Without further ado, or a-do, here is the finished mail art piece (again sans addresses so as to protect whatever identity is left to protect). I look forward to someday hearing about this piece ending up in the hands of an artist in remote Alaska.
Apparently a number of scientists have determined what the world’s funiest joke is and there’s a story about it on icwales.com.
I still don’t really understand how they figured out that this (see below) was the very best of the world’s jokes based on 40,000 jokes submitted from people all over the world. The other winning jokes from other countries can be found here.
In case you’re pressed for time, here it is, the big jokuna, in all its shining armor:
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps: “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says: “Calm down, I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: “OK, now what?”
I’m reading a really good article by Jed Perl in this week’s (or last’s?) New Republic about the state of contemporary art.
I’m not sure I understand him correctly, but if I do, he’s arguing that the magic of art in the contemporary art world has not dissipated but the institutions and mechanisms that make art available to the public are completely corrupt and bankrupt. Perl doesn’t say this, but to me, this includes most galleries, museums, and art magazines as well as the vast majority of art critics, cultural theorists, and government bodies that niggly-piggly artists but often shower city cultural institutes. All this is to say, that, yes, I’m a disillusioned artist, and yes, the system is rigged to be unfair, which I’ve known for the past 18 years. What’s new about this is that for all of the 80s art hype about changing cultural mores and ideals and the 90s hype about changing the language of art organizations, we’re really worse off than we were in the 70s when galleries (at least in NYC) proliferated and art was ready, willing, and able. Maybe it’s time for conservatives to take art over from those rascally aesthetic “radicals.”
In any case, I’m the proud recipient of some mail art and I’m truly, truly thankful for it. It’s been a long time since anyone sent me an aesthetic item in the mail to work on and then send onward. I’m certainly not saying this is “good” art or the “future” of art, ’cause it ain’t. It’s collaborative, thoughtful, deliberative art. But it is also a kind of art that doesn’t get seen, doesn’t get critiqued, and doesn’t live in the currency of the art system and I’m grateful. In the pursuit of truth, here’s what it looks like before I screw it all up.
Okay here goes. I rarely work by cajoling, entreaties, or through the blunt force of optimism or politics, but there is a very powerful movement going on to Save Farscape. A good friend of mine, VS, is seemingly singlehandedly attempting to save Farscape, a uniquely interesting sci-fi show that the Sci-Fi Channel, in their infinite wisdom, wants to kill.
Now, I don’t go in much for saving shows generally. I was a bit sad that Seinfeld left the air but glad that they all went to jail in the end. This is different — look at the impassioned pleas in this article from SF Site.com. And take a look at part of a letter (which you can handily cut and paste and send to the appropriate media head) created by VS to get the ball rolling in the right direction. I don’t pretend to know the show but I believe in passion and if it’s anywhere outside the White House, it’s here in this letter. If Sex and the City (another sci-fi drama that takes place on planet-island Manhattan) were taken off the air tomorrow, you’d see similar passion with good cause.
I was on this year’s panel of the Web Marketing Association’s WebAward and they just announced the winners.
Many of these sites are models for what good Web sites should look and feel like. Unfortunately, as a judge, I feel an obligation to not reveal which sites I rated and loved. But take a look the big winner, the US Navy. Very Starship Troopers.