Saturday, December 18, 2010


I first wrote this back in the early 1990s, before the internet. I published at The Valve a few years ago.
A decade or so ago I read an article about appropriation as a BIG THING in the art world. I thought it was silly. And so I did what any intelligent person does when confronted with high-toned silliness, I riffed on it.

I took Albrecht Dürer's famous rhinoceros as my starting point:

durer rhino.jpg

I then scanned it into my Mac using a clever device that turned a dot-matrix printer into a low-res scanner. I then created variant images and wrote a bit of text..

“Do you think he would mind?”
“Albrecht Einstein?”
“No, Dürer, Albrecht Dürer, the print maker.”

1 rhino blue.GIF

“Mind what?”
“If I appropriated his rhinoceros.”
“What for?”
“I want to do some genetic engineering.”
“Genetic engineering?”
“Yes. I had this dream the other night. A voice kept repeating 'zebroceros' over and over again, with a very deep and meaningful intonation.”
“What's a zebroceros?”
“Well, it must be a cross between a zebra and a rhinoceros.”
“And you want to get into genetic engineering so you can make the cross. Isn't that going to be difficult? I mean, the zebra and the rhinoceros are such very different animals. Do you think the cross will take?”

2 Zebroceros green.GIF

“Don't see why not. This isn't like ordinary cross-breeding. Here we get right into the genetic material, the information specifying the organism's form and function. We just splice one strand of information into the other and voilà! we've got it.”
“I see. Tell me. Do you think we could make a rhinana?”
“A rhinana?”
“Yeah, a cross between a rhinoceros and a banana.”
“Well, if it's OK with Albrecht. It's his rhinoceros.”

3 Rhinana yellow.GIF

“You mean there's no problem about the rhinoceros being an animal and the banana a plant?”
“Of course not. When you get down to the genes it's all just information. Bits and bytes of biocode.”
“Well, then let's try something between animate and inanimate. Wrapping paper. Yeah, a rhinoceros and wrapping paper.”

4 Orange rhino.GIF

“But wrapping paper doesn't have any genetic code at all. No DNA to splice.”
“But it does have a pattern. And the pattern is information, just like the DNA. What should I call it”
“Wrappoceros? Papoceros? Zigzagoceros?”

5 Digital rhino red.GIF



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. it is silly if you think/view it in the traditional sense

    but it has a snazzy feel effect when you do it
    [it's maybe that you are doing what is the current moment (extended moment of decades)
    or maybe it's the feeling of stealing
    you get an immediate rush then you want to return it back
    but usually it's forgotten and recovered by the next generation or laters

    it's a second order effect a meta-theorem a theorem about theorems
    you can't prove any more theorems in that system or you can prove theorems such and such

    you are using another work to create a work

    and maybe there will be a third order / using the remixed to create a remix

    but seems we usually stop at three
    distance velocity acceleration
    there are fourth order or degree and so forth but who cares

    and then it devolves into technique (breadth-wide)

    like if you took the columns from a temple and rearrange them put them together to create something construct whatever a new (nobody will allow you to do that but you if go at night or kill the guards and so on
    then you can't publish it because everyone will know
    i guess that's many artists' fantasy but they can't really do it so they have to content themselves with the plastic, reproductions etc

    now you can access the virtual which you can steal and use, whether you keep it to your own private world or publish it

    there is a state of disorder which encourages stealing

    disorder gives rise to pillage

    the youth wants to destroy everything bacause [so that] they want to institute themselves
    that's not a "noble" thing that the older generation projects and propreates to them
    it's a retro back projection of their own idealistic (that they wanted to)

    or is it the urge instinct of pillage that creates the disorder?
    the pillage urge becomes so intense and impending that it creates disorder so that it can materialize itself

    and that's not a far fetched theory and we can see it in our everyday lives

    when you are upset you want to break everything down to destroy
    but are kept by the others the way to do it is if you throw everybody out but then it will not have the same effect because
    for something to happen it has to be viewed
    directly if possible immediately

    or get drunk to the point where you can't consider the thought of others

    or get the others as drunk as you or in a state of mirth so that they won't object to your everything bringing down

    or rile somebody to the state where he will take it upon himself to be the sole objector and defendor of the state
    and thus you can defeat him that's easier

    i.e. the being creates the space for his own doings

    there is no causality
    causality exists only when you enter the field of measurable and you have to prove yourself

    why did you do that?

    because so and so and so

    the american pragmatism brings the rationalization to new levels where the fake is the new real
    what you prove is what you are what is

    I don't know if complexity will arrive at such levels that will break down and start over
    or it's the direction things will take
    and a preparation for the next stage of evolution