Archive for category Environment
This news story, like Mel Gibson, screams one word. Freedom … (hopefully with a more convincing accent and less accusations of anti Semitism).
The Chilean miners are free. The world is at their feet and it’s oyster shaped.
I thought about how they had gone from such a desperate situation to now being the most famous men in Chile with movie deals and talk show hosts lining up to be offered to them on a plate or stand in a room and chat to them respectively (and rarely the other way around).
I wanted to convey through art all the freedom and opportunity waiting for these miners.
I set up this giant ferris wheel for the art audience to step into and be taken slowly to a grand height. From here they were able to look out on a beautiful, clear, sunny view and see all of London (for at least five days in the year). The beauty and magnitude of the vista was an obvious metaphor for the wide world of possibilities and freedom to go wherever they wish that these miners now have.
Unfortunately, on the first run, there was a minor technical fault in the gears. The wheel ground to a halt within 40min, leaving all the passengers of the small, cramped pods stuck within.
So far we have not been able to get them moving again but hope to have the pods unstuck and the people inside freed before Christmas. Definitely before the oxygen runs out or they have to start having the awkward ‘who should we eat first’ conversation.
PETA are mad at Lady Gaga and so am I!
To protest the discrimination in the US military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy on homosexuality, she wore a dress made of raw meat to the Video Music Awards.
Here is Cher giving Gaga her award in the meat dress.
Peta are obviously asking how she can justify wearing dead, nay (neigh), BUTCHERED animals on her body to defend civil rights!? Isn’t she being an Oxy Moron? And what about the cows’ rights? What if they were also gay and seeking a military career? Would she have felt she was fighting their cause correctly by murdering them then wearing them as a suit? And how would they hold the guns with hooves?
To demonstrate how her choice of outfit was morally wrong, no matter how just the cause, I have made this sculpture.
This replica cow represents the many innocent creatures that were murdered so that Lady Gaga could display their remains as ‘fashion’ on international television.
As you can see, the cow’s corpse has been strung up in an undignified pose, high in a tree, for the world to point and laugh at (or it has run up there to get away from Cher before she takes its skin for her ‘evening face’ collection).
However… in the name of truth in art, I should admit a sad note to this sculpture.
As I am not good at sculpting purely from my imagination and usually need a subject to work from… I did have to murder a cow and hoist it into a tree to get an idea of how to create this piece.
Well I say a cow, but it actually took about six or seven because the first few cows proved too heavy to hoist into the tree (turns out my dad has a weak back… or weak will). Also I had a problem with farmers spotting me in their field offing their cattle so had to do a runner several times before I was able to successfully drag my art/kill away.
But I think the message against animal cruelty remains adequately clear.
I have a theory that English people might be a bit reserved. As far as I’m aware no one else has ever come up with this theory.
I believe that they talk about the weather too often and for far too long because they feel too inhibited to have meaningful and personal discussions with strangers, associates or even family and friends. But I also believe they would dearly like to have more intimate discussions.
In England this week a weatherman was caught sticking his finger up at the news presenter. This was after a joke from the presenter about how accurate the weather prediction was going to be. The BBC have had to apologise.
The event has led once again to more analysis of the accuracy of weather predictions and just a lot more weather talk in general.
It reminded me of an artwork I did 18months ago when I was still ironing out the nuts and bolts of News Art (this took a while because ironing nuts and bolts is a very slow process).
I had only been in England for six months and was finding the overly polite and sometimes stiff conversations with people I met slightly depressing. I felt restrained by the formal and superficial weather analysis dominating the majority of conversations.
On the eve of Groundhog Day (a day synonymous with weather and analysis of weather) I laid fake snow down to demonstrate the ‘suffocating blanket of cold, icy reserve’ that weather discussion represents to me. I hoped this ARTicle would wake London up to the need to talk about SOMETHING other than weather for once and connect with one another.
Unfortunately I overdid the snow. I continued my work all night until London woke up the next day to what they believed was ‘the heaviest snowfall in 20 years’. This meant that news bulletins, radio DJs, people on the street, people in bars, people at bus stops, EVERYONE talked about NOTHING but weather for the next two weeks! Whoops!
On the plus side, snow is amazing! Look at this one…
Plus I met this guy who seemed comfortable with more chatty discussion. Though the witch’s hat suggested he might have been drunk and returning from a stag do.
Scientists announced this week that microscopic life is dying out. Apparently this could be catastrophic, not only because of the logistical nightmares of the tiny, tiny funerals but also because this life is crucial to the marine food chain. They believe it is caused by global warming.
This made me wonder how many terrible warning signs we are going to have to have before the world agrees on the dangers of global warming.
I wanted to send a message about the fragility of our home, that is, the earth, which is, this planet, ie. the globe.
I made a replica of a house out of sand. In this photo you can see the living room I built.
I then moved a family into the home. Within a day wind erosion and the rising tide had completely devastated the house.
When they queried where their home had gone, and why they had so much sand in their underwear, I told them it was a metaphor about the temporary nature of the earth as a home if we continue to ignore global warming.
It was also then my legal duty to inform them that, as I had found them through the Council Housing waiting list, they had now technically been given a council home. If they wanted another one (that wasn’t riddled with old crisp packets and used needles) they would have to rejoin the waiting list, with another roughly eight years waiting time.
As they sobbed and shouted it warmed my heart (quicker than any build up in CO2 levels could) to see that my message about global warming had finally gotten through to someone.
If only I could make more people homeless, and quicker, I think I would be able to make a real difference.
The anonymous artist has made another prediction, this one more amazing and early than the last!! El Diablo!
About a week or so ago our office kitchen sink sprung a leak. Of course I, as I’m sure the rest of the office did, merely assumed it was a piece about the recent poll plummet/leaking voter numbers for the new Naota Kan government.
This seemed confirmed by the news that the leaking rotting soy milk smell/symbol of Yukio Hatoyama’s cabinet had stayed around because it had been poured down the sink and was sitting in the pipes like his memory.
Like a fool I jumped too quickly to this assumption, ignoring the fact that if the fridge had formerly represented Japan than the sink being situated NEXT to it (and west of it) made it OBVIOUSLY either the Yellow Sea or the Sea of Japan.
And now what has happened in the Yellow Sea? Oil has leaked everywhere from a pipe line explosion!
Here is a photo of the sink being cordoned off to contain the leak and protect any seagulls from getting soaked.
While the art metaphor is quite basic/amateur, I cannot help but be impressed by this artist’s Nostradamus-like skills! Some people might be wondering if I feel a level of competition with this artist but I promise I feel merely joy to know there is someone almost on my level with similar interest in public art.
Also they seem to only be able to work on Japanese and Chinese economic pieces and I am just glad that someone is covering the subject .
Wait! Oh my God! I just realised, two weeks ago an announcement was made to the office that someone was weeing on the floor of the women’s toilets!
A literal Yellow Sea had been created on the toilet floor! Twice in one week! This was a two pronged art attack! I am slightly in awe.
FINALLY yesterday I got some funding from an anonymous donor (he was so shy and modest about helping the Arts that he masked his face while I signed the agreement to exchange two of my kidneys for a cash donation to my ARTworks- apparently you can survive with just the third kidney).
So I am happy to announce that there is no longer any need to rely on the ‘pigeons eating vomit’ performance art pieces of the last three days!! Sorry!
However, having learned my lesson of the need to pay attention to costs, I decided today to focus on a random and tiny local issue, to save money and avoid overstepping my budget again.
A completely random search of the world’s local papers came up with this tiny, barely noticed tale from Buckinghamshire in England…
Two days ago angry residents complained to Wycombe District Council chiefs over plans to cull pigeons in High Wycombe town centre. Councillor Clive Harriss said the move would ‘reduce the accumulation of faeces in the town centre, which can be a danger to human health’.
Ellen Wise asked the council to install a Dovecote, a home for pigeons, and offered to clean it ‘for a very small sum’. Councillor Harriss said buildings would be ‘infested’ with pigeons. Full story here
This story about pigeon murder made me ill. So ill I could throw up! I needed to express this nausea in art. But how? I wracked my brains for some way to represent this pigeon story that made me feel so physically sick.
All of a sudden, like a bolt of lightning or a surprise vomit on a pavement, it hit me! I realised the sculpture idea was STARING ME IN THE FACE, RIGHT THERE ON THE SCREEN.
For you see I had been researching the mythological Roman goddess Libertas. I realised if any form embodied these pigeons’ struggle it was she/her. She has always represented liberty and freedom and as I read of these attempts to not only control the population of these pigeons through mass murder but even to control their faeces output I realised this was a struggle for freedom on an epic scale.
Remembering I now have a budget to consider, I kept things simple. I made this 151 foot tall statue of Libertas out of a sheathing of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel on top of a rectangular stonework pedestal. I erected it in High Wycombe, just outside the generous Ellen Wise’s house, as a beacon for the pigeons to flock to. I inscribed the tablet Libertas holds with a welcoming poem for the pigeons to read, in case they were unsure as to whether they were welcome (I know what you’re thinking, how will they read it? Well you’re adorably forgetting that pigeons can fly so they can land on the tablet easily).
The poem reads:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The ‘tired and poor’ are clearly the pigeons, as they get tired from the constant waddling and they have no set minimum wage laws. The ‘refuse’ reference clearly directs the pigeons to poo wherever they want. The lamp she holds signifies lamps because pigeons are attracted to light. She also tramples a broken chain, representing the chain those council mayors often wear and their attempts to cull and cage the pigeons.
I have left the statue there in the hope that those jerks at City Hall see the message of acceptance and love that could be offered to these visiting friends, rather than treating them as little better than animals with such words as ‘infested’ and… ‘pigeons’! For shame Councillor Harriss! For shame!
BP continues work to clear up one of the biggest oil spills in history in the Gulf of Mexico. BP’s image has been dramatically tarnished following its poor reaction to the spill and admissions that it did not use safety cases in its US wells.
Meanwhile protestors at the Tate art gallery in London recently poured oil outside the gallery to protest BP’s financial support of the Tate, sparking debate about the importance of art funding being ethically sourced.
BP has a drastic image problem. In response to this I regurgitated on the pavement. I then lured these pigeons to come and feast on what I had produced. This was to create an artwork representing BP’s current status in the world.
I see BP as like these two unappreciated pigeons; they are in no way attractive or likeable, they foul up the world with their waste and they get in your way when you’re walking quickly. But despite this they are, in this instance, doing a job no one else wants to do; that is, they are cleaning up a foul spill made by man.
Well the oil spill was made by BP, whereas the pigeons didn’t make the vomit… but a human/artist/Heidi did and I am a consumer of oil and thus also play a guilty part in this whole saga… and an even guiltier part in the vomit puddle… I’m getting confused as to how how BP was involved in the vomit but I think metaphorically the smell of car fumes helped the nausea and BP petrol was probably in a lot of those cars… and pigeons don’t drive cars…
My point is that BP have had appalling public relations in recent weeks and I feel that if the public were to see this artwork they would feel more empathy for this poor, beleaguered, morally-bankrupt corporation/diseased pigeons who eat sick off the pavement. I have sent this image to BP’s head office as a suggested new logo for the company they could put on all future letterheads and petrol station signs.
I have also suggested that if the Tate ever decides they are too FANCY and ethically-minded to take BP’s funding then I would happily have their sponsorship redirected to my projects, particularly as a recent accidental overdraft charge on my bank account meant I could only afford to fund this ‘pigeons eating vomit’ artwork this week. Well, I could only afford some old chicken which ‘inspired’ the vomit sculpture.
As I have stated already (so stop going on about it) I am currently away. The last few days have required me to PREDICT THE NEWS EACH DAY by using all my journalistic and soothsayer skills (if you would like a copy of my erotic crimefiction novel, The Journsayer, please contact me. It’s perfect for holiday reading by the pool or leaving by the pool).
I am currently writing this on Tuesday 22nd June and imagining what world we are all in by Tuesday 29th. Here is what I am fairly sure will occur in the not too distant future (Tuesday).
SEA LEVELS ROSE TODAY TO WIPE OUT NEARLY ALL OF HUMAN KIND (EXCEPT PEOPLE WHO DRESS LIKE THE FILM MAD MAX)
The drastic effects of climate change were finally felt as the oceans rose to wipe out billions of people. The earth has been submerged, leaving only a water world. Officials urged the stockmarket not to panic as it has never been a confident swimmer.
I was very sad about these events. I have always liked humanity and the earth and the combination of the two.
I wanted to make what could be my last art piece in tribute to this event. Due to the momentousness of this occasion I decided to go out big and acquire funding of roughly $175m, a record sum for an artwork. I began work on a giant sea water enclosure to depict what I felt life would become in this frightening future on Tuesday.
Unfortunately we were hit by production hassles, budget worries and a hurricane and the above is all that was left of the piece.
Reception was disappointing with many notable art critics being highly critical of the piece, taking their job title far too literally for my liking. I hope the post apocalyptic civilisation we are left with learns from these catastrophic events about the need to appreciate my art better.
‘Attorney General Eric Holder said last night that the federal government was launching criminal and civil investigations into whether BP broke any laws in its handling of the Gulf oil disaster… In the meantime, oil will continue to spew into the Gulf until the completion of the relief wells – which BP says will not be finished until August. ‘ Channel 4 News.
This is a pretty self explanatory piece. Clearly this sculpture I have created represents man and his pride that blinds him and BP from the damage we/it/he is/are/will be doing.
The man, who represents Man but is actually called Garry in this piece, stands in a vain pose, showing off his abdominal muscles and small penis while he tries to wash off the oil covering his body with a small soapy rag. He seems oblivious to the fact that the soap is doing nothing and his entire body is coated in oil, much like BP talk about cleaning up the oil slick but I imagine their board members are actually just having showers at their gym and showing off their abs.