Bureaucracy and Slaughter

It was somewhat irritating and a bit of a disappointment to find this on the white board this afternoon.  My inclination was to alter this message by doing this (see below), but I decided against it.  Up to this point no one had mentioned any problem with drawing on the white board, but apparently someone with rank had a problem with it.  I think it’s kind of interesting that that person who complained wouldn’t actually erase the white board themselves, instead they complain to a manager in the department, who then decided to take what I might consider, drastic measures.

All that aside, I found a new heart today in the meat locker.  It’s a cows heart!  The thing is massive!  I remember in college, thinking about how if a bug had organs how tiny they would be.  I was also very interested in the sections of Moby Dick where he describes how large the different parts of the whales were, but I’ve never really thought about how big a cows heart is.  Having the thing in front of you actually in you hands is kind of amazing and makes me think. The idea that this was living flesh – the engine of the body, which now is just some decaying object separated from its origin and so foreign to the outside world.  I brought it home, perhaps to do a new group of heart paintings.   I also found this image in a magazine today.  The picture is a pile of Bison skulls taken in the 1870’s.

This entry was posted in Heart Paintings, White Board Drawings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bureaucracy and Slaughter

  1. Gerda Lederer says:


    Disappointing to say the least. But I don’t understand your comment about who was the complainer? Don’t you just think it was Leo who had the problem and Leo who wrote the note?
    It IS so Leo to be all about “love” and then to get tough/edgy/strange.
    I haven’t figured him out yet- not putting a whole lot of effort into it.
    So, do you think the Brunch signs are next on the chopping block?
    There is something so offensive about the note from Leo. A person under stress, apparently.
    BTW, all of your comments about the cow’s heart is why I don’t eat meat. It is the cow’s heart, the pig’s shoulder, the lamb’s leg- not ours.
    But of course, once it is taken from the cow, drawing it is a good use for it.

    • Austin says:

      Hey Gerda,

      I think the white board in the back was starting to look a little trashy because after I drew something people started adding to the drawing. It was becoming a mess, but I don’t understand why they didn’t just erase it and leave it at that. I think this starts to bring up an interesting question about how people value art. It feels that even though they might not like it they feel uncomfortable getting rid of it because it might mean something to someone else…

      I understand your decision to not eat meat. When you start to think about where each part comes from it starts to personalize it and make it less appetizing.

  2. heather says:

    hey, two things:
    1. this note should be the basis of your animation, the hearts should spring from the ‘love’s you’ve already begun replacing!
    2. you should alert your manager to the worth not just of ‘art’ but of this kind of ephemeral instance of it. steiner started blackboard drawings, bueys followed…now you! cf, eg http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/13/arts/art-review-the-puzzling-road-maps-of-a-philosopher-s-mind.html?pagewanted=1.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s