12.1.18

Jim Carrey's Mental Health



Jim Carrey's an interesting character. His roles frequently seem to revolve around mental illness. He's the go-to guy for "crazy".

There's: the eccentric "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective", the Jekyll and Hyde split personality of "The Mask", the delusional paranoid of "The Truman Show", the amnesiac of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", the Andy Kaufman reconstruction of "Man on the Moon" and the seeming ECT casualty of "Dumb and Dumber" - and that's just the ones I've seen.

I was really intrigued to find this first, slightly disturbing, video which shows him deeply engrossed in conspiracy theories. In the second Carrey reveals he understands acting itself as a pathological activity and character formation as arbitrary.

I like him very much but he's a long-way short of his stated ambition to shed his ego. In the third video it's funny how he skewers the audience at the 2016 Golden Globes and deprecates Hollywood's ambitions - but it's the kind of speech that he could only make in the context of his own splendor. Imagine for a moment that the introductory voice said: "Ladies and Gentlemen - please welcome the has-been Jim Carrey."

8.1.18

Shrigley Frisbee


My children gave this to me for my Christmas Present. I really love it.

Of course I didn't say on receipt: "I'm not actually buying many records these days"; even though that's true. I mean, let's face it, on the back of my behavior for as long as they've known me it's entirely accurate.

I don't think a CD would make a good conceptual art frisbee.

5.1.18

Scott Joplin "Magnetic Rag" Animation


Here's a neat bit of conceptual art for you. I was really fascinated by the fact that Scott Joplin and many other Ragtime composers composed for piano rolls. Let's face it, this is Techno! Especially when you consider that those piano rolls have now been converted into MIDI information by enthusiasts like Walter Trachtman and Robert at Pianola.co.nz.

I remember interviewing Andy from Plaid and him explaining to me how he used an old bit of MIDI to score a (then) new track for an ART compilation which I was writing the linernotes for. I took one of the old Joplin MIDI files, the suitably entitled "Magnetic Rag" a "haunting" rag whose title references hypnotism and the parapsychological, which eerily was the last rag Joplin composed before his death. "Magnetic Rag" makes perfect sense too for a digital rendition and the magnetic environment of hard drives. I loaded it in to the MPC 4000 and chained that to my Yamaha SY99. I recorded the output through an Eventide H9 pedal.

Then I imported the MIDI file itself into After Effects using an almost antique plug-in from the Omino website. It still works extremely well and produced six streams of data (Pitch, Velocity and Duration for the left and right hands). Using a simple expression I hooked these up to some scaling circles.

And because Joplin died in 1917 this is safely in the public domain...phew!