2009 sucked ass mostly. The best thing that happened was that one time where these Art|Basel|Miami ® visiting seagulls tried to get the PowerBar ® Performance ® Vanilla Crisp out of my pants. But those days are over man, forget it. The seagulls carried me to New York City, to a neighborhood where I'd be stabbed (or complemented) for wearing such teal. But pants aren't really that interesting anymore. Black powerbars in the earholes is what the kids are going for. Welcome home dude - this is not your beach. And where is my?? Without further delay, I end this paragraph of information about a photograph about life about art from last year.
Jurgen (jtwine) has perhaps the most relevant posts on twitter.
And his page is beautiful.
Other artists there post stuff to #twitterart?
The little twitter bird logo scares the fuck out of me so I can't say much on that.
However I will say that Jurgen Trautwein makes lots of goodness.
Much of it is on the web here and here for starters.
The drawings! And photography. Music.
He handles black better than most.
Not that he can't handle white.
He lives in San Francisco.
I am sorry to report that a couple weeks ago Millie Niss, a superb, 36 year old electronic artist and (often Oulipian) poet from the Buffalo NY area, departed from this earth. However her Spork World lives on. I never met or talked with her, and to be honest was only vaguely familiar with her work until recently. Just wanted to shout out to the NET that I feel she left us with some really great stuff! For instance the Regex Haiku Generator is some of the most wonderfully succinct programmatic poetry I've seen. As with many of her online works, an Adobe Flash application is employed with a rare sense of outrageous straightforwardness. Functionally inviting yet often confounding in effect...
As one can discover, many of her creations are not as playful as these. Some are rather intense, dynamic, unrelenting. Speaking for myself only, I feel her oeuvre is like a breath of fresh air in certain spheres of the media arts where swift, pack-minded fashion and technical cleverness/materiality have often reigned. Millie went beyond.
Have continued to invest time this year to upload older projects and still have many to add, coming soon are biology experiments and paintings. For some reason I've found the process to be almost as enjoyable as making new. But the joys of documentation and cleanup are waning... planning lots of new work for 2010. Here are some of those old newbies:
This series from late 2005 was cheap, fun, and slightly mischievous. I was taking a dark room photography course at the time, and after obediently completing a few quasi-predictable pinhole and 35mm projects, I got bored with dark rooms and so for the final assignment I started hitting eBay for weird toy digital cameras like the Casio WQV-1 wrist watch camera. With the deadline approaching, I decided the photos taken with it were only 'OK' so I reduced the already minimalist b/w photos to 1 shade each and had them printed up through the Online Walgreens Photo Center as described on the project page. Upon displaying these beautiful photographic prints, carefully pinned to the wall in horizontal fashion, the curmudgeonly teacher threatened to fail me out of class, with the additional stern bonus warning "you will never make it in the gallery world". Well today I kindly retort with a *fart*.
Here was a Microsoft Windows software product that I singlehandedly designed, developed, marketed, sold, and supported in 1998-1999. The eccentrically named (but 8.3 compliant) ... Auc-Win!. I'd say it was a pretty good application with very few bugs and which sold reasonably well. It was designed to manage online auction transactions with features such as transaction staging, order/invoice printing, financial exporting, html ad generation, and such. At the time the auction platforms at eBay and Yahoo offered none of this functionality. When I started there were only a few 3rd-party competitors with similar products in the $20-$40 range, and so I undercut them all at $10. The most expensive (and cheesy) of these competitors was Blackstone Software who was later acquired by eBay. After a few upgrade releases of Auc-Win, I ended it for a variety of reasons, one of which being customer dissatisfaction of the visual designs. I had given the interfaces a colorful, legacy computer look because I was tired of that drab gray Window/GUI paradigm. It so happened that the market didn't appreciate my creativity, and I refused to listen to such whining. (this was before application skinning) Please note that today I'm an artist, not a software entrepreneur.
Scoured my hard drive and found a handful of digital experiments from 2005-2006. Was attempting to use creative and powerful software tools like Illustrator, Photoshop, Maya, Painter in an expressively lo-tech manner - thereby causing actual content (otherwise) to disappear.
Today I am celebrating the bleakest Black Friday of my generation with the release of a signed, limited edition, art multiple... the Microwave Computer aka Microcomputer! Only 12 being produced and each comes installed with a custom, one-of-a-kind software program. Even if you had waited in line all morning today for first dibs at the Wal-Mart, Best Buy or Circuit City, you couldn't have gotten your hands around one of these babies, but now you *can* purchase one directly from me. Ships to any country in the world. Buy now save later! Happy Holidays.
Recently came across the website/portfolio of James W. Morris and was reminded of how much I love the art made by hardcore software engineers. I had almost forgotten, since much of the digital art I've been seeing out there lately falls into other categories. With coders who make art (or artists who go code-deep) there is often just something sublime about the wrestling with form, wandering variations, unexpected palettes, naming/documentation logic... all sorts of decision or procedural eccentricities to savor, and James is an adventurous example. For starters his unique website is built upon a CMS tool that he himself programmed from scratch. In his code section he has many colorful CSS/tag based works (a medium I have a fondness towards) such as the CSSNAKETRIX shown above. Music, paintings, video games, download-able tools... there is much to explore. This is good shit, please enjoy.
I have re-enabled the RSS feeds here. I had not been thinking of this as a blog, rather just a page with periodic news/updates. Spam-bots galore used to nail my site in quest of RSS formats, so I turned them off. Now am attempting to post with a little more regularity, and have added another blog-like section here. (also RSS enabled) Some friends have complained about the 'out of sight out of mind' situation and demanded for me to get my shit straight. OK I caved in... consider yourself fed!
Spent a few intense days doing an upgrade of my site which is built with the badass Drupal engine. Just went from major version 5 to 6, started a few years back with 4. (my original 2004 site was hand-coded html) A fairly smooth upgrade, but had to re-tool some modules, themes, views, data, etc. Not adding any new features just yet, but everything here was painstakingly made to be the same. While my site appears to be featherweight, it actually runs on the most powerful CMS engine out there. When I first started using it, I stripped all the bells and whistles away and added new features begrudgingly. Software engineer wisdom or ignorance, you decide. Either way, convoluted engines such as Drupal come with a maintenance cost because if you don't jog down the upgrade path you'll be left in the dust with an unsupported mess on your hands. I feel that losing a week of time every year is worth it because the free software that thousands of Drupal contributors have coded up, is frankly stunning. And fun to play with! Thanks Drupalizers, you rock.
Amusing.... I feel so corporate now. Except that my design stylez preceded theirs by over a year. My palette was purposely limited to the 16 official HTML color names (as once ruminated here) so perhaps the similarities stem from that specification. I'll call mine a playful lucidity of information presentation, meant to balance diverse, eccentric content. I'll call theirs overpriced.
I really really like the ODOYGIANT. Not much I wanna say here about the Dodi Giant with so much Gope but not Obey, so I provide you link only, explore the situation yourself. Link. Link. His facebook fan club just hit 4000, are you one of them? Does remind me of another great viral project (done primarily offline) by Justin Simoni...