California secedes from the U.S. and joins forces with Japan to become a non-aligned, pacifist, non-nuclear-powered, green, tech-producing powerhouse in global digital and computer science.
Here’s the flag of the new most prosperous nation on Earth.
I hereby announce my Candidacy for General Secretary of The Republic of Calipan to anybody living in Aztlan or the Land of the Rising Sun who agrees Calipan exists.
At 40, in my homeland, I painted, collaged and signed, Vous êtes à Pudduchcheri, M.T. Karthik, on the back of the wood liquor cabinet installed in a wall at Qualithe’s Hotel Bar in Pondicherri, Pudduchcheri, Tamil Nadu, India in three weeks in May, 2007.
The cabinet is 84 x 50 inches, 6.5 inches above the floor, and the wall is perhaps fifteen feet wide. It was immediately interesting to toy with the line dividing the lighter upper from the darker lower layers. The text was decided upon after weeks of discourse with locals and regulars – and translates in English to: “You are in Puduchcheri”
The image of the moon is an actual photograph taken in 1971 by telescope from observatory of the University of Montana.
The oil well is from the back of the old,purple Indian 1-rupee note.
I photographed the haliastur indus (brahminy kite), pair, myself, from my studio for nine months, and then printed and selected the images of the two raptors collaged into frame – male and female.
The palm tree was photographed at a local beach as well.
The postage stamp is the a magazine reproduction of the first stamp issued by independent India.
the detritus on the beach includes a matchbook and wrapper from a package of firecrackers, and the tiger from the tiger balm packaging.
art students from the Chitra Kala Parishath art college in Bangalore, were invited to add depth to the waves and a second heavenly body, a single white point representing Venus, over the sea.
13.5 x 21 in
an original poem by M.T. Karthik on seafarer’s maps salvaged by G. Borsa from a derelict tugboat on the Newtown Creek that separates the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, NY; with gouache, acrylic, ink, and collage of printed paper, printed plastic and color prints from digital media by M.T. Karthik; bound by C.K. Wilde
Initially authored during the Republican National Convention as it was taking place in New York City, “dereliction”  begins with a slap across the face of the Prince of Wales in 2001. A reprint of the BBC World Service Internet screenshot features 19-year-old Alina striking Charles with a rose in Riga, Latvia, and is collaged into a map of the seagoing entrance to the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic. Accompanying text reports that Alina was protesting the then recently begun bombing of Afghanistan by the United States and the United Kingdom. This is the only spread in the book which maps an actual place.
“O, Chorus of unknown seas, drowning the known to smithereens”
leads the viewer from the map and image of an actual place into a fantasy cartography.
As an organizing principle each folio is designed such that no spread has paper from the same original map in its recto and verso facia. To achieve this, the maps were spread out, cut into quarters and recomposed, designed primarily with an aesthetic created from the juxtaposition of land masses and water. The land and water were then treated with media to create text that serves to obfuscate specificity further, but also to unify bodies of water and masses of land.
Each spread (including the title page and frontispiece) is composed from deconstructed maps positioned to create shorelines and seaways with no basis in earthly reality. The result is a deconstruction of the original maps that creates an atlas of a world familiar yet not accurately descriptive of any known place. The title page is companioned with a frontispiece detailing the title, as the first sets of waves of text appear in the sea: “the ship of state is derelict”.
Figures rigid in concept, but loose and flexible in media, create a striking paradox, as patterns of zeroes and ones are painted in gouache across the land masses – a reminder of digital output and a haunting count.
Swiftly, the context leaps back in time to the era of the Atomic Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as a play on words is employed in the repeating waves of text in the sea: Truman as the “worst president,” the decision to use the bomb as the “worst precedent”. [Curatorial note: there are momentary and unique changes in the underlying text in each spread. In this case, buried in the text are two additions: “the buck stops here” and “worst Missouri Mob” … meant to implicate unseen hands behind the Truman presidency.]
A spread follows featuring the English transliteration of the name of Hiroshima copied 1,000 times and of Nagasaki 750 times and leads to the A-bomb spread: the spread with the most text in the book, in all five layers, including the Sanskrit transliteration of Chapter 11, Verse 32, from the Bhagavad Gita, quoted by Oppenheimer upon seeing the cloud from the first successful test of his atomic bomb.
From the A-Bomb spread, “dereliction”  continues to accuse the founders of the U.S. of genocide and the current leaders of the United States of militarization for centuries. A parallel is made between the figure cited by Bartholomew de las Casas as killed by Columbus’ ventures and a figure representing those killed by the USA abroad in covert and overt operations between 1945 and 2001 and digital photos of pre-columbian sculptures from Oaxaca, Mexico float in the seas.
The centerfold of “dereliction”  employs a quote from James Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” to make a point about the rush to war in Iraq. In the novel, Joyce describes his class being asked by his teacher, to copy the phrase “zeal without prudence is like a ship adrift,” repeatedly. At the place marked in the maps as “Middleground” this quote is written over and over as instructed, and creates the central thesis of the text: that the USA is adrift, waging bungled wars led by men who don’t know even simple philosophical truths.
The text then moves to an admonition of those adrift without such knowledge:
“Oh, woe betide ye, adrift at sea, without even a cosmology”
and concludes by offering a cosmology in the form of a Haiku [5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables]:
a cosmology :
sun father mother ocean
the moon is a god
1st, 2000, austin, Barnes, Bush, canvas, chamber.movements, currency, death, gallery, George, John, Karthik, killed, logo, m.t., March, McCain, mtk, No, Odell, painting, party, Penalty, primaries, Primary, real, Republican, rights, State, super, texas, the, thyagarajan, timeline, Tuesday, voter, voting, W., wrongly
The Voting Chamber was an art installation at Movements Gallery in Austin, TX, six blocks from Governor George Bush’s Mansion, and the exhibition was open during the Super Tuesday Presidential Primaries of Election 2000 and the South x Southwest (SXSW) Arts and Music Festival of that year.
No Real Choice , 5’ x 3’8”, acrylic, currency on canvas
The Voting Chamber (metal rods, fabric curtain, tabletop, audio component
Civic Dimension (acrylic on stairwell walls; chalk on pavement
Internet Component, including data from State Website and Death Penalty Opponents
I flew into Austin from Brooklyn and immediately went to a local chapter meeting of an anti-death penalty group and introduced myself publicly as an artist planning to do an installation at Movements Gallery on 6th Street:
installed for about ten days:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OPENING RECEPTION: FEBRUARY 22, 2000
GEORGE WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY
AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA
“THE VOTING CHAMBER”
FEBRUARY 22-APRIL 22, 2000
A MULTIMEDIA INSTALLATION IN PROXIMITY TO THE TEXAS GOVERNOR’S MANSION
THE STATE OF TEXAS EXECUTES MORE PEOPLE THAN ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN THE WESTERN WORLD. THE CURRENT GOVERNOR OF TEXAS (1994-2000) HAS OVERSEEN THE EXECUTION OF MORE PEOPLE THAN ALL FIVE PREVIOUS GOVERNORS TAKEN TOGETHER. HE IS CURRENTLY RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND EXECUTING AT LEAST 18 MORE PEOPLE.
ACCORDING TO A TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY STUDY, MOST TEXANS FAVOR ALTERNATIVES TO THE DEATH PENALTY OR ARE UNDECIDED:
47.5% FAVOR LIFE SENTENCE
39.5% FAVOR EXECUTIONS
13% ARE UNSURE
“THE VOTING CHAMBER” HAS BEEN DESIGNED BY NEW YORK-BASED FORMER TEXAS RESIDENT AND UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS GRADUATE M.T. KARTHIK, TO PROVIDE A PLACE TO REHEARSE FOR THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES AND ELECTIONS.
The State posts the Execution Schedule online
Texas State Execution Schedule: 23 Feb – 27 APR 2000
23 FEB 2000 Cornelius Goss, born May 25, 1961
24 FEB 2000 Betty Beets, born March 12, 1937
01 MAR 2000 Odell Barnes,Jr., born, March 22, 1968
15 MAR 2000 Timothy Gribble born, August 27, 1963
22 MAR 2000 Dennis Bagwell born, December 27, 1963
12 APR 2000 Orien Joiner, born, October 27, 1949
18 APR 2000 Victor Saldano, born October 22, 1971
26 APR 2000 Robert Carter, born March 7, 1966
27 APR 2000 Robert Neville, born October 5, 1974
27 APR 2000 Ricky McGinn, born March 11, 1957
OUTLINE FOR INSTALLATION
“No Real Choice 2000” (5’ x 3’8”, acrylic, water, American currency on canvas)
“The Voting Chamber” (metal rods, fabric curtain, tabletop, agit-propaganda, and audio component)
“No Real Choice 2000” was installed on the wall opposite top of the stairs to Gallery space. The 33’ wall was painted sympathetic to currently existing artwork in gallery while extending the theme of the canvas, including:
“The Voting Chamber,” a simulated voting booth: U-shaped curtain rod with a red curtain. This curtain is to be drawn around individual viewers to simulate a voting booth and allow a private viewing space of the canvas and of specific propaganda material. A looped, repeating audio component of the attorney of one of those on Death Row was played next to an empty chair.
The stairwell from the street to the Gallery floor and the sidewalks from the Governor’s Mansion to the gallery door (as practicable) were marked to point to the booth and to present statistics (see Statistics that follow) regarding the death penalty in Texas.
The Internet component contained elements: from http://www.georgewbush.com, the “Calendar of Events” describing the Governor’s current itinerary, and from http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us, the “Calendar of Executions.” and etc
It’s taken me more than eight years to write anything of what happened in Austin in the Spring of 2000. I installed The Voting Chamber and came to find out that Odell Barnes, Jr., was scheduled to die though likely innocent of the murder of which he was convicted.
The installation included an empty chair with the name “Mr. Bush” taped to the back, sitting beside a cassette player that continuously played a ten-minute audio loop of Mr. Barnes’ lawyer explaining that he needed more time to present the strong evidence of a frame-up he had discovered in Odell’s case.
The installation inspired a march of hundreds in Austin who chanted as they marched around the Governor’s Mansion against the Death Penalty:
This all occurred during the Super Tuesday Presidential Primaries as George W. Bush, the Governor of Texas, fought Arizona Senator John McCain for the Republican nomination, Spring 2000. The installation was up during the SXSW music festival, and the venue was a site for the Austin festival so thousands saw it.
George W. Bush and The State of Texas murdered the innocent 22-year-old, Odell Barnes, Jr. on March 1st of the year 2000. The message was clear as Bush ran for President on an active record of becoming the single individual Governing the execution of more people in U.S. history.
Odell Barnes, Jr.s’ last meal request was for “justice, equality and world peace,”
and his last words were:
“I thank you for proving my innocence although it has not been acknowledged in the courts. May you continue in the struggle and may you change all that’s been done here today and in the past.”
Nine months later, George W. Bush was appointed President of the United States by the Supreme Court – contravening democracy at the most basic level – thanks to massive problems with vote counting and issues of voter suppression in the State of Florida, where Bush’s own brother, Jeb, was Governor.
The canvas “No Real Choice 2000,” finished two months before the election, was startlingly prophetic.
1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 2010, amadeus, Arthur, Beverly Hills Cop, Big, Chariots of Fire, conan, dead men don't wear plaid, dudley, Dune, film, Footloose, ghost, Karate Kid, Karthik, m.t. karthik, Moore, movie, movies, mtk, revenge of the nerds, splash, star trek, stubs, ticket, turk 182, usa
Movie ticket stubs from movies I went to between the ages of 12 and 18
1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture
1981 Chariots of Fire, Arthur
1982 Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Conan
1983, 5 Hitchcock films were re-released to theaters after not having been released for more than a decade: “Vertigo”, “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, “Rope”, “The Trouble With Harry” and “Rear Window” – couple of the stubs are here
1984 Splash, Amadeus, The Karate Kid, Beverly Hills Cop, 2010, Footloose, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Dune, Ghostbusters, Revenge of the Nerds, Romancing the Stone
1985 Turk 182!