In The Crossing Cormac McCarthy wrote, "life is a memory, and then it is nothing." The book explores many of the things that we think of as making us human. Among them, of course, memory. It is powerful to suggest that experience is fleeting and the bulk of who we are is composed of our memories.
Yet, there is a margin of error. Our experiences are subjective, and so are our memories. The good people at GRAFT are collecting those "[memories] on the edge of disappearance, one[s] that feel incomplete, ... that you cannot verify" for an art project.
Early memories, things that may be real or may have happened in a dream ... I have a whole compendium of these and to know if they are true or not would change the fabric of who I am.
Donate your memories by leaving a voicemail at (505) 585-1415.
In the last decade NM's most distinctive cause of death has been interactions with law enforcement. Incredible.
Neat garage, bro.
Spotify absorbed some startups and will be trying some new stuff.
A fight between high-schoolers in Santa Fe ends with a hospitalized girl.
Only a twitter bot can predict the future.
The suspected organizer of the terrorist attacks in Paris is reportedly killed.
A summation of anti-feminists to induce your daily rage.
Learn more about the history of lesbianism on the island of Nantucket.
Good Charlotte is back, thank Satan.
Morsels by Megan Foldenauer is deliciously lovely.
Where revenge porn and sex work intersect.
Take-out flu shots delivered by Uber? Alright.
One way to view Todd Christensen’s very personal art installation “Observing the Withdrawn” (Art.i.fact, 930 Baca St., Santa Fe) is as a psychological game of hide-and-seek. The artist’s social anxieties inform this sprawling network of vintage decommissioned library textbooks, mostly stamped as "withdrawn” and shorn of their inner pages. Confessional journal entries and offbeat self-portraits riddle every spare surface.
By withdrawing into the shadows, Christensen steps back to observe society at large. Yet his work is so intimate: a spilling of secrets. As Christensen explained to me, the exhibit consists of standalone hard covers that he calls “pathways” to the more densely constructed patches of artwork that symbolize “groupings, social interactions, and conversation,” as if to contrast solitude with community.
How must it feel for such an introvert to have his first solo show in Santa Fe teeming with fearful memories from his childhood and raw musings on his inner turmoil? He says it does not bother him. I would argue that just as he removes his mask, he is hiding in plain sight.
According to the magazine Psychology Today, those who suffer from Social phobia (also known as Social Anxiety Disorder) deal with “overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations.” What’s more, “People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions.”
For extremely shy people, every social situation is an exercise in being more of an observer than a participant. It’s daily performance anxiety. One “self-monitors” with every move taken and every word spoken like an actor on a stage. When that shy person is an artist, whose job it is to tell some sort of truth from a somewhat removed perspective, the alienation from both self and others must become even more pronounced.
Christensen’s beholder witnesses a lot of despair. In one of his self-portraits, thickets of hair cover his face to the point of self-erasure. Then, there are even more negative portrayals of him with cactus pods sprouting out of his head—drawings that he hinted deal with a period of unhappiness and illness. As for his spacemen—mummified astronauts straight out of early science fiction—they are his “social alter egos.” The spacemen are the party people.
In his work, Christensen reckons with his most intimate, lonely side. There is a lot of self-analysis. In one panel, he lists the seven deadly sins as if outlining a possible scorecard. Also on display is a lot of talk of food and body image, including a humorous self-rebuke for hankering after “a big juicy pork chop” that he displays near a book with the title Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit. He clearly battles his demons with a touch of grim lightheartedness. Two great quotes from his exhibit: “Pain is essential” and “Sink or sink.”
But just what is private and what is public? Even as he opens the curtains, Christensen disguises himself behind a more straightforward persona. For example, he scolds the viewer for feeding on his secrets. Peering up into the guts of the busier sections of his installation is like looking up a woman’s skirts. Furthermore, he has booby-trapped those interiors of his work with hidden rebukes such as: “My pain is my pain, my business is yours it seems, you peeping Tom.”
Author, actor and comedian Stephen Fry once said about his social anxiety: ‘It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”
In Christensen’s work, we are blessed with all of his mad intensities.
Visit the installation at Art.i.fact now through January 4.
Everybody knows that kids have the weirdest, most wonderful broken brains on the planet. And if you've ever looked at drawing made by the under-8 set, you've probably wondered what it be like if the lumpy, tentacled beast depicted actually roamed the earth.
The Monster Project has tasked a group of artists with bringing these child-drawn monstrosities ever so slightly closer to our world by rendering them in a realistic fashion, and the results are wonderful. Check them out, and also note that they have a kickstarter, so if you're moved by their work, you can support it directly.
From God to Science to... Unbelievable Space Magic?
An exercise in confusing futility.
Psychedelic animal specimens.
A gem of creativity.
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Don’t get “high-jacked.”
In money we trust (people to make art with it)
Space birds eye view.
The Phantom Pain.
Newly discovered Homo Naledi species with primate and human features.
Female cartoonist sentenced to 12 years in prison for shaking her lawyer’s hand.
Last 9/11 Search-and-rescuce dog gets honored in New York City and Celebrates her 16th birthday.
Flordia man arrested for plan to use a pressure cooker bomb at 9/11 memorial.
A couple 8balls for my sweetie.
Pros & Cons of CGI.
A reflection of our time.
CRY FOR ME!
NASA the hedgehog.
Computerman ( or the Expected Ignorance of Virture )
The power of Venus.
Secrets of the US dollar.