-white and I was crawling in little pieces of glass that were like stars and I was grunting. It was so bizarre and so out of context….”
An untitled work by Shinichu Sawada (at I’ll palazzo enciclopedico)
Jorge Luis Borges - Labyrinths, 1962
Painting: René Magritte, Love from a Distance, n.d.
Continuous City is an upcoming illustrated book that explores imagined landscapes and topographies for New York City, told through a series of conversations and paintings.
“I stumbled upon the following passage from Freedom, Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel:
‘Then she waited, with parted lips and a saucy challenge in her eyes, to see how her presence – the drama of being her – was registering. In the way of such chicks, she seemed convinced of the originality of her provocation. Katz had encountered, practically verbatim, the same provocation a hundred times before, which put him in the ridiculous position now of feeling bad for being unable to pretend to be provoked: of pitying Lucy’s doughty little ego, its flotation on a sea of aging-female insecurity.’
Due to all the stagy point of view switches the novel apparently employs, I’d thought of assigning it to students, but after reading the above passage I was like, not in 100 fucking years. The cruelty and hubris of Franzen’s depiction of the woman—a reviewer points out that Katz is the character who seems closest to Franzen himself—is astonishing. Middle aged women are such easy prey, like they’re supposed to walk around with eyes averted, hanging their heads in shame at their wreckage.
Here’s an sappy image of a crone to wipe out the evil Franzen-view. She looks complete, does she not, with her moon and bunny and snake. When you’ve got such cute animals to pleasure you, who needs men? When I talk with “aging-females—meaning straight women, not miraculous lesbians—some of them seem to welcome being outside that gaze. Some of them have no interest in attracting men, and from that they feel powerful, freed up to direct libidinal energies into other pursuits. I’ve felt that myself, no desire for men equals feeling centered and powerful Dodie—and no matter what men I interacted with, I felt in control.
I recently, despite all intentions to never do that again, got involved with a straight guy. At first it was great, but the power dynamics gradually switched, until I ended up being treated like a petulant child. At one point he told me not to hint for what I wanted, to just say it—and since that’s something Kevin has also asked me to do, I figured he had a point—so I did start to ask for what I wanted, very directly. Much of the time he’d simply say no—no explanation, just no—or he’d offer something flippant. And when I said these blunt nos weren’t going down well, my behavior was called “peremptory and monarchical.” The more he’d treat me like a child, the more childish I became—until one day rage came welling in and this rage gave me Crone Vision: this is fucked up! And off I went, back to my animals and Kevin and the delightful queerness of my writing/art world.
FUCK YOU JONATHAN FRANZEN!!”
仏足 Buddha’s footprint
Sometimes you need to go for a drive…
David Lynch & Lykke Li - I’m Waiting Here (by DAVIDLYNCHSUNDAYBEST)