El Refugio

A place on the web for escapism.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Excision - Idioms, Idiots and Music for Operating Rooms

Of all the things Mothers say to their sick children, this one, from my Mother,  made a lasting impression on me. If something hurt, or I didn't  feel well, she'd say,

It's just the meanness poking out of you

The message seems to be that there's lots of meanness inside everyone, but you have too much, you're overflowing and it pokes out. Theories of Excesses may apply. Empathy, however, is not to be expected. 

As a way of interpreting things, the mind realizes its problems through queries: Am I retarded? Inoperable Brain Tumor? If only I'd been able to realize that my mother wasn't mercilessly mocking me, she was telling me the plain, simple TRUTH:  It was just the meanness poking out of me.

Preparing for surgery, I jokingly asked the surgical resident if he could slip a bit of Liposuction and a Lap Band in on the side. That was the first surgery. Now after surgery, I waken dumbfounded that they've forgotten the Lobotomy yet again. aaagggh!

Now, put your tongue in your cheek and bite down hard. Here's a quick mix in the genre, "Music for Operating Rooms":

Take Me to the Hospital - Stars & Mats Mix
There's A Doctor - Pete Townshend
Blood Makes Noise - Suzanne Vega
What the Tumor Said... - Buried Heads
Hospital - Lemonheads
Dear Doctor - Rolling Stones
Blood & Roses - Smithereens
Pills for Sara - Winterpills
Give Blood - Pete Townshend
I Wanna Be Sedated - Ramones
Easy Plateau - Ryan Adams

Seems grim? Naw, a little irreverent, a little like, "I's-a tells ya likes I's a-sees it"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Out of the Ordinary...

A few sites showcasing out-of-the-ordinary art projects.

Atlas Obscura

A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities and Esoterica. Press "Take Me to a Random Place" or look up a location of your choosing.

Web Urbanist

Reverse Graffiti

reverse graffiti artists work on otherwise grimy, filthy surfaces, creating art by cleaning rather than defacing walls. From Sao Paolo to San Francisco's Broadway Tunnel, clean up artists have a new take on temporary art.

35 Greatest Works of Reverse Graffiti

Reverse Graffiti, Dust Thou Art

Reverse graffiti: art etched into grime

Ossario - Alexandre Orion, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Scott Wade's Dirty Car Art Gallery - Scott has just the right kind of dust for his take on drawing in the windshield dust. After seeing Scott's incredible artistry you'll think twice before scrawling "wash me" on the windows. Watch Scott Wade on's Modern marvels or here, on YouTube

Recycled Art
Art From Trash

Non Trashy and Recycled Trash Art 

40 Terrific Works of Art Made From Common Trash

Cut Paper

Bovey Lee

Green (Grass/Moss) Graffiti

A new trend on graffiti that uses Mosses or grasses.

20 Masterpieces of Green Graffiti

13 Incredible Recycled Objects

Sand Painting / Sand Animation

10 Amazing Sand Artists and their Work
Caroline Leaf, The Owl Who Married a Goose
Joe Castillo, Sand Animation
David Alcala
"The Sand Magician" (De ZandtovenaarCircle of Life, by Ferenc Cakó
Rhapsody in Blue, by Ferenc Cakó
Hungarian Dances, by Ferenc Cakó
Vivaldi Four Seasons Sand Animation film Ferenc Cakó
             Winter Spring Summer Autumn
Kseniya Simonova - Sand Animation (Ukraine's Got Talent) 

Kinetic Sculpture Races

Ventura has a Kinetic Sculpture Race, Benefiting the turning Point Foundation

Ferndale Embraces the all things kinetic, honoring the sport with its own museum, right in downtown. No entry about kinetic sculpture would be complete without a friendly nod to Hobart Brown (1934–2007).

The Kinetic Kingdom has a great historical article, Crazy Contraptions - A Light-Hearted Look at Ferndale's Kinetic Sculpture Race, by Stan Bennett 1975

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Arcata - Murals #1

Long before this building was the Humboldt State Museum of Natural History, it was a Wells Fargo Bank. The Museum was closed when i arrived, but I was even more dismayed to see a note indicating that it would be open only to school groups. I am accustomed to such neat things as science museums being available to all regardless of age or academic affiliation! (See also: Lawrence Hall of Science, the Children's Discovery Museum, The Lindsay Wildlife Museum, the Randall Museum, Zeum, etc.). As a Humboldt Alum, I wonder about this! Is this an artifact of grant requirements or funding resources? 

So, here are the south and north sides of the building:

Arcata Murals - Union Plank Walk

On the way out of town, heading south, take a quick look at this mural:
Union Plankwalk & Railroad Co. 1854.

"Union" is the name formerly given to the foggy town we know as Arcata
(name change circa 1860).

Monkey Puzzle (2008) - Opening Credits Animation

The best part of the 2008 movie, Monkey Puzzle, was the opening credits sequence of animation. Set in the beautiful wild of Blue Mountains of New South Wales, I'd hoped for a visual tour de force. Instead, most of the movie was as much a struggle for the viewer as it was for the 5 actors. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was that although Dylan reaches the tree, no one else sees the tree that was the impetus of the whole journey. The movie had potential for catharsis, but it fell flat.

Monkey Puzzle (2008) - Opening Credits

Monkey Puzzle

The title evokes images of the Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) and the Bunya Pine aka the False Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria bidwillii). These trees are very different to the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) but are closely related with all three belonging to the same family, Araucariaceae.