Once upon a time in 2003, a graphic artist and calligrapher named Robinson Deschamps did a series of illustrations for an organization with a temperamental printer. The quirks of their machinery meant that Deschamps could not use colors or even grey levels; the illustrations had to be in black and white. He did the project, delighted with the challenge of the restraints, and in the process created several characters. Of those characters, it was the strange little Akiza-girl who caught Deschamps’ imagination.
The first Akiza is the girl with the iconic face, whose world consists of wires and signage and bits of architecture. She is diminutive, and playful, and fetishy, and asexual all at once.
Akiza has several siblings in the form of tributes that Deschamps crafts, dressing her in faces inspired by Amélie Nothomb or the works of Pierre Molinier.
Remember that bit at the beginning of The Matrix, when Neo is giving code to a bunch of strangers, and then they go party like crazy people? It turns out that’s been happening since the ’80s, except with high concept combinations of code, music, and graphics instead of viruses.
This demo was completed in two days. On a whim. In 2009. And while there are videos of the demo, like above, the demo itself is an executable file that draws each frame while you watch, from scratch. It is the difference between looking at a print of a painting, and watching the painter as the original takes shape under her brush.
The current demoscene is the product of nearly thirty years of people coming together to make art just to prove that they can. And if you are in New York, and you want to know more, then go see Demoscene – The Art of the Algorithms at the Manhattan film festival today (July 1st), at 2pm. Tickets are available here. If you can’t make it, or you decide you want to own it, you can download the documentary. However! This is only the second screening of this film in the US, so see it in a theater while you can.
Megan Rose Gedris’ comic Yu + Me is billed as a surreal lesbian romance- and it’s hard to say more than that with out spoiling it. In fact, this is one of those situations where, for some people, even mentioning the spoilers may spoil it. If you prefer stories in which things are what they seem, Yu + Me may not be your cuppa. But if you enjoy adventure, love, and a decadent proliferation of visual styles, then dive in. It’s a complete story, just short of 850 pages. Take a weekend and indulge.
Please give a warm welcome to our newest guest blogger, Caroline E. Willis! Caroline describes herself as “a writer and occasionally an archaeologist.” She also has a highly entertaining blog “about dressing up and hitting people with latex.” Needless to say, we like Caroline a lot. -Mer
“Most of us can agree on the artistic value of a Monet or Titian, but this work is for a daring audience, an audience open to exploring the strange beauty and the ecstasy inherent in our culture’s aversions.”
~Carrie Ann Baade
Guest Curator of the Cute & Creepy exhibition, FSU Museum of Fine Arts.
Drive past enough hazy bayous and bent oaks, sacrifice enough November butterflies on the altar of your windshield, and you’ll find something creepy in the heart of Florida. Carrie Ann Baade has collected the works of 25 fellow artists- works of beautiful, grotesque, adorable art- for the Cute & Creepy exhibition that’s currently taking Tallahassee by storm.
Over two-thousand people attended the opening- four times more than any other opening at the museum thus far, and some strange lure continues to draw unprecedented numbers to this show- a lure as hard to define as the subject of the show itself. Cute & Creepy is an exploration of boundaries, but the artworks on display do not so much “cross the line” as seem unaware that any boundaries exist. Each object is wholly itself; it is the viewers for whom categorization fails.
Toddlerpede 2.0” by Jon Beinart. 2011, mixed media sculpture, approximately 36”x36”x36”. Photo by Caroline E. Willis.