Tuesday, November 23, 2010
everyone was astounded that i had driven 4 hours to attend, but the seminar seemed perfect to keep me energized about my work and the next steps i need to take. the cost of the trip was around $250 for room, food, gas, and attendance fees. which seems affordable for the chance to network in the region. the drive was really easy, and I discovered that Birmingham in addition to being close to Pensacola, it really a nice central hub for the major urban areas of the (non-Florida) Southeast. it is within 3hours of 4 major cities (Memphis, Atlanta, Nashville and Knoxville).
i had the chance to talk to several other faculty about developing visiting lectures both amongst ourselves in the region and to bring in other high profile artists/theorist to out campuses through sharing of costs. most of the faculty in attendance were from Alabama with a few from GA and TN.
the trip yielded a new colleague, Sarah Marshall who is at University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Sarah also brought a fantastic undergrad by the name of Patricia who is doing some high level aesthetics-data moshing around the culture of cancer. i was energized when Sarah shared her experience about marketing when the Apatow film that shares her name came out. i let her know that the ideas of identity is an important topic in my work, and we were fast friends.
Monday, November 22, 2010
this weekend i was in Birmingham AL, the largest city in Alabama (nearly 750k residents and 2.3million in the metro area), to attend a faculty and professional development seminar sponsored in large part by CAA at Space One Eleven.
i have recently decided that i need more representation even though i know that i will still want to make art that is hard to sell to collectors. i am eager to follow the Christo/Jean Claude methodology of selling ephemera/artifacts associated with my projects and thus works like my drawings (Study for My Past Life as Yuri) will fulfill the commercial side. they form a bridge into the more esoteric and less material regions of my projects. i see the opportunity for the drawings and similar work to become a type of advertisement to get exposure to encourage the further exhibition of the hard to market portions of my work into the museum/university/and experimental gallery system.
the first workshop was about resume/CV development and whilst i found that most of it was a refresher there were points where the speaker confirmed that he would have made a similar decision in how to list or organize the document. this session was led by Larry Jens Anderson and he is awesome despite the fact that he felt the language in my statement was too 'flowery'. it reminds me a moment when Shannon Wright told me that my application to a school was fine, but maybe i should tone it down a bit because no one was going to believe i talk in that fashion. then she said even though you do... sigh, it is the nature of this beast.
Larry is sharp and tells you immediately what he thinks; i was in awe by how he listened to people read their artist statements and could give an instantaneous critique! you go Larry! additionally, the work he does is fantastic. he dropped lots of amazing tips on all manner of things including how to get a brief sit down with the director of the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center to consult on your work. this was definitely worth the $20 cost of admission!
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
over the past two weeks i have been trying to return to my artistic roots and also influence it with an impression from early in my life. the artistic root is that of drawing; specifically i am doing a sort of self portraiture in graphite. and by sort i mean that i am choosing to influence the portraits with early impressions on my personality. recently, my obsession of the EVA (or spacesuit) and all things cosmo- or astronautical has been a real focus for me. i have motives for a very grand experiment that i am not quite ready to unveil publicly, but a way that this obsession has manifested is that i started to make avatars for my online life using the famous space pioneers. the twist and art in this comes from my treatment of the images. i have been compositing pictures of myself into the photos. through the magic of computer imaging i become Yuri Gregarin, Alan Shepard, etc.
i started doing this to riff on how to let the impressions of the 'space race' effect my art work; it soon became obvious to me that i am very interested across much of my work in identity and role play. the composite photographs of my face in the role of astro-colonialist created a really interesting way for me to consider what i want to do with these 'heavy' influences. the creation of this alternate reality, also gave me an excellent focus when i have had to do demonstrations of digital manipulation in the class room. i could talk to the act of fakery as an art, an art exploring roleplay, identity, and personality. i developed a nice an extensive narrative of my shadowy past connected to the early ballastics history of Germany, the Soviet Space program, and eventually recruitment to the NASA program as i built sample images and websites to demo the software for my students.
the photoshopped images were excellent foils for this discussion and a pleasant way to riff as i mentioned before. i examined them with a critical sense over the last few weeks, i saw that the composites had a sort of distance and flatness in the digital form. they seemed to be conceptually flat and distant; and i wanted to manifest these ideas in the real world in a real way. really get on the stage if you will allow me to extend the the acting metaphor a bit more.
i saw that they need to be made of whole atoms, not just electrical traces on the medium, so i remade the composites once more by drawing them in graphite and larger than life. i consider these two as studies in this roleplay. i have ideas on how to bring even more life to the idea and images which i may share at a future date. i told a colleague that the drawings are making the fake into reality for me. it is a complex relationship/process between the tangible material (paper, graphite) and the oversized format. it brings a life to my fantasy land, my youthful desire to be a rocketman.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
"--I checked the medical references. They appear to be fictitious. The institutes, medical schools etc mentioned do not seem to exist. The pharmaceuticals don't exist. There is a Dr. Kristina U. who is a prof at University of Puget Sound, they mustve picked her name out of random searches for a cool doctor name.
-- I especially appreciate how close 'Behring' is to 'Schering,' which does fund a lot of art in their own self-interest. It's also amusing how the title is "Placebos for Art" but is asking for "Art Placebos." The latter is certainly more innovative. The world is full of 'placebos for art.'
--They at least have enough funding to buy an e-flux ad...
--very amusing! now what if e-flux is yesman-ized...
-- was seriously considering entering the pharmakon library. i mean. Get down"...
This is brilliant and McPhee deserves high praise for the discovery of this!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
sure. that's right. it wanted me to go to sites which would have installed keyloggers onto my machine whilst it was selling me knockoff Viagra and Celebrex, but i am intrigued by this idea of the aesthetically pleasurable spam message. i started to think that this might be a good class assignment... spam art
Sunday, October 10, 2010
at 10:00, we jetted from the faculty meeting to start. Adam set up the teams; he had all members trade contact info with all their teammates I was of course assisted by my two trusty henchmen (ok... lab assistants) Dan McSwain and Juan Rodriguez. additionally Carleton Haack from the ceramics department jumped in form his side and they deftly assisted me in getting kits out to each student group and setting up electrical for the soldering.
the students were furnished with schematics, drawings, and keys to all the components of the Quickly bot1 2. my PhysComp. students took the lead teaching their team members about soldering technique, circuitry, and components whilst Dan, Juan and i patrolled looking for questions and assisting in small ways. the group hummed with small conversations about the methods of using simple techniques to learn basic electronics.
as the first hour and a half drew to a close, one or two teams (of 13) had a fully function circuit exhibiting the light following behavior. and after a ten minute break Adam took the reins and held a hour demo of the slip casting methods. it was the bomb! my students helped a bit when he needed and extra hand and they were suitably intrigued about the ideas about making a complex body for the Quickly. and they got a good idea of the process of going from model to mold to casting.
we ended the workshop with the blueprint of how we wanted them to progress. they have 4 weeks until the 2nd workshop:
- by next Friday they will have a model of the structure they will use in the project.
- they will make a cast of the design next weekend because the mold needs one week to cure before casting
- on the 3rd week they will cast and fire slip castings from the mold
- on the 4th week they will present a working model and we will do robot races :D
- by finals week everyone of the team will have their own edition of the project
i believe our small experimental equation is going to bear out ceramics + digital = teh awesome, but we shall see.
* TED's celebrated format: A suite of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances on a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration and wonder -- and to provoke conversations that matter
* TEDTalks videos: A minimum of two pre-recorded talks from the acclaimed TEDTalks video series will be shown (these talks are available free on TED.com)
* Bias-free programming: Lack of any commercial, religious or political agenda 1
i am a huge fan of the TED programming. i have definitely been inspired by the speakers and presentations in the past. lately though, i have had a sneaking suspicion about the chatter about the altruism of the program. this spring i was dismayed with the way Sarah Silverman was treated by TED's self-titled curator Chris Anderson.
TED while full of great speakers with awesome world changing ideas and projects is also Anderson's ego project; how could he have not known what he was getting in the talents of Silverman. albeit Silverman's humor (a satire of ugliness and insult) is not everyone's idea of entertainment, but did Anderson really expect her to be on 'good behaivor' for the rich people who can afford to attend in person. it is actually more obscene to expect an artist to change their talent because the King has asked them to dinner. and Silverman reported that she was very hurt by the commentary because she was also a fan of the TED talks.
so this brings me back to the TEDx claim that it is "Bias-free programming: Lack of any commercial, religious or political agenda"... for reals?
the shame is that TEDx would be an awesome opportunity to frame a locally sourced, DIY, emergent symposium and have it benefit from the intellectual capital that has been built by the great thinkers of the TED series. i am so repulsed by the behavior of the curator to Silverman, that i just don't know if i can get on board. so i make a modest proposal:
i encourage those who have subjects which may be too tough for the mainstream to start using the TEDx brand. let's have a frank TEDx about Sado-Masochistic Sexual fetish, let's have a TEDx on Intelligent Design, let's have a TEDx on Anarchism, let's have a TEDx by the KKK...
and we will see if the TED management really believes in (and practices) the intellectual freedom they espouse or whether this is only for the politically retarded.
follow up 22:34 10/10/10
meer minutes after i sent this i found this blurb:
"TED does not grant licenses to those associated with controversial or extremist organizations. TEDx events may not be used to promote spiritual or religious beliefs, commercial products or political agendas. Hosts may not affiliate the TEDx or TED brand with other conferences, or with commercial endeavors."
sigh... i guess i got my answer: as long as it is ok with their political/moral views...
Monday, September 27, 2010
i am back from the 01sj biennial for a week and i starting again. 01sj was undoubtedly an energizing experience even with injury and insult that modern air travel is today(another post for another day). i met some amazing new friends caught up with old friends, marveled at what was done by all, and got to eat some damned good and inexpensive Mexican Food.
eleven highlights of the trip in no particular order of preference:
1. one on one interview with Miguel Palma, sculptor, installation artist, mechanical genius, and hell of a beautiful soul. Miguel and I shared some ciders and much discussion of the ideas, aesthetics, and ethics. the next day he met me for a continued discussion and private tour (and videoed) of his installation at the Thompson Gallery at SJSU.
2. performance by Zoe Keating—haunting, lyrical, absolutely beyond belief cello concert!
3. A Machine to See With—the new mobile device augmented reality game/experience from Blast Theory. WOW! WOW! WOW! truly fun, i deeply took on the cinematic, stereotype offered to me and with all due intensity scared the hell out of my 'partner' (a player who I met during the game play). honestly i was deep and intently playing the role, it was too much for the other person and they ran away. brilliant!
4. assisting, artist, Sarah Lowe assemble her ghost cones—just in time for the Absolute Zero street fest! eek!
5. i-Weather—another one-on-one with the artists! i-Weather is a realtime artificial acclimatization application to allow you to sync your circadian rhythms to a network of similar synced individuals. Christian Babski and Patrick Keller gave me an individual tour of the concept, structure, and the software used to build a multiple platform light generator that runs from orange to blue light in order to help you match bodily systems to the i-weather network.
6. touring South Hall with my in-laws–seriously amazing people with amazing insight and personal experience, it is always such a joy to share my understanding of art with their wisdom.
7. lunch with the folks of Leonardo—during a break in the Global Warning Symposium a Leonardo staffer invited me to dine with speakers and the board of Leonardo
8. SloDog—eating sausages made by the SloDog team and harassing the cyclers as they cooked the tubemeats
9. the countless others who gave me short interviews and laughed with me about my camera rig. and all i learned from my prototypes and using my new mobile device to broadcast. many new evil plans are a foot from the notes i have.
10. being asked to participate on a panel about gender identity from the Trading Voices team—i was asked to be part of the discussion panel on gender equality, role play, and transformation by the members of the TV team.
11. couch surfing the Casa Shatner with the Socks Inc team—partay, partay!
there was so much more! what a few days! i think i was up at 7-8am everyday and not to bed before 2am any of the days...
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro6,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 2.53 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 4.8 GT/s
Boot ROM Version: MBP61.0057.B05
the new suite really bogs my computer down even when doing simple things like making animated gifs. i also have had problems with the availability of tools common filters and tools (lighting effects for heaven's sake!) in the Ps 64bit version so i have had to down grade the performance to access them. and in my opinion Dw CS5 makes basic site setup less user friendly. it confused my mid-level students who had become quite comfortable with the Basic Tab; not a great idea Adopey!
i am going to suggest to my students that yes the content aware clean up tools are really sexy, but for day to day use I find that CS4 is a fine tool. it pretty obvious that we will need a few more hardware revisions to make this work smoothly, so my recommendation for the student is to go get a deal on CS4 for the mean time. or buy a really tricked out desktop.
Friday, September 03, 2010
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
so i am setting up my rig for 01SJ and i showed the laptop carrying device i am going to use for transmitting my remote communications. I have decided that I need a front facing camera as i eluded to in yesterday's post. i decided this afternoon that will shoulder mount a cam with pan/tilt using Arduino and a Wii-chuck. i found a generous soul named Andrea Salvatore, who has uploaded his code and example here.
awww, who knows maybe I will put it on a hat, yet.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
t-minus 15day 2hours 32mins until 01SJ as i start this post. my objective or role is that of anthropologist/art historian/critic/art tourist this time around. i am trying to plan a live remote from the event on friday and i need to talk with my homies in the Ho to see what I can arrange. the plan is to use two easy tools the laptop suspension device called Connect-A-Desk and some rig to get a second shot.
i have been thinking about a helmet or shoulder mounted cam. my colleague Amy Ruddick pointed my attention to a lesser known Pedro Almodóvar film called Kika where they have this awesome rig for remote camera operation.
I have no idea if I can fashion such an awesome rig in time, but the sheer design of the telematic costume is stunning, and is accordingly designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier.
Monday, August 30, 2010
almost the whole of august
well this has been quite a ride, the promise to post everyday for the month of August. i almost made it except that the first week of classes ground me down and i was simply exhausted on last Friday and Saturday.
Rubaiyat: "wanna try another month? do you have it in ya? i find this very inefficient method of communication by sending you a message via my blog extremely fun(ny)."
Sunday, August 29, 2010
software and the bureaucracy
so the first week of classes has once again an amazing learning opportunity. i created some tension with the CAS technology support group by requesting a free software for the lab machines on the first day of classes. the support group is stretched thin and they thought they had finished for us. things worked out after i explained that it was an emergency, that i had 2 weeks until i absolutely needed it.
since that first day dust up, i have discovered that they did not include what my colleagues and i think are basics such as: Firefox and Filezilla. last semester we had requested and they had eventually given us an Admin account for urgent issues and this isn't there either :/
i don't mind installing Firefox, etc. it isn't a big deal.
the lesson is that we need to be very exacting about what we need each and every semester. i am pulling together a master spreadsheet to send to them with the message that we want to be good team mates, but we are still learning the best ways to work, sorry.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
!!!!Free!!!! Processing and Arduino course.
Processing and Arduino in Tandem
Creating Your Own Digital Art Tools
this is happening on Tuesday evenings Aug 30 to the end of Sep.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
tonight everyone of my 18 electronics novices successfully assembled a Blinkenlights kit! i am truly excited by the possibilities. i wrote a diatribe on the nature of public art, culture jamming, and intervention. i am tempted to publish the rant here.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
this could be very interesting
last night i started my re-striped phys. comp. class. this year we are not going to take it slowly, we move into micro-controllers right away. i borrowed heavily from the syllabi of a good friend Steve Durie from CADRE to make up the schedule and syllabus, in addition there is a cross class collaboration planned to have students of Arch. Ceramics and Digital develop final projects together.
- i applied some lessons i learned last semester:
- don't go too slow, my last students handled the technical practice fine
- you need your own tools, ya wouldn't expect to borrow a 00 watercolor brush in the other studios
- have fun, cause mayhem
i gave IMNSHO was a stirring speech about the wealth of resources, the generous community around Arduino, and how cool it is to fail bombastically and gloriously. and i showed the trailer for the Arduino Documentary. i guess i will see what the enrollment is on Wed. if we do maintain most of the 20 students it will be one hell of a semester.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
SAIC, one of my favorite institutions, has a 1.5 credit hour foundations program for all first year students called SAICWired. it teaches the basics of the Mac desktop, simple image composition and color correction through Ps, blogging skills, and simple web development mostly targeted towards gallery building. in other words, digital fundamentals for every student in the program, basic skills for participating in the contemporary digital society.
i try to compress this info into 2week period at the beginning of my classes and thus i lose 15% of my teaching time to basics. many students still need to pick up these basic skills, and it doesn't matter if they are going to be a painter or prosecutor, these are fundamental contemporary skills. the SAIC class is 90 minutes once a week for one semester. what a deal!
i will be borrowing from this! and i will be trying to get it written into our program!
how honest is too honest
i like to think that i try to be transparent, i find that it is too cumbersome to try to measure out what i should and shouldn't say to people. this is especially important because of the contemporary and public fashion that i communicate on forums as unlikely as this and as pervasive as twitter/FB. i do occasionally withhold something if i think it will pain another in some way. all of these hypocrisies aside though, i still find the questions of how truly honest i can be, a perplexing question.
i have several goals to improve myself——my work, life, livelihood, etc——i am not satisfied with all, i really want to pursue these goals and see where they lead. i will be that way for a long time to come because i have been that way for a long time, period.
i am concerned (sometimes worried) about the way utter honesty will effect my relationships. if i share goals honestly there is a possibility that my employer will think i am brash. i don't want them to think that i can't imagine or don't have interest in bringing those high value goals to the current situation. but if it leads other places, well this is the path i have chosen to be on. the politics of it all!
just now, i see that this may be a source of a deep seated wanderlust in me. Herman Hesse's novel Narcissus and Goldmund has a lot of brilliant philosophy about bring true to one's nature and one of them is a wanderer, i should pick it up again.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
a day to beat all
many days in the recent past, i have been simply stymied in my research of other classes that line up the intent i have for mine. i would look hour after hour for similar course syllabi and often i would find something that in name appeared promising only to quickly discover that the instructor teaching philosophy or methodology was at odds with my work.
this evening things have suddenly turned a corner. i found a site or two that was kindred and that of course opened a plethora of resources. in fact, i am tired. i am not overwhelmed, just so impressed and eager i have been consuming a lot of material quickly. one thing i would like to leave my readers with tonight is the teaching philosophy of David Kasdorf, an artist from Penn State Altoona. he offers this brilliant description of his teaching philosophy and advice to young artists at the top of his syllabus! go David:
1. Art is one of the hardest and most uncertain paths you can choose in life. I think often, students choose to pursue Art in college because they think, and rightly so, probably, that Art is an easy path through college. It is after graduation that it gets difficult. Let’s face it: You have no real marketable skills, few job prospects, and thus a very uncertain future.
2. As an artist, no matter what medium or media you choose to work in, be it writer, visual artist, actor, film maker, dancer, whatever, you are always at the mercy of other people’s opinions. Rejection is something artists must get used to quickly. To be an artist you better develop a thick skin.
3. In most professions in life one learns, - and in order to succeed - masters a specific set or sets of skills. Visual artists, and that is essentially what we are in this class, need to invent their own sets of skills. No one cares if you can paint a “Picasso."
4. There are many artists who have had long and successful careers without ever learning how to draw.
5. These days, many visual artists change and move between media as easily as they change their socks.
6. The one thing that artists most need to learn is the one thing that is impossible to teach. That is rigor in the studio. Forget “Inspiration.” To be successful one needs to work and work and work.
7. Work comes from work. Trust the process.
8. If you need to ask what your grade is you may not have the right temperament to be an artist.
9. When you go to New York it seems that everyone is an artist and it’s almost true. As a result, no one in the business - collectors, dealers, curators, gallery owners - cares about your work. People are jaded; they’ve seen it all and have been pestered to death. For some this is very difficult to deal with. Others see it as liberating. Since no one cares anyway, take risks, do what you want.
10. You’ve all heard the term, “avant-garde.” The only avant-garde left in this day and age is expression of self, what it is that makes you tick. We can call that “Personal Vision.” That’s what people want to see.
11. No one talks about how well things are done or the level of skill one possesses in any certain medium. That doesn’t mean it’s not important and we will talk about that in this class. It’s important to understand, though, that it’s just the first step.
12. No one cares either how an image is created. It’s the image itself people care about.
13. I like to teach. I like students, at least most of them, and I care about them; I want students to succeed. I like to give students good grades and send them on their way happy. When students are absent a lot or late, or when they’re not motivated and unprepared, I stop caring about them so much. It doesn’t mean I stop liking them. It just means that I put my energies elsewhere.
14. Art is always a matter of choice. The decision to be an artist is yours to make. The decision of how hard you work is yours, too. It’s your decision to sleep in and be late and it’s really up to you as far as attendance is concerned. If you need me to motivate you, I encourage you to pursue something else in life.
15. Grades are a fact of life. I would prefer not to have to grade students but that’s just not part of the equation. The grade you get in this class depends first and foremost on your level of engagement. That means that if you work hard, show up, be prepared, take risks, participate in critiques and discussions, you’ll do fine. The quality of your work matters too, of course. Somewhere around the middle of the semester I’ll tell you where you stand. You can talk to me anytime about your grade, although I realize that's not in keeping with #8 above. Don't worry, I didn't really mean #8 above. You can talk to me about anything, actually.
16. Computers are a tool. A very powerful tool but really, just a tool, like a pencil. And you need to know this: I do not teach software – I teach art. If you have enrolled merely to learn Photoshop, or to show a prospective employer that you have had college-level computer instruction, then you will doubtless be better served to purchase the software and sign up for a technical certification course.
17. I encourage deviation. If you don’t like the assignment feel free to do something else. If you want to do Flash animations, or video, by all means, do so. It would help me, though, if you talked to me first.
18. I consider critiques to be the most important in-class component of any course I teach.
Friday, August 20, 2010
OH the research!
well i was in a pinch last night to find some materials and zing! a whole new set of artists, art, and inspiration unfolded from discovering some Canadian physicomp artist-nerds, notably Peter Flemming and Norman 'the NorMill' White. i have been inspired by one of Flemmings experiments and I look forward to sharing a prototype with you very shortly...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
the syllabi are coming together
and dates are aligning, just got off the phone with my collaborator Adam Shriverdecker, the workshop dates that i projected are good and we are green lighted. this is an unholy union betwixt Digital Media and Architectural Creamics, muhahahahahaa. i am really looking forward to this experiment. we have scheduled peer workshops where the students of each class will teach their focus to the students of the others to create a mini project. after the hybrid student teams will design and build a cross disciplinary project for the Final. i wish i was taking this class :D
i notice that i am engaged in quite a few moments reaching out this past month. i am very interested in developing my contacts in the SE region. this morning i dropped a note to the director of the AUX Festival. AUX is an Athens GA music, art, and technology festival that occurs in the spring. last year, i came across the listing for AUX 2 weeks before the event and i just could not organize a trip in time.
earlier this summer, i discovered an organization in Atlanta name Flux Projects who are supporting really interesting artist projects, on small to medium budgets. i am very keen to watch what they are bringing to bear as well as applying for a grant. i was very impressed with their director, Anne Dennington. during our chat she was advocating for artists to be paid a living wage for making art, w00t!
i have made contacts and started conversations additionally with hackerspace organizations in Dallas and Brooklyn (the outer limits of the SE ;) and as i listed a few weeks ago, i am proposing local art and technology workshops to generate community locally.
& finally i am trying to cook up a proposal for the Receiver festival in Charleston SC; the only bummer is that it is scheduled just before our Spring Break this year and i am trying wrap my mind around what kind of project i could unpack and set up in a few hours to a day maximum.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
what happened to the manifesto as a form of art? the form: manifesto, is a counter culture anti-academic relief valve to the obscenities of life. it is theory that takes more the shape of poetry than rationality and logic. is the manifesto dead because of the consumerist post-utopia we live in?
i suspect that this is because manifestos are dangerous. they are compelled question the authority of systems to which we grow dependent and blind. they compel us to criticize the criticism and critic! i think i will require my students to include a manifesto in their portfolio websites this semester. extra points for obscenities and irrationality.
viva la MANIFESTO!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
the Justin Bieber teenpop anthem Smile apparently is the source material for Echoes Across the Astral Wastelands by Photon Wave Orchestra, a beautiful haunting 35 minute soundscape.
apparently, pwo applied a 800% slowdown to render their work. Burkazoid, a user on Audioboo, seems to have put the nail in the coffin publishing what he claims is 800% speed up of Echoes... of course, i am downloading my own copy to slow and verify and before the take-down notices appear :)
the questions here are explosive and a fascinating test of IP law and authorship. it is pretty obvious that the two pieces have completely different base audiences. i think one could even make the argument that the new piece is going to drive the consumption of both materials. i, for one, would have never listened to the poptart's song if it weren't for the discovery.
so if we were manipulated by leaked information to drive an internet meme, the music industry wins because they got me to listen to the consumerist lament(not to mention the free advertisement they are getting right now)! if the source of Echoes was never discovered, it would be a niche piece; listened to and appreciated by those of us who listen to the ambient genre.
my opinion: i believe Echoes Across the Astral Wastelands is a separate entity, influenced heavily by the pop music, and the existence of which 'economically' and popularly benefits both pieces by the popular noise it is creating. brilliant!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
stupid fun club and current tv
i was thinking about old friends the other day and i remembered a fun event James Stone and i helped coordinate last year with Mike Winter, a principal with the Stupid Fun Club(SFC), a Berkeley entertainment-gaming-think tank. Mike had made an interrogation machine known as the docuBot which would ask you questions culled from interrogative methodologies.
DocuBot was unveiled during the regular Tuesday night openings at the SJSU School of Art and Design. it was a great time. we had a room which we had draped the room with all black fabric, the bot had an impossibly bright light which shown at the interrogated subject from what you would call the 'face' of the machine.participants could only enter one at time for the DocuBot ran the 2min sessions.
Ali and i dressed as agents of (what i dubbed) the 'Dept. of Homeland Robotics'—black suits and shades and he had a SRL to take pictures of the crowd! we DHR agents also handed out invitations to be interrogated (i need to find out if Ali has picture of us in our disguises). it was a stunning success and we had a line all night.
fast forward to the recent past(last week sometime)
i was checking in on the SFC website. they now have a manifesto (which i need to write about soon) and they have an email to sign up to beta test SFC projects. of course, i signed up. a few days later, i was invited to join the beta event code named "the Creation Project", a crowd sourced narrative that is being made into a high value television production for the Current TV network. they are going to start shooting the pilot this week, so i am a bit of a late comer, but i am really intrigued by the concept. they have designed a small social network to develop the entire program. the characters, setting, plot lines, costumes, artwork has been a crowd sourced project where they directly respond to the input, creativity, and feedback of the membership. i am finding the niches where i can contribute and there are some really interesting questions being posed such as: how the voting effects the actual production and whether good writing will be subsumed by the 'noise' of the crowd.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
i lurve Adium
i was intrigued by a post on the Lady Ada* website. the note referred to a technique of using IRC for the UStream chat/back-channel. i am a huge fan of Ustream and have been known to use it occasionally. one of the drawbacks is the chat. the video and chat running in the same browser winder grinds my machine cycles. when i was reading about the IRC settings the tutorial was using Pidgin and i was clued into the fact that Adium is built on the same programming backbone, purplelib, too bad they don't(didn't) support IRC. oh well it was worth a peek to see if things have changed...
wooot! the Adium beta has IRC! praised be! let the trumpets sound! did i say woot? here's a link to the beta if you wanna try it.
so i tested the suckah and it did great. pop out the UStream video channel on a browser winder and fire up IRC. my anecdotal evidence is that there were 100 plus people on the stream and i had maybe 20 sec lag. W0000T!
*Lady Ada for those of you who are uninitiated is one of the coolest proponents and geeks in DIY hardware and Phys Comp. they do a Saturday night show on UStream called Ask An Engineer. check it some time. her sites are ladyada.net and adafruit industries
i must confess my sins, now that this blogging experiment is almost half way done. about two weeks ago i pondered if i was interesting and fastidious enough to continue the professional bent of this blog and not let it mire in trivialities of my personal life. i have already discovered that i have good writing days and poor writing days. i have found that i sometimes overflow with topics to make short commentaries about and other days i struggle to figure tap out 5 or 6 sentences for the day(which adheres to my aforementioned wishes).
on the days in which i can write about myriads of things, i have seen a trend develop. i am writing pretty well developed drafts and scheduling them for future publication. this way i can let a bit of time pass and check the draft for competency, edit, etc.
the most so far is four posts in one sitting. one for that day and three scheduled for later. it seems to me that columnists and professional writers must do this as well. i pose a question to you, Rubaiyat(as I know you are my most regular reader and the progenitor of this damned challenge): is my 'pre-loading' the blog a cheat? or simply a gaming of the system that makes sense?
okay i will take feedback from any other reader too... hmmm, i need to jet. another post idea is coming to me :D
Friday, August 13, 2010
it is a strange day. not a bad day but just one of those days that feels that it has a different rhythm to it. today, i followed up on writing a recommendation for a colleague. out of the blue one of my former students from SJSU made contact and wrote a lovely recommendation of my work teaching Art74 Introduction to New Media. it was awesome to hear now that more than a year has passed. and now back to prepping for my classes.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
every CAA is an awesome event; i get the chance to reunite with my former colleagues and discuss our progress, opportunities, and challenges. it seems that every year there is a discussion that we should organize some kind of reunion. tonight i was on a web chat with one of the principals at Alpha One Labs, a Brooklyn Hackerspace; i have been looking to visit A1 Labs and plan to try to schedule time to visit the space during my trip to CAA in NYC this February.
as we chatted and bounced ideas, i mentioned what i do and that i would be in town with some colleagues. he then hit me with an offer: "if we want to have an event at A1, we just need to ask." bingo! wouldn't A1 be a cool place for a CADRE/SJSU reunion/party? imagine a bot building-beer bash with Brooklyn geeks and hackers. just the thought makes me smile.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
my recovery from the sleep i missed has been slow so this will be a short post. the semester begins on Monday the 23rd this year! i am in the process of reworking the websites for my classes with a heavy focus on simplifying the material. i looked close at what could be combined today with small reworkings of the design. here's my progress so far.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
new Dali museum
on Sunday we attempted to go to a Thai temple for brunch, but life got in the way and we missed our 'window of time'. instead we ate at a seafood dive in St. Pete and drove around looking a lovely houses. in the Salt Creek neighborhood there is an artist collective that i need to try to visit the next time i am down.
there was a nice surprise was as we drove around the waterfront: a peculiar and striking piece of architecture stood out. i got to drive by the new Salvador Dali Museum construction site; last week images from the site and the new building were posted on the flickr pages and current events blog of the HOK architectural firm.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
my lovely Bride attended the performance i mentioned a few posts back by herself since i have made a last minute run to the land o' lakes. Rebecca volunteered to help close down the gallery, but before they had finished three or four young military guys wanted to take a look around the show and they were given about 10 minutes to see.
Rebecca said that they were really excited by the space, which is cool; i don't normally think of early career military people being into the arts. i like when my expectations are blown up as much as i like to explode other peoples' preconceptions. it seems before they had left she had signed up three volunteers for gallery sitting and she had pimped me out—at least one of them got vocal when she told them about the electronics workshop i have proposed to run at the gallery—and business cards were distributed.
pimp, agent, advocate, whatever... i am going to give her half of my cards when i get back to town.
Saturday, August 07, 2010
an Asian spam bot tries to log sex chat lines here twice a week on my comments. i am not angry, nor even frustrated, just a little perplexed o.0 the mail comes as a totally foreign language, all the links are Asian domains... can it actually pay them anything? they will never get accepted by this blog. i should collect them for a week and see if the links change. maybe it is just an auto sender.
Friday, August 06, 2010
the Burden Identity
yesterday i visited the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) at USF; the show which closes in a few days is Broadcast, an introspective on the nature of artist utilization of the old mass media. how did the one to many model shape us? what strategies did artists use to circumvent the gauntlet of FCC, advertisers, and affiliates? there were many excellent projects that create interesting documentaries of the beginning of the McLuhan global village against staid nationalistic perspectives. Other projects portent the fragmentation of old media central command by introducing methodologies that deliver the means of production to anyone crazy enough to use them such as a pirate radio station set up in the gallery and live so that the public may sit down and use the equipment at will. Or TVTV/Top Value Television's projects where the artists develop their own network to engage the methods and gain access to the leadership of the world.
another formative piece in culture jamming/DIY culture is a reel of 4 Chris Burden videos known as Four TV Commercials, 1973-77/2000. the compilation of work was originally developed and aired on Los Angeles and New York market broadcast stations in the 70's. the collection includes: T.V. Ad: Through the night softly, Poem for L.A., Chris Burden Promo,and Full Financial Disclosure. The video which has been relatively left in it's native quality of the time was shown through a 20 inch CRT. abundant amounts of the video interlacing, static graphics, and low resolution reflected a distinct aesthetic experience of the pieces, even though i fully believe the intent of the artist was indictment of the market system, advertisement, and mass media. nostalgia and a creepy feeling about high definition and 3d which has been growing within my psyche recently, reinforced the attention i paid these seminal pieces. crumbweb has a copy of the statements on the reel, here.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
a funny thing happened on the way to the inter-library loan
a colleague shared a title that he uses for his classes the other day, whoich i wanted to look at it before i commit to the $75 book. a quick jump to worldcat(oh! i love thee!) revealed that the State University System aka Union, had half a dozen hits at other campuses including two major schools only a few hours from the p'cola. i also noted that USF which is close to my mom's house had a copy. since i am on the road for a few more days i assumed, "cool i can look at the USF copy while they ship one of the closer copies to my campus". can you hear the fail horn coming?
yep they shipped the USF copy, or i assume so because it is due now in early November, obviously a faculty checkout. only 2.5 weeks until fall semester! eeeek!
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
i am visiting family before the grind of the semester begins anew. one of the benefits to being in this household is the insane numbers of subscription networks on the old boob tube. my grandfather has access to this googolplex of narrowcast networks because it is tied to the programming bundle that contains the western/cowboy sub-genre of American tv and film which he favors. i avoid subscription tv in my day-to-day life so this is fun to look at the niches all of these groups are trying to carve out.
one such narrowcast network is the Science Channel and i spent the last hour watching 'Prophets of Science Fiction' a documentary on the predictions and work of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. sure this program was pulpy, contained cheesy historical reproductions of the science labs, and was large on hype, but the thesis was compelling. the show recounted of the predictions that Well and Verne had made in the pursuit of the art of writing. and doubly compelling as it pointed out political/moral differences of the 19th c. techno-deterministic utopianism of Verne versus the 20th c. Modernist disaffection and social concern of Wells. both writers engaged set the bar for speculative fiction as well as assuredly inspired the engineering and science by blueprinting the ideas of the submersible research vessel, time travel, and nuclear weapons. once again a fine example of the vital contribution and necessity of the arts to drive culture, not just record it.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
electronics meet ceramics
i met with Adam Shiverdecker today. Adam has proposed that we combine certain elements of his sculptural ceramics course and my phys. comp. course. i am truly excited that this seems like a great opportunity to teach my students about physical construction and Adam is interested in expanding his students' awareness of using kinetics, communication, and HMI in their projects.
we talked about putting together teams of students from both sides to design and fabricate a culminating project for each team. we discussed many different sources: Tim Hawkinson, Natural Born Cyborgs, Hertzian Tales, and Art & Today
this will be a really interesting experiment.
Monday, August 02, 2010
advice for the undergrad on the C grade
one day last week, i had a rather interesting chat whilst on a popular medieval fantasy MMORPG (bet you can figure out which one). as i got pwnd just outside the Westpark Workshop the conversation turned to how to decide whether or not to go to grad school. in itself an excellent question and posed in quite an interesting social venue.
that being said, the one thing that has stayed with me is a curious intricacy of my friend's timetable. my friend has to take a dreaded freshman course during senior year. it is one those 'prep' courses where i believe you only get 1 credit and you have to listen to different speakers every week and do a fair amount of composition. the issue is that m friend put it off, but the class is a requirement. no exceptions.
"When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave."or recieve a BFA as it is.
i am curious as to what the reaction from my teaching colleagues will be to the advice i freely offered. i told my friend to be blunt and honest with the professor.
i am a senior, i am here to fulfill the requirement, and i want XX for the grade.i find it liberating to have a student say "I want to get a C, that is my objective." i know right from that moment the amount of time to expect that this person will put forward and i know the amount of time i should spend on counseling the student. the goals are clear.
one thing that i learned from the past year is that while teaching undergrads at the state level, i will be extraordinarily lucky if 15% of my students want to pursue 'my type' of career in the fine arts. i will still require myself to teach at a high level, the work will still be geared to the para-professional who truly wants this as their career. the damned fact is: that it is hard to be in this profession. so if a student sets the goal with me and they want to try to hit 85% of the material with some aptitude, well hell yeah let's hit it. a C shows aptitude, not mastery and it is a fine grade. however, if you want a professional mark then step to it.
hmmm, what do you other college teacher types think?
Sunday, August 01, 2010
i attended the opening of Munch-Key Business at Artel Friday night. and i give the curator, artists, and gallery kudos; it is a very good show. I think this maybe the 5th or 6th show in the new space at the old county courthouse. beside having the stately ghost of history embedded into the marble, it is just a beautiful open space. each one of the events and/or openings has drawn several hundred attendees. and in comfortable fashion. i know it has been said many times before, but this is a wonderful step up for the organization.
it allows all manner of new possibilities, such as the workshop I am proposing. next Friday, one of the active Artel members is organizing a performance. i traded cards and briefly discussed the possibility of this becoming a part of an ongoing venue for noise art as one of the performance methodologies.
i have wanted to bring the SHARE organization to this area, there are at least 2 students working in experimental sounds at UWF. one of them is a performer and maybe we can start a P'cola SHARE. so i am assuming there are some others close by. i will attend the performance art event next Friday will hopefully get this ball rolling too.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
ZOT!! i had an epiphany while listening to a quiz show about quirky current events. the report is that the cap that has finally worked on the Macondo Well was inspired/designed by an 'anonymous plumber'. for those of us that believe, it is an obvious sign that Archibald "Harry" Tuttle, plumbing outlaw (and dare say Ninja) lives!
viva la Tuttle. fuck the 27B-6!
i knew this whole oil well problem reminded me of a familiar dystopia...
Friday, July 30, 2010
as part of an evil plan to develop my community down here, i am proposing a workshop to introduce basic electronics as an aesthetics of citizen science, participatory culture, sharing, and play. my proposal is to use the awesome Darwdio circuit as an example an instrument that crosses the disciplines of drawing and electronics. additional coolness is the fact that Jay Silver's Drawdio project was designed as a open source and re-mixable project :D
if you haven't seen Drawdio please look here; essentially it is a pencil turned into a Theremin (you might know i have a love of drawings that are literally functional circuits). another paragon of the participatory culture Lady Ada has made a Drawdio kit in collaboration with Silver. this is awesome because i can order kits ready to build from the Adafruit website
the evil part of the idea is to make me very conspicuous in the community and perhaps find some local maker culture people. a local art organization known as Artel(those of you in the 'Ho think of Works) has shown interest. so i only need to get the approval of the Board to get this going. i modeled the proposal using a form from another community arts application. i have attached the proposal and will gladly take advice from any colleagues who may read this.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>proposal starts here>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
DRAW A JOYFUL NOISE: a course in basic electronics
INSTRUCTOR: Thomas Asmuth
ADDRESS, PHONE, FAX, EMAIL:
edited out for web
WORKSHOP SYNOPSIS: The world of citizen scientist and tinkerer appears to be enjoying a renaissance. Evidence includes social networks such as Instructables, publications like Make, and community oriented workshops/play spaces called Hackerspaces. These resources provide a low-risk entree for the novice who would like to expand their technological creative skills regardless of profession. Contemporary artist around the globe employ the creative methodologies of the tinkerer as a tool for production of artistic expression.
Participants in this workshop will be taught the basics of electronics circuit building using the DrawDio Kit, an instrument that straddles the worlds of electronic music/sound and drawing. Also students will get an introduction to Do-It-Yourself(DIY), electronics resources on the web, tools of the field, and practice in electronics fabrication. This workshop is a fun way for the absolute novice to get their feet wet in the field of electronics, but would also appeal to those who have experience in electronics and technology.
TIME FRAME FOR WORKSHOP: This is a 1-day, approximately 6-hour workshop. There is a 1-hour break for lunch. Saturdays or Sundays are best for instructor.
MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 8-12 participants
SKILL LEVEL REQUIREMENT OF PARTICIPANTS: Although this workshop is designed for novices (to teach the basics of soldering and electronics), it would be useful and/or enjoyable to students at all skill levels.
AGE REQUIREMENT: 14yrs to 114yrs.
TASKS TO BE COVERED:
Students will participate in a series of exercises, including the following:
short intro to basic electrical theory introduction to though hole electronic components intro to web resources intro to basic tools to do DIY electronics soldering like a pimp assembly of project kit ************
MATERIALS NEEDED (SUPPLY LIST) OR PRE-WORKSHOP REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPANTS:
• notebook, pencil/pen Optional: laptop computer or mobile device with internet access
• Students may use their own tools (tools will also be provided by instructor). A list is below in the recommended readings/materials section.
• $20 per kit, funds required at beginning of workshop. Instructor can only take cash, please bring correct change (do not assume instructor will have change).
MATERIALS TO BE PROVIDED TO PARTICIPANTS AT WORKSHOP:
Instructor will bring toolkits that can be used by participants. Students may use their own tools (see note in last section).
The financial structure of this proposal is negotiable, the following reflects a structure from another arts organization. In this plan, Artel will reimburse me for buying the materials.
Workshop Fee, Honorarium:
Total Amount: Gratis
Materials(list with amount to be reimbursed):
TOTAL: up to $300 (see details)
Drawdio Kit from Adafruit Industries $20.00 per kit, up to: $240
Two Drawdio kits for instructor prep and practice: $40
Printed materials (handouts for class): $20
Artel expected to provide:
- Equipment, Special Display Aids: A board to make notes on: an easel and pad, a chalk board, or dry eraser board to write on. Also chalk/dry marker pens and erasers to use. Projection screen or clear wall.
- Handouts, Supplies, Materials: none if instructor is purchasing materials (see section above)
- Room Set-Up preferences: Ideally, I like to work in the round or in a U-shape, but I can adapt to the limitations of the room. I will need a 4-foot table behind me to lay my props and supplies on.
- Electrical: room/space needs electrical sockets. Extension cords and powerstrips will be required. Ideally the cords will be taped down for safety during the extent of the workshop day.
- Seating/spatial requirements for participants: Participants will need slightly more than an average amount of space. They will need to work at a table or desk.
- Access to sink to dampen sponges.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
hmmm, do I have enough to say
a few days ago my dear brilliant friend and collaborator, Rubaiyat, challenged me to blog every day in August. he will be doing the same challenge, his blog is A Musing. i thought well nothing like the present and that night i fired off a post about the materials i found to hopefully weather proof a project. now it has been 4 days and i have had time but not blogged until now. will i be able to do it? the goal is to try to do a little significant writing every day. this is going to be a big challenge because I want to keep this channel very professional and about my work. we shall see...
the stuff is in
the CorrosionX is in (see last post) now I just have to find a couple of victim to try it out on.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
the summer's big research question, perhaps answered
as you might already know from a march post, i have been building autonomous little singing robotics. since our relocation, i have (naturally) been re-inspired by the pernicious environment of Florida. so much so that i wish that my artificial life-forms take place in the outdoors. which in turn, brings the question of how do electronics survive in a place where the humidity is so thick that metal will egregiously oxidize from contact with the air itself. i have several tools that I have owned for 15 or more years which never showed any corrosion that have turned completely rusty in the year we have lived here.
the obvious solution is to encase the the structures in a protective box, but i felt hesitant to employ this solution. there are formal sculpture qualities emerging from the component architecture which i find stunning. likewise, immersion of my babies(!) into blocks of resin seemed to cheapen the contours and assemblages of circuitry. and both of these ideas present all manner of problems to mounting of the piezoelectric transducers, the voices of my bots!
after a little web crawling i have discovered a likely solution:CorrosionX, a product used by the marine industry and RC hobbyists for waterproofing their electronics. the bonding technology sounds good, water and corrosion resistance seem to have a long life, promises dielectric properties up to 20Kv, and an invisible coat. the order has been placed and i look forward to my tests of the product. if this works well, i may realize my vision of truly embedding the critters into the environment for somewhat of a feral life.
Friday, July 02, 2010
mission control office
today i stepped back into reality; I used the day to get together the office of Mission Control in order to move my electronics workshop inside. i have enjoyed using the garage and even relished the romance i know about garages as laboratories for big things. the reality of a southeastern summer has hit though nd it is simply too humid & hot to consider working out there. got significant amount of the reconfiguration done today. looking forward to finishing in the next two days. too bad I can't move my fabrication shop indoors also.
Friday, June 25, 2010
hello New Wave
dear New Wave it is so good to hear from you again. it has been so long, but you sound wonderful! i do hope you will stay in touch, we missed you.
this has been a few very musically oriented days! New Wave seems to be making a a big comeback if my experiences this week are any indication. i _could_not_ be more thrilled.
DEVO releases a new album—Something For Everyone. the single Fresh delivers what the title promises. the track is true to the band's pop-punk mirthful criticism. i bought Fresh and listened many times over; it inspired me to go add much of the DEVO back catalog to my iTunes collection. for the DEVO aficionado, SFE has a back story of the band infiltrating corporate music to milk the system for all it is worth, including a weekly 'reality' show chronicling the birth and release of SFE.
some Fresh for you (all of you):
now if that weren't enough to make a nerd's week, i also discovered this band this morning which nearly made me weep with joy that the synthpop post punk sound is poised to make a big comeback. ladies and germs, please take a listen to Hussle Club:
and to round these finds for me are a new video and amazing sounds of The Death Set, who I am so happy to find via a link by the exceptional bootlegger Eve Massacre.
i can't resist one either.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
a /hug update
i am at the school studios late tonight finishing up a resize of one of the /hug vids. we were invited to exhibit the /hug training video: a message from /hug at the Salisbury University Electronic Gallery. the invite describes it as a
"special summer show is an invitational single channel exhibition of artists working outside the video genre, whose work will be featured in video formats."this may be my all time favorite collab. it brought together so much good stuff. here's a link to the video in the case ya want to watch.
- Liz Solo
- Kyungwha Lee
- Liz Solo
- Ali Sajjadi
- James Morgan
- Mez Breeze
- Liz Solo