Geek Mythology

January 28, 2010

The dangers of loneliness.

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 4:27 pm

In 2006 the American west-coast artist Paul McCarthy had a big show here in Stockholm at the Modern Museum of art. It was a collection of a lot of his older video stuff as well as a new installation called “Carribean Pirates”. All in all it was a pretty powerfull and at times disturbing body of work.

One piece that I found particularly intriguing was an installation called “The Garden”. The piece itself is built on an old outdoor soundstage from a Hollywood TV show called Bonanza, which showed the weekly adventures of the Cartwright family in the wild west.

But now this piece of forest-made-for television was inhabited by someone completley different than the cowboys from days of yore. Instead, McCarthy has populated the forest with two characters performing questionable acts. One of them is literally humping a tree with his pants pulled down and the other is humping the ground (kind of like Prince used to do when he was on stage!). Ok so why are these two mannequins humping nature?

These two pictures are from Paul McCarthys artwork “The Garden”.

I attended the artist talk with McCarthy at the museum and he talked about the piece itself. There is a clear metaphor to the garden of eden here. With the garden being the western countries like America and Europe. There are millions of people around the world who are looking in at the garden and wanting access to it seeing that they themselves live in abject poverty and harsh conditions.

But what is actually going on inside the garden? There are two people who have regressed into satisfying there most basic primitive narcissictic needs. These two individuals have also stopped looking out at the outisde world. Both mannequins are staring straight ahead, one into the ground and the other into a tree. They don´t care about the rest of the world, they are too busy satisfying themeselves.

I think this was the message that struck me as being profoundly powerfull by this piece. That with all this entitlement and priviledge that we have by living in this part of the world most of us are still deeply involved in ourselves and don´t care too much for whats happening in the outside world. We spend hours on social networking sites, perfecting our pseudo-selves, making sure we look perfect in the eyes of other online “friends”.

It´s like Aldous Huxleys book “Brave new world” where people “adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think”. The screen ultimately “atomizes” people, pacifying and isolating them while creating the illusion of wordly contact. This isolation and narcissism is what McCarthy speaks about in his piece. Films like “The Texas Chainsaw massacre” and “Psycho” discuss the theme of the dangers of loneliness as well. These are two other works that have also inspired me alot that talk about the same thing.

Video documentation of “The Garden” by Paul McCarthy.

Here is a new piece that I just completed called “Famous psychologically damaging traits of narcisssism”. It discusses some of the same themes that McCarthy does in his artwork:

January 25, 2010

Famous players in the Afghan war.

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 6:02 pm

Crayon on wood 2010.

January 24, 2010

“The world has crumbled and…the cities have exploded.”

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 3:11 pm

In 1978, TSR, the company that gave us Dungeons and Dragons created a game called ” Gamma World”. It takes place in the mid 25th century after the world has been decimated by a nuclear war. The world has been been plunged into a medieval dark age where the ultimate weapon in most societies is the crossbow. This game would later spawn the Swedish rip-off “Mutant”.

The love for this theme has not died down. On the contrary there sure have been alot of apocalypse movies since then. The Road, 2012, The book of Eli, I am legend, The Day After Tommorow, and the Terminator series are just a few of the dystopian action films that have come out since “Gamma World” was released (not to mention the countless number of zombie apocalypse movies as well). This is probablly due to several factors, including increased worry about the climate, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and also the threat of global terrorism.

There has always been a fascination with apocalyptic themes. Back before the first world war it was also very common. The artist Kandinsky wrote about a coming catastrophe between 1912 and 1914 and Ludwig Meidner painted a series of paintings depicting destroyed cities and dead bodies. But the post-apocalyptic genre really took off after the second world war when the ultimate doom of a nuclear holocaust became a real threat.

The bible itself has its “Book of revelations” that alot of misinformed people think is a future prediction of the end of the world.This is not the case, what it talks about is the destruction of imperial Rome (Babylon) at the hands of gods army. It had nothing to do with the future. But throughout each age people would see signs(earthquakes, disease, etc) that convinced them that they where doomed.

I still think that the best apocalypse movies where the ones were there where big gangs roaming around who dressed in old hockey equipment and had mohawk hairdos. The king of these films was “The Road warrior” starring the young Mel Gibson. It follows a classic archetypical western frontier movie motif with a group of settlers who have to defend themselves against a band of brutal marauders who are out to get their gasoline.

The marauders are lead by a guy called “Lord Humungus” (whose nickname was “the ayatollah of rocknrolla”). He is played by the Swede Kjell Nilsson, a former olympic-class weight lifter. He is a buffed up dude wearing a hockey mask who delivers a speech with a heavy Swedish accent in the middle of the Australian desert. A Time magazine reviewer said that in Nilsson’s portrayal, “malevolence courses through his huge pectorals, [and] pulses visibly under his bald, sutured scalp.” Check out this hilarious classic scene from the film here:

January 23, 2010

Treme

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 1:16 am

Here is the trailer for the new HBO tv show called Treme that will start in april. It will be about musicians from the Treme neighbourhood in New Orleans. This show is made by the same people who made a show called “The Wire”. I am very excited about the show seeing that it is guaranteed to contain amazing music and a look into Mardi Gras Indian culture.

January 22, 2010

Epic scene!

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 12:42 pm

January 21, 2010

The Red Book

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 8:20 pm

Today I finally got a glimpse of Carl Jungs “Red Book”. The Red Book is considered to be the most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology.

When Carl Jung embarked on an extended self-exploration he called his confrontation with the unconscious, the heart of it was The Red Book, a large, illuminated volume he created between 1914 and 1930. Here he developed his principle theories—of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation—that transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with treatment of the sick into a means for higher development of the personality.

A former client recalls Jungs advice for processing what went on in the deeper and sometimes frightening parts of her mind:

“I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can, in some beautifully bound book” Jung instructed.”It will seem as if you where making the visions banal, but you need to do that. Then you are freed from the power of them. Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book and turn over the pages and for you it will be your church, your cathedral, the silent places of your spirit where you will find your renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them- then you will loose your soul, for in that book is your soul.”

January 19, 2010

Shags

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 12:31 pm

This is my friend Shags in the middle of the desert in Sudan. He works out there in the capital city of Khartoum.

January 14, 2010

The term nostalgia describes a longing for the past, often in it’s idealized form.

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 7:39 pm

Isn’t weird how facebook won´t let you forget about the past. Somehow all those old friends from highschool, junior highschool, summer camp, elementary school and kindergarten start finding you there and then adding you to their already huge list of friends. It could be the girl who you literally had three conversations with in total during your whole time in highschool, but still, you HAVE to be friends on facebook. Every time you look through your facebook feed you are greeted by pictures of her cute babies. And over there is her grandma opening christmas presents! All of sudden she is tagged in a random strangers photos and then you realize that your looking through photos that belong to a person who you never met. It’s like you’ve walked into that random strangers house and just opened up their photo album and started browsing around in it. Creepy!

I guess what I’m getting at is that Facebook just dosen’t let you let go. In past generations I think it was common that people moved on after highschool and came into new scenes and groups. Most of those people from the time of growing up were tucked into the “where are they now?” file with a few exceptions. But those days are over and now the reminiscing begins way earlier. Now every single memory, person and place is brought right into the computer in your living room, reminding us of days gone by and showering us with intimate details of individuals who we might not even have been that tight with when we knew them way way back in the days.

All this nostalgia can at times make it just a wee bit hard for us to reinvent ourselves, and to me as an artist that is a very important ability to stay intouch with. This is especially evident when people desperatley cling to old subcultures that they where a part of in their youth and start to compulsively post pictures from “the good old days” once they hit their 30s. It reminds me a little of that old Hitchcock movie Psycho. When the emotionally disturbed Norman Bates is so devestated by the loss of his mother that he keeps her stuffed corpse in his basement, unable to let go of the past and move on to become a mature person.

January 13, 2010

Police Slog Through 40,000 Insipid Party Pics To Find Cause Of Dorm Fire

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 10:46 am


Police Slog Through 40,000 Insipid Party Pics To Find Cause Of Dorm Fire

January 11, 2010

New work 2

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 12:27 pm

This is a picture that I drew of a concert that I went to in New Orleans at the Blue Nile club. I saw local New Orleans legend Cyril Neville and his band play an incredible show for his birthday party. Here is a clip of him singing “I found joy” at a record store in New Orleans called the Louisiana music factory. If you are ever in New Orleans go to both the Blue Nile and the Louisiana music factory. Two awesome places for great music.:

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