A Gift of love and heroin

We often have a code among ourselves and those we identify with. Nadya recently mentioned certain people’s common love of tentacles, and for me between the ages of 15 and 18 this code was Gift. It was an art film made by Perry Farrell, likely at the height of his creativity, with his then-wife Casey Niccolli and released after Jane’s Addiction initially broke up in 1992. The plot is loosely woven around a fictional overdose and death of Casey, and grief-stricken Perry’s reaction. Stream of consciousness storytelling combined with concert footage, spoken word, and iconic imagery made an enormous impression on me. Soon I demanded every person I met watch this film. I’d observe their reactions and attempt to decipher whether they were My People.

Transcending, in silk.

Comrade Lev has left on a special Coilhouse mission for about a week. While obligations prevent me from saying more, site rest assured it is a task of high caliber!

Now, in conjunction with this post, let us dwell for a moment on Polish artist Maciej Osika. Osika has dedicated several years of his photographic career to portraying himself as a beautiful feminine creature. These stirring images are a combination of digital and film work, intended to display beauty that is other, beyond standard queues of male or female. Exposed shoulders and silk combined with closely cropped hair in the image below are a good example of this, devoid of dramatic makeup and hair typically associated with cross-dressing. Maciej says of these portraits: “This does not mean that I want to be a woman at all costs: all I really want is to show that by photographs I can be beautiful for at least a moment. But the beauty contained in my portraits is merely a play of light and shadow…and I decide whether in the given situation I will be beautiful or ugly.”

SRL Bits and Pieces

Yesterday I got two emails, one right after another, from two completely different people, both about Survival Research Laboratories.

Paul Komoda shares a link to a YouTube video entitled Weird Weapons of WW2, which aired on the History Channel. The video discusses psychoacoustics, air cannons and other unusual Nazi attempts at weaponry from WW2. All of these machines were abandoned or dismantled, but Mark Pauline appears to demonstrate how some of them worked using SRL recreations. It’s funny to hear the History Channel people describe SRL in that gee-whiz History Channel voice. Also from Paul, a link to A Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief, “an almost Quay-like film” featuing SRL machines.

Mark Jennings sends along news of the approaching Blue + Green Ball, a Todd Blair benefit happening this Saturday in San Francisco. Todd Blair is a member of SRL who suffered a head injury during a recent SRL performance in Amsterdam. Todd has a long road of medical bills, living and rehab expenses, and a community of artists and performers has joined to help him by putting together this show. Activities include music, belly dancing, dada percussion, art auction peices by Stelarc, SRL, Lynn Hershman, Eduardo Kac and others, hot dogs steamed by the Neverwas Steam Car, and more.

Dead Man

I’ve mentioned Eric Eric Lafforgue here before, click his eye and lens are just remarkable. In my mind he must be some sort of great adventurer, at least according to his Flickr stream. The stunning image above is from a book of his on the Papou tribe of New Guinea.

Unholy marriage of machine and…what?

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I refuse to believe that anyone really thought this was a good idea. This terrifying combination of dead grey rubber and and the wobbling of an overgrown 2 year old toddler belongs in someone’s dark musty basement, behind locked doors. No, this wasn’t mean to be cute or helpful – it was made by sadists to give us nightmares and to define “Uncanny Valley” yet again.

How many aluminum insects in your bracelet?

Since we’re on the topic of consumerism, I’d like to extend my thanks to VonLivid for pointing us in the direction of AND_i jewelry by Austrian artist Andreas Eberharter. These subtle, quiet pieces are part exoskeletons of large robotic bugs and part those ardent trips to the hardware store for accessories in preparation for the next industrial disco outing.

While we’re waiting for the launch of the shop, check out some of my favorites after the jump, and browse the AND_i galleries for more of Andreas’ work. Turn on speakers for an appropriately crunchy soundtrack to your window shopping experience, brought to you by Viennese locals Afterwax.

It’s beginning to look a lot like HUMBUG.

(From the priceless Sun-Sentinel “Scared of Santa” photo gallery.)

It’s that time again. Can’t go anywhere without getting a shot of rancid Santa splooge in the eye. Can’t escape the mewling, reindeer shit-besmirched legions of consumer whores clamoring to buy perfunctory fad gifts for their relatives and co-workers. Can’t order a freakin’ espresso without someone trying to pour their special brand of putrescent nutmeg-flavored pus down one’s throat. Black Friday has ushered in what is arguably the darkest, bleakest period of the calendar year. Even if it’s a myth that suicide rates are highest during the holidays, some of the frailer agnostics among us will surely be reduced to gibbering husks by December 25th.

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But take heart, all ye heathens, Scrooges and secular humanists. There are so many delightful reasons to rejoice in the season besides the miraculous birth of Baby Jesus or being given a luxury SUV wrapped in a giant @#$!*& bow. Explore the wonderment beyond the cut.

Strange lights, dark forests

This image came from a storybook I had as a child. Whenever I look at it now, my heart still jumps up to my throat. In this image, Vasilisa the Beautiful, wandering through the forest, comes to the hut of Baba Yaga. The hut surrounded by strange lights, lights that emanate from the skulls of Baba Yaga’s victims. Vasilisa picks up one of these and uses it as a lantern, guiding her way as she walks on the dark path.

You can read the entire story here, complete with all of the amazing illustrations by the artist, Igor Bilibin. My other three images from the same storybook are the following three:

Taken from Old Russia, an amazing resource page of Bilibin’s Art and the stories that accompany it. Bless this person for taking the time to translate all of it.

More on Ivan Bilibin

Hottest Ad Campaign Ever.

What follows is one of the sexiest commercials I have ever seen. May not be work-safe depending on where you work, but there’s no nudity.

There’s also another ad in this series, but the one above is the one that truly stands out. This ad caused a predictable amount of discomfort for the conservatives, but what’s more interesting is the debate it sparked amongst people interested in queer/gender theory. When the word “hir” gets used, you know it’s Serious Business! Love it.

Sorayama, Michael Jackson and 50 foot robots

Thousands of people hold their breath as they watch a gleaming white spacecraft descend. It touches down in a cloud of steam and the door drops to reveal a beautiful shiny humanoid, chrome helmet and armor. He emerges, reserved, as the screaming swells all around him. Is this the Second Coming? Holy fuck-christ, is it Xenu!?

No, little ones. Look on in awe as rows of marching helmeted men line up all around. Look and know that you’re about to let Michael Jackson rock your very asses. And know that you’re lucky, because there will never be another tour in the history of music like the Dangerous tour.