↓ Untitled (so far), 365 x 350 mm, mixed media on cardboard
↓ Untitled (so far), 365 x 350 mm, mixed media on cardboard
Except maybe the ones printed there en masse you might think, but then: not really. It does not matter whether you are picketing a behaviour incompatible with your own, asking for a free ride in a particular direction or soliciting financial compensation for your misfortune. Those are just the actions behind the sign. The sign itself is what you see first: a statement, a bulletin, an intention spelled out as clearly (or misguided) as the designer is intellectually capable of. Find them on the streets, discarded after use or ready at hand, more than often frayed with the incapability to change much if anything. But still and always addressing someones need or willingness to engage in some kind of social contract, to buy, to sell or whatnot and thereby issuing that postulated commentary. Is that reason enough for yours truly to apply artfulness on them? That is as legit a question as anyone and there’s this: as of 2011, fifteen percent (1.000.000.000) of this planets human inhabitants still see to their bodily needs in the open.
↓ Title(s): “En Suite: the right turn, our collective values, their shared advantages and the sound of freedom” (365 x 485 mm, mixed media on cardboard, work in perpetual progress)
The right turn:
“I am the light!” she yelled and blew her whistle.
Our collective values:
… that night he kept walking by our windows,
screaming his frustration at his phone: “… but I love you, asshole!”
Their shared advantages:
“Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities.” (C. Sandburg)
The sound of freedom:
“The Uniform Plumbing Code, section 409.2.2 requires that all water closet seats, except those within dwelling units or for private use, shall be of the open front type.”
I just work. To still that particular Hunger. Later I’ll cook. Mushroom risotto.
↓ Working title: “Axegeis?” (540 x 598 mm)
Consciousness snapped back with the image. Like an instant enigma, a flash of divination. Still reeling I crossed the street, hot rubber kissing the tip of my right foot as a car swam by engaging its horn. The vision got knocked in to my cornea for an eternal second and the titillating scene seeded an inferno at the end of my spine, shooting blind impulses at my cerebellum and beyond.
For months now I have tried to read the riddle. Deciphering and paraphrasing the visual, trying to force transparency onto the fetish. Listen … the Danes are a tribe of cyclists and I’m as devoted as any. Albeit a little late in life – I was six and already a wimp, I woke up one morning having dreamed of teaching myself how to keep balance, got up and outside and just did it: ran my bike straight in to the nearest wall and then out in to the world. And yet I can not solve the formula of woman, hammer and two-wheeled motion.
There’s a bodily satisfaction in pedalling yourself forward at speed, by your own faculty. I’ve watched the muscles of my thighs build over the stretch of just a few weeks, I’ve shuttled the most awkward items on my faithful wheeled vehicle (or tried to) and I’ve had some seriously rough exposures to tarmac, gravel, more masonry and fellow road users.
So there is clearly something physical at hand with this matter. In that observation. Somewhere in my mind. When that woman teetered by. Carrying a sledgehammer? A tool for back-breaking labor, an object of brutality, a symbol of crude energy and immense authority, far to hefty for her delicate build and most obviously not one she was used to carry along (seen from a point of gravity it would have been easier to carry the hammer by its head one would think?) Still she jerked me out of my stupor in the middle of the street and faded out of view. Flummoxed, I still am. A bafflement now partly consigned to board. The investigation still in process.
↓ Working title: “Ax me?” (540 x 598 mm)
And oblivion turned to a full-on mysterious quasi-revelation as I crossed the street, the image seared in to my cornea for a moment. The whole thing turned me on, flicked a switch in my gut, fired crisscrossing axons in my brain. Of what is a conundrum to this day. Even after visually dissecting it for a few months. Now … I love riding my bike, as do a lot of people in this tribe we call the Danes. There’s something physically gratifying in propelling yourself forward at speed, by your own power. I’ve watched the muscles of my thighs expand over the expanse of just a few weeks, I’ve transported the most unwieldy objects on two wheels (or tried to) and I’ve had some severely abrasive contacts with tarmac, gravel, walls and even cars. So there is definitely something corporeal going on. In that image. Somewhere in my mind. When that woman rode by. With a sledgehammer? A tool for hard work, an object of violence, a symbol of brute force and overwhelming power, far to heavy for her petite stature and most obviously not one she was used to carry along (it would’ve been easier to carry it by the head? I’m guessing. Who am I to know.) Nevertheless she made me stop in the middle of the street as she vanished down the street. Perplexed, I was. And almost run over by another cyclist of life. The image has since been analysed, altered, interpreted, over-worked, re-worked and now half committed to board.
I’m still confused. And turned on. What?
The Kola nut (Cola Acuminata) is native to tropical Africa and has up to 3.5 % caffeine content. Kola nut extract is no longer used in the Coca Cola recipe. The Ebola river in northern Congo (former Zaïre) gave name to the virus. In april 1865 the pharmacist John Pemberton developed what became Coca Cola as an opioid free alternative to morphine. Chewing the bitter Kola nuts can ease hunger pains. Soda is the main source of calories in the American diet. Several sources list the nurse Mayinga N’Seka, who died in october 1976, as the index case for Ebola. Doctor Kent Brantley became the first infected person in the US when he was flown from Liberia to Atlanta, Georgia in 2014 where he is in improving health due to an untested experimental drug. The general lack of water in parts of Conakry, Guinea, has the populace prioritize drinking it over using it for hygiene and sanitation. Headquartered in Atlanta, the Coca Cola Company had a 2013 net income of almost 8.6 billion dollars from serving more than 50 billion beverages per day, worldwide. The current Ebola outbreak is the biggest yet and has killed over a 1000 people as of today. Diabetes killed 73.831 people in the US in 2010.
(Sources: Wikipedia, BBC et al, Coca Cola and the CDC)
Just because time is linear by measure does not automatically make it coherent to perception. As such there are no ‘bad’ or ‘good’ days. The days are just what you decide to make of them and if you don’t, somebody else probably will. Either way: all your days are numbered and if you’d like a highres pdf of this/these, hit me with an email in the comments. Have a nice day.