Art Machine Journey

Since it is literally -30C degrees outside, I have been trying to think of ways to entertain Neptune and myself by remaining indoors. We sat on the couch this morning: her watching PBS and me trolling the internet. Let me share the journey.

All internet adventures start with the bookmarks list. I have Wired.com in there, which is where I found: art machines: I want a “Sub-Sonic Dissidence Propulsion Device”. The amazingly D&D meets gothic art constructions are fascinating, and I only wish I could see the pieces by Kris Kuksi in real life. One piece that I can’t link through to (on Page 3, called “The Deadly Sins”) is particularly magnificent. This work teeters dangerously on the border between gothic-pop genius and fantasy/sci-fi rubbish. I love it.

From there I went back to the Wired article which brought me to artmachines.org. A delightful compendium of tech-inspired art, sculpture and photography. You can see Kuksi’s “The Deadly Sins” here, too. But scrolling down through other pieces, I came upon some always fascinating interpretations of the Rube Goldberg machine. Neptune is in a serious Looney Tunes period right now, especially the Roadrunner and Coyote so the Rube Goldberg is always on my mind.

And so I watched these two clips: one from a famous installation called “The Way Things Go” from the 80’s:

The next a corporate spin-off, entitled “Cog” commissioned by Honda. It does very cleverly re-interpret car parts; especially the wind-shield mobile. Apparently the interesting fact is that they tried to run their machine over 600 times, and this is the only success:

Now you don’t have to go outside, either.

Humidity, Weather, Mushrooms, Boring

When it’s really hot for days in a row, we can hear the house expanding in pops and creaks: the wood floor bloating in the humidity, rubbing up sweaty against the nails. I could handle the hottest day ever but the humidity makes me want to pass out and sleep until it’s over. I swear it’s been making me foggy-headed. Lately I’ve been a little socially demented, and either saying the wrong thing or blurting out something that is, well, lame. So I apologise to anyone to whom I’ve expressed something lame…though in my experience, people don’t generally notice these social gaffes, the ones that we agonize over internally. It would be nice if it would stop raining, and therefore be less humid, and as a result the gauze could be lifted from my brain. But it’s one of those summers, and it’s been raining steadily since April. Towns in Quebec are being flooded and washed away by rising waters. The only plus side for me is that I don’t have to water my garden. The plants love it: we already had a zucchini harvest and I see more on their way. And there are a lot of mushrooms sprouting up. Neptune and I like to point out mushrooms to each other when we go on walks to the park, though I enforce a strict “don’t ever touch them” policy. Mycologists must be ecstatic. Did you know that in Montreal, if you have a mushroom in your garden, you can bring it to the Botanical Gardens and they will identify it for you? I haven’t done it but I have this turd-like fungus growing in the front that I’ve been tempted to bring over. Fascinating, I know.

Random Notes

So sorry for the lack of blog. What with the weather getting all nice (it’s supposed to be 20 C on Friday!), I’ve been mostly preoccupied with being outdoors. Neptune and I have reinstated our morning walk, and I’ve put the toboggan in storage, exchanging it for her plastic slide. We’ve been hanging out in the backyard: she plays in her surprisingly not-soggy sandbox, while I urge the snow to melt by spreading it across the sunny bits of the yard. I also organized a whole whack of empty beer bottles that were in surprisingly extra-soggy boxes, and partially dismantled a couple skids that our firewood was delivered on. I’ve been testing paint chits against the walls, too.

When not outside, I am, well, inside. Applying for grants, reading other blogs. Here’s a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence: there’s a new album I want to hear that Pitchfork actually liked! We agree on something! Who is this mysteriously astute writer…Brian Howe. I must find out more. Anyway, the album is M83’s Saturday=Youth. I loved “Before the Dawn Heals Us”: their music is unafraid, conceptual and dense, sophisticated and absolutely not ironic when referring to the past. I love it.