Art can do a lot of things. It can also not do anything and be a waste of time.
Sometimes it can do a lot in a very compacted and simple way with very little effort, but that takes a certain ability that involves paying attention to both formal and conceptual .potentials between multiple representations and wether or not the form they are in can be used practically.
Everything I make comes from images found on the internet. If I come across something that screams at me with potential for a convincing visual narrative, I’ll save it and anything else I might need to add to make it convincing enough to tell a complex story with the most efficient and least amount of work. When I first started to make image composites with layers it was 1996 and both photoshop and the layers function it came to be known for were in up to v3.5. It wasn’t an application you could just buy because the price was out of reach even for some universities . That was a contributing factor for me to transfer from a Cal State University that had one copy on one staff member’s PowerMac in her private office to the newest and State University at that time which because of its proximity to SiliconValley seemed like a logical step for the availability of new software to use in the Visual & Public Art major.
I eventually bought my first copy of photoshop which came with a set of 8 or 9 3.5” floppy disks for installation through the University book store for a little over $100, which was about 80% of the retail cost. Back then there were no images on the “new” internet that were at a high enough resolution to be able to use for anything. WiFi did not exist yet and digital cameras were 2 megapixels at best with a $2k price tag … and again unusable because of their resolution. The only way to get images in to work with was through flatbed scanners and analog cameras. (Cell phones didn’t have cameras and very few people had them. They took a lot of time to scan as processor speed and RAM memory on the powermacs we used was not even close to what is in a typical hand held device these days.
Speaking of which, I make these digital collages on an iPad Pro in Procreate (sometimes Autodesk Sketchbook) and post them to my instagram feed. These two pieces took about 10 minutes to make each one and they are delicious in their ability to speak the truth without words
when it was suggested that we reduce, re-use, and recycle, they could not have known that computer/digital data would be a part of this paradigm, or could they?
it is not as if the growing mountains of garbage and non-biodegradable refuse which had statistician analysts predicting that we would be covered in our own pvc laden feces by the year 2001 could have understood that what they were asserting was not only peculiar in terms of fad/fashion and at risk of being a general trend amongst the populous, but they could also not have known that the non-degradable soiled diapers that were in fact merely digital simulacrum of the diaper volcanos set to erupt at any given year in the future could carry with them a tangible stench akin to profit margins and corporate greed based on capital and they idea that virtual data/material never disappears – and in most cases it actually compounds upon itself in the form of copies of copies of duplicates and cache based structures.
in 1996, while attending CSU Monterey Bay, the obvious nature of the importance of recycling and its two sisters were here to stay, with only a few instances of fadistic fashion which were used when other current even tusks were not applicable. Living in California coastal towns with small populations has a way of making the environment immediate. seeing a plastic bag or fork sticking in the sunset at the beach was most likely the result of some asshole tourists on a weekend trip from where they lived … which was in fact where I had lived not long before. inland California does not resemble the rest of the state at all. Central Valley inland California may as well be the Midwestern United States with its geologic ancient sea floor flatness that never modulates outside of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mtns, and the same can be said of its politics. it is a hard turn to the right with a scant desolation amongst those that have been to see how our culture is truly defined and understand the connectedness amongst all people … rather than the isolationist dogma that still permeates the idea that possessions and mortgage define identity – not character or integrity, as they would have you assume as 80% of the population are killed or at least traumatized as the newly leased SUV collides with the public transport bus on its inefficienct right turn into the digital realm of the looping 15 seconds of infamy … there’s no longer anywhere to hide as cameras are everywhere on the streets, tho you would not necessarily know it. the amount of data that video is carving into the digital economy of public surveillance is astounding. what is done with these terabytes of terabytes of data?
I certainly hope they are not tossing it all into an iCloud, BOX, OneDrive, etc .. because no one wants digital diapers to over-power the data that sits in the cloud that we need. and when all is said and done, and a solar flare or polarity shift renders all information stored in these clouds actual, who will be caught without a data-umbrella in the rainstorm of stank and stale old videos taken of some idiots smoking reefer at the intersection of Willow & Van Ness? not me. and to make sure I’ve done my part – I am re assembling and reusing my vines and Instagram videos into YouTube longer length collaged video … as seen in the link for this blogpost.
The First Automatic Ink Drawing
no plan, no sketch, no nothing but the permanency of India Ink flowing from a 3.5mm Rapidograph Pen … as if the pen were an #antennae capturing a still life in a different Galaxy.