I love these creepy cakes! Just in time for #Halloween
Scott Hove - My Own Private Apocalypse (2012)
From an interview with the artist:
What inspired you to take cakes and turn them vicious?
When I was a kid, there was a store on Union Street in San Francisco that sold large-scale fake food. I couldn’t believe it, the absurdity and undeniable attraction these objects possessed. In about 2005 I tried my hand at making fake cakes, and they instantly shared that weird attractive quality that I saw on Union st. But they were just fake food. I thrust a jawset into one of my favorite cakes during a frustrated rage- and the first actual sculpture was born.
What source material (if there is any) do you use when designing the jaws and mouths?
For source material I depend on the experts-the taxidermists that have been making realistic snarls for decades. The taxidermy catalogue is among the most commonly poured-over literature around my shop. Some cakes demand a particular form of menace, say a knifelike baboon scream with tongue and throat. Well, there are folks in the world doing casts of the real thing, and you can’t beat that.
How has your art changed from when you first began?
My art has changed in many ways throughout my life, but the motivating factor always stays the same. I have a drive to create a transcendental experience for myself by making material something that I want to see and touch that should exist and doesn’t. And in the end I feel like I have done a service to myself and to others. Unless of course the piece sucks, then it gets cast unceremoniously into the dumpster. I usually bat about 85%.
What’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced during your career as an artist? How have you benefited from it?
The most difficult challenge continues to be survival during the lean times. I don’t have any outside support and have to fund most of my own projects with a pretty wide and weird array of job skills. I have worked as a ship chandler, delivering goods to the ports around the SF bay. I can drive a forklift, do deliveries in a big truck, haggle with foreign ship captains. I have worked on tugboats as a deckhand, nearly losing limbs on many occasions. I sometimes work as a traditional ship rigger, and can splice just about any kind of rope or wire. I’m a blacksmith and metal fab guy when I need to be. I’m also very adept at trimming pot, there is usually a lot of work to be found there. The benefit of all of this is that I can have faith in myself to be adaptable, and know what I am capable of outside the the oftentimes limiting self-identity of Scott the Artist.
"The Achievement gap" and "college readiness" are terms thrown around educational dogma, but what really happens for most kids? Most slip through the cracks. Most lack the support and direction to move them toward a meaningful and sustainable professional path. This essay is telling.
I am sitting in a comfortable gold folding chair inside one of the many ballrooms at the Georgia International Convention Center. The atmosphere is festive, with a three-course dinner being served and children playing a big-band number. The kids are students at a KIPP academy in Atlanta, and they are serenading future teachers on the first night of a four-day-long series of workshops that will introduce us to the complicated language, rituals, and doctrines we will need to adopt as Teach for America “Corps Members.”
The phrase closing the achievement gap is the cornerstone of TFA’s general philosophy, public-relations messaging, and training sessions. As a member of the 2011 corps, I was told immediately and often that 1) the achievement gap is a pervasive example of inequality in America, and 2) it is our personal responsibility to close the achievement gap within our classrooms, which are microcosms of America’s educational inequality.
These are laudable goals. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, white fourth-graders performed better than their black peers on 2007 standardized mathematics exams in all 46 states where results were available. In 2004, there was a 23-point gap in mathematics scale scores between white and black 9-year-olds, with the gap growing to 26 points for 13-year-olds.
But between these two messages lies the unspoken logic that current, non-TFA teachers and schools are failing at the task of closing the achievement gap, through some combination of apathy or incompetence. Although TFA seminars and presentations never explicitly accuse educators of either, the implication is strong within the program’s very structure: recruit high-achieving college students, train them over the summer, and send them into America’s lowest-performing schools to make things right. The subtext is clear: Only you can fix what others have screwed up. It was an implication I noticed when an e-mail I received during Institute, the five-week training program, referring to “a system of students who have simply not been taught.” The e-mail explained, “That’s really what the achievement gap is—for all of the external factors that may or may not add challenges to our students’ lives—mostly it is that they really and truly have not been taught and are therefore years behind where they need to be.”
I later asked a TFA spokesperson if this e-mail reflects the organization’s official views on traditionally trained teachers. He denied that TFA believes “the shortcomings of public education” to be “the fault of teachers. If anything,” he added, “teachers are victims of more-structural problems: inequitable funding; inadequate systems of training and supporting teachers; the absence of strong school and district leadership.” Nonetheless, at the time, the dramatic indictment of America’s non-TFA teachers would stay with me as I headed into the scandal-ridden Atlanta Public Schools system.
In the weeks between accepting the offer to join TFA and the start of our training, I was told by e-mail that “as a 2011 corps member and leader, you have a deep personal and collective responsibility to ground everything you do in your belief that the educational inequality that persists along socioeconomic and racial lines is both our nation’s most fundamental injustice and a solvable problem. This mindset,” I was reminded, “is at the core of our Teach For America—Metro Atlanta Community.”
Read more. [Image: Teach for America Delta Institute, Julia Sweeney, HO/AP Photo]
Remember when MTV used play music videos? Before Reality TV…before autotunes…back when artists could actually sing and play instruments. If you do, you’re probably an 80s kid like me. …