Friday, June 10, 2005

No. 34

Steve Kurtz and Steven Barnes were in Stavanger this week to present Critical Art Ensemble. Steve is falsely accused for mail fraud by the FBI and is awaiting a trial. Please read more about the case and support Kurtz by joining the mail list.

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  • We could be Heros - David Bowie

    Steve and Steven came along for a ride in the Volvo Amazon with GilbertandGrape, we were planning to do ritual

    No. 34: Wear a swimming hat whilst making a hubcap think of Esther Williams. The rain was heavy so we skipped the hubcap, went inside to talk about the notions of heroes whilst wearing swimming hats.

    G Do you have any associations with the name Esther Williams?
    S I have seen her big extravagancies, Busby Berkeley movies the king of human sculptures, design and kaleidoscope, the moral is you should always smile when you swim, you should always wear make up when you swim, grace and poise are a woman's best friend whilst in the water,
    S I am sure I have seen it but I cant really remember.
    G What is a hero?
    S A hero can't live outside the mythological confines, as far as I am concerned. The word has been degraded to every day speech, at least in American culture everyone is a hero. People have been hero obsessed since 11th September.
    S The real thing remaining is a Yet Lee film
    S As a little kid I thought Batman was a hero, the Joker had him in his claws, then I really thought it was going to take a heroic gesture for Batman to get out of the situation.
    S David Bowie with the song we could be heroes-He put the word heroes out cause you could bee one (singing) just for one day.
    S We have both worn capes though so maybe we have been heroes. I had the Batman cape; a shower curtain held together with a little safety pin. Tried to run as fast as I could down the street to see if the cape would flow out behind me
    G In many myths and folk tales, a hero is chased by villains, traditionally the protagonist of a story, possessed of powers far beyond that of a standard human, which enable him or her to perform some truly extraordinary, beneficial deed. These powers are sometimes not only of the body but also of the mind. That’s a description from a book I am reading but
    What about the little every day actions and the heroicism in an effort or will expressed in simple actions?
    S Yes that's true. A personal hero is something else; a personal hero does not necessarily wear a cape. And personal heroes are much needed in life. Simple action can be significant but it's the cultural loaded ideas of heroes that are exclusive. So if you call someone a hero in that term it means someone is less then a hero.

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  • Thursday, June 09, 2005

    No. 35

    Esther is the DJ she chose Why can't I be you by The Cure - it makes her feel nostalgic for a long coach journey after a car had broken down.

    Esther is our hero of the month: We asked her to choose a ritual from a list of 80 alternatives we had written. She selected

    No. 35: Photocopy a picture of someone you look up to and wrap a present with it. Think of Esther Williams.

    Three questions and three answers for the road

    G:Is there any place you have never left?

    Esther: I have always loved being by the sea and my work is influenced by both environmental factors of landscape and how we see ourselves in Landscape and I guess I have never left Lulworth Cove and Stair Hole on the South Coast of England. I would like to say it’s the architecture but I guess its more the Geology. The patterns and the formations, the strata of the rocks, which are visible as layers of data and evidence of time, passed. The water from under the surface forces its way up through the cracks through the sediments, it forces its way up to the surface.

    G: We need nostalgia more in certain conditions than other, someone told me this one morning as I was waking up. I am thinking about the fake and the real, does it matter to you that a message is fake?

    No because even something that is fake still brings something to it that's based in reality - Faking events is so easily done its is so staged on television – it (news) seems to be becoming one big commercial exercise.

    Does any car mean anything to you besides being a vehicle for transport?

    I drive a Landover I like it because it's easy to work on. The Landover has become a cultural icon definitely because it is so huge -it's a recognisable vehicle/ visual its been around for so long. People say it's a British icon because it helped through the war and helped to build industry - but I think that's more of a fictional narrative these people see the Landover as solid and well built unchanged since the 1950s/postwar era and that's how they want to see Britain. But it's a story really. I'm more nostalgic for a continuity of design and something recognisable.

    What we are reading
    Owen Gibson Monday June 6, 2005
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