New Video: Shuttlecocks + Revolving Cocks: Mashup of a Great Kansas City Sculpture and an Industrial Band Singing a Rod Stewart Cover.

Earlier this year I took a trip to Kansas City (and wrote about it here). I didn’t get around to writing about the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is really stunningly good.  I have a huge cache of pics from the trip here, including images I took in and around the museum.

One of the best pieces is outside the museum itself— “Shuttlecocks”, by Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen. Here’s how the artists describe it:

Aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic; painted with polyurethane enamel
Four shuttlecocks, each 17 ft. 11 in. (5. 5 m) high x 15 ft. 1 in. (4.6 m) crown diameter and 4 ft. (1.2 m) nose cone diameter, sited in different positions on the grounds of the museum

Amazing. I took a bunch of photos of the installation and did nothing with them until this week.

Shuttlecocks @ Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art | Kansas City, MO

I had to clean out my computer (of raw video, mainly), because it was getting down to zero space. One of the video projects I had in iMovie was one about this piece.

“Shuttlecock” is an odd word. Compound. British, in a Fawlty Towers sort of way. Funny, in a juvenile way. So when I was thinking about how to present it in video, the natural thought was to double down on the language and mash it up with the Revolting Cocks.

Anyone in Chicago in the late 80s (or anyone in the industrial/ noise scene) knows and loves the Revolting Cocks.

So here’s my mashup of two great artists


A mashup of a great sculpture and an industrial band singing a Rod Stewart cover.

Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine Remains a Thing

When I first heard Tuesday of the Pray 4 Rose shrine beneath the Kennedy Expressway on Fullerton Avenue, my first thought was that people must have turned the Virgin Mary Salt Stain shrine into one for our man Rose.

So yesterday when I went to document the shrine, I went straight to the northeast corner, at the crash scene investigation site, to take a look. To my surprise, it wasn’t there, and the original shrine to the Virgin Mary remained.

As I noted nearly a decade ago, I believe whole-heartedly that this is a place where the Virgin Mary appeared in a salt stain. Why the hell wouldn’t I believe that? It’s easy.

Here’s pics of the place, as of yesterday.

Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine, Emergency Parking Only. Many shades of browns and tans. Water jugs and a broom.
Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine, Emergency Parking Only. Many shades of browns and tans. Water jugs and a broom.
Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine. A decade of visitors have left their marks, making this a sort of pass-on poem of epic proportions, with government cleaning supplies as a staccato harmony.
Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine in black + white. A decade of visitors have left their marks, making this a sort of pass-on poem of epic proportions, with government cleaning supplies as a staccato harmony.
Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine. All caps reminiscence.
Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine detail. All caps reminiscence.
Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine. Deep hues, boxes,, wall dance, and lime.  Anne Sexton kept right on going on.
Virgin Mary Salt Stain Shrine. Deep hues, boxes, wall dance, and lime. Anne Sexton kept right on going on.

We have holy places everywhere, if we want them.

On Jesus, ISIL, and Brokenness

Last Thursday I read reports of ISIL fighters taking over Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria. There was also some footage of people destroying artifacts in a museum in Mosul:

Being a Catholic, I was pretty bummed about the continued genocide of the Assyrians. Having received a degree in anthropology, the destruction of artifacts stung bad. Being a human on Earth, I found the entire situation untenable.

Continue reading “On Jesus, ISIL, and Brokenness”

COLLABORATION STOCK PHOTOS: Image #1

Here’s the first photo from my conceptual art project, COLLABORATION STOCK PHOTOS, designed to recreate and propagate as many stock photos representing the word “collaboration” as possible.

Here’s the original image:

Screenshot 2015-01-27 23.12.29

And here’s the re-creation:

COLLABORATION STOCK PHOTO 1My approach on this one was slavish re-creation, in part because we had the models, props, and venue at the ready today. I think I may have some more abstract approaches as time goes by.

I would describe this as “happy co-workers collaborating on a fun project. One person stands and draws on a whiteboard, creatively, while two others sit and learn. They are in a bright space. Fuzzed-out  people in the background are clearly collaborating as well.”

If you find yourself in need of a photo like this, download it here in hi-res for free. It is licensed as Creative Commons 3.0

Want to take part? Fave this tweet:

Or just show up tomorrow!

COLLABORATION STOCK PHOTOS (Shoot #1)

I’ve got the first shoot set for my new project, COLLABORATION STOCK PHOTOS. My goal is to recreate and propagate as many stock photos representing the word “collaboration” as possible.

I will be attending the next meetup of Connect Chicago, a group devoted to people who work to bring public computer centers, community technology centers, and digital literacy programs to the people of Chicago.

The meetup is about Assessing the Use & Impact of Free Public Computer Labs in Chicago. Sign up here, have lunch, and help me re-create these pics:

Screenshot 2015-01-27 23.14.45
Screenshot 2015-01-27 23.12.29 Screenshot 2015-01-27 23.11.58