Category Archives: art

Devisticity

The shape of the man was curious until it became apparent that he wasn’t.  He walked past our position without so much as a nod or glance and came to rest at the opposite wall.  There would be opportunities to determine the nature of his shape later, but despite our best efforts we were currently somewhat more concerned with our own.  His looking at everyone but us drew attention to the fact that he had likely seen us entering unaware and had made some arbitrary spiteful decision to pay no mind.  It was not that concerning other than his shape, which was expanding due to his repeated mechanical withdrawing of food from a plastic bag in his hand.  There were rules about such things.  He may have had a hat, but it was getting dark so it was hard to tell.  Everyone else seemed fine.

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Design

As of late there is only design.  Which is okay; I enjoy design and invention, but it is concerning because shifting to that style of thinking makes it hard to do much else, such as say writing the last two pages of a book.  However, writing this has helped me remember something I meant to do, but lost in a tidal wave of furniture construction mechanics.  There were similar difficulties during the recent rekindling of my sound/instrument/machine interests, which fortunately, unfortunately, sadly, or excellently were shelved in favor of more immediately attainable goals.  As utterly uninteresting as all of this may be, it exposes on some level (or at least vents it for me) some of the technicalities necessary to switch from medium to medium without feeling a sense of something lost.

I suppose a metaphor would be children.  My mind has several children, maybe 4 or so, each of them might have some pets or something that they take care of and maintain.  The children’s names are Art, Craft, Logic and Invention.  They each have their pets, which they sustain with leftovers from what I feed them (not a spectacular existence I’m building here, but there is a point).  Most of the time the children interact and learn form one another in a complimentary fashion, but every once and a while one of them will do something rather unexpected and will draw my full attention, which by the way is also their nourishment. I would surmise that my current state of mind might be attributable to Craft taking some of Invention and Art’s toys and using them to crank out the torrent of furniture construction mechanics mentioned earlier.  Not quite as tricky as Invention or esoteric as Art, Craft tends to be on the more pragmatic side and tends to spend a lot of time trying to figure out Logic, who occasionally helps Craft, but not always in the way Craft would prefer.  Anyway, this  all got a bit ridiculous, but basically I locked Art and Invention out in a blizzard and forgot about them for a few days, which means they’re a bit cold and hungry; so there’s the feeling of guilt, loss, etc…

Developing the lame metaphor above did help, but if something that insubstantial got things moving again, I would assume Art and Invention have been on the verge of starvation for some time.


Something I made

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So this is a mobile bar I designed and built for Black Ankle Vineyards, below is what the wood looked like when I started.

 

 

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Basically some water damaged oak left over from them building their tasting room.

I initially planned something utterly insane and complicated, but my fiancee suggested something a bit more minimalist and industrial and while more expensive (pipe isn’t as cheap as you’d think) it ended up looking good.

So I did three rounds of sanding, one with 80 grit, then 180 grit, then stained it and sanded again with 180, stained it again and then applied a high gloss finish.

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Ended up really smooth and shiny.  Because each board weighed about 80lbs this thing is pretty heavy, so I reinforced the bottom with left over pieces that I applied similar prep to as well as the end caps.  I used 3 1/2 inch lag bolts to hold it together which also sort of match the galvanized steel 3/4″ pipe used.

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Overall I’m pretty happy with it.  I’m building a matching one and then some insane table that I’m sure I’ll post when I’m done.

 


Piece of Crossing

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Two fire trucks sit in the yard.  The front of the house is collapsing due to the still-burning car at the front door.  Flames and smoke pour from the backyard as firemen rush to retrieve the living and dead.  Several survivors have already been taken to the hospital, but a few girls remain either waiting for an ambulance or being questioned by police.  Kelly moves nearer to the house as Jane and Rob bicker back at the car.  She approaches one of the detectives on the scene and tells him that she recognizes the burning car as belonging to a friend of hers.  The roof has just collapsed causing EMTs to direct their focus on the house.  She stands in front of the very distracted detective and continues on about the text messages, pictures and so on.  He asks her if she was in this house tonight, or knows the owner.  Kelly says, “No” and watches the cop wander away to help several others in breaking up Rob and Jane’s screaming match.

Kelly eventually admits to herself that this trip was all rather pointless.  All she really confirmed tonight was that Rob and Jane may really hate each other and that most or all of her friends have been drowned or burned alive.  Her options limited, Kelly calls her very tan friend Ian and asks him if he’d like to see her later.  It’s at this point that she starts to ask herself why she’s here right now and begins envisioning a nice suburban life with Ian; he, having a well-paying 9 to 5 and she, a successful trainer for a major sports team.  To be in the company of people of questionable reputations such as Jane and Sarah has caused Kelly to feel lowered in some way.  She reasons that this could be because they aren’t terribly attractive and have no discernible future that she can imagine, but this is only conjecture.

The police are asking Rob questions about any disgruntled employees he may have; his reply is simply, “all of them”.  Jane sits on the bumper of an ambulance with her legs crossed, her hands folded neatly on her knee and smiles at Kelly in a way that makes her feel violated.  More police cars arrive as body bags pile up in the yard and multiple detectives interview everyone they can find.  Ian tells Kelly he’ll call her tomorrow morning, that everything will be alright and that she’s beautiful.  She moves closer to her car and is eventually pulled aside for more questions.  Any concerns for the people at this house have faded to apathy as Kelly thinks about tomorrow.  She needs sleep immediately if she’s going to look presentable.  Embers from the fire blow through the air and ignite some of the nearby shrubs which reminds Kelly of Christmas for some reason.

 

Photo credit to http://dead-channel.tumblr.com/


Nothing is complete until it’s gone

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Some people ask why Kafka wanted all of his work burned after his death, others may ask why artists occasionally destroy their work after its final incarnation, and I’m personally of the belief that relationships are usually only fully understood and appreciated in retrospect.  As far as I’m concerned the answer is similar to something Kafka himself said of his request which was the work needed to be destroyed to free him of its ghosts, or something along those lines anyway.  Perhaps he thought his inability to finish them would make him a restless spirit, or he just wanted them to be as finished as they would ever be, which was burned.

As I approach the end of a seemingly endless editing process for my soon to be complete book, I realize that it will never really be complete because I’m not ever really going to be complete, that is unless I happen to be dead, in which case there is no more me to influence the editing process and therefore my particular obsessions over minutiae will cease to carry on.  Something similar albeit on an infinitely more important scale happened in the 14th century when Dante Alighieri may or may not have died while writing Paradiso.  Now he may have just been old and losing his mind, but if you were to read all three books of the Divine Comedy back to back, Paradiso is certainly a departure and I guess that could make sense as it takes place in a sort of relatively happy place, whereas the other two take place in realms of punishment and purging respectively.

Anyway, it is theorized that his sons finished Paradiso and put it in a wall so that they could miraculously find it in front of some witnesses and thus complete the series, which if incomplete might not carry the same significance it does today.  It doesn’t really matter some seven hundred years later who technically wrote it because it was actually finished the minute Dante died.  His sons simply went one step further than Kafka’s friend Max Brod and filled in the gaps.  If Brod had the ability to complete Kafka’s work he may very well have, but he was probably quite aware that filling in pieces of incomplete Kafka would be slightly harder than thoroughly smashing a few cartons of eggs and then trying to accurately reassemble the shells.

So I’m doing one more read through and hopefully publishing this thing next week.  It is the first of three in a series set in Baltimore and although the stories are for the most part unrelated, they all take place in the same Baltimore.  I’m finishing the first draft of the second one next week and will then start the last book.  Even in their incomplete state I’m not sure I would request that they all be burned in the event of my death, but I probably don’t hold my work in as high regard as Kafka held his, and rightly fucking so.  Kafka probably knew people would analyze and attempt explanations about his incomplete work, which I guess would be akin to the aliens in the Star Trek episode “The Cage” interpreting human anatomy when presented with an incomplete and/or mutilated body and coming to their own hopelessly inaccurate conclusions.


More

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As if it wasn’t enough to be satisfied with a coherent, stable, and surmountable number of tasks; it has become unavoidable to take on new more ambitious and pressing pursuits.  Many of these will no doubt fall by the wayside as things often do, only to be later cannibalized and digested as fiber (content) rich food matter by their more voracious kin.  A shame sort of, but not particularly in that they, like those ultimately completed, generally don’t yield much apart from consumed time, so in the end the difference between the eater and eaten in nominal.

The alternative of course is encasing furniture in concrete, breaking it out, spray painting the resulting relief some obnoxious color and making an exhibition of it.  It would probably be called “Fossilized” or something of a similarly horrible ilk.  Probably already been done, but what do I know?


Application

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Portfolio submitted, letter of intent mildly intimidating, references incomplete and pending, resume passable, maybe yes, maybe no; work will continue regardless.  Books to write, things to build, skills to learn, etc…  Because these camp counselors aren’t decapitating themselves, the man in the trash chute needs to be addressed before he is compacted and she has to throw herself out a window sometime in the near future, at least before the final assault on the asteroid base, and certainly before Corrine flees to France to escape the murderous Heather who has been instructed by their employer to eliminate her at any cost.