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cleanups with benefits

March 24, 2009 at 1:21 am

… such as finding cool old drawings in the flat-file. Here’s a detail of one that I was psyched to come across a couple of days ago, complete with tea-stains. Clicking will take you to the full image.

community barge detail

I made this, as far as I can remember, at the request of artist, animator, and friend Dave Fischer for inclusion in his “soulless publication of the arts” Providence Machines. PM was a PDF zine, which means that it had no paper distribution, nor was it intended to be read on-screen: you download it, print it out, staple it, then read it. Dave did the layout by hand-coding PostScript (a language that computers use to describe pages to their printers, which humans are never really supposed to lay eyes or hands on…).

The issue that my drawing appeared in (download here) was about cities and the future. Dave had asked me to draw a vision of a future city (to go along with the Italian Futurists’ manifesto which he was planning to reproduce in the zine), a little while after the 2004 Oak & Troy mill-space evictions.

Nadav Benjamin, one of my then-housemates, put together this slideshow of his photos from fall-winter 2003-2004. The photos are mostly of people in their rooms/studios/spaces, as well as some pictures of shows, and one of snow seen from our fire escape. I’m in there, once with an awkward haircut, and once behind a mouse mask (identifiable by my trademark habit of grabbing the edge of my shirt at shows, to stop myself from nervously picking at my hangnails…).

After being evicted, we all were really scattered and thrown to the winds. This poster also comes from the months after the evictions: it felt like we were all just eking out our existences with corners and scraps of spaces. People were definitely dreaming about having a giant building/city where you could live with all your friends, and which you could take anywhere in order to avoid zoning laws, fire codes, and any kind of municipal control… so this drawing definitely comes as a product of that collective dream.

Also, Jacqui had just given me a box of hard colored pencils, which I think is where this red/pink one came from, and I was way psyched on perspective. Obviously.

This post is also an apology for erroneously posting my to-do list to this public page… then retracting it in a fluster 7 or so hours later when I realized what I had done.

My to-do lists are absurdly extended & ongoing, and as Jacob commented, every one of them could well begin with:

  • make to-do list

which would then be crossed off. (and, uh, I actually do do that on some of my lists. sometimes it seems like just sitting down to make the list is an accomplishment in itself.)

Making them on this ‘updates’ page, then putting a bookmark to their category in the bookmark toolbar, is mostly a trick to get myself to a) look at the list when I am sitting at the computer, then b) remember that I need to get stuff done, and c) get up and walk away from the computer! Working well so far (one week in).

The lists I make are a pretty informal and unprocessed look at my life, and would probably actually be more interesting, in some sense, than what I do write about here, which is relatively filtered… But if I’m going to write lists that have any kind of usefulness, they need to be private. whoops!

Edit: a sample to-do list is now posted as its own page. Yes I am thinking about all of that stuff, or the same amount or more of different stuff. Yikes.


  1. Nice drawing. Too bad about the to-do list; your raw ambition was actually motivating me for a second there.

    Comment by Jonathan — March 24, 2009 @ 8:25 am
  2. but it stopped motivating you after I took it down? hmm.

    …maybe I can expurgate a little & post it again…

    Comment by jean — March 24, 2009 @ 5:15 pm
  3. Well, I shoulda printed out a wallet-size copy for those scary unmotivated moments on the halted subway car, for instance. Probably too late now. My new shoes will have to perform the same trick.

    Comment by Jonathan — March 24, 2009 @ 5:38 pm
  4. http://www.secretdoorprojects.org/updates/list-example/

    Comment by jean — March 24, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

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