Art Attacks

Naomi and her Uncle Bobby had begun by sketching a jungle, to which they’d added roads, railways, and power lines, then factories, media, and telecoms. They discussed developing it into a city but decided to stay with quality over quantity, and avoid the congestion, pollution, noise, crime, expense and stress of urban centres. Modern development can’t be stopped though. Transformation of rural landscape to urban jungle is inexorable.

The hub of the city remained the original village, but it became increasingly commercial, and residents could no longer afford the inflated rents. Houses became shops, and shops became factories, and factories became distribution centres. Lucerne village was essentially a CBD: Central Business District. New suburbs developed on what were once farms, and beyond them were exburbs – separate municipalities within easy commute. These rapid changes horrified Bobby, but Naomi was more relaxed about them. New parks and playgrounds, shops and salons, galleries and museums were all open to her, mostly within walking distance, and because she was in her own drawing she didn’t have to attend school. There wasn’t one.

As the city acquired administrative, legal, and historic status its attraction grew, and many more people came for trade, sometimes travelling great distances. Whether they acquired the resources they needed, and how much, and at what price, and how soon, was affected by the skills they offered, the goods they brought with them, and sometimes their physical size, used to threaten shopkeepers. Most transactions were performed in an orderly manner, but a group of public-minded citizens formed an association called Lookout Lucerne to keep an eye on things, just in case. Their navy blue jackets sporting LL were a reassuring presence in this fast-paced new world.

The new city thrived. People poured in for jobs and entertainment. So many of them in close proximity ignited creative sparks. “I feel itchy fingers,” said Bobby. “I don’t know what it means though.”

“What kind of itching is it?” said Naomi.

“It’s on the inside of my skin, like insects wanting to burst out.” Bobby itched and rubbed his fingers. “I wish I could scrub it from within.”

“Why don’t you just keep drawing till it goes away?” said Naomi. “That’s what I do. When my feet itch I dance, when my ears itch I play music, and when my tummy rumbles I eat.”

Bobby picked some of her fat coloured pencils and got busy. He filled the pages of his hardback notebook with flowing music, dancing, painting, drama, film storyboards and sculptures, all merging together and pulling apart. The galleries, theatres, and concerts halls of their new city were busy, and most performances were sold out, but Naomi always comp’d tickets for herself and Uncle Bobby.

This place had a fierce creativity. The Authority recognized artistic hotspots as “growth points” and used them to fuel local economic activity. As people became more productive and creative, they began to seek answers to questions they had never asked. They debated metaphysics and moral philosophy, studied logic, explored aesthetics, and sought guidance from spiritual teachers, the most prominent of whom were Guru Baba and Ozwald Malchizedek (OM).

Guru Baba was a traditionalist who urged them to focus on meditation and prayer, and slowly develop their souls. He said, “One day you will reach yourselves.”

OM was a modern master pursuing a sensualist approach, who said the natural way was for humans to follow the Principle of Pleasure (POP). He instructed them to see, smell, taste, hear, and touch whatever gave them immediate joy. “Enjoy every day,” he said, “and tomorrow will take care of itself.”

OM’s teachings inspired a popular street art movement. Huge, red-lipped flowers filled civic buildings, golden rockets blasted off office blocks, blue sweating monkeys swung about poles, and black babies floated along factory walls. There were pickled whales in swimming pools, and corpses having sex suspended from street signs. Someone made a life size OM out of garbage. It was a deep comment on the cyclic nature of existence.

This Muse Infuse movement said that there should be unfettered art everywhere. There were occasional disputes about the quality and quantity of works, and who’d created them, but these were quickly resolved by Lookout Lucerne members. They meted out harsh punishments – a white man accused of tagging a black man’s work had his hands cut off. Similarly a black man drawing a white woman was castrated. The Authority agreed that multi-cultural harmony must be preserved at all costs. Soon art was seen as too dangerous to be left to the public. One of OM’s followers, known as Strong Man, rebelled and formed a splinter movement which took control of the streets and banned art entirely. Lookout Lucerne units were instructed to perform Art Attacks.

“What do we do now, Uncle Bobby?”

He said, “I guess we’d better stop drawing.”

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One Response to “Art Attacks”

  1. I guess the artists had better stop drawing too. Their necrophilic efforts rather spoil the piece.

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