We are now living in the end of the world. There’s no doubt about it. The social, political, economical (re)arrangements of the West has exhausted its livelihood. We are today witnessing the end of an epoch in which the exploitation financial capital is becoming more and more appearant. We are unable to imagine a way out of our present predicament because the debt economy, that’s constitutive of financial capital, restricts our prospect of any hope for alternatives. Today, any attempt at conjuring up an alternate political program is immediately labeled as extremism or just out right impossible. The predominate ideology (in the way Slavoj Zizek uses the word) is that of the Fukuyama “End of History”. Although himself not a “Fukuyamaist”, the American political economist Francis Fukuyama used to claim in the nineties that Capitalism is the system, that it’s just a matter of tweaking the it here and there and everything will run smoothly, that capital would go on indefinitely. But today we are witnessing the antagonisms within global capitalism itself, namely it’s inability to deal with the social multiplicities (multiculturalism, ecology, the exploitation of third world countries, financial crises, and so on). With the approach to an epochal end, a new subjectivity has emerged that accepts debt as its essential ideology. It structures the very way we are foreclosed to any other future without capitalism. (more…)
Hemingway can always cheer me up on the rainy days. I can sit here all day telling you how great Hemingway is, and it would still not do justice to the magic of his works. I can only ask you to read his books yourself. And maybe when years pass after you read them, you’ll wonder if it was only some story, or did these things really happened to you.
Video: “The Dot and The Line” by Chuck Jones, 1965.
Through out my boyhood of watching cartoons on TV, I always find myself staring at shows like the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Bugs Bunny, and Daffy Duck, without taking much notice to the creators of these incredible animations. The front man behind stage, as it were, is of course Chuck Jones. Besides his impeccable timing for the movements of the characters, what makes Jones an animation Godfather is his sense of storytelling through these moving pictures. He’s able to make you laugh and cry in the same clip, for he understands the logic of tragedy inevitably always turn into comedy (and vise versa). (more…)
The horror that had taken place in Paris a week ago fundamentally shook my core. The brutality was unspeakable. However, who is ultimately the true victim in this picture? One would of course say that it’s the Parisians. While, undoubtedly, they have experience gruesome violence, do not the refugees remain the true victims of the bombings?
Although we should sympathize with all of the innocent lives lost the France, our sympathy needs to redouble for the people who are fleeing their war torn countries that Europe and we in the States have much to blame for. We not only destabilized their government, but we also created the inflammatory insurgencies that have driven the refugees out of their home. Who are we to say no to these wonderers while we are fully responsible for them?
Rightly, we should condemn the terrors in Paris, but are these horrors not a daily experience for the refugees? It is as if we in the west live in an fantasmatic bubble, and for the first time since 9/11 the holographic fantasy shuts off momentarly, giving us a full glimpse at the horrors of the dark underside of globalization.
I’m not here trying to propose a solution to which I don’t even pretend to have. I’m simply saying that we live in fragile, dangerous times. And maybe we shouldn’t hasten for war, but sit and think carefully what our (the US and Europe in general) role will be in the very near future. Our dream of being a global police is over: our late-capitalist-libral-democratic impotence can testify to that. We may think we have the solutions, but perhaps we should take a step back and re-examine the very questions for these so called answers. More then ever today we need to ask ourselves: are we posing the right questions?
People of tomorrow and yesterday. Change, rapid change is in the air; there’s no denying it. I feel your anxiety because I’m there along with you. I feel your impatience because I also want things to speed though. But, now more than ever, we need to be patient, and think. Don’t yet act, think. If we act too soon our decisions are bound to be rash, so we must think. The supreme court’s decision to pass gay marriage is a great sign of acceptance from a cynically repressive society, however, it is also a sign of civil discontent for the lack of social structure. They want to be included and recognized as being part of the social symbolic network. Nobody wants to be outcasts. With the fall of religion, morality is in danger. We simply don’t know what to do anymore. It is the cause of all of the mass shootings by young teenagers. They are confused. My generation is a wondering generation. We are looking for something that’s not yet here. We’re all blind men searching for a glint in the sky. We’re the woman in stilettos trying to run. We’re trying to make the impossible happen. And rest assured miracles do happen, will happen; In time.
A while back when I was driving around looking for skate spots (I sometimes look for random skate spots to skate) I crossed paths with this bronze statue. I instantly fell in love with it. I love the fragmentary missing body parts and the displacement of the woman and man figure. It’s important that the woman figure is facing towards us and the male figure is almost on the side line. The object in which both figures are “holding” resemble a key (Is not the woman figure supporting the heavier part?). I’m very glad that I saw Christison’s bronze statue.
I was doing some storyboards a few weeks ago and was re-watching some of the old Rugrats episodes on Amazon, and I came across the original Heisenberg! Rugrats has to be one of my top 5 favorite cartoon shows while growing up. It had aired on Nickelodeon for an insane 16 seasons. That’s crazy. The show is something of a treasure to me; I used to watch it while falling asleep. I taped the episodes and set the VCR (that brick like device; I’m sure you recall) to sleep, and it would turn off in an hour on its own while I’m fast asleep.
I’ve been reading David Foster Wallace’s unfinished book “The Pale King.” Despite the subject being the IRS and the taxation process, It’s a wonderful book. It’s really an autobiography disguised as a fiction for legal reasons.
“To experience commitment as the loss of options, of the flattery of choice without duress–this will happen, mark me. Childhood’s end. The first of many deaths. Hesitation is natural. Doubt is natural” (Wallace 228).
Well, that’s that. Today was my last day of class at the University. I’m excited. Even though I’m not looking forward to the job search, I can finally start making my own art works. The University is great for developing a wide range of skills. It does a very good job at teaching students the technical aspect of art. But what it fails to do is letting artists explore their own voice, their own vision. Because of how the University is structured it doesn’t allow an artist to take a moment and think about what s/he wants to say with art. The curriculum constantly demands a student to complete projects given by the instructor. There are some flexibility in how you can go about creating the projects, but, nonetheless, certain criteria has to be met (e.g. design a character sheet with an animal of your choice but the character has to be female). The student must produce an idea externally imposed upon him/her-self.
I’m not saying that this sort of education is bad. I’ve learn a lot from all those art classes. However, many students tend to get use to having their instructors tell them what to draw, so when they graduate they’re gonna look for someone else to tell them what to draw. For me, any art form (whether it be a book, a film, or a drawing) should be a personal vision. It should be a totally unique piece of work from the experiences of the creator. Well, there’s too much Romanticism to this point of view, you may say. You may add that art is not an individual creation anymore: that “post-modern capitalism,” with its emphasis on the production-line process, has changed all of that; that art is now a team effort: the product of numerous ideas from different people. I claim that there’s no cohesion to this production-line method of making art. There’s no way to extract meaning from these type of art works. production art is for entertainment. It aims at luring in as many people as possible. We don’t interpret a TV show like “Breaking Bad” like we do for, say, Millville’s “Moby Dick.” And although “Lost” seems to be charged with meaningful symbolism and philosophy, it stays at the level of entertainment because it is the fragments of stories put together by multiple writers. That is to say, it is a combination of one contingent idea after another put together as best as possible to entertain as much people as possible. Conversely, we can speak about meaning from a work of art by a single author precisely because there’s a cohesive vision in which the author wants to depict. And we can guess at his/her intention for making this piece of art work (her world view, her feeling towards a certain topic, etc.)
Production art, just like the technical education of universities, is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a symptom of an economic system that seeks more and more to globalize and devour everything in its path. Some philosophers say that Capitalism is coming to an end. But people will always make art. In the end which type of art would you and I make?