Daily Dose of Craziness

One-a-day selected alternative projects, mail art, performance scores, subverted street art and more by multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist Jennifer Weigel. Check back every day for a new work from a totally random, open-theme.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Want Out






Want Out?
Watercolor and pen on paper drawing from Let's Go Slushmucking!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Harsh Words

I’d like a pumice for my tongue.
To take back all those things
that I shouldn’t have said.
I’d wash them well.
Loofah the dead bits.
Work out the callused spots.
And grind them down
until they are as smooth
as a silk chemise.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Fine Art of Failure






The Fine Art of Failure
Rock Band 2 band striving to get the lowest score possible on public Battle of the Bands video game competitions

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Memories

As each day bleeds into the next
I hang my memories out to dry
and starch and press the creases flat,
smoothing over their crumpled edges.

This laundry work is never finished
since each day breaks as the one before -
thoughts sort themselves by lights and darks
and with a little bleach they fade and vanish.

Sometimes the colors run and bleed
and rose-tainted memories emerge,
like the splotchy salmon pink resulting
from a red bra hiding in the light load.

Over time, the crispness fades,
the newness of past experiences is lost
and the fabric starts to wear a little thin,
as all of its bright colors fade to gray.

But many of my memories vanish
like socks in an electric dryer,
some disappear entirely in the wash
while others are rediscovered in other forms.

This embellishing and omitting of my past
causes me to ponder the nature of memory -
just how much of what I remember
is true to what actually passed?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Too Many






One Can Never Have Too Many...
Reappropriated designer shoe with Barbie shoes and doll, varnish, from If the Shoe Fits series

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Absorption


Absorption
Found chairs disintegrated into landscape, installed outdoors at Green Center

Monday, October 20, 2014

Weathered Beauty

I study the lines
of my grandmother’s face,
in awe of how the smiles & tears
still show.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Nice and Naughty





Nice and Naughty Santas
Reappropriated dolls:
It's New Year's, Baby!
Pimpin' the Ho Ho Hos
Summer Vacation, Mrs. Claus' Beachwear
You Can Jingle My Bell

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flux in Your Pocket





Flux in Your Pocket
Mailed in for Under the Influence of Fluxus organized by Reed Altemus at Mobius

Please feel free to take a Flux.  Savor it.  Indulge your Flux sense.  Put it in your pocket for later.  Because you just never know when you’ll need a Flux fix...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fording the Styx

For the record, I hate Interstate 57.  It has got to be one of the most dirt-dull strips of road in this country.  Nothing but corn.  Out the driver’s side, out the passenger window, in the rearview… just more freakin’ corn.  But that’s where I was when it happened.  Driving back up that same god-forsaken highway on that same boring trip I’d taken a hundred times.
Janet insists on driving out to see her folks four or five or six times a year.  I don’t know why.  All we do is sit and stare at each other.  They never have anything good to say about me and me about them, but I have to humor her now and then.  Something about patching the rift between us, I guess.
At this point, I’d like to say that Interstate 57 is prone to some bizarre-o weather.  I’ve seen golf-ball sized hail in August.  Yeah, August even.  But this trip it was rain all the way.  No clouds, no corn - just gray freakin’ rain.
So I was driving along in the gray.  Straining to see between wiper swipes…

“Pull over, John.”
“We’re making good time.  We’re out in the middle of butt-nowhere.  And this can’t last forever.”
“Just pull over - you can’t see.”
“Don’t go telling me whether I or not can see, Janet.  You don’t know.  I can see perfectly fine,” I lied through my teeth.
She sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Don’t start that crap.  I didn’t want to go; your parents hate me and I know it.  I just want to get home.  Besides, there’s no one else here.”
That’s when it happened.  Big-freakin’ deer leapt in front of the car.  A buck even.  I swerved and hit the brake, almost landed in the ditch.  But I stayed on the road somehow.
“Damn it, John.  Slow down and pull over.  You trying to get us both killed?”
“Yeah, Janet.  That’s it.  So that on our way to hell all I’ll hear is you bitching about how I can’t drive.  ‘Cause that’s how I want to spend my afterlife.”
She glared at me, hunkered down, and stared out the window.  At some point, she fell asleep.  I tried the radio, but there was nothing to tune in.  Just static.  And gray.  And squealing wiper blades.  I kept the static to drown out my boredom.  The rain lightened up a bit, but the sky seemed even grayer than before.  Pale white gray that makes everything for miles seem flat.   Just grayer and grayer.  Until…
Jesus Saves cut through the rain on a billboard.  All at once, the radio burst into Gospel music.
Janet woke with a start.  “Where are we?”
“Who knows?  Still going.”
Oncoming headlights streaked through the gray on the other side of the divided highway.
 “I’m sorry I got on you about your driving.  I’m tired and I just want to get home too,” she whispered.
“It’s okay…  I’m sorry, too.  Your parents always get me on edge.”
“I know.”
The gospel music ended in Alleluia as some hellfire and brimstone preacher came on, “Sinners beware…”
“What happened to Us?” Janet asked.
“How so?”
“We used to be so perfect together.  Like coffee and creamer.”
“I dunno,” I answered.  “I guess we haven’t really talked much lately.”
It was true.  I couldn’t remember the last time we’d just talked.  Besides nitpicky crap.  I left the toilet seat up.  She spent too much money on some useless trinket.  I used up the soap and didn’t get out a new bar.  She shoved my keys someplace I couldn’t find them.  And so on and so on…
A billboard preached: Don’t Let Life Pass You By.
“Maybe we should do that then.”  She turned towards me.
“What?”
“Talk.”
The wipers moaned against the drying glass.  The rain had finally stopped, but everything was still the same god-forsaken gray.  Vacant and lifeless.  Gray road as far as I could see.
“Repent and be cleansed,” hailed the radio.
“How’s work?” she asked.
“Same old.  Bob’s still pissed that we didn’t get the Cyrus contract.  Joe’s been out sick.  Gary’s on vacation.  And I’ve been working my butt off to cover for the two of them.”  I clenched my right fist around the steering wheel.  “And then you have to go and drag me off to your folks for the weekend.”
“I’m sorry.  I didn’t know.”
“Oh, it’s not all your fault; I didn’t say anything.”  I released my grip on the wheel, watching the gray road forge on ahead.  “Why didn’t you tell me we were going?”
“Well, Madge was out all last week, visiting the grandkids.  I was looking after Wally for her.  That rat terrier’s a little bastard.  He dug under the fence.  Took me an hour to catch and leash the little devil.  And when I did, he kept jumping up and running around things.  He got muddy pawprints all over my jacket.”  She cringed.  “Anyway, Madge got back Friday morning.  I didn’t know when she was coming home, either Friday or Saturday.  So I didn’t have much time to plan our trip.  But Ma wanted to see me.  It’s been three months, you know.”
“I know,” I sighed.
Janet’s Ma would’ve been happier if I’d never come into her life.  I stole her.  Her baby girl.  Took her far away to the big windy city.  Best thing I’ve ever done for her though; her Ma’s grip on that leash was way too tight.
Another billboard: What Are You Waiting For?  I was coming up on some traffic.  More than I’d seen all day.  Heck, I’d never seen this much traffic.  Not on I-57 anyway.
“Your Ma’s gotta learn.  You got your own life.  She can’t go around living it for you.”
“I know, honey, but I feel so bad for her.  Brad’s moved to Florida.  Sara’s moved to Oregon.  And Paul’s in California now.  We’re only four hours away.  Plus, I’m her baby girl.”
“… be free,” blared the radio, “Can I get an Amen?”
“Amen,” the radio echoed before it went to static.  I switched it off.
That’s when I first noticed.  I’d caught up to the traffic and was passing a car on the left.  I’d turned to look at Janet when I spotted it.  The car next to me, a red sedan, it was being driven by a skeleton.  Not a bony, bleach-white skeleton like in the movies, but a butt-nasty, gooey, flesh-oozing horror.  Its nearest eye swung from its socket like the fuzzy dice that hung from its rear view.
“Shit!”  I swerved to stay on the road.
“What’s wrong, John?”  Janet cowered in her seat.
“That car…”  I pointed, shaken.  “It’s being driven by a freakin’ dead man.”
“That’s ridiculous.  Dead people don’t drive.”
Janet turned to face the window.  I knew she’d seen it; she looked like she was going to crawl out of her skin.  She screamed.  Damn thing just kept on driving.  Didn’t even see us.
We were surrounded by them.  We’d come into the thick of the traffic now.  I was being followed by one in a Trans Am, its driver’s face ripped off, half of it missing and the other half hanging from the skull by a bunch of torn threads.  I passed a station wagon, the two brats in the back were fighting over some video game, clawing at one another with their bloody, bony fingers, and the driver’s head was sunk in.  And then there was a semi, its driver burned beyond recognition…
“Oh, God,” Janet cried, “pull over, John.”
“I can’t.  I can’t get over.  They’re too thick.”
“Where are we?”
Everything was still gray.  Pale gray.  The horizon seemed both flat and endless at the same time.  The road just cut on, through the gray.  With all its zombie freaks.  There were more of them all the time.  Just kept getting thicker and thicker.  It all seemed like a bad dream.
I glanced at the odometer.  73142.8.  Freakin’ locked up at 73142.8.  It didn’t even do so much as flinch.  And the gas gauge never changed.  A half tank.  I should’ve been driving on fumes by now.  Still a half tank.
“There’s an exit!  Quick, John, get off now!”
“I can’t get over.”  I wasn’t sure I wanted to, even.
Then the tone of the billboards changed.  Thank You for Driving the Styx swung by first.  And then a bunch of freakin’ ads.  See the Cavern of Doom, 20 miles.  Fire Up Your Passions at the Adult Supercenter, 37 miles.  Get Away to the Hot Springs, 71 miles.  I wasn’t buying any of that crap, though.  I just kept on driving.

We’ve been driving the Styx now for the better part of a decade.  Or so it seems.  I just can’t seem to get off.  Too scared, I guess.  Not like there aren’t exits.  But there’ll be Hell to pay, I’m sure.  And I’m getting used to the rhythm of it all.
Besides, Janet and I talk.  About whatever.  And we drive.  Made a little game of it.  You see a car off in the distance and you guess what kind of problems they got.  Heads bashed in, flesh burned off, eyes or limbs missing…  Janet’s getting pretty good at it.
You can tell the newbies.  Fresh freaks scared shitless.  Looking around frantic, like they missed their exit.  They don’t know, yet.  They passed that exit long ago.  Now there’s nothing left to do but drive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Insomnia





Insomnia
Installation components for Lunatic Fringe at Soulard Art Market

Monday, October 13, 2014

Aftermath





Aftermath
Assemblage created in response to For Her Own Safety by Sophie Playle (from Hint Fiction, for the show at Columbia Art League)

Sophie Playle
For Her Own Safety
She was allowed photographs.
She ran her fingertips around frames, tears welling.  But she didn't lament; she just wished they hadn't removed the glass.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Why There Are No Birds in Winter


Why There Are No Birds in Winter
Watercolor & ink on paper illustration from Let's Go Slushmucking

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Be Afraid

Ladies…
Please forward this email
To every woman you know,
This could happen to you…
So be aware!

Don’t open your door.
Don’t take business cards.
Don’t go on vacation.
Don’t talk to strangers,
Even in public places in broad daylight!

Suspect everyone.
That man may be a rapist
Or a serial killer
Or a robber
Or a kidney thief…

Better yet –
Don’t leave your house.
Don’t trust anyone, ever!
And depend on the men in your life
To take care of you.

Your safety is up to you,
So fear everything.
Warn all of the women in your life
To live in perpetual fear
And to forward this email on.

I HATE fearmongering.  Women have long been told that they should be cautious and conscientious.  I won’t deny that we should all be aware of our surroundings, men and women alike, and that it is wise to err on the side of caution – that is common sense.  But much of this is geared towards women alone.  Why is this bad?  It encourages women to limit their activities out of fear.  It exemplifies the idea that women are, by their very nature, victims.  It fosters presuppositions that women are weak and need to be warned, shielded, protected and kept safe & secure.  It perpetuates the notion that if a woman is burglarized, raped or otherwise threatened that it is her own fault for not being cautious enough or for inviting it somehow without placing more blame on the perpetrator of the crime.  I personally cannot abide by that and feel that women are strong, worthy of respect, should be treated decently, and are able to overcome almost anything.  I just wish that women being strong survivors wasn't as much needed as it is and that we didn't encounter such violence and hardship in the first place.  Beyond all else, I feel that blame should be placed first and foremost on the perpetrator of any crime and not the victim.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Greetings from the Apocalypse






Greetings From the Apocalypse
Mail art mass-produced postcards

Edition of 50 postcards for Keith Buchholz Fluxus publication:
Hand-written on each:  “How can we be absolutely sure that the world didn’t end on Dec. 21, 2012?  What if we just didn’t notice?”

Hand-written series of 43 cards as mailed to John Held Jr. in order of mailing (one per day), Dec. 22, 2012 – Feb. 2, 2013 (for Gutai show)
Dec. 22, 2012: I woke up this morning.  I am still here.  Nothing seems any different.  Has anything changed?
Dec. 23, 2012: Dec. 21, 2012 passed uneventfully.  Did I expect any different?  What was I hoping would happen?
Dec. 24, 2012: Did I want for the world to end?  Am I really that unhappy or desiring of change?
Dec. 25, 2012: Or am I really just that bored?  It’s Christmas today.  I should rejoice in celebrating the holiday with those I love.
Dec. 26, 2012: But what did happen on Dec. 21?  Were we hoping it would end differently?  Some claimed we would never wake up.
Dec. 27, 2012: How do we know that isn’t true?  We assume we did wake up and that everything continued on as expected, no different.
Dec. 28, 2012: But can we really be sure that we aren’t still asleep, dreaming?  I’ve dreamt that I woke up on numerous occasions before.
Dec. 29, 2012: What if this isn’t any different?  What if I only imagine that I’m awake?  I should pinch myself...
Dec. 30, 2012: And yet I’m still here.  It’s winter.  It’s been a crazy big year.  New Year’s is coming, another day but one that holds belief + hope in change...
Dec. 31, 2012: Yet another day here and past, as any others.  Just like Dec. 21, 2012.  They are all the same, are they not?  Or are they?...
Jan. 1, 2013: Can we really be certain that the world didn’t end on Dec. 21, 2012?  How do we know for sure?  Perhaps the aftermath is an illusion.
Jan. 2, 2013: Perhaps the world really did end on Dec. 21, 2012 and we are just imagining its continuation.  How do we know that it didn’t?
Jan. 3, 2013: Or how can we be sure that the end of the world on Dec. 21 didn’t just morph into a new beginning?  Our senses may not be acute enough to perceive...
Jan. 4, 2013: Dec. 21, 2012 may not have seemed apocalyptic, but what did we expect really?  Fire and brimstone...  Death and destruction...  What marks an ending, really?
Jan. 5, 2013: Perhaps the world really did end.  Maybe the end was just anticlimactic, like waking in the middle of the night to use the restroom...  Are we really sure?
Jan. 6, 2013: Dec. 21, 2012 may very well have marked the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning...  The world as we know it may have ended at that point...
Jan. 7, 2013: In fact, from any given day to another, we face an end and a beginning.  Day -> night.  Night -> day.  The repetition seems continuous.
Jan. 8, 2013: But it’s a constantly evolving narrative.  So much can change in the blink of an eye.  Dec. 21...  Dec. 22...  Are we really certain that there wasn’t an apocalypse?
Jan. 9, 2013: How do we know for sure that everything is still in the same continuum?  How do we know for sure that it isn’t all an illusion?
Jan. 10, 2013: What if we only think that Dec. 21, 2012 passed uneventfully, and that our thinking it has spun an illusory continuum?  Do we really know what the end of the world will look like?
Jan. 11, 2013: Does the end really have to make manifest our greatest fears?  So many fear death but really it is just an unknown.
Jan. 12, 2013: Can we really be certain that we didn’t all die uneventfully in our sleep?  Perhaps we are in the aftermath, in the afterlife already.
Jan. 13, 2013: Perhaps our ideas of heaven and hell are too clear cut when truly where we are is determined by what we make of where we are.  Is this as good / bad as it gets?
Jan. 14, 2013: Maybe it really was the end.  Maybe Dec. 21, 2012 was it and we just can’t recognize the change yet.  Maybe we never will.
Jan. 15, 2013: Change is constant, everything changes, all the time.  The world can change in the blink of an eye and we could totally miss it.
Jan. 16, 2013: We only fear that the end will be marked, clearly defined and spelled out according to our greatest fears.  Hellfire, second comings...
Jan. 17, 2013: Religion instills fear in order to command attention and demand faith and devotion.  We seek salvation and desire to ascend to the afterlife.
Jan. 18, 2013: But my greatest fears aren’t of death, pain, sorrow, hellfire, brimstone...  My greatest fears are of not knowing, of being apathetic, of not recognizing change...
Jan. 19, 2013: So, for me, if an apocalypse is to be a manifestation of my greatest fears then it must appear to have made no impact at all.
Jan. 20, 2013: Everything would seem to be unchanged.  Everyone would appear to be unaffected.  Life would continue on as if nothing ever happened.
Jan. 21, 2013: People would remain apathetic to one another’s needs, to our environmental impacts, pain and suffering...
Jan. 22, 2013: Dec. 21, 2012 would appear to have passed completely uneventfully.  No one would question it except as the butt of a joke.
Jan. 23, 2013: But wouldn’t it be an even sicker joke if the world really did end on Dec. 21, 2012 and we just didn’t notice?  If we thought nothing changed?
Jan. 24, 2013: Or would we then have the upper hand?  Do we make manifest our own destiny?  Or is it pre-determined?
Jan. 25, 2013: Are we just pawns in the game of life?  Are we just being played?  Or is it more complicated than that?
Jan. 26, 2013: If the world did end Dec. 21, 2012 and we didn’t notice, does that mean we are powerfully unaware?  Blissfully ignorant?  Weak-mindedly oblivious?
Jan. 27, 2013: Maybe this continuum isn’t illusory but just the subtle start of something new.  Change isn’t always obvious; it isn’t always big.
Jan. 28, 2013: Momentum and direction can evolve so quickly.  How can we be certain at any given point that our world didn’t end moments ago?
Jan. 29, 2013: Perhaps it ended but progressed positively.  Perhaps the change was good and brought about improvements, bettering our lives.
Jan. 30, 2013: Or perhaps the story doesn’t have a clearly defined ending.  Perhaps the narrative is still being written out...
Jan. 31, 2013: We are in control of our own destinies, are we not?  It is all a matter of perception...  Or is it?...
Feb. 1, 2013:
Feb. 2, 2013: I assert that I am still here...  – Jennifer Weigel  Post-Apocalyptic Existential Quandary

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Fur Coat

I grew up in a small but comfortable house in northeastern Maine.  The backyard overlooked the ocean from a short, rocky outcrop.  The front faced onto the gravel road that Father drove to and from work.  A poorly defined gravel driveway ended behind the house at a small ramshackle shed that I dared not enter under Father’s strict orders.

Mother never strayed far from the house despite her apparent contempt for the simplicity of her everyday existence.  She cooked.  She cleaned.  She laundered the clothes and washed the dishes and did all of those things that a good housewife should.  But every afternoon, she plopped my brother Shane and I in front of the TV to watch cartoons while she gazed longingly at the sea.

Shane and I shared a room.  Our window faced a small broken-paned hole in the ramshackle shed.  Late at night, long after the world was asleep, a faint glow emanated from that shed.  Always careful not to wake my brother, I pulled myself up to the window and peered out.

Every night, Father stole away into the shed and flicked on a small lamp.  He opened a door in the floor, from whence he pulled a large wooden box.  Out of this box he drew the most beautiful fur coat.  The brownish-gray fur glowed in the lamplight as if it were alive.  He gently massaged oils into the coat to keep it supple and carefully replaced it under the floorboards.  And when he had finished, he withdrew from this haven and locked his secret firmly behind a deadbolt.  Until one winter day…

It was biting cold that day, the kind of cold that gnaws away at your bones from the inside out.  Shane and I ran home quicker than usual, hoping for two mugs of hot chocolate to thaw us out.  Preferably heaping with marshmallows.  But Mother was nowhere to be found.

“Mother,” I called to the cupboards in the empty kitchen.

“Mother,” Shane called to the silent TV in the empty living room.

“Mother!” I screamed to the howling wind out the front door.

Nothing.

The wind beat the porch door into the front of the house with a rhythmic “Ker-chunk!”  A terrified Shane dashed about the house crying.  He frantically searched for any scrap of evidence while I braved the outdoors.

I rounded the house, past the frozen flowerbed and along the wind-tattered backyard fence.  Another loud “Ker-chunk!” resounded through the air, but not from the front porch door.  A chill wormed its way up my spine as I spied the driveway.

“Ker-chunk!”  The door to the ramshackle shed lay in ruins, leaving a splintered gaping hole.  In that hole, Mother swayed back and forth.  Her clenched fist tightened around a hammer as she swung into the floorboards with a wild, untamed lunacy.  I melded into the fence, unable to move and scarcely able to breathe.  I stared at her.

A final “Ker-chunk!” and the floorboards loosed their secret.  Mother madly grabbed the wooden box out from under the floor of the shed.  She pried it open, her black eyes brimming over with tears.  She pulled out the fur coat and barked a shrill cry to the wind.

Mother ran from the tattered shed clutching the fur to her chest and darted around the back of the house.  Her gaze slipped right through me as she tore past, unaware of my presence.  Meanwhile, the gravel road growled and spat under Father’s tires as he crested the hill towards the house.

Father sped into the driveway upon seeing the shed.  His truck jolted to a harsh stop.  He erupted from his poorly parked truck and raced around the back of the house just as Mother hurled herself over the rocky outcrop and into the sea.  My heart sank into my stomach and my legs became jelly, free from their rigid, frozen stance.  “No!” I screamed as I dashed to his side.  He clenched my hand tightly, fighting back tears, while I buried my face in the warm cuff of his coat.

“Such a pity.  Such an exotic beauty,” the townsfolk murmured.  But Father and I knew.  She had been our selkie.  She had merely returned home.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Urban Habitat





Urban Habitat
Plastic terrarium, acrylic boxes, marker on paper, faux grass, glue

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Devil Fairy





Devil Fairy
Disney paint-your-own Tinkerbell suncatchers, painted in "non-local" colors with included paint and mailed in individually for Angels & Demons mail art call

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Snow's Gone

I put on my pants
right leg then left
and zip them up tight.

I button my shirt,
all flannel and cozy warm,
fresh from the wash and smelling like the dryer.

I slip on my socks,
first the right then the left,
and fold over the tops just right.

I snap the suspenders
on my snowpants
and put on the hat with the little ear flaps.

I put on my coat,
right arm then left,
and tie the hood under my chin.

I put on the boots
with the Velcro tabs,
fasten them tight to my feet and I’m ready to go outside –
Hey!  The snow’s gone!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lost & Found


The forgotten
mourn their loss.
Silent, battered relics
until found.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Symbols

#^$%!
What you read
between the lines
depends on where
your mind is
conditioned to go...