4 Day Work Week or Work From Home?
I think I’d much rather be able to work from home, because gas is so expensive and I could set my own work schedule :) It seems like an ideal, really. I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing to work, I can take breaks and eat when I like, I don’t have to worry about office gossip :3 Just seems like a great idea.
The (Radioactive) Cat is Out of the Bag
Art is an interesting subject to appreciate, because ‘art’ is a difficult form to define. Art is meant to do many things, and there are some occasions when art does very little at all. Art can broaden your perspective, it can teach you something you never knew, it can help define something you always knew, but ultimately it’s something that should catch your eye and make you think. Nothing caught my eye quite so much as Sandy Skoglund’s piece called Radioactive Cats. It was familiar and yet foreign, thought provoking and interesting, and something like nothing I’d ever quite seen before.
The picture is technically monotone with a pop of color. There are two elderly people dressed in drab gray clothes in a single room. The walls of the room, appliance and fixtures are all the same gray, and there are about twenty-six bright green cats in various positions throughout the room. The furniture in the room (a table, chairs and an old refrigerator) all look worn, old and well past their prime (not too unlike the elderly couple). But the abundance of cats, all mingling about in various poses, bright and vivid in acidic green are the only electric show of momentum and life in the picture. The cats are into everything, knocking over and tearing apart a chair (only to investigate its ‘mysterious’ depreciation), climbing on top of the table, shelves and fridge, and eagerly curious about what the woman is doing as she looks into the fridge. All in all, it looks like a sci-fi episode of Hoarders directed by Tim Burton (much love to Mr. Burton).
The meaning of this image can be interpreted in many ways (after all, art is subjective). Critics have interpreted Radioactive Cats as having two different themes, one about social indifference to the aging, and another about nuclear war and its aftermath. While I understand how those two interpretations can be derived, I also believe there could be the connotation that too much of a good thing will turn everything else bland. The image may seem chaotic, but at the same time it makes perfect sense. In the case of this image the desirable or good thing happens to be represented by cats. Unfortunately, little else is noticed in the picture due to the fact that the room is overrun by them. The first interest you have is what the cats are doing and why. Anyone who has a cat or knows cat behavior will find the models very life-like and utterly adorable (I want a radioactive cat lamp now; thanks so much, Miss. Skoglund), but once you finish looking at the ‘pop of color’ in the image, you begin to notice how stark and drab the rest of the setting is by comparison. If life is overrun by the obsessive need to possess something much beloved, does that not throw the rest of a person’s existence into a dull light? If this is true, the lives of the people by contrast form a neglected background.
Whether Sandy Skoglund has made a statement on the amount of attention we give our elders, nuclear war, or the insanity of those who hoard what they see as valuable doesn’t really matter at this point. Because either way you look at it, the image captures your attention and makes you think. Can you see the elderly couple in their sparse room overrun by strange neon green cats and possibly walk by thinking nothing? Either way you slice it, the artist has manage to capture your attention, if only for a second, and make you wonder exactly what she was getting at. Maybe you’ll shy away from getting a kitten, or maybe you’ll call up your great Aunt Edna and ask how she’s been, but you are suddenly more aware of the concepts presented in the image. If art is meant to educate and broaden perspective, then you have Miss. Skoglund to thank for letting the Radioactive Cats out of the bag.
What was your first paying job?
…my parents used to pay me to do jobs…but my first job on the books was an AMC Theater :) 2 1/2 years of my life there.