this is going to be a long post

This weekend has been really busy and productive and actually mostly involves me talking to a lot of people and bouncing ideas off them.

[——- Saturday—–]

Franca came over to my place for work discussion! (which also involved pancakes and cats and salad nicoise :D) Actually we did get some major work done, namely the deadlines for Exhibition In Cloud and what characters we were definitely doing. Also I got to run through the processes with her – how the illustrations have to be converted to maya, then wood blanks have to be milled with CNC, then molded using sandcasting and finally pouring the molten tin into the sand molds.

Final character list (26 total, corresponds to alphabet):
1.  forest witch (baba yaga)
2.  toy soldier
3.  marionette girl
4.  kobold
5.  moss people (wilde luete)
6.  hansel&gretel (onepiece; front:hansel back:gretel)
7.  alp (nightamare giver, sits on people’s chest so they cannot wake up)
8.  wolpertinger (small mammal made up of everything antlers, wings, fangs etc)
9.  weisse frauen (white women who comb their hair at noon, guard treasure & castles)
10. Rübezahl (lord of the mountains, aka. lord john.)
11. shellycoat (creatures who live in swamps with shells on their backs, calling travellers)
12. neck/nixie/nyx (water spirits who sing & lead men to drown, aka. lorelei/rhinemaiden)
13. king&queen (onepiece)
15. nutcracker
16. lavender
17. pine trees
18. berlin bear
19. memorial (holocaust, cube)
20. coffee grinder ( http://www.chinatraderonline.com/Files/home-appliance/Coffee-Maker/Coffee-Grinder-23172015994.jpg )
21. berlin wall
22. two-headed eagle symbol ( http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/2561680 )
23. bier
24. ampelmann ( http://www.fastf.com/blog/Ampelmann.svg.png )
25. poppies
26. nazi-germany ( http://cdn101.iofferphoto.com/img/item/298/492/21/o_NHXJfccmXvOoOQE.jpg )

We mostly agreed on everything, the hardest thing was actually choice 26. ‘nazi-germany’ on one hand we didn’t want to create anything overtly political i.e. political sledgehammer on a topic that we understood only from an outsider’s perspective. On the other hand, *not* putting a symbol of nazi-germany on an individualised self-making map was to deny that it ever happened, especially since the rest of the symbols corresponded with germanic myths and cultural motifs. So it was quite a difficult choice….. but I think, if done with subtlty and intent, even if it is such a heavyhanded symbol – leaving it out is worse than leaving it in.

And then I showed her the inkpads that I bought from S’pore for the stamps (during the exhibition):

Aren’t they beautiful???

[———– Sunday ————-]

Sunday I decided to make another mini-project, just for fun. It’s basically a pecha kucha equivalent of a project:

I was just thinking how my tools are basically my army – like soldiers lined up, ready to do battle on blank paper and tetchy canvas and how I really love my toolkit, my personal army(!), the extended fingers of my hands. Plus I enjoy looking at other artists’ kits, so here’s mine:

1st regiment (infantry): rotary knife, eraser pen, drafting pencil+lead, 0.5 and 5.0 pens
2nd regiment (cavalry): 1.0, 0.3, 0.1, 0.05, 0.01 pens
3rd regiment (archers): zebra rollerball colourpens set
4th regiment (catapault): midliner double-ended highlighters
5th & 6th regiment (heavy artillary): thick sharpies
7th regiment (battalions): inkpads
Base camp: notebook

I generally use really cheap shit for colour – I bought the zebra rollerballs for 4.95 a set(!) and the midliners for about the same. I prefer using highlighters in combination cos they can give a nice ‘wash’ effect like watercolour (they mix really well too, but you have to clean the nib afterwards). The only things I spend money on is drafting pencil – architecture/engineering ones are the best! they have a good weight and take most lead sizes; and pigment ink pens. I remember one year, my notebook got wet and ALL the ink ran and all the drawings were lost D: D: D: so nowadays I invest in *waterproof* pigment pen ink. I’ve used blue, black and burnt umber before and my favourite is still black… it’s just really versatile, although burnt umber looks better for portraiture I think

Pen brands – honestly, I’ve used everything at least once before. Sakura microns are good if like a drier scratch with a thick bite and a mid-black and great nib sizes, a lot of illustrators use them cos they dry quick (no smudge!) and can be used with both a heavy and light pressure. (they’re my best friend’s favourite); Pilot runs really wet, sometimes leaky but great nibs, and deep absolutely gorgeous black – a bit more pressure actually looks better for Pilot, I think good for people who have a stronger pressure; Mitsubishi is good and cheap, nice scratch but not too dry with a decent mid-black but not much variety for nib-sizes and also I find their pens a bit light to hold. Copic is a bit on a the pricey side, but a lovely black and loads of nib sizes – the only downside other than price is that the nibs tend to be a bit fragile, so not good for those with a heavy pressure. Nowadays I use Prismacolour pens, they’re quite good, a bit on the wet side (which I like) with a similar black to Copic. Decent variety of nibs, nice weight. I think they’re good overall pens, but nothing exceptional about them. I might try others again when my current ones run out, we’ll see.

Also I was thinking since the Exhibition in Cloud was in the first week of November (near Halloween), and Franca & I were doing folklore and history and all that – we should dress up as Hansel & Gretel for the show! 😀

pencil

inking

colouring

I decided to include my drawing process as well since we’re talking about tools and regiments and all that. Plus I rarely take photos when I’m drawing, so this is kinda interesting to me too…. this is what I’ll call a super-quick sketch though, it took maybe 30-45mins from start to finish (since it was mostly to sketch costume ideas) with fabric notation on the side.

Also baked a lot of mini-chocolate cakes (refer below).

[——- Monday——-]

Happy Labour Day! Christine and her husband kindly decided to host a bbq in her backyard for the Parsons Berlin Collab people

professors

group meeting (work!)

after 3000000000000 beers lol

We had so much fun, and we did so much work! We covered the exhibition committees status reports, and talked about how to install it in Aaronson come November. The Press Release team did a great job, and we even had our own logo and style set and everything – it was really really great

Even better was afterwards, I was talking to Z. G. (one of the professors) about the mobile art exhibition (this one in Jan)  and how it relates to my thesis and he was like: “don’t do the part about resistance, just do it on ludic. It’s more interesting to people because it’s something new and coming into society, plus when people think of resistance it gets too much heavyhanded into politics.” And he also suggested that since I was doing a non-traditional show, instead of trying to get MOMA venue I should try places like Home Depot, Costco and Macy’s instead – to really bring the idea of public art, and also them having actually enough parking space for the trucks!! He also told me to look up this artist, Ryan Gander ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Gander ) and from what I’ve seen/read of his work it’s pretty much in line with what I’m interested in.

Through searching, I found other references as well such as Liam Gilick (relational aesthetics as design, open interactive space: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liam_Gillick ); Doris Freedman ( public art, sculpture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Freedman ); Richard Wentworth ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wentworth_%28artist%29); Julian Opie (new british sculpture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Opie) And it was quite interesting and useful since I was looking for references in general.

[—— Tuesday ——-]

Dinner with Jon, Ben & M. at my place – J & M actually came over to pick up the cooking ingredients I brought from S’pore to NYC and we also did some catching up and talking about random shit + gossip. Anyway we talked about loads of stuff, but here’s a list of bits & pieces that I remember:

1. internet development VS internet culture
It’s kinda interesting to note that most developers have no fucking clue about internet intarwebz culture. For instance the Tumblr developers know nothing about the Tumblr-users except through the mode of “interface design”. They are un-related to people who are Tumblr-famous, or part of fandom or any of the microniche communities. J. sent me a bunch of links to what he called ‘new microcommunities’ which he vehmently defended as NOT part of tumblr aesthetics but rather new tribes instead:

http://blaqmagic.tumblr.com/For me, what I can most clearly see that it really looks quite close to the dirtstyle movement that was creeping up during 2009 onwards and then exploded after Yale Art website did the blingee gifs + flying eagles. Dirtstyle refers to the early 90s webpages with tiled backgrounds, awful font in lurid colours and those ridiculous java appelets back when Geocities and Webrings and people still used Altavista to search. We’re not talking Usenet though, we’re talking more like the rise of personal homepages and when people used the term “web-log” not “blog”. So it’s pass the point of military and creeping into personal homes, but without the slickness we see nowadays in ‘designed’ webpages. That time was also the period when people were like Data Is Free! and Internet for Democracy! and Napster! (along with Limewire and Gnutella) and people like Bauwens were talking about P2P spirituality.

This tumblr variant – not sure if I can call it a micro-comm, I don’t know enough, although I trust J’s judgement…. – is interesting because it takes most signifers of dirtstyle, but combines it with Fluxus elements and bits of New Craft, Cyber and Post-Industrial Punk to create a really lucid yet lurid style of design. It’s like J.C ballard car accidents, only on information highways instead. What I find really fascinating is how they manage to create a sensation of texture, that comes through even with a flat digital screen. It’s kinda cool. A bit weird, a bit sexy – like that french flick you watched with loads of naked people and leather and random dialogue that you felt cool watching even though you didn’t understand shit.

2. homo ludens, ludic/play and ludic/logic

so somehow the question came to: ‘so what are you gonna do for thesis?’ (I have a feeling I’m going to get asked that a lot during the coming year………)

So I described the idea of ludic and B. was like: “you have to be careful cos ludic on its own means play, but your definition is not just being playful so you should always define it as ludic logic instead of just ludic on its own.” Anyway the idea behind it – now a bit closer, is the idea of playing or playing-pretend a logical conclusion. For instance we play at the idea that certain absurdities are real even if they are intangible (for instance, how do you contemplate on the entire concept of insurance?) and these absurdities may or may not carry a level of chance – or risk. Ludic logic is the idea that we can accept any form of an absurd rule, and play towards  it within gamespace (a parallel universe akin to real life; that is like game, but not game)

[—— today —–]

new sketch! this one is actually not as abstract as the rest, this one is like raindrops on roses, cos today it was raining so heavily. It’s quite relaxing to do pen-work tbh, but the next design should be less line-y. This one looks very uh… tied together? composed? because it’s all just lines, just varying widths and directions. Tried to find Clive today since it was International Day for Appreciating Teachers’ (or whatever the UN sub-body feels like calling it) but he wasn’t in so I’ll look for him tomorrow either before or after design for century.

Ran into Ryan. R on the 7th floor and…. guess what? He asked me The Question aka. “So what are you planning to do for thesis?” and maybe it’s because so many people have asked me that so many times, or maybe talking to people is really my form of social, or being social is just another kind of thinking but surprisingly I had a real response. “Something with systems, not just technical systems but like folklore and mythology and even schema, how we organise things into structures.”

And then I explained like how you could ‘beat’ the system using ludic logic, playing the system against itself and he was like: “your periodic table example is really great, but maybe what you need to do next is find the extreme sides.”

or pictorially:

So what I should do is find examples of what would be the most technical system, as well as an artistic system both operating on the idea that having a good system can give you affordances towards new discoveries i.e. Manhattan Project and the discovery of plutonium where they knew the unknown element probably existed in a more stable form because of the affordances in Mendeleev’s periodic table.

He also mentioned that I should look into Loopholes, because that seemed to be what I was talking about (only less circular). Anyway I’m glad I ran into him, gave some really great advice! Plus he said systems is an interesting thing to look at (I think so too!)

Also my stupid self, read the dates wrong for the MIT Game Lab thing it’s actually on 21st not 6th (omg.) and here I was trying to contact K. desperately (since we’re going together) thinking it was tomorrow and how are we going to get to boston in time?? and then she was like: “read the thing again” and I was like OMG I’M SUCH A DUMBASS D: D: D: also another stupid thing I stepped on my charger this morning and managed to stab myself in the foot (punctured bleeding holez, like a pair of fangs only that it’s a 2 pin plug not a vampire) and if you see me hobbling/walking daintily it’s because I’m a clumsy in addition to not being able to read dates =_________=

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