For the second installment of the The Buddy System, I sent a simple line drawing to Ben C, Ben D, and Morit G and asked them to complete it. Each of them rightly took the assignment as an opportunity to explore their subconscious.
Here is the original drawing:
Ben C's drawing tells the tale of a young man who finds a mysterious book (printed backwards) about Portuguese witches, warlocks, and their terrible spells. It's highly likely that after reading this book, this young man will spend the rest of his life in jail or a mental institution.
Ben D depicted a floating lighthouse in the sky defending itself against a giant butterfly attack. He invites the viewer to grapple with questions of right and wrong. Are we to assume that the lighthouse is justified in deploying this level of firepower against the butterfly? Conversely, while butterflies have pretty wings, aren't they really just gross insects in disguise, no different than cockroaches or grasshoppers?
Morit G used colored charcoal to explore the relationship between a woman and her lizard-like dog. She captures a tenuous relationship between isolation and joy. Within a spare and quiet room there is an explosion of sensory input.
About the artists: Ben C, a past contributor to this blog, teaches kindergarten and grew up in South Dakota. He practices Bikram yoga. Ben D lives in New York and works as a writer and art critic. He was on the TV game show Cash Cab. Morit G lives in Los Angeles and studies ethnomusicology at UCLA. She is the author of the illustrated story, "Chimpy".
If you feel that these artists got it wrong, please download the original drawing and send in your interpretation.
On a recent visit to a San Francisco pizza parlor that gives you crayons and lets you draw on the table, Kevin G and I attempted to draw our friends Ryan and Adriana's dog Acie. The drawings were done purely off of memory. Ryan submitted cell phone photos after the fact, so we can gauge accuracy.
We're good friends now, but I've been attacked by Acie a lot, and this image was burned into my eyes:
Kevin's attempt is more of a caricature and reflects a friendlier, idealized relationship with Acie. He's probably only been bitten once or twice.
Laura P sends in the schedule of an anonymous graduate student that was found by her roommate Caitlin. Caitlin is a student at the University of Chicago and saw this paper lying in a hallway. The schedule is presented in crisp, yet bubbly penmanship utilizing vivid red, blue, and black ink. It is in pristine condition for an item recovered from the floor.
The schedule reveals a lot about the (presumably female) student who created it. Here are the key take-away points:
She's procrastinating - This is a classic technique. She spends almost half the day taking extra long walks and exercising before going to bed early(ish).
She's broke - She's taking coins to the Coinstar machine rather than making a big "coin run" over summer break. Can't wait until finals are over?
She's stressed to the point of memory problems - She's giving herself notes to take a shower and go to the library and check out books and look at books and then leave when she is done.
She's lazy - Reducing your squats from 50 to 20 and then only increasing your lunges by 10 is a big-time weakling move. That is no way to get fit. If that is your attitude, why even bother?
These are just some of the most obvious inferences. What things do you notice? What other stories does this schedule tell?
Laura P lives in Chicago and works at Northwestern University. She's employed at the same school as Bernardine Dohrn, a former member of the Weather Underground. Laura's roommate Caitlin goes to school in the neighborhood where Dohrn lives with her husband, the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. I've published this found item based solely on its stand-alone artistic merit. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about Laura and the people she chooses to associate with.
16 mm film, hand-drawn found footage, color, 4 min, 2008
Two idiots learn that crime doesn't pay. On a beautiful summer day in 1972, a couple of jerks decide to ruin it for everybody by driving around town in a prowler van stealing candy and produce from grocery stores. In a strange twist of fate, the ringleader accidently eats a piece of stolen chocolate laced with LSD. When a gun is drawn things get out of control.
I created this sloppy piece for an experimental film class last Spring. I blindly grabbed five minutes worth of film from a discarded educational reel and then used sharpies to hand-color each tiny frame. I used a video camera and filmed off the wall to transfer it to digital so that I could edit on a computer. It took a long time to make this. Seriously, this had better be super popular on YouTube or I'm going to be pissed.
Kevin R sends one in for the "Things We Want To See" file. What better way to bring the belovedDorfAnthology to a conclusion than to see the little man tackle America's newest video game craze, Guitar Hero. People of all ages would love this. Tim Conway is haggard, but still alive. I think this could actually happen!
With this drawing, Kevin touches on the uneasy relationship that the members of the Greatest Generation have with post-Y2K consumer electronics. Take a closer look at Dorf's face. Once you get past the clowning around, you see a man grappling with a world he barely understands and actively loathes. His eyes grumbling, "It's all a bunch of oriental junk!"
Thanks for the memories!
Kevin R is a teacher and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When he was a little kid he met Michael Jordan.