“After Friedrich Nietzsche declared that ‘God is Dead’, the word FUCK has become the most important word in the English language”, says Osho aka Bhagwan in a speech to his followers. He elucidates his point quite hilariously. However, such transgression do not occur in Hipcescu.
Now here is an example of how technology has come to approximate the elevated grace of dragonflies balletdancing over the surface of a pond. Or is this just Pong – the most primitive and entertaining of digital game-forms – in 3D? Wonder how it would look like with 16 Quadrocopters performing Swan Lake while keeping the ball in the air? It’ll definitely take a hell of a lot of programming.
And here is one of these little fuckers playing keyboards.
On the sunny shores of the Caspian, only a four hour flight away from Western Europe, the City of a Thousand Suns awaits you. Hipcescu, a thriving 21st century metropolis, home to the world’s highest building, the iconic Hipcescu Tower (850 m). Visible from every angle of the city, it is a monumental tribute to our Secretary General, V. Hipcescu. And while a highly efficient state-security apparatus ensures your safety at all times, you will thoroughly enjoy our eco-friendly beaches, exciting nightlife, tax-free shopping, reliable nuclear energy sources and excellent real estate investment opportunities. Hipcescu. Come and discover the magic.
Exposure is an installation by the British sculptor Antony Gormley. In Lelystad, The Netherlands, where it stands, locals have irreverently dubbed it the shitting man. Exposure weighs 60 tonnes, contains 5,400 bolts and consists of 2,000 components.
Look at it from a distance and you see a crouching man. Take a closer look and the man dissolves into abstract metal nodes that constitute a complex geometry.
photo: Ed Jansen
It is at the dissolution point that the figurative fades into pure abstraction. This man is clearly a hybrid.
On Kawara is a Japanese conceptual artist. On each day, between 1968 and 1979, he would send two different friends or colleagues a picture postcard, stamped with the exact time he arose that day and the addresses of both sender and recipient. This work was called I GOT UP.
The message on the postcard was always the same: “I GOT UP.” The only variables in this otherwise monomaniacal work were the postcard and the specific time and place of On Kawara’s waking. In a sense, he started Tweeting two decades before the advent of internet – each ‘Tweet’ containing the fundamental message that every Tweet contains: I communicate that I exist. In On Kawara’s case: I communicate that I exist in a given time and place.
In Senegal lives a Great Man. His name is Abdoulaye Wade and He is the Nation’s President. Somewhere in the early 00’s, Wade commissioned the construction of the African Renaissance Monument. It was unveiled in Dakar in front of 19 African heads of state on 3 April 2010, marking Senegal’s 50 years of independence. When I first saw this picture, I thought it was just a bunch of guys in front of a statue, but when I realized that the little dot in the middle was a person, I was struck by the scale of it.
The 49-meter bronze monument was built by a North-Korean firm and cost €20 million. Because it is significantly smaller than Hipcescu Tower, I am very sympathetic towards this picturesque initiative. Its Stalinist elegance points a firm vector towards the future of Africa. I don’t know if development funds were used to build it, but if so, this proves that such funds can actually be put to good use!
According to the Global Post, “Rumblings of discontent erupted […] when Wade announced that he, as “intellectual creator,” would be taking 35 percent of all tourist revenue the state monument earns.” Here we see that instead of being grateful, people complain. This is in the nature of the people. Personally, I believe that 50% – a perfectly normal share in the art world – would have been more appropriate. Thank you for your time.
Game Over (2009) is a music video by Booba, a Moroccan-Senegalese rapper from the Parisian banlieue of Boulogne-Billancourt. I tried to find out who the director of the video is, but to no avail. Despite a slow start, this video is worth the watch. The art direction and photography are excellent. The gloomy atmosphere is incisive. You almost sense the roaches on the wall of the claustrophobic apartment in which part of the video is set. This stuff is really fine-tuned to deliver Booba’s message and music.
I’m fascinated by the banlieues that surround Paris. The often monolithic building blocks, called grands ensembles, were built in the 50s and 60 to accommodate large streams of immigrants from Algeria and other (ex-)colonies. From an urban planning point of view, it was a great solution – if you didn’t think about the consequences ten, twenty years down the line. Unemployment, violence and alienation festered inside the grands ensembles, creating a sort of externalized Bastille – stagnant social pools, just outside the Périférique, Paris’ ring road.
Fortunately, also good things like hip hop have come from those massive concrete zones. The ever-expanding library of French hip hop videos provides a great insight into functional architecture and its consequences.
Please note that videos, such as the one mentioned above, could never spring from the suburbs of the City of a Thousand Suns, Hipcescu, because social harmony and cleanliness would make such transgressions impossible. Thank you.
This song is titled ‘Hymn of the H’. It is written and performed by my disciple Olaf Zwetsloot and dedicated to Hipcescu Tower. I find it very evocative. When I close my eyes and listen to it, I can see the H. Very impressive.