Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kindle, for the fire

The 1966 movie Fahrenheit 451 remains high up on my top ten list of must-see movies. Based on the 1951 Ray Bradbury novel of the same name, it's about a guy, named Guy (Montag), who is a firefighter in an isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public. It is the duty of firefighters to burn any books on sight or said collections that have been reported by informants. People in this society including Montag's wife are drugged into compliancy and get their information from wall-length television screens. After Montag falls in love with book-hoarding Clarisse, he begins to read confiscated books. It is through this relationship that he begins to question the government's motives behind book-burning. Montag is soon found out, and he must decide whether to return to his job or run away knowing full well the consequences that he could face if captured (IMDb.com)

Part of why I love this film is because it highlights the power of literature to the point of where it is feared. The government, drunk on the delusion of domination finds great delight in eliminating education through the destruction of books. And you know what sounds eerily familiar to this in modern society? KINDLE BOOKS. Ordinary books' bratty and electronic baby brother.

Why fix what isn't broken? I'm sorry but there is something disgusting about flipping through a book with a t
ouch screen and battery. In this case, I'm on the side of the hippie's and openly protest the extinction of paper and pen. The smell of formaldehyde and even the dust doesn't bother me as much as the idea of converting classic literature to an application. The thought of a Kindle being read on the beach gives me the same feeling as having a computer at a picnic. It just ain't right.

More so, the mentality behind must-having is part of the consumerist epidemic that is spreading like wildfire all over iLovers everywhere, in the case which Apple has created a frenzy every April where the newest iPad is released, in between a myriad of other products being disposed. What has failed to be recognized by these patron's is the actual indispensability of these products, and the current and long term consequences of fulfilling that drive to have the latest and greatest gadget.

The most heinous of these being Coltan!
Coltan is the industrial name for columbite- tantalite, which is a dull black metallic mineral that is mined in Australia, Brazil, China and Democratic Republic of Congo. The Tantalum from coltan is used to manufacture electronic capacitors, used in consumer electronics products such as cell phones, computers, dvd players and Kindle's to name a few (if you want to get technical about how coltan is specifically used, read this). The ticket here is the blatant statistic that the majority of these minerals are found in the Eastern part of DRC where there has been a constant civil war and crimes against humanity such as rape (1,100 rapes daily!!!) and brutal killings. It is estimated that over 5.4 million people have lost their lives in this conflict.
Is this a coincidence that the only region with the richest coltan deposits is in a war zone? The answer is NO.

Can you even think of 1,000 people you know personally? Now imagine them all victims of violence. Merry Christmas.

Now, I own all of the above mentioned items, and I have actually obtained all of them for free (how I have done this, unconsciously is a miracle, and a bit of a blessing! It just goes to show that even without a deep desire to own them, one is still capable of easily acquiring them). That being true, I take very good care of them and plan on keeping them all. But any chance I have I am going to opt out of unnecessary upgrades or bait and switch marketing schemes to up sell me. I am most definitely never going to own a kindle! I will instead, buy used books and lend them out to friends, or recycle them back into libraries or alleys where they are discovered (gleefully, for free). In addition, I support agencies like VDAY who actively work with abused women to rebuild their communities in the DRC and furthermore help restore a small hope in humanity.

This holiday season I hope you too will consider doing the best thing, and going green

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Join the cult

Tonight only! Thumbprint Gallery is curating San Diego's Fandom Cult Classic Art Show at Basic Kitchen + Bar.
With original artwork based on films like The Big Lebowski, Scarface, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Pink Flamingo's and my personal favorite: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.

Artists include:

Jessica Johnson
Craig Hewitt
Jonathan McClintic
Abel Guzman
Mark Richmond
Rod Mojica
William Bucher
Mr. Benja
Brian Hebets
Michael Mahaffey
Molly Nicholson
and most importantly, my sister Kristel Boe*

No cover charge, 21+, food and beverage available for purchase at the venue. Music provided by DJ Intraphonic and drdiggs. It starts tonight at 7pm and goes till midnight. Black Nike's are optional.
See you there!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

alright, already we'll all float on

I love Thanksgiving because it's one of the few holidays that doesn't encourage purchasing anything to participate. You just, make something yummy and hang out with friends and family until you are too stuffed to do anything. Then you just watch t.v. (because parents always have cable) and just, hang out. it's nice.
And this year just got a bit nicer... I heard Tim Burton is making a float for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade!
The balloon is the latest entry into the holiday parade's “Blue Sky Gallery” series, which invites artists to create flying wonders for the procession (previous works made by Jeff Koons, Keith Haring and Murakami to name a few).

This year Burton's floating art is his character called "B. Boy" or "B." for short, who has his own darkly beautiful Burtonian backstory. B. is a Frankenstein-like creature who was created from leftover balloons used at kids' parties at a London children's hospital. Isolated from playing with other children because of his jagged teeth, B. instead spent his days in the basement watching The Red Balloon and dreaming of flight.

Burton says it best, "there's always been something about balloons. You see them deflated and you see them floating. There's something quite tragic and sad and buoyant and happy, all at the same time."

On Thanksgiving Day, B. Boy’s dream will come true, and I'll be watching!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

$how me the money

I'm gonna bitch, but hear me out.
I want to support local art, especially made by people who just love to make it, without the pretension of who will see it or where it is placed. I sincerely enjoy a collection of work labeled "outsider" because I have worked with, and continue in the social field of working with people with different abilities. Furthermore, I have several connections to this particular gallery and feel bad saying anything negative... but hear me out!
Edgeware Gallery is boasting a new opening titled "the Money Show" and I have to admit the theme feels a little, unworthy.

They have accumulated a collection of different artifacts to show, including 'hobo nickles' a
nd roman coins, along with screen printed dollar bills as a tribute to Andy Warhol's famous $ series. Steve Edelson, Edgeware Gallery’s director explains the idea behind the exhibit: “Money is on the minds of many people in the San Diego community and throughout the country. Although it was a challenge to organize this special event, we thought it was timely given the ‘Occupy San Diego’ protests and, of course, the upcoming presidential election.”


Ever listen to the The Beatles "You never give me your money" song? The genius behind the chorus "...you only give me your funny paper..." is a quote I refer to too often. In this economy, with the election/ protests/ deficit, I am a little suspicious about an "art" show that feels more like a theme park than a community event. I just question how any of these items communicate anything more than a common symbol. Can't we do better than that? What's the money here anyway? There is a man here with a disability who is lucky enough to have the financial support to open a gallery where he can show his work, and what he does is phen
omenal. It should be shown. However, his residency at this space is secondary to some trivial idea's that don't encourage expression or individuality, but instead squash it.

In fact at the end of the press release, Edgeware states that 100% of the proceeds from the show benefit Autism research, as "autism now affects nearly 1 in 100 children born today; and unfortunately, the epidemic shows no sign of retreating." What could be more offensive than placing a local artist in an inclusive space where his own community is invited, then display his work under the guise that somehow, he should be fixed, and "unfortunately" that is never going to happen. But give us money so that we can continue to look into it, 'cus somehow, someday there might just be a way we can make everyone the same! Say what, now?!

I can't quote it enough, "diversity is a normal aspect of humanity" (Norman Kunc) and it
's unfair to commodify someones talents then disregard their makeup as something less than.

I almost can't stand to attend. I almost want to silently step back and never set foot in there again. And a part of me, a big, hard-to-calm part of me wants to stand out there and loudly protest like the Occupiers downtown. But instead I'm going to go to the opening for one reason. I like Mark Rimland. As a person, as an artist, as a human being I have met and enjoyed. As a neighbor and a friend, I will support him through the highs, lows and moments of complete bullshit in his life. And to me, that's money.