THE LOCUST EXPERIMENT Issue 1 Spring 2017
Introducing The Locust Experiment Issue 1 : Spring 2017
Born out of chance encounters on Locust Walk, hours of Facebook and Instagram stalking, awkward coffee chats, and aggressive iMessaging, The Locust Experiment aims to investigate the hidden art scene on University of Pennsylvaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campus.
Issue 1 : Spring 2017
Editor-in-Chief Editor & Web Developer Editor & Managing Director
Bianca Jimenez | Blossom Tiffany Yue | Bubbles Carlie Ostrom | Buttercup
@thelocustexperiment email@example.com www.thelocustexperiment.com
https://www.nso.upenn.edu/themey e a r / t h e m e - y e a r - 2 0 1 6 - y e a r - m e d i a
FEATURING ...&their flavor Bianca Jimenez ...kalamansi on the beach Teresa Xu ...soy sauce Carlie Ostrom ...redvines Araba Ankuma ...passion fruit Madeleine Schirber ...Mint chocolate chip Nadia Kim ...honey & vinegar Lucy Nebeker ...rosemary Tiffany Yue ...chamomile tea Brandon Brown ...vanilla Faith Cho ...cherry Kevin Wang ...green apple Kelly Yoon ...orange marmalade Emily Rush ... burnt vanilla Sarah Holland ...pomegranate Chelsea Lee ...Cotton Candy Sophia Cen ...sad Antoni Gierczak ...salt Kandyce Henson ...spicyy Talia Lieberman ...@stampedmag Julian Henry ...sour green Ella Konefal ...cacao Julia Wang ...citrusy chocolate The Collctve ...spice w a hint of lime
Scenes from a wet market in Manila, Philippines
This series was inspired by Noell Osvald, a Hungarian artist that does amazing black and white photography. I wanted to build on the minimalist, surreal aesthetic of her work and bring it to a different level
This work is a homage to the work of Euan Uglow. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m interested in exploring the planes of the human body through distinctive blocks of color. I do this by rendering the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organic form through an assemblage of geometric planes. In this way, I become more than an uninterested observer of the human body, but an architect of it.
Breakfast at Tiffanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
Breakfast at Tiffanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s #sausagesandlegs
good morning hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to another one
# i r o n y i s r e a l
B R A N D O N B R O W N of a New School of Artists
But this conception is challenged by artists like Brandon Brown, a freshman at Penn studying Digital Media Design in Engineering. When asked what his “thing” was, Brandon couldn’t pick a single artistic pursuit. I listened in awe as he listed “drawing, trumpet, rapping, singing, producing music, acting, dancing…” with no clear end in sight. He’s a member of the Collctve, the African American Arts Alliance (4A), Freaks of the Beat, The Inspiration, Strictly Funk, and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). And despite his large quantity of memberships, Brandon treats each involvement as if it is his only one. When he talks about these clubs, he describes them with sacred importance, showing that they are more than fleeting hobbies or interests, but rather fully developed passions. But Brandon first presented a challenge to the image of the solitary artist when he began to discuss video game design, something he hopes to go into one day. Considering my less than ample experience with video games, I asked what exactly attracted him to that field. Brandon described how video games are cool because unlike in movies, the audience is actually putting themselves into characters. They aren’t simply spectators but rather active participants in a world that they play a role in developing. This means that video game designers have to be careful to leave some aspects of the game open to viewer interpretation. In fact, Brandon claimed that “if a character is too developed then people won’t want to take control of them”. Essentially, it is the video game designer’s role to practice restraint. Brandon cited the video game Borderlands was an example of this restraint, as the characters all have unique powers and characteristics but never talk. Without this voice, it is easier for the player to insert his or herself into the character. The power of the video game, as Brandon describes it, was in the way the audience has control. It is a form of artistic symbiosis where consumer becomes producer.
There is a common conception of artists being solitary creatures. Self-reliant, independent, and creating work that is purely self-inspired. We believe that artists are alone in the creative process and producing artwork that can be attributed solely to their own ingenuity.
Brandon Brown of a New School of Artists
Now to most artists, this sacrifice of control would seem entirely damaging. We often create artistic pieces that we have fully fallen in love with, that we have put our heart and soul into. We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want some random person to come along and change it. While I may write and illustrate for an audience, I have never allowed that audience to take my work and alter it. Yet at the same time, I recall an English professor that I once had who described the production of a book as a mutual experience. I am not the book and I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t control how the audience responds to the book. Once someone else reads the book, the book becomes theirs in a way, in that their ideas cannot be controlled by me, the author. While I, like many artists, convinced of my independence from the outside world, was frightened by this notion, Brandon embraces it. Some might consider Brandon to be of a different school of artists. He is someone who has been involved in a mixtape, multiple dance and singing groups, marching bands and video game fandoms. His experiences scream community. While he is quick to demonstrate how deeply personal his craft is, it is nonetheless irreversibly tied to the craft of others. His first experience with freestyle was at church camp during a team game of water soccer with one of his best friends. His drawing series on album art was inspired by a friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fashion sense. Every musical group he has been involved in is exactly that, a group.
As such, it makes sense to me that Brandon wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind, and would, in fact, embrace this communal creation of the finished product. His experiences with artistic groups have most likely advanced his skills at creating work that others can enjoy while understanding how they might alter his work in the process. And perhaps, that is what a true artist is. Not some solitary figure slaving away over a product too sacred to be changed. But rather someone who sees the world as interactive, who understands that the best art is the kind that the audience can put their hands on and make their own.
She wakes up irritated, with her right cheek pressed into enameled red leather, hair plastered to her neck, and a combination of sweat and drool dried on her chin, which she tries to rub away as she sits up and looks around, because she does not remember where she is or how she got there. In an attempt to stand, she feels herself ripping away from the seat, as if little baby hands had grabbed onto the thin skin covering the back of her thighs and refused to let go. She lurches forward but her legs give out. Before she falls, she catches a strange and horrifying sight in the mirror on a sagging red wall covered in rotten patterns. In the mirror, she had seen her face, and in the moment she had seen her face, she had realized that she was completely and utterly ignorant of who she was.
This woman possesses a frightening visage, ghostly in frame and complexion, with black hair that looks as if the dam of reality around her head had broke and a darkness seeped in to fill the empty space. Everything is exaggerated, like a cartoon clown that somehow found its way out of its wayward drooping town and forced its face and body through a pinhole into the real world. Her nose is too pointed to be beautiful and her chin two centimeters too long to be considered normal. Eyebrows, black and thin and wicked, carve a fiendish slash over alarmingly flat eyes. But it is here, on the ground, where she feels the vibrations she did not notice before, and the occasional rattle and click of something beneath her.
The sounds of a moving train. She crawls towards the sole windowâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;covered in heavy, maroon drapes. She stands unsteadily to move them and grips the thick fabric, pushing it aside and letting dust fly up a nose in greedy possession of too large nostrils. What she sees out this window does not make sense. She is riding on a train that is rolling on a track that is infinite, except it is not infinite in the sense that it stretches into the thin line of a horizon. It is endless because it rolls in a loopâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the train track is a large circle. But that is not the strangest part. The train is not powered by an engine. Instead, the wheels are pushed along by large hands that grow up from the ground like fleshy, white tree trunks scattered around the track. And still, that is not the strangest part. Huge eyes, at least six feet across, framed with lashes that are dark and heavy with tears, blink up from the ground, black pupils following the endless loop of her train. They go as far as the eye can see, fallen tears pooling into puddles in the dips and small valleys of the land. And still, that is not the strangest part. The strangest part is that after seeing what is outside, the woman sits back down on the seat and falls asleep. She wakes up irritated. 41
Emily Rush today, the air floats slow and hot. we find a low swinging hammock and stay for a while. she is swallowed whole in a scratchy blue coccoon. tomorrow, we’ll go to my coffee shop. we’ll sink into soft ancient chairs and sip bitter steaming tea like grownups. or, I’ll pay for breakfast at a sticky diner full of old women and we’ll listen to their sticky gossip. soon, we’ll splurge on the art museum. I’ll shiver in the marble halls and she won’t hand me her sweater. we’ll hold hands and walk to that hazy green pond, the one where she learned to swim. i think we’ll keep walking for a while. we’ll stretch our legs and take up space and cover ground.
but today, we sit and stay, that’s all.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I chose a simple, elegant layout for Emilyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poem because of the soft nature of her words. It starts as a drifting, emotional dream that later lands in solid reality.
— Rupi Kaur, milk and honey
your body is a museum of natural disasters can you grasp how stunning that is
And now you enter Disorientation.
The ground falls from your feet
Your heart is pulsing,
Alice in Wonderland fashion. Cataclysmic trembles run through your body Get me out of here.
And in a sense, in all the senses, life is entropy. We begin as simple beings with hardly any worries or fears, untarnished with the eventual life experiences that add complexity and nuance to how we perceive life and love, yet these experiences are considerably heavy. Heavy enough that we're kept up at night, wondering and musing with a weighted heart, why yesterday seemed more simple than today. That's the law of life - we grow to be difficult, cranky, idiosyncratic with habits and superstitions, trying to carve out a space for ourselves, for us to stand up and declare ourselves "individualistic", with the price that we can no longer be simple. Yes... tomorrow I will be more complicated than I am today.
la nd sc ap
If you stay awake long enough, shadows begin to move and light swims against walls and a blue sky looks peach when others swear it is grey. And one long night turns into fourteen and a semester and then six years and soon enough you forget that at one time shadows didn’t dance and life wasn’t always so dependent on chemicals that enhance. And if you squint your eyes at night the streetlights become blurred like your words and suddenly you realize that if you can't remember what you forget then perhaps it didn’t exist at all. Then life seems to slow down for a bit, a dotted line spreading across time. The world grows detached and decadent and maybe that’s why sunsets are more beautiful with pollution.
PLUS does as Plus do.
the first and last time simultaneously. The sands between your toes, the booze and the birds and the breeze - it all washes over you, yet you know it does not last. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re partying like itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your last night in town. And when you return home the person who danced through casino lights stomaching dozens of mixed drinks and a spectrum of capsuled ecstasies seems all the more alien with each terrestrial day that follows. But this ghastly persona once donned like a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sash and since cast off does not die. He lives in the blunt smoke of frigid alleyways. He lives in the extra round you should not have purchased, but did. He lives in the daily white noise that drives you to substance. His name is Mister Plus.
To be a tourist all you have to do is be somewhere for
here one second
akin to a quantum particle
there the next
On view April 28–August 6, 2017 Rachel de Joode Cayetano Ferrer Ane Graff Ignas Krunglevičius Chris Marker Daria Martin Florian Meisenberg Shahryar Nashat Sondra Perry Jacolby Satterwhite Susanne M. Winterling
MYTHS OF THE MARBLE
118 S. 36th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 icaphila.org Free. For All.
GINNY CASEY & JESSI REAVES
OPEN VIDEO CALL
Free admission is courtesy of Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman. Marketing is supported by Pamela Toub Berkman & David J. Berkman and by Lisa A. & Steven A. Tananbaum.
pleased for to
thecollctve.com/booking thecollctve.com/about thecollctve.com/ @thecollctve firstname.lastname@example.org thecollctve.com/ @thecollctve email@example.com soundcloud.com/the-collctve
“We’re just a platform for people to do creative shit.”
he Collctve is like a record label. We have people doing the business ends of things, we have outreach events for the community, and we produce a lot of
sleep all day, make the feelings go aw wonder, wander i find my place upon the side walk but it comes alive in the night time and
then from the other song
DJ “I MEAN...THIS GUY’S JUST LIKE THAT.”
[Intro - Seed] *ad lib* [Verse 1 - Jason Ivy] And though I tell you all the time that I don’t mind Sometimes it, feels like you’re Replacing me And though I tell you all the time that I don’t mind Oh, sometimes it, feels like The feeling ain’t so fine [Verse 2 - Seed] From time to time I Need a familiar touch Can you see it in my eyes? There should be no surprise I’m not, no I am not really asking for much [Verse 3 / Outro] Would you mind if we Spent some time thinking bout how we fit together, baby Or, would you mind if we Spent some time thinking bout how we work separately, baby I just want you next to me I just want you next to me I just want you next to me I just want you I just want you
would you mind if we spent some time thinking about how we fit together, would you mind if we spent some time thinking about how we work separately sometimes it feels like the feeling ain’t so fine from time to time i need a familiar touch, can you see in my eyes, there should be no surprise, i know i am not really asking for much
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