Monthly Archives: April 2012

the prostitution of art

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i miss Mobius

this weekend i got to return and visit my friends at Mobius for a very sad occasion — Carol and i went out to Studio Soto to see Bob Raymond’s phenomenal photography on display and to celebrate his life and work and to show support for his amazing family

i still can’t believe he’s gone

in fact, i refuse to believe he’s gone — its really impossible to believe people simply disappear when they die, that they go away forever

i’m not sure i believe in heaven, my beliefs are more complex than imagining a ‘good place’ and ‘bad place’ for people to go when we all die — i do, however, believe that we live a self-created heaven or hell right here on earth, and that we, in fact, build these scenarios through our own actions, beliefs, participation and contributions in life

as we gathered to say goodbye to Bob Raymond and potentially make sense of this strange mystery, the idea that we all die one day — as we try to fathom how the show goes on after the death of such an extraordinary man — i couldn’t help but see the 80 or so photographs from his oeuvre on display around the room as the most inspiring and unbelievable peek into Bob’s personal heaven on earth through his life with Marilyn and with his family at Mobius — each moment captured on film in these amazing prints hung in little clusters of 6, 8 and 10 around Studio Soto seems to now represent a blink, a heartbeat, a pulse, a little glimpse into what Bob saw and how he actually saw it — and in many ways he lived always with his eyes glued to the world of the fantastic, moments painted into the retina by the always memborable and fascinatingly ecelectic body of work performed by members of the Mobius Artist Group over the course of the several decades since the organization’s official establishment in 1977

Bob somehow magically seemed to appear at every single Mobius event i have ever attended — we’d talk in the moments before and after an evening of performance art, somehow catching up on the latest personal small talk, minutae, details that usually led a happy bursts of laughter — he would be the person i’d return to for additional guidance when helping physically set up equipment out at an Artrageous Fundraiser — or maybe i’d have a question or 2 about the PA setup for a Radio Pu gig or some other Works in Progress event — when i think of Mobius, of going to Mobius and being there, Bob is just always there — and I refuse to believe that he now just goes away because of his passing

i mean, i truly want him to rest, i don’t mean to imply that even after his death he needs to somehow continue to serve Mobius and the MAGs from the other side, please don’t take my sentiment here as some sort of command to continue your hard work for Mobius and the international world of experimental performance art — please don’t misinterpret my words here

i guess what i mean is that from here on in, even after his passing, when i come to attend or participate in a Mobius event Bob will still be there — i am certain i will feel it — i will see those future moments, new glimpses into the fantastic, into the unreal and otherworldly, and i will see with Bob’s heart and spirit — his energy will continue to be with us, will continue on, and we will make our art for Bob to see some other unimaginable world that isn’t up in a castle made of clouds above the earth, but instead we will carry Bob in our hearts, in our minds, in our bodies and our souls — that heaven is a place deep inside that we open up to him, where we accept the pain of his passing and savor the joy that he left behind

Pecha Kucha Night Boston ::: Tuesday, April 24th

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i am sooOOooOOo delighted to say i will be presenting at next week’s Pecha Kucha Night Boston 26 at Club OBERON in that interesting betweenSpace nestled up in the Harvard Square / Central Square taint of Cambridge — ‘sGonna be good

the line-up looks pretty amazing, hope you can all come out

my presentation out at Pecha Kucha #26 follows one thread from my thesis work out at DMI — the talk i started to prepare in frenetic anticipation of getting accepted to speak out at The 2012 UX Conference this year has now morphed into a subtly different conversation — my proposal to present on ‘Why I Am a User Experience Designer’ at the UXC, after not being accepted to the conference, follows a newer, more clearly articulated permutation of my persona performance work as i report back to the audience out at Pecha Kucha #26 with ‘The 2012 Human eXperience Report

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anyhow, i think that’s enough of a teaser for now — i hope this itty bitty blurb is enough to entice you out to an evening of rapidfire 20×20 talks on eclectic, topical and timely subject matter from an interesting mix of professionals from various verticals and philosophies in the Greater Boston Area — its bound to be an interesting evening, an entertaining and intellectual night of sharing all the latest thought and energy — i hope to see you there ;]

why i am a user experience designer

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i recenlty submitted a proposal to speak out at the 2012 User Experience Conference put on by The UPA Boston every year — an amazing, action-packed event goin’ down in the Boston area at an undisclosed location on May 7, 2012

i thought i’d design me up the very first slide of the Keynote slidedeck i’d put together, knowing full-well, of course, that i might not make it on the official speaking roster ( i’ve tried it before and didn’t quite make it in yet ), but i get excited about this potential opportunities, ya know? and i’m a designer, so this is how i start to get warmed up and prepared for this sorta thing

well, i recently joined Mobiquity out in Wellesley — we’re a start-up that just ‘went profitable’ within the first year ( yes, i’m bragging ;] ), and we focus on designing, building, deploying and managing enterprise-class mobile and ubiquitous experiences for some pretty well-known clients ‘out there’ and i get the incredibly rewarding challenge of bringing everything i know and love about advocating for the user to the table on a daily basis and just making it all happen through user-centered design methodology, sprinkling a little bit of fun in the mix all along the project lifecycle … keeping the collaboration light and playful can really help you get through the tough conversations you might to eventually brave, but luckily the team at Mobiquity totally rawks and for the most part we put on our ‘can do’ masks and push the big manilla envelope with fresh functional design and interactivity

its been an amazing bunch of months

and my role at Mobiquity — totally hilarious right now, i’m pretty much filled with ridiculous glee to suddenly analyze the FLA ( four-letter acronym ) for my official title at Mobiquity, its just too funny

i am a Senior User Experience Architect

or if we bring it down i could totally introduce myself as lou suSi, SUXA for Mobiquity

okay, its not that funny in blog format — here’s hoping the UPA Boston signs me up for a more visual-vocal, pecha-kucha-style, rapid-fire, humor-filled live presentation out at The 2012 UX Conference this year

text loususisux to 617UPA3773 to vote me off the island immediately

i can’t wait to see what happens :]

a quote

‘Fifty years ago today Bataille was essentially saying what Margaret Thatcher proclaimed in such a vainglorious way: there is no longer any society. But what for Thatcher was the triumph of a principle for which she stood, for Bataille this possibility was something monstrous and disastrous.’

a passage from the book Georges Bataille by Michael Richardson

you can call me sushi, its okay

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deletedStreams | fetish object experience { memory }

an excerpt from deleted streams

 

 

fetish object experience at the arcade

 

My family and I often stopped off at Weirs Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee for a day or 2 prior to finishing off our summer vacations in Twin Mountains. The vibe at Weirs Beach was wonderfully seedy: Arcades; t-shirt and souvenir shops; minigolf; and greasy food shacks lined both sides of the main drag through town. I might’ve been 11 years old at this point and definitely more keenly aware of the relationship between visual form and desire. As a pre-teen, romantic curiosity in the opposite sex colored my experience of this New Hampshire beachside community.  

 

I had earned enough parental trust, after several summers of excellent behavior, to wander around on my own for a few hours at a time. Our hotel was only up the hill from all the action. Early evening offered up a nice array of tourists and locals for the purpose of peoplewatching, wandering and social interaction. 

 

Being a bit of a late bloomer, my shyness prevented me from getting into any real trouble — but even with my quiet presence and gentle exploration of such a fertile pandora’s box, all of the temptation associated with teenage wunderlust and the whirling counterculture of the ‘80s videogame arcades by the lake seemed to lure me in like a Siren on the shore.

 

Amidst the amber bright noise and beep-chirp chaos of one arcade — tucked behind the rows of pinball machines, a shooting gallery and myriad collections of stand-up games — I found ‘The Stripper’. Just the name of the game on the side of the black, verbotin cabinet started to quicken my pulse and create an inner heat that I was only beginning to understand. An oasis of sin inside an electronic Eden — the machine almost seemed to whisper softly to me, to send a sultry invitation. 

 

I looked around to see if anyone might be watching me as I approached ‘The Stripper’. Once I felt safe that my parents weren’t on secret reconaissance, I looked to see if any instructions might allude to illicit nudity and naughtiness implied by the name of the game. But look as I might, not a single instructional sticker or other related labelling revealed the deep, hidden secrets awaiting me. Another quick look left and right — and then I dropped a quarter in and peered deep into the 3-inch square opening to the visual display. 

 

An almost manual-sounding click turned on a projector and I could make out the figure of a scantily-clad ‘70s-looking pin-up within the dark interior of this awkward viewSpace. The pin-up moved in a circular fashion and after a few seconds, once my eyes adjusted to the motion and strangely-lit figure, I noticed the first target. The hunt was on. Instinct kicked in. I immediately knew what I needed to do. Grabbing the joystick controller, I started to aim for the target. Such a difficult task — and due to my excitement, the purely visual sexual stimulation, and the promise of what might be revealed once I hit the first shot — I found the task of shooting the image of this woman extraordinarily difficult, but weirdly natural.

 

After a solid 30 seconds or so I made my mark. The lights went out in an amazing no-fidelity manner and then quickly clicked back on to reveal the same female model, now lustfully re-posed and slightly more revealed — missing only one of the few original garments from the original pose. Again, the same hypnotic and manually-spinning motion made target number 2 nearly impossible to hit. 

 

My motivation ran high. How dirty could this machine get? How much would be revealed with each successful gunshot simulation? What new pose would the stripper turn or twist into next? Would anyone in the arcade want to stop me from my frenzied pursuit of crazy, uncontrolled, female nudity? 

 

Try as I might, I could only successfully shoot 3 or 4 targets in each stripper image series per gameplay. The visual equivalent of ‘first base’ at best. Occassionally, out of guilt or the fear of getting caught, I would move away from ‘The Stripper’ to play a round of Donkey Kong, Dragon’s Lair or some other ‘safe’ and socially acceptable videogame. But no matter how many times I returned to ‘The Stripper’ that year, I could never entirely undress the model down to her pure, luscious, and ultimately naked state.

 

 

Fast forward to the next summer at Weirs Beach. My best friend Tom Tripp came along with my Mom and I that year and I was determined to let him in on my ‘stick-‘em up’ activities with ‘The Stripper’ from last year. I mean, I didn’t talk about this strange machine on the carrride up or anything. But I knew it would come up as Tom and I wandered the arcades on the weirs. 

 

The first night, we wandered into the same bustling arcade and weaved our way back to this machine of lust and desire. I told Tom all about the game and let him at her. After a few shots, I noticed he started to follow an entirely different strategy. A seemingly better strategy. With just one quarter, Tom got 2 and a half models to take off all of their clothes! He probably saw more flesh through ‘The Stripper’ that night than I got to see through the entire previous summer. And what was Tom’s secret method? He just shot at the image in any random direction. He didn’t even bother to aim at the target. The faster and more chaotic he clicked, the better his chances of getting to ‘the next level’. 

 

The remaining details of these semi-conseceutive summers at Weirs Beach blur together a bit. Pizza, videogames, gokarts, fireworks, minigolf, the lake — all mixed-up and layered in a huge, messy memory document. Maybe the cartoonish exaggeration of pure, playful sexuality from this surreal videogame stands out despite the patina of time. Memory of ‘The Stripper’ reveals a delicate boundary — a subtle, broken membrane granting me the permission to explore my own honest, internal components. I seem to focus on the fragile economy of social dynamics — on fabricating stories ( through any medium ) to release tension and potentially open up a dialogue — new dialogues that might not happen without a crack in the ‘perfect’ surface world.

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