Artist Nick Black had an awesome kinetic sculpture up at Happy Dog gallery here in Chicago. It’s a giant floating bulbous faced alien with a raygun peeing pink pee into a giant vat. The pee is constantly recycled, so there is never an end to the urinating.

Katie Fizdale took some pictures and kindly shared them with me.


And click here to see the recycling urine in action.

I think this piece fits in nicely with our recent discussion of modernism and post-modernism and comics and fine art. It’s using underground comics references pretty obviously, I think (the alien could be a Johnny Ryan drawing.) At the same time, it’s turning a mechanistic system which might well be modernist and turning it into a representation of itself; parodic/pastiche divorced from utilitarian function and turned into a sign of itself as pornographic pulp. There’s still the nostalgia from the comics, maybe, but the 3-D giant action figureness of it kind of deliberately cheapens the nostalgia…or inflates it, depending on your viewpoint. (The piece was priced, very much tongue in cheek, at over $5 million.)

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