March 13, 2009

Musical Collage

This is an amazing project. An artist named Kutiman scoured YouTube for musical clips and then cut, pasted, layered, and mixed them together into seven brand new compositions. Go to his site, Thru-You, and listen to them all the way through. You'll be glad that you did.

April 19, 2008

Director's Notes

crystal-ball.jpgI went to a production of Blithe Spirit last night at a local high school. It had a Director's Note like none I've ever seen. Most Director's Notes for plays fall into the following categories:

  • My Artistic Vision - These are always amusing, typically arrogant, and often portend disaster for the next 2 hours.
  • Thank You So Much - This is what a director says when he or she can't think of anything else to say. Also often portends disaster.
  • Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge - The director makes little inside jokes that you just had to be there for. Your friend in the cast will explain it after the show through hails of laughter. Smile and nod.
  • I Have a Masters Degree - Hey, the director spent a lot of time and money getting that degree. Might as well put it to use. Yawn.
  • The History of this Play - Blah, blah, blah. Start the frickin' play already.

This page long "note," however, read like a paper on British-Indian relations in the middle of the 20th century when Great Britain was divesting itself of its colonial possessions. When I got to the bottom of this dissertation it was all because of two lines in the play that disparage Indians and how they decided to leave the lines in even though they are "offensive" and how they do "not in any way condone these beliefs."

I rolled my eyes.

I had never seen Blithe Spirit, though I knew the gist of it. Fabulous dead wife returns from the dead to haunt living husband and domineering living wife. So it was fun for me, considering the lengthy disclaimer in the Director's Notes, to see what this Catholic High School thought wasn't worth disclaiming...

  • Alcohol Abuse - The characters are constantly drinking and it's a major theme of the play, but, on the whole, apparently better than racial slurs.
  • Wife Beating - The dead wife mentions how her husband struck her with a pool cue but that she still loved him. Better than calling Indians lazy!
  • Occult Practice - Summoning people from the dead, while strictly forbidden in scripture, is still more acceptable than racial epithets!
  • Tobacco Use - Considering the current civic obsession about smoking I'm surprised that there wasn't a disclaimer about people smoking in the 1940s being the social norm, but apparently casting aspersions on Indians is worse!
  • Adultery - There's plenty of discussion about infidelities and trysts and indiscretions and other naughty extra-marital behavior which kinda made me blush coming from the mouths of 16 and 17 year olds, but apparently that doesn't merit a disclaimer.

Oh, and not only did these brief comments merit a full page disclaimer, but were the main topic of the opening curtain speech which went on for several minutes. Nothing about how hard the kids had worked on the play or how fun the play was to do. Nope, the director seemed bent on making sure no one was offended.

And that, unfortunately, is what it all comes down to... making sure no one is offended. And, of course, this is evidence of social psychosis. Because we can't control what offends people any more than we can control what makes people sad, or happy, or angry. I mean, sure, it's good to be considerate, but it's a slippery slope to start apologizing for certain things and leaving other issues out. And if we can only do plays that don't offend anyone well, there goes Shakespeare, Moliere, Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and, well, just about any other playwright of note.

So, to all the artists out there, I hereby give you permission to make art that may offend me. Go for it.

February 8, 2008

My Life Sucks... Again

[Click to Enlarge]

My daughter, Emma, has restarted her occasional comic series, "My Life Sucks," for Lent. Like last year she's going to attempt to draw a four panel comic for every day of Lent. I'm encouraging her to post them on her blog because they are just too good not to share, in my humble opinion. Then again, I'm biased.

By the way, all the events depicted in this comic did, in fact, occur yesterday. Yes, indeedy... fun, fun, fun.

December 12, 2007

The Human Calendar

From the people who brought you the Human Clock, it's the Human Calendar!

It amuses me.

November 17, 2007

J is for Jawa

Michael Fleming is in the midst of making a whimsical Star Wars ABC. He's gotten as far as R is for R5-D4 and he took a break for Halloween.

You can see his work so far on his site - Tweedlebop - or on his flickr site and see it as a slide show.

October 13, 2007



My pal Neal, King of the Geeks, has started a new project and, thus, a new blog. In his own words:

I have a 1996 black 4door geo tracker that is starting to rust away. I'm not ready to give it up yet as I love this little car. It's gone across the country, climbed up the tallest mountain in CO, pulled numerous people out the snow, and never fails to impress me, even when I think it's going to die. It's not the prettiest thing anymore so I decided to let others make it pretty for me.

I'm going to be spraypainting Pepe with chalkboard paint and having my friend weld a metal box to the back door that will hold chalk. I'm going to encourage people to draw whatever they want on Pepe (within reason of course). I'll continue to take pictures and upload them to the blog. Additionally, I will encourage people to take a photo of them next to their completed piece and send it to me. If they took video of them chalking my car, that would be great too.

I, for one, will be following Pepe's transformation with interest.

Update - October 22, 2007

Pepe has been painted...

and has been chalked!

September 27, 2007


asterisk.jpgSo, Barry Bonds' career homerun record breaking baseball is heading to the hall of fame with an asterisk on it... literally. Marc Ecko, who purchased the baseball for over $750,000, had an on-line poll as to what to do with the questionable baseball and the overwhelming winner was - stamp it with an asterisk.

To me this is less of a sports story and more of an arts story. This is a creative and whimsical response to what many people find to be a ethically ambiguous situation. I salute Mr. Ecko for this foray into public art.

September 5, 2007

On This Site Stood...


Norm Magnusson is making this series of "historical" markers in rest stops along I-75 which stretches from Michigan to Florida. I also happened to grow up in a town which happened to be Exit 111 on I-75 in Ohio.

Thanks to over on perfectduluthday for showing me this.

Continue reading "On This Site Stood..." »

June 29, 2007

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

birdhouse_blue.jpgbirdhouse_yellow.jpgMy friend Maria is making birdhouses now (for decorative use only) and since I haven't plugged her artsy craftiness (or is that craftsy artiness?) in awhile, I will now!

Continue reading "Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul" »

June 14, 2007

Sith Lord Makeover


Since the site is in Russian I'm not sure on the details of the exhibit, but the pictures speak for themselves.

June 12, 2007

Now that's a Tree House!

Free Spirit Spheres are free-hanging spherical habitats custom-made in British Columbia. Go visit the site just to see the fantastic photos. It's RV living meets Jacques Cousteau submersible meets Wookiee tree dwelling.

May 15, 2007

Sculptures in Time

sculpturesintime.jpgI found this Danish artist who creates impossible sculptures by being very clever. The effect is beautiful, challenging, and a little unnerving.

April 19, 2007

Emma's Four Frames

emmakat_comic.jpgMy daughter Emma took as her Lenten discipline to draw one four frame comic every day for all of Lent. That, of course, ended with Easter, but she has continued to draw little slice of life comics from time to time. Today was one of those times and it happened to coincide with our getting a new printer/scanner/copier so she scanned it and put it up on her website for all the world to enjoy. I'm encouraging her to put up some of her other comics so stay tuned to her blog for more installments as she sees fit.

I know I'm her father and biased, but I think she's has a great eye and can frame a story really well. I also like how she uses anthropomorphized animals to represent everyone. I, it turns out, am a goat, mainly owing to my beard, I think, and not at all a commentary on my personality. Right, Emma?

Bridget Riversmith

NGARONG%20ANIMATION.gifBridget Riversmith is a Duluth-based artist whose images are both whimsical and nightmarish. Her art borrows heavily from the dreamworld and now she has a website to match. This is a wonderful website to explore. Go play in it!

April 2, 2007

The whole Renaissance bit, really...

I'm an art project. Go fig.

Jenn Johnson did this portrait of me for a class.

Continue reading "The whole Renaissance bit, really..." »

December 21, 2006

Clever Threads

My friend Maria now has a splashy storefront for her on-line shop of artsy crafty things like fairy wings and button head dolls. She's swell and you really should go buy things from her and support independent craft folk.