The overly-long art school title to this linocut is “Mechanical Man Contemplates His Existence In Space and Time”. Seriously! The imagery is a combination of two fascinating historical objects. The background is one of the faces of the Orloj in Prague, the oldest functioning astronomical clock in the world. The figure is one of the first known examples of a completely self-contained biological automaton. Built in 1650, it has been attributed to Juanelo Turriano, a brilliant Renaissance engineer who was known to have crafted mechanical wonders for Emperor Charles V. After Charles passed away, however, Turriano drew accusations of witchcraft and he narrowly escaped torture at the hands of the Inquisition.
2014 was a brutal winter. Dat polar vortex, yo. Most snowfall on record in this part of Ohio. Multiple below-zero days. There were times when it literally hurt to do my photography homework. Miraculously I survived. And some of the shots actually came out pretty well.
During the History of Modern Architecture, we were tasked with the creation of a manifesto. It was to be written as a reaction to the Toledo buildings that were part of a weekend tour. These included the Toledo Public Library, the professor’s own dwelling that she had designed herself, the Gehry addition to the TMA and the more recent Glass Pavilion across the street. Additionally, the manifesto was to be in the form of a poster and had to incorporate images of these same buildings. Of course, I went a little post-apocalyptic with it.
It’s not supposed to make a whole lot of sense. It’s a manifesto. It was more about the mood than the specifics. Closer to poetry than prose. I was pretty happy with it when I turned it in. Looking back now, though, I think I would change the order of the lines to this:
Modern cities stand
as narcissistic boneyards
for mid-century utopian fantasies
Filthy pre-fab headstones
mark a misguided experiment
in mechanical living.
Did we think our machines would grow to love us?
Where skin meets steel it is the body that yields.
In the quest to anthropomorphize our alloys
we have given birth to cyborgs.
that your creations
will outlast you.
Katerina Ruedi Ray’s History of Modern Architecture takes the prize as the most interesting class of Fall semester, 2013. The assignments were unlike any I had been asked to produce before. Although I initially reacted with distaste to the odd requirements, they usually proved to be as fun as a 1500 word essay can really be.
This assignment was supposed to be a scene or short story that takes place in a building that could be included in the modern style. I chose the highly influential Highland Park Ford assembly facility designed by Albert Kahn. The main characters are a WWI air force vet and a Mexican labor supporter. Many hijinks ensue.
Sadly, I didn’t get the “A” I wanted. The “B” was something I just had to accept. I believe it’s because I didn’t cite my sources. Though I put them in the bibliography, there isn’t a single inline citation. Oops. She was probably within her rights to fail me. Oh well. It’s a good story! Read it!
A friend sent me this article today. It’s a review of the Best of 2013 show that my neckpiece appears in. I wasn’t aware there were any articles written about it. They put the piece upside down on the mannequin, but that’s okay. Always cool to be mentioned. Quote from the article:
Lopez’s alarming collar cries out, “Punk!” and sets the gentle pulse racing with the threat implied in this sensibility. It’s title, though, leads, ironically, to the perception that the form copies nature, not weaponry either science fictional or medieval.
Had Phantasm on in the back ground while I was working tonight. What a weird mix of elements. Grave-robbing jawas, a funeral director from another dimension, a severed finger that morphs into an attack fly with a mouth full of teeth, and that sphere…. that flying silver sphere with the wild razor arms and the whining, probing drill… the ridiculous geysers of blood… just delicious. Such a classic.