Thursday, July 24, 2008
First, here are a couple of photos of me at Brushwood, taken by Rev. Scalpod:
Now, for the photos I took...
A lot of the pictures turned out blurry and unfocused. This is because I had the camera on the wrong setting for most of these shots.
As it turns out, the camera I used was a top-secret MIB device with the ability to capture images of extra-dimensional beings which are completely invisible to the human eye.
Having stated this, I present these pictures:
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
Nestled in the Lauel Mountains of Western PA, the Church of Universal Love & Music is a controversial little congregation...
The CULM's origins go back some 20-odd years, but it really began to make an impact around the turn of the current decade.
According to published accounts, the church filed for nonprofit status with the state in 2002.
As the case began to draw notice in 2003, CULM was featured on The Daily Show.
In September 2004, the owner of the church property applied for a special exception for religious use permit from the Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board.
Hearings were held in February 2005, and the permit was denied two months later. The opposition said there was no evidence of religious use happening at the property.
The controversy came to a head in the summer of '06:
From the July 5, 2006 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
William Pritts claims he founded his Church of Universal Love and Music in Bullskin, Fayette County, to "advance non-denominational religion through music."
County officials, however, refused to approve Mr. Pritts' application to use his 148-acre property for "religious gatherings." They believed he had no such purpose, and that his land was being used as a party site for daylong concerts and illicit drug use.
Mr. Pritts filed a federal lawsuit against the county, its zoning hearing board and individual members last week, claiming they violated his First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of religion and association.
"A core belief of the Church of Universal Love and Music is that religious inspiration and community are advanced by the celebration of live music," the lawsuit says...
Neighbors didn't like the concerts that went on at the property, and that it had been established as a party site. The church's own minister testified that he observed illegal drug use there, Mr. Nurkiewicz said. And the county's zoning enforcement agent visited the site undercover and found several hundred people gathered there, paying $50 each, for a concert.
Officially, the board found that the church "failed to meet the burden of proof to establish approval of the request," and "did not meet the threshold for the proposed use in accordance with the definitions and words contained in the religious use statute 'in accordance with their customary meanings.' "As for the Church's own website, the position is as follows:
"As its name implies, CULM's religious and spiritual focus is on universal love and music and is in large part mystical. It is the CULM's belief that no dogma is necessary to honor the Earth or our place in it..."
Of course, the controversy has led to a lot of otherwise-unobtainable publicity, including the hilarious bit on Comedy Central's The Daily Show.
Since the Church grounds are located just a few miles from my home, I have paid a few visits there, and I am currently seeking to work with CULM on some projects.
Some additional video on CULM can be found here at Google Video.
CULM's official MySpace page is here. The CULM MySpace Group is here.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Here is my first shirt design, Skelli Kokopelli:
This design will be voted on for a week by the community, and then I will find out if I made the cut...
Update to follow.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Ever since I first saw the image of The Statue of Liberation Through Christ, it has stood out to me as an almost impossibly 'on-the-nose' symbol of the Religious Right in this country.
It captures both the galling inappropriateness and the blatant arrogance of trying to impose a Christian spin on all aspects of American life. It is a direct analogy of the cognitive dissonance that leads to theories like Intelligent Design and causes millions of Americans to vote against their own best interests time and again.
And the worst part is, the palpable irony is completely lost on these Evangelical Conservatives. I mean, the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World in NY is the Most Liberal Icon of Americana Ever:
She's French. She's a chick. She's a New Yorker. She welcomes immigrants. She is NeoClassical Goddess image, a homage to the pagans of antiquity. She has nothing to do with Christianity...
There is no appropriate reason that this image should be remade as a Christian icon. I mean, where in the Bible does it mention anything about a female spirit of liberty, or about America for that matter? This image has nothing to do with anything described in either Testament, yet that doesn't stop today's breed of Born Again NeoCons from committing the sin of Idolatry in it's presence.
These people don't even understand their own theology, so they can't be trusted to control any aspects of Public life.
Image created with Adobe PhotoShop.
[This post was included in the
Blog Against Theocracy Easter Weekend Blogswarm]
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Now, I didn't read much into this phenomenon until recently. I tend to see these designs as slightly humorous, and actually appreciate them on an aesthetic level, although their message is lost on me. But as I continue to see more of them, I must wonder, why?
Instead of making a simple joke or a comment on the product being parodied, this a more conscious use of the format. Here, the logo is actually being subverted, and used for a completely different purpose. The artist is, in effect, stealing the power inherent in the brand identity and repurposing it for their own ends.
This works in a couple of ways: first, it presents the message (i.e. "Jesus") in a form that has proven to be a successful visual style that is readily accepted by the general public; also it normalizes the message, conveying it in a way that is consistent with the aesthetic of the dominant consumer culture. Thus, the message becomes a product which can then compete in the 'marketplace of ideas' as well as in a real, retail sense.
This realization has been very influential on the way I approach my own work, and is a key component of my current direction.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The tenets of this faith basically fall in line with scientific, atheist, or secular humanist philosophy, but with one important distinction: they are expressed in the form of real religious doctrine.
From the website, Church of Reality.org:
The Church of Reality is a religion based on the practice of Realism, which means believing in everything that is real. Our motto is, "If it's real, we believe in it." Since no one knows all of reality, the Church of Reality is a religious commitment to the pursuit of reality the way it really is.
The Church of Reality is a new breed of religion that is based on reality rather than mythology. We answer the great questions that other religions address, like what is right and wrong, how do people live together in a community, and what are our responsibilities to ourselves and to each other. We address these concerns in the context of our evolutionary history, our present reality, and our future evolution.
We do not focus on fiction. We focus on what is real. We do the hard work of answering the big questions as best we can. We are a people who want to learn. We want to make life work. We want to create solutions in the real world. So I say to all Atheists reading this, why waste your life focusing on what isn't real when you can focus on what is real? Christians and Atheists are alike in that they both focus on a fictional God. One asserts that God does exist, the other asserts that God doesn't. Realists don't focus on God. God is a waste of time. God is irrelevant. Reality is relevant. That's why being a Realist is better than being an Atheist. Being a Realist is about something. Being an Atheist is about nothing. I choose to make my life about something.
The power of religious conviction, free from faith in fictions.
Amen to that.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Over time, this image was sanitized, censored, streamlined and simplified, until it became the present-day design:
There is an interesting story about the evolution of this symbol, which is covered in greater detail here and here.
Anyway, this logo has just the right ubiquitous nature to make it ripe for my type of visual parody. In fact, I am not the first to do a humorous turn on the mermaid. I found this terrific bit of parody on the web:
And, of course the Christians have taken their own turn at interpreting this graphic:
So, I decided that I had to my own mutated version of the Starbucks logo. And here it is, Starfucker Connie:
It is, of course a tribute to Connie Dobbs, Sacred Wife,Virgin & Whore of the SubGenius religion.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
LA Glorieuse/Patent 203/Select Briar Root.
.22 rimfire caliber, the cartridge inserted into front of stem,
then screwed onto pipe bowl.
A button on bottom of pipe acts as a trigger.
I think one should be included in every Ordainment Kit.
It could be the perfect SubGenius weapon!
Actually, I envision a utility belt of sorts, containing a variety
of different pipe-shaped weapons:
A pipe-taser, a pipe-grenade, a Swiss-Army-style pipe...
The possibilities are endless!
Monday, March 3, 2008
One of my favorite cheesy movie monsters has always been the lovably ridiculous Ro-Man from the psychotronic BadFilm classic Robot Monster.
Recently, I was doing a little research on Ro-Man for this new design:
Well, little did I suspect that Ro-Man has not one,
but three MySpace pages!!!
3.Ro-Man the Robot Monster
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
It's not "THE" Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY (which can be found here.). This is a different museum altogether.
THIS museum not only celebrates Creationism, but also Taxidermy of North Carolina and Antique Tools!
The rather bewildering website left me anxious to take a road trip to see this wonder of the modern world for myself. http://thecreationmuseum.org/
You can check out a slideshow of the exhibits here.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
In 1971, Mr. Yuk was created by the Pittsburgh Poison Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Since then, Mr. Yuk has been used to educate children and adults about poison prevention and to promote poison center awareness. In addition, Mr. Yuk has raised awareness that poison centers are available 24 hours-a-day, every day of the year to assist in the management of poisoning emergencies.
I grew up with Mr. Yuk's green face of warning, and it left a huge impression on me. I've always gotten a kick out of this little logo and his image continues to inspire me in strange ways.
Any American kid in the 1970's probably knew this guy, especially due to this unforgettably creepy commercial:
My fascination with Mr. Yuk continued into the early 90's, as with this 'Toxic Life' tattoo I got circa '94:
Then, in 2000, I created a Mr. Yuk stencil and used it on this cheap, round metal table I found at a thrift store:
And I couldn't leave Target a few years later without this awesome T-shirt:
Then when I started working in vector graphics, I found myself again inspired by the little green guy. My very first upload to my deviantART gallery was one of the first Illustrator drawings I ever made, combining Mr. Yuk with a smiley face in a union of opposites:
Then, I came up with the idea to combine Mr. Yuk with another childhood idol of the seventies, Gene Simmons of KISS:
And most recently, I combined Mr. Yuk with another icon to make this mutation of the deviantART mascot:
For more about the stickers and other Mr. Yuk merchandise,
visit the offical website, www.MrYuk1.com