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RSS icon Comments on Ellen Forney on Fighter Jets


Cool, I've never been to San Fransisco. Is that anywhere near San Francisco, or is it in Canada?

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 4, 2008 3:15 PM

They're so similar, Will, I couldn't even tell the difference. Fixed now. Thanks.

Posted by Dominic Holden | April 4, 2008 3:19 PM

I've never seen Brooklyn, but I Googled "I love Brooklyn because" and came up with...

xtcian: brooklyn, brooklyn über alles

I love Brooklyn because the people I lived near were nothing like the characters on that show. Keep 'em out, and far, far away. They can keep Manhattan.

“I love Brooklyn because there are a lot of great restaurants and bars, and I love going out and having fun.

So there. Now I know all about Brooklyn.

Posted by elenchos | April 4, 2008 3:24 PM

yes, his mistake was reciting that story of googling about seattle.

if he said, the purpose of art is to challenge the viewer, and that emasculating a fighter plane was challenging for both war mongers and peace activists, it might have been received better.

Posted by infrequent | April 4, 2008 3:27 PM

@4 -- Challenging the viewer is "A" purpose of art, not "THE" purpose of art.

Sometimes art can lull, it can delight, it can sexually stimulate.

In my experience, the only people who think art must always challenge the viewer are churlish, stuck-in-adolescence misanthropes who wield their medium as a virtual weapon, and who probably need a good kick in the pants.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | April 4, 2008 3:38 PM

"...emasculating a fighter plane..."

too limited a view

Posted by freehints | April 4, 2008 3:40 PM

All you twits with your knickers in a twist over the fighter-jet art: Would you rather have an innocuous piece of pablum such as Moore's "Three vertebrae" installed there?

Posted by Dr_Awesome | April 4, 2008 3:48 PM

What, we can't find a qualified local artist? Or at least an artist from THIS COAST?

Posted by joykiller | April 4, 2008 3:49 PM

There's a million ways he could have improved his talk, and maybe he could have sold it to the 130 people in the room. But what it really boils down to, is the most expensive piece of public art on Capitol Hill is going to be a re-imagining of military technology. It's a weird message.

Posted by 8blockwalk | April 4, 2008 3:50 PM

during his presentation the artist guy used the word potent over and over - he is a young sexy guy, nice looking, hormones raging

he is not emasculating anything, anytime soon

Posted by Barry | April 4, 2008 3:50 PM

you know what'd be really emasculating for those fighter jets? to be left out of an art installation entirely.
then you could replace em with, i dunno, maybe a design that wasn't cobbled together out of a google search, some pseudo-transgressive MFA-speak, and the so-utterly-banal-it's-almost-self-parody "swords into plowshares" motif.

Posted by brett | April 4, 2008 3:57 PM


Exactly. And I'll add that this is public art. Art that thousands of people are going to have to look at twice a day, five days a week. Any artist hired to do that kind of work should take that into consideration -- and hopefully not create something that's unbearably fugly.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 4, 2008 3:57 PM

@8 How provincial. I guess all the talk of unity in America, and disdain for nationalism is really hollow talk at the end of the day, eh?

Frankly, we should just build the light rail stations to look like New York Subways. No art, no high ceilings, just buildings. Right now, that seems like the better way to do things.

Posted by Confused Anthony | April 4, 2008 4:00 PM

yes, it is "a" not "the". i certainly don't think to challenge is "the" purpose of art, as my other posts have suggested. nor does the context here indicate i would have to feel that way.

my point was, he could have explained what he was doing with this work. i wouldn't necessarily have liked it. but he might have given pause to the uproar had he just said, "hey, i know you don't like what fighter planes normally stand for -- that's why it is such a strong symbol to use."

notice i said he could explain it that way, not that i would. and that it was merely one suggestion as to what approach to take to make fighter planes as art more palatable on capitol hill.

that said, you can direct your kick in the pants elsewhere.

Posted by infrequent | April 4, 2008 4:03 PM

#7 - all you twits who don't appreciate the anti war effort need to to Iraq and sacrifice you tits to the God of War - He pilots jet fighters

twit, it is almost funny, what a horrible usage. Twit, or is it tit... tits and twits with tits.

To all of you - twits and tits included - go have a drink after work and then, a contest next week for the best art. We have three or four years, maybe six or seven, to talk about it.

Posted by Andy | April 4, 2008 4:03 PM

Tits, tits, hmmmmm--yeah that's the ticket!!--life-size statues of Ellen Forney characters and Erica C. Barnett and drag queens and Savage and other tired representatives of the Hill built into the walls of the station, with nipples (hell, pick an orifice) that at the drop of a coin would directly dispense warm, sweetened latte into the mouth of the commuter waiting for her/his train. Culturally comforting, familiar, mildly stimulating: ergo, popular public art. Something about it would kind of suck, though.

Posted by transgress you | April 4, 2008 4:42 PM

What do you expect when you hire an out of town sensationalist who's most significant piece of work is a couple of tanker trucks entwined for a burning man festival?... Seriously?

Posted by local | April 4, 2008 4:46 PM

What do you expect when you hire an out of town sensationalist who's most significant piece of work is a couple of tanker trucks entwined for a burning man festival?... Seriously?

Posted by local | April 4, 2008 4:46 PM

Don't like it and am generally confused why a light rail station has to occupy such a huge space? If it's going to be underground, why not just have an escalator like every other city? I feel bad whining about anything related to public transportation, but wtf?

It would be so much more engaging for the community to have a contest with local artists, i'm not sure why they're missing the opportunity and cost savings?

Posted by jesse | April 4, 2008 4:52 PM

Ellen Forney = the voice o' reason.

Posted by homage to me | April 4, 2008 5:46 PM

@19 - it's not going to occupy such a huge space when it's finished; they need all that extra space as a staging area, to store and deploy the gazillions of tons of materials and equipment they're going to need to build it. When they're finished, that space will have something on it, not just a station.

@7: Moore's "Three vertebrae" -- HELL YES I WOULD.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2008 6:39 PM

Well then. Ugh at the banality of the corporate non-offensive art embodied by pieces like Moore's.

Is the poetry embedded in the wall at the north end of the old bus tunnel safe enough and inoffensive enough for you, or would you rather it be torn out and replaced with something squishy and soft?

Posted by Dr_Awesome | April 4, 2008 9:40 PM

No, I think it should be a hanging offense to put poetry in public transit spaces. The entire bus tunnel from end to end is an art atrocity.

Posted by Fnarf | April 4, 2008 10:28 PM

i think the sculpture is a fantastic idea. take something destructive and terrible, paint it pink and orange, and turn it into two birds elegantly mating? fuck yes! i am flabbergasted that there is any issue with this at all. but then again, i'm rather drunk.

Posted by helix | April 4, 2008 10:55 PM

As a little background: I am from Seattle, I have been living in Brooklyn for ten years, and I am moving back to Capitol Hill very soon, so that's why I'm paying attention. Regardless of all the other issues, it is crazy to me that someone (especially someone who lives in NYC) would consider putting something in an underground subway station that evokes destruction, planes crashing, or violent action of any kind. I don't have a problem with and often enjoy art that makes me feel uneasy. But trust me, you don't need anything extra reminding you of the possibility of destruction when you get on the train. Fnarf's thought yesterday of a deconstructed car was a good one, and on some level, a deconstructed car in a mass-transit station is just as potent an anti-war symbol, if that's part of what he was going for. However, I would not presume to change the artist's idea – I would just demand that he execute it somewhere else.

Posted by Strath | April 5, 2008 7:22 AM

I think the deconstructed car is already implied by the plane.

Posted by Jim | April 5, 2008 9:35 AM

Since I pretty much stare at my shoes I probably wouldn't notice what was hanging from th rafters.

Posted by elswinger | April 5, 2008 11:37 AM

Perhaps it would better fit Capitol Hill, or The Stranger anyway, to just adorn the station with dildos and fake boobs. Hell, let's just put Toys in Babeland and Castle in the station. Sound Transit can install TVs that play gay and lesbian porn 20/7.

Posted by Jon Morgan | April 6, 2008 8:41 PM

Makes me sick these east coast liberalites coming over here taking jobs away from local artists.

Why can't we have a locally built 777ER with a local celebrity painted on the side. Perhaps we could also restrict the use of the subway to local residents.

Posted by Mike Rogers | April 8, 2008 8:12 AM

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