Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Need a Name!

There is a good chance that I am going to be playing some blues (term used loosely) for my Creative project for my Music 112 class. I would like to introduce myself with a "blues" name. The visiting musician to our classes stagename was Little Miss Higgins and Foy Taylor. I found a blues name generator but the best thing I could produce was Muddy Fingers McGee. I like that one because I play pretty sloppy.

I need suggestions. If you know me, base it on characteristics of my personality. If you don't, try to offer up something unique and intriguing. If I like it, I might stick with it if I actually persue this style of music and playing it live.

Thanks,
No-name musician.

                 Friday, May 12, 2006

Music 112 - Tired Brain - I Am Canadian

I finished up the first week of classes for my World Music class yesterday. Crap. I don't know if I should feel liberated or guilty. The course is really shedding some light on what makes up Canadian culture and how we've been trained to buy into multiculturalism without giving it any real thought. Moreso, it's amazing how many things we accept as "common knowledge" or "the way it is" without ever critically thinking about where these concepts originated from. I'm not going to go into too much detail about it, because I still have a lot of conflicting/contradicting thoughts to really put them down as of yet. The class has been pretty intense in the amount of concepts that we've covered in an incredibly short amount of time. I now realize why it might be a good thing to space classes a couple days apart and have them an hour or so long. Getting bombarded with all this new information is hard to analyze and get straight in the noggin and to me becomes physically tiring. The other problem is that because my brain is churning through all of this discussion in and out of class, I get stuck thinking about it and not being able to sleep. I also have to realize that what I'm being told in this class is coming from a very specific point of view and I can't rely on it as absolute truth (and I don't believe the Prof. believes that either). The really wonderful thing about this class is not that we are studying music from across the planet, but that it is raising larger issues about Canadian culture that Canadian's don't even think about (because on the surface it seems morally and ethically "right").

As an art student, I've been told that artists produce and shape their cultural environment. They should also reflect this environment as well. If this is in fact the case, I better get myself much more educated about the culture I live in. The views that I have about Canada are not so much incorrect or fundamentally wrong, but dangerously uninformed and full of contradictions. I look at being contradictory not as a bad thing either or inherently coming out of ignorance. I view it as seeing more than one angle, but just not at the point where those angles can be joined (or able to eliminate the necessary angles that are causing the idea not to fit together). Hopefully, this can be somewhat remedied by taking a few more humanity classes by the time I'm out of here and also provide me with a better sense of what it takes to be a shaper of the culture I exist in.

                 Thursday, May 04, 2006

New Studio, New Amp.

I think I'm pretty much settled into my new studio now. I'm happy with my furniture arrangement, my tool box, and that the space just feels comfortable to me. It's a little bigger than my Intermedia space, a little darker, and a little noisier. I sit directly under a ventilation duct that provides a constant low whooshing noise. A little annoying, but it blends into the background after a while. Hopefully I can keep this space for the rest of my time at the U of R. Moving sucks even if it is only 50 feet away.



I also got a fish tank from Sylvia a couple months ago and put the fish in about a month after that. I originally planned on getting tropical fish (possibly Tiger Barbs), but went with good old fancy goldfish instead. I think goldfish are highly underrated. They are fairly easy to keep, can handle variations in temperature and tank quality, and are just as enjoyable to watch and care for. I haven't named them and I don't plan to. Out of 50 or so fish I've ever owned I've really only ever named three or four of them. One is a betta named Al (which is on my desk), one is a pleco named Barney (which is one of the original fish I ever got when I got into the aquariums again a little over four years ago), and Clyde the snail (who passed quite some time ago). I think there may be another gourami or two that may have had names, but I can't remember. I like these goldfish. I hope they don't outgrow the tank too quickly.



Last pic to share is my new Marshall amp. It's only a 10 watt practice amp, but shit! This little box can rock! The built in distortion sounds sweet and is quite versatile ranging from a light gritty blues to fuzzed out power metal. On top of that, fidgeting with my toggle switch on the guitar multiplies my options substantially. If anyone is looking for a little amp for personal jamming (or small groups without drums) I give this guy two riffin thumbs way the fuck up! Now I just need a non-piece-of-shit guitar. Anyone have a nice Gibson or PRS that they don't need anymore?



Rock on! Anyone who wants to come jam, meet me in my studio.
Later.

                 Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Life Changing Decision.

Some new changes for me in my art/school life. I've finally decided on a major, and that major is in Printmaking. Why printmaking? Well, cause I like it and it's cool. That's the short answer, but I'll give the long one too. I've always loved drawing, and been relatively good at it, but lately I'm becoming a little bored with it. Now, I don't want to sound too big-headed (even though I am a little egotistic and more comes later) when I say that I have kind of plateaued with drawing. My skill level has gotten fairly advanced in a short time and will hopefully only get better with Drawing II and III. I personally see areas where I can improve both technically and conceptually, but why spend most of my University time focusing on something I already feel comfortable with and still have a few more classes to work on what I think is lacking. Printmaking is still drawing at its core the way I look at it. I see it as very specific and somewhat specialized drawing style with a few cool tricks that can enhance the image I intend to create. The instructor, Jack Cowin, is also an amazing person. Not only is his art incredible, but also his teaching method. He's a different guy to get used to with a interesting humor, kind of a tough egg to crack, but even the tiniest seepage of knowledge propels your abilities into a whole new realm. He's got years of experience and technically amazing. He knows his shit. The real crappy deal is that he is most likely retiring at the end of next year and I have no idea who will fill his place (if anyone could).

Another deciding factor, to be honest, is the ability to make a profit. Even though prints may tend to sell for a little less, I can produce multiples that in the end will mean more $$$ for me. Painting is outright expensive if you plan on doing anything large scale, and drawing, for me, is very time consuming. If I spend 40 hours on a large drawing and sell it for $500, that means I make a $12.50/hr. That's before taxes and whatever gallery commission is taken off. I do have to consider that people buying art probably have more money than I do and can sell work for more cash, but without an established name, it's hard to sell your work in the first place and secondly it's hard to price your work to make it a sustainable endeavour. I love making Intermedia art, but I have no idea how I could sell it or create it without suckling on the artistic teat known as government grants. Art in my life isn't ultimately about the bottom dollar. I chose this career path because I love what I do. What I don't love is starving. I don't believe an artist must starve and struggle and live with nothing but his materials in a cardboard box. Printmaking to me just makes sense as a viable income which still allows me to be the artist I want to be. There also is a good number of professors in our department that graduated as Printmakers, whatever that means.

Next item on this post's agenda is to query my small readership on whether another blog change is in order. Intermedia 380, as you probably have guessed, was the course I took semester. I am no longer in Intermedia, so the name doesn't make any sense. I also like making new graphics for the template too. It didn't seem like there was much of a hiccup when I switched over from Subablomic. I might even just go back there. If you could leave a comment whether or not a jump is stupid, I'd appreciate that.

Oh yes, one more item to type. It is somewhat ego-stroking self-indulgent-honking-of-my-own-horn, but damnit, I'm proud of myself. I have (unofficially) finally cracked the Dean's List this semester. I kicked ass on CS100 (big surprise) and did very well in my art history and studio classes. I'll proudly declare that I pulled off an average of 86.6% for the semester, which is above and beyond the 85% mark requirement that gets you a slot on the List (as far as I've been told). I don't think that I receive any great parade, but I can hold my head proud and say that I got there at least once.

Yippee for me and more on my new studio and amp tomorrow...

                 Monday, May 01, 2006

Take Your Thumb...

... and hold it a half inch away from your index finger. That's how close I am to making a real post.

I've been a very busy little bee up until last weekend. And even with my time off I seem to be keeping busy anyway. I'm slowly becoming less lazy all the time. What the hell happened to me?

Well, tomorrow I have to get back into the trenches and repair two of my computers (God Damn Power Surge) and hopefully put up a real post on Wednesday. I've got some news to share with ya'll and it will hopefully include pictures.

For those who come here everyday to check out the blog, well, whoops. Maybe I'll become a good blogger like Pilot someday. Maybe.

                 Saturday, April 01, 2006

What's Going On?

I don't really know actually. I am, at this very moment, burning a DVD of a bunch of clips for my video, but before I get to that, let me back this wreck up a bit.

I was, only a few weeks ago, plugging happily away at my chroma key video tediously masking out arms and chip bags and so on until I got to a point in which I needed my "gut" video. This gut is actually a plastic pail cut vertically in half, sprayed back, and then caulked (hee hee) to a window pane. I also added a whole in the bottom that attatched to a flexible hose. What this whole crazy contraption was for, was to represent my stomach as food fell into it.

March 23, with the help of a couple of Intermedia students (thank you Chad and Ashley and others), the gut film was shot. I used blended food to stand in for prechewed food. Some of these food items were popcorn, bagels and cream cheese (perogies), Goodie rings (chocolate bar), and dog food (steak and pork chop) to name just a few. As Chad hollered what he saw on the video moniter (which was playing my binging), I tossed the various food stuffs into the pail. Now, you may be wondering what the hose was for. It was to produce a gurgle in the in corrospondance with almost wretching after taking a swig of whiskey. And I'll let you know, a pail full of blended up food (including dog food) smells pretty bad, and the stink coming out of the hose was worse. But Ashley did her best and got the gurgle.

After clean up (which was disgusting) I previewed the video. This is probably one of the grossest things I've had to watch. But that's good. That's exactly what I wanted. But hereinlies the problem: the video is too good. I think it might be the piece in itself. I spent a lot of eye-crossing time and carpal-tunnel inducing effort to mask out my video, but really, who cares. These things happen in art. You don't always get what you set out to do because in the process, what you create may dictate what the finished product is. I know some people who love that. For me, I'm not so sure. I like planning and execution. But, my motto this semester is to just let things be what they is.

My DVD is almost done burning, so I guess I'll see what I have on the big screen.

Oh, and the other thing is I have to show on Tuesday April 4th. That's 3 days away. *sigh*

Wish me luck,
Later.

                 Friday, March 10, 2006

New Project Pics / Working on Video

I'm tired. I woke up really early to edit my video this morning. Damn, is it a slow tedious process. I'm working on my third mask and I'm about two-and-a-half minutes through the five minute video. It takes about an hour and a bit to go through each minute of video. I'm still going to have to have to add at least one more mask layer on it, and I know it won't be perfect even then. I guess I need to tell my obsessive, perfectionist brain that Hollywood productions would have a team of people working on what I'm trying to do myself. They probably would have also used a different color on the belly as well (my blue paint dried really dark). I think it will still work in the end once I get all the masking and color keying done, however, I may have to go and get my eyes uncrossed afterwords.

Don't forget to check out the new pics in the project section. It has a few shots of getting ready for the shoot. Unfortunately, I forgot to make sure someone snapped a few pics while filming, but I think everyone was a little too grossed out. But, that's what the video is for I guess. The goal is to have this thing wrapped up by next week so I can start on my next project. The next one shouldn't be quite as labour intensive, but will hopefully turn out really cool.

Later.


Open Photo Gallery
(Last updated: 03/10/06
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No research links as of yet.


I Need a Name!
Music 112 - Tired Brain - I Am Canadian
New Studio, New Amp.
Life Changing Decision.
Take Your Thumb...
What's Going On?
New Project Pics / Working on Video
Shooting Tomorrow
Need to Post
The Gallery is Now Open


January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006