Web Art & Painting & Video Series, 2007
In 2007, I was fascinated by the rise of social media and how it boosted the serendipitous discovery of arcane, odd and poetic stories via blogs and platforms like Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon. But it also raised a nagging question: What relevance does all that have? Is it enough to just consume this fast, disparate stream of contents. What remains? How does this (then) new form of culture relate to traditional culture and art forms like painting?
PaintedBlog worked like this: I collected all the stories that fascinated me in a given week. I then created a painting (clumsily at first, because my right hand was broken) based on these stories. The painting process was turned into an animation, I composed a soundtrack to it and published it and all the links and stories that went into that particular painting on paintedblog.com [the Domain is no longer active].
Links and Contents of PaintedBlog No.1
Pica refers to “Paul Pica”, the pseudonym I used for PaintedBlog, which in turn refers to the magpie bird (pica pica), famous for collecting odd objects, as well as Pica, the eating disorder – and, obviously, the lack of Paul Pica’s painterly ability goes way beyond lacking the letters ‑sso.
I look like a fiddler crab (videos here). An animal that I like a lot, because it is such a wonderful example of the bizarre results of sexual selection. What we like, what the girls like, when we reach our dreams, we’ll be like the fiddler crab. And art is a bit like that too.
One of the few things, that are impossible to do with just one hand, is tying your shoes. (Even the famous sound of a single clapping hand of Zen – actually it just takes practice…). And there are many ways to do it. Though you don’t necessarily have to do it. And asking a lady on the street to help you tie your shoe is a marvellous experience of humiliation and joy for both sides.
“Scale your pain“. Every day I had to rate my pain. I found this both annoying and bit bizarre. Yes, there is a scale for pain! (It should be logarithmic!)– I am fascinated by odd scales and metrics.
“Mata ego” in the language of the Rapa Nui of Easter Islands is the word for eyes that reveal that a person has been crying. I found this (and countless more) in the book The Meaning of Tingo by Adam Jacot de Boinod. It collects expressions that only exist in one language. A book full of poetic nuggets.
With the weapon incorporated in this whale we see into the year 1877. Some things don’t change. It’s like a bottled message. Also, there’s a crazy thing called Ambergris – it’s the whale version of a mothball, and was used to make perfume. The Ambergris is held by a skyhook. A marvellous concept, introduced by the philosopher Daniel Dennett in his great new book “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea“. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation.
Two stories: As a five year old Jewish boy, Alex Kurzem, had witnessed the Nazis massacre his fellow villagers and members of his family. Later on he was “adopted” by a SS Nazi unit as their “mascot”. He witnessed countless massacres and atrocities, while being in fear of being discovered. See more here and here. Second: Researchers reprogram normal tissue cells into embryonic stem cells.
The circle of guilt, youth and adulthood switching roles and transforming into each other ties those two stories together.
I found some of the letters James Joyce wrote to Nora. (”my sweet little fuckbird” he calls her.) They are so melodious! You can dance to them! And they show an important point about what it is to be human and to love. Something a bit beyond the borders of self-improvement and Cosmopolitan Magazine.
ICKY THUMP! The wonderful new album by The White Stripes (great design btw!) is out! The guitar solo on “icky thump” makes a nice little hole in the sky…while the ISS (the white dot!) is flying over Berlin after sunset and the fireflys blink and dance in the park.
Video PaintedBlog No.1: