Your Teratoma

Great Expectations
August 4, 2010, 11:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Claims have been made that some of the most influential people throughout history have been celibate (Kant, Gaudi, Tessla, Gandhi-my favorites), yet also said that equally revolutionary minds have belonged to sex addicts (all my favorites). The “advantages” and “disadvantages” to these lifestyle choices are similarly arresting, powerful, and open to varied interpretations. Some believe that evolution will compensate for the spectrum between by allowing humans to simultaneously posses fully functioning male and female genitalia.

Theories abound regarding placement, “gender” dominance, and the role of emotion, but the overriding concept seems to be preserving the ability to reproduce, eliminating the necessity of an “opposite sex”. Most popular is the belief that the female vagina will evolve such that the clitoris is enlarged to become a medium sized penis. This hypothesis keeps both sets of organs in the same vicinity, and allows for penetration individually or with a partner. Other thoughts revolve around the idea of separation between the two organs, such as the transformation of the hands illustrated above. The five fingers essentially become five penises, varying in states of function. Faults alleged towards this include the lack of opposable digits and compromise in the functionality of the hands (i.e. Will the “fingers” need to be erect in order to perform as digits? Will sensitivity hinder the function of fingers? Or will “pleasurable” sensitivity be eliminated? How will this affect the consumption of “finger foods”?) However, “separatists” celebrate the separation of genitalia as a liberation-the ability to please oneself, please another, or please nobody at all. Another separatist notion, the removable (or disposable) vagina has a small, yet passionate, following among independent researchers, who also claim it will virtually eliminate venereal diseases. Little is known regarding the role of breasts in this proposed evolutionary cycle.

Regardless of the known and unknown, such change will surely create a dramatic new way of living-most material objects, will need to be totally re-designed. Some may even be eliminated, others invented. Human interaction will operate on a new dynamic. There will be many new lessons learned. Nothing is certain except: Our fear and fanaticism with the time beyond our grasp is almost as universal as our obsessions with ourselves.


What Remains
November 19, 2009, 12:44 am
Filed under: animate objects, found

A crisp autumn day, walking to a place that doesn’t matter, we came across a perfectly shaped pigeon’s wing. Archetypal in its proportion of charcoal to stone, exemplary in it strikingly ordinary shape, yet oddly, so neatly severed from the rest of its body. No blood, gristle, or signs of damp life soil its singularity. Where was its body? So we searched, wide and far. Only this wing. A tabloid heart’s half impression in a bed of paper leaves. They’re dry. And it’s disappeared.  I take the leaves as my memento, to uncover a mouse. Normally, rodents are startling, their frantic motion and frenzied eyes, but this one was divine in its lifelessness. It had been crushed. Smothered. Flat. Although it’s flesh was void of physical dimension, it glistened with the opalescence of health. Leveled to a point where he was one with the pavement. Lifting him would destroy everything, his afterlife-the live illustration.

Still life.

The only guaranteed ecstasy in life is death, at its singular instant. It is the moment of purity where our entire condition is no longer human, animal, or inanimate, but simply cosmic. The events that follow are cultural miasmas. The carcass, its stiffness, tells more of the surviving hands who handled it than of the creature itself. Burial. Cremation. Donation. Stuffing and mounting. Pressed between pages, dried and framed.

Beat it
August 3, 2009, 10:14 pm
Filed under: events, Uncategorized

mjCelebrity death is white. Unlike the black mask of archetypal death, it’s ceremonies brim with conceit instead of deceit. Yet the white blossoms lie not in the coffins of a pop star, but in the bestiality of a public that hungers for rumor, scandal, and the idle banter that secures us in our stagnancy. Green envy bleached into being jaded, yellow cowardice washed into halfhearted caution. Red if you disrespect my father, but will not think twice when speaking poorly of another; blue over your daughter yet will not fathom grief as reality for another. And so all the colors blend into white, and what cruel irony that a prism is now obtuse.

June 24, 2009, 1:23 pm
Filed under: animate objects, inanimate objects


A curious cat I followed, trying to decipher his purrs and cries. Found in an envelope. The warmth of the womb before the chilling light of birth, the still of night without the clattering chaos of sunrise. Gauze, velvet. The absence is permanent, and in that, I am full.


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human nature
February 24, 2009, 10:05 pm
Filed under: animate objects

human-natureSerendipity is one way divinity bludgeons your fingers into doing the walking. Recently, I came upon an article about a respected plastic surgeon who created organic fuel for his car from unwanted fat leftover by his liposuction patients. Our legal system finds such resourcefulness unethical, and there was the hand which doctor was dealt. Was it the same bureaucracy that is indifferent to the plague of obesity off of which the doctor made his living? Is the undesirable fat put to better use rotting away in a medical waste bin? Shouldn’t we be worrying about severe maniacs, like the ones who dismember our brothers and sisters in the name of cannibalism? Or what gets people so hungry or fat to begin with, like the additives in our food? Oh food, that glorious vice. As I attempted to quell my own gluttony with some “all natural” cookies, my eyes caught one word: l-cysteine. As an avid baker, I was shocked by my unfamiliarity with this supposed “natural” ingredient, proceeding immediately to my beloved Internet for answers. Quickly boring of the scientific poetry about non-essential amino acids, I was jolted into nauseating alert when I learned the cheapest source of this dough softener is through hydrolysis of human hair. Irony, cruelty. Disgust upon discovery of a single hair in our food, but what when the hair is an ingredient? Imagine the poor man harvesting hair from the floor of a barbershop, forced to fill hairy vats, whose contents serve the purpose of mechanizing what is essentially human. Imagine my next batch of Raspberry Bars, where I switch a quarter of the butter for a few clippings of my long black locks. Imagine the cannibals who eat these products each day, young and old, who develop a taste for the flesh of humanity. The waste that fuels machines, the waste that fuels ourselves, the machines that create our waste, ourselves that wretched creature. Serendipity is one way, apocalypse is another.

January 4, 2009, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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January 2, 2009, 10:17 pm
Filed under: events

keysInstead of spending the evening celebrating the launch of a calendar filled with glistening pages of history and anatomy, I spent a few minutes with a tardy locksmith who led me back into my apartment. Silly keys, why fall backwards out of my bag, as soon as the door shut behind me? Did the glistening authenticity and realism of medical moulage frighten you to the floor? You looked so innocent in your complacence there. As can be said  for most people when the warm, calming nature of wax combined with the depiction of the haunting ephemera that is our bodies, can prove overwhelming. As I am unable to hear the accounts of the calendar’s curation, I am driven to speculation. What does that wax feel like? The skin, sinew, and fluid it illustrates seems so pristinely tepid. Quite unlike the cold metal tools used to force submission on my door. I would bet such waxes maintain the temperature of the moment the model was taken. It must feel soft, not silky, with a delicate, unintentional flocking of the fibers from the bandages, gauze, stray hairs gained and lost in the process. Wax, yes, the lock picker had a surly unibrow. And what of the process? I wonder if the patients would have known how profoundly their contribution of consent resonated, the ailments cured, the theories disproved, and the encouraged reflection about the perpetual fascination we have with ourselves as a species. They must have spent hours in casts, with little hope that any of this would accomplish much. What, 300 dollars? Like, US dollars? All the while, the medicine men fought with how an intentionally created aesthetic object could be educational. How many teratoma models make their home in the museum? I suppose a few models must have been of the tumors that were baptized, likely fresh enough to have embedded small amounts of holy water in the wax. Surely the teratoma photos would be on the calendars pages of May and June. Having nearly forgotten about the joy of speculation, I suppose my keys were longing for my mental wanderlust in their decision to leap back. Aided by a bowl of pasta, diverted plans are not disastrous.