Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cephalopod Redux

Ah the Octopoda. I had another run in with this delightful life form at a restaurant in seoul. My first experience was here. In this second experience, we went to a restaurant that was famous for this octopus dish. I only believe this because there were photos of the owner's numerous tv appearances over the years all over the walls. So we sit down with rami, my korean translator, and michael, one of the other artists in residency at ssamzie. rami mentions something about seafood and michael and i nod. Out comes a large flat pan that is piled high with vegetables, glass noodles and red sauce. You can't eat anything without red sauce in korea, so i suppose it's kind of redundant to mention it. The waitress stirs around the veggies a while and cuts the glass noodles into small bits. It all seems pretty standard fare when suddenly from behind her another waitress reaches into a bowl and WHOMP! She slams down onto the frying surface two whole live octopi. They are squirming and writhing around. We watch them flail and listen to them fry. It's shocking. we are speechless. The waitress pushes the octopi around on the fryer and buries them in the cooking vegetables, but the undulating cabbage shreds only emphasizes the fact that they are still alive under there. After a while she picks up the cephalopod with tongs in one hand and kitchen sheers in the other. The tentacles are cascading down like a chandelier and with a few quick snips octopus is decimated into a hundred little bits. it's over. we ate it. I think michael was a little too shell shocked to really enjoy it, but it tasted pretty good. I forced myself to eat as much as i possibly could. had to justify it dying for us.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


can i just take a brief moment to draw your attention to this fascinating video of inmates at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines as they do michael jackson's thriller.

this is crazy nutty. the fact that they are prisoners just makes it all that much more insane. watching it is like witnessing a pile of post-modern theory implode in on itself and go up in flames. there's also a version of them dancing to queen's radio gaga as well as sister act. i don't know who came up with this idea, but this is some serious "out of the box" thinking.

Monday, July 16, 2007

U Sexy Pig

Exhibit A: on the left is the window of a bbq joint in Seoul called "Sexy Pig". We chose to eat there based on the name alone and were not disappointed. We ate nice fatty pork, some very tasty beef, a crab soup, great side dishes and spicy salads among the post-industrial surroundings of a wall of cinder blocks and a nearby empty lot (or at least that's how i remember it). I have finally uploaded a few more images of Ssamzie Space which include pics of the exterior of the Ssamzie building and my neighbor Michael Yuen, who is a very cool sound/installation artist from Adelaide. Some more pics of seoul feature shots of a bizarre mega mall that was open late at night, but had only a few stalls selling clothes - the rest of the place was empty. Also some images of a gaming center where people were playing this taiko drum game as well as a first-person shooter with an "uzi" (in light of the virginia tech shootings, it was kinda creepy). Everyone in the place was in couples. I saw a girly-girl look at an air-hockey puck and paddle as if they were from another planet. Maybe to her, they were.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

ppt ppower ppresentation

The Contractors performance at Borderline just got a nice mention in the Asian Art Archive July Newsletter. scroll down to the bottom of the page. Thanks Megan for putting in a good word for us. Karaoke! for all our friends!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

kimchi me

just arrived in seoul for a 3 month residency at ssamzie space. The art center is located in a section of town called hongdae- just down the street from the Honggik art school. lots of cafes, clubs, boutiques around - standard fare for "arty cultural industries" areas. anyway, it's still a nice area to wander around on foot. cafes are really cute, and i found a place that would sell me REAL ground coffee beans. WAH! what is it with koreans and instant coffee?

The plan is that I will be attempting to make a useless machine during my stay here. we'll see how it goes. Will be scouring 2nd hand shops and other industrial sources for materials. progress reports will be posted regularly to this site.

the photo above is an underpass that i walked through last week in daejeon, korea. this is what the future looks like. You didn't know?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Wrap Up

So The Contractors went on at about midnight, fans screaming, shuffled inside because the police arrived (it was too noisy) had some technical difficulties, got a REALLY HEAVY amp dropped on my big toe 2 SECONDS before we were about to go on stage (my big toe is purple now), and dropped my prop cigarette ash on the not so prop computer that was running our PPT (powerpoint for you people still in the 20th century - jeez, who are you?). But hey, we survived. it seemed to go over ok. However, even after we had finished screening the video and going through all the very animated PPT ANTICS apparently some people in the audience were still confused and were asking when we were going to start singing. HUH? We have the video that we screened, nay PREMIERED, for your viewing pleasure as well as photos taken by a fine gentleman called Frank Yu.

thanks to all who braved the rain and came out to support us. a good time was had by all. video of the actual performance will be uploaded at some point in the near future.