Twombly, Twombly!!!


 

I recently visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This is one of the exhibitions that caught my eye.

Cy Twombly was an American artist, who belonged to the same generation as Robert Rauschenburg. He was a painter, sculptor, and photographer. He was born in 1928, died in 2011. In 1954, Twombly served as a cryptographer for the U.S. Army. In 1957, Twombly moved to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life. His work was mostly Abstract Expressionism.

 

Second Voyage to ItalyCy Twombly, Second Voyage to Italy

 

Twombly lived in Rome after World War II. He ended up being among a generation artists, in 1950’s Europe, that were trying to forget about the war. For his inspiration, Twombly used his surroundings in Rome, combined with the new style of American painters. He used these sources, and combined it with his own emotional reactions to them.

His paintings mostly had a solid color background that was usually gray, tan, or off-white. On top of the solid color background, Twombly scribbled. A few of these, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, resembled a chalkboard. And, what looked like chalk, was in the form of scribbling. Many of his paintings use this scribbling style, which sometimes resembles cursive handwriting (a calligraphy style). Other times, Twombly’s work resembles grafitti. One of the large paintings, at the Museum of Modern Art, looked like random chalk marks. But, some looked more like cursive handwriting. Though, there were no actual letters represented, just vague shapes that resembled the structure of letters. Later in his career, he would focus more on romantic symbolism.

Untitled Cursive-style piece

Cy Twombly, Untitled

Cursive-style piece

When I stood next to a large Twombly art piece “Untitled, 1971,” a museum employee told me that it was worth $1 Billion dollars. That intrigued me. I looked into why Twombly’s work would be worth so much money. Twombly was a big influence to generations of younger artists. He is considered a very important artist. He is said to have influenced Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente, and Julian Schnabel. Another reason that Twombly’s work is so expensive now, is scarcity. Twombly has a small body of work, only creating about 650 paintings. When compared to artists, such as Andy Warhol who created over 10,000 works of art, Twombly has a relatively small amount of completed works. If every major art museum in the world sought to acquire an important Twombly piece, there wouldn’t be any his artwork left.

 

Untitled 1971.jpg

 

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1971

Me Next to a $1 Billion dollar art pieceMe next to a $1 Billion dollar art piece

I liked the artworks by Twombly that were more of calligraphic style, that looked almost like cursive handwriting. My favorite piece of Twombly’s, n the Museum of Modern Art, was a piece titled “Note I” from the series “III Notes from Salalah” 2005-2007. It had that chalkboard aesthetic, the forms that resembled cursive handwriting, and drips. The calligraphic-style faux lettering looked watered down. And, the letters were dripping.

Note I from the series III Notes from Salalah 2005-2007Cy Twombly, “Note I” from the series “III Notes from Salalah” 2005-2007

How Deep Does the Red Square Go?


I went to the Crocker Art Gallery, and saw a piece titled “Deep Red Square (Homage to Josef Albers).” It is a large square, that looks to be about 4 feet by 4 feet. The piece was made in 1980. Richard Anuszkiewicz is the artist that created this painting. It is made with acrylic on canvas. The piece consists of a red square in the middle of a blue background, utilizing complemetary colors. Red lines radiate outward from the square, to the edge of the painting. They are straight, usually diagonal lines. It reminds me of a starburst. At the corners, on the outer edges of the red square, the red lines get closer together. The lines start to bleed together, and shine a red color from the outer corners of the red square to the inner corners of the painting.

The lines feel like an optical illusion, they made my eyes feel a little strained. But, it was very beautiful. I took pictures, but it doesn’t turn out the same as looking at the piece in person. You can really see the line work in person. As you move around the painting, the lines look like they are moving. You really need to zoom into the picture to see all the lines in it. Just looking at at the full photograph pushes the fine lines so close together, that it’s hard to really see them. The large size of the piece, in person, is a vastly different experience.

I liked this piece, it really alive as you walk around it. It is placed in the middle of an otherwise blank wall, in the museum. It is bright, and vibrant. I liked it, but I don’t think I’d like to own it. Looking at it for too long strains my eyes. It is an illusion, without the elements of a traditional illusion. It is supposed to just be about the act of seeing.

Anuszkiewicz became an important figure in this art movement, called Op Art (or, Optical Art). Op Art gives the illusion of motion. It was partially a reaction to Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism.

Like what you’re reading? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat laugh my way through our political system, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 4-5pm on KSSU.COM

A Close-up of “The Sickness”


Palette.“The Sickness,” by Rich Beckermeyer is in the Sac State Library’s Gallery right now. Beckermeyer is a photographer, filmmaker, and writer.

His work in this exhibition consists of very large photos, in the form of Dibold Metal Prints. This is where the ink is infused into the metal, aluminized metal. This makes the prints durable, water-proof, and shiny. Beckermeyer used his grandfather, and his failing health, as his subject. His goal was to engage with the overall conversation of aging, care, and end of life.

Many of his photographs are very close up, and all of them are very large. This gives such an intimacy to the viewer. It’s done in grayscale. The achromatic nature of the work gives it a little bit of emotional distance, and sets a tone of the past and memories, to the work. And, the shine to these types of metal prints always strike me as really springing them to life. It adds dimension to it, which highlights different aspects of the picture, as you move around.

We can see the small flakes of skin, coming off of the grandfather’s back. The oxygen tubing is blown up so large, and still is not contained inside the frame. The blow-up of a page of the bible is mostly blurry, because the grandfather was losing his sight, but it was still a huge part of his life. Making these items, these moments so large gives them such an emotional weight. You can feel how much these items meant to the artist, and/or his grandfather.

I personally really liked the print titled, “His Caregiver Walking Away From Her Childhood Home.” Nothing seems cleaned up for the shot. The tree branches he included in the shot add to the feeling of age to this home, further highlighted by the grayscale of the photo. The caregiver looks contemplative, with a touch of sadness. It was one that I kept going back to. I tried imagining what was going through her head. And, it could be a myriad of things, even when only put into the context of the rest of the show.

 

“The Sickness,” will be at Sacramento State’s Library Gallery until March 18th, 2017

Like what you’re reading? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat laugh my way through our political system, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 4-5pm on KSSU.COM

Losing my mind, and possibly my government…


imagesOne of the things I’ve been comforted by, since Trump’s election, is the amount of political participation. People are protesting, going to town halls, etc. It has made me think that, if we can sustain it, we may have a chance at stopping (at least) the worst of what’s happening in D.C. now. Because it is the only way we have of stopping it. It’s only been a month of Trump’s presidency, and already you can feel the fatigue. We can’t let the fatigue get to us. What is happening is seriously terrifying. It is threatening to slowly erode our democracy. I don’t think that Trump is Hitler, the comparison is insulting. And, I don’t think Trump is the only person threatening our free system in this country. I think there are a lot of congress people that are doing whatever they feel like doing, instead of representing the American people. But, if we can keep up the level of political awareness, and outrage, we can really shake up Congress in 2 years. I’m really hoping that we can vote out enough Republicans in Congress to get a majority. Then, at least, we can make it much more difficult for Trump in the last 2 years of his presidential term. And, even more hopefully, we can then vote Trump out. Amazingly, I feel like members of Congress are actually incentivizing people to vote them out of office. Since Trump has taken office, and done many things that scare people, or anger them, or both; people have begun to engage with their respective member of Congress. They’re going to town hall meetings, calling their representative’s offices, or e-mailing their Congress person. And, incredibly, Congress’ response has been to shove their fingers in their ears and shout “LALALALALALALAAAA, CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!” This makes me rage as much as Trump being president. Congress is supposed to represent the will of the people. They are supposed to be beholden to their constituents. But, now, they are shutting down lines of communication between them and the people they are supposed to be working for. Kellyanne Conway is telling them to ignore their constituents, that the only thing that matters is (what she calls) the “Real Person Impact” (R.P.I). She says that it only matters what “real” people think. Which I find directly insulting, apparently I’m not a real person. But, how does she determine what “real” people think anyway? She’s telling representatives to actively ignore constituents trying to make their voices heard. And, we know the Trump administration denounces polling data. So, how are they getting the information on what “real” people think, anyway? Over the weekend, our representatives went home to their districts. Of the 292 members of Congress, there were only 88 in-person town halls scheduled, and 35 of those were for ONE Congress person. Our members of Congress are instead opting for live-streaming town hall events online, where they can pre-screen any questions they decide to answer. But, that’s not all. Many Representatives are not answering their phones, or e-mails. We have people faxing their representatives, because it’s the only way they can get their voices heard by the people that are supposed to be representing their voices. I hope all these people hold on to their outrage over this, and actually vote these people out in 2 years. Because this is not how democracy is supposed to work.

Art Street Fun


Palette.As an artist, I tend to flinch when someone goes up and touches another person’s art. Much of the time, art is made to just be observed. But, going to Art Street, and seeing different pieces that were designed to be interacted with, was a change that quite interesting. I had to get over the knee-jerk reaction of “why are you touching things?” That was a difficult feeling to get over. I’ve taken art history classes, where you learn of all the art damaged or lost forever. In the early 19th century, some frescoes from ancient Egypt and ancient Greece were stripped of their original color for aesthetic purposes, aesthetics of that time period. Art being handled, or exposed to camera flashes, etc. can slowly damage art over time. And, the art is someone else’s creation. I would usually feel strange, seeing people touching my work. But, art isn’t only one thing. Art is everywhere. Art is an experience. Art can be anything. DuChamp famously took a pre-made urinal, and signed his name to it. A joke, yes. But, also a statement, anything can be art. And, having art that engages more than one of the senses makes for some pretty interesting experiences. There’s a room with nooks cut out of the walls, lined with pillows to sit on. The nooks have headphones, with meditation style music playing through them. The room has a giant zen garden in the middle, lit up by green and yellow lights softly shimmering across the room. Another piece was made of moss, in a picture frame mounted on the wall, with a sign that says “Please touch me.” One piece, that was particularly popular with children in attendance, was a collage (in pieces) on several turnstiles. Depending on which way each of the turnstile collages were faced, and where you were standing, determined what type of collage you will see. Kids ran through these giant turnstiles, pushing them around and around, like they were playing in rotating doors. Having art that not only engaged your senses, but could be fun, is extremely smart. Kids are having a good time, and being exposed to art. I wasn’t just standing around, talking about the pieces, wondering if I could take a picture. I was standing inside the art, playing with it, feeling it. Everyone was having a good time, kids were going up to the open mic. Adults were closing their eyes, and really listening to the experience. We weren’t just staring, we were climbing inside, and living the experience. I think this kind of art needs to be around us much more than it is. Going to an art gallery, or museum, feels like a chore sometimes. Something to educate us, or our children. But, once you are there, you go out of your way to keep quiet. You’re afraid to take photos of the work. Adults with children are always on alert, making sure the kids aren’t wandering off breaking things. This isn’t a conducive environment to enjoy the art you came to see. And, it’s mostly boring for the children. I remember being dragged to museums. I didn’t want to be there. But, experiences like this make people interested in it, engaged with it more fully. It was a lot of fun.

Art Street by M5Arts is in Sacramento until Feb. 25th

 

If you are an artist at Sac State, and would like some of your art reviewed, contact me: DJTraySquat on facebook. And, listen to Poli-Psycho on KSSU.com every Wednesday at 6-7pm

Art Round-up


Palette.

Often, I’m out looking at local art in Sacramento, for inspiration. And, often, I find art pieces that I really want to share with people. Here are a couple of exhibitions I found interesting.

Fine Art to Enhance Your Life & Surroundings by Steve Memering

The Smith Gallery, 1020 11th St #100, Sacramento, CA 95814

The exhibition represents painting. The theme of the works was nature and city-scapes. The imagery was figurative. It was easy to tell that the city-scapes were mostly of the Sacramento or Bay area. The nature paintings were of trees, fish, etc.

Some of the architecture was pretty. It had bright colors, and I recognized some of the buildings and places that were depicted.

But, my favorite was (what appeared to be) an old map-like collage of Sacramento. There were renderings of old Sacramento architecture surrounding a relief map of how Sacramento used to look. It was done in a burnt sienna-type coloring to look old. It seemed really fun. I liked the color. I liked that the buildings on the map looked like they might in real life, stood up.

I liked the subjects the artist chose. I didn’t like the final product of most of his paintings. The color, line, and style felt so familiar that it made me skim over most without really looking at it. They seemed like paintings that had been done a million times before. But, the one that caught my eye had one color. It had different things in it to look at. This taught me that the color palette and style you choose can really impact the interest a piece gets. And, how powerful juxtaposing things can really be.

Wings and Things: Michele Fisher and Vicki Sarantopulos

Art House: 1021 R St at 10th, Sacramento, California 95811

The exhibition was ceramics/mixed media. The pieces had elements of collage and assemblage. The theme of the works was psychology and nature. The works endeavored to explore the narratives of universal human struggles, metaphor, symbolism, and archetypes. The artists are also psychotherapists. So, they explored their experience dealing with human mind and emotions in their work.

The imagery was abstract. The works had a lot of mixing/melding of human and nature, nature and architecture, human and architecture, and so on. Different things were used, such as cloth, paper, and feathers. These items either covered or fit inside of the ceramic elements of the pieces.

I like the use of the other items. The cloth, for example, cut across where a face was fused with wings and a castle. This face had wings attached to the sides of it, and a castle attached to it’s forehead. But, we never see were these things are fused. The cloth looks like a wrap around the head, but doubles to hide the location of the juxtapositions. I think this separation eases the transition from each element, making it more pleasing for the viewer. The same is true of other elements in other pieces. They both smooth out the piece, and move your eyes along.

I really loved these pieces. These pieces all looked like they could have come from one artist. I learned that juxtaposing things can be too powerful, and that there are things that you can do to tone down the transition while keeping the effect.

If you are an artist at Sac State, and would like some of your art reviewed, contact me: DJTraySquat on facebook. And, listen to Poli-Psycho on KSSU.com every Wednesday at 6-7pm

Kellyanne Conway, the real star of 2016


kellyanne-conwayLet’s stop all the partisan fighting for a moment, and recognize how amazing Kellyanne Conway is. Now, I love politics. I was so excited for the final presidential debate, that it made me feel old and boring. And, I am passionate about who I support and why. But, no matter which party you associate with, or which candidate you like, you have to admit how great the GOP’s presidential nominee’s campaign manager truly is. No matter how bad it has gotten, Kellyanne Conway has maintained her incredible skill as a campaign manager. She maneuvers around reporters’ questions with such ease. She turns just about just about any discussion of her candidate back on the Democrat’s nominee, so fast it’s made my head spin on occasion. No matter how bad things seem to get for her client, Conway is there with a more flattering take on it. I love watching her. There are some conservatives that I can’t watch, and some liberals, but I love watching her on TV. I seek out clips of her on YouTube. She is a strong, smart, and extremely competent woman.

Take this, for instance. When I watched Kellyanne Conway talking about Clinton’s legal settlements, I thought she’d painted herself into a corner. “He settled a sexual harassment case for $850,000 with Paula Jones in 1998 dollars. The last time I didn’t sexually harass someone, I didn’t pay him $850,000,” she said.

Anderson Cooper went after that one right away. “Your candidate has settled numerous lawsuits without admitting any guilt on a whole number of things,” he said. “Are you implying that settling a lawsuit is implying guilt? Because if so, it means your candidate is guilty of an awful of lot of things, no?”

Conway dodged the question. And, Cooper repeated it. And, yes, Conway was briefly flustered. But, she sighed pointedly, and quickly recovered. She was barely thrown off for a second, then rapidly threw out this before quickly moving on, “I’m saying that I believe Paula Jones, is what I’m saying,” That was the closest I’ve ever seen to her being trapped, or thrown off her game. But, she zipped around that pothole, and only spilled a tiny bit of her coffee.

Kellyanne Conway really dedicates herself to her job. Before the final debate, she told reporters that her candidate would absolutely accept the election results. And, after he made it clear (during that debate) that he wouldn’t commit to that, Conway was on top of it, “Everybody, including Al Gore in 2000, waits to see what those election results are,” Conway said. This woman has an answer to everything.

And, it’s not just the press. You can tell that she does her best with her candidate, too. At a rally in Greensboro, N.C., journalist McKay Coppins tweeted “Trump supporter in the back shouting at the candidate, ‘Stay on the issues!’”

Kellyanne Conway responded, tweeting  “That was me! I was there…” Now, that could well have been a joke. But, I think it shows she is trying her best with her client. I always look forward to seeing her on television. She comes across as genuinely passionate about what she’s doing. I can’t speculate on whether this is just a job for her, or if she truly does believe in everything she’s being paid to say. But, there will be people that will link her to him from this point on. And, I don’t know if that’s entirely fair. But, it could leave her with the task of distancing herself from her candidate. I don’t anticipate her having any problems with that, though.

You should check out some of her TV appearances online. For me, Kellyanne Conway is a joy to watch. I admire her so much. If her client loses, I hope she doesn’t go away. I want to see her more often. And, if I ever ran for office, she’s exactly who I’d want fighting for me.

 

 

Like what you’re reading? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat laugh my way through our political system, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 6-7pm on KSSU.COM

Corporation USA


NEWS FLASH (SCARY ANIMATED GRAPHIC): The country is not a business. Not only is the USA a country, but it is a special country. And, I mean that. We are special.

 

The basic idea of running the USA like a business, actually violates the entire spirit of the constitution. The same constitution, by the way, that local politicians claim to be fighting for while firing guns at print-outs of bills that they hate. I wish that were a joke, no wait… not sure that I do.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIJORBRpOPM

 

That’s right, we’re going to cut the bloat out of the government and tighten it’s belt. Except, when most companies “cut the bloat,” that’s code for firing many people. And, “tightening their belt” doesn’t result in a wealth for the entire corporation. It results in the highest paid positions, getting even higher.

 

Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine a Bernie Sanders utopia. We won’t speculate on the success or failure of these policies, fight the urge. But, pay is up at every job level, every company position. And yet, even here, a corporation is still a corporation. It still has people that have radically different income levels, and radically different amounts of power over others. Even with regulations, as long as they are followed, the head of a company can do more to people than a president ever could. As for instance, freedom of speech. A company can fire you for saying something they don’t like. We can’t jail people for that, though. We are also not supposed to have inherited power in politics. What are sons, grandsons, and so on of the people that invented the famous flaming doo-hickey (from the makers of the finest flaming doo-hickeys, in the world), but financial dynasties? Financial royalty? That’s what they are, and it is against this county’s core values.

 

But, that’s in the most liberal of circumstances. We know that in reality, in our country, that too many corporations are exploitative. There are many whose lowest level of full-time employees, still need government assistance to survive. Too many middle class Americans that need 2 jobs to make it.

 

A country, OUR country, is not supposed to be set up this way. Any government is a way for people to come together, and decide how to divide resources among everyone in a fair (or not so fair) way. But, our country specifically was so afraid of tyrannical rule that we have checks and balances at every level. The president is not like a president of a company. The board of a company is not like congress. And, the rest of the American people are not their cashiers. We do not have to stay out of a bar, no matter what. We can express ourselves with tattoos, without being forced to hide them, because the taxpayer’s don’t like it. And, you can’t give an individual’s citizenship over to an individual of another nation.

 

No one should want our politicians to treat human beings like corners they can cut, especially to the extent that corporations do. Don’t spit on the founders’ ideals, while invoking their name. It is insulting to them, and to us. When politicians talk about “running the country like a business,” they should be eliminated from their run for office on just this point alone.

SlenderMan Attacks Luke’s Diner: POINTS!!!


lukeFall TV has started. As someone who watches WAY too much TV, I’m very excited. Here are some of the ones I’m awaiting.

 

American Horror Story has started. I haven’t liked the first two episodes, the faux reality show “My Roanoke Nightmare” isn’t a favorite of mine. But, I haven’t had the chance to watch the third episode yet. And, the good thing about an anthology series is that it could be completely different next season. And, a new show has decided to use the same format. Not just another anthology series, but another horror anthology series. But, this show takes all of its themes from CreepyPasta. Yes, the CreepyPasta of suicidemouse.avi and Slenderman. This show, that I’m very excited for, is called “Channel Zero,” and the first season is called “Candle Cove.” Candle Cove is supposed to be an old, probably disturbing, children’s show that very few people remember. And, it was supposedly associated with disappearances in the 80’s.

 

Scream Queens is back. The first episode was too much exposition for my taste, but their humor still doesn’t disappoint.

 

Oh, Walking Dead, always near to my heart. I’m starting to see a pattern, and suddenly I realize why my own art is so weird. I was not happy with last season’s cliffhanger. Because, it was bungled. I don’t have a problem with cliffhangers, they can be amazing devices. But, the entire last season was building to a death. But, with a whole season of everyone anticipating that, they didn’t show who it was that died. Look, a good cliffhanger comes out of NOWHERE!!! It smacks us in the face, then disappears, leaving us dying to know more until next season. Now, I more dreading this season than I am excited for it. If they were to show who died, and had a cliffhanger that worked like it was supposed to, I would’ve had the summer to be sad and wonder where the cliffhanger will end up. But, now I’m just full of dread more than anything, because I don’t know who I’m saying goodbye to. I’m kidding, I totally know. They aren’t that unpredictable. But let’s take, for instance, the show Lucifer. I’m so happy that’s back. That is a show that knows how to do a cliffhanger. And, it took a question and a 1-word answer to deliver that smack in the face.

 

I am starting to like Fear the Walking dead more, as it grows into its own. I, no joke, only began watching it so that I could get more Talking Dead. That’s still about 75% of the reason I watch it. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I have an odd fascination with Chris Hardwick. And, to a lesser extent, I’m fascinated by the whole after-show talk show genre. It’s one of the things I’ve thought about spending my inevitable future wealth on, making Chris Hardwick watch everything I’m watching and give me analysis on it. So, as soon as I’m rich, you’re getting a call Chris!

 

Getting away from the horror genre, I’m so looking forward to Once Upon a Time. Because, I fiercely love Regina. And, the more story she gets, the happier I am.

 

You’d think, knowing my dominant taste pretty well by now, that this next one wouldn’t be my absolute favorite show. But, nothing has taken a hold of my soul like this gem. The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life. This is one of the few shows I actually watched when they all first aired. To give you an idea, I’m so obsessed with this show that I’m still angry I didn’t get to go to the wedding of Luke and Lorelai. So, if there’s not a wedding in the new version, I will never stop fuming. I know that sounds bad. But, I could go on and on about how one of media’s functions is companionship. But, that’s another blog post. But, really, for 7 years you let your audience get to know these people so much, and DON’T invite us to the wedding?! Rude. Maybe Emily, your own character, can teach you something about proper etiquette? Hmm?

 

 

 

Like what you read? Listen to me, DJ Tray Squat rant and rave about politics, on PoliPsycho. Every Wed. at 6-7pm on KSSU.COM

Musings on Money


Here’s a short write, meandering through the concept of money and success. By DJ Tray Squat.

download

 “Here we stand, on the edge of unfamiliar territory. It has been charted before, many times, many ways. But, the tracks are all different sizes, tailored to each of the vehicles of their drivers. Most are long gone. None of the tracks are suited to me, they are too big, too small, too, long, too short, too deep, and too shallow. In the land of many paths, I fit none of them. I would scrape my flesh on the path with sticks, rocks, and dirt. I would get lost and suffocate in the track that is so deep, even the tallest had trouble navigating. I would still be here, needing a path, on the roads that end too soon. How to lengthen the short roads, or shorten the long ones? I don’t have the time to take the long route. Yet, I stand here, needing a way. Carving out my own path seems near impossible. Can I connect two roads? Fuse the tracks from your street with the sticks sticking out from another, and add in some of the depth of the path that travels underneath? What if it leads me nowhere? I can’t connect a path to a destination, without that destination’s approval. How, then, do I create a path just right for me, that will be just right for the destination I like? I want a helicopter to pick me up, pluck me from this precipice, and offer me any destination I wish. I could visit any number of paths and/or destinations and stay there as long as I like. I could provide assistance, from my perch, to some still forging a path. Those I know, those that have been in the same boat as me. I wouldn’t send a helicopter for each one, keeping in mind that there are a limited number of helicopters. But, I could provide insight, and opportunity to see their way through the options ahead of them. I could make the territory more familiar, and offer them a fast track to getting to their chosen destination. And I would take them all for rides in my helicopter, just for fun.”

 

Tracy is a dj with KSSU