often referencing the phenomenology of Guy De Bord & Michel de Certeau and its modern attributes surrounding the onslaught of pro-consumer propaganda as perpetuated by the government of the United States after the September 11th bombings. The headline "remember" was thrown up from Bush's pencil lips. A reminder to American's to shop the tragedy away by ignoring the US's implications in the deaths of thousands of civilians. This was exacerbated by the sudden burst of memorabilia flooding the streets of New York and slowly creeping into the homes of people all over the country. The use of the music is very crucial especially the version of the anthem which was also blasted from the speakers of tankers rolling into Afghanistan to frighten the population. This "spectacle" was a moment to help remind us of the manipulations of capitalism that surround us each and everyday.
So I was sad to hear about the situation in Honduras but even sadder that NIKE (ADIDAS & GAP as well), of all companies is calling for the restoration of democracy because their sweatshops were shut down. I know we all know that sweatshops exist and that its hard to purchase products that are made by people who are treated humanely and paid a fair wage in comparison to the high profit margins of major corporations like NIKE. Calling out and boycotting products from a company like NIKE is crucial to changing business behavioral patterns for companies following this corporate giants trends. The largest companies are the ones who set trends and are therefore the ones to be held most responsible. So if you are in support of slavery please keep buying NIKE. If you can put your MTV fashions behind you then boycott all their products, get informed on other companies doing the same and spread the word.
The look for your four-legged fuck this summer is, “bold print and flowers in metallic, or pretty pastels and bling.” according to Urban Pup Designer Dog Fashions website. Urban Pup is one of hundreds of pet fashion retailers in the United States selling metallic raincoats, varsity sweaters, formal dresses and a variety of other unnecessary dog attire and accessories. I can’t exactly say when dog obsession reached its tipping point in the US as I was living in rural Northwestern Zambia for a couple of years and was only met with the phenomenon when I returned home. It certainly was a shock leaving that tiny region of the world where malnourished people rarely eat proteins, and dogs are loathed, feared even, because the nearest life saving post exposure rabies shot may be a 2 day bike ride away. It was bizarre, as if I’d clicked a remote control and switched planets; one with half naked kids running in fields and hanging from trees; and the other with clothed lap dogs eating organic snacks and hanging out in (gasp!) indoor dog parks.
I recently came across an article in the New York Times describing a new fad known as “doga.” The pun speaks for itself, and if you are imagining well nourished, Caucasian, females in overpriced, cotton-poly blend capri pants and matching tanks bending over and manually manipulating disinterested, inbred dogs, then you are right on track. Dog and master work together on the same mat. Master stretches dog, stares into dog’s eyes for mutual deep breathing, and from the pictures I’ve seen, occasionally uses dog’s head as a balancing block. Doga classes are popping up all over the country and the sessions I’ve found range between $12 and $20 for 45 minutes to an hour. There are also DVDs and books for more fiscally conservative owners and dogs with body image issues to practice at home (‘Princess Bella, don’t even think I’m gonna spend $20 on that doga class until your saddle clipped ass has shed a few pounds!’).
After discovering dog yoga and skimming through the summer clothing lines for America’s bitches and studs, I felt compelled to investigate further (I’ve always enjoyed feeling a little bit uneasy). For $87 to $185 a night you can put your canine up in Chateau Poochie in South FL. They offer individual rooms equipped with a flat screen television, web camera and classical music. The top rooms don a crystal chandelier and a $7,000 designer Toboggan bed that a Chateau Poochie janitor sleeps beside. You can get your dog’s fur highlighted or his back massaged. Some spas even offer warm wax treatments and “extreme makeovers,” both of which sound to me like red alerts for the SPCA. Perhaps most disquieting of all though, is the dog social networking site, DoggySpace.com. The general profile for all the site’s canine members is a self-introduction and a short description of how the dog knows he is very spoiled and naughty, but that it’s okay because mommy loves him anyway. The inevitable bratty tones written in the voice of an 8 year old raise many questions; Who are the women writing these bios? Are they lonely? Childless? Perverse? Do their dog characters reflect their own hidden desires to speak and behave like pampered children? Or do the characters simply represent an unquenchable desire to feed a self-gratifying, consumerist system bent on humanizing canines while turning blind eyes on homo sapiens?
Most of us would happily agree that this all too American trend is a contemptible fading star, another soon-to-be hush hush and embarrassing fad of the past, like Freedom Fries and cheese-encased-with-meat hotdogs. In the meantime, couldn’t we just tack sin tax on these extravagances as well as some other pet products and use the money for much needed social services? I pay a little extra for my night cap and Parliament lights, so let’s make Princess Bella paw over a few extra dollars for her doga lesson and Louis Vuitton dog bag.
Thanks Tess this is awesome!
The world which we live in is composed of a multiple elements but in the realm of simplicity exist the geometric and the organic. Like calls in theoretical physics for a theory of unification, that which brings together quantum mechanics and general relativity. I explore a world of painting and video which begs to answer the same question. Interconnectivity and how it manifests and functions in everyday life and aesthetics. How art brings balance to a people existing in growing discontent and socio/economic/politico upheaval. How shape and color form imprints that tune us back into the electromagnetic frequencies of that which the earth and nature produce. Its like a meditation, an electric moment, ever ephemeral, ever cyclical. The time is ripe for a re-alignment of the molecular, for once the vibrations are in tune all else will fall into place. ( 100cm x 30cm resin and acrylic)
Wow!! Finally photos of the murals we made in Santiago! Punto, Blok and I created this piece in one afternoon after biking in circles, dragging buckets of paints and brushes. Stopping at our first location near a whorehouse where middle-aged women dote bright lipstick, but the stench of stagnant piss guided us to a new location. This secret space surrounded by protective wooden barriers was perfect, therefore we proceeded with our mission. We painted maniacally for hours, silence and passing automobiles communicated between us and the creation. As the sun set a man appeared from the outside world and approached us cautiously. Ah, what are you painting? He seemed amused and then delighted, this was his home, a mattress and a grill and now a gigantic piece of electric color explosion. Like a sunrise in the morning. He offered us a mysterious potion from a plastic bottle and chatted up a storm about art and life. The darkness grew and another man approached. We left the two to enjoy their dinner and new mural in their living room.