Thursday, July 12, 2007

One of the purposes of art is to help us stock our minds with further patterns. Art crystalizes patterns of experience so that we can absorb them without having had to live through and learn them by a slow process of induction. Art can also give us a range of experience we would never otherwise have had. In a sense art is an accelerated life machine.

-- Edward de Bono, de Bono's Thinking Course, 1982

10 comments:

R. W. Watkins said...

Speaking of stocking our minds with patterns, has anyone besides myself discovered all the 'great' subliminal images on the cover of the latest issue (July 16th--'Addiction') of Time Magazine? On the cover, a man has been crushed by a huge whiskey-on-the-rocks. In the ice cubes, one can discern at least two skulls, Jesus carrying the burden of the cross while Mary looks on, a gaping vagina, and a fellatio scene. The cubes themselves form a phallus which is spurting semen as an axe blade slices into the head on an upward angle. There are also hidden symbols/words in the man's crumpled trouser legs--'666' being vaguely discernable when you invert the cover. I'm serious! Check it out, then contact Time's Letters department and let them know that you're on to their game.

Brian Campbell said...

Ah, those salacious ice cubes! On the Time internet archive (it shows all covers of Time magazines since its inception), that issue is shown, but for some reason when you click on it to see it bigger it shows the previous issue! I guess I will have to run to nearest magazine store...

R. W. Watkins said...

So have you come across a copy of the latest TIME yet...?

Brian Campbell said...

Not yet, but I'll see if they have a copy at the Bishop's U. bookstore next time I pass by... (should be tomorrow)

Brian Campbell said...

I got a copy of Time: Bishop's didn't have it, but one of my students subscribes, and generously gave me his copy. Some people call the two leading US newsmags Slime and Newspeak. The former may be living up to its name. Those ice cubes do look pretty suspect, and I'm sure with the current photoshop technology it's easy to shade in any image one could wish. I see two skull-like suggestions, and a vagina too, but the biblical scene escapes me. So does the 666. A fellatio scene was clearer in the image on their internet site than on the magazine in front of me now. But what I do see, unmistakeably, is a white rat in the upper ice cube above the scotch. Whatever it is, that cover on the whole is a pretty imaginative graphic. It may seem sinister, but something about it makes me feel tingly all over, makes me want to buy and read it right away, preferably with a scotch on the rocks in my hand! Suddenly -- just now as I write -- I have an almost irresistable urge to go to an orgy! Or in lieu of that, go on a spending spree to buy, let's see, what are the advertizers inside???? Help me, Ron, help!!!

R. W. Watkins said...

'Whiskey On The Cocks, er, Rocks', now viewable at outsiderwriters.org--check it out!

Brian Campbell said...

I did, but still have trouble seeing the biblical scene, and still have trouble making out some of the others. And did you see the white rat? Just below the rim of the glass in the cube floating on top. Will comment further later, Rob. (Seems I misnamed you -- probably the influence of the whiskey)

R. W. Watkins said...

The most obvious and spookiest image is the skull in the bottom ice cube. And yeah, I see that rat. Keep your eyes open for bats, snakes, insects and other non-kosher critters--they love embedding those.

Ever read any Key or Packard, by the way...?

Brian Campbell said...

No, I haven't, although I remember one of them being interviewed on TV about 20-odd years ago...

Brian Campbell said...

Having read your "Whiskey on the Cocks", I'll submit this comment: I find this Time Cover is a very effective cover, subliminal stuff & all. Many of your interpretations I find subjective, but I won't deny the trickery. Instead, I'll play the devil's advocate by contending that the subliminal stuff helps to make the work intriguing, disturbing, edgy, raises it above the level of the bland. Would the cover be better without it? Isn't blandness even a greater perversity? Many of the effects you describe I can't see: I see others you don't mention. The notion that this is a kind of conspiracy on the part of Time, a kind of Pavlovian project of taming the public consciousness to go against the article's ostensible purpose and make them passive consumers of liquor I find questionable. I don't know if such touches *necessarily* would have that effect. The graphic is meant to express, in a clever & ironic, and I don't deny, entertaining sort of way, the agony of addiction, after all. Did the Time editors order the artist to work in those disturbing images, to manipulate the public? I wouldn't be surprised if those effects passed by their noses unnoticed -- that it wasn't the artist simply having fun, making his graphic as effective as possible, even against their moral majority proclivities. As you point out, many legitimate artists have used such embedded symbolism with conscious intention, if only to make the work more interesting, intriguing, multi-leveled and powerful. A pollution of the public mind? What prudishness, what a moral steamroller! To those who are squeamish about these hidden penises, skulls and rats -- sinister only because we deem them so -- I say, all power to the artists. Hee, hee, hee! (Devilish laugh)