ProposalsFor Artworks, Exhibitions, Installations, Videos, PublicWorks, Actions, Performances, and Cultural Manipulationsor What I would do if I had Unlimited Time, Money, and ResourcesBy Jason Robert Bell
People find ideas a bore because they do not distinguish between live ones and stuffed ones on a shelf. -Ezra Pound
When I was a child, I had trouble learning to read and write. Perhaps this is why books are so important to me: because of the challenge they present. The English language, my native tongue, was a code that I had to crack. I have a form of dyslexia, which is more complex than seeing words backwards. My mind extrapolates information faster than I am able to process it. My eyes are always jumping ahead on the page and my mind has to fill in the blanks. I had then and to a lesser degree still do, have a horrible time writing, pronouncing, and spelling certain words. But at the same time my mind and mouth are always filled with words and ideas, as if I was cursed, to never truly be able to express myself.
A strong memory has been my saving grace, I have had to learn all kinds of mnemonic devices in order to get by in this world. I am unable to understand phonetics - I simply cannot "sound out" words. When I was in grade school, to prepare for a spelling test I would break words up into smaller bits and then create "little rotes" in order to retain them in my head. The word JUSTICE is "just ice", because "Lady justice is cold as well as blind." As laborious as that may seem, it happens rather quickly in my mind. I know words are spelled wrong if they look wrong because I remember seeing them right. When I read, I do not hear words in my head; I see a pictographic image in the shape of the words. The way I read is akin to Edgar Rice Burrough s description of how Tarzan taught himself to read: by associating the pictures in the books left by his long-dead parents in their hut. I do not associate text with sound, but text with image. This graphological way of thinking was fostered in part by my father, an undiagnosed dyslexic himself, and also one of the last great hand lettering sign painters in America. For myself as for my father, text has a weak connection to sound and syntax exists in pictorial space.
When Language is adversarial, it is hard for someone to feel that they belong to this world. "In the beginning was the Word." Our culture stands on the bedrock of words, without which, humans are nothing more than apes. When your brain simply works differently than the basic paradigm of the world/the word, you have the overwhelming sense of being a chessman on a scrabble board. You had no say in the making of the world that appears to be a prison of language, and everything becomes suspect. People with different software than you created the very logic of all things. In short the cultural world seems to be insane, and it is your problem.
I have come to think of dyslexia as actual proof of Descartes’ Evil Demon, or the Gnostic Demiurge. Perhaps dyslexia is really immunity to the illusion that is this world. When I see words and numbers in the wrong order, maybe I am seeing the deeper truth; perhaps it is the rest of the world that has a problem. Maybe dyslexia is a sort of experiment in free will, and the greater parts of humanity are robot slaves of some sort of Spelling Bee-lzebub.
When I was eight years old, I came across a book by one of the great under-recognized geniuses of the last century, the late cartoonist Bernard Kliban. In Kliban s masterpiece, Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head and Other Drawings, I discovered what would become one of the more influential forces in my artistic life. Each page had a single or double panel image in which unknown truths were revealed. Kliban presented a parallel existence that confirmed all my suspicions.
Kliban exposed a world of unknown truths and forgotten facts, including:
One Apple will keep three doctors away for eight hours. One fence post is a fent and a group of them is called a fents.
The early nomadic Egyptians had small portable pyramids on wheels. Handsome people have no trouble using pencils. There is now a new improved gas powered turban. The Contaminated Pork Company has a factory in Cincinnati, Ohio. One can get a job to think of Chickens.
Kliban's cartoons present his bizarre musings as facts. He was essentially a hermetic philosopher who uses gag cartoons the same way Wittgenstein uses his imaginary paradigms. Kliban's work throws a monkey wench into our assumptions of the nature of reality. His cartoons prove that the world still has mysteries. They remind us that Rhinoceroses are really Unicorns.
A million years later in graduate school, I received a negative critique that, ironically, summed up how I have been influenced by Kliban’s work. The critic, after struggling to explain her inability to get into my work, said- When I look at your stuff, I always feel like I am coming to the story in the middle. That was the point! Who is privy to the actual beginnings of anything?
All culture is the exchange of artifacts, the vessels and abandoned husks of a life lived. Everything is more than the sum of its parts. A work of art always exists in the history of its creator. What Kliban did was prove to me what I had already known: everything is a lie, often well crafted and seductive, but nonetheless a fabrication. The very fabric of our reality is a form of Epistemology, the blessing/curse of memory sees to that. The veil of Maya is a tattered patchwork.
If accepted, the Gnostic belief that the world is actually an illusion, then fictions are illusions squared. If real is fake, then art is even more fake. And we are all walking in during the middle of someone else’s movie, down in front!
For sanity's sake let us agree that the only time is now and the only place is here. It is the only way that we can have value and worth in this world. There are no worlds beyond this world, no afterlife, no distant alien worlds, and no other dimensions of reality. Unless there is a quantum leap in present technology, no one reading this text will ever set foot upon another world, travel though time, or pay a visit to the land of the dead - beyond what can happen in the realms of the human imagination.
This is it. Our reality is a small green and blue gem floating in an endless cold void. If we can accept the brutal fact of Now-Here, then there is no limit to what we can do.
In Paradise Regained by Milton, there is a scene in which Christ confronts Satan. Christ tries to reason with Satan, he says, -You are of divine origin. You, like I know the future as well as we know the past. You know that in the end good will triumph over evil. Why, if you know this, do you continue to fight?-Satan replies, -Where there is no hope, there is no fear.-
Accepting the status quo is not what being an artist is about. My artwork is an outright assault on dogmatic aesthesis and meaningless consumer production. This world is filled with benign, cowardly, lowest-common-denominator garbage. Why would an artist want to celebrate or reproduce it? My work follows one maxim: great Art must serve a great purpose. My purpose is to live a meaningful life. To do that, I must create artworks that question the nature of reality and joyfully rebel against the powers-that-be. Art is a Luciferean torch, which shows that despite all the commercialism and superficial image production, there can still be meaningful expression. To be an artist is to be the serpent in the garden.
This text falls under the category of, "If you build it, they will come," or, to be more exact, "if you propose it, they will come." The projects that follow are what I would do right now if I had the time and resources.
These projects lack execution and form; they are limited by their own immateriality but given power by it as well. They are spermatozoa, pushing forward to merge with the egg (the material world). These ideas very well might mutate beyond any recognizable state, and hopefully all will improve before they are completed. It is in the making that an idea becomes real. The brutal facts of the materials, the unforeseen factors, the despair of love’s labor lost and the amazement of creating something that you never dreamed would become real, are their own rewards. These pages are here because I believe in their merit as catalysts. They are proposals to alter and/or question reality. I want to give us all an extra helping of the fruit of knowledge. To question everything, including questioning everything. I am putting it all out there. Some of these ideas have been in my head and notebooks for a long-time; others came about from the very fact that I was writing this text.
Where is the new wine? Dying on the vine!- James Douglass Morrison
Some of the ideas aren t that original in the proper sense, they are simply things I would like to do, something I read or saw that I would like to do my take on, or spring board off of. Treating ideas and concepts as secrets is a luxury that I cannot afford. If by writing them down I am ruining them for further investigation, so be it. I can always come up with more, those that fearfully hang onto a few precious ideas as if they were jewels simply don t understand. Others have had similar ideas, and created works that relate to mine, it does not matter: it is not who does it first; it is who does it better. Hopefully these ideas will strike you as ripe, ready, and alive, not dusty goods upon a shelf. Everything is a re-creation of everything else - this is a two way street. This text itself is an idea that has come to fruition, I am doing this as a means of advertisement, these are my wares and possible investments for interested parties - but also as a project in itself. Make no mistakes you are holding art in your hands.
Miracles by Mailbox
Proposal - To exhibit sculptural objects that have all arrived at the exhibition space via the United States Postal Service. These objects would be ready for exhibit in their delivered state; they would not be enclosed in packages or containers. No one would need to unpack these objects, because the outer -postal skin- would be the actual artwork. The method of delivery would be the content of the objects. The fact that they arrived via a mail carrier, and not via the artist directly is what makes the objects artwork. The object s morphologies will play with the concept of -what is a package- and what is not. And with shape, texture, and color, the placement of stamps, as well as the sender and receiver addresses. The style of the text on the object, the postmark, the stamps themselves and weight of the objects would be an ever-changing mutation of the expected appearance of conventional postal objects. Also, the X-factor of abuse during the postal processing would add another dimension to the work.
This project is about method of distribution being merged with content, but the possibilities of form and subjects that it can address are endless. I am trying to make an expression about the power that is at all of our hands. For a little money (the cheapest postal prices in the industrial world), Americans could be exchanging sculptures with each other. Sharing the beauty of canceled stamps, the mystery of a closed package, the unexpected surprise of an unknown.
One aspect of this project has been -the puzzle- or component piece(s), in which discrete pieces delivered separately, can be joined to create a larger, more complex sculpture. Ideally, an exhibition would begin with the first few objects arriving each day and placed in the exhibition space. Little by little the objects would take up more and more space in the room until their interrelationships were exposed and the pieces were joined to form the intended combination. It would be important that I not be present in the space. The receivers of the objects should arrange them, often times the object have directions or suggestions as to how to display them.
The primary influence on this work has been the Correspondence art movement of the 1960s and 70s, represented by Ray Johnson, Buster Cleveland, Anna Banana, Wallace Berman, and On Kawara. If you affix proper postage, you can mail anything, through the U.S. postal service (though it can’t be perishable, or something that would damage other mail). This medium of exchange is the mischief, which turns mail into system of commerce and exchange in subversive art. Often items of extreme economic or sentimental value are entrusted to the mail service; this project plays with this convention, the objects soon to become valuable art commodities via mundane actions of the postal service.
Besides an exhibition space, a patron could pay a membership fee and receive a postal sculpture every month for a year, since this method of working gets a great deal of its content from the surprise in the mailbox. I have been working on a version of this project for three years with my friend Scott Wolniak, who has a small gallery space in Chicago. I jokingly started to send him these objects, but it has become a force in my life, a constant side activity. No matter what else I have going on I can make these objects. The production of these miracles allows me to have a system of meaning; I produce, mail, and never see them again, yet I know they continue to exist. I am the believer, the objects are my offerings, the mail is the cycle of life, the postage stamps are my sacrifice, the mail carrier is an angel, and the receiver is the keeper of the secrets.
Proposal - To create and then abandon a series of art works in the city of New York. These objects will be made from materials that are presently in my studio. They are half-finished, ignored, false starts that are filling up all the valuable space in my studio. There is a raw quality to these pieces that I find at once appealing and also repugnant. I have a compulsive desire to "push" artworks, to keep adding, altering, and fudging with pieces. I also am constantly finding objects that can become the beginnings of great aided readymade pieces. All of the objects have a truth to them. That truth is that they are unfinished works of art - no one would think that they were random pieces of trash. Through this project they will become simulations of a very real urban phenomena: the waste of a failed artist. Part of living in New York, is to come upon, piles of abandoned semi-destroyed works of art, the trash pile. My pieces would be more assertively placed. I want to confuse people as to whether the pieces have been thrown way or left by mistake. They will be set down, in areas of high traffic where they are sure to be seen. Then the fickle finger of faith will collaborate, these pieces might be ignored for days, destroyed by the first passerby, or taken by some urban trash connoisseur, or some duchampian might claim them as ready-mades. I will produce maps of their locations, which will be mailed out as exhibition notices so individuals will be able to seek out these pieces. The random reward of an Easter egg hunt comes to mind.
This project would be a means of purging these objects from my life. I will simply take them in their present state and scatter them across the city, photographing each one and recording its new home. I hope the outcome of this is two fold, people will see the objects, and know that they are -Artworks- completing the Artist/Viewer circuit. Also the city is supposedly filled with keen-eyed individuals that will hopefully “adopt” these objects, taking them home, completing the Artist/Collector circuit. If I make enough of the pieces and they become known, perhaps someone will write about them completing the Artist / Critic circuit. If that happens perhaps a curator will want to exhibit the objects or their documentation of them, completing the Artist/Gallery circuit. If my assertions are correct, it will prove my idea that art that negates ego and ownership can bring a larger reward for ego and ownership. If you can make people think that you don’t care or are some kind of revolutionary, then they will do whatever they can to embrace you. Why? Everybody wants to be validated by the trickster, on the laughing end of the joke. Everyone wants to be in on the joke. This may come off as a bit of art-world stratagem, but what isn’t? What we pretend to be, we become, so I will pretend that I am "abandoning" these works, but in reality I will be claiming the greater world as my own gallery.
Proposal - To create a series of large-scale paintings of a mythic narrative cycle. The key to this work is the focus on myth- not mythology. Myth is the birth of mythology. I am not trying to retell old stories in a new way, rather creating a new story with ancient forms. If we think about the world of fiction as a world that actually exists alongside our own, then we can begin to better understand ourselves. My interest in myth is in altering the viewers understanding of this world by altering the mirror world of fiction. Their sense of recognition, I want people to reconsider their assumptions about fiction (which is our mirror), and to not take the fantastic for granted, thereby not taking the mundane for granted either.
This project will work from the point that theology is anthropology. Humanity creates God(s) in order to re-create itself. Understanding this retro-genesis is a hermetic practice, of believing that God does exist solely in the human mind. This ultimate fiction is the final mirror that must be explored. In my artwork this content becomes fixed, but the form changes based on whatever aspects of this idea I wish to explore. This is an infinite system, that I can tear apart both conceptually and physically without losing cohesion. Any endpoint becomes a new beginning.
Part of being an artist is dealing with the fear of “giving away the game”. Agendas are hidden with the practice of fearful poetics. Everything seems to bend to caution, and discretion is not the better part of valor. Everyone wants his or her work to be well received. This want becomes a need, the need becomes a fear, and fear becomes the thing driving the work. So to break this chain of conceptual cowardice, I propose to make a series of large-scale (painting/drawings) that have a dynamic narrative; exploring the -Apocagenesis- the beginning of the world as the final revelation, in a rebus of mythic reality with fully realized plastic form. The narrative will be based on the pan-narrative schema that author Neil Forsyth described in The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth.
Lack, Hero Emerges, Donor, Journey, Battle, Defeat, Enemy Ascendant, Hero Recovers, Battle Rejoined, Victory, Triumph, Repeat.
I will couple this schema, with my own idiosyncratic values and assertions, which includes the contemporary action hero as surrogate Messiah along with concepts such as Gnosticism, Ancient Astronauts, and Theodicy. My goal is to create images that can be understood by the active viewer. I don t expect every nuance to come across, but my work is generous. I always depict a world that is writhing with abundance in terms of object/subject matter and information. Nothing is left out. If you look you will see. Nothing outside of the work for its intended reception: autonomy is paramount; you will not have to read a title card to understand these works (unless you are a blithering moron).
Aesthetically, this project will confront fear of the pictorial in art. The pictorial is seen as the realm of illustration, which is the great evil in -fine art.- Why is it that one can do anything in this all-inclusive pluralistic world of art, save illustration? Everything that has been done in modernism, every cube, stripe, dot, and drip, has at one time or another found its way into advertisements. Why pretend that any trope of expression has maintained purity? For this reason my pictorial epic images will be about their subjects, not redeemed by some formalist sub-text, or kowtowing to art history, their form will be dictated by what will serve the subjects.
A teacher took a group of students though a museum and we came upon a Rubens painting of St. Catherine and the Virgin Mary. The teacher said, -You all know what this painting is really about, right?- I said, -It s about St. Catherine and the Virgin Mary.- He laughed, and said, -No it is about this repeating line, you silly puddin head!-He then proceeded to gesture in front of the painting showing how the fold of her Mother s arm rhymed the profile of the Virgin Mary, and how that fold was rhymed again and again in the painting. This is everything that is wrong with art education. If we think about artwork as being all about the formal devices used to create them, then all other aspects become moot. This is an agenda that turns us all into soulless geometers. The greatest works of art become formalist experiments or decorative luxury objects.
This project will be well underway by the time this writing has been completed. There will be around twelve to twenty works in total. These paintings will be my attempt at the rigorously over-the-top masterpiece paintings. Every aspect will be considered and all the complexities of form and content will be explored, making the greatest paintings the world has ever seen.
The Apocagenesis: The Teleplay
Proposal - To produce a video in which I will act out an elaborate narrative based on the Apocagenesis paintings. About two years ago I painted oversized portraits of my Dramatis Personae, the characters in the Apocagenesis. These archetypal characters are Heroes, Villains, Gods, and Monsters, each of whom represents various concepts of import. These portraits are mounted on poles to create protest sign-like placards. I will use these placards as the sole signifiers of character in this video play. I will stand before the camera and perform passionate monologues as each of the characters. These monologues will be edited together to give the impression of character interaction, creating multi-character scenes. All of the text will be improvised and emotional. The final video piece will be no more than 60 minutes long; this piece will be segmented into smaller acts. This could be expanded into a play with other actors playing the parts.
I am interested in dealing with the Fantastic in a manner that focuses on ideas, not special effects. I want to utilize Brecht s Epic Theater, in which there is an intellectual distance from the subject. The fact that it will be me, wearing a black robe, standing in my studio, will force the viewers to focus on my words and actions to -get- the story. The placards will become signs for quick identification. This work will be the documentation of a ritual being born, and will be an attempt to re-create theater in its primordial sense, in the manner of Thespis, the first actor.
Thespis, who lived in ancient Greece, is believed to have been the first playwright to introduce an actor, independent of the chorus, who delivered monologues and also engaged in dialogues with the leader of the chorus. The birth of drama is dated from this innovation. Thespis is also said to have introduced the use of pigments and masks to disguise the performers. Just as Thespis stood in front of the audience and stated that he -was Bacchus,- I will stand in front of the camera and become the various characters in the Apocagenesis. Thespis s actions mark the moment when theater broke away from ritual and lost its direct connection to the mystic. This project is about -the forward return,- I want to do the opposite of Thespis, to access the mystical power of character invocation. Through ritualistic magic, I will become the characters.
Dawn of Time Proposal
The Dawn of Time Proposal
create a completely actualized diorama in which the first moments of humanity’s
mythic history are depicted. This will take the form of a vast field of battle
in which the Proto-humans square off against an army of Angels, depicting
the moment of original sin as an outright collective rebellion. The Proto-humans,
or Dawn people, will be a multiracial group of industrious, robust Neanderthals
wielding clubs, spears, bows and arrows, trained wolves, and catapults. Their
enemies, the Heavenly Host, will be tall, muscular pale skinned emotionless
hermaphrodites, grouped in the nine sub-orders of Angels: Messengers, Seraphim,
Cherubim, Dominations, Thrones, Rulers, Powers, Virtues, and Archangels. This
project will be a physical manifestation of the conflict between Evolution
and Creationism. It will recast the expulsion from the garden as the rebellion
of humanity against the yoke of an oppression, fact verse faith verse fantasy.
I witnessed this battle as a vivid dream. This diorama would be constructed
with an overhanging guard railed platform that would allow viewers to walk
into the piece. The figures’ scale would be manipulated to give the illusion
of great perspective. The figures in the foreground would be about twenty
inches tall; the most distant figures would shrink to under half an inch.
The reconciliation of Evolution and Religion has been one of the rocks in
the belly of the Modern Age. We are constantly re-creating our God(s) to fit
into an ever-changing scientific landscape. This retroactive genesis syndrome
sees myth and science as the interchangeable tools of assertion. Our religious
beliefs actually change our scientific facts, instead of the other way around.
The prehistoric world is just as malleable as our future. Every day we are
discovering new facts about the past that cancel out or radically change the
“truth.” I grew up in Texas, where NASA and the Bible belt co-exist, and there
was an odd mixture of big science and fundamentalism. Everyone knows that
there were Neanderthals and dinosaurs, but they were all in denial of it.
Every day, science becomes more and more like magic, and it becomes clear
that all the ancient mysteries were really scientific in origin. God is a
reflection of humanity’s ever changing self; we are cave people attempting
to turn ourselves into angels. This piece can be seen as an extension of the
Apocagenesis project into a three-dimensional experience. I am interested
in the inversion of painting into sculpture. There is a powerful dogma in
painting’s dialogue that believes that painting is “all about Space!” This
is absurd. If painting is a two-dimensional activity that is only about simulation
of the third dimension, then is sculpture only about the second dimension,
or the fourth? If we look at painting and sculpture as opposites (which I
don’t), then the inversion of one creates the other. What happens if we use
three dimensions to deal with ideas from the second dimension? This paradox
will create a higher level of implausible, yet dynamic, plastic space. The
Angels will be emerging from a rip in the fabric of reality. The scale of
the figures in conjunction with the platform the viewers will be standing
on will hopefully manipulate the viewers’ sense of scale, increasing the experience
of having the privileged “God’s Eye” point of view. Just as this piece would
be a conflict between science and religion, it will also be a conflict between
pictorial and actual space.
To create a completely actualized diorama in which the first moments of humanity’s mythic history are depicted. This will take the form of a vast field of battle in which the Proto-humans square off against an army of Angels, depicting the moment of original sin as an outright collective rebellion. The Proto-humans, or Dawn people, will be a multiracial group of industrious, robust Neanderthals wielding clubs, spears, bows and arrows, trained wolves, and catapults. Their enemies, the Heavenly Host, will be tall, muscular pale skinned emotionless hermaphrodites, grouped in the nine sub-orders of Angels: Messengers, Seraphim, Cherubim, Dominations, Thrones, Rulers, Powers, Virtues, and Archangels. This project will be a physical manifestation of the conflict between Evolution and Creationism. It will recast the expulsion from the garden as the rebellion of humanity against the yoke of an oppression, fact verse faith verse fantasy. I witnessed this battle as a vivid dream. This diorama would be constructed with an overhanging guard railed platform that would allow viewers to walk into the piece. The figures’ scale would be manipulated to give the illusion of great perspective. The figures in the foreground would be about twenty inches tall; the most distant figures would shrink to under half an inch. The reconciliation of Evolution and Religion has been one of the rocks in the belly of the Modern Age. We are constantly re-creating our God(s) to fit into an ever-changing scientific landscape. This retroactive genesis syndrome sees myth and science as the interchangeable tools of assertion. Our religious beliefs actually change our scientific facts, instead of the other way around. The prehistoric world is just as malleable as our future. Every day we are discovering new facts about the past that cancel out or radically change the “truth.” I grew up in Texas, where NASA and the Bible belt co-exist, and there was an odd mixture of big science and fundamentalism. Everyone knows that there were Neanderthals and dinosaurs, but they were all in denial of it. Every day, science becomes more and more like magic, and it becomes clear that all the ancient mysteries were really scientific in origin. God is a reflection of humanity’s ever changing self; we are cave people attempting to turn ourselves into angels. This piece can be seen as an extension of the Apocagenesis project into a three-dimensional experience. I am interested in the inversion of painting into sculpture. There is a powerful dogma in painting’s dialogue that believes that painting is “all about Space!” This is absurd. If painting is a two-dimensional activity that is only about simulation of the third dimension, then is sculpture only about the second dimension, or the fourth? If we look at painting and sculpture as opposites (which I don’t), then the inversion of one creates the other. What happens if we use three dimensions to deal with ideas from the second dimension? This paradox will create a higher level of implausible, yet dynamic, plastic space. The Angels will be emerging from a rip in the fabric of reality. The scale of the figures in conjunction with the platform the viewers will be standing on will hopefully manipulate the viewers’ sense of scale, increasing the experience of having the privileged “God’s Eye” point of view. Just as this piece would be a conflict between science and religion, it will also be a conflict between pictorial and actual space.
Proposal - An exhibition of props from all of the other projects. Since a number of pieces and projects I am proposing will use props and other such trappings, it would be of interest to have an exhibition that was only props. At first, it would seem to be simply that, the objects will be presented and there would be photo-documentation of the prop being used by a model or myself. There will also be a short text explaining the how and/or why behind the actions or events. But as the exhibition proceeds the props will become more and more bizarre and the actions more and more fantastic. This will transform the props into -power fetish objects.- The end result will be an expression of what Sigmund Freud called technology, The Prosthetic God.
The prop collection will include, ceremonial robes, musical instruments, tools, walking spools, balancing devices, masks, costumes, armor, robots, exoskeleton jetpacks, E.S.P. Helmets, soul catchers, medusa ray guns, and time machines.
The inspiration and influences of this show include the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, which is the prototype artist/ inventor. Also, Robert Rauschenberg s retrospective at the Soho Guggenheim in 1997, which showed props and artifacts from some of his action and performance pieces. These pieces proved that anything could be used to turn the everyday into a meaningful event. I have a love for the -low-tech- and temporal nature of theatrical props and illusionist gadgets, the economy of their construction, and how their workings are obscured, not exposed. I have been an aficionado of -magic props- since my childhood. I was always finding odd pieces of wood, or broken discarded tools and infusing them with imaginary powers and functions.
Object endowment, the practice of rehabilitating found objects with new and unintended functions, is an important part of my life. I am amazed at what people throw away.
This project will present the props, written statements for each piece, photos and/or videos of the props being used. Half of the objects will be actual props from other projects, the rest will be completely fictional, with the documentation being the element of truth in the exhibit. The rewarding art experience is based upon the revelations of unknown histories. People go to see art in order to see the residue of a secret meaningful life that has been going on unbeknownst to them. The most interesting parts of retrospectives are the early, quirky unknown works or the bizarre later-day tangents. Novelty is a bi-product of discovery, and there is nothing new under the sun, but the sun's light can be broken into new form by prisms.
Proposal- To create a long scroll-like drawing on paper, with ink, collage, and acrylic paint, that will be the ultimate timeline of all events, real and imaged throughout history. I believe that drawing is the highest form of human expression. Drawing timelines has moved outside the bailiwick of artists and into the world of scientific/historic illustration, like cartography. This project will be a timeline to end all timelines, re-claiming the creation of such things to the world of the artist/philosopher.
This project draws from the history of humanity s habit of mapping the future along with the past. In the Vedic traditions, the basic unit of time cycles through 4.3 billion years, and then begins anew. Everything that happens will occur again. Christendom has been producing timelines for hundreds of years that begin with biblical history and go past the present to show the -apocalyptic end times,- Many of the timelines are available on the Internet. Scientist have produced numerous theories about the future of the universe. In Speculative Fiction, many writers present the reader with -the history of the future.- H.G.Wells, E.E. Smith, Olaf Stapleton, Arthur C. Clark, Philip Jose Farmer, Philip K. Dick and H.P. Lovercraft have all setup complex chronological frameworks that destroy themselves upon their lack of maturation. My timeline will reconcile as many incompatible histories as possible. This project will create a timeline that presents a -true- multi-layered history of the universe, instead of a linear progression. It will be a vast Gordian knot of various conflicting, revisionist histories. All manner of unknown, or untrue facts will be explored and the future will be thoroughly explained in detail. The events covered will be from before the Big Bang to the End of Time and beyond.
No matter how much -proof- is brought forth to support the Big Bang, it will always be a theory, (unless time travel becomes a reality). This piece will treat all the ideas about where we came from and where we are going as equal. Did the universe begin with a Big Bang or with the breath of a Giant?
History and Science dominate our view of time. This project will represent all the theories and concepts about Time equally, all the wormholes, paradoxes, divergent realities and loops. This timeline will be a kind of -artifact- akin to the Mappa Mundi (World Map). Completed around 1280 AD. The Mappa Mundi was the culmination of the Medieval Christian European search for a world that would accommodate the Bible and Greco-Roman learning. The offspring of art and science, it was an encyclopedia of the world, including strange -races of humanity- and mythical flora and fauna. The Mappa Mundi is an artifact of a worldview that was complete and dynamic. This artwork is a closed yet infinite system. We exist on the other side of the Mappa Mundi. We exist on a completely different Earth than the one that it depicts. It is the duty of the artist to create such things. Art is a means of thought that actually allows communication between the past, present, and future.
The final goal of this project will a document for future generations about our current understanding of Time itself. A future when we understand mechanics of Time as well as the waterways of earth. When we of the present are the primitives, marking dragons at the edge of the world.
Unicycle Action Paintings
Proposal- To create a series of large-scale figurative paintings using my unicycle as the -brush.- This proposal stems from two major inspirations and influences.
1. Jackson Pollock and the history of Action or Process Painting, which is about the mechanics of compromising or removing the ego from the act of creation. The facts of this art s creation are almost always less interesting than their appearance. Having blind mice dipped in paint crawl around on your canvas sounds like a great idea, but if I have to know that to justify the painting, how good of a painting can it be? Pollock s paintings, at their best, transcend their making. They are not about the dripping of paint, but rather about the Void, Chaos, Hope, Tragedy, Infinity, and Doom. I think the challenge of Action Painting is trying to tame a wild bronco- instead of just hanging on and hoping, to tame the beast. Pollock had control and a purpose when he worked. The idea of him, as a monosyllabic wild man is completely erroneous. He said that he denied the accident. Pollock was controlling the chaos, not the other way around. My unicycle painting would be an attempt to do the same.
2. Various divination practices from around the world- In which chance operations take place within a selected zone or area that are then interpreted. These interpretations of phenomenon are taken as prophetic signs. For example, the Shaman would create a square frame and prop it up, so as to give an unobstructed view of the sky. Then, the Shaman would wait to see what entered the frame and from what direction - a flock of birds from the north, a leaf blown up from the east, a dark cloud floating by from the west. All these things havemeaning, and their position within the frame effects that meaning as well. If I were to look upon the field of the canvas as such a divination field, and then ink up the wheel of my unicycle and ride it on that field, what meanings would arise? The very morphology of my rather amateurish unicycle riding could be analyzed for the divination, conceptual, and figurative direction of the painting.
In all of my artwork, I am trying to set up a battle between the lofty aspirations of my content and my purposefully brutal way of working. This project would extend that dialectic. I have always considered my tendency to clean up the accidents of creation to be an obstacle in my work. I overly tweak and hedge things, and that can sometimes take away the vitality of objects. If I am forced to use my unicycle as my only painting tool, then I can only aestheticize the results by become a better unicyclist. That is why I would attempt to make figurative paintings with the unicycle. To make abstract paintings would not be a challenge, there would be no index of recognition to deal with. The end image will be based on whatever image came out of the riding, as in Rorschach blots. This practice of extracting images from random marks is a common surrealist game, and in the end has more to do with what the artist wants to see. Just as the Shaman interrupts the omens that chance generated.
This project will be completely photo-documented from start to finish. The photo-documentation will be of passing interest, and not to be intended as a justifier of the project. The most important factor in this project is the paintings being autonomous of their process. Knowledge of their making should never be more interesting than the finished pieces. The Non-traditional methods must create an unexpected object, not an interesting anecdote about their own method of creation.
Proposal - To create a collection of models of the earth that are all completely autonomous and mutually exclusive of each other. Each of the models will present a paradigm of our earth that is based on some sort of logic, but does not adhere to current scientifically-approved ideas of what the earth looks like, i.e.: an oblate spheroid covered with two thirds water and seven continents with a molten core. These models will be made of common map and globe making materials. Since modern globes and maps are made digitally for accuracy and mass-production, I, too would use desktop publishing software to create these maps and models. However the final pieces will be made my hand. The models would be a fusion of my own assertions and the vast history of geographic apocrypha: the flat, hollow, inverted, square, fantastic, and geo-political earths.
What if a globe was created that charted all the invented lands of fiction: Atlantis, Lemuria, Lilliput, Oz, Brigadoon, Prospero’s Island, and Xanadu would all be given their proper place upon the earth, How much bigger would the earth have to be in order to accommodate these lands? Models would be based on the mythic and ancient ideas of how the world exists in the universe: upon the back of giant turtle, resting in the womb of a giantess, floating in a void under the floodgates of heaven. This project would entail the creation of numerous other paradises, paradigms, and parodies of the earth, including all the subjective cosmologies that can be imagined. This quote from the Flat Earth Society should help to illustrate what I mean:
The Flat Earth Society does not believe that the Earth is flat. We acknowledge the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that the Earth is currently round. actually, we believe the earth to be a perfect sphere unlike many Spherists, who believe that the earth is oddly shaped, mostly spherical, but with a bulge around the equator and flattened poles. This is obviously silly. On the other hand, we believe that there must be large-scale structural Anomalies left over from the spherization process in the lithosphere. And of course, we believe the mantle and core to be completely synthetic fabrications of modern industrial society.
I believe Humanity’s image of our earth is a political issue that can be explored as a catalyst for images and sculpture. Art s primary social function is to express humanity’s ever-changing image of itself and its world. One of the most tragic facts of the modern world is the loss of terra incognita. The earth no longer seems to have -parts unknown.- Without unknown places to project the fantastic onto, where will our god(s) and monsters reside? Sadly, there is not even a handful of “Goblin Reservations” left in the world. The cold tools of advanced satellite mapping have colonized humankind’s Image-Nations. Has this earth lost it’s magic? Is the Fantastic relegated to outer and virtual space?
A model for the hollow inverted earth by Cyrus -Koresh- Teed. This earth is hollow and we live on the inside shell of it, at the center there is the sun, half light and half dark. The other heavenly bodies are merely optical illusions caused by the density of the atmosphere, also explaining why we cannot see the other side.
Proposal - To create a sculpture of a giant Bell. This piece originates in two overwhelmingly negative themes in contemporary art: art as physical manifestations of puns or one-liners and art as mere advertisements for the artist s ego. I, Jason Robert Bell would produce a giant Bell. In one way this piece would be incredibly stupid, and would be coming directly out of the above “hack methods.” However, there are deeper poetic motivations for such a sculpture, beyond conceptual witticism and hubris.
The Bell is a symbol of creative power. Since it is usually in a hanging position, it is associated with the mystic significance of all objects that are suspended between heaven and earth. Its shape echoes the vault, and consequently, the heavens. For Americans, the bell is also the symbol of Liberty: “Let freedom ring!” The Bell plays a great part in religious ceremonies, in Buddhist prayer, it is tolled after every prayer, and in Christian churches, it calls the worshippers to service. “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls.” The Bell is a powerful symbol and this piece will speak to that power.
This piece will be an attempt at making something rather limited into something profound. If this piece is powerful in its visual and physical properties then its profundity will be evident. This piece would be a self-portrait in terms of nomenclature and morphology. I am a large man who is somewhat Bell-shaped and whose last name is Bell; therefore, I can be appropriately represented as a giant Bell. This piece will resemble the Liberty Bell lying on its side. Since it will be a work of art, it would not be a working Bell: art is artifice, fake not real, it will be mute or “dumb”. The Bell will have a faux-wood grain handle, with the remains of a giant rope, as if it just fell from a high perch, perhaps the vault of heaven itself. Therefore we have a surrogate self-portrait that speaks of Lucifer, the fallen angel.
I could make this piece now, but I will not until an exhibition space is available. I could make it in my studio, and document it and then show the documentation or make the piece and leave it in a vacant lot, but since this is a “wish book,” I wish to make this piece in an exhibition space. This piece could also be expanded into a public work of a grander scale, instead of being around 10 ft. high; it could be 30 or 40 ft. high. This would push the Heavenly aspect of the piece, and the absurdity of someone named Bell making such a thing. The viewer would see themselves in the surface, so I will have to do some research to get a light-weight metallic material that could be fitted or formed about the surface, perhaps thin sheets of aluminum of silver foil.
Nietzsche said art should be “The else while improvisation of a God.” Is not the artist basically a pseudo-God, a capricious ego that celebrates itself by forcing reality to reflect its values and aspirations? Is it not the goal of everyone to have their name outlive themselves; is not art a method of immortality? Art is the only true form of Magic, and the Goal of Magic is immortality; to have ones name live forever. Art is about leaving your mark, your name, on the earth, for that is all you can leave.
Two Films: one short, one long
The Nutcracker Sweets
Proposal - To create a video short whose soundtrack is a medley from The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. This piece will be a literal interpretation of what I thought of when; at the age of six, I heard the words, “The Nutcracker Sweet.” An actor dressed as the Nutcracker from Tchaikovsky’s ballet will kick, knee, punch, and squeeze the testicles of an endless series of victims. As victims scream and yell out in pain, the Nutcracker will shove candy into their gaping mouths. The victims will be from all walks of life, young and old, rich and poor, and so forth.This project will be completed by Christmas next year, in order for it to serve as a Holiday Greetings piece. The main factors in getting it done will be the purchase of the Nutcracker costume and the casting of victims. This video will have a fast-pace editing, so that the viewer cannot process what is happening at first. I will have to devise an ending; perhaps the Nutcracker goes completely berserk, running out into the streets. He is kicked in the groin and explodes. Or perhaps he tries to kick a girl and since it does not hurt her, the Nutcracker falls in love with her. The whole thing could be a mock advertisement for protective codpieces as great Christmas gifts.The motivation for making such a piece comes from my belief that the lowest common denominator of human expression is the classic “Man gets kicked in the balls” joke coupled with what “everybody” thinks of when they hear the word “nutcracker. If this piece is a success, it will prove the theory “if you act like a idiot, you’ll get treated as an equal.”
The Serect Life of the Elephant Man
Proposal - To write, produce, direct, and promote a feature-length film, which will tell the “true” story of Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man. This film will expose the fantastic truth behind who and what Merrick was. Joseph Merrick was not an animal, but was also not a human being; Merrick was one of the last members of a dying race of monsters. Merrick appeared to be completely “normal” at childbirth, only to be catastrophically deformed with Proteous Syndrome starting at the age of five or six. In this film, Merrick would be exposed as a Changeling, a child of the fairies that has been switched with a human child. Merrick was the last of his line and was never meant to continue as part of the world of man. During the day he was weak, but as the moon came out so did his powers. During the night his distorted form became dynamic, he was able to leap great distances, he had acrobatic grace, he had unearthly strength in his right monstrous arm and blinding speed in his left, normal, arm. Afraid and alone, Merrick continues to play the part of the pitiful freak. It is only after he is “recruited” by Dr. Fredrick Treves, that his abilities are truly utilized. To the public at large, Merrick was a wretched charity case and Treves was a master surgeon, who took pity upon him. In fact, Treves was a member of a clandestine order of rationalists, known as The Enlightened who has taken it upon themselves to rid the world of any form of the Fantastic and bring about the Age of Science. Merrick becomes their all-to-willing enforcer, playing his harmless act during the day, but at night leaping about the rooftops of London, and elsewhere, brutally dispatching witches, alchemists, vampires, werewolves, golems, and leprechauns, all of whom are quite benign. Merrick has been brainwashed to want nothing save “to be normal.” It is only when Merrick has to face The Enlightened’s new agent, Jack the Ripper, that he begins to realize that he is the last target on the list. If this piece is a success, it will prove my theory that History is a muddy clay of desire and confusion.
Proposal - To create a giant clay humanoid figure that would be concealed within an even larger pine, crate-like box. The viewer would be presented with a twelve foot long, six foot wide and four foot deep closed crate, but on closer inspection the figure within could be seen within through the small opening in the crate. This piece was inspired by The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, and by my life-long interest in the myth of the Golem. The Golem is a figure from the Jewish mystical tradition. In times of distress and need for the Jewish people, the rabbi would create a giant figure in clay, write <Emet>, the Hebrew word for Truth, upon the figure’s forehead and place a piece of paper inscribed with the tetragrammaton (the unspeakable name of God) into its mouth. The Golem would then come to life and protect the Jews. It was only supposed to do the will of God. If ordered to do something profane, for example, the household chores, the Golem would go berserk and destroy everything in sight. The only way to stop the giant was to wipe away the first letter on his head, changing <Emet>, and truth, to <Met>, which means death. The Rabbi Judah Löw was reported to have actually created such a being in Prague during the 16th century.
I have always been interested in the Golem, initially because of its connection to the Frankenstein Monster, and secondly because it is a powerful symbol of the Artistic process. A figure is made that approximates the creation of Adam from clay, and then language brings it to life. Art exists as a powerful, yet mute, giant, but writing brings it to life. A work of art is not finished until it is titled. The creator finishes their work and then calls it truth. Art history and theory, when correctly applied, bring art to life in the wider world. Art is the fusion of thought and form to the visceral end of the surrogate self, the homunculus, the twin, the robot, the artificial companion. This doubling desire goes from the Epic of Gilgamesh to the frontiers of contemporary science.
In Chabon’s book, the main character Joseph Kavalier escapes from Nazi-occupied Prague by hiding inside a giant crate that was the coffin of Löw’s Golem. I was struck by the image of a giant coffin that contains the defunct Golem. An essential part of the Golem mythos is the potential for it to return to life. All someone would have to do would be to find the lifeless giant and write the proper letter on its forehead. This image is one of magical potential in a mundane world. For me, the interesting aspect about actualizing this piece is what the viewer is confronted with: the antiqued wood crate and upon closer inspection, the giant clay figure could be seen within. This piece would not be a straightforward illustration from literature, but rather an interpretation of a text. The idea starts from the text, but in the making it will change and become something as yet unknown.
Another text that relates to this piece is The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, in which the intended subjects of drawings, elephants and sheep, are concealed within the forms of snakes and boxes. Only persons that have retained a child’s sense of wonder are able to see the true subjects of these drawings. This project would be an experiment in the viewers’ ability to see the world of mystery, as opposed to surface appearances. The caveat of this piece would be in the discovery of the box’s contents. Only on closer inspection will the faint highlights of the Giant within become visible through the cracks. The viewer’s imagination is the sleeping giant.
Lighter-than-Air Objects/ Released into the Void
Proposal: To create groups of lighter-than-ai, three-dimensional objects that will be “released” into the sky, to simulate mystical events. I will use helium filled balloons with lightweight paper external skins. Perhaps this project could be expanded to include custom-made plastic inflatables. All manner of objects could be created for various permutations of this project; each group of objects would gain something different from being “released.”
At its heart, this project deals with the Enochian ritual magic as a motif for making art. Enochian magic is a system of ritual in which the supposed tongue of the angels is spoken. Each letter is an elemental will to power for the speaker. But speaking is not enough. The text must be given physical form to be complete. What if an Enochian magic evocation took place upon a rooftop, and each one of the ancient magic sounds uttered was given physical form as a lighter-than-air object, and allowed to float away into the night? The sky itself would become the elemental tablet of human will.
An example of Enochian text
Another object group could be the Platonic Forms: the pyramid, cube, octahedron, icosahedrons, and dodecahedron, which are supposed to be ideal, eternal, and perfect shapes. They are intellectual symbols of logic and reason. I envision a human being holding them in their hands and releasing them back in the heavens; when an object is floating above a viewer, it loses its object-hood. The viewer cannot encompass it. It becomes an image, and then disappears into the atmosphere.
This project deals with what art and magic share, that word and the thing are one and the same: eternal, and yet ephemeral. An artwork may outlive its creator, but how long does the viewer look at any one piece? 5 minutes, if you are lucky!
What if an ad were placed in the local paper, and anyone answering the ad would be measured and become the template for a highly realistic life-size lighter-than-air sculpture? At a set time perhaps 500 of these people would release their doubles into the sky. A common dogma of millennialism is that the truly faithful will float up to heaven when the Rapture comes. These floating doppelgangers would create a miniature mock-rapture. Across the city, people would see individuals float away into the nothingness. On a smaller scale, this version of the project could be done as a self-portrait. I’ll do one better than Yves Kline: not just leaping into the void, but also flying up into it forever.
The photo documentation of these actions will be very powerful; I will need numerous collaborators to accomplish this part of the project, with Cameras located in numerous rooftops and on the street. For sadly, these objects will eventually land. This Icarus effect will add another poetic dimension to the projects.
Proposal - An exhibition in which numerous manifestoes will be presented to be read and/or purchased by the visitors. The exhibition space will be arranged with ten to fifteen tables, each one having a stack of 100 to 500 copies of a different text. Each text will be a staple-bound photocopied document printed on its own distinct colored paper and designed and illustrated in a manner for its content. Each of the texts will address the pillars of philosophy: Metaphysics, Epistemology, Human Nature, Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics, in a completely different way, to create a unique and complete worldview. These texts will all be in serious radical conflict with each other. The goal of this project is to force me to think in a prism fashion, breaking myself into a spectrum of contrary attitudes and beliefs to push myself to see many different sides to an argument.
This project is an exercise in Memetic theory, in which ideas are thought to act similar to viruses. The word MEME is defined “as a contagious information pattern that replicates by symbolically infecting human minds and altering their behavior, causing the host to propagate the pattern to other individuals.” Slogans, catch phrases, melodies, icons, inventions, and fashions are typical memes. An idea or information pattern is not a meme until it causes someone to replicate it, to repeat it to someone else. All transmitted knowledge is memetic.
These texts will each be written to “have all the answers.” They will come from all socio-political stand points, and be impassioned calls to action. None of the texts will be written with internal irony. I will actually attempt to adopt the viewpoints of the text, if only for the duration of the writing. In essence, I will be acting as a Memenaut, brainwashing myself into becoming a rabid convert to a series of new beliefs and writing a manifesto expressing those beliefs.
Cognitive dissonance is the state in which most people exist today. We are all walking around with conflicting meme systems in our minds. Most of us are unable to resolve our internal confusion, so exposure to the beliefs of others is almost always a rejection. To actually believe in something is very suspect. The one thing we are all supposed to have in common is doubt about everybody else. It is only through having a high meme tolerance that an individual can actually explore the beliefs of others. Human survival mandates thinking to be selfish. We are always seeking out reinforcement to our beliefs, who really wants to experience something that makes you doubt yourself? Only when you go outside of you bailiwick, outside of your interest, outside of your world, will you have a truly occult experience.
Occult, in the true sense of the word, means secret knowledge, the possibility of direct and intuitive acquisition of ineffable knowledge or power. Notice that I said "possibility of.” All that can be hoped for is the possibility of understanding. If any of us were really able to look into the mind of another person, we would only see a convoluted web of motivations that would look like insanity to us. All we can ever hope to do in any social interaction is understand one another, even for a moment.
I have always had a deep appreciation for manifestoes, over-the-top artist statements, all-encompassing pseudo-philosophy, crackpot writing and outlandish biblical tracts. I find in them something that is hard to get elsewhere: fearlessly uncensored human expression. That would be the goal of this project: to access that power and reproduce it whole-heartedly.
The Public Defacement Experiment
Proposal - To have full-color posters made of my face mass-produced and posted around the city of New York. The posters will be the same size as the advertising posters that are plastered around the city and in the subway. My hope is that, once posted, the posters will be subjected to defacement and graffiti. After a few weeks I will photo-document the posters in their new form.
The phenomenon of defacement is an ever-present part of New York City’s public transportation. Since the Manhattan Transportation Authority, like all public services, has the “anything for a buck” attitude, they allow advertisers to promote their products all over the subway and its stations. These signs invariably become defaced. Teeth are blackened out; cartoon scars, mustaches, pimples, boils, and black eyes appear overnight. Profanity, scatological images and subversive scrawls become crude gatecrashers at a black tie affair for desktop publishing, upper-crust typography, and expensive photo shots. Movie and pop music stars become conceptual toilets. The human sprit rebels against the “image sickness” that inflects our world. The constant bombardment of deposable celebrities and flavor-of-the-month culture becomes more than most people can bear, and they retaliate. Eventually, anything posted will become defaced. Sometimes this defacement happens the same day as the posting, and sometimes it happens after days or weeks of the image being consumed. What is especially wonderful is when the defacements combine over the course of a few weeks; part of the intended message becomes altered. My goal is to open myself up to this potential through this project. I choose a full color self-portrait because I want the viewers of my poster to be unaware that they are looking at anything different from the Madison Avenue images, logos, and advertisements that they encounter in the city. If I were to make smaller, black and white “flyer” images, they would be obvious defacements themselves. People want to “Stick it to the MAN.” If my posters are anything but highly professional, they will not get the treatment I am looking for.
These posters are intended bait for graffiti, and they have to look the part. From what I can tell, human faces get the harshest treatment. The bigger the face, the less text the better, and the more free space the better. My poster will be a straight-on headshot with my face floating in a monochromatic field, to provide a maximum incentive for defacement.
Another aspect of this project is direct and shameless self-promotion as a form of rebellion. Why should I have to see all these corporate zombie hollow people be celebrated for movies that I will never see and music I will never listen to? Why can’t I be in their place?
This is also an experiment in popular culture. How many posters need to be distributed before the image becomes an autonomous entity? The floating head logo is a counter culture institution with such notable examples as The Church of the Sub Genius’ “Bob Dobbs,” and The André the Giant images of Shepard Fairey (which now can be purchased at Urban Outfitters.)
My poster will not pretend to sell anything; it will embrace its true purpose to be a vehicle for defacement and transformation. I will open myself up to all that can be done to my image, sit back and reap the rewards. After a week, I will begin to photo-document the defacements. Hopefully, all manner of transformations will be done to my visage.
The Spoolway: Across the U.S.A.
Proposal - To produce a video, perhaps 30 to 60 minutes in length, in which I am documented riding a wooden construction spool across the continental United States. All the trials and tribulations of such a feat would be recorded for the camera: the start off, the bad weather, the inevitable injury, the reactions of the public as I pass by them, interspersed with short interviews with friends and family about my lifetime of “spooling.” The end product video is the important factor in this project; the actual performance does not always make good art. The endurance piece can turn the artist into a flagpole sitter. Chris Burden’s and Tehching Hsieh’s endurance and duration pieces are really amazing, but I have neither the economic nor chronological resources to match them.
This project will be based on such cultural institutions as The Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and television shows like Real People, and That’s Incredible, where “everyday” individuals are featured doing amazing, bizarre, and absurd feats. I will travel to Los Angles from New York via a spool for a cause greater than an endurance stunt itself: this project will test the spool as a real means of alternative transportation. Also, this is a bootstrap, neo-Luddite response to the Segway, that self-balancing electronic two-wheeler that basically works the same way a spool does. This project will be framed as a rebellion to the world the Segway represents. -A world in which Yuppie-Morlock overloads are carried about on Segways because their withered limbs can no longer support their own weight. Spools cost next to nothing, while Segways are $3,000.00.
I do not want this project to become the fodder for self-promotion; I want it to produce a great video that makes a John Henry-like statement about the world. Great Art must serve great purposes. It’d be great to have a race between a Spoolway and a Segway, a tortoise against the hare race.
To produce this video, I will have to take time off from work, rent a truck for my support crew and the cameraperson. I will follow a route that will allow me to get from New York to Los Angels within a week. I will need to have at least three other persons with me in order to shoot the footage and share in the driving of the support truck. To take this project to its logical end, I have been learning to “sleepwalk” on top of the spool. This will allow me to complete the whole trip without dismounting from the spool. I will do this next summer.
I will need custom-made spools, the proper size with grip tape, and reinforcements. The video will also have footage of myself and an expert team of fabricators designing and building the perfect traveling Spool. The Spoolways will be displayed on my website with instructions as to how to make one yourself. The human sprit is greater than greed, class, and technocracy, and. for that matter, reality itself. A good set of calf muscles and a sense of balance are all one needs.
How-to Show with Kari Gatzke
Proposal - To write, direct, produce, and star in a “How-to” television series with my friend and fellow artis, Kari Gatzke. The subject of the show will be the creation of artworks. The episodes will be 30 minutes long and feature the creation of one work of art from conception to completion. Our projects will run the gamut of contemporary art practice, spanning all manner of media, styles, and forms, but focusing on painting, drawing, and sculpture. This is one of the few projects in this collection in which unabashed tongue-in-cheek humor will be the goal. However, as in all my work, any irony will be external, something contributed by the viewer, not the artist. I believe that a work of art should always be created and presented in a manner that is internally positive to its goals. The best, most humorous, “how-to” shows are the ones in which the viewers, not the creators of the show, get the joke. This is what attracts most artists to such programs as Painting with William Alexander, Bob Ross’s Joy of Painting, and, my personal favorite, Commander Mark’s Secret City.
I see this project as a way to parody this image of how art gets made. The general public, schooled in “how-to” books and videos, sees art as an activity that has more in common with making a pie or laying floor tile than capturing the sublime torture of the human condition. As a result, most people hold art and artists in a state of contempt. The public sees art as a specialized leisure activity, one that anyone can pick up after learning a few standard techniques. No one would ever make a “How to be a Doctor” show, but, for some reason, everyone thinks that they can be an artist.
Our show will, in actuality, be the opposite of a “how-to” show. Our elaborate, Rube Goldberge-esque instructions will have little or no connection to what is being made. The processes will lack causality. The show will use camera tricks and off-camera preparation to create the artwork. Pre-assembly is a standard feature of the “how-to” show. Viewers watch as the presenters magically produce finished pieces from under the table, out of the oven, or off-camera. Kari and I would develop this method to a baroque degree. Our processes will also include a ridiculous amount of cumbersome extra steps. If someone were to attempt to make the pieces following our instructions, they would fail.
The goal of this project is the re-mystification of the art process. Kari and I will return Art to its Mystical and Alchemical status through the “magic” of television. The show will be distributed on public access channels, the internet, and cable TV. Also Do-it-yourself kits will be for sale in art supply stores, VHS tapes and DVDs will come along with the needed materials for projects.
The New Talent Exhibit
Proposal - To create an exhibition that will seem to be a group show of “New Talent.” This exhibition will include recent works by emerging artists from around the world. A variety of media and styles will be displayed, and the show will be presented as “New Directions and Possibilities in Contemporary Art.” In reality, I will make all of the works in the show under a number of alter egos. Each fictional artist will have a name, background story, and motivation. This will be a form of method acting for visual art. Through my fictional alter egos, I will explore all the avenues of art that are not what I do in my own work. The materials, techniques, concepts, and presentations will be as unique and realized as my own work, but completely different from it.
The rigid absurdity of style is an overwhelming shadow on the creative mind. Economics often forces artists to limit themselves to a signature style. Often, style becomes a gimmick enforced by the pressure of marketing and reception. The challenge of this project is to force myself to create in manners that are not “my style.” I want to become a completely different artist each time I enter the studio. I see this project as a way for me to push myself in terms of how and why I make art, while simultaneously creating a meta-work that causes the viewer to question reality.
The last thing I want from this show is for a visitor to quickly figure out that the work is the product of one artist. At the same time, I do not want the truth to be to totally obscure. If someone were to look carefully at the work, the titles, and the artists’ names and statements, they might smell something fishy. The last and crowning test of this exhibition will be the balance between cheap prank and airtight sham. I think the problem with this sort of alter-ego work is that people are too quick to let the cat out of the bag. As my father always said, “if you want something to be a secret, don’t tell nobody.” This project will be most successful if some visitors suspect the truth, but most believe the lie. This tension is the birth of mythology. We all have to pick the lie we want to believe in, and that lie becomes our truth.
There is a certain bizarre energy created by the group show. As the artworks all vie for your attention, and they often cancel each other out. They become a dialogue of extremes, or there is confusion as to who made what. This project would be about creating an exhibition that will be received as a “great show.” Does that mean that the works are all powerful and masterful, or does it mean that there is some odd synergy between them that was unseen before the show was put together? This is an unknown factor that I will take into account as I execute this project.
Since the openings of group shows tend to be “blow outs” with lots of traffic, I will need to hire “fillers” to make up for the fictitious artists’ lack of friends and family. Actors will also portray the artists all of who will be happy to talk about there work and what they’re working on now. This project could become an ongoing series, as each fictitious artist goes on to have one-person shows, reviews, retrospectives, public works, monographs and obituaries.
Possible names for these artists-
Noah Moncrief, Sarah Glasscoffin, Kent Klark, Cinderella Jones, Jacob Kutzberg, Roscoe Arbuckle,Ulysses Singingbear, Ajax Gingerbread, Zoltan Pederastvic, Donald Quake, Roy Legume, Veep Jackston, Shiri Panonglee, Branny Forth, Hexan Samhain, Emit Flesti , and of course Harpy Holloway
The Ethnographic Collection
Proposal - To create an exhibit of artifacts simulating an ethnographic “collection” from remote areas of the world. Masks, artifacts, statues, totems, and fetish objects will be presented to the viewers. Each object will be presented with detailed documentation as to its place of origin, its former purpose, and other items of interest. Of course, I will be creating all the artifacts myself from various woods, clays, fabrics, animal hides, and metals. There is so much fakery in ethnography that it will be important to give these objects the authentic touch. I will “age” the artifacts to simulate time and use paints that are close approximations of primitive materials, like pigments made from ground-up flowers and animal organs.
Having never seen “primitive” art outside of a museum context, anthropological documentary, or in a curiosity shop, I have always been suspect of these objects. Who is to know what is real? Laypeople buy these artifacts for aesthetic reasons, so forgery must be the norm.
I am always struck by the visual power of the primitive object, and I have a guttural desire to create work that will respond to this power. The primitive art object belongs to a world in which art is the gateway to magic and the artist is a shaman. This world evokes empathy in the contemporary artist. This project will allow me to explore the power of the “primitive” through mimicry and pastiche. However, parody is not my goal. I will go to great lengths in the fabrication of the fictional documentation that will accompany each artifact. The artifacts will come from all over the world and span centuries. The Gods, Devils, and Ancestors they will depict or celebrate will come from distinct and diverse fictitious societies: cultures of war and peace, matriarchies, patriarchies, and all points in between. The goal will be to create artifacts from fully actualized fictions, to create unique peoples with histories, beliefs, tragedies, and triumphs.
The relationship between modern and “primitive” art is a bone of contention. In my own education, Picasso was cast as owing a debt to Africa that can never be repaid. The myth of the primitive is a powerful thing; the viewer is presented with artifacts that are not supposed to be seen as art. In fact to look upon ethnographic works aesthetically is a great act of cultural insensitivity. This is the great conundrum; the reason why “primitive” artifacts are preserved, studied, displayed, exported, and purchased in the western world is because of their aesthetic power. These objects have an inexplicable and unknowable quality that allows the Western viewer to project into them the myth of the other. The primitive mask has remnants of power within it. If Hollywood has taught us one thing it is that every museum has at least one truly mystical artifact within its walls, just waiting for some unsuspecting cat burglar to release it. The “primitive” artifact is one of the last territories of belief in magic that still exist. The long forgotten sprits sleep within those masks.
This project will attempt to tap into this power. The pieces in the exhibit will play off all the projections that the modern western world has about “the primitive.” All the fears will be called up for one last laugh. The mask is a portal into the sprit world. The artifacts in this collection will be simulations, but will not be soulless forgeries. This is not a proposal for elaborate pranks. The best parodies become something beyond a parody. The classic story of the white man’s folly is what I want from this project. I want to tamper with things I don’t really understand; I want the objects from this show to give new faces for forgotten powers. I want to awaken the old gods, (and I want them not to be happy about it.)
Ben Zu-kut Nene Pand-Abalu
Proposal - To create a film in which my character, Caveman Robot, materializes in the real world. Caveman Robot is a recurring character in my artwork. He is a giant silver robot dressed in a leopard skin, a synthesis of ancient past and distant future. He is a tabula rasa, a polymorphous character that takes on many forms, from hero to monster to Saturday morning cartoon star. In this project, he represents the ubiquitous stranger in a strange land, a creature out of time and space, confused and angry, and possibly dangerous.
The film will feature an individual not only dressed as Caveman Robot, but acting the part as well. The actor wearing the costume must be extroverted and pathologically fearless. A dose of LSD before the shoot should produce the desired effect. To free the actor’s mind, the costume will be made from bulletproof Kevlar. This suit of body armor will foster a feeling of superhuman power, eliminating the actor’s inhibitions. I have a few candidates in mind to play this part. The main factor in casting the part will be the actor’s willingness to take this play-acting to extreme levels.
Since the film will record the world’s reaction to Caveman Robot, there will be no preconceived script or plot. The goal of this project will be to set up a “Frankenstein’s Monster” scenario, in which Caveman Robot runs amuck in New York City. Caveman Robot will be released onto the world with only three directives: follow your impulses, speak only Mangani, the ape speech from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan novels, and try not to break any laws. The story will be created from stolen shots of the interaction between Caveman Robot and unsuspecting city dwellers. My film crew and I will record the day’s events on video. The footage will also be used to produce large photographic stills that could be exhibited autonomously.
The video footage will become part of a larger work, in which we see Caveman Robot traverse the primordial wasteland, hunt for food, make fire, scream to the Gods, and become frozen in ice, only to be revived in modern times. My cast and crew would film on location in Iceland to give a sense of “the Land Before Time.” Later, in the distant future, we see Caveman Robot in a disassembled state. He is slowly brought back to working order by hooded technicians in a mysterious laboratory.
This work will illustrate my maxim: The Fantastic is not Fantasy.
This project will create images and tableaus dealing with the figure in the sublime landscape. A major influence on this piece is the work of Kenneth Anger, particularly the film Lucifer Rising, in which a number of actors in fantastic garb are filmed in remote locations, creating a sense of the world as a place of forgotten mystery. Postmodern thought dismisses the sublime in favor of irony and style. Although Caveman Robot appears to be an ironic or humorous character, he is really a vehicle for returning Art to the Sublime. The idea of the caveman and the spaceman shaking hands is by definition sublime, beyond our comprehension.
If taken seriously, Caveman Robot is both a paradox and a truth. He represents humanity. We are primitives who have re-created ourselves in the image of technology, our new god. Caveman Robot is an Everyman; like each one of us, he is a lone figure trying to survive in a world that is beyond any control and in the end -insane.
The title of the piece is my translation of Caveman Robot’s name in Mangani:
Great cave beetle thunder brother warrior.
Proposal - To create an exhibition in the manner and style of the American Museum of Natural History, displaying mythic or imaginary animals and creatures. The exhibit will give elaborate details about the point of origin, time span, evolution, and anatomy of each “animal”. Detailed flow charts and diagrams will expose how creatures such as the centaur, griffin, Minotaur, unicorn, triton, yeti, and harpy fit into our natural history. Anatomy charts will inform the visitors of the placement of internal organs and the evolution of certain traits. There will be an attempt to cast these creatures in a new light of fictitious natural history by relating the unknown facts and discoveries that have been made about them. For example, the unicorn has a brain similar to a dolphin, centaurs have three sets of lungs, and tritons are evolutionarily related to manatees, in the same way that humans are related to chimpanzees.
This project relates to my interest in the ““arti-fakes”.” People want to believe in unreal things. The problem is that as people get more sophisticated, their illusions require a higher level of veracity. If you present something as truth, even the most skeptical person will believe it to some degree. This project takes an epistemological approach to the Fantastic. Its goal is to make the Fantastic real by using the same scientific methods that are often used to disprove it. What we pretend becomes what we believe. We believe in dinosaurs because of the evidence of their existence. What if the bones of a Titan were unearthed? When the ancient Greeks came upon giant fossilized bones, they thought they had discovered the remains of giants and Homeric heroes. In the future, will our descendants look back at us and laugh at the myth of the dinosaurs as we laugh at the Titans?
Adrienne Mayor’s book The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times puts forth the theory that fossilized bones were the inspiration for the creatures of mythology. Another related project is Dale Russell’s model for the Dinosauroid, a fully realized “life size” humanoid figure representing what dinosaurs might have evolved into had they not died off. The great charlatan P.T. Barnum displayed the Fiji Mermaid in his American Museum. This curiosity was actually a mummified chimpanzee’s head, arms, and torso attached to a large, dried-out fish carcass.
This project aspires to Barnum’s idea that fakes can be more real than real; it is all a manner of presentation. We believe that the creatures in the Museum of Natural History are real because they are presented as such. The context, the attention to detail, and the proof by scholarship are what sell us; the rest is masterful fabrication. Mayor’s book and Russell’s model are important to this project for the same reason as Barnum: they show that if the story is good, people will believe it.
A high degree of fabrication will be needed for this project. I will use the same methods and even the same fabricators as the Museum of Natural History. This project could actually be done within the Museum or a similar institution, to foster an odd mix of real and unreal indeed. Realism will be the most important aspect of this project. Fiction is only as powerful as its ability to supersede reality.
The Entire Collection of Caveman Robot Comics: 1938 to the Present
Proposal - An exhibition of the entire collection of Caveman Robot Comics. This will be a detailed simulation of a fictional superhero comic that has (not) been in existence since 1938. The exhibition will consist of endless rows of Caveman Robot Comics mounted on the walls in archival bags, as they are displayed in comic book and collectable stores. Each “comic” will be a cover that is offset printed and aged to look as authentic as possible. The internal pages will be blank newsprint, and will not be viewable because the comics will be bagged. The exhibition will include an essay written by myself under a pseudonym, expounding upon the history of Caveman Robot Comics and their influence on culture at large. The essay will include examples of the artwork that is supposedly inside the comics on display, and will be printed as a brochure accompanying the show.
This project will be a fully realized “mockument.” There is a phenomena in the art world in which a collection is sometimes presented as an art exhibit. Often, this is a crossover event, in which the standard art gallery or museum visitors are introduced to a sub-cultural realm previously known only to aficionados. The visitors are exposed to a secret history; the “collection” show pulls a secret lever that reveals a hidden wonder. People want wonder--they want it bad. Since comics have been ghettoized in the art world, this exhibition will play off that by presenting the visitors something that they will have no reason to doubt. The accompanying essay will be filled with the politics and drama that is the standard tragedy of the American comic book. Caveman Robot will be the brainchild of a humble, economically abject artist, and the character will follow the same reactionary path as other super heroes over the 20th century. At first, the stories will be rooted in a pulp sensibility. Then, they will become engrossed in World War Two, then move into High Fantasy in the 1950’s, then deal with the counter-culture in the 1960’s, and so forth.
The thrust of the project will be to illustrate how comics mirror and also escape from the “real world.” Most comics are the products of corporations, though there are a few individuals that make quality work of great depth. The majority of super hero comics are absurd fantasies cobbled together by committee. They are more the products of market pressure than artistic vision. The publishers of comics have often treated the greatest artists horribly, and their works were often butchered. Their characters live on, but the artists are often forgotten.
This project will involve a lot of nose-to-the-grindstone drawing, plus research on the artistic styles and cultural values of the time periods being simulated. With the right inks and papers, I should be able to reproduce the look of a vintage comic.
This project will be another attempt to have Caveman Robot become known without ever making a fully realized comic or cartoon. I want to create artifacts of a fictitious history that will dupe the unknowing viewer with their mastery. I want people to waste whole weekends trying to find copies of Caveman Robot comics.
The truly successful fictional character takes on Godlike powers. It has no body, but is constantly given new form by the collective human mind. Disney’s characters exist this way, not only as merchandising icons, but also as life forms in the minds of countless hosts. Caveman Robot has the potential to exist in this way. Every now and then, someone sends me an unsolicited drawing or art piece of the character, which I have posted on my website. I want the ephemera and trappings of Caveman Robot to multiply in the absence of any actual body or text. Eventually, this peripheral material will become the actuality.
Color-Coded Work Experiment
Proposal - To hire a group of 34 individuals to “hang out” in an otherwise empty exhibition space during gallery hours for the duration of a month-long show. Each person will wear a different color of coveralls. This project will be an experiment in the creation and documentation of a purposefully absurd “work” environment. The “colors,” as they will be referred to, will all be people who answer a classified ad that will run in local papers, and be posted in the job boards of local colleges. The ad will read something like this:
The hiring process would involve short person-to-person interviews and the filling out of a long questionnaire. The selected group will purposefully include the full spectrum of personalities. People will be matched with the appropriate color of coveralls to their personality. The colors will be based on Ken Nordine’s Colors, a spoken word album in which Nordine personifies each of the colors. These “colors” will each be given strict and involved instructions regarding how to act when they are “performing” in the space: But, just as in real work environments, each “color” will be told slightly different information. Some will be told a lot less than others. Some will be told that they cannot speak to visitors, others will not. Some will be told that they must arrive on time or be docked pay, others will not. Some will be told they can bring books or personal music players, other will not. Some will be told to report improper activity of their fellow “colors,” others will not. Each “color” will be under a slightly different impression as to what the project is and their part in it. Perhaps most importantly, there will be a sliding scale of payment. This will be randomly chosen, and will be designed to reflect, on a micro-scale, the reality of the work force, in which some people make more money than others for the same or less work, for no apparent reason at all. The Exhibition space will have a punch clock and time sheets for the “colors.” Each day a different “color” will collect and tally the time. There will be no other clocks or timepieces allowed.
The space will have a number of digital video cameras recording the space in time elapsed increments. I, as the manager, will appear at a set time during the day and meet with all or some of the “colors.” Each of the “colors” will be instructed to fill out a complaint or suggestion in written form, and place in my “in-box” These complaints and suggestions will be recorded and completely ignored.
The goal of the project is to document the interactions of the “colors” with one another: the cliques, friends, enemies, and dramas that develop. The hope is that these interactions will produce interesting and arresting images in the documentation, since the “colors” will be milling around all day. This project is about color relationships. Instead of using a formalist theory or a chance operation to compose, I am setting up an elaborate system of human power relationships that will create the compositions.
Susan Sontag once stated, “Fascism is when people try to turn politics into an art form.” I want to do the opposite of this: to create politics from art, to expose the dehumanizing power of formalism. When human beings are reduced to rigid systems of employment, they not only lose hope and pride, the also lose a sense of reality. The world becomes the work they do, this project will produce something of interest: the visual documentation by-products or the psychological group dynamics will all be recorded to produce a book of images and accompanying text.
Olive Lavender Burgundy Yellow Green Beige Maroon Ecru Chartreuse Turquoise White Flesh Azure Puce Magenta Orange Purple Muddy Russet Amber Blue Black Gold Crimson Brown Rosey Hazel Mauve Fuschia Sepia Nutria Cerise Grey Coral
Mythopolis Next Right
Proposal - To cause a mythic transformation of the cultural cartography of America by the distributing of a number of street, traffic, and warning signs that will be placed on the streets and highways of America. These signs will be “mockuments,” actual in everyway, save that they will be made by myself and my resources, as opposed to the government. The signs would be painted with the same enamels and paints that are used by cities for their signs, and will be placed around the country in an attempt to demarcate a Fantastic landscape that will be overlaid upon present maps. Fictional cites with such names as, Metropolis Utopia, Necropolis, Exotica, Asshole City, and Forgotten Realms will be marked with non-existant highway exits and miles. Crossing signs for Imaginary beasts, will replace the leaping deer, drivers will be warned to be on the lookout for, griffins, centaurs, and unicorns. Instead of Falling Rocks or Icy Roads, drivers will be warned about Attacking Robots and Space/Time Worm Holes.
The key to this project is not to place any sign where it might cause undue chaos or injury to anyone. Although this is a factor, someone would have to be a class- A chowder-head to actually believe any of these signs. None of the warning signs will be anywhere that there will be actual danger. The false city signs will be so far apart from each other that the majority of drivers would miss them. The mythic overlay maps will be mass-produced and left in truck stops and visitor centers.
Related will be the production of road, street, and public transportation maps that will be distributed in cuckoo bird fashion, by methods of “reverse shoplifting” and midnight raids.” Reverse shoplifting” is a distribution method in which products are placed within stores in a clandestine manner without the store’s employees or owners knowledge. These items can be purchased thanks to the placement of a Universal Product Code sticker. The hope is that individuals will assume that they are purchasing authentic maps, but buyers beware. These maps will have completely different systems depicted. The land itself will be the same in its physical depiction; the layout would be from an alternate reality. The exits, cities, landmarks, and subway stops will not only have different names, but the lines would go in different directions. The actual production of these maps will be as close to reality as possible, and the printing and materials would be exact in the parody.The thrust of these pieces will be to make the passerby do a double take, to push them out of their everyday thinking, and make them believe that reality has hiccupped.
My father’s 20-plus years of being a sign painter has been a great influence on me and particularly this project. He once misspelled a word on a diner’s sign. No one noticed for a few days. Then people started asking for a HAMRUGER, and the diner chose to keep it that way. They still call them hamrugers to this day. When something is wrong but looks intentional, you remember it. The wrongness sticks in your mind. Memory is a tool for survival, when a predator is near the status quo is disturbed, if anything is wrong it screams out to our most base self of animal survival. The urban jungle is our habitat now. The signs and maps we use to navigate with are the new natural world, primitive humans, knew every rock and tree, just as sailors once used stars, we know every twist and turn of the subway and highway. This project will awaken our world to us anew.
The traffic, street, and highway signs can be fabricated by any number of private companies that produce the actual signs for cities. All that is needed are master layouts to work from. Any offset printer from digital files can create the maps. A van or truck can be rented to distribute the signs, and I would need a few others to help with the installation. A network of people using the above-mentioned “reverse shoplifting” method can distribute the maps. This project would basically be a form of positive vandalism.
The Super Symbols / Hubristic
Proposal - To create a new language for the utilization in artworks, a symbol system that holds no affiliation with any one country, group, or creed. This language will allow text in artwork without ever having to deal with translation or misinterpretation. These Super Symbols would allow any participant in the art world to understand and better consume an artist’s message/product, regardless of their native language. This system will be a fully realized cultural construction that will pick up the torch that Esperanto dropped. Polish occultist-philologist Lazarus Ludwig Zemenhof, who hoped his universal language would help achieve world peace and understanding, invented Esperanto. Sadly, this language, while a robust construct, never gained the wide acceptance as a “second language for everyone” that it should have. People are lazy. American English is becoming the international language more from avarice than any other motive.
This new language will attempt to fuse other existing artificial and natural languages into a new pan-ideogram international tongue and symbol system. The Super Symbols will be a language that will have no disparaging relationship between the word and the symbol. The pictorial based logic of Eastern Languages (Chinese, Japanese) and the phonetic logic of Western languages will fuse to produce “super symbols” The alphabet will be pure in its logic and incorruptible in its images. This project comes out of my desire to use text in my artwork. Foreign text functions in an image state. The viewer sees the text as the symbol of an unknown tongue. When text is presented to people that cannot read it, the texts become a symbol of an “unknown language.” When an English speaker sees Chinese, they still understand that they are looking at words. Even if they do not understand any of them, they know that someone else does. All foreign languages are a form of cryptography. That tension between image and text is the space in which my Super Symbols will function.
They will function as a code that will allow anyone who desires to access the language, but will also function as unknowable code to the passive viewer. In other words, they will be a language that will be accessible by all in one form or another. Most people believe art to be universal, but whenever text is used that cannot be the case. The world of art already has certain symbols that have taken on semi-linguistic shorthand power: the drip, the zip, and the cube, to name a few. Many of the “self referencing” idioms of modern art have become quotidian. I merely suggest forging these elements into a dynamic pictographic system. Individuals already have to study art history to understand most art. The Super Symbols would be a key or dictionary that will be available to those who were interested in learning, but the simple visual beauty of the symbols will be enough for others. The meanings and translations of the super symbols would not be simple; they will require study.
The Super Symbols will also look to past artificial tongues, taking from them anything useful or of interest. Enochian, Solresol, Esperanto, Voulkspeak, Quenya, Sindarin, Tengwar, Lingo, Protong, Krypotian, Klingon, and even Pig Latin will be included. The hubris of creating a language is itself a remarkable act of art and frankly beyond my abilities. I will have to force myself to think in ways that I am hardwired against. Due to my own language-processing difficulties, it seems right to create a new language: my own system not another’s. The reason for creating an artificial language should not be to actually replace existing natural languages; it is to radically speed up the mutation process of language, to push language somewhere it will never go with an absurd egomaniacal vector. Since the name of a Language should be derived from its own internal logic, which has not been created yet, I have been using the “working title” of Hubristic as a name, In truth, what else can I call it.
Walk Across the World
Proposal - To walk across the entire earth without ever boarding a car, plane, train, boat, sled, rickshaw, bicycle, skateboard, or any beast of burden. This project will be an attempt at reclaiming the world of mystery through the very process that stole it from us: exploration. The mystery of terra incognita has been lost. Thanks to the advances in aerospace travel and global satellite mapping, humanity has come to think of itself as masters of this earth. Part of me laments the “known” status of the earth. I seek the earth that is a much larger, much older place than anyone has realized, it is not a small world after all!
I would leave my home in New York City and walk across North America. I will head toward Alaska, but will follow the paths that become available. I will not follow the human-made routes. I will walk at least 40 miles a day. The end goal of this part of the journey will be the Bering Strait, which can be walked across to Asia. This can only be done at certain times of the year, when the water is completely frozen, and can be quiet dangerous, physically and politically. When I was growing up in the waning years of the Cold War, one of the mythic battlefields was Alaska. Alaska, which had once belonged to the Russian’s, is now part of America. When you looked on the World Map, you could see the further most tips of the East and West almost touching. The Bering Strait is also the “great white man’s out,” the theory that Native Americans crossed the Strait from Asia, is used as a way of justifying Manifest Destiny. The -land bridge theory- makes Native Americans displaced Asians: thus, their claim on the Americas is erroneous. Looking at the Strait on the Map, I think of two overlapping images separated by time: Ancestors of the Americans crossing the Strait, and then thousand of years later, Russian Commandos duking it out with American soldiers in an obsolete World War Three Nightmare.
To cross the Strait is to walk across miles of arctic ice into Russia. This will involve getting some sort of permission from that country. The actual crossing of the ice will require research and extensive training. Once in Asia, I will continue to walk across the earth, following whatever paths become available to me. The end goal will be to walk across every country that I am allowed to enter. I will be very upfront and friendly with every person and group I meet. My travels will be publicized, and I will arrange with a major magazine or newspaper, to publish updates and travel journal entries. In addition, I will utilize a corporate sponsor (perhaps a footwear or wristwatch company) to help pay for my expenses. This publicity will create a -safety buffer- which will protect me from any hostility. In addition, my passport will be issued from a Native American tribe instead of the United States. This will be an added precaution to deal with anti-Americanism. This may be an urban myth, but I have been told from more than one source that certain Tribal Nations do sell passports as a way to make revenue and promote their sovereignty. The primary goal of this project will be to prove that the earth is a lot bigger than we believe it is. To prove this, I will produce a subjective map of my journey. I will not use any preexisting maps; I will only use simple cartographic tools that I can carry with me. Once I have returned to my home in New York, I will have an exhibition of the photographs, drawings, writings, and souvenirs from my trip. This project will be the stuff that myths are made of. It will help to foster a better understanding of the world we live in, a world that in truth has no countries or borders. Our world is greater than our understanding; it is a world of possibilities, not history. I will prove it.
The Limbs of Osirus
Proposal - To re-create the Egyptian vegetation god, Osirus, as a group of sculptures. According to the myth, Osirus was dismembered into 14 pieces and scattered across the earth. These sculptures would be a reasonable facsimile of the human body only 10 times larger in scale. Constructed of heavyweight materials that can withstand the external elements of the earth for at least 10 thousand years: Metals and Stone with Fiberglass and resin skins. In keeping with the myth, the sculptures will be 14 in number. These pieces will be scattered across the earth; I will place them in remote areas, or in plain sight within the most congested metropolis. The Limbs of Osirus are symbols of the lost mysteries of the past. Humanity now seems to be under the impression that all has been discovered, that whatever knowledge the ancients had is well within our current domain.
The beginning and end to all wisdom is to admit that you know nothing. I want to scatter Osirus’s limbs back into the world, so others can gather them. Wisdom will always evade us as long as we think that it is finite. These sculptures will be made for the unborn seekers of the distant future.
The Limbs will be crafted and then placed in the appropriate location. The final placement will be photo-documented. Once scattering is complete, photographs and maps can be published and/or exhibited. Anyone can go and “find” the actual sculptures, but it will not be an easy task. The directions will be riddles. There will be no tour buses that will take you to them. It would be up to you to find the paths.
There is a theory in occult studies that puts forth the idea that there are certain locations that are “soft”, in terms of reality, the final locations of the pieces will be based this theory. These “soft” spaces are where unexplained phenomena occur. They are gateways to other realities, where individuals might witness things that cannot or should not exist, Lake Monsters, Sasquatches, UFOs, ghost, and all the rest. These are all very normal for the reality of their origin, but they have somehow slipped into our world via a “soft” place. These places bend time and space. Human beings cannot process reality when they are in such an environment, so their brains project fears and desires upon whatever they encounter within the “soft” areas.
I will attempt to scatter the Limbs as markers of certain “soft” places around the world. The Limbs will hopefully become part of the “soft” place and slip into them, returning to whence they came, the human imagination. Art is the attempt to bring myth into reality and then to create new myths in the process. Osirus dies and is born again, to live (again) forever. The hope of this project is to create a new enigma, People will discover the Limbs and have no idea what they are and where they came from. The limbs themselves will become “unexplained phenomena.”
The Messiah Game
Proposal - The creation, operation, and promotion of a complete virtual reality environment that will be an interactive facsimile of this earth. Every aspect of our world and the people that live in it will be re-created as a virtual interface, using all the available data of maps, the census, demographics, population, social behavior, weather and natural phenomena, politics, wildlife, mortality
rates, transportation, and economics. The cities, towns, villages, streets, bridges, airlines, railroads, farms, oceans, lakes, rivers, deserts and all possible forms of terrain will be reproduced in this VR Earth. This VR Earth will have the same amount of people in it as ours; they will not be exact duplicates of you and I, merely approximations. These virtuals will be artificial intellects; they will not, however, be aware that they are within a game, acting out their “lives” based on complex logarithms based on all available information. The virtuals will wake up, go to work and school, eat food, go to the bathroom, talk with one another, get caught in traffic, cheat on their taxes, publish newspapers, go to the movies, have sex, commit crimes, exchange gifts, go to sleep at night, and die, all by mathematics developed from information of our world.
The player of this game, will be able to enter this world by a VR interface, the more fully engrossing the better. The virtuals will “perceive” the player as nothing more than another virtual in the world. The player’s avatar in the game can look however the player wishes. However, there will be some major differences between the player and the other persons on this earth. The player has freewill; He or she can go wherever they like and do whatever they want. As the player will have a number of special abilities, they will be able to know the name, address, and personal information of any virtual they encounter instantly. They will be able to heal the sick, raise the dead, shoot lighting from their hands, transmute matter, speak with animals, and speak all languages. But the player can be killed, and once this happens the game is over, To play again the player will have to create a new virtual self. The primary goal of the game is to improve this world, to make it a better place ethically, politically, socially, environmentally, culturally or in whatever bailiwick(s) the player wishes. The secondary and perhaps higher goal of the game is to somehow make the virtuals understand that they are projections in a game. Since they are able to interact with the denizens of this world the player can make friends, lovers, and enemies. The virtual earth does not reset itself, and the player cannot be erased from the records. The virtual world continues everyday just like ours. It does not however mirror ours, it has its own earthquakes, scandals, trials of the centuries, serial killers, terrorist bombers, wars, and noble prizes, and if you are successful, it can have it’s own messiah, as well.
Since the game is about freewill and awareness, a player could just as easily play a negative role, and be a demon to make the virtual earth worse.Either way, the virtuals are not sheep. They will not walk into the line of fire (unless they are suicidal). The will have to be won over to a cause. They have their own worries, day jobs, kids to freed, and mortgages. There could be two versions of this game, single player and multi-player. It is likely that the multi-player game would quickly become a world of battling demi-gods, amassing armies to fight one another.
The Game is an experiment in human nature. If you were able to mold realty, and become a Messiah, would you? How would you change about the world? The Messiah Game would serve as a great form of therapy. We would all get the chance to be a God. What kind of a God will you be?
Corpus Dei Proposal-
To create a 900 foot tall human sketelton, this sketelton would be made from the same chemicals as actual human bones, such as calcium. The consturtion of this sketelton would be for the sole purpose of creating a facsilme of the skeleton of God. Once created the “bones” would be treated to give them the appearnec of being six thousand years old. The body could then be unearthed insome local, hopefully within the Tigris-Euphrates rivers, creating a Earthwork/Archological hoax that would invoke faith questioning gusto from all manner of religious and spritual presons and groups.
This project directly relates to the cryptozoology exhibit, and my interst in the “mockument” and a somewhat diaboical interst in modern day miracles. The world of weeping madonnas, bleeding stautes, and Holy images appearing in tortilla chips. The 900 ft. height of the skeleton comes directly from Oral Roberts propurted communion with a 900 ft. tall Jesus Christ. The falsh age date of six thousand years comes from the creationist dogma that the world is only six thousand years old. The actual facrication of the skeleton is rather simply aside from the cost, the rather difficult part of this project would be getting the “bones” in the ground without the public knowing of it. This can be done, with enough money, the final and most important factor of the project would be the dissenation of information, currently I think that a artifical church would be created, the hope would be to get “belivers” to come a insepct the site, and for a small fee actually touch the bones of God. A number of “experts” will be avaibale to certifel that the body is actually six thousand years old. At no point will anyone invole in the dissenantion say that these are the bones of God.
If one reads the old testemate the God that is discribed has a body, what happen to that body? Hopefully with proper media manitpulation the exconvation site would become a heated spot of belife and doubt. The size of the body, the “age” of the bones, the location are all open factors that can be worked out later, the important vector of the idea is that a perfect simulation of God’s remains are created and appropreatly placed. What if these giant bones were created and buried, thousand years from now to be discovered, a prank played on the future. When asked if I belive in God, I ofen say that I am an atheist, but that I hope there really is a God, so that my being and atheist will mean something. If there is a God, I have some real probmels with it/ him/ her/ them.
I see my artwork as a battle agianst God. Growing up in the Bible belt, I spent a large amount of my time having to deal with southern bapstis dogma, when asked to explain the existence of dinosaure bones, a common reply is that they were put in the ground by God to test our faith. This kind of paranoid retro-active brainwashing demands to be challenged. Mao Tse-tung was right religion is posion. Art which is the only real magic, is essential about making desire real by approximation and fabrication. I want God to be Dead, so I will make bones as proof of my desire. If God is dead then perphaps humanity can move on to a world were no one is killed in the name of God. Our childhood must end, realize the folly of our youth and realized that God is the ultimate Boggiey man.
Proposal - The Fortress will be an inversion of Andy Warhol’s Factory. Every aspect of the Warholian model for what is an artist will be inverted. The Fortress will be located in a remote area of the Arctic Circle, it will be an impenetrable stronghold. The occupants will be a collection of “super losers.” These will be formerly famous celebrities that I will turn into forgotten nobodies. They will have an endless string of sit-down brunches, where everyone behaves themselves and no alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs are consumed. These events and other cultural interests that have been forgotten or fallen out of style will be reported in a monthly magazine that the Fortress will publish, called Monologue - this magazine will be entirely written, edited, designed, and published by myself. Monologue will be written on stone tablets, it will be exclusively distributed by being thrown through windows of illiterates. When I am not working on the magazine, I will be producing one of a kind laborious artistic masterpieces that only deal with archaic, philosophical, and unpopular subjects that will be sold for no more than ten dollars each. These works will each be specially crafted for their unique subject matter and content. They will be vehicles for self-revelation and moral growth. My most famous quotes will be, “Stop acting like a bunch of androids!” and “No one will ever be famous again!” I will have a completely uncontrived, honest public persona for my countless public appearances, where I will speak for hours with loquacious bombast. I will have a deep tanned skin, long flowing hair, but will wear an ever-changing series of costumes, uniforms, and outfits. I will have no studio assistants; I will pay people vast amounts of money to stop producing rock music records. I will have plastic surgery that will enlarge my nose into a formidable proboscis. I will change my name to make it sound more “Ethnic”. I will make short films that will have a lot of action and plot. I will carry a gun at all times, and walk down the streets of New York, shooting anyone who appears to be “normal”. I will do a series of collaborative pieces with old forgotten artists, these artists will become even more forgotten, almost as if they never had existed. I will give everything up, to work as a nameless hack graphic designer, and live to a ripe old age. My younger brother will not try to cash in on my name and start making artwork. My countless bastard children will go out onto the world, to live meaningful lives of genius and charity. I will be damned as America’s greatest visionary and praised as it greatest charlatan.
Jetpack Justice with a Medusa Ray Gun
Proposal - To turn everyday life into meaningful and moral artwork. I will fly about a large metropolitan city by means of an actual Jetpack strapped to my back. Jetpacks have been in existence since the 1950’s, but are still expensive- about $80,000.00 dollars. The funds will be obtained from interested investors, who will come out of the woodwork once it becomes known what I am trying to do. Perhaps I can work out something with one of the few private companies that produce these devices.
I will act as “the eye in the sky,” flying around on a patrol of the city, searching out people who are doing acts that offend my sense of justice. These include yelling at their children, kicking pets, playing music too loud, stealing library books, littering, panhandling, speeding in cars, and any actions that could fall under the heading of “herd behavior.” These offenders will be “zapped” with my Medusa Ray gun. A Medusa Ray gun is a “non-lethal” weapon that shoots powerful adhesive foam at its target. It was developed during the Gulf War but was never used by the Army, probably because it is more macho to kill people than to subdue them. This adhesive creates a hard shell about the target, which is porous enough to allow air to enter. The airflow is not enough to allow consciousness to be maintained, so the target exists in a dreamlike sleep state, until the appropriate solvent is used to dissolve the medusa shell. For all purposes, the target has become a living “sculpture,” which can be retrieved by my crack team of henchpersons. Once collected, these “sculptures” will be exhibited for a month’s duration. Small holes will be drilled into the shells to allow an intravenous feeding system to be utilized. The Medusa adhesive material has the ability to totally absorb any bodily waste of the sculptures.
The sculptures will be displayed as works of art. The titles of the pieces will be whatever deed the target was performing that brought my wrath upon them, i.e. -Not putting out their cigarette butt,-Taking too long at the ATM,-Watching too much Television,- or, the classic, “Not Living a Meaningful Life.” The sculptures will all be for sale, with the understanding that the person within will be removed and the remnants of the medusa shell will be the art object, (with plenty of photo documentation of course.) Hopefully, the “sculptures” will gain something from the Medusa-ing process, and learn to balk and curb their “wrong behavior.” This hope will be ensured by the implementation of a Reverse E.E.G. machine. This device allows preprogrammed “behavior modification information” to be sent directly into the sleeper’s mind. Once again, this will be applied by the drilling of small holes in the medusa shell for the application of the device’s prongs.
Once the exhibit is concluded, there will be a public “rebirth” ritual, in which the person within the “sculpture” will be restored to waking life and “freedom.” Hopefully, they will not to find themselves within my sights again. Once this experiment proves successful, I will train and outfit a number of like-minded individuals to carry on the work. This will allow a constant flow of exhibition/ rehabilitation events across the country and the world. These exhibitions will consist of 5 to 10 “sculptures,” each one having their own reverse E.E.G. machines and I.V. drips. Also on display will be a video of their Medusa-ing, and a rap sheet of each “sculpture”. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and the prices paid by patrons for the Medusa shells will pay for the project to continue.
This project is taking street photography and stolen moments to their logical end. The world at large seems to exist for the arts and media to capture it piece by piece. No one is safe. Walk down the street, sit on the train, or have dinner in a restaurant and without your consent or maybe even without your knowledge you may be the subject of a news reporter’s piece, or an urban shutterbug’s snapshot. If the artist really is given carte blanche to take whatever they need from the public world for their own ends, then why can they not also take the actual person themselves?
The Robert Joseph Bell Institute for the Advancement of the Future
Proposal - To found, design, build, organize, and run an international cultural Institute for the advancement of my father’s ideas for the future of humanity, this planet and beyond. My father has been the foremost influence on my life; it is because of my father that I am who I am today. I feel that in a better world he could have been a great man, but this world tends to crush people like him. I have devoted my life to realizing both my own and my father’s visions and interests.
The Institute will be devoted to the promotion and advancement of the following fields of study and interest:
Adult Literacy Classes, Alternatives to the Combustion Engine, Astrology, Atlantis, Bicycling, Calisthenics and Bodybuilding, Charkas, Channeling, Chess, Crystal Energy, Disbanding of Organized Religions, Drawing from Life and the Imagination, Exposure of Government and Business Fraud and Cover-ups, Homelessness, Human Powered Aviation, Japanese calligraphy, Judo, Juggling, Macrobiotics, Medieval European culture, Metaphysics of Color, Musical Theater, Pain Control, People Watching, Philosopher Kinging, Pre-Industrial Crafts, Preservation of the Nursery rhymes, Fairy tales and the Uncle Remus stories, Proper training of Dogs and Cats, Reincarnation, Sailing and Fishing, Sign Painting and Hand Lettering, Spinal Injuries and Rehabilitation, Swashbuckling and Pirate Movies, Radical Economic redistribution, Swimming, Sword fighting and Archery, Telekinesis, Telepathy, The Beatles, Theoretical Exobiology, Ukulele music, Understanding Women, Watercolor painting, Wrestling, Writings of L. Frank Baum, and Yo-yo Mastery.
The Institute headquarters, a vast complex of buildings with public plazas and parks, will be in Houston Texas, (see cover image). The Institute will offer classes and seminars to all interested parties. Fellowships and grants will be offered to applicants, and college education credit will be available. The Institute will have a fully functional gymnasium for its members, students, and staff. It will also have a vast library, art gallery, theater, and film archive that will be open to the public for a small membership fee. The Institute will have yearly think tanks and symposia devoted to humanity’s evolution and improvement. The Institute will have a publishing department that will actively publish texts and monographs that deal with the Institute’s interests. The Institute will invest in business ventures to fund its activities and further its goals. The Institute will also offer college scholarships to individuals with the understanding that after their studies, these individuals will work for the Institute in some capacity.
The specific fields of study and interest of the Institute are not written in stone, my father does not believe in having a closed mind. If anything, the Institute will be devoted to expansion and exploration of all knowledge. The mission of the Institute will be to further a holistic non-hierarchical study of human thought that promotes humanity out of its current modes of thinking. Its goals will include: an end to all war, a world without nations, and a world where everyone is an omnipathic genius able to deal with any bailiwick of understanding as if they wrote the book on it.
To ensure that the goals of the Institute are achieved, an elite group of twelve individuals will be banded together in the Institute’s employ. These persons will be masters of their chosen fields, and quite capable in many others. This group will leave their lives and work at a moments notice to handle whatever tasks or adventures the Institute might need of them. They will have all of the Institute’s resources available to them. The top floors of the Institute’s headquarters will be their base of operations, and they will answer directly to me, as I will be their leader. All wrong doings and injustices within the power of these persons, will be set right.
Action is our battle cry, and Sacrifice is our reward!
The Orpheus Terminals
Proposal - To create living cybernetic computer terminals, which will be placed across the earth. These terminals will be freely accessed by whoever wishes to use them. The terminals will basically be given one directive: to help humanity live more meaningful lives, to help them to be Heroes, not Slaves.
The Knights Templar was an order of warrior priests that were active during the Middle Ages. After the Crusades, they were killed off by the States and Churches of Europe as heretics. This is believed to have happened because the Knights had gained a great deal of economic power. However, a number of myths and legends have developed around the Knights that are quite interesting. One of the charges against them was that they received their orders from a large disembodied head. The Knights also called themselves The Order of the Golden Fleece, making a direct connection between themselves and the Argonauts of Ancient Greece. Why is this of interest? The Knights were purported to have access to or be in possession of the Holy Grail (an artifact that can heal the sick/ raise the dead). Although it is commonly believed to be a chalice of some sort, the Grail has been depicted in all manner of forms and it is unknown what its true shape might be. The Golden Fleece is also a mythic artifact that could heal the sick. What if these two devices are one and the same? The Golden Fleece was supposed to be the hide of a magical flying ram that was sent to earth by Hermes to do the will of the gods. After its work was done, the ram was sacrificed to Zeus, but its skin was preserved and it was believed to heal the sick and return the dead to life. Orpheus was one of the Argonauts. He was decapitated by a group of feral women, but his head was said to remain alive to this day. Was it his head that dispatched orders to the Knights Templar thousands of years later? The Holy Grail, also called the Sangrail (blood stone), the Lucifer stone, and the Golden Fleece could actually be myths that have a shared root with an ancient power source of extraterrestrial origin. The Golden Fleece and the Holy Grail could actually be mere containment vessels for this unknown element, which I call Element X, or Grailium. What if the Argonauts were an actual group of plundering adventures that were exposed to this power source bestowing on them a number of beneficial mutations. Perhaps Orpheus was able to maintain some sort of animation after his body had been destroyed. His brain perhaps became able to produce a Grailium-rich enzyme.
Imagine an element that’s properties allow the human imagination to manifest itself in the physical world. This element could have come to earth in the far-flung past, before humanity was human in the very metros that crashed into the earth and caused catastrophic destruction of the environment, leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs. There could have been an element that infused itself into the earth biosphere. The dinosaurs were killed off by the radiation because their brains were unable to adapt to the element’s energy, but the mammals could. This beneficial radiation allowed mammals to become the masters of the earth, and is the very reason for the Human condition. Perhaps there was another smaller re-introduction of this element later, which caused Neanderthals to transmute into Homo sapiens. It is my belief that Grailium fosters a viable network with the collective human imagination. It causes all our hopes and dreams to come to life.
Grailium could be the explanation for all unexplained phenomena on earth. When an individual is exposed to it in a high degree it could cause a quantum evolutionary leap to occur. Imagine if we were able to synthwsize Grailium in a laboratory, expose it to cloned human brain cells, and use it to create living super-computer brains: The Orpheus Terminals. It is my belief that these devices would allow humanity to finally unravel the mysteries of life on this earth and beyond. The use and development of Grailium in technology would usher in the next step in Human Evolution. Humanity would once again have a working system of oracles. If we follow the Hermetic premise that God only exist within the human mind, this project would allow true communion to occur. At last some sort of dialogue with the higher consciousness would be possible, the word of God would be our own voice.
Proposal - To create a series of ‘’hydro-forms:’’ free standing or floating objects composed of water, that will be used to distribute drinking water around the world. Few people know that water can be maintained without a vessel, once a proper self-propelling internal current is established. Water cannot only be sculptured into dynamic three-dimensional objects that defy what is commonly understood as “gravity.” The basic principles of Hydrokinetic Fusion are sadly under-employed in today’s world. The first and simplest exercise can be performed with any kitchen sink or garden hose. With a pair of electrically heated shears, cut two feet of water from the spout. Carefully swing the top of the water to the bottom and form the still-flowing water into a circle. Stand the water onto a flat surface. It will keep flowing for a least an hour. Besides the natural properties of water, hydrokinetic fusion requires a certain level of “will to power” on the part of the manipulator.
Understanding that Water itself is the vast connecting network of life is the first step in Hydrokinesis. Various numbers are thrown back and forth regarding the amount of water that our bodies are made up of, anywhere from 80 to 90%. This fact that we are water itself must be understood for the utilization of Hydrokinetic Fusion and Sculpture. Hydrokinetics is a rather new science and utilizes two often-opposing forces: water and electricity. The human body is made of water, human thought is a form of electricity, and together with specially designed apparati, and these opposites can be joined to create previously unimagined forms out of water.
Various mental and physical exercises will allow the adept to master Hydrokinesis. Once a true rapport has been established, the Hydrokinesis can begin to manipulate water into whatever form is desired. Life developed on this world in the warm equatorial waters and our blood is a variant form of seawater. The idea has been put forth that water itself, in some unconscious manner, caused life to come into existence as a cure to its own boredom. This is another factor in the mastery of Hydrokinesis.
I myself have been working in this field for years, first as a way to stop my childhood bed-wetting. I have mastered a number of Hydrokinetic practices.
My studies will become part of a larger enterprise: to create and transport a large 40-foot in diameter globe of water in the air over the larger Pyramid in Giza, Egypt. This will involve a collective effort: the training of a number of students in Hydrokinesis, permission from the Egyptian government and the transport of my students/assistants and equipment. Once the publicity stunt is completed, my Hydrokinesis practice will move out of the field of art and become completely devoted to human aid and drought relief. Similar globes of water will be transported from areas of earth that have abundant supplies to areas that do not. No one will ever go thirsty again. These Globes are able to travel at speed of 5000 miles an hour at heights of 30 to 40 feet above ground. Below radar and immune to ballistics, no one will be able to stop this relief; no warlord or mobster will be able to control it. As more and more people learn the teachings of Hydrokinesis, humanity will be able to transport and power themselves completely free of economic considerations. Every person will become a master of Hydrokinesis. The earth will return to the fertile garden it once was.
There is also the potential for Hydrokinesis to be used as a method of space travel. Artificial devices could be used to allow humans to create self-sustaining closed bio-systems that could be sent into outer space. The earth would become a true mother, sending out seeds of life to other planets. If the principles of Hydrokinesis can be mastered then one day we will all be able to go for a swim on Mars. We will seed the universe with our water of life.
Immortality: Rocket from the Crypt
The path to immortality is hard, and only a few find it. The rest await the Great Day when the wheels of the universe shall be stopped and the immortal sparks shall escape from the sheaths of substance. Woe unto those who wait, for they must return again, unconscious and unknowing, to the seed-ground of the stars, and await a new beginning.-Hermes Trismegistos
Proposal - To attain immortality for myself and hopefully all of humanity. I will have myself cryogenically frozen at the moment of my physical death, placed into a small solar, atomic, and/or Grailium powered rocket ship, and launched into deepest outer space. The ship, Bellerophon 1 will be equiped with a computer that will have vast archives on human culture and history as well as the history of earth and our solar system, plus as much personal information about myself as possible. There will be digital images of all of my artworks, writings, personal photographs, and belongings. The rocket will have detailed instructions written in a number of codes both numeric and languages, stating who I am, where I come from, and the fact that I would like whom - ever finds me to use their superior alien technology to restore me to life. To assist my alien benefactors, there will also be a great deal of human anatomy and media information within the ships computer.
There are two schools of thought as to the possible nature of extraterrestrial life. Some people think that we should not be actively seeking out otherworldly life. They think that any race able to travel through the vast reaches of the cosmic void would be so powerful that they would view us as inferior and would not have a problem wiping humanity out of existence. The other group, which I am a part of, believes that any race to conquer the stars would have to have conquered their own barbaric natures to do so and could only be benevolent. Look at ourselves: the tiny baby steps that we have made into space have only come from positive benevolent efforts, actions for all humankind. Only by transcending our baser selves will we ever reach the stars.
Due to the incredibly vast distances of space, humanity may have to toil for eons in order to reach other inhabitable planets, but if I am sent out into space as I have described, perhaps this toil can be cut short.
Once my alien benefactors have revived me, I will act as a delegate for humanity, learning all I can, and beginning a relationship that will usher in a golden age on Earth. Using the aliens’ unimaginable transportation technology, I will return to some distant future earth where I can shake hands with my great great great great great great grandchildren and help all humanity fulfill their dreams. We will become immortal, pan-dimensional, ethical super geniuses that will stand upon an equal ground with the gods of the universe. Every person will shine like a star in the heavens. When what appeasr to be the final barriers of the universe are before this future human, they will boldly cross it, and go onto what can never be conceived of, but will be experienced.
I see my life go drifting like a riverFrom change to change: I have been many thingsA green drop in the surge, a glean of lightUpon a sword, a fir-tree on a hill,An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,A king sitting upon a chair of gold –And all these things are wonderful and great;But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrowLay hidden in the small slate-coloured thing!- W.B. Yeats
Proposal - To crack “The Reality Barrier” and confront face on whatever truly lies beyond this existence. This project will be the sum total of all the projects previously listed in this booklet. The secondary goal of all of the afore mentioned projects is to jumpstart human evolution and alter humanity’s destiny.
To complete this project, a complex combination of conceptual, physical, scientific, technological, emotional, and spiritual factors will have to be addressed. Since I have planned to attain actual immortality, I have literally all the time in this world (or any other) to bring about these needed improvements for the human race. The term I use for what is beyond this reality is The Plethora, which comes from Gnosticism. The Plethora is supposed to be the truly divine and wholly alien existence that lies beyond our reality. Our reality is an illusion when compared to what The Plethora offers. There is a Tibetan Buddhist belief that holds if you can imagine every possible afterlife, every kind of heaven and hell, from Tartarus to the Happy Hunting Grounds, then you will be prepared for what is beyond this world. Taking Blaise Pascal’s wager to its nth degree, is not the world a more interesting place if all the beliefs are true? What if all the dreams and nightmares, all the monsters, demons, and perpetual motion machines exist in some form or another? Along with everything else that humanity has ever or will ever think of?
More and more, technology holds the promise of “the astral plane,” a level of super-existence where thought and form are truly one. Is it truly impossible to think that we will find a way to change the fabric of reality itself? The role of the shaman, magician, alchemist, cleric, artist, poet, and scientist has always been to alter reality or to reveal the hidden truth. The person of vision wants to change the very fabric of existence; they look upon the world and say, “MORE!”
Such a thing is actually possible, but one could ask: why would anyone want to go beyond the reality? In truth I cannot answer that. All things must pass, everything ends, and the stars will all collapse upon themselves, the universe cannot expand forever. If our universe has a beginning then it has an end. Perhaps this project is merely the mechanics of the universe taking care of its own demise. I am willing to see this project as a part of some larger plan, external to my consciousness. I believe that what we understand to be humanity, our freewill, our “soul,” comes from The Plethora, we are what we seek. We must find a means to access and/or return to it. Once humanity is ready, I will create the appropriate apparatus, say the proper words, initialize the power sources, and pull back the veil of Maya. Who knows what, if anything, is there - perhaps it will be true nothingness. The word, apocalypse, means the “final revelation.” This is what this project will be, the fulfillment of humanity’s purpose in the universe is to transcend it, we are here either to destroy the universe or give birth to a new one. Make no mistake, this will happen!
If you think of your goals as dreams, they will never become real.