Thursday, August 23, 2007
Jim Nastics took these pictures. I just came across 'em. He hadn't mentioned that they were online. You never think about all the photos of you out there. There are so many photos of you that you don't know about. How many photos of you are out there in the world? Many of them belong to people you know but what about the ones that belong to people you don't know? Or people you only at best sort of know? What about the times you ended up walking into the background of some stranger's snapshot? When I was in high-school I spent some time playing a game of intentionally doing this. And what about that time some friend of a friend (or the sister of some friend of a friend) took a picture of you when you passed out, drunk, at a party, and they drew a penis on your face with a Sharpie? And what about all the "official" or documentary photos? Photos taken for identification purposes, insurance purposes, legal reasons? And how many of those photos are online? Even if they're online if they're unlabeled it's unlikely you will ever know of them. It's possible that someone, right now, somewhere, is looking at a photo of you. A photo you know nothing about...
That's me on the left in the top picture. I'm talking to Eleanor. I'm glad she came by. With this picture I'm inclined to fixate on my hair more than anything else. I cut my hair off at the end of the year. I'm growing it long again. It will look like this come December. You can spend as much as you want on a haircut when you only get one a year. I'm not sure the stylists like it because it's more work for them and they are getting only a single tip for the effort. So you have to tip well. I know all about this.
In the third photo Chris has his back to the camera. He's talking to Brody whom you can barely see.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Egad! You probably know more about this than I do. I thought people just hack open electronic devices, old synthesizers, toys, things that produce sound and tweak the circuits. I would think you need a minimal knowledge of electronics and soldering. It's low fi engineering, it's hacking, it's rigging. It seems comparable to game hacking to me. You have to be able to deal with the code some but you don't have to be an expert. It's more about breaking things in an interesting way. It's cut and past in a way. It's seems like it comes out of a desire to personalize things. This makes me think of torn jeans in punk or the hippie adornment of jeans or other clothing. But circuit bending seems to overlap with game hacking and maybe that kooky midi instrument stuff (which is all about customizing (personalizing) stuff too but the interface rather, triggers, inputs and outputs). Definitely a nerd scene. All this stuff, I feel, owes something to Brian Eno who owes something to John Cage. It may be the same aesthetic underpinning as prepared instrument music (Keith Rowe, guitar playing for example). And on the West Coast they have the more macho machine sculpture thing that's been kicking since at least SRL. But it is still kind of geeky because you have to know how to do stuff which means you are figuring stuff out and not hanging out. I guess the fact machine sculpture is so much bigger on the West Coast (than on the East Coast) makes total sense. Look at, I suppose, California's history of car culture. Perhaps this is the geographical point where all this stuff overlaps with surfer and skater culture. This is the sort of stuff they are starting to teach in art school (circuit bending, machine sculpture) — since it is more about creative uses of the technology than anything else. I had a class as an undergrad called Machine Sculpture. This stuff is about seeing what you can do with the little you know or can figure out (and not re-inventing the wheel). And that, in a nutshell, is the punk DIY attitude, circa 1977 but applied to other stuff (than bands, fanzines and fashion).