pondersome, bahro, uru, default, video games

OMG this thing still exists

So yeah, I don't know how many of you stay in touch with me exclusively via LJ. A lot of my posts lately have had the heading like "oh shit, livejournal". Between twitter and tumblr, there hasn't been much cause to use it! I've been reading everyone's posts daily but still, it's a bit of a wasteland compared to what it used to be.

That's kind of nice, it means it's easier to post about stuff that almost nobody is going to read!

So it's my thesis year, and I've just recently given up on my earlier plan, which involved an interactive play. I like the idea, still, but I don't have the social capital to attract the crowds necessary to make it work. It's a really hard decision to make, I've been wanting to make this piece for a long time. But practical concerns of attendance being what they are, it's just not in the cards for reasons beyond my control. SUCKS.

So now I'm faced with the problem of not knowing what I'm going to do, exactly, besides a body of smaller works, rather than one ambitious installation. That's about as specific as I've gotten, unfortunately. I have a direction, but I'm not really sure how it translates into art yet.

Let's just say we live in a postmodern, increasingly posthuman age. We've levelled so much criticism at all the institutions and grand narratives that we don't know who to believe anymore. Science is suspect, so we see a rise in alternative medicine and criticism of evolution and global warming. Governments are corrupt, so we see the Tea Party. Religion is suspect, and we have the so-called New Atheists. At the same time, we pour ourselves into fiction. Fan cultures are exploding into the mainstream. People wear scarves in the color of their favorite Hogwarts house. Among young artists, at least in Toronto, there's a preoccupation with anxiety, fear, the mechanization of society, pop-culture icons and a return to the more comforting aspects of childhood. The millennials, perhaps more than Gen-X, are being asked to shoulder the burdens and consequences of the industrial revolution. Pollution, global warming, globalization, even just the routine of the workday. We're all going to be there and in charge when shit gets worse. Fuck that noise.

So we're caught up in whimsy, alternative realities, and a sort of selective, mature sister of infantilism. Many people would see this as a retreat, but what if it's a vanguard? What if, through our actions, we aim to bring the sort of magic of the books we read, of the movies we watch, of the music we listen to, here into the real world? What if Disneyland started to melt out onto the highways, down back alleys, into our bedrooms, as if it were more than just the sale of blankets, hats and other tchotchkes? And uh, what's the point of that, anyway? Is the world going to be easier to deal with? I dunno, but it seems to be happening! We want it to happen! Why?

In a world where Sarah Palin could have been a skipped heartbeat away from being in charge of the United States (lol John McCain is old), or where James Cameron's AVATAR can induce depression, where it's becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference between CG and live action, we need to remap where our boundaries between real and fake lie. Not by rejecting artifice, but by sincerely appraising it with a skeptical heart. To understand the difference between "what's real to me" and the evidence-based practice of science. To acknowledge our desire for immersion in truthiness without sacrificing truth.

I'm not sure where to go with all that.
pondersome, bahro, uru, default, video games

Experimental Film

So this experimental animation, a single channel video loop, starts out panning through the basement of a corner townhouse. Cinderblock walls and narrow corridors and such. It looks a lot like a Silent Hill cutscene, but tongue-in-cheek. People smile and then rot away to skeletons in fast-forward as the camera pans down their bodies on its merry flight. Throughout the house are similar scenes of hyper-terrorsex. A pale, sweaty young boy kissing the neck of a corpse as a dog simultaneously bites his neck and fucks him. It's so over the top, funny in a Quentin Tarantino kind of way. The single, long tracking shot takes us up into the dilapidated living room, where yet more nightmares await. It snakes up to the second story balcony before finally panning outside. You can't see anything since the camera is pointing slightly up toward the blue sky, just the rooftops of some brick apartments across the street, so you have no idea where you are. The camera moves backward and down on an angle, and then down into a window well at the foot of the townhouse. The camera then turns in toward the building again, and starts doing a quick flythrough of the house. None of the horrors this time, just the empy house, well-light from the open windows. The camera makes its way up to the third floor before it descends to the basement again. This time the horrors are back, but they're DIFFERENT. I had to stop watching.

Walking out of the small screening room, I found that I was standing in the top floor of the apartment building. Every floor was the top floor of the apartment building, all the way down, deep, deep into the ground.
pondersome, bahro, uru, default, video games

(no subject)

Here I am at home, thinking jeez, shouldn't I be working on something, but having the kind of brainfog that can only be cured by a strict Atkin's Diet regiment. I've called a few friends out for a quick coffee, with the idea in mind that my plans for making a social encounter the goal of this evening are shaky at best. The alternative, so far, has been poking about re-reading Pacific Novelty entries, which would translate well to book form with minimal effort. Just sayin'.

I'm in a show in the spring, if all goes well, a one-evening gig tentatively called Enteraction, which is fine and uncreative and I dig it on that level (except seeing it written now makes me realize that it easily anagrams to Ant Erection, which is an amusing pun and has a certain mnemonic quality).* It's a good opportunity to revisit a lot of projects I've been working on over the past few years and assemble them into something presentable.

I keep wanting to take on new projects, but that seems ill-advised at the moment. I dunno.

Anyway, I can't wait to graduate and actually have a real income. That'd be swell.

*Other interesting rearrangements include a cretin tone, neon cat tire and creation.net
pondersome, bahro, uru, default, video games

2010 Resolution

I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments this year. Again, I carry on my ACADEMIC WINNING STREAK by not failing any courses, and actually stepping up my game a little in terms of accomplishing my ambitions. I am more confident and more willing to take risks. I'm LOADS better at coping with stress. I have awesome friends—people who share my love of electronics projects, of fine arts, of dumpster diving, of music, of animals of an anthropomorphological persuasion, of retrotech ephemera, of DIY-everything, of costuming, of science and skepticism... I could go on. 2009 was in a lot of respects a kind of sucky year for the world, but one filled with optimism and a go-get-'em attitude that should make 2010 all that much better.

Like Cargo, I want to make 2010 a year of inconvenience. Not just for myself, but for others too, in the best way. Whereas Cargo's focusing on food, I'll focus on my clothes and how I entertain myself and others—which aren't biological staples, but they're certainly things that I've kind of taken for granted. I miss the haphazardness of high school LAN parties, and I'd love to reapply that to my current social circle. Have a worldbuilding party, making maps and designing buildings over a few drinks. Host a handmade camera month. Go see some Fringe shows. Make a techno-bong. If I'm unsatisfied with the usual stream of my life, disrupt it with alternatives that have unpredictable results. Strive for those Genuine Quality Experiences that can only come from doing things without the comfort and convenience of knowing how they're going to turn out. Intentionally fuck up attempts to make my life easier made by people whose names I don't know. Be chaotic good.

Okay so sngingcircusdog is on her way to the airport and I'll be there soon to pick her up. This is going to be an awesome New Years, guys.
pondersome, bahro, uru, default, video games


Here's the visualizer I'm working on. I need a new one to replace the FADEY IMAGES one. I'm pretty happy with how it's going so far!

Also, it turns out Supersempfft is awesome.