Thursday, March 18, 2010


The performance is over, but this project is not. The actual result was a little too glitchy for my liking, so I'm pushing to have this on my senior composition recital to work out the kinks. The basic problem was in the glasses: those damned things have been giving me trouble from the start. The feedback increased way too fast because the patch I built was getting signals from the glasses at the wrong times. BLAH.

However, my goal was accomplished. I gave people an experience they'd never had. Now if I can execute it perfectly, it might even provoke some thought as well. But at least I made some magic.

To sum up what I did throughout this course:

a) I downloaded and cut down clips from "A Girl's Guide to 21st Century Sex," a British mini-series. I removed only the shots taken from inside the vagina and ame up with exactly 3 minutes of footage. Here's the show:

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b) I worked with John Mayrose to put together this Max patch:

the counter is for the performers (Chris Dorn and Elyse Lucas). In the top left are the "start" and "end" buttons. The inputs can be seen in a row on the top and the green boxes below those are the sensors that recognized signal from the 1/4" cable and the contact mics.

c) I put together the domestic scene with plates, glasses, silverware, tablecloth and meatloaf all included. Chris, Elyse and I had a few rehearsals (without too much glitch) before finally putting on the show last night:

I wrote in the course evaluations for the course that it represents everything I thought I would be getting when I signed on for four years of a liberal arts education. Freedom of expression, inspiration, and expert guidance. Thank you John and Julie for giving me an experience I've never had.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Life Down Under

Librarians and collectors are the most important people for the arts. At the very moment things are happening, it is impossible to sift through the endless piles of music and photographs and paintings and general artistic output. Every day more crap (I'm using this term in the most positive way) gets dumped into the 'cultural atmosphere.' It can feel like white noise...pollution. How can you even come close to getting a grasp on the world's artistic output in as little s a day, much less a year or decade.

That's why we have people like James Danky. They collect things so we can sift through them later. Or other people can sift through them for us. But all of this sifting, none-the-less, is made possible by people who take that initial interest and deem something "worthy of collecting."

I think "best of" lists are pretty funny. Especially one's about the year we just came through. Basically, the only artistic output the writers of such lists have to go off of is the most advertised. Whether a particular item has been blogged about the most, or been sold in the most stores, the most popular items of the year always get dubbed the best of, regardless of their actual artistic merit.

Later on, though, things get "rediscovered" and artists that weren't so popular during their prime are shot up to the pedestal. It's way hip.

It's hip to know the most popular artists of our time but it's hipper to know the unpopular artists from before our time. Funny. I'm not sure which is more obnoxious.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Check out this cool video. The whole movie is actually in our library...

Zizek is the philosopher I was assigned to look into. He has a lot of ideas about global capitalism and the little (and big) conundrums that come with it. I watched a talk he gave about consumer charity. I've noticed that funny notion, buy this and we'll fold in a charitable act. It just gets easier and easier to keep spending, and boy do we. You used to have to set aside money at the end of the day for charity, but why do that when you can make the act of charity much more obviously selfish by getting something solid out of it in the process. Get away from my door, you UNICEF kids. I drink Starbucks every day. Check it:

"It’s our commitment to do things that are good to each other and the planet. From the way we buy our coffee, to minimizing our environmental footprint, to being involved in local communities. It’s doing things the way we always have. And it’s using our size for good. And because you support us, Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ is what you are a part of too."

Selling ethics. That's ripe.

Moving on. Folks, I'm starting to get worried about or friend Nicolas and his "radicant" cultural atmosphere. He had me with the global cuture thing, but now it seems like he wants to eat the cake too. So we're in the veritable cesspool of culture. This is art. This isn't. But it is. Anything is. Blah blah and back and forth and constant change, etc. Things are disposable. Trends are disposable. I don't feel like he's helping us move out of this. Sure, sure "alter" is different than "post," I get it. You're supposed to combine elements of inspiration from across a very broad field. It's supposed move beyond the white western world's concept of rootedness. COOL. But it sounds to me like things are just going to get blander and blander.

And things are already pretty bland. It takes kind of a lot for me to be shocked anymore. And even when I am, I'm like "pff. is that all you're relying on? shock value?" And no one likes a preacher. It seems to me that no one actually likes anything, we're all just pretending so we'll look cool on the playground.

I say: make stuff. Then die. Let other people talk about it later if they want to.

More like Matthew BLARNEY

The more I look into Matthew Barney, the more I regret using him as my muse. He seem to take this stuff way too seriously. If there were at least a hint of a smirk on his face I would know he gets the joke, but it seems to me like he's just trying much too hard. There's just no need to come up with that many layers of meaning. No one actually cares. And those that do simultaneously make my stomach churn and the corners of my mouth lift because it's just funny to see people try so hard when it doesn't have to be that difficult. So there I went. I sold my muse out.

The videos themselves are very good-looking, don't get me wrong. But I think I have to disconnect the artist from the art because his bullshit is really starting to get to me.

This is what I should've used for my mentor:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Batter's Up

It's heartening to see someone so enthusiastic about anything as Prof. Sedlock. It doesn't really matter what for. She puts out a positive influence, which is what art is all about. I don't mean positive in the way of smiley faces and hearts, but more in the way of plus signs. Creativity is about adding things to the world. Even if what you're adding is terrible or is influenced by something terrible, it is still adding, not subtracting. War is subtraction. Humans love to subtract. Science is addition. Science is a slow accumulation. Art is addition. Music is addition. Philosophy is stasis. Religion is subtraction. Politics are subtraction. Prejudice is subraction.



I'm meeting with Chris and Elyse on Wednesday to do a first test.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Update and Away

I'm at the point now where I'm just chuggin away at the max patch. It's slow going and I haven't been able to devote enough time to it just yet to really make it work.