Tuesday, January 17, 2006

caffeine art

Artists are hardly strangers to substance abuse. Probably the most famous recent example is Jean-Michel Basquiat's brilliant rise and fall, accompanied by his closest friend and foe, heroin. Like all recent arts legends worth their celebrity salt, he checked out at the age of 27 (1988).

So off I go to the studio. Do I choose a stimulant or a depressant today? Do I want to achieve that oh-so-tastefully cool, slightly off-kilter but carefully-conceived look of marijuana (note to self: lock the fridge first if I want to get anything done) or the brilliantly dynamic energy of a benzedrine masterpiece? Wait! Let me check my notes first. There are even pictures, designs created by spiders, to help me make my aesthetic decisions:

The spider on marijuana drifted off before finishing the job. The spider on benzedrine, an upper, worked energetically but without much planning. The spider dosed with chloral hydrate, a sedative, soon fell asleep. But the spider dosed with caffeine was by far the most disoriented and proved incapable of creating even a single organized cell. Its web showed no sign of the "hub and spokes" pattern fundamental to conventional web design.

Second note to self: throw coffee maker in dumpster.


Blogger Caroline said...

Did they try a spider on chocolate?

17/1/06 12:24 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

A spider on chocolate would've woven the Sistine Chapel because chocolate is nature's perfect food.

17/1/06 12:30 p.m.  
Blogger andy said...

Interesting... by coincidence, I noticed a couple of days ago that my entire fluid intake for that day, and indeed most days, was in the form of black coffee. I wonder if there's any connection between that and the almost total lack of blog entries lately? Maybe I should start growing grass...

17/1/06 1:27 p.m.  
Blogger Andrea said...

I love it! I think I'll conduct my own experiment! ;)

A spider drowning in beer...a spider on nothing but sugar all day...a spider lapping tequila... so many experiments, so little time!!

17/1/06 1:40 p.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

When I run I drink only water or Gatorade, but last year a friend told me that she heard a little COFFEE was a good drink to have 30 min. before a race. When I ran the Manitoba half marathon last summer, there was a guy with a COLD BEER station. He was bellowing out like you would hear at a ball game, "Get your cold beer here." I don't know if it helped anyone finish, but it sure made people smile as we passed by.

17/1/06 2:51 p.m.  
Blogger christina said...

This is hysterical. Of course, when I showed this to my husband who is obsessive about espresso he said, "thank god we're not spiders."

17/1/06 3:03 p.m.  
Blogger carla said...

I must agree with Christina...I'm very glad I'm not a spider. Without my coffee, I'd be face down in whatever I'm working on...messy if it happens to be paint! I love your new banner, Andrea:>

17/1/06 3:28 p.m.  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

this is an amazing and interesting post! i read it to john and he said we better switch to tea. I knew he would say that! If you can come up with a cannabis cupper i would switch!!!

17/1/06 7:56 p.m.  
Blogger Toni said...

I drink coffee when I first get up about two to three cups than that is it for the day. I takes me sometimes till noon before i could sit down and letter anything. Afternoons are for green tea. I showed my husband who likes his coffee and he said no way is he giving it up.
Very interesting post.

18/1/06 4:20 a.m.  
Blogger kyknoord said...

An alternative experiment might be amusing: Seeing what happens when you dose website designers with flies, mosquitoes and other spider fun-food.

18/1/06 4:26 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Andy: Because I've spent so much time in the UK I cannot donate blood here in Canada. I always thought it was due to BSE, not because they feared my blood would be more like black sludge. :)

Big A: Alcohol! That's what they forgot in the experiment!

Brian: Same here at the Royal Victoria Marathon and Half Marathon. Being BC there were plenty of visitors to the beer tables. :) I avoided them, though, as I was loking for the chocolate tables.

Christina and Carla: I hope you're taking good care of your resident spiders, then...

Val: I heard yesterday that a Canadian study has proven how good pot is for morning sickness. It's almost legal here already. How much longer can it take? Tell John it's time he moved back to Canada and you're coming, too. :)

Toni: No doubt, caffeine *is* the best way to get the boring necessities accomplished, isn't it?

Kyknoord: Are you implying that website designers are only one step away from their arachnid counterparts? (They'd probably go into shock if you removed their doughnuts, Big Macs and Mega Big Gulps.)

18/1/06 7:02 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The perfect spiderweb? I think not.
That's why we're artists rather than accountants.


18/1/06 7:24 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Jol: There's no question (in my mind anyway) that from a pure creativity and design point-of-view, the caffeine-powered web is the best of the lot!

18/1/06 8:15 a.m.  
Blogger andy said...

Re the blood thing: funny you should say that, Andrea - as it happens, I gave blood only last week and it did seem a rather stange colour!

18/1/06 8:22 a.m.  
Blogger The Unknown said...

That is Friggin Awesome! Cool stuff!

18/1/06 10:32 p.m.  
Blogger Calvin said...

Those are sooo great. You make we want to draw and paint. :)

20/1/06 9:02 p.m.  

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