Archive for the ‘Plutonian’ Category

Co-Operative Cement Plant

June 27, 2021

Cooperative Cement Plant, painting by Torsten Slama
Co-Operative All-Togetherness Cement Plant, 2020, oil on canvas, 51,5 x 71 cm / 20,3 x 28 inches

This is a painting full of problematic content and a problematic history. In fact, the artist has since altered it in the form of adding a new brighter sky, thus completely changing its atmospheric mood, content, and “meaning”. Even this version was not the first version, because the dark sky replaced a former version of a brighter sky (since reinstated). In the end it became clear though that the artist himself had no way of determining which version was in fact bad or good or finished. It is all in the mindset.

The painting features a standard cement plant with a co-operative economic model, which by and large means, a people-centered enterprise, controlled and run by and for their members, with the function of realizing or materializing a common economic, cultural, infra-structural, civilizational goal. The plant, which could also be designated a concrete plant, is augmented by a more or less abstract floating shape which looks to be of artificial origin and crafted from a semi transparent metallic, completely unknown material. If not unknown, this material could also be described as transparent acrylics with a small amount of finely distributed embedded metallic particles. The whole tube-like construction might be filled with air and is big enough with thin enough walls so that the air inside could be heated by the sun to such a degree to ensure floating of the structure, where the metallic particles in the transparent thin transparent film constituting the outer walls of the object are light sensitive (liquid crystels?) which regulate the temperature of the air or gas trapped within in the way of a homeostatic system.

Note also the elongated pyramidical object in the window of the attached control room of the plant. This is a robot sentry overlooking the operation. This detail is also a veiled reference to the dead tram conductor in “The Thing in the Moonlight” by J. Chapman Miske.

A final note: concrete, though useful and aesthetically pleasing, is a thing of the past and present, not the future, As of the year 2070, all newly constructed structures will be made of some yet not perfected synthetic alternative or naturally occurring building materials like wood, clay, natural stone. Like trees, concrete buildings absorb CO2. New calculations show that concrete absorbs roughly 30 percent of the amount of CO2 that cement production emits. That is a non-cooperative, planet-unfriendly balance according to the Instrumentality of SCIENCE.

The Plutonian

July 29, 2018

The Plutonian, pencil, coloured pencil, leaf silver, 39 x 29,7 cm

A compact, strong shunting engine well suited to deal with the adversities of everyday life and hard work. The Plutonian world is the opposite of the cool world. You need to be clad in special alloys and have a powerful yet simple method of propulsion in order to survive the first few meters on your way through life. It seems best not to dwell on further associative stream-of-consciousness writing, but to complement this drawing with a poem:

I did it while suffering
I did it while suffering
Medical complications

I did it while
Facing life
From the perspective of death
Surviving death
Every day

Some elementary truths
I picked up
Along the way
Littered on the wayside
Picked truths like flowers
Some hidden truths
Suppressed truths
I did it while suffering

While suffering
I did things
I lifted things
I saw through things
Elementary things
From the perspective of death
I did it.

So you, who see things
From the perspective of life
All pink, rose tinted
Don’t you dare
To criticize
Or nit-pick
What I did
Because I did it
While suffering.

Rendering © 2027 by Torsten Slama and the Shunting Society, “I did it While Suffering”, 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>