Archive for July, 2008

in memoriam/gravity July 15th, 2008

2008-07-15,10:17 am
Dies Mars
Luna wx 94%v

I remember the day, the moment when I dug in and said NO.

When I looked at felt through all the things I had chosen to do with the time I had had so far, and wrenched myself away from the judgements WASTE OF TIME, WORTHLESS, LIVING IN FANTASYLAND, POINTLESS, CRAZY and said FUCK NO…I’ve done things in my life and seen things and know people the likes of which 99.9 percent of the population never will. Fuck, they make movies and write books about people like me. My road has been windy, sideways, and unique. My needs and goals have drastically changed, but that signifies the completion of a path not the devaluation of it.

I remember the day when I picked up the disk and it was HEAVY. For a long time. So heavy I got so depressed I couldn’t leave the house or eat properly and thought frequently that maybe I’d be better off dead. I also remember what it was like before picking it up. It was better to pick it up, though it had FAILURE and WORRY written all over it.

I remember listening to a coworker on a touring show go on and on about how anyone who doesn’t own a house (like she did) is stupid and basically a loser, and how bad that hurt and how deeply that went in. Ditto for rants about people without college degrees. Or “real” jobs. They only wounded me so deeply because somewhere inside, I agreed.

That sort of thing would now only piss me off and make me all the more determined to dig in and do my work. “Dig in” is the perfectly appropriate way to put it, too. The part that needed addressing wasn’t the worth of my doings but the reckoning with the reality of the World, with the way things work in the material.

I remember being told no, I can’t go to school like I had hoped. Which at first felt like the punitive voice of God saying “you fucked it up the first time when you didn’t know what you were doing, and now you don’t get to go when you really want to”. I may never be able to walk in through the front door like everyone else seems to get to do. But I’ll be damned if that will stop me. And the right people keep showing up, and a way to keep going to the school even if I’m not “in” school is found. And if not that, some other way. Fuck you, God.

I also remember the day that the pilot light came back on. It’s a complete mystery why it did, and though that lamp is in a camp I travel away from now, the important thing is that it did come back on.

I remember the day I learned what the names of the sphinxes pulling the chariot are, that big ol’ fixed square in the kerubic signs in my chart, the parts of me that keep me forever in the doorway and never quite passing through. The parts that seemingly at best immobilize me and at worst pull me all apart. Like that librarian. It was a good piece of time between knowing their names and being able to coordinate them in actuality to make the whole thing move. But now it’s a wheel.

I remember leaving that piece I made in the Museum exhibit, with the fake tag and artists ID, and I remember the Museum giving me the six of hearts in return. Literally.

And now the whole balance is still fragile, any number of things could happen to blow these things I’ve built away, tender and green as they still are. My heart still teeters on the edge of doom and despair even while I’m breathing the air of the rare heights for the first time. I can’t help but be afraid of the great motions going on on the world and my country (though I have to admit that I have a little instinct that being well-set up materially is no guarantee that a person will come out of this one allright, so maybe I didn’t completely mess up by not having that already).

But I can stand with that.

I am a needle of many Norths,
A kingdom of many Kings
I know where my holy places are,
And where to go for refuge.

I fear the wastelands, but I keep going.


containers of time July 7th, 2008

2008-07-07, 06:33 pm
Dies Luna
Luna wx 26%v

Have of necessity been going back and forth between 2d and 3d work, probably for the first time -effectively- ever. Finding that I need a bit of a buffer activity between the two kinds of action. Beyond the physical clutter & space issues associated with a back and forth, there is a distinct difference in mindset and operation that at least at this stage, are not compatible in the same space (the same tabletop).

I can’t be physically sawing or cutting or otherwise working on a piece while stopping to sketch or draft. Necessary to do like operations all together-

Ex. today: morning, 2d work for PNP transfers, design begun for 3rd box, more image refinement for six-wings pendant.
buffer: to kinkos for more image refinement, cook dinner, clean kitchen, poke around on the computer\
this evening: saw work for demo ARARITA ring, sawing and filing of sides & lid of 2nd bronze box, cut new locket base from brass tubing, practice rivets if time
buffer before sleep: watch some episodes of City of Vice with T, read in automata book.

Stages, 2d:

The design (sketching) stage done with very few tools- sketchbook, pencil, eraser. maybe a straightedge, but lines are almost always freehanded at this point. Can be done just about anywhere- coffeeshop, home, work. Mental/psychic aperture wide.

The variations and blueprint stage: needs to be done at a clear, clean table with good movable lighting. Home studio. Need above plus mechanical pencil & sandpaper, straightedge, triangles,compass. Sketches are scaled and redrawn, retraced, and redrawn again until all necessary variations are gone through. From the several variations one master is chosen. The master is recopied once more and inked if necessary, final adjustments and minute improvements made by hand as the copying happens. Mental/psychic aperture narrows.

The patternmaking stage: Selected blueprint master is hand copied onto tracing paper. Master parts on tracing paper are affixed to material for a cardstock/cardboard mock-up or the final materials for the actual object. The pattern will of course be destroyed in the fabricating, but as long as there’s a still a master on file, no worries. Screw up, just make another one. Mental/psychic aperture narrowly focused.

Copying is done by hand and preferably all in one session or on the same day. Xeroxing is possible, but hand copying improves drawing skills and leaves me with no worries about whether the line will be “alive” or not. Also, xeroxing onto tracing paper more often than not jams the machine due to its slipperiness and thinness. Vellum is too expensive to be a throwaway material. Regular white paper obscures the edges too much when cut, and gums up/dulls the saw too quickly.

Reckon the materials with the design via the pattern- once cut and fit it will be clear whether the design works.


3d processes vary widely depending on materials, but the mental/psychic aperture progression reverses the above in stages, where initial bridge between 2d and 3d maintains very tight focus and once form is established in the material as a viable, working piece aperture opens out somewhat.  As space is created in the object and gesture/rhythm of pattern becomes apparent and firm, the piece itself has more to say about what it is/will be. Active/passive relationship of artist and created shifts more and more the nearer to completion the operation gets.

All phases of work require that I be alone, or at least not be expected to engage in conversation with others.

phase one/2d – Head leads, body following its instructions to mechanically generate sketches & drawings on paper.

phase two/3d -Body leads, acting on materials to effect spatial & formal changes, head following. Mind as sentinel of attention continually drawing actions back to conform with design as well as mediating messages from the material itself, facilitating necessary adjustments.

The alternation of thes two parts of the self within the two phases “warms” the heart and produces a third thing essential to viable, living works.

© 2019 Jackbird Arts

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