Monday, August 22, 2005

The other end of the telescope.

Essays, articles, links, ephemera, whatevs to pass your almost-nearly-please-make-it-Tuesday afternoon:
  1. I'm not sure why he's tackling the subject now, but Douglas Wolk's overview of The Magnetic Fields is perfecto. A sample:
    But Merritt's crowning conceit to date can be found on the Magnetic Fields' magnum opus, 69 Love Songs, which is precisely that: three discs' worth of love songs, written in every pop idiom Merritt's capable of pulling off convincingly or mocking entertainingly: country-and-western, Celtic folk, civic-pride song, blues, Fleetwood Mac. Which of those idioms are really his? The point is that none of them are really anybody's -- or rather, they don't belong to performers, but to listeners who understand how they're supposed to be affected by them. To confuse them with realness is to mistake a mask for a face.

  2. In March 2001, the Taliban took a rocket launcher and blew up two enormous, ancient statues of Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan. Artist Hiro Yamagata has a plan for the ruins:
    His program calls for building solar panels and windmills to generate power for 14 laser systems that would be positioned up to eight miles from the cliff-side where the Buddhas stood. With the mountains serving as a kind of screen, the lasers would project Yamagata's semi-abstract images of the destroyed Buddhas. The illuminated figures, limned in shades of pink, green, orange and blue, would be visible for miles, he said.

    Obviously, this is a politically and religiously charged move. Yamagata doesn't want to hear that, though. "I don't care about religion. And all the politics? No interest .... [Preservationists] asked me to do this, so I do it.... No other reason."
    An added bonus of the seven million dollar installation would be that the Bamiyan Valley would finally be wired for electricity. This doesn't seem to impress Yamagata either: "If we can provide electric power, why not do it? ... But I don't like the talk about doing this 'for the people.' I have no interest in that. I want to stay more dry and make this a cutting-edge, hard-core piece."
    Against interpretation, indeed.

  3. Kill some time over at playing FOX FAN FUN: Guess the Eyes. Here's one:

    Clue: He's looking out for you! (Your loofah/falafel joke here. Ho ho.)

  4. Monkey.

  5. The Duff veneers into Buseyville.


At 12:04 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

You know what. Back in the old days when nobody even knew who the Taliban were, I was enraged when everyone was whining about the fucking stupid Buddhas. Stoning women for showing ankles = totally fine and okay with us! Blowing up hideous monstrosities which were worshipped by a religion no longer present in Afghanistan = going too far!

Fuck you, Giant Buddha Statues! Art installations don't have to last for all eternity. I mean, otherwise, we'd have to keep all that Christo shit forever.

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Editor Choice said...

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