2013-08-28

Survival Love Dolls

In most survival kits two important components are often missing: one to indulge in the contemplation of beauty and another with which satisfy the more basic sexual desires. Eros and Aphrodite were in fact the Greek gods representing such human needs, the two of them conjugating, on the one hand, the spiritual dimension of beauty, and on the other, that of the body and earthly pleasures. Nevertheless Plato, as part of his great undertaking to endow ideas with a real entity, distinguished for both gods a "heavenly" and an "earthly" version. In the Symposium (ca. 385-370 BC) the idealist philosopher wrote about an Eros Ouranios -- 'heavenly' -- and an Eros Pandemos -- 'common' --, as well as about an Aphrodite Ourania and an Aphrodite Pandemia. We propose to draw attention to this Platonian split of Love, which would deeply affect Western culture thereafter, through its adaptation to Christianity, up to its late capitalist derivations in the form of porn objects and practices, by reintegrating these two -- celestial and earthly -- dimensions of Love: the first one represented by two celebrated sculptures of Classical Greece, and the second one by a couple of sex dolls.

Image after Eros Farnese (350 BC, Roman copy after Praxiteles' original) [pd], Capitoline Venus (Roman, after Praxiteles' original, 4th c. BC) [pd] and Widmann's Inflatable Woman and Inflatable Man [fu/fd].

2013-08-24

Forbidden Liberties

Despite the scientific and institutional attempts to fix the meaning of words, we know that in the language, as in any other symbolic system, there is always a gap impossible to fill between signifiers and signifieds, which is precisely what allows language to live, to evolve. Thus, it is predictable that the notion of liberty, both in its written or spoken language and in its visual version, will be one of those that will change more, in line with the globalization and its cultural syncretisms.

Image after Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty (1886) in New York Harbor [ua-fu/fd] and Tiananmen Square, Beijing [ua-fu/fd].

2013-08-23

Our Lady Chelsea Manning

The armies of the world have a new patron saint. She will give courage to their children in the battlefield. She will have mercy upon those who suffer. She will give comfort to those wounded. She will mourn for the fallen. Her name is Chelsea -- born Bradley -- Manning.

Image after Tounushi's uniform drawings [cc-by-nc-sa] and Chelsea Manning's self portrait [fu/fd].

2013-08-18

Western Philosophy

The recognized anarchist epistemologist Paul Feyerabend (Against Method, 1975) said that the different forms of knowledge are "incommensurable". We think nevertheless that confronting one form of knowledge and another is specially revealing. Thus, we find no major differences in the depth and subtlety of the eastern I Ching and the western Tarot of Marseilles. It doesn't happen the same if we compare this Chinese book with western popular proverbs and sayings, still alive in the way of thinking and doing of the mainstream culture.  

Image [aw] after I Ching's hexagram table (3rd-2nd m. BC) [pd].

2013-08-14

World Chess

We live in a world increasingly difficult to understand, among other reasons, because the system itself generates mechanisms of concealment which hinder its understanding. Therefore, one of the main goals of a committed artistic practice is to unveil these mechanisms, to give visibility to what happens behind the scenes. And yet, the world continues to function more or less the same way always did, although now with a higher degree of complexity, that is to say, based on the struggle, the confrontation, the competition, the strategy. The chess is one of those games that, in the shape of an entertainment, of a duel of astuteness in the calm of the living rooms, symbolizes well how the world actually works. Our proposal is therefore to create a world chess which, based on the classic version of the board game, gives visibility to our contemporary world, showing its areas of power, the inequalities among the various zones, the ongoing strategies of domination.

2013-08-06

LGBT Sin

One of the foundational myths of Western civilization, that of Adam and Eve, demonized woman as the representative of the flesh temptation and the fall of spirit into Evil. Many centuries later, in a world still dominated by male values ​​but in need of female manners, the contemporary Adam is an androgynous, feminine man or masculine woman. While the contemporary Eva --still the scapegoat in many cultures--, are any minority options which, in a frequent unconscious way, cause the majority's jealousy towards their unknown enjoyments (Slavoj Zizek, The Plague of Fantasies, 1997)

Image after Helmut Newton's Big Nude III: Henrietta (1980) [fu/fd] and Big Nude V (1980) [fu/fd].

2013-08-01

Global Park

The phenomenon of sustainability can only be understood when considered at a global scale. Thus the fact that certain areas of the world follow supposedly sustainable criteria, implies that in other areas capitalism continues to devastate nature unrestrained. Actually, the fact the these privileged places -- the ones where global decisions are taken -- invest their surplus values in green policies, is nothing but a recuperation to the system of new areas of exploitation, as well as new forms of colonialism, whether cultural, technical, regulatory or taxatory.

Image after NASA's image of New York City [fu/fd].