Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Faces & Figures, This Time on Autoracks

This morning I saw more faces and figures on "autoracks" as they passed—a great rat, a snowman, a mystery visage, and some sort of hooded ninja:

As I watched these faces roll by I was reminded of when I lived in Montana and saw similarly striking moving-canvases. My friend Greg Keeler and I would fish these weird parts of the Gallatin River, places where, to get to, you'd have to walk along the tracks—sometimes right between a vertical cliff on one side and the swirling river below on the other, and if a train came you had to sprint to where the cliff leveled off or the riprap became generous enough to climb down onto. It could be quite terrifying when the trains came bearing down suddenly from around a bend. Anyway, sometimes the trains would be carrying green-coated bodies of Boeing 737 airliners, like large alien phalli; other times, there would be long lines of boxcars palimpsestically spray-painted over with a thousand codes, signs, warnings, and other idioms known only to the secret painters. I'm thinking of exploring such scenes in a future course called something like "everyday aesthetics."