Picture the mad scientist with Bunsen-burned hair and lab coat askew, hands fluttering with revelation. And picture too the mad artist, unwashed and peering bleary eyes into a handmade landscape emerging from the page/easel/pixels. Now merge those two characters; training and tools differ, but their thrill of discovery aligns exactly. The Weird Science group show, which Richard Levy Gallery extended through Jan. 26, presents what can happen when artists seize a scientist's sense of investigation and turn it toward the natural world. Marina Zurkow's “Mesocosm” aims it at a slice of Texas desert, drawn and animated on a flat screen so the viewer can watch it plied by wildlife—and marred by man's machinations. The “Cosmos” installation by Kamila Wozniakowska uses New Mexico as stand-in for the orignial setting of a Victorian-era metaphysical detective novel, to humorous and elegantly dark effect. Bubbling against one wall are Pinar Yoldas' “Speculative Biologies,” heavy jars of invented, water-based specimens that manage to both titillate and slightly unsettle the viewer. Scope more details at levygallery.com. Richard Levy Gallery • Fri Dec 21 • 11 am-4 pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
The Daily Word in Cat Power, Bieber fever and love letters
Kids with Cat Power.
Police say guys from N.M. were planning to kill Justin Bieber.
Have you seen this man?
Dispatches from the Congo, where rebel fighters are terrorizing civilians.
"While Euphorbia pulcherrima is not something you want to be munching on, it’s certainly not a killer."
Mick Jagger's pricey love letters.
The Pope tweets.
“Sometimes I still can’t believe myself it could happen in America.”
Analog photo manipulation.
Shel Silverstein reads The [animated] Giving Tree.
RIP, Ravi Shankar.
The Daily Word in typhoons, down votes and Russian drivers
Senate Republicans voted down an
international treaty banning discrimination against people with disabilities.
The rest of the world is pointing and laughing.
Supporters of Egypt's President Morsi confronted opponents camped outside the presidential palace, and things got violent.
Money may have been the top factor keeping House Republican women out of leadership positions.
Daniel Ellsberg calls Bradley Manning a hero.
The upcoming state legislative session could include election law changes.
Mapping drones permitted for use here in the U.S.
Your TV is listening.
NYC, buried in carbon emissions.
This month's war frontlines photo-dispatches.
"Driving in Russia." [All 13 minutes are totally worth watching.]
I think I like this band.
Missed high fives.
The year's best book lists.
Southeastern Ohio Bigfoot Investigation Society.
Aren't you also "clamoring" for Pizza Hut perfume?
Back in 2010, writer Stephen Moss was vying to be named Oxford professor of poetry. In the midst of running (perhaps sensing he wouldn't be chosen), he posed a question to other logophiles: What is poetry for, anyway? Poet George Szirtes told Moss that the art form represents human attempts to express in words the profundity of our existence. It's a tricky proposition—giving form to the formless, speaking the unutterable. Sari Kroskinsky, an Albuquerque-based poet and publisher of online journal Fickle Muses (ficklemuses.com), has upped that ante by centering her new collection of verses, god-chaser, on (wo)man's quest to connect with the divine. Which, as you'll find at Krosinksky's book launch and reading, can take unexpected forms—sometimes mythic, sometimes mundane, often characterized by longing and contradiction. God can fight dirty, Krosinksy's writes before addressing her deity directly: “and then you bless me / for spite.” For more, go to outerchildpoetry.
The Daily Word in car bombs, corporate malfeasance and old-school gift giving
Dozens reported dead after double car bomb explosions in Damascus.
APD officer ordered to take paid leave after neighbors report he encouraged them to fight.
Statistics kill yer Powerball buzz.
Major energy company exec. faces criminal charges in wake of 2010 coal mine disaster.
The EPA bars oil giant BP from getting new contracts.
APS leadership stonewalls TV news station.
Baby rhino arrives via FedEx.
Bernalillo County Commission candidate Simon Kubiak applied for a Metro Court judgeship.
Slayer holiday "jumper" (sweater?) unfortunately sold out.
Egocentric gift-giving tips.
Holiday gadget gift guide, 1952.
Japanese street performers, documented.
Shinichi Maruyama's frozen motion ("Nude").
Feds Launch Full Investigation of APD
Scrutiny centers on civil rights violations and excessive use of force
It’s an announcement some community members have been waiting a long time to hear.
After a preliminary inquiry was initiated last year, Tom Perez, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, says his office has collected enough evidence to initiate an investigation into whether the Albuquerque Police Department perpetrates a pattern of federal law violations.
“In particular, the investigation will focus on the use of force by APD, including but not limited to, the use of deadly force,” Perez said. The investigation will move as quickly as possible, he added, and his office’s chief priorities are to be fair, independent and thorough. “We will peel the onion to its core and leave no stone unturned. We will follow the facts wherever the facts lead us,” he said.
Jewel Hall, president of the Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Council, welcomed news of the investigation. “Areas that I hope they’ll also look at are diversity, the administration and the culture of the department,” Hall said.
Perez praised both Mayor Richard Berry and Chief of Police Ray Schultz for cooperating transparently with the preliminary review. Berry and Schultz emphasized they’ll continue to collaborate openly with federal investigators.
They also tried to put a positive spin on the announcement, saying they welcome any opportunity to improve the accountability and responsivity of APD. Berry said Albuquerque isn’t the only city with a police department subject to formal DOJ scrutiny.
“There have been 14 cities around the country that have gone through this recently,” he said. “I think policing is changing, and ... I’m proud of our police department. They’ve done a wonderful job at driving crime rates down. But if there’s things we need to fix, we’re not going to shy away.”
Berry said that more than 60 reforms the police department proactively enacted in the past year to training, policies and procedures have already made a difference.
He also defended his 2011 veto of a City Council request for the DOJ to investigate civil rights violations claims against the police department, saying he’d had concerns the legislation violated the Open Meetings Act.
“There are individual officers that are bad actors,” Schultz conceded, but added that rank-and-file officers themselves have been instrumental in indentifying areas for improvement. He said that he’s been aggressive about seeking out nationwide best practices to put into place here.
“I came back to this organization because I was confident knowing what the department’s capable of and what I can do for the city,” said Schultz, responding to a question about whether he’s still the right man for the job. “I could easily turn and run away. I’ve done 30 years. I’ve got my time in. But no, this to me is a challenge—to bring the department to the highest level possible.
Perez said his office is seeking feedback and information from community members about APD conduct. Citizens can email the DOJ investigative team at community.
The Daily Word in bombings, shootings and food
Tel-Aviv bus bombing.
What might the conflict in Gaza have to do with Iran?
The Fourth Street mall is not a "thriving urban environment."
Hector Camacho was shot in Puerto Rico.
The White House turns down requests to release photographs taken the night of attacks in Benghazi.
A DEA agent says he was told not to go after drug perps in white neighborhoods.
The future of a mainstreamed UFC.
"All Hail the Sweet Potato."
"All Hail Calculated Risk."
Bourbon marshmallows like whoa.
Brace yourself for the next (food-based) financial market bubble.
Grupo Bimbo wants to ease your Twinkie anxiety.
Happy birthday, René Magritte!
Russian government claims that a YouTube shutdown was the result of technical difficulties.
A rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo is threatening to overthrow the president.
Flaming Lips radio special this weekend.
The Daily Word in air strikes, McAfee, poverty and pee
The head of Hamas' military was assassinated.
Sen. John Kerry is being vetted to take over as Secretary of Defense.
Girls in foster care are especially at risk of being trafficked.
"If you do that to me again, I'll punch you out."
McAfee is a computer virus software brand. It's also a guy running from the law.
Paul Ryan's tired of talking about presidential politics.
The power of pee.
"A precarious state of existence."
Voter groups, charted.
What's old is new again.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich is scheduled to hold a hearing on the use of drones.
Our current world map is subject to change.
The Daily Word in election hangovers, papel picado, Canuck art
State election results, unofficially.
Nate Silver FTW.
Are super-PACs in fact just big, fat money pits?
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake jolted our neighbors to the south.
Big gains for gay marriage equality yesterday...
... but it was a " dark day" for FetishMovies.com and friends.
New Hampshire elected an all-female delegation to Congress.
Indian country victories.
One of many third party bummers.
GMO labels fail in California.
"Below the pagoda a spontaneous, medieval army was massing."
Newspapers are still useful.
Mass MoCA is too far away.
View From the Hotel Lobby
I had a chance to chat with an employee madly tidying up the Marriott lobby in the wake of the Republican Party election night gathering. He told me his roommate participated in the campaign to get the minimum wage ordinance passed.
"I was totally for it," he said. "I think a lot of the people I work with didn't even know about it, but I'm really glad it passed. I think it could help a lot, and I like that it goes up with the cost of living."
He nodded toward the crowd filtering out of the ballroom.
"I've been waiting to see some tears—even just one. And I finally did," he said, grinning. "I feel much better now."