Wow, ground zero is flooded. via the AP
What To Do In Case Of Fire
Creative techniques class continues apace, but we’ve come across an interesting problem, which is: what do you do when you’ve discovered a problem you want to work on has already been solved to general satisfaction? MUSIC; NOT GOING ANYWHERE NEW SINCE THE THEREMIN.
This might be a problem better known as launching to a saturated marketplace. Inventing new things is fun! Inventing new things is great! Inventing new things… frequently does not pay off one tenth as well as iterating an old thing into a totally new shape. So the frustration that comes from that is interesting.
A better question would be:
Why is it that, although matt screens and digitizer tablets of quality are clearly more useful than glossy fingerprinter screens and no touch feedback, these are not folded into product design more widely?
The answer would be cost. It’s expensive to do touch well, and the patents are owned by major companies with no desire to reduce the expense. Although I prefer not to consider drawing a niche technology, so long as sketching is considered socially retarded and not useful, drawing will not be considered part of the gesture based fields. It’s useful to think about this while being relentlessly downbeat, because it extends to all areas of creativity, including writing; one thinks of writing differently in type than longhand.
New creativity: a problem.
Being creative with restricted tools: probably why art as a field is having some difficulty justifying its existence.
After that sort of chilly, cynical observation, maybe a positive example is due. So: infographics. These are not new art, but they are the art of the chart, which is seeing a pretty huge interest right now because we can finally chart shit in real-time 4D. This comes to mind today because of http://hint.fm/wind/ ’s visualization of Sandy and the end of the world, but really, all the world’s ends have come through that way. See also: http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/posters Napoleon’s end in Russia. These things, which show human events at cold remove, are better-suited to a Google driven future. They are period. They are as period as anything Colour Field Theory (recently defaced) could contrive with paints and a resistance to photography; they co-operate with the tools at hand and make something more.
How to add to the onrushing pile? The point of the Colour Field was to disdain the rarified world of oils and throw housepaints on in any even way. Reject the necessity of meaning within painting. It is interesting to see the art of the New Aesthetic (http://quietbabylon.com/2012/on-the-leakiness-of-surveillance-culture-the-corporate-gaze-and-what-that-has-to-do-with-the-new-aesthetic/) because leaky surveillance is just one more art tool.
I am not interested in new inputs from the point of view of creation, simply in working with available materials and preventing my machines from effective spying upon me. No Cory Doctorow didactic science fiction novels here, just the new future, piled messy and incoherent upon the old. Didactics in science fiction! Repeating that which is found on the internet for free, in a condescending tone, just as though everyone were not invited to the party at the end of the world. No no. We will shoot you. The fascism is here but it never went away, we were always in a shooting war and teaching children to put gravel in their dual-boot is not always the answer. There is something itching under the skin when the future is so limited.
Venice is sinking and New Jersey is underwater, and this hurricane is just the first of the new string of doping scandals, a face on the new world and the new fight, same as the old fight, which is to see who wins at history.
Happy Halloween from Better Book Titles!
Check out the book version: “How Not to Read”
Pincushion face stitched up
With medals of ownership
A private grammar of puncturation
In a language written of doubts.
Aristotle, citizenship and hackerspaces
Derek Heater’s “A Brief History of Citizenship” is useful when thinking about how to compose a smallish organization dedicated to the welfare of its citizens, and how they think about welfare.
- “Direct participation in civic affairs presupposes a small state” (18)
- “Citizens must know each other and live in a tight-knit community”
- “There is no general agreement on a single definition” (17)
Etc. etc. etc. More or less: clear rules among equals, although some are always sadly more equal than others. Different class structures. Buy your way up, but the higher you go, the more responsibility for others you have.
Unconscious reproduction of patterns is a funny human habit, innit.
Look, it blinks.
The third hackerspace rule (hackerspaces.org) is “Do not interfere if someone is in a groove,” but sometimes you get a headache and something should very quietly let you know why. Because it makes you a nicer person to work with. Especially in winter! No-one gets enough light in winter, it makes you sick.
Also because machines to take interest in you may or may not make you more lonely. The ambiguity of the lamp means you will start to anthropomorphize it. More if we allow “random” numbers to dictate its changed patterns. Soon the lamp is your friend, and not your friends or your stomach. Soon the metal taste in your mouth, too much coffee and never enough food, soon it will taste like home.
Death of the print industry.
Working through creative process for laser cutting on a level, which started with Autodesk 123d.
Autodesk is good as far as it goes, designing waffles and stacks based on some kind of underlying Slicer technology. If I were seriously into waffles, it would be great! Sadly, I am not only not into waffles, I’m much more into multiangle joins.
There really is not a lot of good software out there to help with that sort of thing. Autodesk will model a good sculpt, but CAD just isn’t great for the way things actually output in an artistic sense. There isn’t enough control to make something really awesome or unique.
The working process is now, tediously, laying out my cutlines by hand in Illustrator. Using rulers. The more things change…
Feeding Audrey Two: Creative Processing
Audrey 2: The first piece of music I remember loving.
Something nobody ever asks me is where I get my ideas. It is pretty clear I get them by reading incessantly, same as everyone else. Consumption. A thought process that relates that word to being consumptive and spins up ten thousand images of heroines wilting on film, blood on their elegant lips, a disease we don’t know to be afraid of any more.
If they asked me, I pursue horror because I live somewhere safe, which makes horrible things funny. “It’s true – you’re free now and you can laugh at things that made your grandfathers cry.” Car accidents. Carnivorous plants. Charles Addam’s Homebodies, third edition. The Bad Things Happening to Youth that are a function of Youth who have grown up so safe they are allowed to fetishize cracks inside the head, allowed to play with pain.
Creativity is tough for me because it ends up linked back too hard to its sources, too clever and self-referential to be smoothly devoid of history[/and isn’t history just copyright violations lined up in proper order]. There are a lot of facts to be wound up in the creative output, layers and layers of reference. A garlic bulb that drinks blood to tell you when to eat is not a clean piece of beautifully folded paper, which I would rather produce, I would rather have the simple output than the deeper joke. The joke is … time-based. It will not be funny when its references are no longer broadly known, even as the folded paper will still be beautiful.
This is a theme in my work: overcommitment. Scattered networking. A joke I’d work on for two years, just to see the recipient bleed out caring, rather than smooth clean surfaces. TTC logos that attack you, a sensor array to ask why the fuck do I have a headache today, all the beautiful little torments of being awake and alive and aware.