April 15, 2018

Oily Details

Yours Sinc. is rather tired (there has been much to do) and won't be too wordy this week. Anyhow, here's a detail in oil:


As you see, very much remains to do... we'll see when.


April 08, 2018

Feeding Cell Phones to Fish



For my perpetual book project – I might be halfways done. You can see that I’ve been working on it for a while – the cell phone is a classic Nokia. You could text on it, with painstaking, Morse-like care. And make actual phone calls. It also had some simple games onboard that could keep a soul entertained for seconds.


The fish is a Northern Pike. And fine fish don’t have to answer phones, not at all.

My original sketch was actually intended for oil colouring (being made on paper that is specially coated for this, with quite heavy grain). I’ll never get around to that. So I went all digital above it but kept some of the texture and tinted it.


The reason why our main character is feeding phones to fishes has to do with the abundance of stupid calls that he received. (It’s not good for our seas, don’t do it. And it isn’t very healthy to the fish. All those daft calls might make them insane.) Sadly, present models do nothing to make a certain brand of calls less silly (salespeople, frauds and obnoxious souls in general) and one might expect future generations of cell phones to make certain stupid calls intelligent. That would be an improvement.

April 01, 2018

Hugging Robots – on Universal Basic Income and Why You Can't Just Sit and Wait



I am for Universal Basic Income. I wish that I could do more for this noble idea. But I must confess that some among us just seem to sit back and wait. Lo, the Robots are Coming and the End of all Work is Near... The Latter-day Believers in Tech would have it that Soon, when most of all work is automated, The Guys Above won’t have any choice but to give us a free wage to live on. Every headline in the field of automation is heard as yet another bell of freedom chiming -- “Listen! Bill Gates has proposed a Robot Tax!” -- and so on.

This is a naïve yet grave mistake. Power is
a) very unwilling to give in and accept such changes and
b) has always been...


...I’ll start with b). Why just robots? Why not personal computers, combustion engines, steam engines? All of these changes could’ve been taxed through the ages, analogous to the Gates’ Robot Act:
-- Steam tax: Young children could’ve been sent to school (with steam money) instead of toiling in factories in Manchester of the 1830’s.
-- Computer tax: All secretaries that were laid off when personal computers came (and indeed did write and spell better) could’ve been compensated. The same goes for typesetters.
-- and so on.
The pressure has always been on the humans to find new means to survive after having been declared obsolete, never on the owners of the machines. So why on Earth do some people think this would change now? I am very sure that those in Power haven’t changed the least since Anytime. They’ll remain true to themselves as long as they aren’t laid off by robots. The Upper Ten won’t care as long as only the other 90% is replaced. Which brings us to a)… And this is where I’d like to introduce you to Dr. Ludwik Fleck.

The belief in Paradigm Shifts goes back to Thomas Kuhn and Company. In its most naïve and simplified form, it goes sort of –
“First we all believed that the Earth Was Flat and then we were subjected to Overwhelming Evidence and now we all Know It’s Round” – apply this happy short story to whatever Great Change that comes to your mind. Now, Dr. Fleck was of a different opinion. Every “thought collective” (Denkkollektiv in his German) has a certain Sluggishness. It will go on thinking that the Earth is flat until it’s totally impossible, and go on claiming flatness long thereafter. Fleck (I am happy to have a copy of his major work, The Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact) gives us several examples on how the Empire of Consensus beats back on unwanted new data, the different levels being:

1. “Anything that contradicts the System [of Thought] is Unthinkable.”
Of course the Earth can’t be round! People would fall off! …Or, in our case: We’d never afford Basic Income, taxes would be too high! Funny – we do seem to afford the great number of workers that get burned out, the social expenses of keeping the unemployed in poverty, imaginary work implementations, supporting failing industries and banks with tax money and so on. It’s ridiculous. Insanity! But if you’re very set on keeping things as they are, no matter what, sane measures must thus be declared utopian and impossible.

2. “That which does not fit into this System remains unseen…”
Instances where the Earth might appear to be round may be written off as exceptions to the rule. In our case: Of course tests have been carried out. Trials with Basic Income in Canada, Finland and so on made the recipients happier, more likely to get a better education, gave them better means to take care of their lives and so on. Hard matter! You may write it all off as happy exceptions to whatever rule you prefer (especially if this rule keeps you in power). Back to Fleck, it doesn’t quite matter if the exceptions completely overshadow the rule; you may get back to the latter like an oblivious parrot. (Politicians are well trained in this.)

3. “…or stifled, even if it is known”.
You can not count on Power to bring up aforesaid ‘exceptions’ itself. All those pesky signs of Earthly roundness are rather overlooked, especially if they grow many. Now imagine the parrot shouting something irrelevant louder every time Basic Income is brought up and you get the idea. – ‘Sir Parrot, what about Basic Income?’ – ‘We must create new jobs! Polly wants a cracker!’

4. “Huge efforts are made to explain those [exceptions] as not contradictory.”
For instance, one may claim that Basic Income wouldn’t work on the Grand Scale (no matter on how large a scale it is tested) – and no matter how round the Earth may seem, it is still flat. Medieval astronomers spent some good time accounting for all those stars that seemed to orbit around the Sun in their strictly geocentric world…
It’s like loosing weight, sort of. You’re prepared to do anything, just anything to get slim but to exercise or changing your diet. And we can count on the implementations of our officials to grow increasingly weird (‘you ain’t seen nothing yet!’) trying anything but Basic Income as the economical situation grows increasingly severe.
For instance, huge efforts are already being made to explain how robots that replace humans are creating more “job opportunities”.

5. “Despite all reasons for a differing opinion, one sees, describes and visualises all facts as analogous to the theory; they, so to speak, get realized.”
Like no. 4, but worse. Here, contradictions are not merely overlooked or whitewashed – they’re cannibalized by the old delusions. Even if we were to get Basic Income, all the blissful effects that could follow would get credited to other factors until the very end. ...At which stage you may count on the Upper Ten to not only endorse it, but to claim that they were for it all along – the same dance has been done with democracy, feminism etc. (You may also count on them to silently work against progress anyway.)


---***---

The deep irony is that the Robot Believers follow the same Fleckian pattern of blind faith and selective understanding. Convinced as they are that robotics will reach a critical mass just by itself, they pose no real threat to status quo.

As for how to actually overcome the official (and inofficial) mental blocks on the road to Basic Income, I yet don’t know. But I deeply believe that it’s a psychological problem. It hasn’t got that very much with actual economy to do. Few economical problems really do. It’s all in your mind.

March 25, 2018

Paintbrush and Surreal Joys

This is a brush, the inner essence of a paintbrush.
I had fun in three ways.


Firstly, the joy of distilling a raw sketch into into intriguing lines with many surprising twists and turns, a bit of Surrealisme Art Noveau.



Secondly -- I didn't care much for authentic colours. If you just knew what odd colours traditional painters use for underpainting: Under this rosy skin there might be shades of greyish olive, subtle blues and whatnot that do the work. I've merely let the structures that could have been out.
(My Dear, why aren't you green, with cute little white freckles? You could've been green...)


Thirdly -- It never ceases to amuse me that if you have a light hue -- preferably with some little white on top -- and dark ones -- the darkest one nearing pitch black -- and smear the midtones gently together, you get the illusion of a three-dimensional, almost tangible shape... Here, too, I've put intuition to work, and now I take joy in the odd forms that were born out of the flat surface (in this case, a screen).


Last but not least -- here's a tiny Don Quixote on a ladybug. That's fun because it's fun.


March 18, 2018

Art Theory Gnomes

For my little book project: Meet the Art Theory Gnomes. They vaugely resemble something rodent with a dollop of lizard -- these vermin consume art and wish that they could do it themselves. They can't. So they squeak unintelligible sounds of learning at each others and squabble over framed food -- especially if someone finds a tasty modernist for dinner.


"Mrrrraaaaawww!"



March 11, 2018

Table Painting Time



Sweetheart loves onions. And garlic. She didn't love her rather dilapidated table. So she asked this visiting artist to overcome his aversions for acrylics (yuck! -- dries before you can Do anything with it! -- clings to everything but what you're trying to paint! -- etc.) and decorate this sad piece of furniture a bit.


She also loves a Southern Swedish, quite inexplicable dish name of Kroppkakor. Grated potatoes are cooked into a sticky paste that encase dripping pieces of fat -- a sort of dumpling, large as a small mouse. It is quite possible to eat one. But somewhere on the second one the fat gets too fatty and the stickiness too sticky. And while the struggle to down no. 2 goes on, the visitor might see (and, regrettably, can't unsee) the locals pouring melted butter -- gulp -- yea, melted butter upon this already greasy delicacy...
"Won't you have another?"
"I think that I'll wait a little, thank you so much."
However. By drawing a plate of this, ahem, delicacy I've ensured that Sweetie always has food on her table. Next, ornamental greenery began to grow...




You see grapes in the corner. One of the many battle scars of this table was a splotch of old nail polish. And the colour and shape somewhat resembled a grape. So...


...why not give it some company? "The more we get together..."


March 04, 2018

Throwback Sunday

Rest is sometimes badly, so badly needed, and this is what you get this Sunday. It was sort of made a while ago and and here it comes again;



Here's another, perhaps interesting one:


February 25, 2018

Cabin Growing Wild

A small, very typically Swedish cabin (red copper-based paint, white corners) growing all wild, perhaps with tumours, perhaps not knowing what it is anymore. Or why. And thus expanding in all directions...? There's such a lot of interpretation that could go with it... (You're very welcome to try.)


Our little confused house started out as a small sketch...


And soon I found myself planning some very dark boreal surroundings too (also very Nordic, if you ask me)...


Next I found a panorama shot of mine to go with it...


A few details:


Perhaps the poor house 'll just keep growing until it becomes a red pyramid (with white stripes, too) ---upside down, bound to collapse under the weight of all the ruminating additions to whatever it might be brooding about.

February 18, 2018

I Don't Fit In -- Rubrik's Cube

I had a rather wordy lecture going on... Which I suppose that you might live well and happy without. So here goes:



But here we have a movie that shows this better. Voilà:








February 11, 2018

Cute Owls


These Owls are Moss Owls, for a reason quite untranslatable -- in Swedish, when something feels fishy, you have a hint of Owls in the Moss (ugglor i mossen). I've never heard any explanation as to why they are owls, or why they hoot-toot-toot in a moss... Luckily, I don't need to know stuff. So here goes:


Mostly brownish, they got a splash of green to make them truly Moss Owls. But I suppose that they don't need too much camouflage. And that they find voles tasty.


(Ink and aquarelle on paper.)

February 04, 2018

You're Very Welcome (in theory)

For my little book, symbolizing yet one of those places where one is So Very welcome to try, to apply, but where one is sort of cursed; with the odds, prejudices or whatever set firmly against you. The front door is open, but one can never reach it. (My little thing is set in the Byzantine world of the Fine Arts biz but I'm very sure that you know of different systems that work in the same way.)

Anyhow, to capture this feeling, what could be more natural than escalators rolling in the wrong way?


Sort of fun fact: I made the wood panel on the sides of the escalator from a floor... the greenery was some sort of ivy that I found during a walk, the stone texture is from that walk too (cell phone cameras come in very handy). And as for the warped lines (those bubbly pillars etc.) they come from God knows where, but I sort of like them. The world is twisted, my lines are twisted. It says Bienvenue, Wilkommen, Welcome but doesn't necessarily let you in.

January 28, 2018

Triangular Oil with Hare, Blue Maidens and Whatnot, Finished

So at last I finished my little triangular oil...


The island in the background is known as the Blue Maiden (Blå Jungfrun) and was sketched on a cold winter's day with a few frozen pencil strokes, enough for memory. (You see it well from quaint little Oskarshamn.) And the hare in the foreground was another frozen little sketch.


Hoppity-hop...







January 21, 2018

The Great Marriage Lottery Machine


For the little book of mine, an echo of a former project:


You can see how the words (sorry for the blur, the actual words are in Swedish and moreover reserved for the buyers-to-be of this book) are folding around this side-adventure with The Great Marriage Lottery Machine, a bitter parody of forced marriage is still going on around the world. In such cases the Swedes (who carry such an abundance ethics aboard that they happily export it) feel great moral indignation -- provided there's some good safety distance. So I put a temple in the midst of Stockholm, devoted to the Great God of Electricity -- and right now (in my story) they're having their Annual Wedding Lottery, assisted by a huge complex tombola with a wheel of fortune and all sorts of fancy, fizzing arbitrariness (I can't pronounce that).

I suppose that the Swedes would graciously accept this process as a part of Electric Religion and call for humble understanding (if it happened so close) and respect for Ethics of Another Voltage, etc. I myself had a little brush with forced marriage some two decades ago. And I wrote a little something that was duly ignored (but those frightened publishers were interesting to see) and after turning to other media and receiving the wrong sort of attention I put the whole thing down. (My relationship spent quite some years going downhill and one happy but belated day I put that one down too.)

Oh, let's get technical instead. The fittings were bred from one single design that I made variations upon...


...and then turned into copper (contrasting nicely with the PVC'ish tubes). Then I had the lottery balls flowing merrily through it all.


Last but not least, the Joyous Wheel of Fortune! I'm afraid that the design won't be seen as clearly on the paper prints (if I ever get done someday) but here you see it now; fine little boys and girls awaiting their very decided destiny when 14 or 16 or so.

Memories of the painful kind have a tendency to, if untreated, seep out of the brains and slowly poison the body. The aforesaid awful practice will remain in my consciousness but with this I want some of it washed out of my very fibres. Cheers.


January 14, 2018

Nuclear Reactors on Saturn

For the Perpetual Book Project; and as the title says.


Once upon a time I worked for a sort of community centre; they had culture there. And I did their posters, there were concerts (some of which were mine) they hosted lectures and whatnot. And anyhow this plethora of things to do meant that my phone could go off anytime, just anytime. So I had this recurring little nightmare, where the phone rang and sometimes quite impossible things were demanded -- like, for instance, helping to build nuclear reactors on Saturn. I remember that one, as I was saved by the bell -- or phone -- ringing and demanding other things, less surreal but likewise impossible. So I sort of had to include it. And there we go.

Things that I like about it -- it looks like a nuclear Castle now. It is just as ta-daa as the demands of certain people. Ironically, I overslept. And now I publish this a little late -- I fear that the text, overseen by my weary eyes, is more surreal than the image... so what: Publish and be damned.

January 07, 2018

Neverland Tobacco, or A Licorice Cigar Prank

The Artist/Designer/etc. had quite fun a few nights before New Year's Eve. I had candy, Polkagris (hard Swedish stick candy) and a Certain Someone who couldn't be expected to swear off smoking on the Eve, nohow. So let's at least have some fun. Here's the candy.


And underneath is the paper...


...which I used to...


...turn the candy into cigars!


The box had to be camouflaged too, there was some printing on the top that was quite a giveaway. So I made a sort of girdle on fine paper.


This candy box now contained -- Sweetheart doesn't know much Spanish --


"Six Special Cigars, 100% Licorice, Product of Neverland Ranch, Bolivia" and so on in my pidgin Español. Mohahaha.


The most difficult thing was to imitate one of the bleak, harmless but commercial styles that many illustrators use for things like this (I call this variety Common Faux Vector Engraving) together with the fonts that one might see on such a package (the cigar wrappings then had to be made in style). So partly, this little prank was to some little extent made for my little, somewhat ironic-bitter amusement.

The surprise and the tasty Neverland Tobacco was very well received, however. Sweetheart loves licorice.

--------

Edit: Corrected a few grammar errors, January 8:th. Perfectionism, oh perfectionism... Still there must others, undetected, lurching about down there... and others to come... *Growl.*

December 31, 2017

On Leather Masks and Honesty to Oneself

A leather mask, covering half the face, as a thought for 2018…


A possible explanation (insert yours here) is that I’ve been constantly annoyed by people who clandestinely tries to change one into something beautiful that one isn’t. To the best of my knowledge, unicorns don’t have foul manners, never swear and only drink water. But I’m not a unicorn… One also happens to be an artist, and as such we work with All emotions, All aspects of being a human being, even the less appetizing ones. I know an excellent actor, a good soul but an annoying fussbudget too – she’s utterly perfect for characters that demand a certain hypocrisy, shallowness and so forth. Because she is the one that she is. Light can’t exist without darkness.

When you truly Accept a person, you accept the whole works, the entire Gonzo – thinking of Hunter S. Thompson now, who was a truly difficult person, with endless faults, and thus the only one who could’ve written the works of Hunter S. Thompson. There’s a notion that I’ve often heard:
“I like X’s plays/movies/books/etc. but not this or that part of X.”
It is a notion for cowards, who refuse to see the complex thing that a human is; to be a Self is to be a self-contradiction.
“I am large, I contain multitudes.”

There are of course limits. You might not have to be a murderer in order to write Crime Fiction (even if some poor works in that genre – there are so many – would’ve been improved by it) but perhaps you, at least for a moment, have to Want to kill?

So, now when you sit wondering what lofty promises that you’re to make for this year, be careful of what you wish. Above all, don’t wish to become a Better person. Lord knows what’ll happen on the dark, masked side of your soul then. You should rather wish to know thyself. Have a whole face.

---***---


A glimpse behind the curtain: this is the tinting before I added the details on top…


…and this is the original pencil drawing.


Happy New Year 2018, Happy Same Old You!