Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fiends without a Face

Fiends without a Face

Fiends without a Face (2007)

Weird for the sake of weird...
Moe Szyslak, The Simpsons

We know fractals are said to be supposedly infinite, highly recursive, and sometimes interpreted through aesthetics. But can the exaggeration and irony of camp be one of those aesthetic crash dives?

The critters in this image reminded me of the "monsters" from that psychotronic gem Fiend without a Face.

Brains.  More brains.  Oh wait.  I am one...

I ain't got no/body since she left me
And I don't know why
But I'm startin' to cry
I ain't got no/body...
--"Ain't Got Nobody", Grand Funk Railroad

Another one of those remarkable strings of nuclear accidents in the 1950s unleashes a rash of caterpillaric brainstems snaking through the Canadian countryside and snacking on the locals' left and right hemispheres. Viewer empathy begins to leak into the mix as many of the spine-sucking creatures are dispatched with macho gusto by pistols at point blank range. When shot, their brainstems curl like ribbons, and their cerebrums emit leaking oil sounds as strawberry preserves dribble out of their lobes. Once the bumbling technicians have their skulls drained like unwanted swamps and the responsible nuclear plant is destroyed, each rampaging neck-clinger becomes a literal no-brainer and melts into what looks like bubbling custard.

Necking on the first date?

Hi there. You're only the peripheral romantic interest in this film. So you won't actually be needing your brain for this role.

And you thought all you had to worry about were Chernobyl collateral damage and truly infinite waste storage in Yucca Mountain and elsewhere.

I've argued previously on this blog that fractals have attributes associated with fine art. I guess the reverse is true, too. Fractals can also take the low road. As we learn from hey I coulda written that crap on Wikipedia:

Camp has been from the start an ironic attitude, embraced by anti-Academic theorists for its explicit defense of clearly marginalized forms. As such, its claims to legitimacy are dependent on its opposition to the status quo; camp has no aspiration to timelessness, but rather lives on the hypocrisy of the dominant culture. It doesn't present basic values, but precisely confronts culture with what it perceives as its inconsistencies, to show how any norm is socially constructed. This rebellious utilisation of critical concepts was originally formulated by modernist art theorists such as sociologist Theodor Adorno who were radically opposed to the kind of popular culture that consumerism endorsed.

So can fractal art now be considered postmodernist? After all, someone once told me my art(ifact) was "all surface."

And, yeah, I think this post could be seen as a metanarrative...

Until someone totally deconstructs it in the comments...


Image rendered in QuaSZ and mildly post-processed until my brain went missing and I stopped.

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Dr. Mike said...


There was first the talking about it being over. The thinking, the joking,
savoring each line -- that was playful, because it still had the force of
youth behind it. All of the endings were secret boasts, full of dark irony,
enhanced by the sleek novelty of being as close to perfect as the body would
ever come, enjoying the shock of how sloppy and messy it was, the actuality
of contact, tactile and frantic to hide even when fully exposed, fleshy and
fabulous. Then there was demonstrating maturity in the face of it being
over, all grown up, adult, Not much point there, given the evidence. X-Rays
hung like Rorschach tests out to dry, whitened with streaks of black
lightning, as if laundry could be disabused of consciousness, its blood
stains groaning under a task-master of identity, somebody else's, whom
delusion had once held to be identical to one's own, but now otherness had
set in, and with that, sheet rock separation. Then came the realization that
it had to be over. The numbers all added up, you just had to do the math. To
have come so far was itself astounding, all the while knowing how soon it
would end, weighed down by the death of freedom of choice, the knowledge now
that multiple possibilities were closed down, there was no more becoming,
only being, for as long as that might last. The metaphysics of sloughing off
had come up against the reality of intractability. Metamorphosis was a
fairy-tale, the fancy of a sick mind seeking to deny that it was over. Doing
the sums, how much had been lost, how little achieved, next to nothing in
fact, and still, still, that despicable still, the spool of striving even
when it could only be over, and whatever else might be said or done, made or
unmade, none of it mattered, any more, because now it was clear, the word
had no traction, what had been flung into the net hung in a void, voided and
null, it was all over.

[Disposable Prose Poem August 23, 2007]

cruelanimal said...

Thanks for sharing this very powerful, very moving poem.

Dr. Mike said...

The shell above the spun
Pebbles into rows
Dunes beneath a Turin sun
Arose a rose

The spun above the warm
Crystal snows
Aligned Druid runes to charm
And woes froze

Warmth above the wells
Dispelled the spells
Clay cauls recalled how dying tales
Sail into shells

[Disposable Poem September 1, 2007]
Dr. Mike, dancing on the lid of "Fiends Without a Face"

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