“The portrait took nearly 138 hours to complete, and at a rate of 4.25 dots per second, he estimates the piece contains roughly 2.1 million of them”
In 2004 an unconscious man was discovered behind a fast food restaurant in Richmond Hill, Georgia. He had no belongings, severe sunburn, and was nearly blind from cataracts. The man also had absolutely no idea who he was. After months of ongoing evaluation from doctors and psychologists it was determined he was suffering from dissociative amnesia. He adopted the pseudonym Benjaman Kyle and has embarked on a search for his true identity sparking massive amounts of media coverage and even a short film, Finding Benjaman, by John Wikstrom. He is the only citizen in the United States officially listed as missing despite his whereabouts being known. One strange aspect of this predicament is that Kyle now lives completely in limbo: for the past 8 years he has been denied the ability to obtain a new social security number which in turn prevents him from opening a bank account or having a credit card. The government argues that he already has one, but despite the efforts of fingerprint matching, DNA tests, and exposure on television, he simply cannot determine his true identity.
After catching a screening of Finding Benjaman at the Tribeca Film Festival artist Miguel Endara (previously) was inspired to help in any way he could, which meant making art. Endara embarked on this portrait of Benjaman using stippling, a tedious technique which involves a pen, patience, and an obscene amount of dots. The portrait took nearly 138 hours to complete, and at a rate of 4.25 dots per second, he estimates the piece contains roughly 2.1 million of them. The hope is to spread awareness for Bengaman’s plight and to help raise money through the sale of prints to support a petition to get him a new social security number.
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Canadian Road Rage
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THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA IS IN ITALY
I don’t know why, but my car seems to make a screaming noise whenever I run over people.
|—||Tommaso Ferraris (via nyc-taxi)|
Marina Abramović, Rhythm 0, 1974
“This piece was primarily a trust exercise, in which she told viewers she would not move for six hours no matter what they did to her. She placed 72 objects one could use in pleasing or destructive ways, ranging from flowers and a feather boa to a knife and a loaded pistol, on a table near her and invited the viewers to use them on her however they wanted.
Initially, Abramović said, viewers were peaceful and timid, but it escalated to violence quickly. “The experience I learned was that … if you leave decision to the public, you can be killed… I felt really violated: they cut my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation.”
This piece revealed something terrible about humanity, similar to what Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment or Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiment, both of which also proved how readily people will harm one another under unusual circumstances.”
This performance showed just how easy it is to dehumanize a person who doesn’t fight back, and is particularly powerful because it defies what we think we know about ourselves. I’m certain the no one reading this believes the people around him/her capable of doing such things to another human being, but this performance proves otherwise.”