The Battery-Operated Trad Experiment

This is a project I’ve started since I’ve been back in Ireland over the last month or so. It’s a band called, “The Smell,” that only plays trad (traditional Irish music) on battery-operated instruments that I think were all designed to be children’s toys. This is a video of us playing at an open-mic night in a pub in Cork. We’ve been invited back to play again this week and promised some free pints!

Click here to see our myspace music page and hear more of our songs!

We partied like it was 1929!

Here are some pictures from “The Great Depression Marathon Dancing Revival” that happened last weekend at Buoy Gallery:

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This picture was on the front page of The Portsmouth Herald last Monday. Here’s a link to the article: “Dancers try to go all night at 1930s-style marathon” (Photo: Scott Yates)
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The Remnants of an Interrupted Scrabble Game

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…which at 20 Feet Becomes a Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Harmon and Dali)
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Offline Oracle

Offline Oracle

Offline Oracle 2

OK, here’s another take-off on the standard Ouija Board.  The Offline Oracle is based on the idea that our subconscious mind records information that our conscious mind does not always have the ability to access.  This is kind of like the way that a computer saves information about webpages that it acesses on the internet.  So the Offline Oracle works by answering questions that you don’t consciously know the answer to but have stored somewhere in your subconscious like, “where did I leave my car keys?” or “how much did I have to drink last night?” this way you can use the Offline Oracle to find out whatever it is you want to know even if you don’t have access to the internet.

One of the theories behind how a Ouija Board actually works is something called Automatic Behavior, which I found defined on Wikipedia as:  from the Greek automatismos or self action, is the spontaneous production of often purposeless verbal or motor behavior without conscious self-control or self-censorship. This condition can be observed in a variety of contexts, including schizophrenia, psychogenic fugue, epilepsy (in complex partial seizures and Jacksonian seizures), narcolepsy or in response to a traumatic event. The individual does not recall the behavior.  

So scientific theory has my back on this one, the Offline Oracle is a bona fide alternative to internet access.  I mean you could even use it to chat with your friends, as long as they are dead and you believe in that kind of mumbo-jumbo.  But the point of this piece is that access to information clearly does not make us smarter, if we are unable to figure out how to apply the information we have to some useful purpose, the internet itself is a perfect illustration of that.  Every piece of useful information on the internet is also fodder for our own illogical arguments and opinions so in some cases it seems to me that a Ouija Board is just as acurate as the internet is at backing-up whatever it is that we want to believe in.

Oracle Of Truthiness

Oracle of Truthiness

As Halloween rapidly approaches I thought it would be appropriate to post a picture of something I’ve made which I call the Oracle of Truthiness. It’s basically a take-off on the standard Ouija Board, but instead of contacting demon spirits, like in the classic horror film, The Exorcist (see picture below), the Oracle of Truthiness is designed to establish contact with the gut (scroll down to the end of the post for the definition of “truthiness”).

Ouija Board from The Exorcist

The idea is that instead of trying to cull accurate information from newspapers, the internet and other sources that are potentially teeming with confusing “facts,” the Oracle of Truthiness gives the user a direct line to their own gut so that they can get the skinny on the 411 from a truly reliable source.

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