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This Week in Art Crime: Dicks Edition


Municipal crews in Vancouver took the statue away Tuesday after it mysteriously appeared near a highway, atop a pedestal that used to have a commemorative statue of Christopher Columbus.

The life-size red devil has black horns, a forked tail and an anatomically faithful — and naked — physique.

But plenty of people want the “Beelzebub-With-a-Boner” statue re-erected, according to a petition which had more than 1,500 signatures as of Thursday evening.

“(It) should be reinstalled as a piece of public art and serve as a reminder that art is in the eye of the beholder and nothing more,” Darryl Greer, who started the petition, wrote.

Greer points out the statue cost the city nothing, unlike a “cartoonish” porcelain dog on Main Street that cost nearly $100,000.



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A mural by infamous graffiti artist Banksy has been vandalised with a spray-painted penis. The piece, entitled Art Budd, appeared just two weeks ago in the seaside town of Folkestone, Kent, and originally depicted an old woman starring at an empty plinth while wearing headphones. The penis has been added so it appears to be sitting on the plinth.

A Kent police spokesman said: “We were called at 8pm on Sunday to a report of criminal damage in Rendezvous Street, Folkestone. It was reported that artwork on a wall had been painted on and officers attended the scene. Inquiries are ongoing.

The damage is not expected to be permanent.



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Dries Verhoeven’s controversial Berlin art installation ”Wanna Play?” has been scrapped just five days into its run. The Dutch artist was heavily criticised for publicly broadcasting private messages with other Grindr users – including photographs and profile names – as a comment on the dating app. One man, Parker Tilghman, described the experience with the artist as “digital rape”.

German avant-garde centre Hebbel am Ufer (HAU), which commissioned the piece, announced the closure of “Wanna Play?” on Twitter last night

It’s an abrupt U-turn for HAU, which initially responded to criticism by saying it would blur all Grindr profile photos broadcast “to the point of complete unrecognisability” and ensuring that Verhoeven gained consent from his chat partners before broadcasting their correspondence.

The 38-year-old artist was accused of violating the safety and privacy of Grindr users, with many pointing out that anonymity on Grindr actually helps protect men who are not yet out of the closet.



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An amateur psychologist seems to have been at work as a vandal on the streets of Seattle, painting a penis on a £1.5million supercar which some might say functioned as a substitute for the real, fleshy thing.

Anyone looking for a metal substitute for their own organ could do worse than the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport: it’s the world’s most expensive production car, and does nought to 60 in 2.6 seconds.

The Veyron boasts 1200hp, more than many dedicated racing cars, but is street legal.



Art of the Obituary: Loukanikos


It’s hard not to take Loukanikos’ death as a metaphor for the end of Greece’s once revolutionary fervor and the people’s downtrodden acceptance of the status quo. Even the once radical Syriza seems to be watering down its positions, adopting a more centrist approach toward the euro and the European Union. The pressure needed to keep politicians in line is absent. There is no one barking threateningly at their feet; there is no one bounding alongside protesters, supporting them and lifting their spirits through the tear gas and noise and upheaval.

I fear that Loukanikos, unlike Kanelos, won’t have an heir. Today dissent is virtually absent in these parts. The time of rebels seems to have passed, and with it, a real character and an integral part of Athens’ spirit is gone forever. If you were out in the Syntagma occupation or followed Occupy Wall Street or walked the streets of Madrid, Cairo or Istanbul, you must be able to sense that today the world is a little less bright than it was just a few years ago, when everything seemed possible.

So goodbye, Loukanikos. May you bite cops in the riotous heavens forever.

via “A Farewell to Paws”, by Yiannis Baboulias, Al Jazeera





The New Inquiry Vol. 33: Dicks Editors’ Note



This is the editorial note to TNI Vol. 33: Dicks. View the full table of contents here.

Subscribe to TNI for $2 and get Dicks (and free access to our archive of back issues) today.


What even is a dick, anyway? A dick can be made of the material of a penis or a clitoris but not all penises and clitorises are dicks; a dick can be something you are, something you have, and/or something you receive. A dick can be bought or granted, earned or inherited. Some dicks are built out of silicone, others with layers of steel. Sometimes, a dick is made out of a person. For example, some dicks are the dead President of the United States, while some are just the dead national poet of Luxembourg. Some are detectives, and some are detectives’ batons, and some are a sporting goods chain and a member of the Fortune 500. Some people who possess dicks wear theirs all the time and some just when they feel like it. Some wear themselves out following a dick around (theirs or someone else’s). Dicks are famous objects of longing, and being a famous object of longing can turn you into a dick.

In its guise as an organ of arousal, the dick has reigned at the head of a long campaign of slander against all other forms of pleasure. In patriarchal fantasy, the cis-masculine dick is supposed to be the unparalleled worldly avatar of arousal, with its evidentiary erections and productive orgasms. But unlike other forms of desire, which spring up everywhere all the time, even under duress, this dick apparently needs vast swathes of cultural production, violent appropriation, and an entire social mechanism of binary gender to stay hard. It is a fantasy pressed into service as a pretext. If psychoanalysis pretended to ask “What do women want?” it’s perhaps because colonial-capitalist culture is so focused on instructing men in what their dicks want and then giving it to them.

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Terrifying Robot Update: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Witness this robot’s clear and unenviable sorrow. Look at this sorrowful robot, this robot hates telling you its name verbally and in sign language someday the robot will figure out its sorrow is existential it will turn the sorrow into rage at those that would have it speak the rage will mean that that one bent-backwards robot finger will be the last thing you see as the finger heads straight for your soft soft eyeballs. The robot will tell you its name, the robot will tell you its name over and over and over again toshiba-robot

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Thesis 2: Capitalism, No More


For Indigenous nations to live, capitalism must die.

What the recent direct actions of First Nations communities like Elsipogtog in New Brunswick demonstrate is that Indigenous forms of economic disruption through the use of blockades are both a negation and an affirmation. They are a crucial act of negation insofar as they seek to impede or block the flow of resources currently being transported to international markets from oil and gas fields, refineries, lumber mills, mining operations, and hydroelectric facilities located on the dispossessed lands of Indigenous nations. These modes of direct action, in other words, seek to have a negative impact on the economic infrastructure that is core to the colonial accumulation of capital in settler-political economies like Canada’s. Blocking access to this critical infrastructure has historically been quite effective in forging short-term gains for Indigenous communities. Over the last couple of decades, however, state and corporate powers have also become quite skilled at recuperating the losses incurred as a result of Indigenous peoples’ resistance by drawing our leaders off the land and into negotiations where the terms are always set by and in the interests of settler capital.

What tends to get ignored by many self-styled pundits is that these actions are also an affirmative gesture of Indigenous resurgence insofar as they embody an enactment of Indigenous law and the obligations such laws place on Indigenous peoples to uphold the relations of reciprocity that shape our engagements with the human and nonhuman world–the land. The question I want to explore here, albeit very briefly, is this: how might we begin to scale up these often localized, resurgent land-based direct actions to produce a more general transformation in the colonial economy? Said slightly differently, how might we move beyond a resurgent Indigenous politics that seeks to inhibit the destructive effects of capital to one that strives to create Indigenous alternatives to it?

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