Thursday, March 31, 2005

attention journalists, bloggers, anyone!

the way we are heading, according to a future transmission, is the end of news as we know it. Of course this should be obvious to anyone who knows of 10x10, but check out this eight minute video (EPIC 2014) sent from the future to reveal the truth of what the internet will one day accomplish! serious genius.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

J.A.F. - the full deal

To see the full object analysis project of the Jesus action figure with text and all, click here. This project is based on the Prown Methodology for object analysis.
By "full" of course, I don't really mean full. You could (or I could, if you'd prefer) write a whole book on just that little plastic man. But that's the "full" project for now.

Material Culture Woooooo!

Monday, March 28, 2005

tiredness update

I'm exhausted after a beautiful dawn easter service that saw my whole family up at 4am to get to the 5am service at the lake/waterfront, put on by the Catholic Worker (a toronto group/organisation/something), followed by a massive feast and then playing piano at church (freedomize) at the evening service, that plus family visits and don't forget the good friday installation... - a big weekend all in all. Plus this is the busiest week of the year for me schoolwise... everything is due. If you're the praying type... put in a good word for me!

Now that the artschool stuff is winding down this is turning into a personal diary blog? whoa, get me out of here!

jesus action figure object analysis

A while back I posted about a Jesus action figure and Jesus Kitsch in general. see "parable of the lost jesus". I am still looking at such ideas and this is a continuation/expansion along the theme of the Jesus action figure and Jesus kitsch in general. For my material culture class at OCAD, we had to produce an object analysis - i did mine in flash. If you are easily offended, please play carefully. It may seem a tad abrasive at points but... well... that's all I have to say about that.

Jesus Action Figure Object Analysis

It is kind of a bigish flash file (3megs+), with no loader bar (still working on that concept!) so have patience while it loads on slower machines or dialup!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

shine like stars - part II


i'm handing in my finished thesis paper in 15 minutes. for anyone who wants to see it, here it is. I'd still love comments - its done but its still a work in progress.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

shine like stars

I took a full-page printout of the above image and used a thumb-tack to prick tiny holes which fill in all the black spaces. In the white spaces where the body should be but is not shaded, I added a few more scattered holes to suggest the missing bits. When placed on an overhead projector it projects a beautiful image of Christ crucified in what appears to be a constellation of stars. I had to do a few of these until I came up with one that I liked - slight variation in hole size helps it have some depth. I call it Shine like Stars in reference to one of my favourite bible verses. For easter sunday, I intend to project this piece on a wall in the church with a cross made out of caution tape in front of it in the same way as in my God is in here piece. Except in this case, it will just be striped black and yellow tape, without the added text.

It seems kind of strange in the context of art school to be giving away ideas like this but it's fine with me if anyone wants to duplicate/remix said project for their own use - as long as God gets the credit ultimately! Click on the picture above to download the full size jpeg image ready to print...

Monday, March 21, 2005

an end in sight?

After a weekend of blogging silence and much much much writing, i have just finished the first draft of my thesis paper! i am absolutely thrilled as it seemed for some time that i would never get passed all the problems i had set up for myself along the way. It is basically an attempt to resolve everything i have blogged about here and all the art i have been making and all my theology into one paper for an art school that tends to reject even spirituality let alone Christianity! So that was insane.

It's not done by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a great relief to have finished the first draft! God is indeed good!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

transgressing into theology

i apologise for the theological sidetrack... but this seems like a question worth consideration. When Jesus said "Love your neighbour as yourself" was he simply saying the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Or was there something more to what he was saying? I don't speak any ancient languages but perhaps someone can help me with this. Every translation that I could find reads "Love your neighbour as yourself" - Not "love your neighbour as you love yourself." which is the common understanding: "do unto others...", or even "be willing to do the same for you neighbour as you would do for yourself."

Could it in fact mean that you are to identify yourself collectively with your neighbour? That you are to love him/her not as much as you love yourself but to see your identity as intrinsically connected? Loving your neighbour as a part of your self - non individualistic, but collective/communal?

simulacra and original sin

my brother and I were just talking on the phone and he mentioned that people are "Imago Dei" - made in the image of God.

"Original Sin" is us replacing God, trying to become God ourselves. The Image replacing the prototype? sound familiar? Simulacra!

learning to see, learning to love

i don't remember the quote properly but it ran something like "love is the crazy act of admitting someone else actually exists..." who said it? i don't know. what did they actually say? i don't know.

art is someone communicating, showing us a new way to see...
christian art could be as simple as showing how to look redemptively at the world...

and if we see from that perspective, we have not only learned a new way to look at the world redemptively but also have seen something from someone else's perspective... which is part of learning how to love?

worship - collective creativity?

i've been trying to figure out the place of images/art in church all this time.
Biblically it seems that art (craft) was used for glorifying God by the construction of the temple. There is also prophets (performance artists?) and musicians (psalms). Then there are stories/parables told by Jesus - but this was unique to Him - was it not? The disciples did not do the same... they tried to clarify in simple language the things Jesus conveyed, so maybe we can't look to that example. (And we're still trying to make sense of what they were on about!)

At what point does art cross the line into advertising? If it is to make us 'relevant' to the culture around us... then it is not an act of worship but of fitting in. Like making church 'cool' or 'relevant'... thereby implying that the Christian gospel is uncool or irrelevant. This is not to hold any version of church over another... different forms of church in different eras made their attempts to be relevant and then clung to them for many years after the fad had past.

in fact... the thing Jesus did do to bring personal relevance to was to talk to individuals. He was relevant not to their lifestyle but to their life, and radically redefined their lifestyle by his words and example. Relationship = relevancy.

so where does that leave us with the art? in the old testament?

worship is showing worth.
worship is creative response to creator - a showing of gratitude?
so we all sing together. collective creative act.

what about alt.worship? is it temple adornment?
coz the temple seems to have passed when the curtain tore... God "released" into the world, not pop culture brought into church...

is it for the experience?
as we know, the experience of a rave/concert/museum/art gallery can be an ecstatic experience.
and experience is the hottest commodity right now.
All these things, as well as the charismatic/spiritual/transcendant can all be simulated.
Image becomes simulation becomes simulacra. Replacement of God by the images.
God doesn't exist... only the images ever existed.

the burning man strategy:
build something huge and then burn it.
the act of creativity is the act of worship.
The thing at the end can become an object of worship,
so it must not exist.
the moment has passed. no time for attachment, sentimentality or idolatry.
the sacrifice...
I'm not pretending that burning man is Christian,
but that the basic idea of what they do seems like a good idea.
(without the over the top hedonism)
Completely unrestrained creativity... Glorifying God.
Imagine if our Christian festivals/lives were as free as that... (but redemptively).

this is by no means a complete picture, or argument... just what's going on in my head right now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

thou shalt not let the simulacra take hold...

Could the second commandment read "when it comes to me [God], thou shalt not let the simulacra take hold"?
for a brief [non] explanation of simulacra see this little flash thingy i made today. It's a flash version the photo project i proposed regarding tourist icons.
If you want a real explanation of what I'm going on about and why... read this or this. Or, if you prefer to read from the man himself (Baudrillard) this should do. I should never have even considered these things this late in the game, but it seems inevitable now to go down this road a little way. He's all about disproving God by way of images... And yet God warned about this very thing so long ago... although his argument is quite dismantling.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

my own little 'worship trick'

Jonny Baker posts 'worship tricks' on his blog to inspire and be used by anyone doing creative-worshipy-type-thingies. I thought I'd send him a 'thingy' that I did a few years back in case anyone else wants to use/redo/ignore it... however, i then also decided to post it here.

with 6 tv's and a shelving unit or two barstools, you can set up a cross shape made of tv's - four tv's stacked and one tv on each side (on the stools) for the crossbar. i played footage recorded off the current news and some from movies (with recognisable faces of celebs left out of course!) (mostly footage of war, poverty, etc.) on the screens. for a nice aesthetic look, i videotaped the footage right off the screen instead of taping it with a vcr - some up really close and some whole screen - either way it degrades nicely. in my version, each tv had its own vcr so the tapes were intentionally out of synch. however, to simplify, you can get a video splitter from radio shack (i believe the equivelant shop is called 'tandy' in the uk and australia) and have one tape running synchronised footage on all 6 screens. or even easier [read: less hauling of gear], use editing software to create the image of a tv cross and project it...

ideas, thrown in to the cyber-void... like a message in a bottle... to what shore will it float and by what hands be picked up and read?

i should be a photo major...

yet another idea that i've been kicking around for a while... just thought i'd throw these up here as part of the creative process and ongoing dialogue of ideas... someone may offer to help or even better them... ideas are free... (as long as God gets the glory, i don't really mind)

so anyway: famous landmarks (eiffel tower, pyramids... etc.) illustrated as a photo collage of people looking at them, taking pictures of them, ignoring them, posing in front of them.... except that the landmark itself is missing - the shape of it is cut out of the middle of the collage.

another photo idea

Sierra Club: Material World: a Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel is an amazing book of photographs of people around the world who are asked to take all their worldly possesions and arrange them, however they want, outside their houses. Each photo shows the whole family and all their stuff, and their house.

As a riff on this idea, I would like to take a polaroid photo series. Each person in the series would take their 5 most important possessions (for either their actual value to the person or metaphorical/metonymic value), and arrange them in a pile, in order of importance. Then the Jesus action figure would be added to the equation. The person could place it where they felt it fit best.

if i was a photo major...

i would go around taking pictures of the sides of buildings where another building used to be attached and has since been demolished. the edges of tar in the shape of the roof, or the clumsy brickwork of the still-standing building, where it could not be fixed because the now-demolished building was in the way... a whole show of them...

maybe i'll do it anyway.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

final project

my final project for thesis is taking shape... i am taking what I consider a bit of a ballsy move -especially at OCAD, where we don't even touch on notions of spirituality in art, let alone (dare I utter it?) Christianity (except as an outdated system of power and control). The piece is basically a reflection on communion and the last supper: a video of bread that is broken and then bleeds... played slightly out of sync on 12 TV screens. I am thinking that each video will have identical images so that each one fades in and out at slightly different times... but have a seperate sound track, or rather split a single audio piece into 12 seperate layers that will sound as one but actually come from 12 seperate Tv's. I'll try to post the video somewhere so people can see it... I'd love feedback on the idea and the images... curious to see how this will go over! If I don't ever post again after my final presentation, send a search party...

links for the collective

so, in the last post i mentioned this group of people getting together to dream artwise and well, we seem to dream well together... i posted a bunch of links related to art and church connections for that group but if anyone else is interested... it's not so much a definitive list, or a complete one by any means... more of a sampler, a taster, a starting point for exploration... and if anyone thinks i should add to it let me know.