Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Nan? Nan, are you awake?
Wake up, nana.
There you are. Hi Memaw.
Yes, I know it's late.
No, don't worry - you're safe. I have to talk to you about something, though.
Gram, back in the mid 1980's Nintendo had a real strangle hold on the home video game market. Their original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System moved almost 62 million units worldwide, which was an unheard of number back then.
Water? Yeah there's some leftover from dinner. Hold on.
Here. Anyway, Sega made a nice splash during the next hardware generation with their Genesis system. They didn't sell as many units as Nintendo but they came a lot closer than anyone would have thought possible the previous decade. Their success basically paved the way for Sony Corporation to launch their PlayStation brand in the mid-nineties, a platform which would go on to dominate the next two hardware generations and sell close to a combined 200 million units worldwide.
Nan, wake up. Your spilling your water.
No - we shouldn't turn the lights on. Then we might wake up Grandad. He needs to get up in a few hours.
I'm sorry Grandad, I didn't realize. Go back to sleep - I'll be done with Nan in a minute.
I love you too.
I know, we all love Nan. She's the best. You're the best, aren't you Nan? You're a good listener.
No, I won't know what to do with myself either. But we'll cross that ol' bridge when we come to it, okay Pep? Try to get some rest.
Let me finish, Gram. Gram? Give me the glass, Gram. Let me put it on the nightstand.
Pep, can I move this picture frame for a minute and put Gram's water cup down where she can reach it?
That is a touching story, Pep. I would never have guessed you had such a sentimental attachment to it.
Yes, Nan looks just lovely in the photo. You were a beautiful woman once, weren't you Nan? That's how I'll remember you. Not like this. Not like how you are now.
So in 2000, Gram, Microsoft decided to toss their hat into the home console ring. They announced XBox, Gram. Sony kind of went out and proved it was no longer a two-horse race. Bill Gates put on a leather jacket and sunglasses and presented it at the Game Developers Conference. It all seemed like bullshit to me at the time, PS2 had been out for a few months and was the main focus of people who followed the industry. The scary thing about Microsoft though was that in 2000 they had a nearly endless revenue stream from their software and PC divisions. They could easily afford to let XBox flail around in the marketplace and hemorrhage money, all in the name of establishing themselves for the subsequent hardware generation. That way people would be ready to accept the XBox, and by extension Microsoft, as a legit player in the video game world. So basically, even though the original XBox was a borderline flop, the groundwork was in place for them to make a move the next go 'round.
That's what the 360 is, Memaw. It's the culmination of that strategy. Now you can actually make the case that the best home console of this generation was made by Microsoft. Isn't that mind-blowing? I know the Wii has sold like 20 million more units worldwide, and it's great to see Nintendo leading a new wave of innovation, but it would be hard to make a case for Wii being the better overall console. Wii might have better individual games, and appeal more to the casual gamer, but the width and breath of the 360's software library is staggering. You couple that enormous library with the XBox's far superior DLC capabilities and it's really not even close. Fuck, Grandma, I can watch like 200 movies from my Netflix queue instantly! They stream right through the console, if you subscribe to XBox Live!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I love you and I wish you were feeling better. Video games aren't the same without you.
Remember when we played Wii Bowling for the first time on Thanksgiving?
You ever have a dream and try to describe it to someone else, only to realize there is no way to make it sound like you haven't lost your mind?
Last night I dreamt I was this guy, and that I was appointed to the presidency of the United States. This happened during some kind of nuclear holocaust/general apocalypse scenario which might've looked something like this. (Also found this article which is way more creepy and disturbing despite being of questionable sources.)
I lead the survivors into the catacombs underneath (presumably) New York City, where we wait out the dissolution of modern society. Eveything seems to be going well until I realize:
A) We are trapped underground in the darkness with a dwindling food supply
B) Richard Nixon(?) is my Vice President and he is planning a violent coup against me.
As we gradually starve to death and succomb to all kinds of fucked up illnesses, I realize we are collectively devolving into something resembling these.
Finally a new influx of survivors appears just in time for me to overcome my now nemesis, Mr. Nixon, and I lead a vicious attack against the newcomers then ravenously feast on them.
Me? Crazy? Bah! Whatever, I'll write a movie about it.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The people at the Armory show this year weren't as beautiful as they usually are. They were wealthy, their coutures were unique and expensive, and they drank champagne but they were ugly. There were people that looked like models but not the genuinely attractive Victoria's Secret sort of model, more like the America's Next Top Model type, who are attractive only in abstract theoretical ways. People that sell art are beautiful because when you're buying home decorations that cost thousands of dollars you want to feel exclusive, and beauty is the most desirable and exclusive thing. I guess? It's more likely that pretty people are just better salesmen.
Armory Show 2008 was a flop n' a fart. I walked through the whole thing in about 20 minutes and didn't see anything that interested me. This year there were a surprising number of good pieces, although like with any art show about 80% of the things you see aren't great or bad, just unremarkable. I took photos of only the biggest WINS and worst FAILS to show you.
Shrigley is never not awesome. This is the same sort of stuff he's always done but it hasn't lost its appeal to me.
Zak Smith has already done this sort of painting dozens of times but it's still amazing to see in person. There's so much information in the picture you keep looking closer and closer. The detail boxes are new in his work, but I don't think they really add much.
Piene is so fucking creepy. She always draws nude bodies with skeleton features and misplaced body parts. It looks like someone with a severe motor skill disorder drew it with great effort. Her lines are very expressive and no one draws like her.
Carved out of little wood blocks. I love how angular it is. Also taping scissors on your hands is a pretty cool thing to do.
GUY THAT THINKS HE'S JEFF WALL
I forgot to write down his name. Jeff Wall did these giant photoshopped photos a long time ago but it's still always cool to see them done well. This was like 8' x 5'.
She had one of my favorite paintings in the 2007 show. I like how she reduces things to basic shapes and heavy lines. Nice color palette.
He made a city out of paper and put lights in it then photographed it. The buildings aren't so interesting but it's presented well.
This guy was in the Whitney Biennial in 2004. He only paints things about drugs. It might not be clear at first but there are a bunch of weed leaves and pills in this one. Painting drugs is a pretty boring idea, and the stuff in the Whitney looked like shit, I just like the way this one looks. I didn't get it in my photo but the arteries coming out of the torso end with hands in the top corners and feet in the bottom.
This guy made a box of one way mirrors. Standing inside them is boring. Everyone has already been in a bathroom with mirrors across from each other creating that repeating reflection. The fun part was that they were one-way mirrors and while you're in there taking a picture of yourself like an asshole everyone is standing outside watching you try to figure out why the art is interesting. It's not, watching people try to figure that out is. I like art that plays mean tricks on people.
STEVEN & BILLY DUFALA
I like how ridiculous this is.
I had seen this picture online before but didn't know it was a giant painting.
BEST IN SHOW
IN SOOK KIM
This is a large photo of an apartment building and through each window something is happening in each room. A lot of weird sexual stuff. Some people just hanging out. There are footsteps in the snow at the entrance of the building. The photo is titled "Saturday Night". Here's a link to a large jpg of the photo.
There was a lot of bullshit political stuff I saw towards the beginning before I started photographing stuff. It should be included here, but this is a solid representation of the shitty art that was on display.
MAI THU PERRET
Get it? The pink flag has a pussy on it.
There was someone in this bunny suit just lying there. The sign next to the piece lets you know the person is some sort of political refugee from a poor third world country. People around me were gasping when they read it. I don't even want to start to deconstruct the meaning behind that because it's retarded. Performance art sucks.
Fuck your art because it's ugly. Your name isn't "Sterling Ruby".
HANK WILLIS THOMAS
Obama make out of cereal might seem like a joke but I doubt it is to the artist. The rest of the stuff in this booth was unaware how bad it was. Vik Muniz did the technique already.
There was a lot of this minimal type stuff at the show- blank canvases, readymade sculptures that were just typical objects, floor tiles on the floor, fluorescent lights (just fluorescent lights. Just lights stuck on the wall.). I took a picture of this one as an example. It's just a crate leaning against a wall? I don't get this sort of art. I need someone to explain why anyone appreciates this.
When Spike Lee made Bamboozled he killed this genre. It's old, it's been done, and it's boring.
S H RAZA
This looks like bad student art. The color is ugly and the shapes are simple and uninteresting.
What is the metaphor here? I don't care because the picture is so stupid it's funny.
JOEL PETER WITKIN
This looks like it's from a bad "surreal photography" book from the 60's. Again whatever story it tells I don't care because it's ugly. The man and woman both have lots of pubes and dark penises. Fuck you for showing me that.
WORST IN SHOW RUNNER-UP
These shitty looking pages have fake-inflammatory racial statements like "Green people are white people who can't escape their blackness" and "Black people are that movie you wanted to see but you got there too late and the tickets are sold out". I guess it's supposed to be funny but I found it incredibly stupid and ugly. This art requires no skill. And why does this guy have a ".L" at the end of his name? I'm sure whatever explanation he has is the most pretentious thing ever.
WORST IN SHOW
This shitty cartoon grafitti was on like a dozen giant panels on the front of the building and at least three booths inside. Why is there graffiti on the outside of the show, and it's not even good by graffiti standards? It looks lazy. He didn't even color everything in completely, you can see the spray lines. That doesn't make it look authentic or hand crafted, it makes it look sloppy. The cartoons don't use any interesting shapes. It's a bunch of smiley faces with more eyes and monster teeth. Any kid that's ever seen a Hana Barberra cartoon could draw this.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Jeez everybody calm down. Watchmen's out. But please shut up and take a remembrance pill. Remember way back in 2008 when I was Dr. Manhattan for Halloween? Pshhh. Hell, I was Dr. Manhattan before Alan Moore was even born. He based Osterman on me and my adventures on Mars. Just sayin.
(I was really Doc Manhattz because I wanted to write a blog about it when the movie came out. And now it's here and I am unimpressed with myself. Sigh.)