!springcleaning

In lieu of the whole ‘I can’t find my post’ + ‘where did it go?’ I did a little bit of blog spring-cleaning. There are now THREE new sub-categories: thesis: inspiration, thesis: reading and thesis: technical

Stuff should be easier to find etc etc  ‘inspiration‘ covers all precedents + stuff that is remotely linked (like all those gallery openings…) or stuff that I just think is really cool & inspiring; ‘reading‘ covers all the book references as well as conversations I have with people around thesis; ‘technical‘ covers prototyping, all technical/ how to make aspects + sketches. I know it sounds weird that all those drawings are technical instead of inspiring – but 1. I don’t find my own drawings inspiring 2. I’m mostly using them as a way to think out how it should look&feel (plus most importantly it makes sense to me) All other misc entries are just under the general thesis’12 category i.e. mini-projects, what have you etc

Otherwise I’ve just been plodding along – I’ve downloaded the webgl base and looking at documentation/tutorials for it and scheduled more appointments with people. Right now: Clive (done), C.P (for jquery, fri), Z.G (sat) and event-wise: metal workshop (sat); J.S.K birthday (sat); thesis bbq (sun).  My most important thing is to decide on a landscape….. it’s a huge thing and really one of the core areas of my thesis that I need to knock out before I can complete the thesis statement draft. It’s really big, but I’m getting a better grasp of it

One of the ideas I got from to borrow from Eastern European Romantic (EER) tradition, aka my favourite painter; Caspar David Friedrich. I really love Friedrich, and he is – and will always be, my first painterly love ❤ Anyway the most important thing you need to know about the EER is that they were obsessed with finding God in Nature, and were excellent in creating a sense of awesome in the most literal definition (‘awe’/wonder + some). And then I started really thinking about it.. and here’s a side by side comparison about what I noticed:

So if we were to write a cheatsheet for creating awesome:

1. tightly controlled landscapes in the scale of 1: 4 – normal landscapes are usually at 1:3, but both Journey and EER dropped the base horizon to enlarge the sense of infiniteness

2. single diffused light source – basically a backlit version of a chiaroscuro. Diffusion is created through fog, cloud, mist or suchlike to obscure and create a sense of depth. Depth is suggested through shading, not perspective (the wide plane perspective must be kept at 1:4 scale)

3. gradients – gradients create a sense of luminousity, especially when coupled next to either pure white or pure black (well that explains all the sunsets/dawns)

So right now I’m leaning towards a sunset/clear luminous ochre base and probably some kind of sea. I was thinking of actual sea (as in marine ocean) but then I realised how much trouble I was creating for myself i.e. realistic fluid dynamics, water reflections, critical refractions, wave movement and I was like: ‘nope. not happening’. One idea I had was to use grass as a ‘sea’:

Mostly leaning more towards the top one, check out this photo-manuip:

I’ve got an idea of how I want the website-civilisations to look like (towers. lots of towers. tessellations. bathroom tiles.) so I might have to go and buy a few sheets of larger illustration boards and sit down to draw a landscape (notebook scale is good for doodling, but not for finalising plus I need to get it cut into the 1: 4 scale)

Also Lucas’s identity project:

He’s using Cinder to merge facial recognition tech and create this weird/cool layered aesthetic (very on-trend with the current tumblrones) and create faces made up of features from passerbys (it’s like a strange, uncanny lovechild machine). Anyway we’re exhibiting together for the mobile art truck project, so I’m really happy he has a chance to show his thesis + how cool does it look!?!!?!

Otherwise I’ve been tracking this curiously explosive kickstarter project: Kerfuffles I find it fascinating because most people associate kickstarter with tech/product design projects but based on general observations food is a really really popular category. Most of the successfully funded and delivered projects are from there (makes sense, since edible inventory will spoil) and one of my favourite projects – the ember arduino board later made a debut as a kitchen equipment in the form of nomiki. What’s really interesting is how suddenly a community developed over a single project – not a general ‘kickstarter’ community, but a kerfuffles-specific kickstarter community that basically lasts the duration of funding. (it is like micro-micro-mico community…. or maybe nano-community? lives only for an instant)  Plus the idea of having food products delivered to your doorstop, and to crowd-selected; crowd-funded and crowd-chosen edibles is really interesting — somewhere in there, is a potential untapped market I feel.

Moment of truth: yes I also backed it, so I should be getting boxes!!! by christmas lol

[OT rant]
… right now, I just want to say how much I hate the word ‘crowdsource’ – I get that it’s a combination of ‘crowd’ + ‘resource’ but it smacks of exploitative capitalism to me. What kind of people view other human-people as a kind of labour-resource?! Also the word means nothing of the action – just what kind of resource are you getting from the crowd? crowdsourcing can mean anything from wikipedia update pages to kickstarter to social networking games on facebook and the only thing linking all these things together is communities or groups of people. It says nothing about whether it’s a monetary-resource (crowd as micro-financing) or collecting information (crowd as collective intelligence) or whatever. My dislike of the term is compounded by the people who use the term i.e. ‘I want to make a cure for tubercolosis and crowdsource the work to other people as a game and then patent the cure and charge exorbitant amounts of money for it’ <— I wish that was a lie, but I actually met someone from Merck like that and it was just…. outrageous. If you’re using the labour of the crowd to create something, then the externality of good you saved (profit, additional machinery or investment; time etc etc) should be shared and returned back to the general public as well not patented for profit.

[/OT rant]

Also met Clive today, and he was like: ‘you need a thesis and I will be mean&nasty to you for your own good’ and he did it in a very smugly happy kind of way lol (at least he was happy??) as in if he could wiggle his shoulders in a ‘yes i like torturing students’ he would. (except his mean&nasty is kinda endearing and not really that nasty but sshh pretend I didn’t say that :P) Anyway he wants me to write a draft of my thesis statement – 6 paragraphs x 150 words submitted by 5pm TODAY.

And well, obviously I didn’t make the deadline — I got halfway through the context and then I realised that I lacked a lot of research for it. Not precedents, but just historical events and general ‘timeline’ sequence stuff; and also I really need to consolidate the readings…. maybe into categories: one for general growth of internet/networks (engelbert, arpanet etc); one for contemporary art practice and media art ( hans ulrich; stuff i read in summer etc) and one general media theory/philosophy (derive, detournement, a thousand plateaus, the fold etc) so ideally:

1st paragraph introduction of case; what is the internet and what is it used for
2st paragraph how is it used (past) (from arpa to 90s)
3rd paragraph how is it used (present) (from 90s to web 2.0)

4th state why your project is important (pathways does *what*; fills what gap in research)
5th progress (currently market lock-in, greater and greater control society) issue
6th THEREFORE it will do what change (takeaway effect)

I don’t want to collapse a literature review into this, so I’m just going to frame the two major issues which are driving the project: curation of online-persona as a form of experience; literally ‘presentation'(1) and new digital aesthetics (2). The rest (i.e gathering traces, atemporality, limiting commuication) are key issues but not the driving ones?

Ok I really need a bath and sleep and that kind of thing it’s so humid today I feel like I’m bathing in my own filth D: D: D: and that really squicks me out…. cleanliness is next to godliness!!!

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