All posts by James Loks

Bean Popcorn

first published in ‘The Moth’ magazine

“The idea behind the story ‘Bean Popcorn’ was that a man becomes minorly obsessed, well in fact, not minorly obsessed, actually quite majorly obsessed with the idea of making bean popcorn. The obsession starts when he sees a cooking demonstration by a female chef during which she demonstrates the art of creating the aforementioned legume-based snack, the thing about this being that it is essentially no different from making normal corn popcorn but instead of using corn you use beans. The curious and surprising thing being that, as anyone in the world who has tried to make bean popcorn will know, beans don’t pop like corn, only corn pops like corn. Herein lies the nub of the mystery that so entices and tantalises the man, who, I might add, lives in an imagined future that is not so different from our own present, albeit with an incredible degree of market saturation by high quality foodstuffs.

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Brand as Museum: Patronage or Patronise?

This month’s theme made me wonder why the art world so much enjoys the conjunction ‘as’. It seems a funny construct, one thing as another thing. It contains within it both the idea of transformation, and also deception, and fails to decide or state which side of the fence the utterance wants to come down on. There’s also a strange utility within the phrase, the using of one thing as another as though there were a lack or necessity for makeshift solutions.

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A Start

It’s comforting to see life as a thing connected, this is something we all want isn’t it? Separated into things that either are or are not. It’s funny how quick we ignore the instabilities, forget the blurred lines, the smudges, the grubby bits that became like that because, well… because that’s how they became.

The day started normally enough. 577 days in the wilderness. I woke up in my rat-hole, my eyrie; showered, drank coffee, flicked through the dailies, dressed, battled with my hair, applied make-up, headed to the office. I smoked cigarettes and drank more coffee before the telephone rang. Some girls had been found burned on Maybachufer. I stepped out to see Jankowski, see what our sacred Protectorate knew about it, which was, unsurprisingly, almost nothing. Three lost souls chained to a radiator in an apartment set on fire. It was enough for me, neither one way or the other. I’d know you see, for them to interest me they’d either disappear or have some kind of excessive brutality acted upon them, that is beyond your standard auto-de-fé. I told Jankowski to look for the usual, a john, a pimp, a jealous wife… any normal human being who had for whatever reason taken it upon themselves to finish the life of these girls. And that was it, another lead to nothing, another day of waiting for the phone to ring or walking the streets.

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