The Exhibition Stare

When Somerset House opened to the public in 1780 the main staircase which lead to “the Great Room” quickly became one of London’s famous attractions. This fact is often attributed to its terrifying steepness and narrowness, the climbing of which was viewed as an “aesthetic experience” which people of the time would have referred to as “sublime.” Evidently there was another, and one must assume equally exhilarating, reason for it’s popularity. 

12.03. filed under: art. history. humanity. 6

Psychopathia Sexualis, by Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing M.D. is a fascinating historical document. First published in Germany in 1886 the book attempts to catalogue and illuminate every manner of “sexual perversion” bubbling just under the surface of the 19th century. On the one hand reading through its pages is a melancholy sort of affair. This was a time when masturbation was a dirt path straight to the lake of fire, a time when if your own tastes stretched beyond monogamous “missionary work” you would likely be viewed as a tainted psycopath begotten by maniacs; if you also happen to be a woman… well, head directly to the assylum, do not pass go, do not even think about sexual fullfilment. On the other hand because of this rather narrow view of human sexuality much of what is characterized as sexual deviancy in the book seems downright cuddly and sweet in our filthy 21st century world, where a shampoo commercial might present more outwardly explicit sexuality than a 19th century woman’s entire adult existence.

Below the fold you will find 8 case studies which I’ve culled from the hundreds, presented for your education, possible discomfiting recognition, and, of course, your smug amusement (yeah, like you don’t have some, uh, “problematic” shit going on in the sex centers of your noggin.) Enjoy.

11.24. filed under: books. history. humanity. life. 5

Patented for Your Pleasure

What are the things we as a species enjoy? I’m going to go out on a limb and pick two- We enjoy sexual pleasure, and we enjoy tinkering with stuff. The confluence of these two interests have lead, over time, to more sexual gadgetry than you could shake an electrode covered phallus at, and it’s amusing for a couple of reasons. For one, I don’t think with all our noodling we’ve ever actually improved on good ol’ sloppy biology. Secondly, and this is the mouth of the comedy gold mine, all these endless inventions of ours must, if they are to ever to hit the market and enter the orifices at large, pass through the patent office. Can you think of a more incongruous pairing than brute sexuality and government forms? Or of the mysterious workings of human arousal and technical diagrams?


Bored kids will do just about anything to get a high right? Smoke banana peels. Lick toads. Sniff glue. Whatever. I don’t begrudge them their brain destroying fun, but this… this is simply the ultimate of the jonesin genre. Quote: Jenkem is a homemade substance which consists of fecal matter and urine. The fecal matter and urine are placed in a bottle or jar and covered, most commonly with a balloon. The container is then placed in a sunny area for several hours or days or until fermented. The contents of the container will separate and release a gas, which is captured in the balloon. Inhaling the gas is said to give a euphoric high similar to ingesting cocaine but with strong hallucinations.” The down side? The taste of sewage in your mouth which lasts for “several days.”

Sure, it may well be a hoax. But I sincerely hope not. I love the thought of bored kids purposely huffing super-farts just to get a high. Why should junkies and crack-heads be the only ones who get to have that “holy shit, man, I can’t possibly sink any lower than this” moment? Why should adult users be the only ones to have a complete dissolution of dignity and self respect? Plus, the slang for Jenkem is priceless: Butthash. Hahaha. Yes indeed the children truly are the future.

11.08. filed under: headlines. humanity. wtf. 4

Quote: Beginning in the early 1860s, Plains Indian men adapted their representational style of painting to paper in the form of accountants ledger books. Traditional paints and bone and stick brushes used to paint on hide gave way to new implements such as colored pencils, crayon, and occasionally water color paints. Plains artists acquired paper and new drawing materials in trade, or as booty after a military engagement, or from a raid. Initially, the content of ledger drawings continued the tradition of depicting of military exploits and important acts of personal heroism already established in representational painting on buffalo hides and animal skins. As the US government implemented the forced relocation of the Plains peoples to reservations, for all practical purposes completed by the end of the 1870s, Plains artists added scenes of ceremony and daily life from before the reservation to the repertoire of their artwork, reflecting the social and cultural changes brought by life on the reservation within the larger context of forced assimilation. – Enjoy the 1021 plates spanning 15 ledgers at Plaines Indian Ledger Art.

For more see: Tribal Arts, Kiowa Drawings, Fort Marion Artists, and Picturing Change.

10.22. filed under: art. history. humanity.

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