Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Guide: Jailhouse Wine

The next installment of the "Jailhouse" series once again follows Tyler, as he shares his recipe for 'hooch', or 'toilet wine'. Baudrillard says it is "extremely naive to look for ethnology among the whites, or in some Third World - it is here, everywhere, in the metropolis, among the whites, in a world completely catalogued...". We seem to think that only the most profound differences between cultures around the world are worth noting - but the more subtle, close to home details are worth noticing, too, Baudrillard seems to say. What better an example than learning about the tricks the incarcerated use to come close to the perks of being out of jail? Though living within what Baudrillard would almost definitely consider a 'First World Country', the confinement and restriction of freedoms of those serving time leads to new and ingenious (if not a little gross) methods of achieving 'freedom'. Most of these techniques seem alien to most, if not all, of those who have never done time. I found it fitting that the video would end with the profoundly felt air of homoerraticism, because even boys can get lonely sometimes. (On that note, why has there never been a gay sex scene set in prison that hasn't been represented as gang rape / violent sexual assault in any film, ever? ((more on that later)). This, paired with clips of the various internetting ventures we pursued that night, gives an unprecedented view into the lives of aging alcoholic townies.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jennifer Angus' work in building ornate textures using species of insects creates a skin crawling, yet beautiful, mosaic that holds detail whether seen from an inch away, or witnessed from against the opposite wall. It seems to reflect the cyclical essence of nature; patterns inside larger patterns. As a whole, the insects obviously form a larger work, but the beauty of the insects themselves - their wing structure, abdomen formation & limb fragility especially - are something to gaze at as well. Angus' work gives new meaning to 'sacred geometry', using once living creatures to create a mosaic that (in my mind) stands as a metaphor for the mathematical truths found in nature ie: the fibonacci sequence. It reminds me of certain patterns one can observe at any level of existence; venules of the human circulatory system feed into bigger veins much the same way tributaries feed into bigger rivers. Similar patterns can be seen on the 'veins' of leaves. Such reoccurring patterns make me feel reaffirmed in this life; to belong to something bigger - grander than myself. Obviously, though, Angus' work is only a simulation of said truths, but a well composed one at that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Guide to 'Cooking' a Jailhouse Pizza

Baudrillard described the "successive phases of the image" as being: -a reflection of a basic reality -masking and perverting a basic reality -masking the absence of a basic reality -bearing no relation to any reality The piece stands as a reflection of the basic reality of a friend's - Tyler Wolff - time spent in jail. Despite being a reflection of that time, it simultaneously masks and perverts the basic reality of that time by removing it from the physical space, time and tone of the jail experience. Tyler's time in jail marked anything but a happy time in his life, therefore masking and perverting its basic reality. As jovial as the tone of the piece is, it is a reflection of a reality that was anything but that. Along that thought, the piece masks the absence of a basic reality by feigning the experience of being in jail. The pieces topic relates completely to time spent in jail, but at no point does jail as a reality enter the picture. Finally, because the idea of jail is both present and non-existent all at the same time, it bears no relation to any reality at all. It in itself is a reality, created out of shoddy filming and quick editing, but which cannot exist in any form but that. It interests me how images can exist in all of these forms at the same time. On that note, look forward to learning about jailhouse wine from Tyler in our next piece; "How To: Jailhouse Wine".