ghost town

So there’s been a good 6 months between the last post and this, so here’s a recap:

1. THESIS IS DONE!
Rejoice – Here is the video documentation:

Website:  http://www.milkred.net/vortex

DT website: http://mfadt.parsons.edu/2013/projects/vortex/

Here’s the panel livestream (‘hacking art & design’ with Cap Watkins from Etsy)
http://new.livestream.com/TheNewSchool/dt2013/videos/19122604

And then here are some pictures:
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2. Wrote a blogpost for Mathbabe about my thesis!

http://mathbabe.org/2013/06/13/guest-post-the-vortex-a-cookie-swapping-game-for-anti-surveillance/

how cool is that huh??????????

3. So what’s next??
– I’m writing a book with McKenzie Wark called ‘W.A.N.T’ which we are releasing on kickstarter only! Will not be published or sold anywhere else except during that 30-day run

– working on getting a job/spiffing up resume/ applying for grants. It’s harder being an international student you have a whole pile of additional paperwork to clear **sigh** Am also thinking of applying for a PhD…. but maybe in the future

– doing normal stuff: cleaning up the cesspool of apartment (after thesis, it looked like an archeological dig site); learning how to ride a bike, possibly going to get my driving licence, catching up on reading, meeting people etc etc.

…. Mostly though, I’m trying to keep busy. I know I bitched a lot during thesis, the stress was eating me alive and I remember on the day of the opening I panicked because the code will NOT work and it was 4pm and the show opened at 6pm. I remember getting on the M train with my hair still wet and laptop balanced with a hand frantically coding from Brooklyn to Union Sq. and freaking the fuck out. Then after the opening came graduation, then dealing with family and then, nothing.

That’s the thing – you work so hard, so long and then suddenly: NOTHING! You have absolutely nothing to do, and you’re going bonkers because of it. PTSD = Post Thesis Stress Disorder, you wander around listlessly making up stuff to do, going back to the library and lab like a ghost trying to recapture some semblance of normalcy. Summer is hard for me because I depend on routines to keep me grounded, and with no one around + nothing to work for I can’t help but feel a lost and a bit unstable.

Anyway I’m trying — next week I’m going to do what I did in winter: pretend I still had classes, and work on a piece of code everyday. I don’t think I will look at thesis code for a while, but I’ve bought a book on Python and planning to look at Angular.js framework. Slowly start a work cycle again. Having nothing to do really drives me crazy >_>;;;

ostelgia

So today I went with Ken to meet his toy designer friend and somehow we ended up talking about Berlin and history and memory and maybe it’s just me but this is what I think:
We remember things like photographs, photographs with faces cut out like lost loves and dying flames – all our lives, wondering and wandering in the present city, looking for traces of these torn faces. Not out of love, but curiousity. Some of this is part of me, that’s what I think. So it becomes a kind of nostalgia, to try and live in the place where the photographs were taken, to try and imagine who was in those cut-out faces and it’s all fantasy and imagination and we know that — but by erasing the history and the traces of it, can’t you see, that’s all we can do, to make it up for ourselves and live the past in the present city again?

I think maybe it’s just….. different. Then ironically today, again for presentation this media artist came in and again — no historical context. And I wonder, why are we trying so hard to both destroy and recreate the past? We shop for vintage clothes, but disregard the history of sevage and labour. We talk about polaroids and derive, and forget about the war that created the saint-germaine orphans. It’s almost like we’re just taking the artifacts of history, and rewriting the history of objects altogether. And maybe it’s just me, but it feels a bit…… unethical?

—————————————————-

IMG_0209 IMG_0210

Documentation notes, check out my crappy handwriting! oh well, at least it’s still legible 😡

More research into python and py.cgi and pexpect and just wading into deep code now. I think maybe I’m just a little tired of people/this semester, or I need some time or I’m just bordering on a burnout right now. Usually by the time finals roll around I’m like okay ready for a last push!!! but instead of feeling the rush of determination, I’m just lethargic and panicky and strangely restless.

As Christmas draws nearer, I seem to miss my mom even more :/ I miss the tree, the red bows and golden balls, the feel of staying up all night, the crazy dinner and mashing potatos, the sparkle lights, sakky hanging out till mornings, the post-xmas with jw & audy and most of all I really really miss my mom. I don’t really talk about my parents very much but my mom = awesome, brought all of us up and everything+++ and right now I wish I had a teleportation machine so I can be on other side of the world for a hug…… idk, feeling unnessescarily mawkish today

kept coming & coming

As you may know, recently there was a hurricane in my area. Today is the 5th? 6th? day without internet/signal power. All in all, I’m thankful for having power…. the 12hrs during the peak of the storm, being plunged into sudden darkness was a terrifying experience. Anyway here are the pictures (finally!) uploaded, courtesy of starbucks wifi:

14th st union sq, on the saturday/eve of storm with all the ConEd trucks ready

lamp-post casualty

and the facade was totally ripped off. I spotted a few random stuff like bikes atop of traffic lights and a couple of dismembered car doors on rooftops too

I had to send a couple of sales parcels out (note to self: international buyers don’t give a shit about localised hurricanes) and the USPS office in my district was running on generator power and was only doing pickups since delivery was impossible. In the end, I walked 10 blocks up to the next district to get the items mailed out……

Shuttle service from Brooklyn to Manhattan – despite the horrendous line, it went pretty quickly (about 15mins and I got on) I gave up trying to get signal/internet at my place so I went to Arnold Hall where Parsons had set up a relief center.

Manhattan was a bad idea. Union Sq and everything outside the main avenues (mostly 3rd ave) was completely dark. No traffic lights, no street lamps, no signal, nothing at all. I had to borrow a torch from a fellow student to make my way home. It was so eerie. You could barely see what was infront of you, and some people were using their mobile phones as torch lights — I passed by 3 people without lights at all, almost running into them because they couldn’t see me/I couldn’t see them. On my way home I saw a horrible incident – this very well-dressed couple was fighting with their cab driver who demanded they (the couple) paid him for taking them into Brooklyn. The couple refused to pay him, saying it was ‘only a bridge’. The cab driver was so angry he was about to cry. Thinking about how much fuel costs, and how desperate the situation is — his frustrated tears.

To be honest, even though I live within the evacuation zone I was really really lucky. However, this entire week (and counting!) of not having internet, of barely *barely* having signal — basically wandering up and down streets until the network sign comes up, had really made me rethink my thesis project and the fragility of some of the technical aspects.

Webgl in particular is a fragile, fragile system. You need to initialise shaders, and unlike PHP which uses MAMP as a pseudo-server – nothing like that exists yet for webgl. Not only that, webgl is barely browser-compatible; you need to go into your preferences menu and literally enable it for it to work. Doubtlessly, not mobile compatible at all. (I shudder to think how long it’ll take to load on a phone). The technical fragility of it, the lack of support it has is making me seriously rethink whether I want to use it for thesis. It’s true that it’s exciting and wonderful, but this week – living in the aftermath of hurricane sandy; made me realise how frightening it is to get cut off from everything.

To be able to communicate robustly, is a requirement. It’s not even an ideal. It’s a requirement. Why? Because I live 9,000 miles away from my family. Because during that dark period between losing power + signal, and them watching it happen on TV, on news — they tried calling me and texting me with no answer, fearing the worst. Because I felt so alone, and lonely afterwards, no where to go and unable to contact anyone in Parsons around me, with emails barely working and nothing. There *MUST* be a better technical approach. There must be another way.

I’m returning back to the original incarnation of the idea – a mesh network of intersecting paths. Can it be done in an analog way? Can I do it via mobile phones instead? Can it be done by radio signal, or something else? I still believe strongly in the idea of intersecting paths, of potential routes and possible futures ….. all the what-ifs ever made. Conceptually, yes. Technically? we need to do a rethink, gurl.

For now I’ll let my thoughts simmer and stew. A good dish never tastes good hurried along.

life goes on

That’s it. Over. I give up.

I don’t know why I’m here, I don’t know what I’m doing and at some point — I just don’t care about what people want anymore. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and realise oh my fucking god I have [][][][] class and I wish that a train would just run me over and save me the problem of living. Or a car. I walk along the edge of the platform (oh, you tease) and the merciless sky just taunts me with it’s expansive blueness. I’d estimate, the train platform is about 3floors up, just high enough to get paralysed but not enough to die. How I long for the decadent heights of skyscrapers and social housing. I feel so away from home and yet so close, it’s just a skype call or tweet away but it doesn’t feel like anything much — not when the horses and spurs come up and people’s expectations and desires like a wanting pull of gravity; face down, asphalt.

Going through the motions of thesis, and still no answers. Why should I live? Why should this exist? That question puzzles me so much. All this thesis is, really — beyond what I think of is, seems to be made up of other peoples’ expectations. Is it really my thesis? At this point? I have never wanted to be a hero. Not to change the world, not to ‘save’ anyone or make the universe a better place. All I’ve ever wanted, was just the freedom to live — not for my family, not for love, not for the burden of other people; I just want to be able to breathe. It’s been so many years. I’m finally here. After 20 years of hate turned apathy turned pity, can’t I just catch a break? This was supposed to be a reward for being ‘good’. 姿 be good, remember? I was. I did the classes you wanted, I said the right things, I did my duty and now I just can’t see anything else beyond more drudgery. It seems like I’ve escaped from one trap only to be shackled into another.

Maybe I’ll fail. Scott has implied as much. Maybe when I fail I can finally grab my passport, pull all the money out of the bank and disappear. Maybe then I’ll finally have an excuse to ditch living without dread-guilty feelings of making other people upset or disappointed. Maybe all that’s left is a dream — oh she had so much potential they’ll shake their head sadly what a waste others will say, underneath they’ll mutter total cop-out. Maybe they’ll never understand it, the kiss of cold metal on the skin; the smell of gunpowder heady like burnt opium and the odd sensuality of wrapping your lips around the bitingly hard muzzle. Who knows how close fantasy can get, when reality is nothing but a papery dance?

Thesis just makes everything worse. I pour everything into this, in a way it’s the absolution of work — my heart, I gift to you. (a gift from a person who is surprised to be alive)  At the same time…………… all the questions, the modules, it doesn’t answer the most fundamental question: why?

Maybe the measure of success, to evaluate it – is how will it one day be extinct. Will people understand that? The extinction of the idea, means that is is completely crystallised so it’s no longer needed and it has achieved the necessary process and then — extinction. I know we have reached progress when things go extinct. That’s a sign of moving ages, the ‘end of era’ so to speak….. Maybe the success of this project, is how many ‘mind-forged manacles’ I have left; and that plays into the desire of staying alive. All the projects I have done after all, is a kind of therapy. The success of it? Do I still have will to live? How do you share that in a presentation?

But, enough of this (!) What’s important is 1. finishing the 3D models for printing (whyyyy errors!) 2. thesis presentation + glossary 3. web advanced homework

tactics [drain away]

[RANT]
oh my god what is it about the art world that attracts the absolute DREGS of humanity? If I had a dollar every time I’ve been propositioned I’ll be a freaking millionaire now. No I don’t want to go to your friend’s apartment in upstate. No thank you to this supersekeret RSVP so you can teach me how to “network” or that sketchy “partylist” of yours. I don’t want to tell you my thesis, where I live or my phone number. No being an artist =/= paid companionship and no I don’t care if you want to sponsor my thesis or art projects or not, I’ll NEVER EVER SLEEP WITH YOU KTHNXBAI

god, times like this I wonder why I want to be an artist. I want to just make art, not deal with all the creepy-leery nature of art world. WHY. WHY. WHY. Is it because being an “artist” now means that not just the art, but the artist is for sale?
[/RANT]

phew. okay. that felt a million times better. Anyway presentations this week for technical module! Here’s my UX:

Isn’t it pretty??? They’re in watercolours & ink ❤ I really like drawing, it’s really fun to do again. Also doing the google page in watercolours made me (and some other people) laugh 😀 Making just pretty pictures, is like the feeling of getting drunk on Renoir flavoured champange<3

Recently I just thought – how funny to make a google search page as a drawing; I imagine that maybe someone did that years ago when they first designed the user interface for it – but in a way its also ridiculously atemporal – it could easily be in the future, where the image is so commonplace (like the way 960 grid exists) that google search page itself is a template the way you can download image templates for devices….. also I think if you draw it without reference (I did) you realise that most people forget the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky” button lol cos it’s not centered correctly….

I got the idea for the overall general shape from arabesque art. A few months back, cable was showing this documentary on Art of Islam and one of the things I remembered most strongly was this idea about freeform column structures, and how the architecture was specifically linked to create a sense of infinity:

also I generally really like arabesque art. I think the idea of pathways widget-thing kinda reflects on the tessallation-style of arabesque – the non-representation of human, except through pattern (re)creation. I don’t really know how much into religious divinity I actually want to get into (by and large, I’m more into Sublime than I am into divine)

My problem is this: Divine/Transcendence always proposes the idea that there is something beyond human i.e. heaven, afterlife, souls and that somehow it can only be reached through some kind of sacrifice or quest element. Transcendence, even in the secular sense; is always about overcoming the body; overcoming sensation and desire; being ‘beyond’ earthliness and somehow reaching an enlightened 2nd mental/astral plane. No matter how you dress it, transcendence is always the unreachable; the ‘other’ or ‘purer’ self (very Plato-ian, classical philosophy)

Sublime/Immanence however, is about the *now*. It doesn’t try to be beyond, it doesn’t involve some annoying mind/body dialectic; or earth/soul binary — rather immanence is about moments and gestures; Sublime is a flicker in the haze, a flash, a monument in time. Wonder is manifested in the materiality of the world – not some promise of an after-future. Like if I was really thinking about the internets as a secular divine, it should be immanence; accessible within the bounds of human as opposed to some kind of external force to transcend into

The critiques were really interesting – Dave’s comments:

1. aesthetics as a persuasive ecstasy; that we need a representation that overwhelms to render scalar relationships; a secular divinity because the Internet has the potential to gather and form the gestalt of humanity (promise of digital humanities); a kind of Baroque alterpiece to the centrality of the Internet as precursor to Singularity

2. reminds me of promise of VRML, beware of vaporware  (I worry about this point too)

3. are you making the case for the literalisms in representations? why do you get to be the person who decides what the space looks like? (A Brahmin caste role somehow authorized to interpret priestly encounter with the universe for the undercastes.)
——3a) what are the rules that should govern representational choices?
——3b) relationship to technical affordances; we design it this way because the technological advances tell us we should render it this way (webgl determines the aesthetic by its specification and implementation)

I don’t really have any defense for why I get to be the one who decides what the space looks like, except that my 15 year old self would have loved it. This is like, the blurry line between what is personal and what is research; they both drive each other (cheap shot: art is my favourite therapy) To some extent, I am making this thesis as a gift – maybe a kind of redemption, a kind of atonement and a wish; for what happened before……. because we were all dreamers, and teenage ignorance doesn’t negate what happened. How is it possible, to cause so much destruction, so very young? Really, we were the clockwork toys that moved assiduously to our own destruction.

So, in a way, the project is dedicated to you or maybe just us – not the you of now or whatever ‘truth’ ever existed; but the symbolic you; the one whom I saved and was saved at as well, ignoring the bitterness of growing up and drifting away; but the dreams of a hill with an eternal sunset with the colours of music around us like shadows enclosing; we would sit under the tree overlooking the music in the endless moment of forever… the bus stop, moment in time

This is my promise to myself, and the memory of you.

In a way, we never really grew up (whatever that means). We just try to find meaning in other ways. This year and maybe last year, is the first time we are truly really apart — not that anyone else will ever understand. (maybe even we don’t)  So this is maybe a kind of moot point??? maybe??? I’m just so tired of living in a neither-past-nor-future…… so this is my gift to a memory of us (not to you, or to me; just to lay rest: a memory) Maybe we have finally enough space away, to finally look from a distance — and this thesis project, is not really about what really happened at all but what I feel from my side. So there. Also I think I’ve said enough about this. And I don’t really want to talk about it cos it goes no where. We were for one thing, never the type for words. (although it’s funny how we ended up in similar/different/similar areas with you writing and i drawing and both of us making random comics for ourselves)

The rest of it, about creating a secular divinity through architecture; on the premise that architecture (especially those related to religion) makes the unseen Sublime visible– I will think about it.

———— Critical Media Theory Today Panel———————-

Thursday I ran into T.B on the way to the panel and his advice was for me to look at tessellations (but not penrose) since pixel-hexagonal thingys were not very interesting (‘why not make it an l-system?’) was his comment. I was actually considering it since I know enough to l-systems to code it…. but that would be like the 3rd semester of me doing l-systems =_=;;;; I already did it for bootcamp, for CC lab, for rhino, for independent study and like I feel sometimes it’s a bit of a copout to make things cool for the sake of it. Maybe. I’ll think about it.

The panel today was Ken Wark, Geert Lovink and Alexander Galloway. John D. actually sent me a msg saying: ‘you should go because Galloway is really hot!’ and to that, I can attest that Galloway is So. NOT. Hot. Maybe John just has appalling taste idek (it’s not that Galloway is ugly, but from John’s description I expected drop dead modelesque gorgeousness which didn’t happen) I also ran into Ed K.! he was my tutor last semester for deisgn for century — very cool guy who has weird taste. Here is my slighty shoddy transcript (the panel was done in Q&A style):

media still object worth talking about?

g: asked sinced the 90s; 90s era of media – media about mediation, channels, signals going through machines and stuff — today realtime, aren’t we beyond that? media is all fine, isn’t it something of the past? power, politics and twitter – is this the current state of affairs? (why so much institutional media stance)? The Media or the media? back into institutional, drawn back into realm of influence’

w: are google/facebook the new media corporations, would terminology legitimatise it? I wish, if only; abolishment of the media term is utopian

a: utopia as absence of media, immediacy, immanence – getting rid of representation; throwing out rep = non-world?

my comments: [what about scanning? images as magical? network forum – is it even media? doesn’t conform about media principles: distance/closeness, transparency, commuication. net working = not working(?) breaking conception of what media are]

a: presence of representation and nothing else. pure network with no references utopia = non-place; social contract of world, not applying

a: how do we occupy back?

w: occupy wall street — wall street as a symbolic meaning, our money isn’t even really there; the disjoint of a physical occupation of a symbolic space. sacrifice of time and comfort; it has to be physical? post-media-space. occupying wallstreet is not occupying the symbol of it. presence?? politics???

w: critical theory of media, might media not exist? ‘god is dead’ threshold?

[where is magic?]

g:  we are all not historians, the way 68ers were historians. we have to rewrite the history — don’t feel we have the same drive. what is lacking is the history, we are not historians

[but what about 90s kids? we want to remember) how do we deal with this issue of history?]
[isn’t all practice grounded in context, which is a kind of history??]
[variantology??Zielinski]

w: gestures to history; role of looking at past – doing a work on the 30s, so perhaps making gestures towards historiography
g: can we be writing — running away from it?
a: critical internet practice – net.art, net-time as european? what is being produced in europe for the world? (for srs?) a return to techno-utopianism? (for srs?!?!)
g: europe dominated by euro crisis; deeper forms of nationalism – media question: secondary in comparison to the other problems of european crisis. comparison to europe of 1950s, hopefully not 30s *cue awkward laughter*

a: media art/theory a failure of the project of immediacy, nearness?

g: don’t know, it’s a backlash thrown back situation of the 50s. optimistic enough for 1950s (not 30s!) guided and controlled by larger forces; sentiments and resentments….. consequences for theory; looking grim there bro’ not much left of the optimistism and experiementation of the 90s – new media and new media art interesting and relevant. now has expanded to asia, arab spring – not focussing of europe

w: our crisis of desire; networks don’t work – absence of media, media art possible utopian desire; attempting experimentation that could – advance issues to some kind of critic practice; where informing each other

a: interest, thinkings of models and simulations not conforming to human sensations —

g: new asethetics as a way to rethink one of the real areas for media advancement, role of the object, the materiality; liberated from real/virtual; some real issues about what is out there. instead of fighting with metaphysics of it. not empowering, not going anywhere much — new dialogue, new generations to enter— internet of things; new aesthetics wave, added aesthetic dimension; even in latour who didn’t address it [failed fucking much]

a: networks as an aesthetic space, aesthetic experience?
a: what about the non-human agency about the network form [are you fucking serious?!]
w: we want everything about us? conceit of humanism
g: great autonomy, of machines, of code, of robotics — good sign;
w: what about agency?? if you’re asking for agency, you would have it — one of the agents that humans are one of the agents.

a: legacy of cybernetics
g: i don’t want to complain about the loss of agency, europe will no longer complain
a: what you mean by loss of agency, democratism of crisis of desire? fulfill a desire of — network form
w: why objects are– baroque properties; object to object relation; object is a class, uneasy to define, technologies to define; what comes after — does relation still exist? media  — film tv cinema; objects of what is it
g: revenge of the object? withdrawn into the cloud, so invisible; so abstract; that’s when the object returns — point where it needs to be simulated, or becomes pointless to talk cos it’s gone —– incredible movement about the disappearance of the PC as an object, literally disappears into the cloud —

[fucking cloud again. cloud does not exist in some lurid space, it has a tangible materialism in the form of data centers] 

w: there was new modes – a non-commodity form got recourpted into; alt-culture to vulture industry; paying for access to your own shit.. surplus information theory???
g: deeper loss of future inability to program the devices, universal computational device that was empty and to a certain extent programmable (despite political) a big class of IT workers and hackers? (what we still don’t exist??????)
a: rent our own data, extraction of value is happening

w: nostalgic for capitalism(?) at least capitalism create goods; now we just pay rent via data to content platforms who let us access other people’s free content

g: corporations are not doing research at all – fundamental research? are doing applied research within boundaries of corporations. producing new applications for a new class of apps, that’s the research they’re doing

Afterwards there was a Q/A, and I decided to ask the question about history& memory since it was very pressing(!) Also I was surprised they did not touch on actual new media theory/praxis/events, but focused on a very marxist-historyish viewpoint (seriously, media as insituition? rancerie-representation?? again?!) I was almost thinking that: ‘omg, internet democracy is back in fashion’ again or something. (is this what the 90s felt like?)

Anyway people seemed to like my question! I was personally surprised at Lovink’s very cut & dried institutional answer that blah blah media theory lag behind the actual production of media —- that is so 90s. (I’m sorry. I keep bringing up time but time is important in a world that is very not-on-time. It is less about age than about time.) I’m more interested in new configurations and definitions – how old is the language of ‘new media theory’? why have we not moved away from the utopian language of early internet, or from the avant garde of net.art? why are we still stuck with words like ‘screen’ or ‘representation’ or ‘spectacle’ when they were written after the end of WW2? are we forever to be trapped in semiotics of the past? Even politics and media, we need to rethink their relationship because media is not just computer media or PC media or whatever. Even someone like Latour, or Deleuze – we must think of other images, outside the rhizome. Somewhere, in the magnificent depth; there are troughs to be explored. But first, to find the new dreams we need to lay old ones extinct. (sorry dodos)

Also I met some new cool people or rather, Ken Wark introduced me (his introduction being: ‘…is actually from the future.’) to some cool new people like Kate Crawford and they even wanted to buy my (non-existent will never publish) book. Honestly I’m surprised anyone would want to buy any of my writing or add me on twitter (I’m sorry but I can’t add you on twitter… my mom stalks me there!!) But seriously, sometimes I get so frustrated with how slow things are — like, omg do we really have to retrod McLuhan again? is vintage theory the new kind of fashionable?

For me, what’s exciting??? Nanocommunities that are slowly beginning to appear, like how kickstarter is really like paid intimacy; internet religions like Sarah’s story or twitter cults – brief, accelerated sped by hastags#; flash mobs that take over search engines, playing at truthiness. now THAT’S fun. the society of the spectacle has no place in the societies of the fragmented mirror……. I had fun talking to people, and to an undergrad student filming it. He was like “why is internet singular, why not pural?” and I was like: “It *IS* already plural — perhaps, a long time ago, it was singular. That was arpanet, was usenet, and the dream of the internet democracies. Then corporations came in and carved it up, real easte — now we all experience a different internet; when you type something on google your results are not the same as mine; your experience of facebook is not mine; we have no ‘single’ internet just fragaments of internets unbridged…” and he was like: “yeah.” and then that perfect moment, we just looked at the distance in understanding with each other

Jonathan and I once joked that what he has done is bridge pools together, while I’m bridging plateaus…. and all of us, live in the sea. (with dt as our aquarium!)

Talking about that – Jonathan and I have finally started out DTquarium series!

You can read all of it at the DTquarium tumblr 😀

This idea was started in May, and then we tossed it around for a bit and added new chracters in Sept and finally we have pages! LOL It’s not meant to be serious, just a bit of fun (also I find it very relaxing to draw) … okay back to 3D modelling!

wheee!!!

guys can i tell you how *delighted* i am at how fast sean cubitt replied my email???? i mean i seriously didn’t expect that he would remember me after all these years (interestingly enough, he and anthony white were the ones who wrote my references when i applied to parsons in the beginning)

actually here’s a bit of a funny story – when i was a student he was the head of media/commuications and he was the one who always gave the permissions to take classes at SCA, so i could do a rare double major (in those days, theory was theory; art was art and never crossed each other…. especially in a public university) anyway during my final year, i had a lot of questions(!!!) and unresolved angst about continuing media theory vs art practice (i was still set on being in pure fine arts) and i was finishing my thesis — so i decided to send him an email, with a header: ‘hi sean!’ (i still write my emails like that, which earned me the nickname of ‘ukrainian spambot’ amongst peers)

and like that, we became penpals! can you imagine??? it was the first time i realised that wow, my ideas have value and people actually take them seriously. i always thought as an undergrad, whatever i thought was probably too unsophisticated to compete and compare with these higher ups….. but he took me seriously! that was cool. through our emails, it was the first time i really thought/learned about illocutionary speech and hypertext as an example of it; how to critique ‘immaterialism’ (which he really loathed the term) and other cool things. actually i think during my final semester, i learned more from our email exchanges than any other classes

…… and finally after the semester finished, i was one week away from flying again and i knew i wouldn’t bother with graduation ceremony so i called him on the school number. when he asked: ‘why do you want to see me?’ i said: ‘because even though i know how you look like (from pictures) and talk like ( from emails)  i want to know who the head of my school is, since i’m paying so (international) school fees.’ and i think it was a wednesday. it was late spring, so it was crappy humid weather and i was wearing a blue dress. and it was a bit awkward at first because all penpals are awkward when meeting for the first time, but then we started talking about history and hayden white (and he was surprised i knew about hayden white lol) and it was odd but cool and somehow i can still remember his office and the fact that to the left he had a huge row of vertigo comic books.

a year passes, or at least most of a year. i leave academia for banking and other crazy stuff and then suddenly i get accepted into schools for graduate programs. i remember being superdistressed, because too many opinions and none that was really objective – so i saw him on skype, by chance again and ask him: ‘where should i go?’ and he’s like ‘congrats! helsinki is out of this world, mit is has great resources esp. if you want to do technology , nyu is very vocational and applicative, and parsons is good for art’. and somehow, those 2 words; when he stated is so blankly and simply, i just made a choice.

and just like today 4am i just sent an email ‘hi sean!’ as heading (again) and omg i can’t believe he remembers me! and is still so awesome! sean why are you always so awesome??? anyway i’m excited at his references, and most of all talking to him again. maybe we’ll be penpals! *______*

 

riding on a limited express train {take me to utopia}

My MT tape finally arrived!!! so I could finish my drawings~ drawing for me, is a kind of thinking. Even though words are interesting, I still prefer drawing to writing…. I think the next few drawings, I want to do something that can capture the feel of a {limited express train} and try to narrow down the feeling I want for thesis, and also in my other project work. My biggest problem with the Pathways model is that it has no feeling to me; whether it has use or no use, or person or no one – that isn’t important as long as it captures the feeling of a {limited express train} + {rooftop yura} + [][][]…….ah, to hear the sounds of playing laughter again…

Also I should finish the peony one too…. for some reason, the second one (winter rooms) is not as compelling as it was as a pencil sketch – something about it, is lacking. (maybe I need to make another composition, I was planning to use it as a test plate for printmaking but it doesn’t make me happy >_>;;;;;) I will upload the school-prototype tomorrow