research


I am using my entry into the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show to explore the use of miniature settings to tell a story. This is an increasingly popular form of art as can be seen in the show last year in New York, at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD). Called “Otherworldly: Optical Delusion and Small Realities”, it explored the use of scale models to create alternative worlds. I am also working on a virtual, online museum exhibit that explores these same themes in different cultures and across time, looking at ancient miniatures and those in non-Western cultures. Miniatures have always been used to explore other worlds writ small and they occur in so many different forms and sizes.

My entry in the Philadelphia Flower Show is described in another blog: Philadelphia Flower Show Miniature Settings. See how one of these settings is created as I document the steps.

A miniature gourd pot for my Hawaiian setting

 

Advertisements

TRUE LIES: DO WE REALLY WANT OUR ICONS TO COME TO LIFE?

A comic book version of Arnold’s iconic status, originally presented at the “Holy Men in Tights: A Superheroes Conference”, University of Melbourne, Australia in 2005 and published in their journal, Refractory. It is not longer functioning there so here is a version of it.

Just when I thought it was safe to start doing a Terminator on my Arnold Schwarzenegger archives now that the End of Days is near, Arnold comes back into the news with a True Lies bombshell that takes an Eraser to all doubts that the Last Action Hero will ever be terminated in our collective eye. Arnold has had sudden Total Recall, just remembering he forgot to mention theJunior Arnold who pitter-pattered around the household for ten year: at least it wasn’t Twins! Since ending his Governator role (but revising it soon in a cartoon and comic book), Arnold has become The Running Man, showing up Around the World in 80 Days to sell himself once again in his classic Stay Hungry mode. Whatever Red Heat he gets from this latest Raw Deal probably won’t have much of an impact on Arnold’s movie deals and he will probably still Jingle All The Way to the bank. The Collateral Damage on us, the folks who elevated him to iconic status, is minor because this Predator behavior has become so commonplace it barely warrants aCommando response: the Twitter feeds about this are more funny than outraged.

On The 6th Day in the story of Genesis, God created the wild beasts and told them to be fruitful and multiply. Just saying…Perhaps the Kindergarten Cop just needed to keep the franchise going. So The Long Goodbye is here for us all. No longer a Hercules in New York or any other civilized place, the Arnold-icon may be finally permanently tarnished and even the muscle of Conan the Barbarian or a Red Sonja could not clean it.

I’ve co-authored (with Michael Blitz) two books about Arnold Schwarzenegger (Why Arnold Matter: The Rise of a Cultural Icon  and  Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Biography) and through all the research and writing for those books (and the hundreds of actual dreams about Arnold that accompanied the work) I’ve seen Arnold as a character who defies all explanation and who resists all rules. In the very first dream in our collection (20 years ago), Michael Blitz dreamed that, “Arnold Schwarzenegger comes to my door and says ‘I hear you are doing a book about me.’ He then tells me that Maria Shriver thought that she could find out about him by peeling away his layers like an onion. But he says that the only way anyone will find out about him is by breaking him into little pieces.” Whether Maria peeled that onion or someone has broken him into little pieces is what we may find out next.

For a comic book version of Arnold’s iconic roles, check this issue of REFRACTORY, an Australian media journal.

Did I forget to mention that I published a biography of Walt Disney this summer? Here is the description of it from Greenwood Press which published this series of biographies for young adults:

Description:Walt Disney has been dissected, criticized, and lauded in numerous biographies, most of which try to penetrate the psychology of the man and his motives. Walt Disney: A Biography takes a cultural approach, looking at Disney as both a product of his culture and a cultural innovator who influenced entertainment, education, leisure, and even history.

Drawing on many original sources, Walt Disney provides an overview of this genius’s remarkable life and family. At the same time, the book places Disney in the context of his times as a way of exploring the roots of and inspiration for his creativity. Because Walt Disney’s creations and ideas still affect our movies, play activities, vacation choices, and even our dreams and imagination, his influence is as important today as it was when he was alive, and this thoroughly engaging book shows why.
Title Features:
• Walt Disney’s prolific life is summarized in a descriptive chronology that notes his most significant artistic, personal, and cultural milestones
• An appendix explores the use of the name “Walt Disney” to denote excellence and innovation, but also mass culture and artificiality. Examples are documented with Internet addresses so readers can explore the phenomenon for themselves
• Original-source research assures the accuracy of quotations and descriptions of Disney’s productions

You can find it at Amazon.com: Disney Biography

 

My research student Leanne is attending the Twilight Convention in New Jersey this weekend. She writes amazing blogs about her observations and shows how undergrads can do quality research. Check it out at: http://twianthro.wordpress.com/

Check out these three blogs which are discussing Toy Story 3, sexism, feminism, and at my instigastion, anthropology!

Ms. Magazine original discussion:  LINK

Oh No They Didn’t community discussion of Ms. Magazine:  LINK

Oh No They Didn’t discussion of my response to Ms:  LINK

I am starting a research project with an undergraduate student on Twilight fan culture. We will be blogging at:

http://twianthro.wordpress.com/