Ktismatics

12 December 2010

H.30.B.M

Filed under: Culture, Reflections — ktismatics @ 8:08 am

What is this image? It’s about 2 feet in diameter, spray-stencilled on a sidewalk near where I live. I’d seen another copy of it on the wall of a pedestrian underpass tunnel in town, but that one has been painted over by the city maintenance crew.

13 Dec — Turns out the image measures only about 15 inches across: apparently it looms larger in my unconscious.

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12 Comments »

  1. I found the identical image in February spray-painted on a sidewalk in Boulder CO. No idea what it means, but curious. You saw in Ashland. What state?

    Comment by Karl — 6 March 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  2. Karl, dude, I’m in Boulder. Did you google H.30.B.M too? No information to be found there, alas. Where in Boulder did you see her? The image has begun to fade a bit over time — maybe we must stand before her and wait for her to reveal her message to us before she fades away entirely. Of Ashland I know nothing — perhaps she is calling you to make a pilgrimage there.

    Comment by ktismatics — 6 March 2011 @ 10:34 pm

  3. Sorry, I didn’t know you had posted back. That image is located on the sidewalk on the west side of Greenbriar between Longwood and Silver Plume, and it is fading fast. I don’t think it’s the same one you saw because the little pebbles and marks in the concrete look different. Still nothing more on Google that I can find. Its meaning is a real mystery and I love a mystery. Don’t know why I thought you were in Ashland. Maybe Aliens did it.

    Comment by Karl — 13 December 2011 @ 6:25 am

  4. Yes, that’s the same one; I walk past or over it just about every day. There used to be another on the wall of the pedestrian underpass going under Broadway near Grinnell Street, but the city painted that one over pretty quickly. I too am drawn to its mystery. I used the image in a fiction I was writing, transposed into a different context. A guy walks into a bar, maybe on or off of Pearl Street…

    …When the young woman in the black velvet jacket asks what you’d like you don’t have to think twice: a bottle of Bass, please. As she pours you take a closer look at the ornate pendant suspended from the black ribbon encircling her neck. It appears to be an iconic image, although the coronet perched atop the leering holy woman’s head and the five-pointed pinwheel she wears above her left breast betoken no familiar theology. Some new-age mystic no doubt, maybe even an ironic citation of mysticism. Most likely the barista spotted the medallion at a consignment store and thought how good it would look with her black jacket. The beer has been poured, and now you realize that you’re standing there staring at this young woman’s chest. She, who has surely dealt with your type before, asks if you’d like to sit down…

    Comment by ktismatics — 13 December 2011 @ 7:31 am

  5. Very nice! The image would make an interesting pendant for sure. No telling where pursuit of its source and meaning will lead, both in (your) fiction and in reality. We might conclude it has a local genesis, so someone else in Boulder may know of it. I’ll keep on the lookout and post if I learn anything.

    Comment by Kar — 16 December 2011 @ 7:12 am

  6. Great; me too. Looking at it yesterday I realized that I should take another photo before it disappears completely. The crowned lady has been there for about a year now, but in another year she’ll likely have vanished completely. Recently I watched a Werner Herzog film about the cave paintings in France, with images of horses, rhinos and so on dating back 30,000 years or more. All of the drawings are so masterfully done, we wondered where the cave artists practiced their skills. But maybe back in the paleolithic days all the rocks had animals drawn on them — like tagging today, or like this mystery woman on the Greenbriar sidewalk. Those drawings would all wash away in a year or two, leaving no traces behind.

    I was also wondering whether the cave men ascribed mystical meaning to the drawings that eroded away. It’s like homeopathic medicines: after being diluted with water again and again, pretty much all the molecules of the original medicinal compound get washed away. But according to the homeopaths all of that diluting and shaking and stirring releases the spiritual essence of the medicine, intensifying its power. Maybe the rock paintings had homeopathic powers: as the drawing faded away the spirit of the animal was strengthened and released.

    Comment by ktismatics — 16 December 2011 @ 9:25 am

  7. It sounds like French time notation,at least that’s what you get when you google without dots between letters

    On the other hand it’s like the AXON inscription in INLAND EMPIRE

    Comment by Center of Parody — 16 December 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  8. Kind of like the French time. Right now it’s 5:39 am here; in French notation that would be 05h39.

    The AXON inscription I remember only vaguely. It was something written prominently on a wall, wasn’t it, but that was never explained? A mysterious inscription that ought to have conveyed meaning but didn’t, and because it eluded understanding it drew attention to itself.

    Comment by ktismatics — 17 December 2011 @ 5:43 am

  9. I found her today ,o)

    Comment by Carolyn — 8 June 2013 @ 10:12 pm

  10. Really? That’s exciting! Where is it? The one in my neighborhood has almost completely eroded away, so unless you knew where it had been you’d never recognize it.

    Comment by ktismatics — 9 June 2013 @ 5:50 am

    • Near gross resv. I have coords if you want them.

      Comment by Carolyn — 9 June 2013 @ 10:48 am

    • Thanks, but just knowing she’s still around here somewhere is enough for me.

      Comment by ktismatics — 9 June 2013 @ 6:11 pm


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