In 1980, Jane Dickson (b. 1952)and her husband, artist Charlie Ahearn (b. 1951), moved into a loft near New York’s then seedy, but glittering Times Square where, two years earlier, she’d found work programming the first Spectacolorbillboard. Attracted to the neighborhood’s brilliant nighttime signage, she began working with oil stick against deep-black backgrounds to evoke the gleam of the nocturnal scenes she witnessed. Traveling to Florida in the mid-1980s, Dickson happened one night upon a carnival filled with amusement rides. She eventually created Big Oval (1985) from pictures and sketches, painting the roller coaster’s arc of blazing lights stretching up into the night.
Photographed in The Museum of Modern Art in New York City
For this installation, entitled Super Mario Clouds (2002), Cory Arcangel hacked into and modified a cartridge of a Super Mario Bros, the blockbuster Nintendo videogame released in the United States in 1985. By tweaking the game’s code, the artist erased all of the audio and visual elements except for the iconic, fluffy white clouds that scroll endlessly across the bright blue sky.
Arcangel, who is trained as a musician, considers computers and video game consoles as his instruments; he will often learn a new programming language in order to develop an artwork. Viewers cannot handle the console on display here, but they can model their own version: Arcangel provides detailed instructions as well as the code for re-creating this project on his website.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.
Image Courtesy of Dennis Dunaway (Circa 1985, Click Photo to Enlarge)
How happy does Nikki Sixx look in the picture above, where he is book-ended by Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper) and Kub Coda (Brownsville Station) on the left and Neal Smith (Alice Cooper) and Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult) on the right? Nikki’s arms appear to be virtually un-inked and I’ve never seen Neal and Dennis with shorter hair, so you can tell this photo is from another era entirely. Still, it’s a fun blast from the past. Motley Crue Bassist and Renaissance Man Nikki Sixx was born on this day, December 11th, in 1958. Happy Birthday, Nikki!
On This Date, February 23rd, in 1985: The Smiths’Meat Is Murder was the #1 album in the UK. Meat Is Murder is a fantastic album just crammed with amazing songs like “What She Said,” “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,” “How Soon Is Now?” and “The Headmaster Ritual,” but my favorite is “Barbarism Begins at Home.” I’m going to celebrate the spirit of The Smiths by playing this album really loud as soon as I get home today! Smiths!
On this date in 1985: Simple Minds had the #1 single in the U.S., “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” The runaway hit song appeared on the soundtrack to The Breakfast Clubbut not on any of Simple Minds’ albums. I remember reading an interview with Simple Minds’ vocalist Jim Kerr where he talked about how he didn’t really dig the song that much, even though he was asked to write it specifically for the film, as he could not get behind or quite fathom the sentiment of asking to not be forgotten by people who didn’t meant that much to you in the first place. Or something like that. At any rate, he probably isn’t complaining anymore, as I’m sure that royalties from the tune have at this juncture put Kerr’s kids through college and paid for a mansion, a yacht and a few divorce settlements, at the very least.