Monday, November 14, 2011

Anthropomorphic Taxidermy Classes! Powerpoint Film! The Occult in Art! Upcoming Events at Observatory

Anthropomorphic taxidermy! Powerpoint films! The occult in art! Hope to see you at one or more of these great upcoming events at Observatory.

Also, please note: although the next two mouse taxidermy classes are now sold out, there are newly scheduled classes taking place on Tuesdays January 10, January 24, February 14 (special Valentine's Day edition!) and February 21. There is also a very special Holiday-themed Anthropomorphic Chick Taxidermy Class on the first night of Hanukkah, December 20 (click here for more). If interested, please send number of party and first and second date choice to morbidanatomy [at] Please note: these classes tend to sell out VERY quickly, sp email me as soon as possible!

Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class with Susan Jeiven: Back by Popular Demand
Date: Tuesday, November 15th
Time: 7 PM-11 PM
Admission: $60
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

Anthropomorphic taxidermy–the practice of mounting and displaying taxidermied animals as if they were humans or engaged in human activities–was a popular art form during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The best known practitioner of the art form is British taxidermist Walter Potter who displayed his pieces–which included such elaborate tableaux as The Death of Cock Robin, The Kitten Wedding, and The Kitten Tea Party–in his own museum of curiosities.

On Tuesday November 15th, please join Morbid Anatomy and taxidermist, tattoo artist and educator Susan Jeiven for a beginners class in anthropomorphic taxidermy. All materials–including a mouse for each student–will be provided, and each class member will leave at the end of the day with their own anthropomorphic taxidermied mouse. Students are invited to bring any miniature items with which they might like to dress or decorate their new friend; some props and miniature clothing will also be provided by the teacher. A wide variety of sizes and colors of mice will be available.

No former taxidermy experience is required.

Also, some technical notes:

  • We use NO harsh or dangerous chemicals.
  • Everyone will be provided with gloves.
  • All animals are disease free.
  • Although there will not be a lot of blood or gore, a strong constitution is necessary; taxidermy is not for everyone.
  • All animals were already dead, nothing was killed for this class. All mice used are feeder animals for snakes and lizards and would literally be discarded if not sold.
  • Please do not bring any dead animals with you to the clas

You can contact Sue with any more questions by clicking here.

Leonora Carrington  "La maja del tarot"  1965

The Occult in Modern Art 101
An illustrated lecture by Pam Grossman
Date: Friday, November 18th
Time: 8pm
Admission: $8
Presented by: Phantasmaphile

Though few history books make mention of it, many of our most lauded artists — Picasso, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Duchamp, to name but a few — were deeply influenced by the occult. The imagery and tenets of arcane traditions including alchemy, Spiritualism, Theosophy, and shamanism have infused the work of artists through the ages. Beginning with the Symbolists, then spiraling through such periods as Cubism, Dada, Surrealism (with its wonderfully witchy women), Abstract Expressionism, and the visionary art of today, this evening’s lecture will be a visual primer on the existence of magic in our museums and galleries.

Pam Grossman is an independent curator and lifelong student of magical practice and history. She is the creator of Phantasmaphile, a blog which specializes in art and culture with an esoteric or fantastical bent. Her group art shows, Fata Morgana: The New Female Fantasists, VISION QUEST, and Alchemically Yours have been featured by such outlets as Boing Boing, CREATIVE TIME, Time Out New York, Juxtapoz, Arthur, 20×200,, and Neil Gaiman’s Twitter. She is a co-founder of Observatory, where her programming aims to explore mysticism via a scholarly yet accessible approach. By day, she is the Creative Planning Manager for Getty Images North America.

Image: Leonora Carrington "La maja del tarot" 1965

“No Computer Is An Island” : PowerPoint Film with Live Musical Accompaniment
Film by James Bell and music by Paul Deuth (a.k.a. Meteorologeist)
Runtime approx 1 hr.
Date: Saturday, November 19th
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

“No Computer Is An Island” is a silent movie animated entirely in PowerPoint and accompanied by electronic music, mixed live during the presentation. Utilizing inventive music and limited animation presets, a depressing world of office life, shallow relationships and adult responsibility is presented in 256 colors. The presentation follows a day in the life of one workflow shape, appropriately named Bubbles, as he goes about the business of being a detached thought bubble. Other workflow characters overlap and interrupt his story, creating images that exploit the constraints of PowerPoint as an animation tool by using the conventions of silent film. “No Computer Is An Island” engages the timeless need for narrative, inviting the viewer to create meaning slide by slide.

James E. P. Bell regularly makes PowerPoint presentations in an office building in midtown Manhattan. A founding member of the interactive performance group PowerPoint, James has explored the aesthetic potential of MicroSoft Office applications in productions such as “Introduction to Change Management” (1999), “Violence in the Workplace” (2003), and now “No Computer Is An Island” (2010).

Paul Deuth is an electronic musician/composer/producer (A.K.A. Meteorologeist) and director of photography. With an extensive career in television, Paul most enjoys expressing himself in multi-media artistic ventures including projects with PowerPoint, Fire and Ice, Hold Please, and the Prospects. You can experience some of Paul’s music at

Onwards and Upwards:

Tuesday, November 29:
Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class with Susan Jeiven: Back by Popular Demand. 7-11pm/$60 *** SOLD OUT

Monday, December 5: Photographing the Dead: The History of Postmortem Photography from The Burns Collection and Archive: Illustrated Lecture and book signing with Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS 8pm/$5

Saturday, December 10: Grand Guignol Variety Show at The Coney Island Museum: Featuring classic Grand Guignol performances, antique 3D stereoscopic slides, puppet and toy theatre, song, dance, film and more, followed by after-party with cocktails courtesy of Hendrick’s Gin; support this project on IndieGoGo by clicking here 8pm/$25

Tuesday, December 13: The Missing Dimension: A Cultural History of 3D Images - Anaglyphs, Stereographs, View-Masters, Holograms, and Flaming Arrows Coming Right at You!: Illustrated lecture on and in 3D (glasses provided) by artist and NYU Professor Chris Muller 8pm/$5

Saturday, December 17: “Oddities” Marathon and Season Launch Party: Screening of TV’s “Oddities” followed by after party with MC Lord Whimsy, giveaways, special drinks, and DJ 8pm/$8

Tuesday, December 20: Anthropomorphic Chick Taxidermy Class with Susan Jeiven: Limited class size; must RSVP to morbidanatomy [at] 7-11pm/$60

Sunday, January 8: CLASS: Dissection as Studio Practice: Lecture and Studio Art Class with artist Laura Splan *** Class size is limited; Must RSVP to morbidanatomy[at] 1-4pm/$60

Thursday, January 26: The Search for Granny-Dump Mountain: Illustrated lecture by Journalist Justin Nobel 8pm/$5

Sunday, January 29: Class: Mummification: Learn the art and ritual of animal mummification with instructor Sorceress Cagliastro *** Limited Class Size; Please RSVP to morbidanatomy [at] 1-4pm/$65

Thursday, February 2: PERFORMANCE: Buried Alive! A Matchbox Theatre: A matchbox theatre performance by Deborah Kaufmann 8pm/$12

Friday, February 3: PERFORMANCE: Buried Alive! A Matchbox Theatre: A matchbox theatre performance by Deborah Kaufmann 8pm/$12

More on Observatory can be found here. To sign up for events on Facebook, join our group by clicking here. To sign up for our weekly mailer, click here.

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