arbeit macht frei

Arbeit Macht Frei, by CR/MM/SRS, oils on board, commenced 2005 finished 2014"Arbeit macht frei" is a German phrase meaning "Work shall set you free" found above the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Nearly 70 years later, almost everyone is an inmate of the global concentration camp of modern human culture. Work doesn't make us free, it enslaves us.

A person at work is a person with no identity. Ze is not a person, just a uniform, a suit...

A person at work has no mind of zer own, no brains, no head. As the painting suggests, the body of a person at work ends at the neck.

The corporatisation of human life and culture proceeds at an accelerating rate. One of the results is the destruction of our humanity itself. A person at work is a psychopath with no personal values, just a fake but hearty enthusiasm for the so-called values of the corporation.

We're all psychopaths, these days, or sociopaths if you're into labels. We repress and suppress our personhood, our empathy, at the behest of the employer. That's why there are cruel red eyes in the lapels of a pin-striped suit. They are the insane eyes of one who has lost zer personhood.


Demiurge, by SRS/CR/MM, oils on canvas, 50.5 x 40.5 cmDemiurge, oils on canvas, 50.5 x 40.5 cm. Below is what I wrote (in 500 characters or fewer) as part of my submission to the 2014 Clifton Art Prize. It's a bit pretentious but at least explains the title:

For Platonic and Pythagorean philosophers, the job of fashioning and maintaining the material World was subcontracted to a Demiurge, an artisan, a lesser god but still superhuman, under whose current dominion reality is fractured, unintegrated --- the Kosmos fragmented into a chaos of fractal dimensions, yielding only splintered shards of perplexity. The painting shows a disintegrated, disintegrating Multiverse in which quantum entanglement makes mockery of time and space.

wild turkey dreaming: the deflattening

Aboriginal pictographs in Wunnumurra Gorge, Barnett River, Kimberley, Western Australia In the Dreamtime before time and space the Great Serpent Koniara slithered and thrashed mightily, creating the Land of Oz, the Sky above it, and the Sea that washed its shores. And when his mighty slithering was done, Koniara called a great Corroboree to honour his creation.

Among those who came to the Corroboree was the scaly crocodile, Gumungung, who spake unto Koniara, saying, “O Great One, what thee or thou have wrought is awesome and immense, but there is no colour, no excitement, no magic or joy in the Land. As far as the eye can see, all is red and brown and flat as a toenail, and that’s more dull and boring than a pub with no beer. And newsflash: it’s also way too frickin’ hot!”

“My sacred doings be not to thy satisfaction,” spake Koniara unto Gumungung, “and yet I made the whole ball of wax in just two days not six, and I didn’t need to chuck a sickie* on the seventh neither.”

string theory

String Theory painting by MM/SRS/CR 25.5 cm x 20 cm, oils on stretched canvas First of a number of new canvases to be posted in the days and weeks ahead. This one, String Theory, pictures a multiversal spacetime comprising 11 dimensions, some compactified. It's a small canvas, but perfectly formed, though I did botch the crop. Measures 25.5 cm x 20 cm, oils on stretched canvas.

the longest beard

Triumph of Neptune standing on a chariot pulled by two sea horses, mid-third century AD Since the dawn of history and culture, people have argued about the number, names and natures of supernatural beings known as "gods" in the Earth language of English. The classic classical example is that of the god of the sea, named Poseidon by the ancient Greeks, Neptune by the ancient Romans.

Arguments about deity tend to be less about names and numbers (666 anyone?) and more about natures, ie the attributes that distinguish a particular deity from others. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, the attributes of the god of the sea included living in the ocean, carrying a trident and being very skilled at training (land-)horses.

(I have no idea what the connection is between sea-gods and land-horses. Perhaps it's that you can lead a horse to water, but to make him drink you need a sea-god.

a severe halting problem

what kind of story? Drawing by MM/CR/SRSIf there was anything that FictBot enjoyed more than the sparkling green and blue lights of the Domain of Adverbs, it was the tinkling music of the Syntax Engine meandering through the crystal forests of the Valley of the Nouns. But not this timeslice. Because never before had FictBot received a Summons from the Plot Comptroller. And nor had any of zer friends, including Avi the Avatar, who worked in Gamer's Mall behind the database where FictBot lived.

"I'm really worried about this," said FictBot to Avi, "the rumours I've heard... you know, about being recompiled for the slightest little glitch and stuff... gigo, gigo, gigo... and I really, really don't like the Debuggers, they scare the non-living shite out of me..."

pretty little gods

The Aztec God Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered SerpentIt was Thursday 4 April, Children's Day in Taiwan, and therefore an appropriate day (mum thought, wrongly) to take little Jonnie shopping for his first god.

As they entered the store, Godz-R-Us, with its rows upon rows of shelves piled high with glittering gods of all shapes and sizes, Jonnie seemed anxious.

"Oh don't be such a Nervous Nellie," said mum, "when I was your age, and grampa got sick and couldn't work any more, and we couldn't afford to buy new gods for me and uncle Harry and uncle Barry -- we all had to share a dirty old god that we stole from Ned Flanders' garbage, who lived next door.

the Seeker's gift

Islimiri, drawing by MM/CR/SRSCaptured by a roving ranger of the Funnees — a cheerful bombing people — the Seeker, S, was taken into the cruel, dry heart of a vast and trackless desert populated but thinly by scorpions and fleshbeetles, and they were pretty damn skinny too!

On arriving at the main encampment of the Funnees, S was hauled before the tribal chieftain, Islimiri, a tall and rangy man in a loose burnoose. Bearded, hatted and sunburnt to within an inch of his life, Islimiri’s broad splayed teeth gleamed bone-white in a leathery face, his huge head seemed almost to wobble on his neck like a Halloween pumpkin on a stick.

The desert sun fried the eyes and minds of the assembled tribespeople, despite their famous Shaydee hats, of which many a tall tale is told.

not easy being...

Not Easy Being Me artwork of album coverAnother installment of Cosmic Rapture's bizarre "music" (so-called) has today been inflicted upon an unsuspecting public.

Available at Amazon, "It's Not Easy Being Me" features an extended viola solo that will make you wish you hadn't had that seventh sausage at breakfast, whatever that all means. You can listen to a short sample for free if you you can't bear to part with 89 cents.

the Legend of The Dog-faced Woman

detail from Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation, painted by Hans Memling c. 1485

Once two kids of Satan's spawn
an evil boy, the girl a bitch
came upon a magic thorn
with which they pricked a sad old witch
and that was how the curse was sworn
and thus it was that then was born
the Legend of the Dog-faced Woman.

Every year there is a date
on which all parents hold a feast
they eat and drink and celebrate
a certain hairy, monstrous beast
who growls as bad kids meet their fate
so listen up as I relate
the Legend of the Dog-faced Woman.


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