Thursday, November 20, 2014

Witnessing Whiteness

Jess and I joined a book study group earlier this year, the book in question: Witnessing Whiteness. Interesting enough on a personal level, but not enough to incite me to write anything meaningful into the public internets. Tonight changed that.

The group that I attend was recorded tonight by CBS news and promises to be broadcast nationally tomorrow night. The group conversation was fine/okay, but they wanted a few of us to stay for an interview afterwards, and they asked me to be one of those people.

Thinking of Jeff from MORE's encouragement to speak to the media at the last demonstration I went to, and kinda high off a presentation I gave last week that was received well, I agreed, even though strangely, with my media production history, I find myself fairly retiring these days. Wary of public speaking or setting down too many of my thoughts for fear of getting it wrong.

In the end, it's probably better to put your foot in your mouth than be forever hushing yourself, so I did that tonight (ate some foot), and my mind has been spinning since with the things that I wish I had said instead of what I did. Thus the need for a blog post. (which will likely lead to more foot eating later).

QUESTION: What brought you here tonight?

My answer: something rambling about my childhood and attempts to re-engage in the race dialogue since I came back to St. Louis. Yuck.

MY HINDSIGHT ANSWER(s):

  1. I feel that our country's (ie white power) inability to face race, have a truth and reconciliation process (reparations?) around past genocides and slavery has crippled me emotionally, and severely damaged pretty much everyone I grew up with. It's personal.
  2. I am desperate to find positive steps forward, because for us to pass these divisions and injustices intact to the next generation is unthinkable.
  3. Continuing racism has also contributed to making our national political debates on social issues utterly moronic. The natural coalitions that should be forming around so many issues I care about are hampered and hamstrung by racist undercurrents. It is so easy to manipulate people's fears, and the inability of white folks to speak with the bare minimum of coherence about race issues without getting completely freaked out makes clear communication about so many issues just impossible. Coded language, dishonesty, cognitive dissonance do not make for healthy debate or coherent advocacy.
Ok. I wish I had said something more along those lines. I reserve the right to return here and edit that some more, since I will probably be seething with better answers for the next couple of days.

Something else that came up during the interview was class intersectionality. Apparently I did a poor job of bringing it up, because I got push-back like I was saying "it's all class"(which I don't believe). I could use help learning how to talk about that. Growing up, once I had an ounce of political class consciousness, I felt like it was the missing puzzle piece of my young education in the race dialogue, and explained a lot within the process of social dissolution of cross-racial friendships. 

Three Years

Well. It has been nearly three years since my last blog post here. It looks like I petered out right after Maddox was born, which totally makes sense. Now Atticus is here too, and it surprises me, but here I am, feeling like I want to start writing a bit again.

Medium-length personal/public update format - isn't that quaint? Yeah. So, I almost feel like I should write something about the last three years, or the move back to St. Louis, but I don't really have time for that tonight. It is already too late, and I don't really know who I'd be writing that for.

When I've thought about blogging, I've been wanting to do reviews of kids' books. You could say I've formed some opinions on that subject. A quick run down (I will perhaps return to do more detail later):

Yay:

  • Any of the Frog and Toad series, 
  • Owl at Home, 
  • Hiawatha (susan jeffers illustrated), 
  • the Little Island, 
  • Everybody Needs a Rock, 
  • Jamberry, 
  •  Blueberries for Sal 
Boo:
  • The Sweet Pickles series, 
  • Zen shorts, 
  • Thomas, 
  • countless other daft and hollow scribblings.
Okay.

So, now that I've got that out of the way, the real reason I feel compelled to write something tonight is in the next blog post. Keep things organized, you know.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

cool 3d painting.

check it out.

http://www.visualnews.com/2011/01/04/3d-paintings-on-panes-of-glass/

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Friday, September 16, 2011

A Chump Like a Candle (video)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Inverting Shell Lamps (videos)

Hey, here are the videos of the Inverting Shell Lamps. This first one is double layered (you can see the heat-join in each strip if you look closely). I made this after my first attempt at the single layer was a bit on the delicate side. I wanted to see if thickening the dimensions still resulted in a pleasing form, and I think it still did.



This second one is actually returning to the original size strip. It's still pretty delicate, so I don't think I'll make many of these unless I can tweak it a bit in its installation location. It has much less structure than the 2-ply version, which makes hang really differently. I really like the way it sags into a sort of pear-ish form. it continues the organic feel in a really nice way.

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Saturday, September 03, 2011

A Chump Like a Candle


Hello. Here is the pellucid I finished in May or so. This image to the left is the "intended" viewing angle. Below I've put a multi-anlge (unlit) composite as well.

This piece took me forever. I was trying to figure out a way to get away from using virgin foam. I got a bunch of oddly shaped foam bits from a local "Foam Factory" (they cut foam for packaging and pillows and things). My efforts to use them piecemeal weren't coming out quite the way I wanted, so I had the brilliant idea of cutting the scrap to uniform square dimensions and then just varying the length of the stick.

I thought this could be a quick way of standardizing the production, and then I could work quickly, but damn! Some time you should try holding all the pixels in an image together physically; it can be a challenge, especially if you refuse to introduce any foreign materials into the mix. I didn't want to do that because this piece is made of polyethylene, which is basically you standard milk-jug plastic which means that it's totally recyclable. Not that I particularly want to recycle it, but I kinda liked keeping the material in a cradle-to-cradle kind of purity. Nothing but polyethylene, and minimal wiring to hang the light behind it.

So anyway, after first standardizing the dimensions, I then had to cut the pixel-lengths, then I had to build frameworks to keep them in place until I thought it was ready enough to heat-fuse together. Sheesh. I won't be doing that again. The pixels were fairly coarse in the end, and I ended up do some shaping of each individual pixel. It was a lot of work!

While I really like the topographic sculptural nature of this piece, the imbedded image is a lot harder to read than my earlier pieces. What do you seen in there? In person I hear the same interpretation over and over again, and I'm wondering if you'll see the same thing just seeing an image instead of a 3d object.

In the many hours I worked on this piece I recognized some interesting references in it: Maya Lin, Chuck Close, The Matrix.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Holy Shit We're Having A Baby!


aww. isn't he sweet?!?!? you should see his little shoes!

We're having a party on Saturday Sept 10th from 4pm-? Hope to see you!