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Kunst Kunst

MEMBER FOR 3 years 43 weeks

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@swhitney: In all fairness, riding on the sidewalk is a good way to get hit by cars pulling out of driveways.

Best wishes to Stacey-Marie. She's a fine member of our artists community, and a sweet person to boot.

posted @ Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 17:50


Fun fact: the pronunciation of "ask" is actually descended from a form of the word that was originally spelled with an "x" or "cs" and was in fact pronounced as "aks" pretty much all the way through the 16th-century. Really, to people who study this kind of stuff, the metathesis that you're mocking isn't a big deal at all.

Now, want to ask who my linguist friends and I voted for? Oh, wait, what does any of this have to do with the election? Never mind.

posted @ Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 17:44

Ha ha, Curls, good one. It's funny because you live in fear, right?

posted @ Friday, October 5, 2012 - 13:08

The Dutch painter and sculptor Karel Appel characterized the work done by his circle of friends by saying, "We are in the first place optimists; there can be no good painting without pleasure."

Now, certainly this statement is debatable. And certainly I wouldn't presume to pass final judgement on a work based on what I assume to be a preliminary sketch printed in grey scale on newsprint. But I will say that, that aside, this work looks like it was done by someone who hasn't felt much pleasure or joy or optimism lately. It looks cold, clinical and bored. It would almost certainly make children sad, if it were capable of evoking any emotion at all.

Here's hoping someone sneezes or laughs or something during the manufacturing process and accidentally gives us something even slightly unexpected for once in the history of Athens' public art.

posted @ Monday, August 20, 2012 - 09:14

@Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass: Actually, no, no they do not teach "Ssshhh!" in Library Science classes. In fact, it's largely discouraged nowadays. The notion that library patrons are "customers" (and "the customer is always right!") seems to have become a popular interpretation of the "Library 2.0" philosophy. Combine this attitude with young patrons (young adult resources are a huge deal now) and the incorporation of more technological features (i.e., social media), and libraries are becoming more social than ever. (This seems to me to be generally truer of public libraries than academic libraries, but I could be mistaken about that.)

Frankly, I think libraries have always tried to meet patron needs, but it seems that much of the current way of thinking about libraries now translates that to "let's reinvent the very purpose of the library to meet customer wants." I think there are completely valid aspects to both ideas, and it's been pretty hotly debated over the past decade or so in library circles. Usually you see some compromise between the two in newer libraries, because staying stuck in the past doesn't work and neither does throwing the baby out with the bathwater (like the posh Cushing Academy library that replaced all their books with Kindles and a $12,000 espresso machine).

Personal story: when I was in library school, we had a very enthusiastic guest lecturer raving about "Library 2.0" and technology this and user that. He was very, very excited about his gadgets and his "innovative" ideas (a coffee shop in the library!). I raised my hand and asked very calmly, "What about the older patrons, the ones who just want a quiet place to get books? Will there still be a quiet place to get books, or are you just assuming those folks are all already dead?" There was a pretty uncomfortable silence after that, ha ha! (And I know it's not just "older folks"who want that, but I really wanted to dig into the guy a little.)

Sorry, that was a long-winded post to just say, "No, they don't."

posted @ Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 09:10

@W.R.A: "It is a cultural issue that begins with the persons skin color."

Okay, actually, I'm sorry. I thought we could have a reasonable conversation, but I see now that that's not the case. Thanks, though.

posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 12:20

@W.R.A: I understand what you're saying. Personally, though, when I "take a look around" I don't feel overly threatened and in need of protecting from any particular demographic in general. I'm not naive, of course--I'm no more likely to go wandering around Bethel at 2:00am than I am to seek investment opportunities from Bernie Madoff. But I've found that the more I do ask questions about why things are a certain way, and the more I'm willing to engage in discourse with members of a population not "my own" in order to help find answers, I simultaneously find myself not being overwhelmed by, for example, the daily crime stories in the newspaper. Just my experience, though.

And to your question, "If the black community doesn't care why should I?" I would suggest that on some level you do care: you acknowledge that you feel the issues of that community, at least potentially, affect you. I might add, also, that many members of the black community do care, and they're usually quite receptive to all the help they can get in addressing community concerns. The thing is, community problems are more often than not actually inter-community problems, which I suppose is part of why I care. Again, just my take on it.

posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 12:15

I should also maybe point out that by tossing out statistics focused solely on race, other factors such as income, education, etc. aren't taken into account. Which is so much to say that "correlation is not causation." Which is to say, statistics can be misleading.

posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 11:52

Oh, the statistics might be true enough, but the point of that book is that statistics--no matter how true--are all too often used to distort circumstances or distract from a larger context.

To my mind the notion of "whites protecting each other" is where blinders get put on, since that conclusion essentially acts a divisive measure against investigating why those statistics might be true. It basically set up a dichotomy between the "white community" and the "black community" and views the two as being fundamentally unrelated (beyond the logic of "blacks are attacking whites")--all of which ignores quite a bit of sociopolitical consideration. For example, when you ask, "Who is committing the crime?" it might be interesting to follow up with, "Who constructed the law in the first place, and how and why?" Or, more basically, "Why is x demographic committing x percentage of crimes?" But, again, the conclusion of "whites looking out for each other" basically excludes any such considerations, which I find unfortunate.

posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 11:42

You know, whenever I see people throw out statistics completely detached from context, diagnostic implications or disclosure of how the data was collected and collated, I'm reminded of a little book I read once. . .

posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 11:14

Oh, no! All those ghosts are gonna drown! Again!

posted @ Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 13:05

'Florida legislators, however, insist the Stand Your Ground law does not provide a defense for people like Zimmerman, who pursue and confront someone. Florida Senator Durrell Peadon, who sponsored the law, said that Zimmerman “has no protection under my law.” According to state Representative Dennis Baxley, “There’s nothing in this statute that authorizes you to pursue and confront people.” The law, Baxley notes, was designed only “to prevent you from being attacked by other people.”'

So, to everyone citing Zimmerman's head wound and the grass on his back, I humbly suggest that--possibly--it would be Trayvon Martin who was legally "standing his ground," not the guy who followed him down the road. As for the charge of "vigilantism," I would think he crossed that line when he ignored the police dispatcher's advisement to not follow Martin. But what do I know.

In any case--legality, race, and politics aside--certainly we can all agree that this young man's death was ultimately needless and that this is a terrible tragedy, can't we?

Oh, and you can read Baxley's full statement here:

posted @ Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 16:40

@Minion: Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here, but according to the EITC Home Page, "Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work," which I think would be the Ford administration. Clinton did expand it in 1993, but so did Reagan with the Reagan Tax Reform Act of 1986. Not that it really matters one way or the other. . .,,id=96406,00.html

posted @ Friday, January 27, 2012 - 09:42

@davidxto: Well, we do pay for our supplies just the same as most everyone else pays for their entertainments: we work jobs. So, sure, money is never entirely out of the equation.

And, yes, I suppose we do have an agenda: making lots and lots of art and then getting rid of it so we can keep making more. The stuff piles up pretty quickly! As for the jail, we simply observed that next to no one wants the money spent on this, so we have offered our services. We delight in giving gifts, and art happens to be one thing we have that we can readily offer. Pretty cut and dry.

As for no one ever paying for art again, I highly doubt that a handful of goofy twenty- and thirty-somethings are going to dismantle the "art world" by offering free stuff, but maybe you're right! Personally, even while giving art away I still buy art frequently. Barring some tragedy, I'll be buying art for the rest of my life. I'm mighty dedicated to it.

Truth be told, the fine art market as a general entity is actually kind of a myth. Closer to the truth is that individual artists are markets unto themselves, precisely because of their production of unique works. So, sure, if any of us somehow establish markets for ourselves, maybe we'll sell something one day. We'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it. We don't deny that that advertising side can be an aspect of this, but we really aren't thinking of this in that way. We seriously just want to paint on the walls--and it wouldn't even be an issue with us if there wasn't a stink over the money in the first place.

So far no other artists we've spoken to have had a problem with us giving our art away or has felt threatened by it, although we certainly haven't spoken to everyone. Mostly, we've had people tell us they've been inspired to give gifts themselves as they are able, not expect that they should continue getting free things--which is maybe a nice inversion of your concern. I appreciate your viewpoint, though, and will bear it in mind as my friends and I proceed. Thanks.

posted @ Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 10:07

Just for the record, if anyone really cares, I was in attendance with two of my colleagues. Our letter, posted on an earlier comment thread, was read. So, I guess we are officially on the record as offering a free mural to the new jail.

As for artists getting over the notion that they must give art away for free, I'm personally at a loss as to how many artists make a deliberate point of giving their art away for free. A few of my friends and I do, but it is apparently so rare a practice that we were recently interviewed for Southern Distinction Magazine regarding our reasoning behind giving free art away. Believe me, we have plenty of self respect: it just isn't quantified with money in this particular instance. I'm not going to go into our entire philosophy here, but suffice it to say that we are offering a free mural for two very basic reasons: 1) we love making art more than pretty much anything else in this world, and this is an interesting opportunity to make art somewhere new and 2) we figure it's time to cut the crap, and we are offering a simple solution that one would think could make pretty much everyone happy (except, I guess, anyone who's eyeballing a cut of that $50,000).

Here's a thing that strikes me, though: when the commissioners vote against spending the money on the art by saying that "volunteerism" and "community" could be utilized, I'd like some assurance that they'll actually do that. Otherwise, it's just an excuse. A community shouldn't be merely an excuse for inaction, although it might well be a reason for a different course of action. I hope to speak with Marilyn Wolf-Ragatz about this in the near future. I think I can safely speak for everyone who I share a studio with when I say that we would be thoroughly delighted to get some paint on those walls. And, yes, that delight is reason enough for us.

posted @ Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 13:55

@Blake Aued: Touche. Nevertheless, we can be contacted all the same, things can be discussed. I'm not sure advertising any of the names our mothers gave us would be any more immediately worthy of anyone's confidence, but I acknowledge your point. I tell you what. At least one or two of us will try to make it to the Jan. 3 meeting, and we'll be ready to sign right then and there a contract or whatever official thing it is that our officials need to secure free art for our new jail. Honestly, though, with $50K potentially being at stake here, would a simple email inquiry really amount to such a waste of time? Thanks, again.

posted @ Friday, December 16, 2011 - 17:21

@Blake Aued: Hi, Blake! I think "these guys" are my cohorts and I who are offering the free mural. We can be contacted at Thanks!

posted @ Friday, December 16, 2011 - 16:51

@snarkydude: We would be happy for art students, school children, non-violent prisoners, homeless folks, stray puppies, bank managers, protesters, Gym Dogs and any other members of the public who so desire to join us in making truly public art. Basically, we'll work with pretty much anyone who wants to work--including the government! We make art. We are not afraid.

posted @ Friday, December 16, 2011 - 15:46

Oh, what the heck. Here's the letter we sent.

To whom it may concern:

We are embarrassed for and disappointed in the Athens “arts community.” We are also embarrassed we have not acted sooner. A new vote is coming up concerning the allotment of public art funds for new facilities. It should never have come to this point. We have sat by and idly watched the debate about the new jail’s public art and not offered a simple solution. What sort of lazy Alexander doesn’t cut the knot? To be honest, perhaps we do not understand the intricacies of the matter, but perhaps this gives us the advantage of casting a solution so simple it appears stupid.

We would rather there be art than no art. If the issue of public art is consistently money, we’ll take the money out of the equation. In other words, we’ll make your art for free, as we always do.

We work jobs where we make little more than your prisoners—we simply live in a more spacious jail in which we’re allowed to paint our own walls. We’re glad to paint on yours as well. There’s no need for the government to rent an artist. If we genuinely have an arts community, we can take this in our own hands. Our own hands we gladly extend, inviting, to the hands of the entire community. Any hands that are generous are capable of making art, and it will be more fun to make it together. Therefore we offer the gift of a free mural to the new jail, and the gift of having fun while making art to anyone else in the community. All of this we would be delighted to facilitate. Any questions may be directed to our email,


The Domestic Bemusement Park
Dept. of Outreach, Critical Action, and Superlative Gifts

posted @ Friday, December 16, 2011 - 15:08

For what it's worth, about a month ago my colleagues and I who share an art studio sent an open letter to all the commissioners, the Flagpole, and the Banner-Herald offering to paint a mural at the jail for free. Our letter was not published, nor were we ever contacted regarding the matter. It's all the same to us, but our offer still stands. Just, you know, throwing that out there.

posted @ Friday, December 16, 2011 - 14:58

We owe more thanks to the military for GPS. But the space program did do these things:

Of course, the shuttle program isn't the whole of the space program--which is still ongoing otherwise. My understanding is that much of the revenue generated by the space program comes from royalties on patents, which go directly to the Treasury rather than to NASA. It would be interesting to know what patents resulted from which programs.

Possibly the ending of the shuttle program will help foster the growth of private sector businesses oriented towards space travel, which I believe it is the official policy of NASA to encourage. Just a thought.

posted @ Saturday, July 9, 2011 - 20:06

But if God was upset with the verdict of the court, why would He have made lightning strike a dead girl's memorial site rather than just striking down whoever was responsible for the girl's death? I don't know, I guess we all do irrational things when we're upset.

posted @ Friday, July 8, 2011 - 16:55

And not to harp on the subject, but January, October and November were all more popular months to get married during the Middle Ages. Just, you know, FYI.

posted @ Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 12:25

People bathed more than once a year during the Middle Ages. There are plenty of writings, woodcuts and drawing depicting both public baths (for the peasant folk) and private baths (for the ruling class). During the Middle Ages soapmaking actually first became a viable trade, since prior to that scented oils were more frequently utilized, so it seems fairly reasonable to assume there was a reasonable idea of hygiene at the time. The notion of June weddings is most likely owed to the fact that the month is named after Juno, the Roman version of the Greek goddess Hera, herself the goddess of women and marriage. One of the festivals of Juno was in fact the Matronalia, the festival of women. . . and the word "matrimony," while perhaps not directly related historically, shares the etymological root of "mater," or "mother." And I don't know for sure, but I'm willing to guess that back in those days a father didn't have to "give away" his daughter to another man like a piece of property. Anyway, that aside, you've essentially just explained away one "myth" with another, the myth of the "Dark Ages."

posted @ Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 11:56

Hey, I say let them shout to the high heavens, offensive or not! My problem is that their rape-pride is really being squandered by these archaic "hazing rituals." Boys, it's the 21st century! Put your rape-pride to constructive use with the technological powers of the internet! Volunteer your names and faces for the National Sex Offender Registry, simply as a point of pride! And be sure to smile real big when you snap that photo, y'all hear?

posted @ Friday, June 10, 2011 - 09:57

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