Ciao Alex & Thomas
Alex, Yes.. "butchering" ... i did dwell over the choice of that word! The
Post by Alex Hough
intention was to get into the character of the sheep. By making her aware
of the world of butchery hoped to bring an existential aspect to her
personality. I thought that she would see cutting things up primarily in
terms of butchery and slaughter. Her existence is --after all -- is to
produce lamb for the table.
*Regarding "BUTCHERY" *
... a cognisant Dolly on a British Landscape would be aware of common
English phrases about PASSIVITY like ...
- Like a lamb to the slaughter
- As meek as a lamb
- To look sheepish
- Like a flock of sheep
All reflected in Isaiah Berlin's famous ...
*Freedom for the wolves has often meant death to the sheep.*
All indicating acceptance of bad situations Sheepy has no sense of control
Regarding the GOODNESS of sheep ... English has ...
- Sort the sheep (good) from the goats (bad).
In UK POLITICS one comes upon references to sheep as in Denis Healey's
withering use of a biblically inspired metaphor to verbally slaughter Sir
Geoffrey Howe's boring presentations in Parliament:
- *"Being attacked by him was like being savaged by a dead sheep."*
More recently joking themes around sheep have emerged ...
*Q: What's a sheep tied to a lamp-post in Cardiff called? A: A Leisure
That is a variant on the Welsh as sheep-shaggers motif. Also used for
people from New Zealand.
Sheep turn up as background in a lot of British film. THE DRAUGHTMAN'S
CONTRACT has a theme tune by Michael Nyman called "Chasing Sheep is Best
Left to Shepherds
on a tune derived from Purcell's semi-opera "King Arthur."
*BUTCHERY AS ANATOMICAL POETICS*
George Stubbs, arguably the greatest painter of horses ever, spent an
enormous amount of time studying horses during and after slaughter to
understand how their physical bodies worked. Yet , likely because of that,
his paintings of horses are accurate beautiful & lyrical.
*This process of decomposition of the subject into parts and its
re-combination is central to lots of art making.*In the case of Dolly the *DNA
sequence* is equally important to morphology.
Maybe it starts D-O-L-L-Y ...? :-)
*DOLLY AS FRANKENSTEIN (FRANKLY-SWEETIE) *The idea of genetic cloning tends
to bring up FRANKENSTEIN themes. Monsters that get out of hand because they
are "against nature." But even in the Frankenstein novel the humanity of
"the monster" is apparent as much as the irrational hatred of its
appearance. YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN
gets it humorously.
So there is a strong play on "Identity" when looking at clones. I think
movies have been far ahead of social thought on this: A.I., THE MACHINE, EX
MACHINA, BLADE RUNNER to name the better known. EXISTENZ by Cronenberg is
particularly relevant because it also engage with the issue of virtual
worlds and the MERGING of biology with electronics.
Dolly did well on the Frankenstein Stakes because she looked much like and
behaved much like a sheep. A somewhat tamer version than found in BLADE
RUNNER (based on PK Dick's "DO ANDROID'S DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?") where
the clones ("replicants") are of humans. Blade Runner, the film, goes some
way to exploring the existential issues of whether the replicants are
actually more human than the humans--the original story goes a lot further.
*THE ARTISTIC CUT *Coming back to Alex's comment on butchery ...
... I thought that she would see cutting things up ...
And as he sees Dolly seeing that HE cuts space.
"Butchery" is probably a bit OTT for his manoeuvre but he's definitely
CUTTING semantic pieces and assembling into mappable GRIDS. This near
universal process of the CUT in art-making can be Conceptual
Differentiations or physical assertions (like a brush stroke). It comes
about in a different way than the cut in normal programming where logic
forces cascade ... i.e. starting point is less elaborated so the Funnel Of
Execution can differ.
The materiality of tangible stuff is a million, million miles away still
from the false grunge of computer re-representations. They lack texture,
odour and kinaesthesia.
In some ways that is *Dolly's Dilemma*. A once living Sheep reduced to a
significant genetic experiment. OR a genetic experiment that became a
Though, by the sounds of it, Dolly had a nice Sheepish life with occasional
prodding with instruments. And never got served as mutton.
Back to TW. Just some probings ...
- The card idea as POSTCARD.
- The visual "fogging up" of physical borders of Tiddlers
- grunge CSS (microfiche approximation)
- music AS Tiddler--how I dunno--its not been done yet.
One small point is whether re-edited video might work in places. I was
thinking of Vicki Bennet style re-animation from stock footage, e.g. STORY
If you like the
idea let me know and I'm sure I can find sheep ready to edit.
I think the Sheep Theme you started is huge and fascinating. It seems
endless with possibilities.
Thanks for starting it and braving putting it out whilst still in process.
I'm really enjoying it & riffling off it & hope some of my thoughts are
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