Tag Archive | cultural evolution

PEOPLE ARE MAPS. Australian Galleries, Sydney. Sept.3-22

People are maps

Cameron Hayes
People are Maps, 2017
oil on linen
77 3/4 x 95 3/4 inches
photo: Vince Ruvolo
Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York

As humans are evolving away from animals they are losing their ability to empathise
with, anticipate or relate to other animals. Within human
civilization people don’t need to know the agenda of other animals because they no
longer have to catch and eat them or run to avoid being eaten by them.

As people became more sophisticated and protected from attack they no longer need
to empathise with other people. Therefore, that part of the brain is unused and
continues to shrink to make room for more opinions – a requirement for contemporary
civilisation rather than for survival. Today, people are free to live their entire life without
having to empathise with or to understand another person.


Driving in your car is now the only place where you want to be aware of the needs of
other people – or you will crash. On the freeway there is a car crash, angry drivers get
out of their cars to start chasing each other in circles around the crash. While they are
blaming each other, they neglect to look behind themselves to see who is blaming
them.


To escape the violence at the car crash angry drivers climb down off the freeway into
the jungle. There they see animals eating other animals, but not looking behind to see
who/what is about to eat them. Lost in the jungle shoppers stare blankly at a carousel
full off snake skin shopping bags while being consumed by snakes and a woman
hunting for crocodile handbags can’t see the croc she is already halfway inside. This
is called “assertion fetish” where animals / humans are only interested and capable of
asserting their own view, oblivious to the views of others. This jungle is Milton’s version
of Eden destroyed when animals start thinking exclusively of themselves only, and so
become human
.

There are two radio receivers, because when people spend more time expressing
opinions rather than forming them you need talkback radio. On the freeway in the
privacy / safety of their cars people are phoning in unchallenged opinions about topics
they have no qualifications for, but do have rented costumes for. When they fall into
the jungle they lose their phones, so they have to drag their expert costumes around
on a rack using a megaphone to tell a ballerina how to dance and a pregnant woman
how to give birth. Tarzan thought because he wore leopard skin he understood
leopards – he was wrong, and his body parts are being shared amongst his animal
“friends”

 

Because every other person has something useful to tell, teach and show
us, people are maps for navigating life. Without understanding of, and curiosity for,
other people the fallen drivers start moving in ever decreasing circles, drilling
themselves down further and further into the one spot. They are not noticing this
because they are staring into their phones and all the mirrored reflections it provides
.

Even birds in the sky evolve into single winged birds and can only fly in circles. Cats
who only chase their tails, stretch their tails from trees so as to have a life more
extensive than the length of their original tail. Many trees have magician top hats in
them where magicians have put them in the branches still believing in their own
personal magic to conjure food and create a sustainable life.

detail typical idiot woman

 

The race to be the first celebrity: Jack The Ripper versus The Elephant Man – Australian Galleries, Sydney 3-22 Sept.

Cameron Hayes
The Race to Be the First Celebrity: Jack the Ripper versus the Elephant Man, 2011
Oil on linen
78 x 100 inches
Photo: Bill Orcutt
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

The race to be the first celebrity: Jack The Ripper versus The Elephant Man

The 1880s: Darwin had convinced most people in England that the process of
evolution meant the next generation would make their generation look like monkeys
in comparison. To prove their status and relevance, people in the 1880s were
determined to celebrate regressive rather than progressive character traits. They
wanted to celebrate the aspects of people that they considered backward and
regressive. People wanted to promote qualities in their fellow man that were
humiliating and anti-evolutionary, to inhibit the feeling of being surpassed

 

 

 

The local government replaced all the statues of heroes with statues of toilets, irons,
and vacuum cleaners. Everything inspirational was being replaced with the
acceptance of the debilitating filth of human mediocrity. In the afternoon, people lined
up along the driveway of the mental home to applaud the new patients forcibly being
dragged in, as well as outside the jails to view the violent criminals. They also line up
along the hospital driveway to watch those maimed in factory accidents crawl to the
hospital door. The trail of blood they left behind started the tradition of the red carpet
for celebrity arrivals
.

Many formerly famous people have to make their achievements even more
spectacular to keep up with the new fashion of celebrities. Dr. Livingstone tried to
convince his audience that everybody and every animal he met on his adventures
were cannibals. He did this by starving baby animals and then stuffing the mother’s
skins with fresh meat. Soon lying and pantomime replaced discussion and history.

But the more emotionally and physically disabled they were, the more their celebrity status became
invincible. As more and more machines of the industrial age threateningly came torepresent to people that they were becoming evolutionarily obsolete, people became more attracted to those who were previously outcast: prostitutes, the exotic other, mental patients, criminals, and the physically impaired. The greatest celebrities of the age had to involve a combination of crime, mental illness, sin and prostitution: like the crime and mental illness of Jack the Ripper and the physical deformity and “nativeness” (mother squashed by an elephant) of The Elephant Man.

As a child the Elephant man was thought so shockingly grotesque that the only job
he was suited for was selling women’s stockings door to door.

A theme park called “The Elephant Man’s Mother” celebrated how Joseph Merrick
suffered without his mother’s milk (nature): children could buy elephant man masks,
head sacks and trinkets at the gift shop.

Great thinkers and achievers made people feel inadequate like old school friends
who have made it big. People blocked them out by filling their minds with the lives of
the needy and emotionally retarded: Karl Stefanovic, Alan Jones, Kardashians.
Images of great art were replaced by Instagram pics of restaurant meals.
Philosophical proverbs and heroic mottos were replaced by tweets about – well –
other tweets. Prostitutes (then) and skinny models (now) along with sexually ambigous radio hosts are symbols of nonreproduction, and, along with criminals, are celebrated as an affront to the next
generation to the certainty of evolution.

 

Ugliness becomes the new trend with dog baiting and talkback radio, adults toileting
and fighting in the streets to affirm their human / non-robot status. The ultimate
machine of the age – the clock – torments people by reminding them of an evolved
future of which they will not be part of and obliterating the past which they felt
superior to.

Darwin’s theory of evolution means babies are the masters of the next generation,
exploiting the adults’ fear that they would have to mutate to survive. Babies are
destroying the old London by driving steam train tracks through old buildings and
replacing trees in the parks with wooden chairs stacked in the shape of trees.
Mothers used long handled prams because they feared the violence of their pumpedup babies. Babies in top hats roam the streets looking to kill regressive human forms
and at the races shooting any non-winning horse.
The London zoo is the only sanctuary for the adults from the oppression of evolution.
The zoo animals in cages were confirmation that the adults weren’t the bottom of the
evolutionary ladder, the skin tight cages they put the animals in demonstrated the
adults’ superior freedom and intelligence, the wheels they put the cages on made it
possible and convenient for the adults to express their anger at the animals rather
than the system. Like Lord Curzon, Captain Cook and Gordon of Khatoum adults felt
it safer to concentrate on the individual not the system.