visual poetry out of dirty secrets
October 26, 2003 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Mark Lombardi created art out of the stuff of conspiracy theories. Following the money trails, he was just completely fascinated by connections, how one thing led to another, how the C.I.A. would back a coup in Australia, someone would be murdered in Turkey and things would happen in Indonesia." Some of his work here and here, and more about his work here. His drawings satisfy because they address a human need for coherent order drawn from chaos. Such a need, however, is bound to be frustrated. Instead of blueprinting perfection, the works' aura of mastery arises in the context of a sprawling dystopia.
posted by amberglow (13 comments total)
If anyone wants to try something like this themselves but don't have the patience to do all the drawing and planning I suggest you use GraphViz.
posted by PenDevil at 7:50 AM on October 26, 2003

A little more about him, and his work here, and more about an upcoming retrospective at the Drawing Center here in NY.

and graphviz looks good...thanks, pendevil.
posted by amberglow at 7:51 AM on October 26, 2003

Cool... reminds me of They Rule.
posted by tss at 8:24 AM on October 26, 2003

more conspiracy art
posted by clavdivs at 8:40 AM on October 26, 2003

This guy did a famous drawing about the BCCI scandal that was similar to these, right? I think that's why his stuff looks familiar.
posted by Spacelegoman at 9:02 AM on October 26, 2003

Yup, Space--There was a big show here in 2000, Greater New York, that featured the BCCI drawing (which is enormous) and got him lots of attention all over.

Clav, repost that link--it doesn't work (it's a conspiracy)
posted by amberglow at 9:17 AM on October 26, 2003

I wish I could belive in conspiracies, it would help justify a lot of crap that goes on in the world. But I've worked with governments and large organizations, and I've found in my limited experience, that people are generally stupid and incapable of pulling off anything as larger than an office surprise party.

In order to believe in conspiracies, you really need to have a LOT of faith in peoples abilities. The problem with any large conspiracy is that it depends on every single person involved to keep the conspiracy a secret. Everyone. That includes the 35 year office worker who can't stand their manager and who's job it was to call the Dallas police to clean up the mess left by the aliens.
"Call the Police? I still haven't got my extra vacation days and my wrists are still sore from typing all day, Marge in accounting got HER wrist supports, is it lunch time yet?"

See what I mean? George Carlin said it best, think of how stupid the average person is, then realize half of them are stupider than that! Conspiracies feed the believe that somewhere, someone either good or evil is in charge, when the truth is sadly there is no one at the helm.
posted by CrazyJub at 9:20 AM on October 26, 2003

No, dammit, half of all people are stupider than the MEDIAN person.

/me chews scenery, flings stats book
posted by cortex at 10:39 AM on October 26, 2003 [1 favorite]

...flings stats book

*gingerly picks up stats book, brushes off, notes that in a normal distribution median and average are the same*
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:16 AM on October 26, 2003

Conspiracies feed the believe that somewhere, someone either good or evil is in charge, when the truth is sadly there is no one at the helm.

this is by design, to conspire is to have the truth of an action to be taken as something other then it is. The whole idea is to have no one at the helm hence no one to blame or the wrong party to blame.

AG, the pict? to my left is an ink drawing entitled "Backyard Decoupage" firmly adorning a wall at Paxtonland Labs. (the pamphlet on left of picture is a 1953 bus schedule to Cleveland)
posted by clavdivs at 3:46 PM on October 26, 2003

is that the conspiracy art, clav? cool! (so who went to cleveland in 53, or was supposed to?)
posted by amberglow at 5:05 PM on October 26, 2003

that was a contribution by the owner of Paxtonlabs, the meaning is still a mystery to this day.
posted by clavdivs at 5:37 PM on October 26, 2003

Morning Edition just aired a piece about Lombardi and the Global Networks exhibition which openings at the drawing center in new york today, as amberglow mentions above.
posted by anathema at 6:20 AM on November 1, 2003

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