Boos 11-20 Interpretation

BOOS INTERPRETATION 08

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If collage 10 brings us fully into a Tungaske collage environment and establishes an aesthetic foundation for all to come, then collage 11 provides us roots. We are at a particular house that I will not identify except to say that it is the home of a prominent town artist who I seem to be able to identify with more than any of the others. That’s because we’re both artists of *junk*. A key link is the presence of a large spool table on the property, much like I built my Bigfoot junk/toy environment around a (smaller) spool table in part. You can clearly see the Canadian artist’s table in Google Maps Streetview, and also, surprising me, on a short, very choppy video someone made while driving through the town in 2011.

Collage 11, entitled “Hucka Homebee”, is an animation, like collages 02, 03, and 08 before it. Here’s part 1:

Boos11a Huck Homebee

We have the return of several items seen in former collages. Two reappear from collage 5 (“Simpsons Road Bloch”), or the Oz Wheeler and the triangular formation of Simpsons toys. The Wheeler again stands in the middle of a road and at the bottom of the picture. The Simpsons figurines again stand to its right, but in a yard now and not a road. The golf iron from collage 07 (“When Wheels Went Round”) is seen to the Wheeler’s left. Like with that collage, the head of the iron touches a *spool table*. The same Wheeler is found in collage 07, but on top of such a table and not in front of it.

In part 2 of the animation, the Simpsons figurines are replaced by a doll version of resident blog spirit Hucka D., referred to in the title of the piece. Specifically, the doll is superimposed directly atop Homer Simpson in the animation. This symbolizes the home aspect and the rooting act. *I* come to roost in Tungaske, borrowing a resonant artist’s humble dwelling spot. Hucka D. shows the way, becoming “Hucka Homebee” in the process. It’s possible an unconscious nod to a baseball home base occurs here with the positioning of Homer in the corner of the yard. Notice also the parked car to the right, which may resonate with the Boss, MO parked/junked car of collage 01 and 02.

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And, yes, I’m aware that Hucka D. has not made himself known in my new round of collage interpretations. I gave him an opening earlier to interpret this particular collage of the series, along with others, but he left it alone. My instinct is to keep moving forward without him for now, until I get myself in a pickle.

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We see the return of the yin/yang or tajitu sphere in collage 12. The artist whose house is featured in the previous collage is one of those pushing or holding up the ball. This is *her* creation, at least in part. Per the title (“Trapped Wheeler”), a Wheeler is encased within the black half of the sphere, but the image is now that of William A. Wheeler, vice president to Rutherford B. Hayes from 1877-1881. However, we’ve also seen this particular Wheeler in the first half of a May 2015 Stonethrow animation I called “Beware The Heelers”. There the association with an Oz Wheeler is first made: the lower half of the stairs version of the vice president is replaced by the wheeled lower part of the Oz creature. Then in the right side version, a different slant on this amalgamation takes place as his hands are instead replaced by shoes.

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“Beware (The) Heelers 01”

These same shoes also reappear in the present collage, seen attached to the people on its left hand side. This again stands for the audiovisual synchronicity “Head Trip” we’ve mentioned before in connection with collage 07, “Head Brains”.

https://bakerbloch.com/2015/11/25/boos-interpretation-05/

A spool table appears in that earlier work as well. Perhaps a cursory description of the synchronicity from my August interview by Karl Tune is in order here.

I thought “Head Trip” to be an important work moving forward and I sent out some tapes to people. We were still on the edge of VHS tape days. I was very pleased that about all of them “got it”. At its base, “Head Trip” is a continuous toggling back and forth between 2 movies which are dubbed by 3 audio sources. It involves 47 tiles if you include plain dialog segments, compared to 32 for “Billfork” and 26 for “SID’s 1st Oz”. I mention these numbers for another particular reason.

You have to keep in mind “ST/TD” was a very small forum. Others began mentioning “Head Trip” and I chipped in with my own theories about it. Some tension manifested from the theories. Whytless Physh left the scene, saying he had accomplished all he wanted to do here with “Jesus Who?” Last I heard, I believe he spoke about refocusing his energies on becoming a lawyer. Dave had wrapped up his run of Rush centered synchs. Stegokitty had moved on to different interests. Virotti became frustrated that we were talking about other things besides file sharing. The wheels were falling off, like I said. And not just for this forum, but for the progressing forward of audiovisual synching in a group fashion.

What I’m going to take away from this is the link of the phrase “wheels falling off” here with the “trapped wheeler” aspect. In terms of group energy, “Head Trip” was a dead end. The Wheeler inside the ball is *me*, unable to go further in a particular direction. In another way, it is the interviewer Karl and the limitations of what we spoke about. I purposely concocted our interviews so that they would be of about equal length — another tajitu situation. And each interview itself is divided into 2 equal parts. The gap Karl had in his experiences with audiovisual synching groups acts as the seed for my own interview. And visa versa — I didn’t know a lot of the story behind Shared Fantasia II, for example. Wikipedia defines the yin-yang symbol as, “a circle divided by an S-shaped line into a dark and a light segment, representing respectively yin and yang, each containing a ‘seed’ of the other.”

The Tungaske woman artist whose house we see in collage 11 is the one who most holds the Wheeler figure here “in place,” her arms pushing against his shoulder. The metal sphere the yin-yang ball replaces in the collage might itself be a kind of failure or dead end as a sculpture. Unlike other pieces in the same location (seen in other photos from the particular art event), we do not see it subsequently exhibited in a Tungaske location. Sometimes spheres are difficult to hold together in the long run. You need some help, perhaps divine provenance.

(to be continued)

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BOOS INTERPRETATION 09

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A sphere is also found in the next collage of the Boos series, another 2 part animation. I call it “The Boos Brothers”. Mars is the ball in question now, looming impossibly large in a lakeside setting. Two round creatures baring sharp teeth fly in front of it in part 1, who I know to be the Boos brothers of the title. Perhaps they also stand for Mars’ two moons Phobos and Deimos. They head toward a rust colored silhouette of a woman perched on the bank of the lake. This is actually another statue created for the same Tungaske art event that produced the sphere covered in collage 12 before this. The word RUST appears on the sandy incline below it. A spaceman walks in the lake carrying a large box. Peter from The Fringe swims directly in front of him (or her). He looks toward the rusty woman, seemingly in alarm. His head is framed by the spaceman’s box.

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In part 2 of 2, the Boos Brothers have almost moved off-camera to the right. The rusty female torso is nowhere to be seen; have the brothers *eaten* her? The spaceman has moved in front of Peter. His box has shrunk, and he can carry it with one arm. The other arm, now free, reaches toward a tiny cave in the lake bank. We cannot see the hand of the arm. Has it also been “eaten” or somehow lopped off? Or is it just queerly hidden in the shadow?

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So what is the meaning of all this? Mars, I believe, is a direct extension of the yin-yang ball seen in the previous collage, and refers to the question, “what’s black and white and red all over?” The traditional answer to this koan is a newspaper or, sometimes, an embarrassed skunk or a zebra with a rash. Here it could be the red planet Mars. A 31 kilometer Martian crater has been named for the town of Tungaske, but noone seems to know the reason why. The boos creatures are perhaps confused about their place of origin. Is it the Martian crater or the town that the crater is named for? At any rate, we know from the next collage that they and their numerous brethren in both black and white forms are headed toward Tungaske en masse.

The boos creatures are introduced here because it was at this general point I decided to name the still evolving collage series that name, after a village in Jasper County, Illinois. I explain some of this in the Boos Overview 01 post. I googled “boos” images and all these round eyed toys came popping up. The two I used in the collage are apparently Mario ghost boos, a malevolent strain.

And I should also put forth the idea here that the map duad Jasper-Newton itself is a yin-yang symbol. In Illinois, the county seat Newton is submerged inside the county of Jasper, as if a seed. In Arkansas the situation is reversed. This duad also represents the two sides of our US of A, or north (Illinois) and south (Arkansas). They also stand for conscious and unconscious states of being, a bigger tableau. If Mars is both, then we are truly dealing with powers of a high intensity indeed.

http://www.insistpost.com/cycle-of-karma-and-reincarnation/

Interesting-facts-about-Hinduism-Karma

Interesting reading about “hungry ghosts” here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungry_ghost

It is believed that the soul contains elements of both yin and yang. The yin is the kui, or demon part, and the yang is the shen, or spirit part. When death occurs, the kui should return to earth, and the shen to the grave or family shrine. If a ghost is neglected, it will become a kui. The shen, or ancestral spirit watches over its descendants, and can bring good fortune if properly worshipped.

(to be continued)

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BOOS INTERPRETATION 10

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“Boos Attach”, the 14th collage of the Boos series, sort of summarizes some trends we’ve seen building up. We are now in the heart of little Tungaske village, with creatures called boos in both positive and negative aspect swarming on the western horizon. Buildings have been numbered, perhaps for conquest purposes. Is an attack really eminent per the collage’s title?

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The yin-yang ball from collage 12 is being rolled into the center of town. Near it is giant sized Fitz from “12 Oz Mouse” with a meteor for a head. We’ve discussed the Tungaska slant for the collage series in Boos Overview 03 a bit. The meteor has landed. Between the similarly sized meteor and ball (are they suppose to represent the same thing?) is the head of yet another golf iron — we have 2 in the present collage, this one on the right side and then another to the left. Each is apparently wielded by a boos creature seen in the foreground, one negative/black and one positive/white. But the white one’s head is covered up by a spool table, another frequently repeating object in the series. This is obvious reference to Bigfoot again and its spool table, which has been called Brain Head, a yang element. The head of a golf iron does not touch the side of the spool table here, as it does in collage 08 and 11, but since the white boo holds the iron and his head has become the spool table, there’s still a direct relationship inferred, perhaps a more pictorially advanced one.

The black boo holds the golf iron whose head lies between the yin-yang sphere and Fitz-with-meteor-head. I think we have to associate those two spheres with each other. And then there are 2 more boos-as-spheres on the spool table, menacingly surrounding a Mario Brothers character with the table’s central hole showing between his legs. A “3” appears above his head. The grey boo on his left appears to be attacking him, while the one to the right merely closes his or her eyes, unable to watch. These might be the same as the “boos brothers” from the previous collage (“The Boos Brothers”), but, if so, their color is somewhat different, and they’ve sprouted wings in the meantime.

Let’s return to the matching spheres on the right. Are the Tungaske artists rolling the yin-yang ball — still with “Trapped Wheeler” inside — toward Fitz to replace the meteor on his head? Does Fitz need a new head since his old one has been pulverized? The head of the iron between the two begs us to think about this. This is about Bigfoot. This is about Tungaske. But chaos rules all around, and nothing really makes much sense, despite some obvious associations and links that can be made. Let us leave it for now as a depiction of an attack, with some form of damage control in effect.

The next collage, “The Unloading of Bigfoot”, may give us some additional clues about what is going on.

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We are now on the other side of town from the downtown region depicted in “Boos Attach”. A giant shoe has touched down in a vacant meadow. It seems to be unloading red houses — some appear on the ground before it and some are still on the grassy landscape of the shoe. A giant mossman may be in charge of the unloading, aided by a blue octopus who resides in a pool inside the shoe. Another mossman stands on the road looking at the first one. And then the bird sculpture from collage 03 reappears here in the foreground, which I’ve already associated with the circular Bigfoot marble track. A dislodged poster advertising a Tungaske studio tour has fallen on the ground between it and the backwards turning mossman.

Bigfoot and these entities and objects seems to be coming to the rescue for Tungaske. While negative forces attack from the west, a balancing benevolent force appears in the east. Tungaske is most likely saved. We should probably assume that Bigfoot’s spool table is unloaded as the spool table on the property seen in collage 11, which is also on the eastern side of town and only one block down from the setting of collage 15 here. Their shared avenue is named Sask, short for Saskatchewan. Coming up we will visit locations on parallel Tungaske streets called Atlantic and Pacific.

(to be continued)

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BOOS INTERPRETATION 11

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With collages 16 & 17 of the Boos series, we now move into the realm of the true miniatures, which I suppose make their first appearance here in my digital collage series, or at least as far as I can recall. This is by necessity more than design: I seemed to be running out of online Tungaske photos to use as collage bases and “resorted” to several realty company’s low rez pictures from houses for sale in the village. The two places that kept appearing in searches happened to be on Atlantic and Pacific avenues, parallel to Sask Avenue just seen in collage 15, as already stated (the latter street also previously viewed in the foreground of collage 11, “Hucka Homebee”). I liked the way the names indicated an oceanic frame, as for the continental US as a whole — or Canada as a whole as I’m thinking through it again.

I’m not sure how much there is to scrutinize about these mini-collages, 4 in number. But let’s see what happens. Here’s the two from “Atlantic” to begin, which I jointly assigned to collage 16:

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“Atlantic 01”

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“Atlantic 02”

I was also digging back into early collages series for images by this point, and came up with a juxtaposition of “Falling Dorothy 01” and “Mr. Bean with turkey on head” for “Atlantic 01”, and then “Waving Truman” and “Crouching Baker B.” for “Atlantic 02”. The first presents a tableau of imbalance, hosted by a many angled, upstairs room. The colors of the images match those of the room. Is this truly a “Matrix”? Is it a turkey of a house (sorry)? The second begs perhaps a couple more questions. What is Crouching Baker examining to the left with his magnifying glass? Is he checking the wiring, the plumbing? Truman waves howdy, ready to move in at a moment’s notice. As soon as Baker finishes inspecting whatever he’s inspecting (told you there may not be much to examine).

The two mini-collages of “Pacific” are slightly more complex. In “Pacific Won”, we have handless, lego-ish dude seen in past collages attending to a prostrate Mr. Bean with an image of Nauvoo Illinois’ Lake Horton emerging from his back. A little bit more meat to this won one; something we can perhaps gnaw on.

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“Pacific Won”

Lake Horton can be seen as a *terminal* image for the huge Falmouth series in an excised remake of its collage 43, a two part animation entitled “Cover Up”.

“Cover Up 02”

I won’t show the remake because it’s the same combination of images now seen in “Pacific Won” here: Lake Horton emerging from the back of the identical prone image of Mr. Bean. Has Mr. Bean actually drowned in this earlier collage instead of merely drinking water from the tarn? Is this a dark, malevolent spirit departing a dead body? The grey dude who has lost his hands: does this symbolize the inability to grasp physical objects from the afterlife? I believe this is a moment of death, leading from the occluded Mr. Bean in “Atlantic 01”, with senses such as sight and hearing impaired. This is a body on the decline; the headless turkey obscuring the head of a man, also making him headless in turn. You are what you eat, I guess.

And the same handless grey dude appears in the Falmouth collage, more in the foreground now than beside Mr. Bean. But he also lacks a head, or it is covered by an 8 ball. While this dude is without hands, there are *two* other disattached hands in “Cover Up 02” (yes I realize disattached isn’t a word but I still like to use it at times). What are they doing? The larger one in the foreground is covering up two cubic blue objects (Cubic Peanut and Big E). What are they saying to each other, these two cubic beings who may be dual aspects of one entity? Why does it have to be covered up, per the title? Is this also a “living dialog” snuffed out by the fated hand of death?

Let’s just leave it that “Pacific Won” depicts a moment of death where the soul departs the body, but is still trapped, perhaps, in the terrestrial realm like a (hungry?) ghost.

If so, “Pacific Too” may be a resolution of sorts…

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“Pacific Too”

… Lemony World guided by Lisa the Vegetarian to the rescue. She gobbles no meat and thus no turkey. She becomes not the wildly darting, ever mobile *fowl* but remains plant and mineral, rooted in Earth’s fair soil. She does not appear in “Pacific Too” but is inferred by another Simpsons character Martin Prince, another waver who appears very early in the Greenup series from 2004 — in fact, the very first digital collage I made. He is an original being, then, an Adam for my collages. He might have a love interest for Lisa, although in the Simpsons series this is more commonly assigned to brother Bart’s best bud Milhouse, if I recall correctly. And we also have more lemons in this first collage as well, conscious reference to another Simpsons episode “Lemon of Troy” talked about in other places on this blog. And, oh yeah, Martin also has a magnifying glass, like Crouching Baker. He thus shares elements in common with both the characters in “Atlantic 02”.

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“Greenup 01: “Lemon Tree and Niche”

And then the third and last element added to the base photo of “Pacific Too” is The Beatles’ yellow submarine, which also makes several appearances in Greenup. Here in its diagonal form I believe it represents *positive* ascension and correct escape from the Earthly plane. And I forgot to mention that there’s a similar third, collaged-in image from “Atlantic 02”, also found in the Greenup series. I’ll just say here that the miniature burning car dropped from Truman’s waving hand is more in line with malevolent, horizontal/vertical forces, and ones that pin the soul to the ground.

Despite being a miniature, I believe that “Pacific Too” is a considerably better collage than “Finding the Niche”. I’ve learned about putting these things together in the meantime. So there’s that element of growth to throw into the interpretation as well. And growth through contraction is sometimes a way to go.

(to be continued)

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BOOS INTERPRETATION 12

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With collage 18, “Wrong Way Whales”, we move from the miniatures to one of the largest Boos works, this being 2180 x 1720 pixels. I’ve returned to Google Maps Streetview images for a base, with the setting just off Highway 367 about a mile south of Tungaske. This highway will turn into Pacific Avenue at the town limits, so — interesting — we stay on the same street as the two collages before it (“Pacific Won” and “Pacific Too”). Coming into Tungaske from this direction, we pass to our left several very intriguing metal sculptures. From south to north, we have a more vertical, abstract sculpture, then the whale seen in collage 18 (from several viewpoints), and then a stylized bison to end the stretch. For “Wrong Way Whales”, I simply cut and then pasted together four views of the whale from Streetview as we travel by it heading toward Tungaske. The sculptures were created as a part of an art symposium held in the town during 2010, with one of the participating artists being the woman who lives in the house featured in collage 11.

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In the collage, I’ve added an extra picture of the whale sculpture culled from the Large Canadian Roadside Attractions site. It faces the opposite direction from the others, but the title of the piece, “Wrong Way Whales”, indicates that it and it alone faces the “correct” way, which is back toward Tungaske itself. But if all these whales are actually the one whale seen in time, then this whale seems to have merely made a u-turn in the field, perhaps after a rethink. I believe the piece implies the trickling exodus from the town, which has gradually dwindled in size since the 1960s. Perhaps *art* and its creators can revive Tungaske to former levels, like with the works and ideas generated from this 2010 symposium.

We also see in the collage the giant shoe found in collage 14, “The Unloading of Bigfoot”. Here it is flying through the sky atop a labyrinth that actually exists in a park on the south side of Tungaske. So I’m kind of trying to be true to the town layout in my works. My guess is that the action of “Wrong Way Whales” comes slightly before that of “The Unloading of Bigfoot”, which depicts the giant shoe landing on the south side of town and unloading its contents (which includes another sculpture called “3 Birds”). Perhaps the whales are then exiting the town only to turn around when seeing or hearing about the attack of the Boos from collage 13. Tungaske is in eminent danger of extinction, with only the dead to rule. Art can save.

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We come into Tungaske from the opposite direction in the next collage, or from the north. We’re still on Highway 367, which, by the way, will again turn into Pacific Avenue after we cross the city limits just ahead. This work is called “I Must Be Going. Hello!”, implying another turnabout or rethink. And the welcome sign for the village in the base photo I used has been transformed into its opposite as well. Tungaske and its cemetery have become the same here. Who will save the village? Well, a lot of characters have turned up to help in this one. From left to right, we have 12 Oz Mouse’s Fitz, 12 Oz Mouse’s Peanut, the Insanoflex from “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters”, the 3 costumed members of the band Story Room, Unboxed Boss Moss, a grey seal, Hucka Doobie in doll form (you have to look hard for this one), Elton John from the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album cover, psychedelically garbed Ray Davies of The Kinks, a floating dead man covered in a red cloth, red caped Superman standing in Winnie the Pooh’s honey wagon, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and then Lisa Simpson looking over the top of a color inverted torso of Fitz, and you can also see his inverted beer bottle sticking out from behind her head. A menagerie, then. Why have they gathered here around the town’s altered sign? Is the reason really to save it? Let’s take a closer look…

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(to be continued)

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BOOS INTERPRETATION 13

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Well, what we can see immediately is the bookend type framework provided by normally colored Fitz on the left side, and inverse colored Fitz — or at least his torso and his beer — on the right side. This reminds us of the pillars Boaz and Jachin guarding the entrance to the Temple of Solomon in Biblical times.

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And, of course, this ties into the yin-yang symbols again. But the inverted Fitz to the right is partially replaced, like a bionic entity, by parts of a normally colored Lisa Simpson or Lisa The Vegetarian as I call her here more commonly, mainly most of her head a little bit of her body. This exchange seems important, since Lisa, when taking a foothold in the Boos series with this collage in her true cartoon form, sticks around to appear in many of the remaining works that wrap it up. We’ve seen Fitz before, starting in collage 06 — in Nautilus City with a meteor flying toward his head — and continuing in collage 14 — head pulverized by meteor in Tungaske. Here he is sans meteor, and leans over to stare at a hole in the ground. This particular image involving Fitz the Mouse was used in several other pre-Boos collages of mine, including the fully animated tetraptych that ended the last series in May (Stonethrow). In fact, the hole appears at the very center of this large collage, perhaps the most complicated I have created so far.

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So the hole, and Fitz along with it, represents *center*. But in “I Must Be Going. Hello!” the hole is pushed to one side as far as you can get. Here the leaning-in motion of examining Fitz is emphasized by the position of characters to his right (Peanut and Insanoflex). What is in the hole? We know it is yet another paradox, which sometimes goes by the name of Greenup/yellow down.

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The bug goes down as Don tries to piss (down). *Freeze* the (12 Oz Mouse) DVD, then unpause as the green liquid erupts *up* from the ground as the narrator for Don Aman says “it finally came” — the yellow piss erupts *down*. This the concept of Greenup/Yellow Down, Hucka D.

Hucka D.:

Indeed it is. Or was.

In looking at it closer, I think the relationship of the 2 Fitz’s and Lisa represents another flipping, like we had between collages 9 and 10 but in one picture this time. The Boos collage series is staking another claim to its own identity, building upon a base resonance of Tungaske. Greenup/Yellow Down is a concept that is moved into the past and away from the present center, and, in resonance with collage 11, little front-and-center Hucka D. seems to be putting his stamp of approval on this idea. Boos is setting itself apart from previous series like Stonethwaite, like Falmouth and all the others. And it is doing so through Lisa. Let’s see where this takes us…

*And* I’ve just redesigned this collage by moving the right side directly against Fitz’s bottle, which makes Fitz a true framer for the Hucka D. doll now at the actual epicenter of all this. I rest my case.

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(to be continued)

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BOOS INTERPRETATION 14

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We draw back out to see the whole of Tungaske in “Neither Atlantic Nor Pacific”, the 20th collage of the Boos series. The title refers to the town’s 2 avenues featured in the miniatures of “Atlantic” and “Pacific” — 2 apiece. And we will return to the same Pacific Avenue house currently for sale in the next set of miniatures coming up. In “Neither Atlantic Nor Pacific”, we continue to evolve the various stories building up in the village. An image of Ohio’s former Great Black Swamp has been inserted in its center, roughly situated between the two avenues in question. Boxy Brown with see-through hair is positioned on its upper end from the picture’s perspective, opposite fellow Aqua Teen Hunger Force character Master Shake, also appearing as partially transparent.

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This is yet another yin-yang reference, since Shake is very white and Boxy Brown is an abstract representation of an African-American (“black”) man. We’ve seen these same two characters placed on opposite sides of another body of water in the Stonethrow collage “Animation Station”, the first part of the ending tetraptych of that May 2015 series.

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Also returning from the May collage is homeless man, already used in collage 09 of the present series (“Goodwater Goodland 01”). Here he is detached from Boxy Brown’s hair and appears below him instead. The sewer top he holds down with one hand now marks the exact spot of a Tungaske labyrinth also referred to in “Wrong Way Whales”, and likewise circular in form. Then opposite homeless man in the the upper left corner is flying Superman from “Superman III” holding Richard Prior in his arms. And then the last collaged-in element to the aerial photo of Tungaske in “Neither Atlantic Nor Pacific” is a central slice of the book cover for “The Ordained”, a mystery novel by Terence Faherty. It appears nearer homeless man in the lower right corner, and in the exact spot of the house featured in “Hucka Homebee”, collage 11 of the Boos series.

The image of the Great Black Swamp is also featured in another Stonethrow collage called “Beware (The) Healers” that we’ve already examined in reference to collage 12. This swamp use to exist just beyond the western edge of Lake Erie. In connection with the present collage’s title, this is then neither Atlantic nor Pacific but more toward the center of America, in the Great Lakes region.

A description of “The Ordained” from Terence Faherty’s site:

The residents of the isolated town of Rapture, founded by an Adventist sect, the Ordained of God, are disappearing one by one. The Ordained believed that the world would end in 1844 and that they would be taken bodily into heaven. Now, one hundred and fifty years after their rapture failed to occur, something very similar is happening to their descendants.

Another small town, another one that’s “losing” people. Only Owen Keane, the book’s protagonist and an ordained minister himself, can save the town by solving its central mystery. I think this ties into art being able to save Tungaske. The fellow “junk” artist who lives in the house of collage 11 becomes the savior archetype, and in synch with fellow deity Lisa “The Vegetarian” Simpson. The overlaid swamp symbolizes the morass, the abyss, a kind of mass grave like a cemetery but also a stand-in for hell, perhaps. Door to The Abyss, then. Richard Prior is black like the swamp, but also he is a “prior”, or one who is stuck in time. Rescue by Superman represents ascent to heaven, or perhaps rapture. The swamp is no longer a threat. All these pictorial elements tie together to present a scene of hope beyond despair, eternity beyond earthly bondage. The town can be saved. The world can be saved. Like the labyrinth, a satisfying mystery novel directs a plot line into and out of a core dilemma.

(to be continued)