Category Archives: se a vida é

crime jazz rip

A while ago, I guess it was 1998, two friends of mine named Deniz Alpay and Philip Powel started organising a thing called Crime Jazz. I had learned of it from Vincent who was deejaying at these parties or gettogethers that were later niftily subtitled ‘words, poetry and beyond’.

I didn’t really know what to make of these crime jazz things, I kinda felt ‘part of the family’ since I did my first on stage spoken word performances there (read short articles, made jokes, tried out poetry) and met a lot of cool people who were into the same, or into something else in which they tricked me to become into as well… anyway, it was nice. On the other hand, it grew into something not really my cup of tea. It wasn’t hard to define the thing that I wasn’t altogether for, but it was hard speaking out this feeling. In short, me and my friends started calling crime jazz ‘the black conciousness poetry night’ more and more often as it really became an issue. Black poets are, take it from me, great at excluding whites from their audiences. They come on stage looking like Lisa Bonet (which doesn’t have to be a bad thing) in a random Cosby episode (ouch!) and start off claiming ‘Great to see so many black people in the audience tonight!’. I mean… how many ways of interpreting the adlib ‘1love’ exist out there?

In the end (period 2005 – 2008) all I did was occasionally recite an article I occasionally wrote and even that ended when Powel got me off the job after I had threatened to get on stage and go on and on and on about the white race and how fucking amazing it was to see so many Caucasians in the crowd, hi-fiving some of them as I started a rant on Rubens, van Gogh, Marcel Duchamp and Elvis Costello, entitled ‘Say it Loud – I’m White… so what’. Anyway… I did get to see a lot of crazy stuff, like Saul Williams, (lots of) Gea Russel, (the beautiful) Earl Okin, Marjolijn van Heemstra and so on, but the very best I had seen was a guy called Kelsey, a guy so much into singing and playing the fender rhodes even god knows not what to make of this guy. I bought one of his ceedees, but can’t find the guy on the www anywhere. Too bad.

Since it is a sad thing to see Crime Jazz go (because of political hassle I don’t even want to get into right now) I made them a farewell gift in the form of a graphic poem in their publication ‘Crime Jazz 10 Years – 1998 – 2008’. It’s obviously about all the things I just wrote about and about my own inner visions turning somewhat pessimistic I guess. In a way it can be seen as the opposite of Obama’s ‘hope’ campaign and thus it could have also be titled no, we can’t, but it’s not, it’s called ‘revolution’. Besides, I can be moody.

gratis af te halen

A while ago I was in desperate need of a monitor to give an intern the opportunity of always seeing the big picture while working on (even a small) something. Luckily my friend Stefan Tijs had just sent out an email saying he was giving away a monitor for free. Anyway, I recently got me a new computer and therefore am no longer in need of the monitor. So now if YOU are in need of one, let me know before tomorrow and you can come and pick it up at my studio. If you don’t respond in time, it’s gone.

media power 2: democrazy vs. doomocracy

Will democracy as we know it (not at all democratic) fall first where it first started?

omdat je zo gaaf bent

photo: Rufus Ketting, 2008

In dead sleep (I snore zZz)

Niels Post, a friend I might have mentioned earlier, had told me about this new zZz video. I don’t want to start a moral argument here, but stuff like this tickles my senses. Now I’m not particularly fond of animals fighting just because humans think that’s cool. But just looking at the way the video tells the story of two men (zZz) in their studio or rather Art Laboratory, experimenting a lot with the forms two fighting cocks make on white paper when covered in paint, seems to justify the whole thing. Please notice that once again the Helvetica typeface seems to do its job and kind of smoothens out the horror taking place right on top of it. (One can organize a gang rape and get away with it only by seeing to it that the gang wears matching uniforms with the right words –preferably ebroidered– on carefully selected areas of the uniforms set in Helvetica (Bold). Apart from the fight being not really exciting (sometimes it looks like a somewhat friendly fight), it’s a pretty ok video and it ‘inspired’ me to writing this post on aesthetics vs. morality.

Weird how the senses work. When Niels had told me about the video I responded that I’m not too much into cock fights or any animal fights whatsoever, but immediately thought about the time me and the family (I was probably around twelve or so) went to see a bull fight somewhere near the french Pyrenees. Members of my family who shall remain nameless got into an argument about it as the whole thing was presented by a family member as ‘a bunch of guys goofin’ around and jumpin’ up and down the arena’, but in real life was as close to an actual spanish rite as could be. I was just plain struck by the danger and excitement downstairs in the arena. I don’t think we saw the whole thing (the actual killing), ’cause by that time the most emotional member of my family seemed to have ‘won’ an argument and we were safe and sound in the good old Citroën (french car) we drove back then. My guess is that if there hadn’t been a debate about it, I would have just sat there in awe until the very ending. I thought it was just awesome. The killing of that gruesome bull just felt fundamentally right. And who’s to say it isn’t, except for the opinionated masses?

So while understanding the attraction of witnessing animals getting killed by humans, my theory is this: If you don’t dig dog fights, why enjoy cock fights? or any set fights between two animals? I recently saw a guy feeding a praying mantis to his pet tarantula on Youtube. It was actually very lame, the mantis wasn’t much of a match for the spider (duh!). Still such a fight reminds me more of dog fights and cock fights than the bull fight I just described. I don’t know, a bull fight (as unfair as it is) feels less nerdy than one between two animals without actual human participation. I guess the next zZz video should be: the guys of zZz fighting bears covered with paint on top of a white blanket. I’d like to see ’em get it on. Or how about them fight each other? On meth maybe?!? I’ll come and drive them apart right before they kill each other myself. Hey, I wouldn’t want that to happen, their music kicks fucking ass!

Eva Brown

Upcoming shows to go see are:
1. Tomorrow The Night Marchers play the waterfront
2. The day after, Fata ‘El Moustache’ Morgana (with basically all Mees’ men as members) & Eva Braun play the OT301 (cd release party for both bands)

Suus and me were asked to do the Eva Braun artwork and it turned out the thing you can see right above this here picture of Eva Braun herself. Pretty nifty huh? We took Eva Braun’s picture and turned her into someone quite new (and quite old). Just as the band has. Also please observe the typeface Suus designed! If that ain’t fresh, I don’t know what is. Too bad the band didn’t go for it. I won’t go into ‘why’, but let’s leave it at ‘every client has the right to refuse a design and that’s that.’ Hope I make it to their gig though, as musicians they kick lots of ass!

The Self

The other day I saw Ghost In The Shell (Mamoru Oshi, 1995, originally titled ‘Kôkaku kidôtai’) again. I guess the last (and first) time I saw it was 1998 or so and I remembered it had made a big impact then when I was in my early twenties. I couldn’t have guessed it would be as breathtaking then as it still is now. It’s a fantastic film on the dangers –or consequences if you prefer– of humanity creating intelligent computers. Wearable technologies, robotic limbs, the internet and the fact that we grew up on films about this subject (2001 A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner) provided us with a mindset able to further explore the meaning of the soul of men compared to the soul of objects.

I don’t know why I’m always fascinated and deeply moved by films on this subject. ‘A.I.’, ‘electroma’ and ‘The Matrix I-III’ are obviously films that made me cry like a baby. It must have something to do with a certain numbness robots display that I can easily relate to. Humans seem to almost take pride in showing their every emotion when shit hits the fan. Their will to display their involvement with other people’s misfortune is mostly enormous and encouragable. If it comes to stuff like that, I tend to act a little droidy myself. For instance I never take my problems elsewhere but I do advise others on theirs in a soulless, reasonable manner and on a clockwork basis. In a way I have become a replicant myself. Society prefers calling it ‘nihilist’, but doesn’t that mean ‘robotic’ in itself. Also, I don’t consider myself soulless, so even in that respect I’m just like all the soulless droids in all the films I just brought up. Maybe men truly is soulless and their longing for a certain soulfullness drives them to do radical things, or make radical choices and their longing or hoping to posess a soul actually provides them with one just as their longing for a God who’s not just their inspiration but also their actual creator provides them with one of those.

But I do believe in love to be the driving force behind- and the meaning of life, so in that repect I was created by –at least the act of– love and now am inspired by it, hense my God IS love. It’s just not the kind of love that makes me feel sorry for sadness, it’s more of a love that embraces the idea of a world in which happiness is something to be celebrated, like ‘weekends’… and sadness is just the mud we all wade through uninspired, simply because we must. Because we’re programmed to do so.

If you haven’t seen it yet, go out and order it on DVD: the animation’s stunning, the score (by Kenji Kawai) is stunning and the characters are cool ’n sexy like Bogart and Bacall, but the story (of a hacker called ‘the puppet master’ being tracked down by the cyborg cop who’s actually the puppet master’s digital soul mate) is simply awesome.

another one from de old box

old box

Some friends at one point just disappear out of sight. And so it happened with Reinier van Velzen (left) and Richard van de Ven (right), but not before I took this awesome picture of them in Tutti Frutti Skate Hall, the Hague where they were examining a piece they just made. The year is 1993, two years after punk had broken. Memories pop up when cleaning out your studio entirely. Big up to both you guys, wherever you are.

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

I’m not one to roam the earth’s corners looking for adventure and whatever comes my way, like for instance Maarten who some of you might know as the David Gilmour Girls live drummer, and others as one of the hosts of the spectacular MUG parties in the Rotterdam Vagabond. Anyway, thank god he got sick of roaming around Central and South America and decided to return to the mothership or otherwise we would have had to wait way too long for another classic MUG party. Next saturday there’s one starring (hopefully) the legendary reunion of Maarten and Wesley AND My Little Soundsystem, Marco and Orpheo and myself, the Homey Universalis, also known as just Rufus.

Attentive visitors might have noticed I now have a Last.fm account. It’s here.

I’m your Venus…

Venus 

Of course I had heard of the Venus of Willendorf some years ago already thru the earlier mentioned Jan van Heemst and the likes, but it wasn’t until I had bought the BBC series How Art Made The World that I was actually fully alive to the fact that at one point in time (approx 25.000 years ago) some crazy ass human being had figured ‘why not make an image of something?’. This image became the characteristic fat lady that must have seemed yummie to the cavemen of her time.

In the now it seems the bodies of human beings and the way they are portrayed can sell practically everything. Sex naturally sells all, but American Apparel seems to have captured just the eighties-Bret Easton Ellis-manically depressed-coked up-disappear here-type sexual flow one needs to be selling apparel nowadays. Just to span the entire iconographic history of how humanity thus looks at female sexuality I made ‘Venus’ the new model for Terry Richardson’s or Merlin Bronques’ (mentioned earlier on this site) photographs.

Check out the results on the backsides of the upcoming some issues of local queer punk zine Her Dick, where my Austrian Appearance® (Willendorf, the site our fat bottomed Venus was first found in 1908 is situated in Austria) seems to have found a home for now.