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Welcome to The Houston Literary Review
March 2008 Video & Music Issue

THLR staff are fortunate to offer our readers contributions
from the amazing talent and creative genius of Rob Tyler

We have featured work from Rob Tyler that views the world from an eye that largely serves the biddings of machines such as cars, can openers, dump trucks, and grocery carts, among others. Machines need an eye,
an overseer, however prosthetic, to guide their doing, even to enjoy their doing.
This go-round, we feature work from Tyler that looks back into the amused and human eyes of an overseer with a different sort of pondering. Well, sort of, but you may be asking yourself questions about the machine your eyes serve once you experience A Thing of Wonder, The Mind and Matter of Jerry Andrus.
But that's only one feature.

The Beautiful and the Fine is the next feature (actually, snippet). It concerns Venus flytraps, where we have plants acting as animals. But there's more.
The sum total: Tyler leads me to believe that everything in this world can be represented as a function in an equation called video. And video is a grand mousetrap, a Rube Goldberg machine, where distinctions between human, animal, plant, and machine reduce to functions like opening a can, parking a car, or trapping a fly. Yet, his work is not quite this simple (if such a statement can be said to be simple). And the work is very beautiful.
Note: both The Beautiful and the Fine and A Thing of Wonder, The Mind and Matter of Jerry Andrus are the product of a group called Archipelago, of which Tyler is a member.
A Bit of Advertisement for Rob Tyler and the Archipelago Group
We are pleased to tell you that our 2002 documentary A Thing of Wonder, The Mind and Matter of Jerry Andrus is now available on DVD. The DVD features a re-mastered movie plus over an hour of Jerry Andrus bonus features.  For more info, visit: www.archmotion.com/atow.html .
A Thing of Wonder, The Mind and Matter of Jerry Andrus
Ladies and Gentleman, it is time for you to discover the Tri-Zonal Space Warper.
83-year old magician, inventor and poet Jerry Andrus has an insatiable appetite for uncovering the mysteries of life on the boundary between reason and illusion. Wandering through his Albany, Oregon, "Castle of Chaos," he demonstrates his incredible inventions (like the Tri-Zonal Space Warper), and waxes philosophic on the subjects of reason, perception, God and what he calls "the curse of contentment."

Reflecting not only his creative genius, but also his principled lifestyle and profound involvement with the problems of human existence, A Thing of Wonder pays tribute to a man devoted equally to the science and magic of wonder.
On Jerry Andrus, the subject of A Thing of Wonder, The Mind and Matter of Jerry Andrus.
A snippet from A Thing of Wonder, The Mind and Matter of Jerry Andrus.
The Beautiful and the Fine
Exploring the tension between humans' awe of nature and our compulsion to manipulate it, this work documents three "bio-collectors" - a carnivorous plant fanatic, a couple that keeps hundreds of koi and goldfish, and a species tulip enthusiast. Fusing stunning photography of the collected beings (including time-lapse sequences and underwater video), thought-provoking commentary, and an atmospheric original score, The Beautiful and the Fine invites the viewer to at once experience the incredible beauty of these creatures and contemplate the circumstances of their captivity.