This is a news story that could appeal to Peter Greenaway, or perhaps to a mutant marxist with a penchant for allegory, and definitely to a gourmand. The ingredients of this tale are a near-Nietzschean Japanese hunter-chef in the USA, an ark-sized refrigerator full of carcasses of endangered species, the underground appetites of the rich and famous, and a hint of cannibalism.
Update: alas, this is a hoax!
When reality mimics the purest post-pop trash tale: Uri Geller buys a house that belonged to Elvis on eBay:
"We are unbelievably pleased. This is a piece of history," said Geller, a former friend of Michael Jackson. Geller met Presley in Las Vegas in the 1970s when the rock 'n' roll star asked him to perform his spoon-bending trick. As the clock closed on the bidding [on] Sunday, I felt intuitively I got the price," Geller said. "Suddenly the radio started playing an Elvis song. That was Elvis telling me we got the house."
"We belong to a generation condemned to live worse off than their parents despite the big-number economy telling us Spain is doing well. We have been deprived of the most basic, of housing, of having a family. As time goes by, the average age for having children is getting delayed because we do not have a place in which to bring them up, nor the time as these days two paychecks are needed when one was once enough. We were born in a democracy and we are, on paper, the most well-educated generation in the history of this country, but our working conditions are becoming increasingly worse and the only competition they say we can offer is low wages. We have the Internet and Playstations but the lounge in our parents' home is bigger than the whole flat which, if we are lucky, will be ours in 30 years, mayber more"
Your identity can be in flux. You go to these places not to present yourself, but to lose yourself. Lose your name, your position, your pride.
"Sometimes they look like nothing special, only marginally cooler than carrels you might find at a college library. But at other times, especially late at night, they seem visionary, an architectural realization of the social and personal life of the future... I loved 16-A the instant I saw it. I closed the door, slipped into a low-slung leatherette seat and surveyed the all-you-can-eat tech feast, which includes VHS and DVD players, satellite and regular television on a Toshiba set, PlayStation 2, Lineage II and a Compaq computer loaded with software, all the relevant downloads and hyperspeedy Internet. In the nearby library were thousands of comic books, magazines and novels. On the desk was a menu of oddball snacks, like boiled egg curry and hot sandwich tuna.... "Nobody cares what you do, which enables you to be absorbed in whatever fantasy you want to indulge in through Net surfing, Web games or manga. Yet you can satisfy your timid desire to belong." Staying in the Gran Cyber Cafés, he concluded, is now part of jibun-sagashi, or the search for the true self."
Sometimes it seems like the dadaists, the duchamps of yesteryear have spawned an offspring that ended up in industrial labs. The futurist dream of nihilism has driven off into the mundane, the mass-produced. The creative destruction of a fast-food strawberry milkshake. Or at least, that's what I end up thinking when I read lists like this, describing the contents of artificial strawberry flavour:
"amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphrenyl- 2-butanone (10% solution in alcohol), ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, undecalactone, vanillin and solvent.
Aieou points to Anne Bichon's latest project: Bienvenue à Parad (a work in progress), where the maps of Paris and Baghdad merge and discover they share a similar shape, and US soldiers are placed on Parisian streets in a play on the dichotomy between liberation and occupation.
"The Korean Institute for Industrial Technology (KITECH) said the android, which has the face and body of a woman in her 20s, is 160 cm tall and weighs 50 kg. Ever-1 can move its upper body and “express” happiness, anger, sadness and pleasure. But the robot is still incapable of moving its lower half. Ever-1's skin is made from a silicon jelly that feels similar to human skin. The face is a composite of two stars, and its torso on a singer.
The 15 monitors in the robotic face allow it to interpret the face of an interlocutor and look back at whoever stands near it. Ever-1 also recognizes 400 words and can hold a basic verbal exchange."
"When Adnan moved to Saudi Arabia from his native Yemen four years ago, Sufi gatherings were often clandestine, sometimes held in orchards outside the city, or in basements and without microphones, for fear of drawing attention. "I couldn't wear this," he said, pointing to his turban. "Or this," he said, pulling at his white cotton overcoat. "Or I would be branded a Sufi. You couldn't even say the word 'Sufi.' It was something underground, dangerous, like talking about drugs."
"We are the first luxury product company experimenting transparently with the methodical replication of the fantastical value of the ART market. CarteBlanche inserted its Kate Moss Floor Mat into this year's Whitney Biennial in order to obviate the lack of distinction between luxury products and art, while intertwining our own history with the rich history of the Whitney."
Forget 15-minutes of fame. Under 3500 euro can buy you eight hours of celebrity life (DVD included):
"Stream aross the city in a chauffeur driven luxurious car or a limousine with tinted windows, escorted by bodyguards, going to your favorite places, after a relooking afternoon, and of course being welcomed in select places... cameras aiming at you, flashs bursting in the street, fans screaming at you, your dream becomes reality: this evening, you are a beloved Celebrity!"