Los Dias: The World Comes to Mourn or does it?
Da Rimini Leaves This Up to Her Reader to Decide

review by Susan Gardner Dillon
Featured in So to Speak. Summer/Fall 2001 (Vol. 10, no. 2). 116-117.

Los Dias, Francesca da Rimini

"My baby drove up in a brand new Cadillac, she said baby, baby, I ainât never coming back·Hey, come here daddy, I ainât never coming back·baby, baby, wonât you hear my plea·come on sugar, come on back to me, she said balls to you big daddy, she ainât never soming back." (woman crying, followed shortly with sounds of guns, and a voice in Spanish. Sprays of bullets continue throughout the piece, within intervals of song and voices.)

÷From Los Dias soundtrack

Los Dias is a hypermedia piece by Francesca da Rimini with sound by Mikey Grimm. Da Rimini, author of "Smear the Roses," is also known by the pseudonym Doll Yoko. Though digital and poetic exposure, da Rimini provokes her readers to question their own intentions as hypermedia viewers. Da Rimini thus guides her reader in a forced fashion. We have entered a labyrinthine entanglement with no other option than to be carried through it, unless, of course, one chooses the option of checking out/ clicking out, by means of the little cube in the upper left hand corner of the window. This departure may seem unjust to some in the eyes of fully exploring the true context of art. Yet this is also a conscious choice, a statement of oneâs own ability to perceive a difficult subject.

The first page and all subsequent pages are a sequence of five windows that play a structured role in this highly complex maze of continuous turnings. Quotes from large corporate entitiesâ media assault÷whether it be the Vatican, AOL, or the World Bank÷alternate between English and Spanish. The lower left hand screen is used for da Riminiâs text responses in a poetic word-spooling fashion. The upper left hand corner of the screen presents what appear to be human oddities, or curiosities (and thus, my childhood preoccupation for the grotesque has finally paid off). The pages seem to be directly from a dearly loved and hated book titled Medical Curiosities. With the onslaught of grotesque, compelling images the sentiment seems to be one of the sublime. War-anguished images are alongside pictures that seem to be previously not-shown footage from The Night of the Living Dead, or strange urban circulated myths of circus exploitations and oddities. With closer inspection, one might perceive that what we are really witnessing is the voice of the dead with a societal collective conscious. Of the four designated windows, the lower right hand is that of a constructed landscape, not what is necessarily natural, but what humans have come to interpret as so÷rubble and destruction, along with their strange and surreal beauty. With possible revolution at hand and desperate pleas from the dead comes what has provoked it, as oddities come from what is most sick and dangerous, and one who chooses to exploit them. The images of landscape are not nearly so interesting or gratifying in terms of the poetic text and quotes which precede them÷i.e. the large evil forces of the world, and the pictures which side-note them÷but serve as a strong backdrop to the bleakness of what we define as human construction. Poet-speak versus the Orwellian in a strongly juxtaposed, yet controlled, art, similar to the commercial advertisements and pop-up windows we are continually bombarded with during the daily routine of simply checking e-mail.

How can these advertisements go without notice or influence on our daily choices? Whether it be commercial appeal, or even our spoken language, as the shortening of language is common in chat and hyper-speak with an ever newly zapped attention span set ready to double-click windows open or shut without fully focusing on what is before us. We are guilty of clicking shut whatever we deem unnecessary, which is often to barricade out whatever issue we find too disturbing or difficult to digest. Will the dead consciousness of a time past rise up in time to save us, or are we, as the maze implies, already too far buried within its upheaval to turn our gaze?


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