Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Miracle Mike The Headless Chicken

So once upon a time (back in 1945) there was a farmer named Lloyd Olsen who was assigned the rather routine task of preparing a chicken for dinner that evening. He selected a nice rooster, dropped his ax upon it's head and off it went. The chicken then went  through the usual motions of running around, flapping it's wing's but then a funny thing happened. Instead of eventually falling to the ground and accepting his death, the rooster decided that he really didn't need a head anyway and would just go back to the usual routine of being a chicken.

Seeing that the chicken wasn't planning on dying anytime soon, Lloyd decided to lend some assistance by feeding and watering him with a an eye dropper. And so began the amazing story of Mike the headless chicken.

Not long after, a promoter named Hope Wade caught wind of the story and convinced Lloyd that he could make money showing off his headless chicken at sideshows. The chicken took on the name of Miracle Mike, toured across the county and was even featured in Life magazine.

Mike the Headless Chicken

So how does a chicken lose it's head and still manage to stay alive? Well, at some point Lloyd took Mike to the University of Utah so that some scientist could answer this question for him. They came to the conclusion that when Lloyd chopped off his head he had missed the jugular and a clot prevented Mike from bleeding to death. He had also missed most of his brain stem and one hear and since chickens don't have much in the way of higher brain functions, he essentially continued to behave much as he did before.

Amazingly, Mike lived for another 18 months until the fateful night of his death. At a motel in Arizona the Olsens were awoken by the sound of Mike choking. They were not able to find the eyedropper used to clear his esophagus and so a few moments later Mike passed on.

I couldn't find any videos of Miracle Mike which I thought was odd considering the amount of exposure he had received. But I did find a short video of a headless chicken walking about in what looks to be somewhere in Africa.

Hat tip to Amy M for turning me onto the story.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Artist Franko B

Franko B "I Miss You"
When it comes to weird stuff, performance art really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Case in point, I recently came across this 2000 piece by artist Franko B titled "I miss you." Here's a quick synopsis of the work. The audience surrounds a long catwalk which is covered in canvas. Franko presents himself naked, painted white with an open catheter inserted in the crook of each arm. As blood pours out of the catheters, dripping onto the floor, he walks up and down the runway while Diamanda Galas's 'My world is empty without you' plays in the background.

Here is a short 2003 version

As to be expected, reactions to the performance run the gamut from "self-harm is not art" to "he's personifying art." But this isn't the first time Franko B has done this sort of thing. In 1996 he performed "I'm not your babe" where he again paints himself white, catheters in arms, bleeding on the floor. He does this for about 10 minutes, then falls to his knees for a couple of minutes, then finally lays on the ground for bit.

Franko B "I'm not your babe"
And then there is his 2001 performance of "Oh Lover Boy" where he paints himself white, inserts catheters into his arms and lays down to bleed all over a canvas covered table.

Franko B "Oh Lover Boy"

Here is a collection of a number of Franko B's performances including the ones above. Fair warning, the video does not allow you to fast forward so to get to the later performances, you would have to be very patient and very interested, neither of which I was.

Franko B performance from Tim Ashton on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Take the poo to the loo

Here's a fun fact. In India it's estimated that around 600 million people poop out in the open everyday. Yep, about half of the country's population doo-doos outside which can be a real public health threat as well as just being, disgusting.

In an effort to raise awareness against open defecation, UNICEF has launched a social media campaign called "Take the Poo to Loo." The program is primarily aimed at urban youth, the majority of whom already use toilets, to get them to speak out against open defecation in hopes of creating a new social norm.

At the center of the new campaign is the character/mascot Mr. Poo. As to be expected, Mr. Poo is a giant piece of poop who is featured in various live-action and animated shorts the most popular of which is the music video Poo Party.

At you'll also find gems such as Poo Assault, A Stinky Symphony, Poo Attack and Poo Talking.

Whether or not the campaign will have an effect remains to be seen. In the mean time we can all enjoy some good old fashion poop humor.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Artist ties rooster to penis. Found guilty of exhibitionism

Last September, artist? Steven Cohen went to the Eiffel Tower dressed in a corset, platform shoes, red gloves, g-string, feathered headdress and painted face. He then tied a rooster to his penis and proceeded to dance around until police arrived and dragged him and the rooster away.

Recently, a Paris court found him guilty of sexual exhibitionism but did not impose a penalty. After the verdict, Cohen said "I think the victim is art." I would have to agree with him, though not in regards to the court's decision but to his atrocious performance he tries to pass off as art.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Performance Artist Injects Herself With Horse Blood

For the 2011 Ars Electronica art festival, Marion Lavel-Jeantet performed May the Horse Live in Me, the very weird experiment of injecting herself with horse blood plasma as an exploration of trans-species relationships.

Over the course of several months, she prepared her body to accept the horse blood plasma by receiving injections of different horse immunoglobulins. At the beginning of the performance, she put on specially designed stilts with hooves (I guess to make her feel more horse like) then walked around the room alongside the horse she was to receive the plasma from. She then laid on a bed and received her transfusion. Next, she dawns a lab coat and does some sciencey stuff with what looked to be blood in a petri dish. And that was it.

Personally I found the performance kind of boring. I think it would have been a lot better if at the end she demonstrated her new horse powers by horse kicking an audience member through a wall.