Monday, February 23, 2009


Love your hybrid drawin's! Here is some evidence of my playing. (lil' stop motion experiment in below post)Yea! It's begun! More soon.


stuff play

Weather/Whether Part Two

Dear K, 

Weather/Whether. Wind drawings.

Thought of you, (in the form of a haiku.)


Quickie constellations

Dear K, 
Look to the sky... 
Constellation + blueprint = "Homestellation" (my drawing = the one directly above)
Good luck with your "weather systems". Love it.. 
in the clouds, 

Monday, February 16, 2009

it's a very "American" POPtimism

Hey K,

Good questions! I was talking about this with my class not too long ago. Okay, so the designer appropriated the photo, right? But didn't Obey Giant also appropriate a Pop Art style and an aesthetic directly drawn from Guerrilla Propaganda posters, in order to relate a grass-roots type enthusiasm as well as to inspire a younger generation of potential optimists? And didn't the new Pepsi logo aim to similar concepts with their new "optimismmm" branding? I find it interesting how measured visual strategy has become. Art as reference for commercial appeal? Not only are the lines of ownership blurred, but also the categories of visual literacy, which I think may be a good thing. Designed objects have the sophistication and form of fine art, graffiti has a place in mainstream design, and the DIY craft aesthetic has already hit the contemporary art scene. There is no question about origin. Utter originality is mute--something for egos. The discussion comes in not about ownership of ideas, but responsibility of manipulation. We are a deeply visual culture, but not always critically so. How can visual makers ethically make?

Collaborating, in this sense, makes a political statement.

We have to consider where we are (America), and what we promote (upward mobility for the individual with the passion to succeed). That mythic rugged, dare I say Modernist, individualism is what makes us the envy of so many other situations, it is part of our definition of "freedom," and goes hand-in-hand with capitalist culture. So..."you dream it, you can do it!" Although, you have to get credit for it, or else that other guy will get the patent and "steal" your chance of becoming a millionaire in a matter of seconds.

True collaboration is a Utopian concept, selfless and flexible. It goes against our natural grain to share failures and successes equally. Not I, We. AND it's difficult! Working with others towards a common end within various social dynamics can be painstaking, but this is the sort of bilateral tension Obama is mindful of. This is what makes process so intriguing. This is what makes a final decision or output so rewarding--we did it together. (It may have taken a lot longer, but still, we did it together!) Yet in collaborating we are giving up our singular opportunity for success, we are saying, "credit isn't neccessary, it's the dialogue, the growth, the compromise, the middle ground, the experience, the relationship, the community, the whole."

With a networked technology connecting us to a gazillion bits of info and imagery on a daily basis, we are intertextual thinkers. I feel that it is impossible to differentiate ownership of ideas within such a system of fast-moving bites. Instead, we should just consider this a wonderful opportunity to share, to collaborate, to do more than what our individuality could accomplish.

Looking forward to our collabos!


p.s. the pics above are of my dad (pops) and me as obama poster. you can make one too @

p.p.s. love the maps post! I'll respond to that later.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The blurry lines continue...

Dear K, 

Thought I would do a quick post about the continued debate surrounding collaboration vs. appropriation. Where do you think the line is? What can be used as inspiration without a direct reference to the original work? If a painter works from a photograph, are they "copying" the photographer? In terms of photography, this debate has a long history and the rules are constantly changing. I personally think that it is acceptable to work from another image... how many images are influencing us on a daily basis? I am constantly influenced by other artists - and this is not a new phenomenon, but where is the line?

As I was reading this newest debacle between the now-infamous Obama poster and its original A.P. photograph all I could think about was: Is someone going to sue me someday? How many other artists have I ripped off? In terms of collaboration, this is tricky... who owns the idea, if a collaborative team is the author? And why are we so defensive about "ownership"? 

Is the artist right to sue the A.P.? Is the A.P. being greedy and taking away interpretive rights of the artist?

I don't have the answers... but I'd love to. Do you?


p.s. all images in this blog post copyright The New York Times. (i.e. please don't sue me)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tangential creatures and geographics

Dear K, 
As a way of distracting myself from all of the papers I have in front of me.. I just had this amazing "internet walk-about." In Aboriginal culture, a "walk-about" is a way of reconnecting with the earth - physically and mentally stimulating and reevaluating your senses. Sometimes we wander - walking around the neighborhood, walking around in our to-do lists, and also a contemporary idea of a "walk-about" online. For some reason I am fascinated with this experience. What if we could track ourselves like hunters track their prey? What would the maps of our clicks look like? (I'm sure their is some algorithmic program already doing this as I am typing... but I will continue). 

Here is my path of the last 20 minutes: 

1. Look at stack of 75 papers - take a sip of tea, glance around office walls, feel the heat coming out of the vent, stare at screen for distraction. 
2. Log onto College Art Association to see if the exhibit I am curating is still up. Approaching deadline means that I am getting nervous that no one will apply. 
2. Notice a call for work called, "Creatures Great and Small" 
3. Love the idea - think of entering prints of my longstanding obsession with jellyfish. Go to Murray State University website for more details. (also had to find out where Murray State was in the world. See: Kentucky.)
4. Read prospectus... notice their current exhibition entitled, "Amy Honchell: Personal Geographies". 
5. Google Amy Honchell, find her website.

6. Subsequently, get immediately completely obsessed with her work. 
7. Realize that she is from Chicago and has exhibits with Anne Wilson regularly. (another fave)
8. Read her CV - (because I enjoy the feeling of intimidation) - notice that she has an M.F.A. in Fibers from the Art Institute of Chicago. 
9. Think of C-Koala bear. Think of lovely Janae
10. Think that you should be hanging out with these amazing creatives. 
11. Get frustrated with my local artistic geography. 
12. Go on a visual tangent remembering the Discovery Channel special I watched, drooling, on the Great Barrier Reef last night. 
13. Re-obsess over jellyfish as a creature. 
14. Think of lovely Jennie's creature drawings.. and how I n
eed to order her 2009 calendar. 
15. Revisit thinking of entering "Creatures Great and Small" exhibit. 
16. Revisit said 75 papers in front of me. 
17. Decide to blog to distract. 

Whoo... this is a typical day in the life of K. Lots of working, lots of daydreaming, lots of distraction. Florida is  the perfect distraction. I had an epiphany the other day when I realized that I was so focused in the snow. Here, I am 5 minutes from getting in my shiny new marital canoe. (literally and figuratively)

Another blog is en route.... follow the dotted lines.