Monday, March 28, 2011

Comparisons: the scornful women

Scornful woman,
a painting by Egon Schiele

Doodled first, then colored a hundred years ago by the Austrian painter Egon "who knows me" Schiele. (Technique: materials as ordinary as watercolor and charcoal.)

Still without a name,
a relief by Natalia Coppa

Brought into this world from Heaven a few months ago by the Latin American titan Natalia Soledad Coppa Angelini. (Technique: forged with the clay that God used to make Man and then passed to noble cement.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On the label and the scarecrow

I remember an argument from a couple years ago. It started from a more or less simple question: if a painting or other visual artwork incorporates letters and/or words as visual elements, ¿is it at least in part a literary work? I said yes and someone said no, but probably the right answer would be "what the fuck do I care".

Rótulo1 by Xul Solar

We can't get rid of categories, they're essential for thinking, but we can invent new categories to solve problems the old ones can't. We got used to think artistic doctrines as countries or provinces, delineated areas of land. So we believe the difference between Painting and Literature, for example, is a line on the ground, beyond which is Literature and behind wich is Painting. We want to solve new problems with old metaphors. We're thousands and thousands trying to build a state-of-the-art computer with centuries-old tools.
I want to think it otherwise, I don't know exactly how. Better yet: I want to start looking for what to think it with, what system or what metaphor. Today, a work of art is a piece of dough and to create it we must decide whether we put in the box of Music or the box of Poetry. Tomorrow it can be a meal, and Sculpture or Comics mere ingredients we put in the amounts we can. Or maybe the artwork will be a person standing on a road between, I don't know, Novel and Videogames, and we'll have to decide at which end of the road to stand, or right in the middle, or closer to one end than to the other, and how close.

Espantapájaros2 by Oliverio Girondo

Xul Solar painted and Oliverio Girondo wrote. But Xul Solar put words in his paintings and Girondo put images in his poems. But Xul Solar wrote with his images and Girondo drew with his words.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The pendulum and the Mecha

A few days ago I said CODEAR "Perón" (you know, ¿right?, the Perón-themed video game contest) was going slow. And it might then be true, but now we have...

The rise and fall of Mecha-Perón
by Santiago Martín Vilar, Fernando Martínez Herrera and Nicolás Viegas Palermo
¡Oh, no! ¡A group of mad Japanese Peronist scientists (imagine the time it took me to put those adjectives in the right order) constructed a giant Mecha-Perón that, once gone mad and rebelled against its creators (as is only natural to happen), decides to destroy Tokyo!
Or perhaps, better put: "¡Oh, no! ¡You're a giant Mecha-Perón and a lot of aircraft and missile launchers want to ruin your perfectly legitimate desire to destroy Tokyo!". Mouse to shoot the eye lasers, Z to fire the hand-missile.

Evita and Perón against the gorillas
by Diego Essaya, Fabián García and Leandro Casadei
I already said about this one, so so far I have only to correct that what I said were national coats of arms in the game (possibly because of the low resolution and my lack of attention) are in fact PJ shields.

The peronaut pendulum
by Tomás Glasman
The most historic of those presented so far. In what possibly is one of the most acid and sadly true satires of Peronism, the player takes the place of Perón (in a parallel universe in which the Libertadora failed) trying to remain in power pleasing the movement's most varied sectors. Operating at discretion from the Rosy House, the basic unit (later left-winged Peronism's headquarters) and the Department of Labor (later Ministry), Perón tries to keep his voters in the working-class, in the Peronist armed organizations, in the business sector and the (implicitly) union bureaucracy. The game continues indefinitely until the player is overthrown or loses an election.

So that's all. Oh, and registration closes tomorrow and the voting starts.

(Note of March 20: I updated the links to the games' new versions and final versions. Oh, and I leave you Mejor que zozobre y no que fafalte, Revancha Zombie: unidos o dominados y Perón Rising: Choripán Commando, which were updated after I wrote this entry.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Evita and Perón against the gorillas

Evita y Perón contra los gorilas por dessaya, granquesote y mateamargo
1. Control zombie Perón with the W, A, S and D keys.
2. Recover your lost hands, which are lying around.
3. Destroy gorillas1 (aimming with the mouse and clicking to shoot).
4. Collect the rural workers used as slave labor (by clicking when you're on them).
5. Take them to the truck that goes to Plaza de Mayo.
6. Collect the national coats of arms that give you health and the Evitas that help you wipe out the gorillas.
CODEAR "Perón" is evolving slower than one would expect, but the few results it's giving are excellent results. If you don't believe me check out Mejor que zozobre y no que fafalte and Revancha Zombie: unidos o dominados. None is finished, but they all promise.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bony hands

This may come as a surprise to many, but I sometimes write. Lately I've been working on a short story I started long ago, of which I can't declare myself the original author in absolute terms, and which until now had no title but I now almost know will respond to the name of Manos huesudas or, if my Spanish pride permits me, Bony hands. And it starts something like this:1
There was no skin or muscle to hold on to. The whole human frame, yesterday forgettable or hidden, now inevitable, forced. That usually hidden, of wich only a couple of incisors or the arrangement of vertebrae are familiar, now on the surface and for everybody to see. A handful of cold distal phalanges, white as the sun, hard from the dry, capriciously tightening or loosening the three pistons of a trumpet. Carpals and metacarpals accommodating to the sweet or hostile shape of a violin bow. The uncomfortable humerus welcoming the unconquerable volume of a guitarron.
There were four skeletons dressed as mariachi, with their big hats and colorful clothes, still as the silence emanating from its four dumb instruments, waiting for nothing, already resolved in their honorable and perhaps eternal purpose of decorating my desk. The shortest of the four played a double bass, I never understood why. The higher, the violinist, measured less than the cigarette Celso had just accommodated in the ashtray. [...]
Nice, ¿right? I know, I love it too. Although it's more likely that tomorrow when I reread it I'll think it's shit. That happens to me, and I think that happens to a lot of people too. For now, I like this I'm writing. Now we have to see if I finish it someday.