Archive for the ‘practice’ Category

Work in progress

Work in progress

Space pics

Terrestrial photography was feeling a little dull, I’m into space pics now. (Brancusi is of course an exception, in everything he touched he channeled other worlds, continued study.) The heavenly bods are positively gravitational, it’s delicious to muse on such hunks. This class of image is close to what we see in digital art these days—infinite space, gradients, spheres. Yet digital images don’t often muster gravity and magnetism. In a way digital simulations have too much freedom, the constraints of physics generate power, learning from simplicity and scale.

TitanTitan from Cassini via Jacint Roger
ThorThor’s Helmet (NGC 2359) by Rolf Wahl Olsen
Saturn and TitanSaturn and Titan from Cassini via Val Klavens

The Pamplet—new Substack just launched

Today I’m launching a Substack called The Pamplet. It’ll be a space for letters on art, mind, feels, tech takes, semi-ridiculous self-help, varieties of mystical experience, and whatever else strikes my enthusiasms.

Movable type debuted across Europe from ~1450 on, and in its wake a new form of cheap, mass-scale, short-form publication known loosely as pamphlets spread like wildfire. As we know, these innovations upset the information environment status quo, and it took a few centuries to jostle out a new balance of power. Our time has parallels, though perhaps we’re living it at 10-100x. We have type at the speed of light, with nigh-infinite recomposability—and the party’s just getting started.

Seems like a nice moment to get out on the dance floor. Browse and/or subscribe here. Hot topics for future pamplets:

Pamphlet subjects

Words cont.

Sasha was like, your prose is great, very beautiful and so forth, but could you also try being direct? Polemic? Disagreeable?

And I was like, that’s impossible. My subtleties have subtleties.

So, you know, I tried. Took about 10k words to figure out what really gets my disagreeability riled up. The short list is norms. And materialism. Once I started insulting Silicon Valley types it was hard to stop.

Sasha is pleased with my progress.

Side note, working with a killer coach is my happy place.

For reals, I’m surprised by this latest writing thing. I sidled into it with my signature blend of nonchalant obsessive necessity and no expectations. It’s a practice in art, to care as deeply as we do and be open, focusing on what is—and what is happens to routinely be more awesome than I could imagine. My trends usually begin in nocturnal dreams, and over the past few years my most consistent reaction while dreaming is surprise. First I was surprised by the good things coming to me, and I still am. Lately I’ve also been surprised by good things I somehow have the presence of mind to do. There’s new sauce on board; I get glimpses of marvelous new structures and begin to explore them; I keep meeting all sorts of new friends, then irrepressibly give them hugs. And who knows what else, I’ll be surprised.

So it begins

Raw material

It’s a feel when a pallet of raw material arrives with a plonk, and just sits there, awaiting transformation into… something.

Back in 2014 when I was spooling up for A house made of air, a flatbed truck arrived one afternoon and dumped 55 sheets of 4’x8’ plywood off the back end. It landed with a ka-bam.

Richard Swayze, the artist-craftsman advising on the feasibility of the sculpture I had in mind standing up properly, looked at me like I was nuts. He cocked an eyebrow that asked, pointedly, do you really intend to rip an absolutely mental amount of ply into this multi-hundred-piece jigsaw puzzle you’ve (somewhat vaguely) proposed? I did. He didn’t know me yet; there was an I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it-Kristin vibe. I looked at me like I was nuts too. So it begins.

Studio processMaking of A house made of air and distance and echoes

Wish I had a pic from that day. By the time of the above work-in-progress shot, the stomach-churning pile of ply (at left) had dwindled.

This one shouldn’t be so difficult, are my famous last words every time. But really, this one should be much easier….