Friday, September 12, 2008

'Nother Quick Update

I've been mostly catching up on Nuit Blanche things since getting back, including some site visits with Michel de Broin, Bruno Billio and Jon Sasaki yesterday. Everything seems to be in order, thanks (entirely) to Miki Stricker and Bill Zeilstra at the city. The behind-the-scenes (and mostly thankless) work they do for this event is incredible. The above picture I took on Wednesday, from the 6 story building we're using to harness Bruno's laser. It was such a beautiful summer day that I just wanted a lawn chair and some lemonade and a nap up there.

The 100 Year Old Whisky is moving along fairly rapidly, in my absence. First of all it has been definitively decided that it cannot be called Scotch unless I am able to prove to the Scottish Whisky Association that there is a historical precedent for burying the cask. The SWA is very big on tradition. I've been hunting online, but it's doubtful I'm going to find the smoking gun, so we're going to have to go with the term "spirit". This was anticipated to a certain extent, and I actually like the word better. Coupled with angel's share and casket, we've got some nice religious death imagery happening here, to accompany the burial.

I always assumed that the tradition of burying the dead was either practical, or based on agriculture (early man recognizing the cause and effect of planting something). It turns out that it likely predates both the need for hygienic disposal of corpses and even the most rudimentary understanding of cultivation. Apparently there is no commonly accepted anthropological explanation for the tradition of interment. Even now, the World Health Organization does not mandate burial (or cremation) as being necessary to prevent diseases (unless the body carried disease before death). **

The wooden caskets for the edition are in production now, the contract approved, the label designed and awaiting production. Photos are being printed to include in the accompanying time-capsule, which has been ordered and is en-route. Last week Eric Stephen, who works in Warehouse 8, dug me this fantastic hole (below). I can't wait to see it in person. When I return I will collect more rocks (this time with a van, no more treacherous treks with a wheelbarrow), quickly install the show and then host the burial the next day. Then say my final sad goodbyes to Glenfiddich and Scotland.

**I always thought I'd want to be cremated (and take up less space) but a few years back I changed my mind, realizing that cemeteries are a nice place for squirrels to play.

"one day, let's be a pair of trees, nobody'll know...."

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