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copy & paste

July 1, 2008 at 1:33 pm

… I spent a day & moved everything on the main secretdoor site around into different folders, cleaning up the root, with the main aim of organizing the posters and prints by year.

This involved finally learning how to use relative URLs, setting up MAMP on my computer so I could view the site locally, figuring out how to use it right, and a lot of redirecting links and image file paths. Nothing too complicated, but it took some time. It only makes a tiny difference to anybody looking at the site, but is significant for my own “knowing that things are organized” inner-calm, and also is crucial in getting ready for a bunch of new documentation that hopefully should go up soon — at the beginning of June I handed off 50+ prints and other smaller things that hadn’t yet been photographed to Scott Lapham, so I’m hoping to put up many fresh images, of work new and old (going back to 2001!), very soon.

Also there may still be broken links that I overlooked… if you come across anything of that nature, please let me know!

reviewed !

May 24, 2008 at 4:41 am

Greg Cook (boston-area comics artist, art critic, and thoughtful dude) wrote up our art show at AS220 on his New England Journal of Aesthetic Research and reviews it further, in the Providence Phoenix. Some good comments and good constructive criticism. It seems that he falls more or less in the same place I find myself, in terms of what is unsatisfactory to me in the work I am doing, the areas I struggle with. hmm…

Now I’m working hard in the non-virtual world to a) take care of long-neglected logistical & organizational tasks, and b) to actually do the work and make the objects that are of interest to me, and possibly, to you! Summer is here, and in the past week I’ve somehow re-started planting stuff in my community garden plot, and am now cooking interesting food again (meaning: including vegetables!, as opposed to just eggs, cheesy eggs, PBJ sandwiches, grilled cheese, tuna fish sandwiches, beans & rice, and oatmeal). It’s hard to stay inside when the sun is out and the wind is blowing.

I’ve been putting work first for a while now, so this past week, I’ve been doing a bunch of things that, though not strictly necessary, have removed the burden of “oh crud, I really need to take care of that soon, it just gets worse the longer I put it off!” echoing through my head every time I think about them. These include: digging out my bed in the community garden and re-filling it with healthier soil, transferring the patient cacti and succulents into larger pots, being in contact with some old friends, emptying out the gross bottom layer from the worm-compost bucket, etc. Amazingly, there were still some worms alive in there, in a mass of their completely chewed through and digested soil — despite the fact that I got overwhelmed with managing the compost back in the late fall, and haven’t looked at it, at all, for six months! Now it has been replenished with new ripped-up newspaper and some fresh veggie scraps, from the leek soup I made last night. Building a new bin for the worms, of the right size and depth, is still on the list of “stuff that is stressful to look at and think about how I need to do it soon” — but, the fact that the worms are alive at all is a reassuring reminder that a) things get done and b) things will be okay.

things fall into place

February 8, 2008 at 5:59 am

initial notes for the next four posters

After a lengthy stretch of time occupied with logistics, being out of town, dead ends, “getting organized”, being sick, preparing, finishing, cleaning up, things not working (including this updates page), and consequent general frustration, this past week some things started to come together.

The results:

  • a more-or-less fully working web site
  • new & reliable web hosting, which was encouraged into existence by Andrew Oesch and the “cooperative not collective” internet project (more on that later)
  • the realization that I already have more than 10 pages of notes and drawings (made in three different notebooks and on scraps of paper) over the course of the past month, about the layout of residential spaces — following that, the realization that I had already started on the thinking work for the next posters in the ‘everyday spaces’ print series…
  • becoming excited about the specifics of those next posters, and how they all fit together…
  • the realization that all the thinking and drawing work I was doing on the forbes kitchen project was already leading directly into the work for the next couple of posters…
  • a large drawing, begun tonight and started very fast, that now takes up my entire desk (the blurry photo above is a detail) that is the first attempt to make those 10+ pages coalesce and cohere, to create the logical backbone of the patterns that deal with common and private, centers and edges, work and relaxing, symmetry and asymmetry, in the spaces from kitchen to bedroom and in between.

So, this page is back, the print series is back (for those who might have been wondering), and I’m back, excited about next steps and possibilities.

nothing as promised

December 28, 2007 at 2:50 am

Well, a lot got done, but nothing got finished, so there was nothing of mine at the Millcraft sale, which was probably okay. Now I’m in another city (holiday and family time), not drawing or printing anything, but reading:

  • The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (I finished The Golden Compass/Northern Lights in 2.5 days)
  • Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
  • Anarchy and Order by Herbert Read, who also wrote a book called Art and Alienation which I obviously need to track down so I don’t re-write it
  • old issues of Wired magazine (1994-1995, 1999) which I saved ‘for some reason’ when I was in high school

Everything is pretty great, and the His Dark Materials series has me fast in its relentless grip, but the old copies of Wired are really the standout. In 1999 there was already ebay, and Wired had already become more consumer-oriented and easy-to-read. In ’94 and ’95, though, it’s like a publication aimed at people involved in a specific trade…. which it was.

The magazine’s graphic design is combative and challenging (but interesting!), each section and article uses a totally different graphic language, the ads are either laid out like those you would see in any other trade magazine (then or today), or are trying to employ something like cutting-edge (ie. really bad and illegible) design. Almost all the ads are for computer or internet related things, jobs, machines, software, etc (notably unlike the Wired magazine of today). Internet service providers are offering Mosaic for looking at images on the World Wide Web, many many interactive CD-ROMs are for sale (the ones made by the Residents get really good reviews), and Disney is putting in quarter-page ads for programmers and computer-type people to come work for them.

It’s fascinating, in the relaxing-in-a-time-warp way that coming back to this house at Christmastime is all about. I’ll put up some pictures tomorrow.

web site = “done”

December 6, 2007 at 4:27 am

well, as James Amoeba says, a website never gets done. tonight, however, this one is more or less ready to look at.

it starts here:
http://www.secretdoorprojects.org/

totally redesigned & remade, finally a gallery of images!!!, a place for rantings & writings, some stuff for sale, info about all projects collected into one place and organized well enough to put my brain at ease. let me know if anything’s blatantly broken.

writing html = procrastination

November 30, 2007 at 5:50 am

I went away for the thanksgiving holiday, brought my computer with me, and worked on the web site. Now that I’m back, I’m continuing to work on it… for just a little while.

Website facts:

  • It’s so not done.
  • It is completely distracting me from doing “real work” aka: drawing and printing.
  • I know very little about making websites, and am continually learning in the “figuring it out as you go along” method.
  • It is infinite, fascinating, and could be worked on endlessly.
  • Progress is made very slowly.
  • It is extremely satisfying when something works right (in the phrase of my 9th grade QBasic teacher Matt Zipin, when I was able to tell the computer to do exactly what I wanted it to do).
  • There is nothing more exciting than knowing nothing about something, then five hours later, understanding (more or less) how it works and how to implement it towards your goals. Yeah learning!

screenshot of gallery in progress

Screenshot of new web site format, showing the gallery page (in progress).

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