The best part of "Super Freak," I think, is when Rick James says "Temptations, sing." The venerable Motown group gets right to it, performing the backup vocals, but I always took what he was saying more literally: I thought he was saying that in his life, temptations called to him, Siren-like.
Are temptations a form of freedom (because they help us to cast off the restrictions of daily responsibility) or are they a form of confinement (because what appears to create freedom in fact creates a new kind of prison)? It's a heavy question, so heavy that if it were loaded onto a plane, the plane might not get off the ground, but it's also been an unspoken, if graphically articulated, part of this competition since the start. Up until now, Mig has argued in favor of freedom -- casting off rules, taking leaps -- and Armin has, for the most part, brought us back into the fold.
This recap is prelude to layer #7, which is a radical move for Armin. He's taken the most controversial image thus far, the pair of hands pulling on a glove (which refers to state control at the broadest level, as well as the very specific recent policy of invasive TSA pat-downs), and multiplied it kaleidoscopically. There are now four hexagonal patterns, each constructed from hands in gloves, and they're not static: in fact, they're throwing off bolts of energy. Armin has also picked up an earlier thread by including a quote/caption that is, in some form, a collection of pop-culture reference. Rick James is in there, still, as is Keanu Reeves. "This trip is long" might be a nod to the Grateful Dead's "Truckin'," or it might be a comment on Layer Tennis itself, and the exhaustion of creating five short works of graphic art in fifteen-minute spurts. Either way, Armin has preserved the idea of a journey, and in that sense he's consistent: all along the way, Mig keeps trying to jump ship (or plane), and Armin hangs in there, weary, threatening to hit the chutes, but never quite willing to take the escapist leap. The shock of the new is a way of funneling power to the old, or at least the recent.
We're almost into the homestretch, which means that it's time for me to wonder out loud which of the elements will be retained or will return--airplane? beer? beads and braids? Will there be another radical break? Will the palette shift? Will the picture plane be hijacked? Don't touch that dial.
Play by play commentary for this match is provided, as it happens, by Ben Greenman.
Our friends and longtime sponsors at Adobe have a quick survey for Layer Tennis fans. It would mean a lot to us if you could take a couple minutes between layers to answer some simple questions. Thanks a million.
Congratulations to Mig Reyes, Layer Tennis Season 3 Champion.
Thanks to all the players, commentators and fans who made Season Three of Layer Tennis a big success. And thanks to the crew at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and all the folks at Adobe Creative Suite for making it possible. Watch this space (or sign up for Season Tickets or follow us on Twitter) for news about some special exhibition matches being planned and about Season 4.
Cast your votes on The Championship Match. Both Finalists will receive invitations to play in the post-season tournament for Season Four.
Here's how the voting works. Decide who you'd like to declare as winner and then simply tweet their first name following a hash mark. Either #mig or #noper and, this is important, also include #lyt in that tweet. We'll leave the voting open all weekend and announce our Season Three Champion on Monday.
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