Serpentine’s Unprecedented List of Unprecedented Things

2014 was an unprecedented year of, well, unprecedented years. We can talk about the positives and negatives, how Ebola showed the world that another Black Plague might be possible, and I talked about ISIS and slave markets a couple months ago. There are many things that we can agree upon that make 2014 ‘special’, with the exception of one or two events that are truly singular in North America, I want to outline ten moments in 2014 that were exceptional for good or bad. Here we go:

1: Ferguson.

OK, let’s get the bad one out of the road. Seems Occupy Davis and Gezi Park globally haven’t shown our brutality. The 60’s are back, and we’re not talking about go-go boots.

2: The Scottish Referendum.

I love em, but I want Scotland to be an independent nuclear power just as much as Texas, but for different reasons.

3: Klaus Biesenbach’s Instagram photo with Lady Gaga, Marina Abramovic, James Franco, and Courtney Love.

This is a hard one, from saying this might be Warhol 2.0 to the article stating that the art world generally tends to hurt media stars. Interesting moment.

4: The Grumpy Cat® movie grossing over $100M in the box office.

Although we might have thought Henri le Chat Noir might be more deserving, we have yet to see a pug movie. #pugmire.

5: Elon Musk open-sourcing all of Tesla Motors’ patents.

Want to make a kick-ass state of the art electric sports car? Here’s my plans, because I can’t make the things fast enough.

6: The Imitation Game.

Not just because a movie about Alan Turing is awesome, not only by outing oppression against one of the finest minds of the 20th Century, but showing that a geek won the war. Take that.

7: The World Cup.

Some amazing matches, and watching the US vs. Germany in Grant Park was just astounding.

8: Humanity landed a probe on a freakin’ comet and pretty much definitively found water on Mars.

Seems like space isn’t so boring after all.

9: Sir Patrick Stewart doing the ALS Challenge in the classiest way possible, and rockin’ that Santa hat.

Much better to have a sip of Glenmorangie and sign a check than have your man-bits suck up into you. Bravo.

10: That Pope – what a guy.

I mean, taking the Vatican to task for “Spiritual Alzhemer’s” and calling on all Catholics to fight global warming? Almost conversion material.


Patrick Lichty is a writer, artist, and cultural provocateur living in the nexus between Milwaukee and Chicago. He has been part of the media/art scene for nearly 25 years and is/has been part of many groups such as RTMark, Second Front, haymarket RIOT and The Yes Men. He is part of the art & theory faculties of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
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