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ethnicity
  • 311311.1546

    Monastic towers were discovered in English graveyards, populated with the graves of the monks slaughtered by the conquering Vikings, and continuing as a dormant doorway to Christian sympathies. Usually the sole remains of the monastery's destruction, the towers' purpose shifted.

  • 311295.1603

    More clearly annunciated journalism of the Americas, written by

    Alma Guillermoprieto published from the United States's New York Review of Books. Should be preceded by Joan Didion's best work of all, Salvador, also published first in NYRB. Didion observes the secret war from license plates and weird dinners in the Holiday Inn. It's Hemingway territory all the way merged with post-Watergate language.

    Obama's second term will be dominated by this key problem in his local hemisphere, the criminal network that controls large sections of the continents. Don't forget, the U.S. Dollar is the official currency of El Salvador and unofficial currency of many others.

  • 311293.0229

    www.higherpictures.com/Exhibition.aspx

  • 311274.2106

    see what I mean. and hear it too.

     

  • 311256.0556

    The return of the director after his 1941 Rube Goldberg adventure-comedy, Raiders is the first collaboration between mythologist Lucas and pagan physical-gag inventor Spielberg. Though the film is clearly Spielberg's masterpiece (one of many), Lucas keeps his eye on the ending maelstrom while Spielberg is left to rule the kinetic mayhem that overtakes nearly every scene. Raiders is a merge of Republic serials (Zorro) and Uncle Scrooge's colonialist misdaventures looking for buried gold (see Carl Barks) lensed by the British golden-age of cinema, the brilliant exposer of inky blacks and dappled or raw sunlight, Douglas Slocombe. All these minds pressed into service by Lucas & Spielberg come up with some pretty inventive differentials; notice Indy taking very seriously the sand he scatters to balance the opening idol's weight (Spielberg overlaps the sand as it spills before the idol), while the trio of baddies laugh-off their sand fiiled ark. Paul Freeman's Belloq tosses sand coarsely to contrast Indy's reverential opening gesture. Look closer and you can see how similar the opening and ending are: the Nazis' open-air electrocution is a supernatural version of the underground arrow spitting idol-chamber: altars, ceremonial approaches, even faces that bring death, with Indy escaping both. Linking them all is a brilliant lesson in imagery that follows Indy's intro to archeology class: agents also getting their lesson are shown the ark's graphic ("there's a picture of it") which cuts directly into first, a bright, stained-glass window (shot in a British Freemasonry hall) and then to the staff of Ra's blackboard illustration, all three beam's sources oriented in the same position in the frame left.

    Notice below, Tanis and Washington D.C. are cleverly linked, both 'Egyptian' cities will be associated with stealing and hiding the Hebrew god's ark.

  • 311252.2349

    Sandpaintings collapse ceremony, narrative, medicine into a single reference image. Markings indicate direction flow, words show object placement.

  • 311245.1034

  • 311193.0721

    Last Gasps in The Land of Gorch

    In 1975, trying to fill his 90 minute experimental variety show, Lorne Michaels approached puppet wunderkind Jim Henson and his Henson Associates for an idea and he offered The Land of Gorch, a radical satire of TV sitcoms, set on a different planet, with a contentious group of residents that consult a humanoid oracle that berates them and seems himself lost. Out of synch within the cocaine fueled decade's iconic SNL, Gorch lasted only a season, but it was a rare stumble for Henson (it's strange to watch how out of place they are with adults that won't take them seriously-watch Lily Tomlin's send-off). His entire outlook seemed driven by the very nature of change and shift in the television age. Two years later Henson would travel to England and create his own version of SNL, The Muppet Show, and follow up that up with Fraggle Rock, a joyful children's sit-com-ish other world with three differing scales of creatures in flux. All of these creations would share time with Sesame Street, which the Muppets were a critical part of. Henson would end the decade with a Gorch-like feature, a fantasy epic called The Dark Crystal. Born in 1936, Henson was one of the 20th centuries greatest innovators of motion media. By first anthropomorphizing his self as a beatnik frog, Kermit, a be-bop age Henson would spend the 50's tinkering with TV as if it was a playground. Making inquisitive shorts, live skits on The Tonight Show, and sowing insurrection during the birth of the commercial spot, Henson threw his skills in every direction, with often dazzling results. And then the sixties happened and Henson tweaked his short concepts, literally stealing the notion of the spot, pirating its short, quick delivery of ideas and came up with Sesame Street's evolutionary shorts, as well as an integrated world where puppets and humans debated ideas and change in effortlessly humorous and sympathetic ways. As a direct product of Henson's magic, we are students of his teaching systems, which challenged notions of meaning, point-of-view, myth and skin color. We live in a post-Henson television world, heavily influenced by his daring insistence of bio-diversity and creature magic.  All of this and more is on display the the Smithsonian's brilliant travelling show on Henson at the American Museum of the Moving Image. Composed of sketches, videos (talk show appearances, shorts, spots) and puppets, the show is a marvel to behold. It is a must see. Opens July 16.

  • 311177.0028

    The term avuncular means good natured and cheerful, and it stems from the word uncle. In certains societies, the uncle plays this role, in others, he is the enforcer, the punisher who enacts discipline. By examining the term avuncular in his slim but powerful essay Structural Analysis in Linguistics and Anthropology, Levi-Strauss sheds light on structural linguistics and how phases of language shift culturally. From Dell Hyme's essential Language in Culture and Society.

  • 311171.2355

     

    Watch the effects of racism as the Brooklyn Museum attempts to show the birthplace of motion-grafitti its own creation and the influence it has on worldwide commercial art up until now. A crude, curvolinear assault on language and advertising erupts in a few years to send messages through the city, a visually transformative narrative. One that every transit user must take part in: broadcasts from the underclass that cannot be ignored. A message board not unlike the internet today, public thoughts at 40 mph instead of private missives at electron-speed. New messages in the then 1970's, in a new form of language. In many years, anthropologists will see this as a pre-internet form of messaging, however illegal or destructive. Linguists will see text-based English being converted into pronunciated syllabaries, a move towards glyphic realms. Words become objects.  Let's be careful to distinguish between what has been destroyed and what has been delivered for culture. Obviously graffiti has altered the nature of advertising in urban landscapes. What graffiti went to war with became it, providing hundreds if not billions of dollars minted. Look at bus and subway cars now. Consider it: to show Brooklyn what it made across the earth denied by a carefully focused opinion written by a person who appears to have little knowledge of the form, and only a passing knowledge of its immediate effects financially, cribbing all her notes on the partially soulless aftermath, all of it coopted by the corporate (the advertising that graffiti evolved) and the wealthy (the collectors of the aftermath). A simply wider view of the medium can be extrapolated from the vast series of images of subway cars: metaphoric communications that transform ideas of language, text-based and beyond. Pictogrammatic rebus vs. symbol. Ideograph vs. letter. By killing the first major museum show exploring all aspects of graffiti, it is the source that loses its connection to this wealth. Why merely indict a culture searching for itself in lawless ways in a dark time in our history? As students of history, the casual reader is aware democracies have dark edges in difficult economic times and protest of any type is an essential element of culture. Ethnicism is what is actually happening here, what we mean when we use the seemingly tidy European-American term racism. By shrieking a limited comprehension of an art-form that has lasting repercussions for the evolution of languages into motion, The Manhattan Institute places itself in dangerous territory as short-range thinkers examining only the purely commodified aspects of the exchanges: the damages from vandalism and the hypocrisy of costly art. What the writer has so carefully avoided is what is at stake conceptually, our lingustically evolutionary choices when probing the next-stages of information. By painting on scales equalling billboards and movie screens, the originators of motion-graffiti began playing, however primitively, with light, shadow and overlap. A curvolinear method of integrating pronunciation into a flat-lining English. Paths that initiate "route" concepts into type. "Rhyming" schemes made purely visually. Systems of "pigmemes" that evolve earlier modern and primitive painted codes. By distorting, even collapsing English and Spanish into its spare-parts, the users began shifting meanings: metonyms, lexemes, all without proprietary systems (a writer would copyright them). Hierarchies within, determined by originality and wit and excluded by and through hate. Narratives coded in distances, in both time and space. To be fair to the op-ed, we cannot extricate the vandalistic aspect from the form. Graffiti is by nature lawless (and it offers history alternate stories, look at Tikal's or Nero's Tomb's markings).  But vandalism is not the centerpoint of this graffiti movement, it's the expression of ideas not in vogue with the current-day (70's), and the radical engine it presents to anthroplogists and linguists integrating motion into language and all medias. It is not about property rights or navel-gazing or Bel-Air private security, these are all copiously amped sideshows to the op-ed's hidden source. What is missing from the op-ed is what the writer fears, where this all begins: in poverty-stricken sub-cultures that might have prevented a renewal she symbolizes with a show as devolved as Sex and the City (whose 90's appear more like the 20's minus the fun). Why fear these ethnic laboratories? Because they initiated a stage of vandalism that may turn out to be revolutionary. Label the inner-city ethnic underclass as the inventors of the motion graffiti-form, and watch thinkers utilize it (look at media like comic books and videogames) to build the language that will one day connect the cortex with the outside world most fluidly. And then op-ed writer, we will leave you to your television in peace.