Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Cutting Images Into Flesh
July 30, 2007 10:35 PM   Subscribe

We've discussed scarification previously, but as it's been a couple years, and you can never have too much modern primitivism, here's a new collection of the cutting edge in inkless tattoos, courtesy of the folks at BME. Warning: not for the squeamish.
posted by jonson (51 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not to be missed: the time lapse video at the bottom of the link showing the elaborate elephant & tree carving.
posted by jonson at 10:38 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Dali one is pretty damn amazing.
posted by griphus at 10:38 PM on July 30, 2007


Settled on the finite when they could've had everything.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:39 PM on July 30, 2007


I'd really be tempted to do this if it wasn't for my wife who finds it absolutely revolting and would be disgusted to see it on my skin.

Of course, like many people, I'd place it somewhere easily hidden.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:41 PM on July 30, 2007


Wow. Gorgeous. And demonstrating a far greater commitment to bodily self-expression than I seem to possess.
posted by donovan at 10:47 PM on July 30, 2007


I find most of these quite beautiful. I'm tempted to posit that there's a positive correlation between how much one "pays" (pain) and the quality of what one gets (an artwork on one's body.) E.g., there are so many crappy tattoos because they don't hurt very much.
posted by treepour at 11:02 PM on July 30, 2007


Wha, no Bartman carvings?
posted by bardic at 11:04 PM on July 30, 2007


Pretty, and artful. I've got an ear piercing, but fat guys like me shouldn't get tattoos. Don't want that "shrinky-dink" effect.

I thought I was desensitized from thirteen years of being on the Internet, then I go to the "closeup" picture showing them cutting and peeling back skin. I shuddered.
posted by mrbill at 11:08 PM on July 30, 2007


Wow, those are beautiful when raw. I was especially impressed by the first one, the tribal design running down the guy's face. I wonder how they look once they've healed.
posted by lekvar at 11:14 PM on July 30, 2007


The big-wheel bike one is quite nice! I had no idea that such precise work could be done with a knife on skin.

It certainly looks better on someone else though. This is the sort of thing I could probably do as I have a high pain threshold, but as mrbill has alluded to I'd fear a considerable shift in the shape and content of the image over time...
posted by clevershark at 11:25 PM on July 30, 2007


Wow, those are beautiful when raw.

Yeah, I was struck by how much more attractive they are than tats. I couldn't bring myself to look at 'cutting for a cunt' though, in which somebody takes a scalpel to their pubic area.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:27 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm officially old:

I instantly pictured my (not yet, but eventually) teenaged kids coming home with one of these, and for the first time I could relate to how my mom felt when I came home with a shaved head/pierced nose/tattoed arm/etc.
posted by serazin at 11:27 PM on July 30, 2007


Warning: not for the squeamish
posted by growabrain at 11:40 PM on July 30, 2007


Pathetic.
posted by mert at 11:42 PM on July 30, 2007


Warning: not for the squeamish.
posted by item at 11:55 PM on July 30, 2007


why did i look at this? now ive gone and ripped my corneas out...
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:01 AM on July 31, 2007


Godam't, BME... so help me if some monkey ass drops in a link to some 'customized' spooj squirting pit where our beloved Lord Jesus once outfitted a dong... followed by some hollow, cunting lecture about sharing in and respecting the "sexuality" (?!) of others. Then glider can do his cameo and regale us all with lessons on the moral superiority of the Confederate South and how his 10 Mexican sports cars endow him with a near super human worth. The dog farts, grandma dies on the toilet, six MeTa threads with 400 comments each, and then we return to the womb and sleep. BME thread has put the universe into equilibrium again.
posted by dgaicun at 12:46 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can someone translate what dgaicun just wrote? Honestly. I'm not sure if he's in favour or against the post.

Will look at the actual content once I get home.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:14 AM on July 31, 2007


Here you go, squeamish folk.
posted by po at 2:39 AM on July 31, 2007


dear lord, it's incredible what we've gotten used to in the past few years. 20 years ago, people with tattoos were to be avoided, now i have friends with full sleeves and i don't even blink. who knows what will be the norm 50 years from now...
posted by garethspor at 3:12 AM on July 31, 2007


It's because we have an indulgent Me culture. Meanwhile kids die in Iraq
posted by A189Nut at 3:16 AM on July 31, 2007


Rather more beautiful than i expected (proper bodmod, on the other hand, is just freakish). Still, I wonder what I'll think when my kids come home with one...
posted by progosk at 3:49 AM on July 31, 2007


Speaking as someone who has scarification running the full length of my arm (utterly pathetic and breathtakingly self-indulgent of me, of course - in fact, I deliberately passed an Iraqi kid with a splinter in his finger on the street and didn't stop to help because I was too eager to get to my appointment to cut myself up) there is definitely a correlation between how much pain you can stand and the quality of work you'll end up with. But there are other factors too - mostly there are so many crappy tattoos out there because people are simply ignorant, cheap and unimaginative.
posted by Acarpous at 3:56 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can someone translate what dgaicun just wrote?

I'm pretty sure it was a characterization of how bodymodification posts tend to go on Metafilter. I dunno if it was snark or not either, but it was definitely how I remember them.

I didn't know about the 10 Mexican sports cars though. WTF is a Mexican sports car? It doesn't sound like anything to brag about.

Unless it's the Mark 1 Ford Escort Mexico. I'd brag if I owned ten of those.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:11 AM on July 31, 2007


... and you can never have too much modern primitivism...

Yes, you can.

If you like it, bully for you. And free expression that doesn't hurt anybody (else) can be a fine thing. But the great likelihood is that people who do this have some fairly significant issues to work out, and (auto-)surgically modifying your body a) isn't usually an effective means and b) is probably counter-productive in most cases.

So I'll just realize part of dgaicun's premonition by saying that I think boosterism for modern primitivism is really not such a great thing, IMHO. In the greater scheme of things, at least as far as I can see, a reversion to primitive emotionally-driven psychological problem solving is not something we really need more of in this world.
posted by lodurr at 4:11 AM on July 31, 2007


I dunno if it was snark or not either...

I thought it was kind of inspired, whatever it was. Reminded me a little of old Dick Lupoff.
posted by lodurr at 4:12 AM on July 31, 2007


From personal experience with scarring, I do have to wonder how good those carvings, particularly the really finely cut ones (e.g., the bike wheel) are going to look in six or seven months. Scarring isn't a very precise process and it seems pretty normal for the regrown flesh to exceed the boundaries of the cut, sometimes substantially. I wonder how many of these pieces end up looking like they were intended to.....
posted by bluenausea at 4:49 AM on July 31, 2007


I didn't know about the 10 Mexican sports cars though. WTF is a Mexican sports car? It doesn't sound like anything to brag about.

glider (the proprietor of BME) is a member here and a Confederate Apologist. You must read that whole thread if you haven't seen it because he's so wonderfully insane.

The "Mexican sports cars" thing is because if glider shows up, he invariably talks about his house in Mexico or his sports cars to remind you that people who voluntarily get sliced up like a bundt cake are not crazy. (no, I didn't leave anything out. I'm scratching my head, too.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:52 AM on July 31, 2007


Bluenausea - the majority of them end up looking exactly as intended. Mine, while not being as intricate as some of those in the link, came out just as it was meant to three years on. Levels of scarring can to a certain extent be determined by the aftercare - if you want thick, heavy keloiding then you should irritate it as much as possible during the healing, if not, leave it alone.
posted by Acarpous at 5:06 AM on July 31, 2007


Hoo, boy. I'd forgotten how enthusiastic glider got about Teh Real Causes Of Teh Civil War. A bunch of us took his arguments way more seriously (and I include myself) for far longer than we should have, in retrospect. We didn't realize that it was a matter of religion, not a debate on the rational interpretation of facts.

... And just to be clear, slavery apologism isn't one of the "issues" I was thinking about.
posted by lodurr at 5:08 AM on July 31, 2007


the majority of them end up looking exactly as intended.

I imagine that depends on who does them. I carved my initials and colored them with sterilized pencil lead. Did not come out at all as I intended. Mostly gone, now, 23 years on.
posted by lodurr at 5:10 AM on July 31, 2007


You're not wrong there. I was assuming talented, experienced scarification artist of course, though perversely that compass that Daniel Smithson embedded rather enthusiastically in my forehead during Maths when I was nine left a scar of unparalleled and somewhat annoying perfection.
posted by Acarpous at 5:16 AM on July 31, 2007


O...K.... you know, if you feel like explaining the whole compass-forehead thing, I for one won't regard it as a derail. Right now, I'm having a really hard time picturing it.
posted by lodurr at 5:22 AM on July 31, 2007


... especially when math class is involved.
posted by lodurr at 5:22 AM on July 31, 2007


Why would any body get a body cutting of an old fashioned bike? The state of mind someone would have to be in to do that totally baffles me.
posted by afu at 5:32 AM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lodurr, I think Acarpous means a compass. More likely to be embedded (ouch, btw) in a forehead.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:06 AM on July 31, 2007


Acarpous, I think I just must be one of those unlucky people who gets large, thicky, rubbery, cancerous-looking scars even with conscientious aftercare.
posted by bluenausea at 7:36 AM on July 31, 2007


Ow. Ow. Ow. Oh, ouch. Ow. Ow.

I think they look pretty amazing, actually. The process of getting one, though...
posted by jokeefe at 7:56 AM on July 31, 2007


Photobucket, Slimepuppy. Photobucket.
posted by katillathehun at 9:59 AM on July 31, 2007


Why would any body get a body cutting of an old fashioned bike?

Weird, that's by far my favorite. Its unexpected and whimsical as opposed to all the typical angsty tribal crap.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:58 AM on July 31, 2007


Mayor Curley:
"glider (the proprietor of BME) is a member here and a Confederate Apologist. You must read that whole thread if you haven't seen it because he's so wonderfully insane.

The "Mexican sports cars" thing is because if glider shows up, he invariably talks about his house in Mexico or his sports cars to remind you that people who voluntarily get sliced up like a bundt cake are not crazy. (no, I didn't leave anything out. I'm scratching my head, too.)
"

Shannon (aka glider)is getting some sort of giant bone tumor removed from his knee tomorrow, so I think he might be too busy to grace us with his presence. And while its true that some of his political ideas are really really nutty, I still find myself agreeing with his core beliefs about body mods: if you want to do it, you should be able to, and it doesn't mean you're crazy if that entails hanging from hooks or getting intricate designs cut into your arm. In fact, that can act as a release and help to keep people sane in their normal interactions.

and for the record, he lives in Toronto now, so he'll probably talk about his Canadian sports cars (seriously though, a camo porshe? who can't like that) instead of Mexican sports cars.
posted by grandsham at 11:38 AM on July 31, 2007


Why would any body get a body cutting of an old fashioned bike?

Why would anyone get a Tasmanian Devil tattoo?

I've seen old-fashioned bike enthusiasts. They're not much different than you or me (or any of these scarification folks).
posted by mrgrimm at 1:07 PM on July 31, 2007


if you want to do it, you should be able to, and it doesn't mean you're crazy if that entails hanging from hooks or getting intricate designs cut into your arm.

Oh, you should definitely be able to. And it doesn't necessarily mean you're crazy. You might just be epic-level pretentious.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:39 PM on July 31, 2007


slimepuppy, your link was broken, but I was kind of thinking that no matter what definition of 'compass' I used, it didn't sound pretty. Add in 'forehead' and 'maths', and as painful as it sounds, there's still a story in progress....
posted by lodurr at 1:47 PM on July 31, 2007


I used to know someone who had an utter terror of old fashioned bikes (the ones with the enormous front wheel). True story -- it was kind of like Casey Pollard's "allergy" to the Michelin Man in Pattern Recognition.

Personally I've always thought there was something really powerful about the image of one of those old-fashioned bikes. But then, I was a big Prisoner fan as a young child (even though I hadn't a clue what was going on).
posted by lodurr at 1:49 PM on July 31, 2007


I have a strike brand on my back. Its a couple of byzantine lilies. The process took about three and half hours. That would be three and half hours laying very still while someone makes fourth inch strikes. It turned out lovely a for years after it was finished people would complement my "white" tattoo.

I am very fair and I scar flat and white, so its kind of hard to see now after 6ish years. I might have it redone someday, but the place that did it, now only does electrocautery, and that scares me a little. It goes faster, but it hurts worse.
posted by stormygrey at 2:33 PM on July 31, 2007


One of the photo captions mentions removing old scarification art by planing off the skin in the area surrounding the scar. The post expresses optimism about the newly leveled area "fading away" (my analogy, not theirs) into normal-looking skin. I hope this happens too, but while the folks at the burn center where I enjoyed much the same treatment (skin graft donor site) say the red coloring fades in time (I'm white), they do say it remains noticeable. I don't know if old scarification art is particularly easy to erase, at least not in this way.
posted by tss at 6:43 PM on July 31, 2007


AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
MAKE ME UNSEE THIS!
posted by Pastabagel at 7:01 PM on July 31, 2007


DO NOT WANT
posted by Ynoxas at 7:44 PM on July 31, 2007


tss: I think it depends. I have a number of (surgical) started off in various states: small dots and crosses from pins, long (6-8 inch) lines from incisions, and even one or two "area" scars, albeit small ones. Some of them started out all puckered in and red, some of them popped out and were gray. Oddly enough, while all of them faded quite a bit, it's the more prominent ones that tended to disappear. (This is over the course of several years in some cases.)

I have no idea whether this is normal, or if it's just coincidence.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:17 PM on July 31, 2007


Dammit. "a number of (surgical) scars that started".
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:18 PM on July 31, 2007


« Older What happens when you put marshmallows, footballs,...  |  Nanoreisen.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments