FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Look at the kitty! Pranksters force milk-lapping footage on unsuspecting Times Square tourists
11.17.2017
09:20 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
One of the many legacies of the experimental art movements of the middle of the last century has been a heightened tolerance for weird site-specific art nonsense. The Fluxus folks certainly come to mind in that regard, as do the works of artists as varied as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chris Burden, Marina Abramović, Robert Smithson, and Barbara Kruger.

In the 1980s Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss, who went by Fischli/Weiss, cornered the market on a certain kind of gentle, homespun art. Their best-known work is probably 1987’s Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go), a video in which a sort of Rube Goldberg machine plays itself out, using only the kind of junk one might find in a painter’s studio. That entities such as the Honda Motor Company and OK Go would (many years later) “outdo” the feat doesn’t obscure the droll manner in which they attacked the problem, as well as the fact that they attempted such an idea with zero possibility of the clip ever going viral.

One of their ten precepts for their How to Work Better is “Distinguish Sense from Nonsense,” which is a trickier task than it might first appear. If you’re standing in Times Square, is it “sense” or “nonsense” if one of the massive displays suddenly shows footage of a kittykat lapping up milk, without a tangible product or purpose to be discerned? Well, that depends if you’re a corporate manager or an anarchist, right?
 

 
Fischli and Weiss worked collaboratively for more than three decades until the sad passing of Weiss in 2012. They were outstanding purveyors of nonsense; for instance, they had animal alter egos—a rat and a bear—that they liked to adopt in their artworks.

In 2001 Fischli/Weiss put together a six-minute clip of a cat blithely drinking milk from a saucer, and managed to have it screened in Times Square on “an oversized video screen” (specifically the Times Square Astrovision) for a project called The 59th Minute. The title of the work is Büsi (Kitty); it was actually an excerpt from Fischli/Weiss’ massive 96-hour video installation Untitled (Venice Work), which appeared at the 1995 Venice Biennale (in case you were inclined to think of the duo as lazy). In a statement, Fischli let it be known that “Büsi was not made as a discussion about kitsch. There was just something super-nice about this cat that we were attracted to.”

In a way, this was the “original cat video.”

In February 2016, the project was revived, as the video was shown on approximately 60 screens (!) in Times Square for the last three minutes of every day for a period lasting more than three weeks.

According to the notes that accompany the video:
 

While the lush, high-definition quality of the Büsi video suggests a commercial for a pet product, the lack of a soundtrack, deliberate overexposure, and slapdash framing give the work the look of an amateur video of a family pet. By simply changing the frame of reference, by restaging the commonplace within the landscape of art and/or commerce, Fischli and Weiss make the ordinary seem extraordinary.

 
Catch the video after the jump…....
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
11.17.2017
09:20 am
|
Ghosts, monstrous faces & strange creatures: The eerie beauty of bad vintage photographs
11.15.2017
08:30 am
Topics:
Tags:

01badphotos.jpg
 
I was a lonely teenager who spent too much time wandering around the streets of Edinburgh taking photographs with my old Hanimex Halina camera of the historic buildings, monuments, and busy streets thronged with people busy with some unknown purpose. I was trying to fix in black & white and color how exactly I fitted in to all of this—other than by accident of birth.

When I handed in the roll of film to get developed, I would wait three days to a week for the magic to be done and a slim paper wallet filled photographs returned to me. I wanted the finished results to be a starting point for stories which I could claim as my own. A lot of the time, I wondered why I’d bothered in the first place as the pictures were little more than plain representations of what already existed—the theatrical backdrops against which we all perform. That’s possibly why I often preferred the pictures that came back with a quality control label attached that stated the image was blurred, out of focus, subject to close to camera, camera shake, or were diagnosed with red/yellow overall cast to print, or film exposed under tungsten light or early morning/late afternoon sunlight, or the warning: fluorescent lights give prints a yellow/green cast. These were far more appealing as they offered a starting point to stories that were more to do with imagination than biography.

“Bad” photographs, that is pictures poorly framed, blurred by movement, or over exposed by light, are sometimes like the best illustrations to weird tales of horror and nightmare. The woman who happily sat in her garden waiting for her picture to be taken oblivious of the small approaching beast, its flash of teeth and claws, ready to pounce and devour. Or, the family of monstrous shapeshifters captured unraveling in front of the camera. Or the demon held proudly aloft in its mother’s arms burning with the flames of Hell. Or, the strange Lovecraftian light moving purposefully across the creased waters of a lake. Perhaps the following selection of bad vintage photographs will inspire your imagination too?
 
02badphotos.jpg
 
04badphotos.jpg
 
More weirdly wonderful photographs, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
11.15.2017
08:30 am
|
‘Don’t Kill the Animals’: PETA’s 1987 experimental compilation produced by Ministry’s Al Jourgensen


 
Celebrity endorsements of PETA are nearly as infamous as the company’s graphic and often-questionable awareness campaigns. Since the animal rights organization was founded in 1980, influential figures from the arts and entertainment world have voiced their concerns over animal cruelty, whether in favor of vegetarianism or in disapproval of product testing on animals. Even Iggy Pop and Nick Cave are known proponents.
 
The man behind the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ most controversial campaigns is Senior Vice President, Dan Matthews. Much earlier in his career, before more famous people like Paul McCartney, Pink and Pamela Anderson got involved, Dan reached out to none other than Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen—an inspired choice, I think you’ll agree—about a compilation album to benefit PETA. With Jourgensen on board as the album’s primary producer, Matthews put together a different kind of record; one that would find a correlation between music and animal activism.
 

 
Featuring a forlorn monkey in a laboratory on its cover, Animal Liberation was released by legendary Chicago independent label Wax Trax! on April 21st, 1987. All songs on the compilation were donated to PETA by the artists (some had been previously released) and featured subjects of animal cruelty. Among key contributors to the album were musicians like The Smiths, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Captain Sensible, Chris & Cosey, Shriekback, and a collaboration between Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich. Song clips between tracks featured ominous segments of “actual dialogue from animal experimenters and meat farmers and actual alerts from TV and radio shows.” While Jourgensen did not contribute any actual music to the project, the interlude clips were all produced by him.
 
From the album’s linear notes:
 

In 1985, Dan Matthews (PETA) approached Al Jourgensen (Ministry, Wax Tax) about helping put together a “different” sort of benefit album - for animal rights. Sympathetic artists from across America and Europe were approached to donate material on animal issues (some songs previously released). From all these submissions, ANIMAL LIBERATION has surfaced - the songs interspersed with action segments containing actual dialogue from animal experimenters and meat farmers and actual alerts from TV and radio shows. The introduction carries, in 11 languages, the central theme: “ANIMALS ARE NOT OURS TO EAT, WEAR OR EXPERIMENT ON.”

Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Bennett Kogon
|
11.13.2017
01:23 pm
|
Undead Teds—zombie teddy bears for when your inner child is too fucked up for words
10.26.2017
07:57 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Edgily debasing children’s toys is one of my least favorite underground art moves. With vanishingly few exceptions, it’s incapable of provoking any reactions deeper than a predictable OMG A BLEEDING BABY IN S&M GEAR from normals who wandered into the wrong gallery, or seen-it-all shrugs from the jaded. While it may win you kudos from emos on deviantart, crafting strap-on dildos for Bratz dolls or filling a gallery with cigarette-burnt Cabbage Patch Kids mostly just telegraphs a lack of imagination and probably a not unserious mental disturbance—and if you’re going to be disturbed, why be disturbed in the most boring way possible?

AND YET, despite all the foregoing, I’m absolutely loving UK artist Phillip Blackman’s zombified teddy bears, which he calls “Undead Teds.” I haven’t seen one in real life (though I’m strongly considering giving one a home as soon as I can), but judging from the MANY, MANY photos the artist has posted of his creations, the effect is jarring, and his workmanship looks top-drawer.
 

 

 

 
Blackman detailed his inspiration and process in a Daily Mail interview:

[T]he inspiration came from a rather obscure in-joke between my partner and I. She had a terrible cold at the time and we’d been talking about a gift for a friend’s baby. With a very stuffy nose “teddy-bear” kept coming out as “deady-bear”, and we joked about zombie teddies that creep from under your bed at night to feast on your brains while you sleep.

I individually hand-sculpt the bones, teeth and other organs from polymer clay or latex, then open the bear’s carcass, scoop out as necessary and glue the bones into place.

Each UndeadTed takes in excess of eight hours to make, not including the time it takes for glue, paint and varnish to dry, and I price them individually depending on size, complexity, materials used and time taken.

They’ve all been great fun to make but of all the ones I’ve made so far, my favourites are the Valentine ones, holding their torn-out hearts aloft as a grisly gift to their lovers. Horrible.

 

 

 
Blackman only releases Undead Teds every few weeks, and if you were hoping for one in time for Halloween, you’ll likely be disappointed—a batch released on October 1 is already long gone. However, if you’re very quick, there’s a new batch going up for sale today. If you miss this opportunity, you can be apprised of further releases on the Undead Teds’ Facebook and Tumblr, and if you absolutely MUST have one, Blackman takes custom orders.
 
Even more Undead Teds after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
|
10.26.2017
07:57 am
|
Exquisite Corpses: Polly Morgan’s sculptural taxidermy
10.13.2017
10:06 am
Topics:
Tags:

01pollymmyocardialinfarction.jpg
‘Myocardial Infarction.’
 
Polly Morgan is an artist who specializes in taxidermy to create works of disturbing beauty. Morgan describes her craft as “as part butchery, part sculpture.” While her work may not be to everyone’s taste, it should be noted that all of the animals used by Morgan either died from natural causes or had unpreventable deaths. She has a long list of suppliers, from zoos, vets, farmers, and even family members, who supply her with a range of dead animals.

It wasn’t a straight path to her chosen career. Morgan tried her hand at a variety of jobs before deciding on following-up on a long-held interest in taxidermy. She was raised in the English countryside in a household filled with a menagerie of animals. As a child, she had wanted to keep the bodies of her pets that had died. Morgan now sees her work as “an opportunity to freeze that moment.”

It was while working in a bar that Morgan started her studies in taxidermy. She had asked a friend where she could find a piece of taxidermy for her apartment. Her friend suggested rather than buying one she make one herself. After scouring the Yellow Pages, she eventually contacted George Jamieson, a taxidermist based in Cramond, Edinburgh. For around $200, Jamieson instructed Morgan on the basics of taxidermy. Jamieson gave her a pigeon to work on, which she completed within a day. This was in 2004. Since then, Morgan has exhibited her taxidermied sculptures to considerable acclaim across the world and has been fêted by the likes of Banksy and Damien Hirst.

You might think all this working death and dead animals would make Morgan a tad morbid and even overly downhearted. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Morgan thinks it silly to have an emotional attachment to something that is dead. It’s just decaying flesh. Instead, she believes what she is doing is very positive by making something beautiful out of death.

See more of Polly Morgan’s work here.
 
02pollymlovebird.jpg
‘Lovebird.’
 
03pollymjustassudden.jpg
‘Just as Sudden.’
 
05pollymrestalittleonthelapoflife-Rat.jpg
Detail from ‘Rest a Little on the Lap of Life.’
 
More of Polly Morgan’s exquisite work, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
10.13.2017
10:06 am
|
Meat Packing: Bloody, gruesome, hyperrealistic paintings of chopped-up body parts (NSFW)
09.28.2017
09:27 am
Topics:
Tags:

01FábioMagalhães.jpg
 
So, dear readers, what’s for dinner tonight? Maybe a little chicken? Maybe a nice juicy steak with all the trimmings? Or how about a tasty leg of lamb? Or what do you say to a good ole slab of bacon? Hmmm, sounds delicious, doesn’t it? But wait, why stop there? What about a well-grilled slice of dog? Or maybe some barbecued cat? Or, what about something a bit closer to home?

If you’re willing to chow down on a juicy beef burger then why not a cat burger? Cows have as much personality as cats or dogs and quite a few humans too. Our bovine pals have their likes and dislikes, their mood swings, their affections, they can even fall in love, get stressed, and like to share a private cow joke or two. So what’s the big problem with eating meat if we’re not going to put felines, canines, chimps, and even humans on the menu too?

Oh, don’t tell me you’re suddenly squeamish about a lickle-bitty kitty? Hell, when most of you go into that supermarket you positively drool over all those tasty meaty morsels bagged, sealed, and wrapped like kinky Christmas presents on display. Let’s be honest, we rarely ever think about what the fuck we’re actually looking at before popping it in our basket. I know I don’t. I just laden up the old trolley and head back home to an artery-clogging meat-filled breakfast, lunch, dinner time, and tea. That’s right, just wipe that cow’s ass and pass me mah knife and fork.

Of course, if that’s your take on eating meat products, then you won’t be at all put off by Brazilian artist Fábio Magalhães‘s hyperrealistic paintings of human body parts diced, chopped, and gutted like some poor cow or pig or sheep and neatly bagged up for our consumption. Magalhães’s paintings are simultaneously extraordinary works of painterly beauty and gruesome depictions of bloody horror. His intention is in part to make the viewer think about the meat industry, about eating meat, and what it is we’re actually consuming.

Magalhães started his “intimate” meat portraits with the series O Grande Corpo (The Great Body) in 2008, in which he worked from photographs of his face and body tightly wrapped in polythene. The paintings present a complex visceral image of gruesome horror together with, in some images, an association of auto-eroticism. Magalhães next produced a more bloody series of Retratos Íntimos (Intimate Portraits) which show in incredible detail images of innards, body parts, and blood products all wrapped in polythene. The high quality of his painting technique together with the subject matter make it almost “impossible [for the viewer] not to react with the heart.”

By exposing the viewer to images of brutalized body parts, Magalhães is also asking the viewer to question what it means to be human. He has divested the human body from its imposed religious, psychological, historical, and personal significance to question what makes our existence different from any other animal if all we are is the same flesh and bone?

Magalhães grew up in Bahia in north-eastern Brazil. He took an ealy interest in painting and drawing and spent hours looking at and copying paintings by artists as diverse as Picasso, Caravaggio, and Jackson Pollock from the pages of his father’s encyclopedia. He went on to study at the Fine Arts School of the Federal University of Bahia. Since then, he has been exhibiting his work since 2003, with his paintings shown in group and solo shows across most of South America. You can see more of Fábio Magalhães’s work here.
 
03FábioMagalhães.jpg
 
02FábioMagalhães.jpg
 
See more of Fábio Magalhães’s bloody brilliant paintings, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
09.28.2017
09:27 am
|
When Stephen King met ‘Pennywise the Clown’
09.22.2017
09:31 am
Topics:
Tags:

01penwisesking.jpg
 
Big Stephen King was on his way home. Last leg of a whirlwind book tour. Seven cities in six days. All for his latest 426-page blockbuster Dead Zone. Now it was back to his wife Tabitha and the kids. Big Stephen King. Six-foot-three. Blue-eyed. Gangly-limbed with his thick square glasses and that goofy smile that can leave you uncertain whether he’s gonna laugh or bite. King sitting in first class on a Delta airline’s plane, just a hop and skip back to his hometown of Bangor, Maine. The tour had been a blast. Signing books (“Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did writing it!”), palm-pressing (“I’m your number one fan”), and talking about where he got his ideas (“Everywhere”).

King was tired (disconnected) like he’d been bludgeoned with pillows filled with some kind of low-grade knockout gas. Flump! Headful of cotton. King buckled up. The stewardess mimed her safety routine, smiled, counted heads, checked seatbelts and made sure tray tables were upright and folded away. The plane was on the runway. Taxiing for take-off. And that’s were it started to go wrong. The plane slowed down. Came to rest. Instead of taking off this big metal behemoth nosed around and headed back to the apron.

(“Oh, geez, we’ve got some kind of motor problem; this is just what I need.”)

But it wasn’t the engines, it was just a late boarder. Must be someone mighty important if they’re going to all this trouble. It was Ronald McDonald.

Ronald McDonald with his ghost white face, blood red lips, big red nose, goofy orange hair, giant flapping boots, and those Day-Glo clothes with buttons down the front. Ronald-Mc-fucking-Donald. King knew exactly where this sonofabitch was gonna sit. (Beep, beep!) “Because I’m a weirdness magnet.”
 
02penysking.jpg
 
Ronald slumped down into the aisle seat next to King. (“Knew it.”) Ronald looked shabby. Smelled like day-old sweat, cigarettes, and cheap aftershave. He called the stewardess over and ordered a gin-and-tonic. It’s ten o’clock in the morning. The drink arrives with its little paper coaster. Ronald knocked it back. Then turned to King and said:

“I hate these whistle-stop tours. I just hate this. I almost missed this plane.”

The plane takes off. King’s going “Uh-huh, uh-huh, yeah, right” to whatever the hell Ronald is saying. The no-smoking light blinks off and Ronald, swilling his G & T with its ice cubes chinking, popped opened a pack of cancer sticks. He lights up and started breathing in a Kent. King was getting antsy. “What the fuck do you say to a clown?” Eventually, he asked:

“So, where did you come from?”

Ronald looked the great writer up-and-down considering if this was a question worthy of a full sentence or just a one-word answer.

“McDonaldland,” he said.

Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
09.22.2017
09:31 am
|
Finally! Some decent-looking fish flip flops
09.08.2017
09:35 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Summer is almost over, but it doesn’t mean there’s still isn’t time to sport some fish flip flops. Why not? There’s not really much to say about these except… here they are in all their fishy glory.

From the semi-English product description:

  • polypropylene
  • Dare to be little eccentric, new trend.
  • MD sole. MD is a lightweight, elastic and shockproof material for making soles.
  • Funny indoor slipper. Fish-shaped slippers, a great gift and collection.
  • With high density, high elastic anti-skidding sole, no glue, light not only, more wear-resisting.
  • Suitable for beach, swimming, and other leisure casual occasions. Easy to wear and wash.

 
These fishy flip flops sell for $25.99 here.


 

 
via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
09.08.2017
09:35 am
|
Show your feline the respect it deserves with a ‘Game of Thrones’ cat bed
09.01.2017
08:36 am
Topics:
Tags:

01catbedthrones.jpg
 
If you have a cat then you know you’re in thrall to that little furball pussy-paws. Your cat rules your life and only lets you live because you feed it, empty its litter tray, and sometimes you can be quite amusing like a smelly old court jester telling fart jokes. You know your place. And so does your goddam cat. So isn’t it time you just admit who’s boss in your household? Who’s the veritable Regent of all it surveys? And give your cutesy cat god the throne it deserves like maybe the one from Game of Thrones?

Made for Pets make “pet furniture” for your favorite feline (or even canine) to snuggle-up in. Among the many designs on offer is this “Iron Throne” cat bed as inspired by the hit book and TV series Game of Thrones. It’s a bit pricey at around $200 (£158.64) but if you love your cat and you know it’s really the protector of the realm, the top feline of all the Seven Kingdoms, etc. etc. etc. then you know damn fine your kitty deserves its very own Iron Throne. See details here.
 
02catbedthrones.jpg
 
04catbedthrones.jpg
 
Inspect more of your cats new bed, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
|
09.01.2017
08:36 am
|
Rooster gives no f*cks—attacks, kills, and eats deadly cobra
09.01.2017
08:03 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Did you know that sometimes roosters will kill and eat deadly snakes? I didn’t know that until today. This is totally nuts.

The video below contains raw nature scenes and is not for the squeamish or ophiophiles. In it, we see what appears to be a deadly king cobra, with hood inflated, missing several strikes at a rooster. The rooster positions itself to grab the snake in its beak a number of times, dazing it, until ultimately swallowing the snake whole.

Cobras, even small cobras such as this one, are extremely venomous, with a single bite being able to kill an elephant. They typically eat eggs and birds. In this case, the tables were turned by a boss rooster that clearly gives no fucks.
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel
|
09.01.2017
08:03 am
|
Page 1 of 37  1 2 3 >  Last ›