Distrust of modern medicine has led to the increasing popularity of therapeutic self-trepanation (drilling a hole in the head to unseal the skull), according to a June Chicago Tribune story. Trepanation activist Peter Halvorson recalled that drilling into his own skull 25 years ago ("Smoke was coming out of the hole," he said) brought him "a heightened, childlike sense of awareness" and a permanent state of higher consciousness. Neurosurgeons contacted used words like "amazed" and "stunned" at the craze, but according to the report, trepanists seem so confident of the procedure that criticism of them just wasn't sinking in.
In June a jury in Portland, Ore., awarded $900,000 to Larry Benson, a car salesman, who said his urologist, Dr. David R. Rosencrantz, kept him addicted to painkillers just so the doctor could tap him for free auto services.
Mix and match
David Weinlick, 28, married Elizabeth Runze, 28, in Bloomington, Minn., in June after a courtship that consisted of a brief conversation. Weinlick had asked friends to make a national search for a bride, and he promised to marry the woman they chose. Friends interviewed 30 women at a Bridal Candidate Mixer, then voted. According to Weinlick's rules, his friends got one vote each, friends of the candidates one-half vote, and bystanders one-fourth vote, and voting continued until one candidate got at least 60 percent, at which point the wedding began. Said campaign coordinator Steve Fletcher, "This may be an idea that spreads."
In May, the students in Leeds (England) University's Fine Arts course, helped by school and private grants of about $2,000, created a class project that they said was "designed to challenge people's perception of art." The project consisted of the 13 students taking a holiday at Spain's Costa del Sol resort. They said that among the issues raised by their oeuvre would be whether there was any limit to what could be described as art. Most of the sponsors demanded refunds.
Nothing for something
In June, an auction of "conceptual" and "minimalist" art from the past 30 years at Christie's in New York City exceeded sales goals, led by such masterpieces as Bruce Nauman's concrete block with a tape recorder playing inside featuring a woman screaming ($288,000); Sigmar Polke's four canvases containing only incorrect mathematical equations ($882,000); and On Kawara's seven canvases featuring only the dates May 1-7, 1971 ($574,000).
Clothes out sale</p>
Boston performance artist Paul Richard's latest show, in February, was held in a room completely empty except for a stack of $20 T-shirts for sale. "Usually you go to an opening and nobody looks at the art ... anyway," he said. At a previous show, Richard's art consisted of having patrons file in to watch him eating lunch.
San Francisco sculptor Joe Mangrum, sitting on $1,480 worth of outstanding parking tickets accumulated by his 1986 Mazda, persuaded the city art commission in March to let him disassemble the car into a pile in the middle of Justin Herman Plaza and call the sculpture "Transmission 98," for which he collected a $2,000 artist's fee from the city. A spokesperson said the art commission was unaware of Mangrum's tickets.
Performance artist Bob Powers, in an April interview in the Village Voice: "I would be thrilled if I got a $25,000-a-year grant for the rest of my life. I don't want money for any lofty goals. I want it just because I'm lazy and tired." Among Powers' recent works: "Ode to a Buttered Roll" ("How do you do it? Sixty cents. So tall, so round, so many poppy seeds. Sixty cents. ... One corner deli owner tried to charge 75. Sixty cents.") and a work in which he uttered one sentence ("No, but I gave you a 20.") 30 times.
In June, the Vermont Supreme Court rejected the complaint of DUI suspect Raymond G. Blouin, who said he had a constitutional right not to disclose to police whether he had just belched. Police said the question was necessary because a recent belch might throw off a breathalyzer result.