Web Presence Ideals

The reasons why I do the things I do need not be discernible, uniform or clean. The purpose of this site is to merely acknowledge. What is a webpage or notebook scrawling or a drawing but an acknowledgement from one person to the next, after which such an act becomes evidence? Something fixed, something unusually static amid the torrent of information that nestles itself into every crevice, waking or otherwise. I mustn't lose track of passions or ideas or prevailing attitudes; I must commit to them just the same as they commit to me.

I suppose this is the first draft to a thing artists call rigor.

November 10th, 2021

City Climb is the Other Vessel

First, a link.

I admit from the start that this news came suddenly to me, via an accidental 'airdrop' from my mother just a seat away. She meant to send a text and, strangely enough, accomplished something new-yet-same without even thinking. It sounded like an exciting attraction.

It's safe to say that, what with the convoluted travesty that is the Hudson Yard area and it's foibles with public safety (and subsequent lack of culpability), that the attraction did not sit well with me.

There is a temptation to rest my case there, in angst and frustration (all of which is warranted), but I believe there is more to it. It demands more and I must press myself in that direction. Until that day, with greater thoughts and more nuance, I will roughly say:

'City Climb' is an escape for those who afford similar thrills, neglect their neighbors, and fail to read the room in most social gatherings.

'Vessel' is an escape for the rest of us.

November 10th, 2021

Late Night Reasons

It is 10:39pm as of writing, and the question of "why" to all this comes stumbling back into view, similar to how the answer arrives first in Jeopardy, to fill in the blank you haven't considered in some time, if at all.

I linger with the fact that I know the 'oughts' more than I know the 'experiental'; do the 'expected' moreso than the 'intuitive'; in fact, have willingly sacrificed time and effort to premeditation and shame than I have to most forms of active process. The former defines my early years, only to crack amid unintentional, painful interpersonal conflict; aimless wanderings; and intentional, into-the-fire learning. The latter, however, percolated in times both past and present, no matter how sparse-feeling it may seem. In fact, if there was ever an issue with the framing of my work, it would simply be one of attribution: the power, the meaning, the value all existing somewhere outside of myself and inside of something digestable.

Looking for what is ultimately not there and realizing thus incites a whiplash within a person. All meaning and pursuits and currency (up to and including the usual denominations) lose their weight. The apparent loss of gravity (itself misconstrued) sends us into a tailspin of insecurity. At the same time, all responsibility and authority rests upon us, individual and collective (a secondary insecurity, but one paired with a hopeful consequence); the paternal/maternal influences die and we are made parental figures ourselves, ushering ourselves and the generations unknown into the apparent wasteland of autonomy...

Autonomous to... what exactly? The overriding sentiments of culture, perhaps?

November 10th, 2021

Record Keeping

I wouldn't want to make myself out to be anything less than a liar, and to acknowledge that natural disposition within myself is to admit as much for the whole of the 'artistic lifestyle'. This is not to poo-poo anyone, no! Instead, I only wish to admit as much before diving headlong into this deeply intrenched anxiety...

As I make headway on resizing and placing various images to this hand-stitched webpage, blockages and the general sensation of 'gee, this organization will not do!' appear to block my progress. It may be a kneejerk response to prior lessons, such as 'take good photos' and 'present them in a cognizant way', to which I hesitate and wonder if I anticipated properly; it may be that repetitive stress injury of going over increasingly old material, all while having nothing to show for it; it may be perfectionist streak in me that demands as much yet always fails to achieve.

The wheel is in motion yet all I can do is spin!

There's something more to this, though. To revisit older work is to enter a cluttered room and see all manner of trinkets and junk and being told ordered to attend to it all for one reason or another. "Clean it up," they say, "so you can look presentable to your parents/friends/clients/masters!" It's all a bit nonspecific (and dramatic, on my part), but the feeling remains: the ghosts of those long gone still stick around long enough to make me apprehensive of my current trajectory.

To blame these 'ghosts' is a familiar tactic, one I hope to replace with discernable action. To mention 'action' within this context, too, reminds me of my impotus in writing in the first place! Oftentimes the prim and proper means of conveying oneself is in fact conveyed by others. Marketing teams, social media types, assistants... this is to say that "clear, specific articulation" is a consequence of a village, a village I tend to bend over backwards for even though I lack it's support. To build this site, to revisit and resize old images, to place them within a context that is 'time and place' instead of a series or something or other is not indicative of a 'lack of rigor'. Instead, it's an acknowledgement of progress by conceding a moment in time and laying it to rest, ideally without much fussing after the fact.

There's a tendency to return and reorganize for an umpteenth time, similar to a late snack that feels 'compelled' instead of necessary. To present old work unflinchingly, unfussed, is to go beyond the 'appearance' of the thing and into the unknown beyond it. That's where my excitement lingers, within that potent unknown.

November 11th, 2021

A Dream #1

This won't necessarily be an in-depth analysis, but I like the prospect of recording these instances and cataloguing the imagery/themes to each. These dreams tend to occur between morning alarms, which are typically spaced 15-20minutes apart, on repeat. This morning was no different.

In any case, there were major "Inception" meets "13 Ghosts" vibes this time. The environments were pretty murky, but there was a clear distinction between "waking" and "dream/afterlife" worlds. One gentleman sleuth (who was properly found out and offed within the first few minutes; he also felt reminiscent of Matthew Lillard) was fully enabled in the dream yet armless beyond his elbows in real life, for reasons unknown.

There were only a few moments that stuck out, none of which 'revealed' a satisfying plot (but remained indicative of anxiety and personal preoccupations). There were restrooms that featured aimless dividers (and no privacy), mice, and rats that would flee to the pipes if started. There was a lava pit where, if not fully satisfying the needs of their appointed task, people were politely escorted to die in. It was death by a waterpark slide, to which person by person calmly slid and met their grissly end... it was very methodical and hellish.

Only a few faces stand out. There was a lesbian couple at the lava pit, with one wearing a latex gimp outfit (I suppose the other was her dom as well as her partner). I distinctly remember my camera-eye trailing her down along the slide, as her calm facade broke, her head turned back to meet me (and subsequently her lover) before she cried out and was engulfed by flame. Her living partner, while forgotten in regards to physical features, was spared the same fate when the crack-team of interlopers caught her (to use as a wedge/incentive for their intended target). The walls of the lava pit felt straight out of the "Mummy 2", oddly enough.

From there, the dream logic melted away in favor of a familiar face, who I'll refer to as 'K'. I was embodied at this point and abruptly made advances on this person (who, for what it's worth, seemed into it! I suppose dream logic is to blame for that one!) without much care for our surroundings.

What tinges this interaction with 'K' was the reality beforehand, to which I end up divulging more personal information than I would ever care to share under normal circumstances. Lots of mental preoccupations; the consequnce of my alcohol-dependent family, the anxiety over what I should give my attention to, the feeling of being placeless in the world due to my current living situation, the continuous toil of classes, etc. There was so much laid out in the span of 20 minutes or so and it just seemed like... there was no time, room, or ability to pursue a pleasurable topic of any kind.

That's supposing that a 'pleaurable topic' exists with me in the first place!

All these dreams lead to non sequitors; I teared up a bit at the thought of animals not demanding anything in regards to opinions, thoughts, or emotions... while people most certainly depend on those met requirements! I broke down upon saying this outloud to myself! Incredible. To think I need to constantly rediscover the lack of care in the world, from family to friends to coworkers, is absurd. It makes absolute sense amid the hustle and bustle of lived experiences, but when phrased correctly? The thought is absolutely hellish.

November 14th, 2021

Bar Drawings

My father makes a mockery of interpersonal relationships. He substitutes friends/family/bartenders/strangers for the work of a therapist, and continues to lament how inconsistent and unreliable these avenues are. The clinical system and the ads that thrive off of it are conflated to be all mental health counciling. Personal relationships are labeled inconsistent or fraudulent when the demands (some more outrageous than others, but all equally pestering) are not met, when favors are not returned.

The worst part? I honestly can't tell if he believes this assessment or if he is playing ignorant. I fear the latter is true; I fear the whole of this behavior has been true for me, too, for some time; I hate my father for this; I pity him, too; I think of him more than I do myself, and I understand too late that that was the point all along.

November 24th, 2021

A Moment of Elation / A Moment of Panic

Two thoughts occured that are not related beyond this particular page. Even so, I mention the two of them to even out my aspirational thinking and anxiety. They consist within the same person, after all!

In the studio, I make the leap in painting where I am simply problem solving within that particular moment. "Replicating a reference image" is replaced with "See how best to paint it"; "What does it mean to paint a minesweeper result?" becomes "How can I make this result look beautiful?" The question doesn't go away, but it changes nonetheless. I am an active participant in said question, and I feel like a personal revolution as a consequence.

Hours later, I sit alone at my part-time gig and fret over the social/capital gains of my peers. A cohort and me fought and achieved minimum wage for the team; my other peers angled for full-time status and, after years, recieved it. Technically, we BOTH succeeded, yet for whatever reason I feel incredibly... at odds with both successes. There is no community surge from the raise, no... anything. No support, no congrats, no solidarity both in and outside the part-time staff. The successes of my neighbors offers no reprieve, either. Instead, it feels indicative of a greater conspiracy, one in which respect, compensation, and benifits are reserved for the 'right' people, the 'right' people preordained as a consequence of a lottery followed by a proper understanding of the larger game.

I suppose that 'game' is the thing that unsettles me the most, for it is that particular game that I am both slow to learn and not eager to participate in. To acknowledge the 'game' is to play by the rules, attend to the work, and succeed on a playing field that may be either tilted for or against you and subsquently lap it all up in priveledge or just grin and bear whatever comes next. Winners/Losers agree to the terms and conditions, including bias and innate inequality; any party outside of this scheme puts said categories in jeopardy!

Notice how the anxiousness exhibits itself most thoroughly (i.e., two paragraphs)? If I were to peel back the layers of conspiracy and entitled speech, I suppose the end result would be plain, unadulterated horror in knowing, however flimsily, that I am not loved by others. Earnestness, I argue out of practice, is all I have to earn respect, diginity, compensation, benifits... and all of these things will inevitably be beyond me.

Interesting, too, to consider 'games' in my practice. It's a desire to engage, to participate, but my pleasure recedes when computational design is stricken from it. The simple explanation (which may be the correct one!) is that I don't give human experience it's due; I don't give the 'other' a chance to push back or present a counter-offer. This, however, feels boilerplate; it is the expectation nowadays, whereas before 'not having your way' was the norm to which folks tended to chafe.

I like games that enable, but games that do just the opposite? That may be the distinction between diverse settings, between studio highs and interpersonal lows. It makes me wonder how best to represent both, the former in practice and the latter in

November 30th, 2021