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The Performed UFO

The Aesthetics of UFO's, ESP, and Modern Physics

See also: [(art) concepts] [Art MovementsCoerced performance] -[post post-modernism]- -[Performance, Absurd]- [Dada] [Dadaism] (an art "ism") [Performance frank: Realism Now!] [Frank's stuff] [The Performed Act] [Performed Art] [The Performed Art Act] [The Performed Danse] [Performed Art: Filmed] [The Performed Performance] [The Performed Score] [Performed Text] [Perf art: Technology] [The Performed WEB (including programming)] [Fluxus] [Street Art] [Interventionist Art] [T.A.Z.] (Association for Ontological Anarchy) (Hakim Bey, chief janitor)

The Performed UFO

On this page: {Intro} {Flying Saucers} (sorry this isn't alphabetically placed) {Crop Circles} {ESP} {Ghosts} {Weird Physics} (Q/M, Relativity, etc) {UFO as cultural phenomenon} {Links} {Bibliography}


I have lumped EPS, pseudo-science, and UFO's etc into this file, since i (as an ARTIST - puts on paint-splattered cut-off ragged, blue jeans) want to evaluate the works as works of art. After all (despite a Mihai's warning that once you say everything is X, that you can't say anthing about it) EVERYTHING is ART. So, as cultural phenomenon or as actual individual or shared experience, fakery, or what-ever - everything HAS an aesthetic.

The Aesthetics of Flying Saucers

We take it as read the following: There was at least *some* physical phenomenon Whether this was swamp gas, secret aircraft, weather/optical effects, or genuine ETSC's (Extra-Terrestrial Space Craft) People reacted to it (and thus, it must necessarily have *some* aesthetic in the same sense that Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a StairCase" gave rise to the cartoon: "The Rude decending the Subway Platform" There is nothing in physics that doesn't contra- indicate the possiblity of actual ETSC's (recent ideas in time travel, worm holes and even warped space-time -- all of which i (personally) reject without comment -- are sufficient to keep an open mind on that).

Preliminary Remarks

I think that i speak for most people on the planet when i say that we've *all* observred SOME sort of UFO - ie, un-identified or un-explained phenomenon - whether it was the classic flying saucer, or things like the Bermuda Triange (again, i refuse to comment about such a place as the Bermuda Triangle as being eSpecially odd - if one is willing to open the door that there are probably an (almost infinite number) of "odd places" on the Earth, then discussion can move forward. Thus, we have a performance (and often an observed performance) work. On the one hand, it certainly does our egos (see Freudian map ;) good to know that "they" are interested in us in the first place. On the other hand, it seems odd that they haven't made contact in general. But then (as a student of history as are we all as artists), i *don't* find it un-usual that they have NOT made public contact. If George Bush, Tony Blair, Sadam Hussein, etc are our elected/selected leaders then i (as an ET) would be scarce ready to even drop us a note like: Have hope. Or such. But, of course, there could very well be "aliens" among us, but the paranoid (and usually quite millitantly so) humans would cry havoc and unleash the Extra-Terrial (space-oriented) dogs of a war as such that at least *i* don't want to imagine. From an aesthet POV (point-of-view), we stand at the verge of new V/R (Vritual/Reality) and V/L (Virtual/Life) expereiences in terms of life. And of course with the promise/threat of genetic knowledge, nano-technology, etc. We can (as did Arthur C. Clarke put it: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is in-distinguishable from magic" -- pretty much an exact quote. So, it's simply a matter of "nuts and bolts" - and of course (tips towel to Jime Escalante) - THE DESIRE to do it. Already our own (and i would say modest compared with what we are actually capable of doing - if we were at least a *little* more united and less divided/antagonistic/in-humane - i do hope that none of you object to my including myself in the "human experiment" ;) Anyway, things like this: Ion-drive space ships (I think it's Deep Space One which is a trans-solar explorer satellite) Almost invisible objects (it's in the micro-wave region only, which oddly enough is where LASER's started and now we know (at least in theory) how to create X-ray lasers (which is about as far as you can get from micro-waves; so, invisible, visible-spectrum object: JMOT (Just a Matter of Time). Nano tubes - again: Put 'em in orbit and we can build sky-elevators, meteor-proof shields (made of matter not energy) and voila we're ready to truck on down the cosmos Solar Sails, Busard Ram Jets, etc - ultra technologies for traveling to the stars NOW. And in the same sense, when the first native "western hemisphere" humnas saw those impossible sailing craft coming from "the old world" - what is that? And that's pretty much how we all react to something as *strange* (and i would go so far to say) *actually alien* as UFO's. Of course at this point, i refer the reader to the more *reasonable* literature (SF) on the subject as to the nature of the aliens and the whole "first contact" thing. I certainly don't think it'll be ET or Star Trek, more likely than not like two people who like Rap music meeting in the "classical section" of the cosmic music store." Romanticist that i am! publishing the site (yep - it's gotten that serious; sorry, blokes) (feebly flips towel) http://www.itwales.com/599801.htm (tips towel to the Welsh and a certain "Mr. Jones" of pythondon fame)

UFO's as Performnace Things

The Aesthetics of Crop Circles

Preliminary Comments

Again, in keeping our art crit hats firmly only and eschewing dividing marks, skeptical crits, and such.... Crop circles are most commonly found as large depressed (flattend) areas of crops (eg, wheat fields) - hence the name. They consist in many cases of large patterned areas that provide from almost any angle - even close up a definite sense of integrity of thought and perceivable design intent. For the most part we would have to classify them as both realistic and natural expressionistic in terms of art form and the over all work. In terms of content (of at least symbolic dimension), we find that they vary as widely in that metaphysical/idealised space as they do in their geometric location. As far as i can tell (and i am no specialist in this by any means), crop circles or similar phenomenon have occured on all the continents - with the possible exception of Antarctica; but since i haven't been able to get funding for my "Paris Project", i would hardly think they would give me (and a bunch of looney artist) money to go to Antarctica in search of crop cirlces! ;). Regardless, Crop circles and related phenomenon (eg, the so-called "Snow Angels") come in a variety of shapes and such. In most cases they follow direct and geometric lines and construction. Anti-ufo-ologists have often inspected the sites (which are almost *always* site-specific but not that-site-only) and have in many cases been able to "find the brush marks". So, for the artist they are clearly HYPER-MEDIAL (eg, renaisaance/photographic style) as opposed to IM-MEDIAL (eg, collage, show-the-hand-of-the-artist, etc). As much as i would like to search and download images and arrange them -- all not too easy in HTML which is the "brush" (applied via the canvas/ pallet of M/S NotePad) that i've chosen for this (and most of the A/H itself) work -- i, will refrain from doing so. In the works - far from random (the same applies to (eg) Pollock's work - only dolts would be so ethetically-blind as to not be able to see that - elephant's painting not aside; it would be interesting (now that we know that elephants are self-aware (at least with regard to image in the mirror) to see if a "community of elephant artists" could be developed and what *alien* (and yet obviously, v. Terrerstrial) aesthetic might develop; obviousely another area that won't be funded !). Thus, the content of the works is hardly theoretical and rarely abex (abstract expressionistic, but i would (as an ab-sym and sym-min'ist myself) go so far to say they DO contain much in symbolic manners. In some cases they demonstrate basic Euclidean (ie, formal maths) geometric ideas and forms. In other cases, the use of PROGRESSION and SERIES would indicate a NON-fluxus design. Whehter this is a lack of artistic training or a conscious effort to eschew dada-ist ideas i don't think will ever be able to be determined in any manner other than "arguably so". In terms of scale, they vary from 50 metres in in any direction (almost always, topoGraphically "flat") to around 500 - 2000 metres; thus, they clearly show a modernist approach to scale (i wonder what Aristotle would say; although as well known: I disagree over the whole art size thing, thinking that in the realm of even the postage stamp there are the same beauties (both inherent and to be discovered via discourse) as with any "large renaissance" or "clasical" compositions designed to fit ONLY into a constructed space. (I should reveal personal bias here (as if it wasn't obvious) and note that the *only* constructed spaces are (in general) of any real beauty are the MOMA's (museums of modern art) as well as (of course) installation works and the spaces that they are *permitted* into.) Again, returning to the artistic expression of the works, we see of course much that is repetitive, but also much that is unique and whose composition is to a very great extent driven with the chanses that one can take when workin on such a large scale. Again, it would be nice to formalise these presentaions; eg, recorded and documented as well as (possibly) to get artists' statements not to mention having them formally critiqued. It is odd that such strucutres (regadless of their actual, source, motivations, and like tribal danses purposes) are NOT being critiqued/viewed as would any "normal" art work.

The Aesthetics of Extra Sensory Perception

Preliminary Remarks

Since in a sense all artists perceive in new and different dimensions than do the un-trained (or not naturally talented; thinking of Schubert, Rembrandt, Egon Scheilla, etc here) - then in a sense all artists have a sort of ESP. That this can be *trained* into us is of course the whole reason for "sticking around the art department" for so much of the time. Note: And of course i imply these ideas to ANY art, but taking from the philosophers Witenstein and Russell - "of that which you know, speak; of the rest, remain silent". Regardless, we know that as with any talent there are both hardware (natural, in the body, genetic, etc) and software (learned mainly) features of ANY art. Of course, in that dreadful way that the new of Guernica shaped Picasso as does the daily influx of news of our own, sad times as well. In much the same way as Robert Crumb as pointed out, "we are sensitive". And in the same way, we should (at least to *some* extent) embrace our ESP-gifted (cursed?) cousins as "seeing beyond the world". To give you and exact example, I was a gallery assistant during a juried show, and this particular year there were an unusually large number of submissions - probabaly 5 to 10 times the capacity of the space to even approximately display in a proper manner. And of course the rejects came flying out of the room (and we gallery slaves began shuttling them back to the safe-store rooms). And as one of my own pieces (a particularly large work - who me???) came out one of the other slaves (2 of whose works had already been accepted) looked at me obviously expecting A or at the very least NOT A. I said, "This is SOO cool" (taking a line from Doug Funny's blue-skinned freind). When asked, i responded this is JUST like the musee' refusse' during Hitler! We should take them down to the auditorium and sit them up on the chairs like some lost tribe..." (well, the shank just didn't get it - his loss). Alas; i, digress.

ESP Basic Ideas

The Aestheics of Ghosts

Preliminary Comments

One of the primary concerns of ghost hunters seems to be searching for ghosts that are "tied down" to a place - usually due to a traumatic death or near-death experience. This seems a rather limited area of research (i won't comment on what i see as an intrusion into other people's problems by the ghost-hunters despite their *supposed* good intentions)... For the ghost phenomenon which seems to be the saying a final farewell, this doesn't tend to be invesitgated too much. As regards film/theatre/etc presentation of ghosts (ie, outside the documentary or ghost-hunter episodes, historical documentaries, etc) the ghost clearly becomes "just another voice" for the most part. Usually (having wisdom from beyound the grave) a cautionary voice/tale for the living to either avoid their own doom (Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Tale") or reveal a truth (Shakespeare's "Hamlet"), etc. In keeping with the imedial presentation which *always* presents at some point hypermedial aspects of the supenatual aspect of the "visitor" - there seems little variation of the form. Two important films to contrast are "The Man facing SouthEast" (which was first filmed as "Hombre mirando al sudeste" (1986) Wr/Dir by: Eliseo Subiela) and then re-cast (apparently by coincidencd as -[
K-Pax]- directed by Iain Softley with Gene Brewer (novel) and Charles Leavitt (screenplay). THe baseline plot is that a patient shows up in the psych ward of a hospital and maintains that he is from another world. The first one's ending disturbingly negates his assertion with only secondary evidience that he might actually be from another world. The second one (K-pax), which was sued for copywrite infringement, leave a more ambigious ending - despite its continually skeptical nature through out. In the aesthetics of "leaving it open", only the recent film "Enlightentment" by Tanon Sattarujawog seems to "get it". It's one of the only movies that i've seen in the last 40 years that comes cloesst to leaving the ultimate interpreation open. Most ghost stories either totally believe or totally dis-avow the experience of their own content. THere is clearly (esp in this new age) much to be done here in terms of developing this aestheic..

Down to Earth Ghosts

In all of the research (again being much mudied by perhaps even well-meaning reality shows), there has been little progress in establishing criteria by which ghosts might be "pursued" - even the name "ghost hunters" must surely be offensive to some. It reminds me of tourists who plan to "do paris" or "do stonehinge" - that is, to visit a place, look around, and then (having CHECKED THE PLACE off their "little list") move on to the next site to be conquored. I hope i made this idea clear in my short story -["The Tourists"]-. Consider the following: Actually being contacted by an alien Actually "hearing a warning voice" and when you follow its advice you are clearly "saved" from some unfortunate accident Actually encountering a ghost (good/bad/evi/indifferent) etc. THese would all quite naturally be transcendent experiences - a transcendent experience can be as simple as your car won't start in the morning and you having for the first time since you were a child to "take the bus" and tromping off down in the rain (the only rider at such a late time in the day) and getting into a wondrous conversation with the driver, viz: me: Nice day for ducks. driver: Oh, you hunt ducks. me: No, i'd never kill a duck. But i like to take pictures of them. driver: Really, i'm something of a photgrapher myself. ... the rest was a treuly transcendent experience... But, by exactly that same lack of sensitivity that we usually bumble through our "normal lives" are such subtlties of the possibliites of change ignored or more often than not simply swept asside. We recall the "penny moving" *proof* in the film "Ghost" - no lightening flashes, no moving/thumping furniture/etc. Such subtlties would prob be the only possible I/A that a ghost could have with the extant world. But, again the investigation into how to "perform" this as perf art that would be more (possibly - does *anyone* **really** know) realistic to the "ghost experience". In the mean time, we are bound to be surrounded with more hollywood/disney-esque renderings that are certain to be RE-ASSURING, FAITH-RESTORING, and of course "all nicely tied up in a single box", with a very nice (and obviously quite expensive and expertly tied) bow.

Weird Physics

(Q/M, Relativity, etc)

UFO as cultural phenomenon