tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > The Flying Destructicate: Make Your Own Truth

The Flying Destructicate by Jonathan Brodsky
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it was amazing
bookshelves: artists-books

People lucky enuf to get a copy of this (limited edition of 200 if I recall aright) are.. LUCKY!! Each new Encyclopedia Destructica product is astounding in its craft. & they only charged $20 for this at their launching. That, in itself, is incredible. This particular issue is edited by & in honor of ED's artist of the yr: Jonathan Brodsky. It has a DVD, 8 bklts, & 1 bk. All in color. The DVD is divided into 3 main parts: the 1st by Alberto Almarza, the 2nd by Rick Gribenas, the 3rd by Brodsky. Almarza's & Brodsky's have loops. How did they do this? I don't know the tech specifics but navigating thru this is more like navigating thru a CD-ROM than an ordinary DVD but it played on my DVD player.. & it worked marvelously. Alberto's loop is a short drawing animation, Rick's piece is my favorite thing I've ever seen/heard from this sound artist, & Jonathan's is meant to be accompanied by readings from the bk, the script.

This project was preceded by a series of less-than-10:00 powerpoint presentations at the ED space. The 8 bklts are hard-copy versions of the powerpoints. They were all interesting to me - in a variety of ways. The publication launch, at the Miller Gallery on CMU's (Carnegie-Mellon University) campus, featured 3 of these PPs + Jonathan's piece that's on the DVD - along w/ a live sound performance by Rick. The 8 bklts/PPs are:

"The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince" by M. Callen
"Types and Categories of Pics Attached to Postings Within Men Seeking Women Classified Ads on Chicago's Craigslist" by T. Foley
"Camp Ohio" by Curt Gettman
"The Fifth Quarter: A Secret History of Basketball" by Brett Kashmere
"Joseph Baker: The True Story of a Hidden Force Obscured by Time and Archival Destruction Beneath the Rocky Post-Industrial Loam of Lawrenceville" by Laura Miller

Ah.. This latter was presented at the premier & I LOVED it. Very funny, well-made, educational.. According to Miller's presentation, Joseph Baker was a soapbox ranter who used the 11th street canal bridge as his platform. Is this true? Dunno. Haven't researched it myself. My impression is that, yes, it's true. If so, that's pretty amazing. There was, in the 19th century, a substantial canal network in Pennsylvania & part of that was a canal that went OVER the Allegheny River. The structure for it is still in place - but now it's a railroad bridge. That, in itself, is one of my favorite Pittsburgh factoids. Add to that the image of a soapbox ranter shouting at who? People going by on barges? People on the ground below?.. Anyway, it's a powerful combination. Miller tells us that Baker was actually elected Mayor WHILE IN JAIL FOR INCITING A RIOT & that he was broken out.. & then jailed WHILE MAYOR for inciting a riot AGAIN. Fascinating stuff. All augmented by Miller's clever presentation.

"Propaganda by Deed: A Multiple Choice Quiz to Test the Reader's Knowledge of the Events Surrounding Alexander Berkman's Attempted Assassination of Henry Clay Frick During the Homestead Affair" - by Shaun Slifer

Another chapter in Shaun's increasingly extensive anarchist historical project & a subject dear to this particular anarchist. More good humor, more good research. Shaun did an excellent job, he even threw in a tiny conceptual monkey-wrench or 2 (or 3..), & the printing, as w/ the entire project, is excellent.

"Where Our Eyes Don't Go" by Greg Siegle
"A History of the Universe in 20 Tangrams" by Jim Storch

Well, well, as w/ Rick Gribenas's piece, this is probably my favorite thing that I've seen of Storch's. "A Word About Tangrams - Developed in China centuries ago, the Tangram is a puzzle created by dividing a square into 7 pieces. The goal is to create different forms using all 7 pieces and with no overlap." SO, starting from 1 square & breaking it into 7 geometrical shapes, Jim proceeds to give "A Histroy of the Universe". The formal restriction works as a potent concentrator of the content.

As if all this weren't enuf, the bk has work by Brodsky, Almarza, Josh Atlas, Juliacks (w/ Laurie Olinder), AND Gribenas PLUS an appendix that includes Jonathan's aforementioned "Presentation Script" AND fold-out "Motivational Posters". & let's not forget the poems by Paus Akid. FANFUCKINGTASTIC.
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