Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bullet in the Brain Pan

This one is a sister piece to Io Pan.  It was created from the same source material, but with a very, very different outcome. Io Pan seems to be moving towards some greater cohesion whereas this piece is about violent dissolution.

On an unrelated, but related note, I recently watched I saw the Devil for the first time.  The movie is dramatically gory, but as I was discussing with my friend Josh, it is gory with a purpose.  You need to feel knee deep in blood by the end of that movie.  I feel as though that kind of aesthetic applies to my pieces like this.  This piece is difficult for me to look at because it should be.  I feel I need to make a counterpoint here.  The movie Hostel and those of a similar make like the SAW series, are simply torture porn to me.  I Saw the Devil is a story about Revenge and all that it entails.  In Hostel, we are watching torture with no other overtures or elements.  In I saw the Devil the director takes you through the horror of the situation to bring you to an ultimate point of tragedy.

I guess I'm justifying a bit here because I was nervous about this piece from the moment I created it.  I'm not afraid of gore and the visceral reaction it evokes from me, but there is a line.  I do not want my pieces to be gory for the sake of aesthetic violence.  I guess my question becomes then...Where is the line?

{Digital images manipulated in Photoshop}


Vincent said...

I guess my question becomes then...Where is the line?

My first impulse was to say "There is no line! Isn't that exciting?" but you're right, there IS a line but everyone's line is different. It is something only YOU can feel. As an artist you'll know if a completed work isn't right or lacks integrity but that assessment is highly personal and born more out of instinct than a logical determination.

Anyway, that's my two cents on the subject. I hope this helps.

Jesse W. Campbell said...

:-) Thanks Vincent.

I had my lines fairly firmly established some time ago, but then over the past two years a good bit before all my ducks turned into flying cats, all my lines wiggled and giggled and moved. Slippery little bastards that they are they decided to play a game of hide and seek with me. So here I am. On my belly on the ground, searching in the dark for threads.

I know that with my art there are no boundaries, but now we've got things like SOPA and PIPA and the seizure of Megaupload. The motivation for these types of things is clearly control and money, but what happens if those powers are given to someone with a moralistic agenda. Last time we called them Nazis. We would certainly be kissing our little dark blogs goodbye.

My brain is a heavy place lately...more so than normal. I fear for our futures. I guess I'm trying to figure out in advance when I should prepare to have my life invaded by the american government. I haven't gotten my passport yet, but when Sarah Palin joined the political arena, I almost did. Now under Obama's watch Megaupload has been seized. I'm not for piracy, but that seizure isn't about's about fear and control and money. Occupy wall street kicks up dust on the home front and suddenly NOW its time for the troops to come home? It all just seems more and more surreptitious.

Sorry for all the political, but I am honestly afraid of the future for the first time since I was a teenager. This time it isn't The Bomb, it's fascism and corporate tyranny. How do we fight that? With each passing day it becomes clearer and clearer that our government is controlled by money mongers who don't care a whit for our needs and are only concerned with amassing more and more cash. When should worry become action? Where is the line?

Okay, having completely gotten up on my soap box and grabbed a pitchfork and lit a torch, I'm going to step down now and pry my tools from bone white knuckles and maybe not have caffeine for a few days...

Vincent said...

When should worry become action? Where is the line?

I agree, that's a valid question but one that I have a pretty cynical answer for:

See, some people say shit like, "We should rise up and fight! Overthrow the government and the rich and reclaim a true democracy BY the people FOR the people!!" Now, while all that sounds romantic and just, I always come back to thinking about the possible reality of that situation.

If the common citizen rose up against the government with the intent of a true revolution there would have to be sacrifices made, TRUE LIFE AND DEATH SACRIFICES given for the greater good. Who would be willing to do that? Now, assuming everyone WAS willing to do that, how far would it get us? An obscenely SMALL percentage of the population controls an obscenely LARGE percentage of the money and power in this country so the common citizen would be at a severe disadvantage EVEN IF they all had the right frame of mind.

The way I see it playing out, in five simple steps: (1) All the rich and powerful would move out of the country, probably to some privately owned tropical paradise type of place. (2) After showering, changing into comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and sitting down to appetizers and drinks they would call the military and every mercenary they could afford and specify that video cameras be mounted on all the aforementioned military and mercs. (3) After their entrees arrive (and right around their second or third glass of wine) they would order all troops to move in and start handing us our collective asses. (4) After moving to the beach for desert and tropical drinks, they would all be laughing hysterically, watching all the action on streaming video from their laptops while getting orally pleasured repeatedly by the young attractive island staff. (5) By the time they all passed out on the warm sand from having way too many drinks and way too many orgasms the revolution would be crushed.

So, in my extremely cynical opinion, we're all basically fucked and just have to hope that sound minds prevail amidst the rich and powerful to keep things at a fairly tolerable level for all of us poor, powerless citizens.

Jesse W. Campbell said...

I have to believe that there is Hope. Hope is the only thing some days that keeps me sane and gunless...or from developing my own true zombie virus that will destroy us all. (bwa ha ha ha - rubs hands together)

Regardless of whether or not it would be effective. There is only so far down a soul can be pushed before it has to retaliate to simply survive.

If the balance is not maintained, Revolution is inevitable. Eventually the Have-Not's run up against the wall of Nothing-Left and the only option is either take it from the Haves or die. It's already happening actually...and we can all march off to corporate prison for hire like good little cows or we can fight back.

Revolution may not be an immediate solution, but real change never is, but it would at least remind them we can bite back. I've already spent a good portion of my life dying by inches in the world of Reet-Hell and I'm done with that. At least if I have to die in the street with a gun blowing out the back of my head, I can say I've lived a little.

I'm right up against nothing left to lose. So once again I'm asking myself - Where is the line?

Heres my Hope-
The energies of the upcoming astrological constellations are all geared towards a change of consciousness towards the power of the people and environmental maintenance. You say it is all a lost cause, that the rich have already won, but I show you Anonymous, I show you Wikileaks. Why do you think things have gotten so crazy of late? These guys shined a flashlight in the dark and now all the roaches are scattering. That is why they want to censor the internet - we can all see them because we're all talking to each other about it. There is nowhere in the world left for them to hide.

Anonymous and Wikileaks may fall. They may be captured, but their voices have been heard and the ones that follow in their footsteps will learn from their mistakes. That is the point of those organizations. One person saying "this isn't right!" and doing something about it, telling the world. There are those among us willing to make those sacrifices for the greater good and when they step out into the light we must support them. Otherwise, we should get on the train to New Auschwitz right now.

It's life. No one gets out alive. You can die for some reason they choose or you can choose your own death. You can stand in the free wind and know that while you were alive you did what you could and the powers of greed did not take your soul.

It may break me, it may leave me destitute and homeless, it may even kill me, but I think I just found my line. :-)

Vincent said...

It may break me, it may leave me destitute and homeless, it may even kill me, but I think I just found my line. :-)

Well, I'm glad you found your line. I hope my Devil's Advocate comment was helpful in giving you the clarity : )

Jesse W. Campbell said...

Sorry for all the soap boxing. This past week had been trying to say the least. I've been a little out of my mind with stress actually. I probably should have just stayed away from the computer all together.

Ah and learning...or maybe not so much learning as leaving a bloody trail behind me as I scrape most of the skin from my body to remind me of where I've been so that when I return there again I'll know.

But Hey, I've got a scanner now! :-)

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