June 25, 2007

energized line, like a road

God I want you, like a fuel engine!
Energized line, like a road
You-oo-oo-oo--oo ride me-ee-ee-ee-ee
Like a road
You-oo-oo-oo--oo ride me-ee-ee-ee-ee

Foot on the peddle
Feet in the air
Sand in my hair
Oh, don't look back
Don't look behind you
Wreckless drivin' on
Dirty Back Road

June 17, 2007

ornithology for beginners....

I'm sure glad I have a bicycle and a pair of binoculars.....today I explored Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn where I got to see lots of amazing headstones, mausoleums, and exotic carved for the dead stuff......I also got to see a now native population of monk parrots / parakeets.

The parrots, which live mostly in the spire at the Green-Wood Cemetery gate, are believed to have come from a shipment of birds that got loose at JFK in the late 1960s. Somehow, the birds survived around Jamaica Bay, and immigrated to Brooklyn, where they were first sighted at Brooklyn College in the early 1970s. Another theory has them escaping from a pet shop on Flatbush Avenue or an overturned truck. Over the years, other colonies established themselves in Marine Park, Bensenhurst and Bay Ridge.

This Monk Parakeet is, on average, 29 cm long with a 48 cm wingspan, and weighs 100 g. Females tend to be 10-20% smaller. It has bright green upperparts. The forehead and breast are pale grey and the rest of the under parts are very-light green to yellow. The flight feathers are dark blue, and the tail is long and tapering. The bill is orange. The call is a loud and throaty graaa or skveet.

The Monk Parakeet is the only parrot that builds a stick nest, in a tree or on a man-made structure, rather than using a hole in a tree. This gregarious species often breeds colonially, building a single large nest with separate entrances for each pair. In the wild, the colonies can become quite large, with pairs occupying separate "apartments" in nests that can reach the size of a small automobile. Their 5-12 eggs hatch in about 24 days. At Green-Wood Cemetery, with a pair of binoculars, I was able to see 8-10 parrots flying around, adding sticks to their complex nest at the cemetery's main entrance.

Unusually for a parrot, Monk Parakeet pairs occasionally have helper individuals, often a grown offspring, which assists with feeding the young.

Monk Parakeets are highly intelligent, social birds. Those kept as pets routinely develop large vocabularies.

As one of the few temperate-zone parrots, the Monk Parakeet is more able than most to survive cold climates, and colonies exist as far north as New York City, Chicago, Cincinnati, and communities in coastal Rhode Island and Connecticut. This hardiness makes this species second only to the Rose-ringed Parakeet amongst parrots as a successful introduced species.

The lifespan of Monk Parakeets has been quoted to be from 15-20 years, to 25-30 years.

June 10, 2007

June 2, 2007

Live-In Hive (1976) by Mark Thompson

Above you will see LIVE-IN HIVE by Mark Thompson (begun in 1976), a very complex and ambitious proposal by means of which the artist wanted to experience life on the inside of a colony of bees for real. The project consisted of the construction of a cubic beehive made of glass fitted with a wire netting tube through which the bees could enter and leave, and a larger aperture at the base. This was for the performer to put his head through and so experience (see and above all hear) the hundreds of insects working all around him. The idea was to live like this for three weeks, sitting on a special chair (with a hole in it for waste matter), being fed by means of a system of tubes delivering high protein liquids and water straight to his mouth. Thompson worked out the project and thought of the possibility of having the body floating in a saline solution instead of in a seated position, but none of his plans worked out. Three weeks is too long a time: the project seemed to be very dangerous, and in all probability, if the plan had been carried through, the bees would have attempted to expel the intruder by covering him with propolis (as they usually do with the bodies of careless, scavenging mice that the bees sting to death).

But he did try it for short periods, and some blood-chilling photographs of what happened survive. Thompson made a film, also unfinished, which he called Immersion (1977-78). The film was speeded up or slowed down at various moments so that the buzzing and swarming of the bees could be manipulated like another piece of artistic material.

The implications of this work are considerable. Here it is important that the observer be seen from outside (by a cine-camera, for instance). We could speak of a total panopticon (or rather a reversible one): we spectators are invited to see and experience what is seen and experienced by the artist inside the beehive, with whom, inevitably, we identify. But the justification for everything must be more metaphysical. Why would anyone want to live in a beehive if not for the traditional positive connotations of this society within the animal kingdom? Bees associate with the sun and gather food from the reproductive organs of plants: to enter into their habitat, to put the brain of the artist-beekeeper into physical contact with the heart of the swarm, is to delve into the most secret mysteries of life........a living utopia.

above excerpt taken from The Beehive Metaphor (from Gaudi to Le Corbusier) by Juan Antonio Ramirez pp. 87-88