Archive for the ‘Edwardian’ Category

The Three Strategies of Huang Shigong

August 8, 2022

Antitransgressive prevent strategy has three specific objectives: (1) respond to the ideological challenge of deviancy and systemic transgression and the threat we face from those who promote it, (2) prevent people from being drawn into boundary challenging behaviour and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support, (3) work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation (hot spots, suburban abandoned areas, et al.)

This drawing ®2031 by Torsten Slama
The Three Strategies of Huang Shigong (Pencil, crayon, pastel, acrylics on paper, 65 x 50 cm)

Look at a brutalist office edifice with sustainable, architecturally integrated cooling and climatization scheme, dedicated to the established best practice of social work and the prevention of social disintegration by all forms of deviancy, including chronic fatigue syndrome.

See how the sculptures of three modes of transportation – (steam powered, bodily propulsion by legs, petrol based motorized solution) are forming an allegory of adaptability and the value of “getting out of the comfort zone”, to achieve better social results which will all eventually end in failure due to entropy which besets the universe and is totally against all human endeavours to create stable (“sustainable”) solutions. See also that the tricycle of the Dion et Bouton type is meant to be an immovable sculpture, bolted to the pavement, just as the Greek Riace bronze warrior is only a mass-market die-cast full scale model of one of two actual sculptures, found in 1972 in the sea near Riace, Calabria, of an actual and organic bearded warrior, and the Engine on the roof is also just a light-weight, plastic replica in slightly reduced scale. This is all architectural art of the Kunst am Bau variety, later added to the stark and elegant brick edifice which in its purer form served purer functions, supposedly.

Please note that this drawing is not only in actual execution, but also in reproduction of only middling quality. This reflects a remark by an actual social worker “social work is always and in all forms dedicated to failure”. In fact, even though in rough form, the drawing includes and merges all sorts of painterly and graphic techniques. If the artist was a Norman Rockwell this should mean that the work was supposed to shine in photographic reproduction, but this was achieved in this case, due to inferior photographic equipment and lack of photographic expertise on the photographer’s side.

Drawing and text © 2052 by Torsten Slama and the SHY Laboratory Group

The Marianne Dreams House

March 18, 2022
This drawing ®2031 by Torsten Slama
The 2nd Marianne Dreams House/The House on the Borderland (Acrylics, [coloured] pencil, on two A4 sheets of “Durex” technical drafting paper)

This house is the second variation on a dream location described in the book “Marianne Dreams”, by Catherine Storr. It is a house containing a boy, inflicted by polio, who lost the will to live (or to move which according to Wolf Larsen is roughly the same), a house with barred windows at first and no interior furnishings, surrounded by encroaching rocks with evil eyes. Marianne enters the house, which she had created by drawing it with some sort of very powerful pencil, in her dreams, while herself in her waking state being bedridden with some illness but a sense of agility far surpassing the progress of her recuperation, and engages with the boy, whose name is Mark (he could have been aptly called “Mark One” had this story been set in a science fiction as opposed to a sort of fantasy setting).* She challenges him, much to his discomfort, to get out of his self-protective identification with the limitations and the confinement of his illness, and finally succeeds, after having empowered him by dreaming/drawing up an exercise bike for him to train his legs, to have them both rescued by helicopters.**

*If set in a “parodic” sort of internet and social media world of the 2010’s, the character could also be aptly rechristened “Chris”.

**For a slightly darker toned rendition of same image, please visit this address

First edition cover art by Marjorie-Ann Watts

Drawing and text © 2052 by Torsten Slama and the SHY Laboratory Group

The Constitutionalist

August 22, 2018

The Constitutionalist, locomotive drawing by Torsten Slama, 2018Edw

The Constitutionalist, 40 x 29,9 cm, pencil, colored pencil on paper

The Constitutionalist, so-called to uphold the value of a carefully set down list of fundamental values and principles according to which a state is to be run or governed, is seen parking in front of a railway station called “Rheinburg”, symbolically so, as the river Rhine is the traditional geographical border between western civilization and the teutonic netherworld, unconstitutional “Hel”. Serving as a permanent control to the permanent control value of the constitution, a floating device in the shape of a futuristic world-lantern, casting its unreal and otherworldly light on the phallic orange body of The Constitutionalist. Ideas of heliocentrism, constitutionalism, anti-dyslexia, state controlled eductation and indoctrination, etc. are all the outgrowth of a patriarchal tradition, the eternal fight against gynaecocracy.

Dyslexia, a silent deviant, an underminer of understanding
Makes values crumble
The book worlds tumble
More proud than humble, as it is powerful

And knows its power well. But not from books.
It’s eminently practical, pragmatic, 
But also deceiving.

Know your enemy well, the cunning one
Who does not work with strategy,
Whose moves are based on instincts.

Honing in on the weakness of well-read intellectuals
Spineless thinkers who sold out to the written word

Rendering © 2027 by Torsten Slama, “March Against Dyslexia”, poem by Torsten Slama

The Carl Grossberg (The Rift)

April 4, 2018

The Carl Grossberg and rocky landscape with Grossberg motif (by Torsten Slama)

The Carl Grossberg, 48 x 36,5 cm, mixed media on yellow tone paper

A detailed, if slightly crammed drawing with the theme of what our world would and could have looked like if energy independence, chemical independence, transportation independence and true man-nature metabolism had been the goal of industrialization. The drawing could also be an illustration to a treatise on “The Rift” (in the universal metabolism of nature), as described by Karl Marx. Not that the artist is deeply informed on the subject. In fact, any assumption of true literacy in any genre is categorically refuted (in accordance with the law of humbleness and common sense). Embedded in the rocky landscape background are several stylized coal liquefaction plants or chemical factories, tubes and pipelines, and one motif from a painting by Carl Grossberg (Fabriklandschaft im Schnee, 1923). Of course there is no snow here, as in fact the yellow color of the cardboard on which the scene was drawn evokes impressions of a slightly murky,  warm climate (perhaps of the inner earth) with sunlight filtering through a crack in the rocky ceiling, further muted by an emission-saturated atmosphere.  The drawing consists of several layers of pencil, colored pencil, washes of acrylics and different reflective and metallic pigments on a base of human spittle (which are in fact all but invisible.  Note that the “inner earth / Hollow Earth” theme has all sorts of connotations, historical science fiction ones as well as the psychoanalytical/gynacocratic/chthonic idea of earth as a womb. It seems in any case appropriate to annex a quote by Bernard Herrmann, wherein he describes his ideas about scoring the Filme “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959), since that film features landscapes not unlike the one depicted above: “I decided to evoke the mood and feeling of inner Earth by using only instruments played in low registers. Eliminating all strings, I utilized an orchestra of woodwinds and brass, with a large percussion section and many harps. But the truly unique feature of this score is the inclusion of five organs, one large Cathedral and four electronic. These organs were used in many adroit ways to suggest ascent and descent, as well as the mystery of Atlantis.” Drawing and words (except for italicized words by Bernard Herrmann) by Torsten Slama>

The Liverpool

August 11, 2017

The Liverpool (after Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis)
Pencil, Coloured Pencil, 40×29.7cm

This drawing’s slogan:  “The good old times weren’t good, just old”.  Someone said that and it is not at all clear what they meant. It seems to be something you say when you want to be philosophical, maybe nearing the end of your own time. The steam locomotive stands for old values, which are not good, just old. In truth most friends of steam believe yes, the values are good, not old. The steam engine also is something which enthusiasts describe as an object evoking ecstatic feelings of awe when first beheld. It hisses, has pressure, is a promise of good and functional sexuality. The image of the steam engine says more in the realm of culture, symbolism, and pictorialism then in terms of the actual object depicted. It says something about the owner or the creator of the image. Or rather, it used to say something. Today all is possible, or nothing. Please note the unpainted or stripped totem pole which does look slightly cock-eyed, a phallic symbol introducing the element of anachronism and dislocation. The flying object is perceived by some as a pill of  the capsule type, it is rather an oblong paraphrase of something spherical, a type of artistic quote. UFO enthusiasts know the artist referenced. Mostly everybody else also. An anagram: GREATER MIENT.  The creator of the totem in the foreground is an anonymous North American Indian. Or rather, this totem is actually a faux totem, as it has different parts from different totems, rearranged, and an atypical base construction. It is possibly hollow and made from acrylics. The creator (engineer) of the Engine is unknown to the author of this drawing, but surely known to the creator of the original painting this drawing pays homage to. That painter is Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis, who usually knew a lot about the engines he painted, as he was seeing his paintings really as substitutes for colour photographs in his learned books specializing on Edwardian railway lore.
Rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Steam Traction Board “The good old times were not good, just old”