Archive for the ‘Weird’ Category

Dovilio Brero the Atlantean

July 6, 2014
Treasure of Atlan

Treasure of Atlan

So, I run across plenty of interesting (and maybe weird) ideas and stories, but I like it that-a-way. Its a strange but interesting world!

Something I came across recently was the artwork of Italian artist Dovilio Brero. Specifically his artwork that depicts his “experience” in Atlantis.

I do love Plato and all, and I have no doubt that we only have a relatively small understanding of human history. I’m also positive there are lost and forgotten civilizations out there waiting to be discovered. But even though I am open to the possibility of Atlantis, Lemuria or Mu (maybe not as a continent I guess, but something like a city?), I am pretty skeptical about most of what I’ve heard… and each individual story one person might tell about Atlantis seems to contradict everybody else’s.

What I have a very hard time believing though is that an artist physically traveled back and forward in time to Atlantis, came back to the present, then painted what he saw. But that is exactly what Dovilio Brero says he did. Its a wonderful and wacky world, and what do I know? I guess I know I kind ‘o like his Atlantis paintings, I like all the funky details. And his story is entertaining, if nothing else.

www.dovilio.com

Port of Atlan

Port of Atlan

Necropolis Ancient Atlan

Necropolis Ancient Atlan

City of the North

City of the North

Atlan Particular

Atlan Particular

The Tables of Emerald

The Tables of Emerald

Portal of Warrior

Portal of Warrior

Atlan Column of the World

Atlan Column of the World

Atlan Temple

Atlan Temple

Big Elephant Portal

Big Elephant Portal

Michelangelo and the Creation of Man

November 17, 2013

michelangelo-creation-of-adam

First time I’ve heard it but, this week I discovered that in Michelangelo‘s “Creation of Man” the figure of God and the Heavenly Host actually form the shape of a human brain. I don’t know why I have never noticed that before, especially since I own and have read a few of books on Michelangelo. Now I will never be able to un-see that brain. Michelangelo is known for his dissection of human cadavers, his biological research, and his understanding of human anatomy. For me, at least, the brain is clearly there. Because I have some understanding of Michelangelo’s character and personality through what I’ve read and my study of art history, I think its completely intentional.

I have my own thoughts on why he’d overlay God onto a human brain, but I’ll leave it for you to judge for yourself.

Michelangelo-Sistine-Chapel-Adam-Brain-

“East Meets West” in Ghost Town Cisco

October 7, 2012

It must have been as far back as the summer of 1996. Not all that often, but occasionally that summer I’d travel down to the ghost town Cisco to do some weekend work in the surrounding area and earn a little extra cash. It was kind of nice to get away from time to time. Cisco is a small rusted out and dilapidated town located in the desert about 50 miles east of Green River, abandoned years and years before I ever arrived. The work I was doing wasn’t hard at all, but it could be kind of spooky because there was absolutely no one else around. There was a little trailer set up among the abandoned buildings that I was able to spend a night or two in as I got my work done, but not much else going on except maybe a bird flying overhead, or maybe a tumbleweed rolling along. The truth is, I didn’t mind much at all. I kind of like and find peace in solitude, and the landscape and sky down there are inspiring. Still, it is easy for my mind and imagination to wander, and I can really spook myself sometimes.

Earlier that year, some artists had come down and taken over one of the abandoned buildings. They built sculptures, painted and hung photos, and turned the place into a remote art installation and sort of gallery, and then left town to find their next project. I was always aware of their building, because one of the sculptures was made of strung up twine or wire and, when the wind would blow, the piece would whistle and create these very weird and eerie sounds. And the wind blew down there a lot, pretty much all the time.

Of course, I was interested in that building. I had to check it out. Crossing the field behind the building I came across a rattle snake, which was maybe an omen of some kind, but I just moved around it no big deal and made my way to the door. I remember the sky was sunset red, which isn’t all that important, but it seems somehow significant now and really stands out in my mind. As soon as I entered the building, I saw rattlesnakes again, crawling in all of the corners. They seemed to have a place to go though, and quickly disappeared into the floor or retreated around corners. I’d already come into the building by then and didn’t feel especially threatened, although the floor did feel kinda “soft”, and I imagined myself falling through it into a rattlesnake den or something. Since I was already in the main room, I looked around. There was a smashed TV, old abandoned toys and dolls, some broken furniture, weird old cowboy boots mounted on shovels or something, and hung along one of the walls was a row of photos. It was a row of portraits, but they showed the back of peoples heads. I checked it all out but didn’t stick around in there too long, because it was a creepy scene, and I did like the sculpture out front a little more. That noisy one. Then I went back to the trailer, read for a while, fell asleep, and haven’t thought about Cisco much since. Except maybe I have…

The only reason I bring it up now is because I dreamed I was there again last night. I dreamed I was in that room with all of those snakes, the broken furniture, looking at photos of the back of peoples heads, a sun-burnt sky glaring through the shattered windows, with these bizarre and spooky sounds blaring in my head. The actual real-life experience was nowhere near as freaky as my dream. It wasn’t pleasant, but I guess that experience meant something, since it woke me up in a panic in the middle of the night some 16 years later.

When I got up this morning, I did a quick search to see if I could find any more information on the art installation. I guess Time Magazine did a write-up on it the next year, and I have posted that below:

Yarn Warfare

August 8, 2012
Although one of the latest works of famous yarn bomber Olek wasn’t done illegally, it still has that arresting, unexpected juxtaposition.
Yarn bombing, a.k.a. yarnstorming or guerrilla crocheting, is a form of street art and is comparable to graffiti in that bombers usually cover public property.
However, this bombing was done for the Social Service of Commerce (SESC) arts show in São Paulo, Brazil. The theme for the show was “memory of things” and ran from July 19-29, 2012.
“Crocheted Jacaré” is the name of the installation and is essentially a massive cozy covering an alligator-shaped playground. The head of the gator and the tail spikes are wrapped in what seems to be her signature loud and bright camouflage-like pattern, which is always ironic, as the purpose of camouflage is quite the contrary. Using North Carolinian acrylic yarn and Brazilian ribbons, Olek calls it a “multicultural mix.” Created on the SESC grounds, the installation took several weeks with the help of other crocheters.
Olek was born in Poland and currently resides in Brooklyn. Here is an excerpt from her website explaining her work:
“My art was a development that took me away from industrial, close-minded Silesia, Poland. It has always sought to bring color and life, energy, and surprise to the living space. My goal is to produce new work and share it with the public. I intend to take advantage of living in NYC with various neighborhoods and, with my actions, create a feedback to the economic and social reality in our community.”
Images via

See music? Taste shapes?

November 8, 2011
Many artists are synthetes, like David Hockney

Many artists are synthetes, like David Hockney

Synesthesia.

What is it? Well, it’s cool as hell. Have you heard phrases like “she’s so sweet?” Or “eye candy?”People with synthesia, or synthetes, invented metaphors like this. It’s because many of them can actually see music, or taste shapes.

I’m a synthete. I suspect my expanded sensory experiences are one of the main things that makes me “weird.” That said, I think even most non-synthetes can relate to the experience, because there is SO much sensory confusion in our language. My version of synthesia mainly manifests in personification – in other words – things that aren’t alive have personalities in my world. And I’m not crazy, I have an extraordinary ability.

Synesthesia is not a disability. It’s actually an enhanced ability, kind of like ESP, at least in my fantasies.  Those who have it typically become artists, writers, musicians and chefs. Those who weren’t blessed with this genetic quirk may encounter it when under the influence of psychedelic drugs. Some of us are lucky enough not to need them.

There are many varieties. Some people see a private laser show when they listen to music. Others associate colors with letters of the alphabet. My personal experience with it is that numbers have colors, genders and personalities. I know it sounds strange, but I’ve always had a strange bond to the number two. It’s yellow, female, gentle and kind. Often, synthesitic experiences are somewhat logical. For example, a book I read said that a gentleman tasted sausages every time he read the word village. It rhymes so it must be true!

I have other symptoms of synthesia. For example, Thursday is burnt orange. Colored days of the week and picturing time in a physical space is also common for synthetes. Tuesday, for me, of course is yellow (like its friend, the number two). People and animals often have colors and flavors for me too.

Since it’s pet month, I’ll disclose more of my weirdness. My pet Scout is butter pecan or peanut brittle. My Airedales have both tasted like pumpkin (in my mind, though I haven’t taken a bite, yet). My dog Cowboy is white bread, biscuits and country gravy. He’s an all American boy. And Todd’s dog, the Rottweiler is licorice and anise.

I’m told about one in twenty people have synesthesia. I would love to hear from you, if like David Hockney, Tori Amos and Duke Ellington, you have it too.

Tagging in the Wild

November 3, 2011

We are talking about animals all month and art (duh), but what about art on animals? What about graffiti on animals?

Last year, the WWF conducted an ad campaign in which they tagged wild animals. The ads look amazing, and they do make me want to fight for endangered species and wilderness.

I remember in college in my social marketing classes, UNICEF’s similar ad techniques were offered as examples of good ways to reach a population. And then I knew, that was exactly what I wanted to do for a living. Shock people creatively into making good decisions.

If, unlike me, you didn’t decorate your bedroom in jr high and high school with WWF posters and  brochures, I’ll tell you abou it. WWF is a 50-year old global conservation organization. Their priorities are protecting wildlife, fighting climate change and building sustainable lifestyles for human beings. And, I love the image of the tagged elephant.

Paracelsus Research Society

October 27, 2011

“When a man undertakes to create something,” wrote Paracelsus, “he establishes a new heaven, as it were, and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him.”

Alchemy is an old science, a forerunner of chemistry, best known as a quest to turn any metal into gold. It didn’t start out that way, but it is now known as an occult science.

To be honest, I’ve spent quite a lot of time reading about alchemy, and I don’t know much about it other than that it kind of makes my skin crawl and bores me at the same time. I think they speak in a code language, kind of like Slytherin, but they don’t say it’s a code language. You only know it is one because you immediately start thinking about what’s for lunch or where did you put your yellow socks, while feeling a little dirtier than you normally would while thinking of lunch or socks.

In the 1930s to the 1960s, Salt Lake City was home to a great school of alchemy. According to researcher Richelle Hawks, the Paracelsus Research Society, was a fully functioning school, with classes lasting from a few weeks to up to seven years. The school was advertised via pamphlets, and looked a lot like a bail bondsman’s office.

The building is still here in the heart of the homeland today. I don’t have the exact address, but it was somewhere near 3300 S and 700 E. It is utterly, boringly ordinary and brownish.

Do you ever find yourself MORE curious and confused by things that just blend in? When walking past your neighbors homes, do you think about everything that happens within those walls that goes unspoken in the outside world? Dreams born and dashed within its walls? Blood spilled? Religious awakenings? Birth? Old souls slipping away in the night?

I do. I sometimes think every home and every building is a temple of alchemy, or worship or rebirth or – worst –  a home to agonizingly, slow suicide. The Paracelsus Research Institute is a great example. I bet you’ve seen it a million times without seeing it. Within these walls, a significant part of the U.S. occult practices of the 20th century spattered forth out of a magik practitioner’s body in that home – and it died inside a manure oven despite being painstakingly fed human blood with great science and care.

This post goes out to Carrie de Azevedo Poulsen for introducing us to the Paracelsus Research Society. Happy Halloween!

“H” is for Homunculus

October 25, 2011

Roger the Homunculus

There are many systems of magick (gratuitous “k” included) that I find very interesting. The idea of bending the rules of the world to your personal will. The truth is, many modern scientific accomplishments have their origin and beginnings with magick and occult wisdom. A lot of what we’d consider to be modern science actually evolved from magickal thought and practice. Doesn’t science try bend and change the physical world to our collective will? It is easy to find the origins of chemistry in the ancient practices of alchemy, for example. With science, we just tend to understand the rules of the game a little bit better.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many strange practices and dead ends in magick and alchemy. Take the homunculus. I’d heard of the homunculus before, but about a year or so ago a friend was telling Anna and I about a group here in Salt Lake that was trying to create their own. It is one thing to know about a legend, but to hear that modern people are actually spending their life and time trying to do something so… bizarre. Since that conversation, the homonculus has kind of taken over our imagination, and we seem to come across these strange little people everywhere. In art, jewelry, literature, all over!

The homonculus is a man-made artificial human being, similar to the unthinking and dumb Jewish golem, except the homonculus has it’s own will, personality and is usually thought to be about the size of your thumb. There are many different legendary ways to make a homonculis, but the local SLC alchemists buried a mixture of semen and blood under a pile of dung during the full moon. A fully formed miniature human was supposed to emerge from that pile of dung to do their creator’s bidding, as long as the creator fed it blood. From what I understand, after extracting their experiment from the poop our local alchemist’s thought they might have seen some sort of cell division, but even that is in doubt. Wasn’t successful. How strange is that? I just don’t understand why they’d go through all that trouble. If they wanted to create human life, why not just do it the old fashioned way? Seems like it’d be a lot more enjoyable.


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