13 December 2009

i've mangaged to mix metaphors but not show my face around here much

so it's been almost a year since i've updated this, and i don't have that much to show for myself. however, today was a day of success - if productivity can be deemed success (that truly is a discussion for another day, but lets just say yes! yes it is a good measure, and move on. yes?)

i've had a battle in my mind going on for a while, regarding architecture, houses, skeletal systems, constellations and keys. somehow in my mind they very much go together, yet when i step away from what i've worked on, i feel the need to prove it more. today was the first time in a while where i've been able to put things together that make sense to me in all ways. i'll have to thank wikipedia and the authors of all entries related to keys.

sometimes the more obvious things still need to be pointed out so that you can really let them sink in. the concept of the skeleton key was my obvious check for now, since i've been holding on to several for a few years now, and wondering what it is that draws me.

to sum it up quickly, it's the concept of a bare bones tool that allows access to all rooms in a house. in my mind, keys are interchangeable with words (other tools for access) and houses/homes are interchangeable with a person. structures and tools to construct and move between ideas.

(i can't help also trying to draw some connections to Beetlejuice, and Lydia gaining access to the attic with her skeleton key.)(and at one point trying to open the door, but the key is forced out from the other side.)

the fascinating thing for me was realising, that all depictions of key holes from my child hood (cartoons, movies with peeping toms and pictures of my own i drew) were from the kind of lock which consists of wards, and is the same kind related to the skeleton key. after my mini crash course in understanding how locks and keys have evolved over time, i was able to identify the difference kinds of keys i have from cleaning out the garage and poking around my grandmother's place. there is a treasure of skeleton keys, each totally different, yet possessing the same function:

to provide access to a specific set of locks, where the skeleton key is interchangeable with only one other key for each lock it encounters.

and i guess this is a good point where i can segue into what this really means to me, rather than blathering on and on about keys.

the stories i've been trying to write for a few months to start building more literal constellations off of have been a back and forth battle of sorts as well. trying to fit words here and there, trying to not sound entirely self indulgent and i guess, more importantly, trying to make it all fit together easily. image with text. meaning with words. etc etc.

this idea that the master key will fit all points of a given set while sharing only one point with an outside key provides a fairly decent direction to move in. one story for all points, with tangential arcs only associated with one point.

and another interchangeable defining point is added here: stories for people, points for bodies, all of it for structure.

and here's where i stop for now, because i think those ideas are too big for me to carry all of them right now. and i should also figure out if it even makes sense just yet.

15 February 2009

one boy spoke up and said preacher Com'n eat your supper with us.

flower lover.

in the Valkerie Mountains
among the strutting peacocks
I found a flower
as large as my
and when I reached in to smell

I lost an ear lobe
part of my nose
one eye
and half a pack of

I came back
the next day
to hack the damned thing
but found it so
beautiful I
killed a

::Charles Bukowski.

26 January 2009

roland barthes is a good coffee talker

The Absent One

absence/ absence

Any episode of language which stages the absence of the loved object--whatever its cause and its duration--and which tends to transform this absence into an ordeal of abandonment.

I have returned to this text several times, and have not gotten very far into it for many reasons. But this venture, I got stuck in this discussion of absence. Ghosts, absence, shadows, skeletons, fossils--all of these things have been clamoring around and I think I have found a great question for myself.

"Now, absense can exist only as a consequence of the other: it is the other who leaves, it is I who remain. The other is in a condition of perpetual departure, of journeying; the other is, by vocation, migrant, fugitive; I-- I who love, by converse vocation, am sedentary, motionless, at hand, in expectation, nailed to the spot, in suspense--like a package in some forgotten corner of a railway station. Amorous absence functions in a single direction, expressed by the one who stays, never by the one who leaves: an always present I is constituted only by the confrontation with an always absent you," (13)

My main interest in this passage comes purely from the basic understanding that "I" is defined by "other" and how that relationship pans out in human interactions. Putting aside the broken heart's longing, I see this in terms of physical bodies moving through space. One body, the "I", is the point of reference so that the literal "other" body is the one that consistently stays in motion, stays in absence. But stepping away from this for a moment and thinking in terms of my own travels for the days/weeks/months/years, I have to see the point of reference not being the "I" or the "other" but being a location where the two bodies interact.

If it is a space/location/place that becomes the reference point, then what happens to the "I" in relation to the "other". It would seem that I have become just as transient and absent as the other. In fact, if the other has stronger ties to the location than I, it can be said that I am the absence as I continually depart and journey away.

My question in essence then becomes, where is the I and where is the other if both fit the model of the transient? Is there a point where I and the other intersect and both become others? Or would that not happen if I-other must exist as opposites?

I am intrigued by this switching of identities because it seems to be less hopeless than barthes suggests. Essentially he sets up the Lover-I to be in constant anxiety and agony over the vanishing Other. Again, setting aside the heart's longing, I feel this back and forth may be changed if the projection of self is changed.

Rather than define I based on a vanishing you, I feel an interesting take is to define I on an intended location for both I and other. One location, with one time and in one space.

But after all of this is said, I'm not sure if I'm far off from what Barthes was getting at in the first place.

I suppose this is just a thought about how I consider myself to be the dynamic, transient entity in this mix and in my pattern of travel and life, it is I who leaves the others. And if I buy Barthes' logic, then I've become other. It's got holes, but I can't get it out of my head.

11 January 2009

i like your failure

So. failed projects. started and stopped projects and projects that haven't quite left my head to make it to paper yet.

1. Monsters (it's been an uphill battle, indeed.)

2. Swallowing Quarters. I've gotten some place, i have no idea where it is, but it is a place and i plant to run with it.

Would you please tell me what swallowing quarters means?

"swallowing quarters is when you eat those $1 words that you don't want to mean. those words you say to him or her (or him and her) that are nothing but trouble for someone."

"swallowing quarters is like keeping solid syllables from stumbling out like leachy, peach-pit, (little) verbs. (imaginary nouns, too. although some opt for abstract.)"

"swallowing quarters is for vending machines. don't forget that."

03 January 2009

what time is it?

For the past few weeks, I been reeling from mourning, illness and laziness. I'm trying to get into the swing of the New Year like all the rest of the people--using it as an excuse for change. Motivation is never a bad thing, yeah?

Today I complete my essay for grad school applications. Tomorrow I will finalize the portfolio. And later on I will post all for the world to see. 1st goal of the new change-- show your wounds.

Next goal? Let my work mock me.

And after that, do the impossible--accept my successes as well as I do my failures.

I have a lot of plans outside of these vague mantras. A whole list that needs to be written down so it's no longer an idea, but a plan of action. Here's to crossing off lists.

14 December 2008

Good bye and thank you for everything

I found out this weekend that a dear and important person to me, has left us. He did so by his own hands and I don't think I will ever begin to understand why. But I can speak to how Steve Panella helped me to see things the way I needed to so that I could become to person/artist/maker/person I am.

He was my first painting teacher at the University of Florida. Second semester, freshman year. For the most part, all I did was make a huge mess in his class. The paintings were fine, even great in some moments, but I made a huge mess of paint, leaves, dirt, canvas, wood, glue, etc. I made one (huge to my new painter hands) painting that was essentially all of the above mixed up and covered in black paint. After the critique for this work, Steve brought in an Anselm Kiefer book for me to look at and I've been hooked ever since. I guess I should mention, this was a Black and White painting class--I've obviously not moved too far from that. I don't totally remember every critique, but I remember the feeling I got from coming out of those classes. I was confident. I was sure. I knew I could handle doing this for a really long time. And for the first time in my life, I liked who I was becoming.

Not until after the semester ended did I see his work. It was remarkably similar to things I was getting into and things I would later do. We didn't have too much dialogue about our work, mostly our intentions. The similarities I would continue to find over the years only keyed me into knowing that we had similar intentions, and made me realise that ideas can trump practice, so I really had to pay attention to make sure I'd keep a good balance of the two. (Practice vs. idea is something I know I will always struggle with. It's easy to make the perfect work in a sketch book or on the walk home from the train and then forget all about it.)

He is a beautiful person, and I will miss him. People usually have regrets about not staying in touch, telling them things, etc. etc. but I did get to tell him once how much his support meant and how it really got me from there to here. From a mess to a mess with a purpose.

At the end of the semester I brought the Kiefer book to his office and handed it to him. He looked at me and handed it back saying, An old teacher of mine gave this to me when I was in school. But I think you can use it more than I can now. I guess, in more than one way, I hope to be able to pass something on like that some day. To be a friend and to teach something that sticks even if just long enough to help someone from there to here.

07 December 2008

paper keys get you everywhere

So I've figured out how I want my keys to look. I tried paper mache, plaster casting and so on and so forth...even cutting them out of Yupo. But, card board it is.

Obviously, inaccessibility is important. But I'm also looking at replacement. These keys were keys sitting around the garage for the last 20+ years and no one actually knows what they're for, short of the key that came with the lock.

I've come across several wood boxes that are divided into 3 compartments (thank you HRM gift shop). I think those boxes and these keys will be combined.

As for the jewelry box from oh-so-long-ago, it's almost done. a few more layers of wax and we'll call it.

Pictures and pictures to follow.

But, if I may be so bold, what do you think when you see these keys? Rude, polite, fantastic, whatever. I need some words for it.