Parking at Art Basel: the high school across the street (also some masketology)

If you’re going to Art Basel (today and tomorrow are the last two public days; the elites went on Tuesday and Wednesday), the pro move is to park at Miami Beach Senior High School, where the PTA opens the vast parking lot as soon as school closes (3:15 pm is the end of classes). Navigate to 2231 Prairie Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139 and hand over $20, which will fund PCs, printers, and other classroom items. Ferraris, C8 Corvettes, and Lamborghinis are assigned to an “exotic area” in the grass where nobody can hit them with a door. (I wonder if Miami Beach during Art Basel has the world’s highest ratio of maximum theoretical car speed to actual car speed?)

The event closes at 7 pm and three hours is enough to see most of what you’d want to see. Reserve for dinner at Bella Cuba afterwards so that you skip most of the post-event traffic.

Remember that you need to show vaccine papers before the Art Basel folks will give you a “COVID-19 Certificate Checked” wristband. The good news for the unvaccinated is that you show a picture of your CDC card on your phone and therefore the name on the certificate is too small to be matched to your photo ID (not that there is any serious attempt to do so).

Here’s the vaccine papers check tent:

And the precious result:

(Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler if the U.S. adopted Philip’s RFID chip-in-the-neck idea?)

A couple of hours earlier, a mid-career artist at a party said, “You’re not going to get a grant unless your work is about BLM or LGBTQ.” If she is right, here’s an artist on track for a grant:

Masks are required inside and, since it is Florida and people can’t be expected to carry masks, they’re handed out by official Mask Karens. Not everyone can be reached by #Science, however…

Here’s one of the official Mask Karens demonstrating proper under-nose mask position:

Given the international crowd and the near-certainty of being exposed to the Omicron variant (state-sponsored media reassures us by quoting an innumerate 79-year-old who reminds us not to panic), did a lot of folks choose to use a fresh N95 respirator combined with hand-washing, hand-sanitizing, and never touching the mask? No. Cloth masks, which have been proven useless in a randomized controlled trial, were by far the most popular choice. These had been pulled from purses and pockets and therefore were pre-soaked with whatever bacteria and viruses can thrive on a moist face rag. A lady walking in front of me did not notice that she’d dropped her cloth mask on the sidewalk while getting something else from her purse. I picked it up (by the loops) and handed it to her, confident that the sidewalk germs will eventually be on her lips in addition to Omicron.

The people who are there to transact business (I didn’t hear of anything for sale at less than $220,000) were generally unmasked. In other words, those most likely to have come off multi-hour flights from plague centers were the least likely to be masked. Example:

Overall, I would say that the COVID-related aspects of the affair were handled exactly as well as you’d expect in a country that has to import all of its LCD and OLED displays and most of its integrated circuits (“chips”) from more detail-oriented nations. When it comes to COVID-19 vigilance, Yoda reminds us “There is No Try” (title of the 2020 work below by Tom Sachs):

Do. Or do not. But also, it is okay to do sometimes and sort of. And make sure to vaccinate The Child (Grogu, not to be confused with MIT’s Grogo).

14 thoughts on “Parking at Art Basel: the high school across the street (also some masketology)

  1. Maybe this is a petty quibble, but as a part-time Deplorable that many associated with Miami Art | Basel would consider to be a borderline illiterate philistine, I note that their home page (your link at the top) spells “FLOORPLAN” wrong – twice.

    They have it as: “FLOORPAN” which is the common term for the bottom of a car. Scroll down, sixth rectangle on the right after “CONVERSATIONS.”

    Proofreading. Proofreading is key.

    The interesting thing is: this spelling error gave me a bit of fresh insight (more accurately, reminded me) into how malleable people’s “certainties” and opinions can be. For a few seconds when I read “Floorpan” I thought:

    “That has to be some kind of legitimate alternative spelling that I don’t know about because maybe I’m not an Art | Basel sophisticate. They MUST be right with all the money and influence and cultural depth they’ve got.”

    In other words, for a few seconds, if someone had come up with a fake Wikipedia or Mirriam-Webster entry showing that alternate spelling, I would have believed it. This is why politicians have the best jobs in the world: they can lie through their teeth, but as long as they have a chart, or a graph, or a study authored by a professor at a university somewhere, their nonsense can become the New Truth.

  2. All the contradictions between mask theory and practice that you point out reassure me. It means not all people are paranoid about it, they don’t care, they live normally (as much as they can). All resemblance with life east of the Iron Courtain before ’89 is purely coincidental.

    • Adso: Certainly there were plenty of young/fabulous people at the event who weren’t wearing masks. But there were also quit a few age 70-plus attendees, mostly appearing to identify as “women”, who were conspicuously unmasked (not even a chin diaper, which is standard here in Florida for fast food restaurant workers where the chain requires masks). The most logical conclusion, I think, is that these elderly ladies have decided to live out their remaining years more or less the way that they did for their first 70. So either (1) they aren’t excited by the 0-11 percent protection that #Science estimates for non-N95 masks (or less than 0 percent if you believe the Swedes, who say that mask-wearing induces people to crowd together more), or (2) they don’t think it is unreasonable that a virus sometimes kills a human. My bet would be on explanation (2) because if they were seriously determined to live forever they would stay home.

  3. If you’re going to look at Yoda paintings, you should wear your Yoda watch. Citizen has a range of Star Wars watches and Yoda is one of them. Actually, the Yoda watch is the most “conventional” and most difficult (to my eyes) to identify as a “Star Wars” watch. It’s actually a tasteful dresser, and solar-powered with Citizen’s excellent Eco-Drive system.

    Their C3PO watch looks, well, just like C3PO.

    Yoda the Tasteful:

    C3PO the Uber Droid:

    I think Art | Basel should DO a little better at proofreading their home page. There is no try.

    • Thanks, Alex. That Yoda watch seems perfect for wearing next to a wristband certifying that one is vaccinated against an alien virus!

  4. The scenes and overall spirit remind me of A Clockwork Orange.
    No relationship though between Alex I and Alex from A Clockwork Orange.

  5. I’m considering purchasing the beautiful exhibit about “White Folks”. It could be put on an Italian beach to remind people in rubber boats that their positive preconceptions about entering Europe are entirely misguided and they are making a horrible mistake. If only anyone had told them!

    The Covid bracelet is stunning and could perhaps serve as a leash for the Golden Retriever.

    • That is the value store. Creating classical paintings and sculptures is hard. So it is like cryptocurrency except it is less traceable and less portable. Hence UBS. Trading is hard too.

  6. One would think that if the black man, walking with the tall blond female in tight purple pants, can afford to visit, and has in interest in, Art Basel, then he wouldn’t dress like a vagrant. Or maybe his outfit is “art.”

    • Are you kidding me? Ripped and distressed jeans have been a Thing for a couple of years now, particularly among *women.* They’re trending down a little bit, but are still very popular.

      The guy there is also sporting a little bit of Kanye West and a big, complicated wristwatch but I can’t zoom in enough to identify it. My guess is that he’s wearing the ripped and distressed jeans in a nod to his partner, to demonstrate his sensitivity and appreciation for her fashion sense. It’s a “we-ness” thing, I think. He’s very fashionably dressed. That’s a cool outfit: big rugged boots, uber-masculine bling wristwatch, silvered aviator shades, distressed jeans. That’s probably $1000 worth of kit (or more) depending on the price of the watch and the brand of the shirt and the shades.

    • @Sombfab: Also: It’s a lot more than $1,000 if I’m right. His T-shirt looks like a variant of a Louis Vuitton crewneck/tshirt, his may be a knock-off but I somehow doubt it.

      Here’s another variant with different sleeves: $1800 for the T-shirt.

      I up my estimate: that guy is wearing $4,000 worth of clothes and accessories *at least*. Get with it! Those lips of hers didn’t get blown up to jumbo size for $9.99, neither.

  7. > Inre: MIT’s Grogo

    I guess if you have a 4,800 pound gorilla statue that’s seductively posed for the amusement of children it’s OK in the suburbs of Illinois – a work of art in a zoo, designed to promote the gentler characteristics of male silverback gorillas, to encourage conservation.

    King Nyani at the Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield IL.

    It sounds like Silverbacks aren’t very woke. They kind of run the show, have mate with all the females, and crush the opposition:

    “The silverback is the centre of the troop’s attention, making all the decisions, mediating conflicts, determining the movements of the group, leading the others to feeding sites, and taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of the troop. Younger males subordinate to the silverback, known as blackbacks, may serve as backup protection. Blackbacks are aged between 8 and 12 years[49] and lack the silver back hair. The bond that a silverback has with his females forms the core of gorilla social life. Bonds between them are maintained by grooming and staying close together.[53] Females form strong relationships with males to gain mating opportunities and protection from predators and infanticidal outside males.”

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