I think I've got dogs on the brain. I think I want to get a dog. This Saturday, the 25th of October is the annual Halloween Dog Parade in Tompkins Park, NYC. It is consistently awesome.
Just saw the Doug Aitken MIGRATION video installation at 303 Gallery in Chelsea. A beautifully shot and edited film on 3 large screens. All screens showing the same film - quiet shots of the nameless, uninhabited American west interspersed with various animals inhabiting cheap motel rooms. An owl remains stoic as a snowstorm of white pillow feathers fall around the room. A moose patiently investigates the corners of the motel bathroom and cautiously paces upon the carpet. A bison completely fills its small room so that when it turns, the phone is knocked off the table, chairs are overturned, a bedside lamp is shattered. By placing these animals in these sterile human confines, Aitken reminds us of their scale, their alien detachment from manmade concerns and possessions, and of our own self-inflicted removal from the natural and from the real.
VISIT 303 Gallery - show ends November 1st
547 W 21 Street NY NY
This last summer the bald eagle was taken off the endangered species list. Eagles were placed on the endangered list in the late sixties. Our national bird was hunted to near extinction. But they're doing better now. In other eagle related history, it turns out that Ben Franklin really did prefer the turkey to the eagle for our national symbol. He preferred the turkey vehemently. In a letter to his daughter, Ben wrote -
"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country . . ."
Ben thought the American eagle insignia looked more like a turkey.
"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
Ben Franklin proposed an army of turkeys to fight the red coats. What a weirdo.
Department of Eagles plays the brooklyn Bell House monday.