right now!     ian g. cozzens updates, news, photos, and thoughts

hourly comics day, somewhat later

April 4, 2015 at 4:06 am

I haven’t written/posted here in a long time, yikes. Here are the “hourly” comics I made back in early February, to try to kick it off again. FEATURING: the official dirtiest apron in the world* (which I drew as completely clean), John Cage chance composition processes, canceled plans, Scøtt’s pink camo bandana, a delicious frittata, crippling trans body feelings, leftover lentils, weird sleep schedules, and my bike parked atop a snowbank (and this was only the beginning of the epic snowfalls that kept us all imprisoned this Feb & March!).

These comics were drawn directly ink-on-paper, no pencils, with some truly unacceptable lines razored out & replaced with another piece of paper. Slight photoshop, mostly to correct for the way that ink-warped photocopy paper scans on a crummy scanner. The one “error” that I would fix in hindsight is to change Jacob’s narrative in comic 9 from “and then… [RIFF]” to “and then… [YARN]”: Jacob can occasionally be heard riffing, but more frequently (and more accurately, in this instance) he will have a yarn to share with you.

James Kuo made hourly comics as well on the same day: here you can find a literal alternate viewpoint on some of these same happenings, some introspection & some intense blanked-out conversation, and — dare I say it? — a cute drawing of me. ;)

hourly01sm

hourly02sm

hourly03sm

hourly04sm

hourly05sm

hourly06sm

hourly07sm

hourly08sm

hourly09sm

hourly10sm

hourly11sm

hourly12sm

hourly13sm

hourly14sm

hourly15sm

hourly16sm

For long-time readers of this blog, some sad news (and part of why I haven’t posted stuff here in a while, I guess) is that my sweet cat Buio, of whom you’ve seen lots of pictures here in the past many years, died on November 17th from kidney cancer… which is why he doesn’t appear in this comic. Tiger, who provides the comic relief above, is chilling with us for a while cause he needed a place to stay for a bit… He’s a fine cat, a high-quality purrer, but not a true friend to me like the Boo was… I miss that guy a lot!


*n.b. my apron did actually win the only Dirty Apron Contest that I have ever heard of… and I’m still using (and continuing to dirty) it so I can only assume that it has kept its top-apron status. ???

“the machine comes to life” (science fiction story)

September 11, 2014 at 2:00 am

well, yikes. everything has been really, really busy. some things are done, but there are more to do (always). I just sorted out my to-do lists and “post story to blog” was the last thing on the “story” to-do list… so here goes! one more list can now be crossed off & put in the folder of “done” lists. (yes there is a folder of “done” lists, it’s highly satisfying, leave me alone!)

This was written for a performative story night that Walker Mettling put together as a fundraiser for the AS220 Community Printshop offset press… to finally fix the second-color head so the press can print two colors at one pass. The story night had the theme: “the machine comes to life”. It’s so short (and a little fragmentary, perhaps) because there was a 300-word limit. Okay!


Three steps up: I don’t extract. The fare alert pulses — I lift my glance and blink to debit. I lean across the boundary (handrail’s roughness) just barely, to make sure I don’t sit in residue.

The bus’s rumbling evaporates as I slip back into the translucent layers, brushing each leaf aside after seeing its contents, descending through the ever-renewing sequence. An image lets me grin, words coax a sigh. One comment makes me chuckle — another I answer quickly —

Oh! new picture! Friends, familiar faces. An alert nudges my awareness, along with the smiles. Ah…!

…the disruption continues, tugs on my attention. I blink to dismiss it. The layers twitch and quaver.

I halt and breathe faster, flick the leaves away in reverse — extricating, impatient now: something other is moving against a part of the body.

I startle through the boundary, gasping at the extraction. The bus lurches, paining old bruises under the thighs. It’s never fun, landing back into the body, present at all its edges, tight stale breaths, abraded skin. Also — something else. Another body. Part of it touches the shoulder. Its hand, on the shoulder, my shoulder — !

Around us, each passenger is deep within their own softly leafing world. Nobody has seen the violation — there is no one to come to my rescue. The other turns towards me.

Its face unscreened, no phone. Its eyes’ dark centers leap at me. No. Too difficult, it’s dangerous, the warnings… No. I don’t want it. I swipe for the boundary. I can’t feel the layers. I look back at the other —

— then — entanglement. That depth. Too much. It’s too much. It’s what I’ve always — it’s too perfect, it’s —

The flesh of the body — my body — grips me in its trembling thickness.

The other’s eyes are infinite.

Nobody will report us.


I thought a lot about smart phones when I was visiting the bay area, and riding public transport… where not *everybody* has a smart phone, but a lot of people do. (Also, after my old beloved dumb phone finally snapped in half after being semi-broken for more than a year, I got a smart phone back in February, and it’s definitely changed my life in some good and some terrible ways…) It struck me that the era when people “hold phones in their hands” will someday be looked back on as a weird anomaly, an incomplete proto-form, like we might look back at early cars without roofs… That’s what this story is partly about. And, eye contact.

to_do_lists

Also, I know nobody really looks at self-hosted blogs or websites (like this one) anymore, but I still love them, so if you are like me, and hope for some kind of internet that isn’t all conglomerated onto one or two monopolizing web$ite$$$ who happen to have the money to pay the cable companies for fast transmission, please take a moment to send a message to your lawmakers and the FCC about protecting net neutrality and classifying internet access as a “common carrier” under Title II of the Communications Act. I promise you, it will take you less time than it took me to write the above sentence! YES!

Here, for example, is the great self-hosted website of Cathy G. Johnson, there’s lots to read & see; Cathy is an amazing artist & narrative-maker. She’s also been nominated for the “Promising New Talent” Ignatz award at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD this weekend… if you’ll be there, you can vote!

interim photo post

December 5, 2013 at 5:33 am

Stuff is sad (understatement) cause two good people died recently — Providence artist & musician Joe Buzzell, who I knew glancingly from around town, whose art I admired, who I always wanted to collaborate on a project with — and writer & theorist José Esteban Muñoz, who I didn’t know, but whose writing really shaped the way I see the possibility latent in the world, the potential in queerness, the crucial importance of fighting towards utopia. I want to write more about it, but I’m really busy, aah…. so here are some pictures from the past recent times cause things are also beautiful and here we are, alive.

Building 16, now that it’s over it feels like a dream that we didn’t appreciate enough while we had it….

I built some shelves

and filled them up with stuff.

I have definitely done this in my time as a bike rider:

Epic two-day ink-sort-out, dealing with all the random ink containers (30+ ?) that had accumulated after rainbow rolls that I’d never “put away” properly, for maybe the past two years…?

There’s always a container into which I scrape all the gross crap that shouldn’t go back into the good ink but also shouldn’t go down the drain, just started a new one, here it is:

testing

In my friend’s secret repository of slightly water-damaged paper:

I acquired all this paper (the biggest sheets here are 40″x26″, the stack is about 1.5 feet tall) WHOOPS

This building is on Public St on the south side, go see it before they put walls on/in it & you can no longer witness this epic structural situation:

I picked up some old wooden casement windows out of the trash today for the first time in a long time. I kind of swore off doing that a while ago (it’s just too tempting, there are so many, and you (I) will never really do anything with them!). BUT today was a “save for some reason” day, except now I know the reason: saving a thing and appreciating its beauty, or planning to do a project with it, is a tiny promise against death, for a little while, completely ineffective, but hopeful in its own illogical way…

tatyana yanishevsky!

October 5, 2013 at 4:32 am

My amazing friend & neighbor & studio-mate Tatyana Yanishevsky, a scientist, software developer, and textile artist, is having an opening on Sunday from 2-4pm at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, of her incredible knitted plant form sculptures. If you’re in New York City, check it out! I’ll be there. (It’s $10 to get in to the garden but totally worth it, I have been told??!!)

“Anatomically Correct Passionflower”:

anatomically correct passionflower


Meanwhile I’ve been working on a lot of logistics and taking care of business, and busting out the project which the pieces below are just a detail of, which I mailed to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday morning…

information bearing shapes

queers edition // art sale today!

May 4, 2013 at 2:06 am

Via grainy cellphone camera, the finished colorways of the QUEERS! editions. As seen in progress here and decision-making process discussed here. Finally done, after being promised / procrastinated on for two+ years!

queers_cell

I’ll be at the RISD Alumni Art Sale ***today***, Saturday May 4th (10a-4p, Benefit St. & Waterman St. in Providence) with these brand new guys, the new-ish “dissonance” script-font prints that were in the show, the new-ish colorways of the “complexity” manifesto print (and a couple copies of this purple/orange/gold one), the Recycle-A-Bike prints, with their cool silkscreen duotone, that I finished last year but somehow haven’t posted a completed image of until now….. and lots of other stuff! Tabling with Sam Merritt of Double Vision Embroidery who is super cool.

We’ll be accepting “credit cards” via a borrowed “mobile digital device” — your favorite Luddite screenprinting grandpa dips a toe gingerly into the 21st century…

recycle_a_bike_700

Okay gotta run & finish the last stuff! See you soon! Wish me luck with sleepin’ tonight!

final prints from the transparent-colors class, and… another class!

April 27, 2013 at 2:22 am

class1_john_small
[print by John McGarry]

Here are (almost all of) the final prints that people made for the class I taught at AS220 back in February & March! Some folks sent me pictures of themselves with their prints, so I’ve thrown those in too. Check out the awesome work… & there are still spots open in the upcoming session of the class that starts this Monday!

(hmm… something is weird with the color display via wordpress, if you click on the images you’ll see a much more vibrant look at the actual prints. it doesn’t look *too* terrible here, so I’ll troubleshoot it some time that is not tonight!)

soledad

class1_soledad_small
[print by Soledad Soons]

It’s been a while! It feels like I fell off the planet or something, but I’ve actually been up to a bunch of stuff, just in all different directions (at the bottom of this update I noted it all down). Time has sped by, terrifyingly…

class1_ryan_small
[print by Ryan Dean]

photo(5)

class1_jeremy_small
[print by Jeremy Ferris]

If you want to explore advanced silkscreen techniques, refine the knowledge you already have, and improve your precision hand-printing skills, while learning how to use rubylith film and transparent, overlapping colors to create a sharp-looking graphic print (like the ones you see here)… this is the class for you. It’s four Monday nights, 6-10pm, over the course of four weeks (starting this coming Monday, April 29th) plus one extra printing/studio day (day/time t.b.d.), and it costs $150.

class1_loren_small
[this is only the first test version of this print… by Loren Howard]

I wrote more about the class here & here (the date & time info in those blog posts is no longer accurate, but the other details remain pertinent!). In the first session, people found the advanced-printing-techniques aspects of the class really rewarding, so we’ll probably be prioritizing some of that stuff this session. (I will probably also hassle everyone about screen care, cleanup, and general good studio practices!) If you have questions you can get in touch with me, and if you’d like to know more about the AS220 Printshop you can contact Lara Henderson, the Printshop director.

class1_jen_b_small
[print by Jen Booth]

class1_al_small
[print by Al – whose last name I never learned!]

There are spots open cause two people cancelled (today — urgh)! Do it! Here’s the signup link. Let’s hang out Monday nights & get super nerdy about screenprinting.

jen h
[Jen Hall finished her print after the class was done — so I don’t have a copy of it for a close-up… yet!]


Activities between March 7th and April 27th: I finished out the last couple weeks of class, then did a bunch of catching up with friends (after the work-focused months of January & February), and got to finally really hang out with some new friends to whom I had been saying “we should hang out!” for way too long — yes!!

invite

I worked on documenting some of my work from the February show, designed & printed a not-too-sappy wedding invitation for my little brother & his partner, traveled to IDA in Tennessee and walked around the early-springtime ridges & creeks there, stopped in Phila on my way back and walked around liminal zones near my parents’ house, then came home to Providence & did taxes, and wrote something and performed it (in “slide lecture” form, aka “multi-media performance”!) as part of the series of “Queer Salons” that Casey Llewellyn, Ren Evans, and Chana Morgenstern have been putting on here in town.

slides

Also I worked with Beth Brandon on planning the construction of a 15-foot-long fabric printing table, helped Andrew Oesch with the late-nite final stretch of getting ready for his “Characters in the Collection” show at the MFA, and helped Sam Merritt install wordpress for her custom-embroidery website (not yet ready to be looked at, check out SamsWorld360 in the meantime), AND I started getting ready for the Spring RISD Alumni Art Sale (coming May 4th). So there! I didn’t fall off the planet after all. HA.

drawing fonts / trading projects

February 18, 2013 at 8:46 pm

a person seated at a table trying to draw with a small dog on their lap

Oh, the assistance of a tiny dog… so crucial for drawing this typeface for Liz Novak’s jewelry line / personal-world-creating self-actualization project, With Care… !

Liz (“E. Elizabeth”) is a skilled pal who I don’t get to see often enough, maybe because we both work a ton? or maybe because I am mega distractable and don’t realize that actually months & months have gone by since I have seen some of my friends? Unclear. In any case, it’s unfortunate… and partly with the ulterior motive of ***hangouts*** I asked her for help with the bandana project that I began for the “Practical Tools For Shifting Reality” show at AS220. She had asked me for help with a letterform project at the end of last year (which I had actually forgotten about in the chaos of holiday-sale-december-time — yikes), so it was a great chance for a work/project trade!

Liz is a jewelry-maker, a proud New-Jersey-ite (and also a loyal adopted Providencian like myself), a seamstress at the local bad-ass-lady-run business I’m Your Present, and a SERIOUS flea-market-hunter and collector of visual & graphic ephemera (check the instagram!). She also makes costumes… knows a ton about fabric & sewing & clothing… & has helped me in the past in various self- and gender-actualization-through-clothing-modification projects!

hankies in progress spread out all over a couch, with a cat on the shelf above[photo by liz]

In the lead-up to the AS220 show, she advised me on some of the fabric stuff for the bandanas, did a bunch of ironing, figured out the use of the rolled hem foot on my sewing machine to sew the tight hems, did a bunch of the sewing, and taught me how to use the rolled hem foot so I could keep doing it on my own… Her help was super crucial to that hanky project actually happening. At the end of our second day of working together, Liz said something like “You know what I really like? Working hard.” I never really think about this, possibly I just take it for granted? But I’m on the same page. And indeed, working hard together was especially fun.

hemmed & folded hankies...[photo by liz]

It helped that the bandanas looked super awesome when we were done!

In return for helping with that project, she had asked me to help her with font & logo design for With Care… which I was super psyched to do, since I had just been in the very rewarding realm of drawing lots of fonts/letterforms for the show.

two words, "correia" and "fabrik", in 1920's letters

Liz had collected together a bunch of objects, decorative items, and (of course) historic letterforms, which I (of course) love looking at, and which gave me an idea of what kind of letters she was interested in for the logotype, and some graphic/visual context to work from…

the back cover of an old magazine titled "your health", with the titles of articles

two words, "charm" and "ferragamo", in old typefaces

So we sat around & talked about different kinds of letterforms (& various other important community news, what some might disparage as ‘gossip’, but is actually crucial) and I drew some letters! It’s a pure delight to take this set of letterform-drawing skills that I have & turn it towards creating a ‘brand’ identity for someone a) who is a friend, b) whose taste I really respect, c) who also respects my aesthetic judgment, and d) who has a very strong vision for what the aesthetic world of their creative project/business is. Wearing my ‘designer’ hat, it’s really nice to be able to perceive someone’s aesthetic and try to follow & amplify it! I hope I succeeded…

Getting ready for some kerning — the letters in “CARE” are awkwardly spaced here, and I wanted to even out the curve to make it more symmetrical:

a drawing of letters with overlapping curving guidelines

The drawing scenario, with bright light (clip lamp) at Liz’s kitchen table, showing bristol board (original drawing), tracing paper (kerned letters), and small black jewelry box which this rectangle is designed to eventually go on:

different tracings of letters "with care" arranged on a table

Final drawing, with gemstone — somehow I have never drawn a gemstone before?

a person's hands holding a tracing of a gemstone onto a drawing of letters
[photo by liz]

Next steps for this guy are a little bit of cutting & pasting, to make it fit the differently-proportioned rectangles that Liz needs (Etsy-store header banner, two different jewelry boxes, postcard), rubylith cut-out (to get clean-but-slightly-wobbly lines without using a computer), scan rubylith & clean up on the computer. At some point I might draw some different versions of it at different weights or with a three-dimensional shadow on it… infinite possibilities… !


postscript: Clearly, the “animal in proximity to project” scenario is not unfamiliar to me:

a person seated at a table trying to draw with a small dog on their lap [Martin, at Liz’s house]

a person trying to work at a computer with a cat sitting between them and the computer [Buio, at my house]

snapshot jams

February 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

Peer-pressured intimidated inspired by a bunch of 17-to-22-yr-olds (& some older folks) I know who are super active & self-expressive on their tumblr blogs, I re-started mine.

I’m still mostly using it as a snapshot collection as opposed to an internet-bookmarking visual-hunting neat-stuff aggregator. You’ll see a lot of buildings, letterforms, punks, queers, cats, kitchens, light & shadows, manhole covers & other ‘street metal’, process work, and other sights seen… I think the “stuff I like” part at the bottom is going to be my collection of other people’s images…

BUT we’ll see where it goes…

alison is the coolest

January 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

I am super psyched about having an intern. Even if Alison & I weren’t getting anything done, it would be super helpful to me just to have to figure my schedule & projects out every day that we are going to meet up, and to be pushed to articulate & plan what I want to work on & what my next steps are. So that’s great in itself… BUT AND! we are getting a lot of stuff done, and working on projects together that I probably wouldn’t have had the impetus to work on on my own, and she’s also helping me with some stuff like studio organization and finishing the reprints of the “queers” posters

Also having another person around is great for me to be able to look at my process & see where I’m not so organized or putting things off to ill effect, and to be aware of how I’m focusing or failing to focus… Also Alison is good at seeing where distraction and chaos come into the space we’re working in, and good at saying “hey, let’s take steps to take this distraction away”… Which, sometimes, it’s hard for me to say about my own time/space… but when I’m working with somebody else, it legitimizes creating clear space for us to work in, and then gives me an example of how to create that space for myself in the future / when I’m working alone. Hmmm. The upshot is, Alison is great & I feel lucky to get to work with her!

Here is some of her work, just my snapshots of the slightly random selection that happened to be within thirty feet of my desk…

A poster she designed & printed for a show at Witch Club, the mill space she helped create & run this past summer & fall (a slightly mis-printed version, I believe):

A typography zine that she made this fall (cover & selections from internal pages):





She drew the fonts & letterforms for this poster collaboration with Julia Moses:

And this is the flyer she made for the dance party we had at the beginning of January:

She also does “non-poster” CMYK silkscreen work based on her photography… here’s her tumblr page… oh wait & did I mention she’s a radical femme, with at least one secret scheme up her sleeve, and an outspoken queer feminist at RISD (which is an institution that sometimes feels very lacking in queerness or feminism, & can be a difficult place to be either of those things)? Anyways, SO AWESOME.

Right now we’re collaborating on a poster for the *next* queer dance party (second Saturday in February, mark those calendars!).

Some thumbnails & sketches & color test & figuring out the action steps:

Drawing elements for the poster, being combined…

Combined sketch & beginning of letters (& look at that glossy black paper we are going to be attempting to print on, ha ha!):

Okay, well needless to say perhaps, I would most likely have not thought of using this color scheme or this kind of imagery if I were not working with Alison. But I’m generally excited these days about pushing myself in a different direction, or in a bunch of different directions… and I’m reminded again about how collaboration is super useful as a spur to get you to try things you’ve been nervous about tackling….. !

(more…)

I used to hate the color pink

January 11, 2012 at 6:01 am

A lot of things happened and now I am working on a bunch of projects at the same time as per usual, rolling forward with some experimental / totally new & unknown-territory stuff while I try to ACTUALLY finish long-unfinished things and push myself to work harder on comics (right now, in the form of lots of ink/brush/wash experimentation / practice / fooling around) and keep putting on events that help build the queer community in Providence (right now, a series of monthly queer dance parties in our basement, next one’s February 11th, mark those calendars (or contact me for details)!).

Also I started a one-day-a-week coffee shop called “Coffee Club” in my friends’ office/gallery, partly as a way to have “a job”, and partly as a way of creating a warm creative community space where people can meet & be sociable through the winter months… come join us! Fridays, 186 Carpenter St. Providence, 12-8pm.

I should be writing about all this stuff as it happens, instead of doing giant summary posts three months apart, um well I’m a terrible blogger.

This (and the photo at the top) shows the beginning of an experimental project, which I’m working on with my truly awesome intern Alison Nitkiewicz, who is a printmaker, feminist, student, & part of my community of friends here in Providence. These giant sheets of bond paper, printed in various gradations of transparent ink, are collage material: they are going to go out into the world & be used to construct worlds.


[as seen with the toes of my boots; Alison, you were totally right about having some full sheets of each of these blues & not just printing them on the small paper!]


[as seen with Alison’s boots]

Pink & blue were just the first colors, there will be more, never fear, we’re not trying to stick to an essentialist binary here!

Also I haven’t really posted lots of pictures of friends on this website at all ever but here’s us dancing around in the kitchen to the music of the pop star who just had her baby the night/morning of our basement dance party… and yes, my housemate is holding the empty shells of 30 eggs… breakfast was delicious…

…and this is some beautiful people (there were more out of the frame of the picture and taking the picture) in the living room of our house the morning after the party, there was a sleepover…

…so maybe later I’ll write about what I’ve been thinking about regarding putting on events as an important path towards creating community, and how making social spaces is “real work” and totally meaningful, even though they are ephemeral and don’t fit into the standard definitions of what is productive… but I can’t write about that right now, there’s stuff to do!

I can say two words about pink, though, which is this: I used to hate it because I thought it would make me look girly and that people would categorize me with other girls if I wore it… now I like it, I think mostly because it reminds me to keep reclaiming things I am afraid of… and because it is super gay, and guess what?

so am I.

More soon!


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