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Dorm Room Flashback

The in-laws must be cleaning out their garage. The children brought home a huge box of highlighters. So I started thinking, "What could one do with so many highlighters?" Then I remembered Clement Hall room 308 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. That was my room. The walls were the color of an 80s computer that had been used too long. Dingy. Gray. Like a light but wet modeling clay. And the walls were cinder block.

A fun trick for the frequent traveler who stays in hotels a lot is to leave a message on the bathroom mirror using a light application of chap stick or other oil. Done correctly, the message remains invisible until a hot shower steams the mirror.

Highlighters on cinder block painted in that gray color work the same. Draw the highlighter art by turning off the normal lights and turning on black lights. The art in room 308 was quite intricate when my friends and I were done. When the black lights are turned off and the normal lights turned on, the highlighter disappears. Turn the black lights on and feel like you stepped into a Jimmy Hendrix black light poster.

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What the Plinth?!

This past Monday began a wonderful performance art piece in Trafalgar Square in London. I am thoroughly enjoying peeking in on the people of the United Kingdom as they create a living portrait of the UK over a 100 days from July 6 to October 14. Every hour for 100 days, a different person will stand upon the Fourth Plinth (see also), the massive base which would normally hold a statue of a king or warrior, and have that as their own space to do with as they please.

Antony Gormley on the Fourth Plinth from One & Other on Vimeo.

I have seen people just stand there, two have worked out on a rowing machine for their hour, one man danced for an hour and made jokes with the crowd, a woman has raised awareness of the plight of homelessness, and so much more. I have also learned that the British do actually say, "bloody hell!" That’s not just in the movies.

Visit and experience this for yourself. This should be repeated in cities around the world!

This effort is huge! I’m just guessing that it is staffed full time by 15-20 people which would include fork lift operator, security including the entourage that escorts the lift every hour, bucket operator, camera operators, console/technicians, ambulance on standby, and so forth. One & Other is doing this in conjunction with sky ARTS and produced by Artichoke. The partners in the project are too numerous to list. Of course, the Fourth Plinth project wouldn’t be happening without the participants, the Plinthers. Nice work to all! Squirrel Queen likes it too.

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When should you buy a new computer?

Occasionally somebody will ask me for my expert advice and question, "when should I buy a new computer?" My answer is often to discuss the benefits of a new machine, and how in many cases it is cheaper to replace rather than repair and upgrade, but ultimately my answer is a question, "is the machine doing what you need it to do?" If the answer is yes, then don’t buy a new computer.

I just turned on my Windows 98 machine. Yes. Windows 98…first edition not second edition. Why? Because GIMP frustrates me and my copy of Adobe Photoshop 5.5 still produces great imagery for much of my work. See, this machine still does what I need it to do. So, I have no need to upgrade this 11 year old box.

Update: I’ve been introduced to GIMPshop. Feels like a crutch but I may have to try it anyway.

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Internet has ruined nudity!

The human form, particularly the female form, is beautiful! All shapes sizes colors. It doesn’t matter. They hang in our art galleries, appear in photographic journals, hang on the walls of our homes (most fun thing to say at a friend’s house “so, is that your wife?” answer “yes”), are used in advertisement, sculptures, and so many other places. Nudity is art. I think religion was first to try to ruin the human body. Granted, some Pagan religions actually celebrate nudity. But the Internet succeeded where religion failed. How? Religion made it taboo and that raises curiosity actually making the forbidden object/fruit/alcohol/drug more desirable. The Internet threw it in our faces making it meh.

When I was a child to understand the human body, you had to sneak a peek at your friend’s father’s 2 or 3 adult magazines (if you could find them), or squint your eyes at the fuzz on the scrambled Playboy channel (how do you think The Magic Eye pictures were discovered?), we read National Geographic hoping the photographer that month had visited Africa, examined medical books (thank goodness Mom was studying nursing!), looked at how to take photography books (thank goodness my grandfather was a photo nut!), and found clubhouses in the woods with walls plastered with pages from Hustler, Playboy, Oui!, and other magazines (and yes, the woods had these treasure troves..what do children do without woods now-a-days? Oh, right, they have the Internet!).

What brought me here today? A leg cramp. Last night my left calf spasmed nearly bringing tears to my eyes. I sat up in bed and grabbed my leg pressing my palm hard against the muscle. I tried stretching the muscle and relaxing the muscle, pointing the toes down and up, and it laughed in my face and wriggled beneath my palm as if infested with a thousand alien worms. I needed water and a banana. This seemed to go on forever and deemed a post. I sought a picture to accompany the post by Googling calf muscle. Clicked a link (NSFW). And uttered these words aloud: Oh, I like the bridge! Apparently, I now see dolphins again.

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Justine Lai Does The Presidents

laijoinordie01thumbI clicked a link in one of my news readers today and was presented with a gallery where San Francisco artist Justine Lai has painted herself having sex with several presidents (NSFW). She’s a good oil painter. A bit of an odd subject. Definitely not safe for work. And I think Ol’ Abe is going to shoot her in the head.

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From the mouths of babes

I like to change the picture on my desktop from time to time. I have two monitors and the picture appears on each of them. The theme lately has been family so I have had a variety of pictures of the children and Cathy as my desktop. Today I thought I’d try on something artsy. I went looking for a picture and came across a very tasteful, black and white nude that the composition just seemed far more striking than any of the other photos on the site. 30 seconds later, Evan comes strolling up to my desk.

Dad, trying to get an application to cover up the picture, instead gets an hour glass: "Hi Evan."
Evan, 3 years old, very loudly: "Nice butt!"
Dad, watching hour glass: *blink*
Evan, making sure Dad heard, places emphasis on butt: "Nice BUTT!"

At least the boy has good taste! Now, time to find something more abstract…