Tuesday, January 29, 2008

all the things you never said to your 3rd grade teacher

but you pomised.

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around sometimes. i even will start talking like someone if i spend enough time with them. i find that i still say some words like my good ole pal, i guess this is what you are if you change often. i alter my path artistically depending on who i'mbenjie. i wonder if this is a common thing. do other people/artists/animals do this? i feel like its an ingrained part of my personality now. i feel like i learn by imitating and then finding new sources. when some of my hippie friends ask me this question about whether i most associate myself with water, land or sky, i always answer water. i like the notions behind that element. i like that its flexible most of all. whenever the discussions around originality, memes and intellectual property come up i always think about how natural it is to mimic things you are attracted to. and maybe it all started with it being a survival tactic like it is with the chameleon. holla.

and i enjoyed the discussion on selling out. i agree with cyrus in that it is really about your own views on integrity. i think the tipping point could be vaugely defined as the point at which you are doing more things that others want you to do than you are doing that you want to do. that is probably the clumsiest way one could have possibly have written that. but that's okay. i'm not going to go back and edit because it is 12:30 and i'm tired. you get the idea.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Main Entry:
1whit·tle Listen to the pronunciation of 1whittle
\ˈhwi-təl, ˈwi-\
Middle English whittel, alteration of thwitel, from thwiten to whittle, from Old English thwītan; akin to Old Norse thveita to hew
15th century
archaic : a large knife


Main Entry:
Inflected Form(s):
whit·tled; whit·tling Listen to the pronunciation of whittling \ˈhwit-liŋ, ˈwit-; ˈhwi-təl-iŋ, ˈwi-\
transitive verb1 a: to pare or cut off chips from the surface of (wood) with a knife b: to shape or form by so paring or cutting2: to reduce, remove, or destroy gradually as if by cutting off bits with a knife : pare <whittle down expenses>intransitive verb1: to cut or shape something (as wood) by or as if by paring it with a knife2: to wear oneself or another out with fretting
whit·tler Listen to the pronunciation of whittler \ˈhwit-lər, ˈwit-; ˈhwi-təl-ər, ˈwi-\ noun

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


so as my co workers and i get closer to finished with these projects i will fill you in on details one by one.

Kevin and I, after the seemingly regular period of time it takes to get to know your way around people when you start graduate school, decided to break the ice by playing frizbee. Kevin and I both have a history of sports and general outdoor stuff so it seemed like a good thing to do. Kevin is tall and really coordinated and I am short and reasonably agile so we made a good match for games like catch and stuff where you need two people. We would both probably admit that we are pretty competetive too. It was a really good stress reliever during those first awkward weeks especially.
As graduate school has progressed Kevin has been game for going on hikes, rafting and skiing trips, and other adventures that might sometimes prove challenging to find companionship for. Some of these trips were for school and Kevin was a good level head to have around. When I took 10 of the MFA folks on a rafting trip, Kevin guided the other raft.
So when I asked Kevin to work with me on something for my show I figured he would be game. He said yeah and I said we would talk more. We parted ways for the evening and the next time I saw him he said he had an idea. He apparently has done this thing with certain friends where they go hiking near a waterfall, and at some point, they take turns taking pictures of the other looking like they are puking out the waterfall. I automatically liked the concept and thought about how we could work out a photograph that would make it look like the little wooden sculpture of him was puking out the waterfall. It sounded fun so I started whittling a little version of kevin puking. Trying to get that posture right has been challenging and I acidentally carved his right hand in the thumbs up position. I think he's signaling that he's actually okay.
On a chilly Saturday, we took the little sculpture and a camera to Oneonta falls up along the Columbia Gorge and went on a little hike. The resulting photos will be scrutinized and chosen from and one will go in a frame that Kevin and I are making. The frame is going to have whittled sports memorabilia adorning it. Kevin and I both recalled the sports photos of kids in cheap frames with soccer balls hot glued to the face. Sports kid nostalgia I guess.

Monday, January 7, 2008

marc fischer

I like the mixture of formal argument and personal touch in his writing. I've had some good discussions on relinquishing the urge to be original and would like to have more. Read this.
This is Marc Fischer from Temporary Services and he's lecturing and visiting with us tonight. I'll report more depending on how the lecture goes.

write ups on the tank

The newest one where she is upside down in Disjecta got in the WWeek

Big thanks to the Jace Gace for all their cooperation.

the oregonian article

the mention on port

PDX pipeline

thanks to all who came and or responded

Saturday, January 5, 2008


when artists i admire make statements about art in general i listen hard but am usually a little suspect. i don't know why. i guess there is always a real gut decision at the base of my character judgement. I'd like to imagine that the care an artists takes in the way they interact with people, or the way they deal with stress, for example, is as important as the work when I'm considering what i think. everyone probably has something of a tendency towards this. maybe its like meeting val kilmer or something and finding out he's actually pretty down to earth. I'd be more inclined to go watch his movies if that were the case than if he turned out to be a dick. then after that it would be difficult to step back from a performance and really judge objectively. like making an assumption about his ability to stand the tests of time like jimmy stewart, ronald reagan and sean connery. these are ridiculous examples.

for me it is all in the details. when i look at work i imagine the person who makes it. i imagine if they would be interesting to hang out with. would they listen to anything i had to say? i would like to sit a few rows back from them on the bus and watch. then i would make my decision.

even making these judgements often seems so self righteous. who am i to judge? but as i'm sitting here scrutinizing my own aesthetic i am weighing other's for comparison sake. i don't guess that makes it right but it seems like what i'm supposed to be doing here in grad school. it does make the everyday decisions i face unfold a little smoother with a quick reference guide of who and what i like most close at hand.

i have always thought that jasper johns was an ass hole since i saw a documentary of him installing his work when he's old and he was bossing everyone about. pretty cruel. now i just think of that when i see his paintings. but i like rauchenberg. they were pals so maybe i'll give him another chance. he was probably cooler when he was younger and not as drunk. and i think baldasari would be a hoot to take a class from so i tend to like his work. (maybe not all of it but most)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

books on cd

Recently its been all books on cd. I'm trying to do a bunch of whittling and listening to stuff passes the time quickly. I need it to slow down actually. since my thesis show is fast approaching.
So I really like historical fiction. There is usually something awful about the actual writing. sometimes in a good way though. its either boring or over-the-top romantic. I think it comes from the fact that the author is primarily a historian/nerd more than a solid writer. i like the boisterous ones. All the hyperbole and adjectives in the world can't seem to get across how dastardly and complex John Wilkes Booth or Joseph McCarthy were. When someone gets super excited about what they are researching there might be some personal dignity relinquished just to make an image stick. Aside from all the drama, I get into the "facts" as they are presented and enjoy drawing connections between the little amount of history I remember and the highly detailed, flowery context the author describes. So I'm going to go ahead and say that I like the excited puppy history writers more than the dry ones that probably have voices like the adults from Peanuts.

I also like learning about world history through a material. I've read a book loaned to me by Walter Lee on gunpowder. Fascinating. I read one that took me through all the changes in technology and culture as new metals were discovered and mastered. I'm currently reading a book on the history of wood. Yeah it sounded a little vague to me too but it goes way far back to hunters and gatherers and brings us up to how it is still a sound ecological, functional, and economical building material. Anyway I like how in something like 400 pages an author isn't afraid to tackle all of human existence. It is bold, filled with generalizations and takes on an almost geologic perspective. Like humans are only going to really take up a little of earth's time. Its humbling and comforting to me at the same time.

the twelve-day chase for Lincoln's killer

The Age of Anxiety,
McCarthyism to Terrorism