Tag Archives: writing

just in case you were wondering

we’re all just trying to figure this shit out

its only when you start to try and understand the world using your entire body and mind that you begin to touch upon the universal — that wonderful and utter simultaneous beauty and misery of our existence here on earth that melt together as the very molten crux of the human condition

our bodies and minds have the unexplicable divine power to emotionally heal inconsistencies that were directly baked into our experience of the natural world and we all face an individual struggle that can sometimes feel so incredibly lonely and insurmountable, but by living a life that follows the heart and mind through creative expression we reach out to one another and break the discontinuity of our individualities: through feeling; through emotion; through wordless, pure vibration

this is when we start to comprehend a bigger picture and when we can begin to realize the fragile interdependence of humanity — that we are not just a collection of organisms scattered on a ball of dirt and mud and piss, somehow left to fend for our solitary disparate survival in little patches — but instead we are really one people: a living, breathing ball of flesh and blood and emotion — a sort of liquid emotion

if you tune in, if you really focus and start developing a greater personal awareness of the world, you’ll start to learn about these connections — connections that can be at once miraculous and joyful and at other times completely horrifying, sullen, too real — and no matter how hard we might all try to scientifically prove the empirical reality we all see, hear, think and breathe, it is only the nearly hopeless and desperate struggle to try and express our emotionality that touches the truth behind all of this shit to break through to another world, to the other side, let’s say, to feel the spiritual continuity of our collective existence through the heightened perspective of our individual inexistence

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.

39650727-theStripper

on Bataille

 { and other near-future writing project works }

39524828-GBataille

a week ago Carol, Maceo and i were out on Moody Street in Waltham, catching up on some amazing work out at The National Poster Retrospecticus at Lincoln Arts Project — just phenomenal visual design work in the tradition of the handmade rock poster, i highly recommend it

we sort of naturally wandered into the next store space which just so happened to be this cool, independent bookstore called Back Pages — a nice display on Steampunk artwork up at the front of the store, nice jazzy music in the backdrop — it was nice to find a real bookstore again, no nooks, no toys, just shelves and shelves of books with no promise of there being ‘everything under the sun’ in their inventory

anyhow, i picked up 2 books of interest — Slavov Žižek‘s ‘iraq: the borrowed kettle’ and the book ‘Georges Bataille’ by Michael Richardson

at first i thought, ‘huh, super hard to believe that Cosmo Kramer wrote a scholarly tome on this edgy, semi-Surrealist philosopher and fiction writer, really interesting’ but then i realized the author wasn’t Michael Richards, its Michael Richardson

anyhow, i think i want to write something about Georges Bataille eventually — this will be the preliminary research, this little book from Back Pages { thank you }, that and reading ‘Story of the Eye’ by Lord Auch about 5 times in the course of my lifetime — reading the introductory chapters to the Richardson examination of Bataille’s life, work and thought rings a lot of bells with similar thinking i’ve had over the last decade and a theme of ‘interdependence’ might be nice to elaborate on

according to Richardson, Bataille believed that ‘being can never be dissociated from social circumstance’ — in not so many words, that we all need to recognize and live within the greater cosmos, to realize our effect on the universe and likewise the effect of the universe on the individual

individual and the system — the system in this case being the universe, or the more social integration of the individual into the technohumanic ecosystem of other people and the environment, both the natural environment and the one we create for ourselves through development of: new tools; new thoughts and concepts; new self-reinventions of the individual and this cyberSurreal ‘system’ that keeps evovling

at this point in time i think we’ve lost all control — the ideas seem to invent themselves at times, right? or rather, once a new tool is created and released into the mediastream layer of existence the evolution of that tool is either implied or almost automagically invented and released

another topic that comes to mind, and perhaps this is an extension from my DMI thesis ‘confounded: future fetish design performance for human advocacy,’ would be to simply expound upon the concept merely implied by this rather confounding subtitle — i want to talk about using performance art, humor, user experience design and usbaility research practice as a form of activism, as, i guess, a means of social force to test and redesign a more optimal ‘experience’ of the world for real people — i never got to that point in my thesis book, at least i never got to clearly express this concept behind using persona play acting in an active way in real world settings as a way to discover areas of unintended usage in the found systems of the world — or if i clearly articulated on this concept, i don’t think i got to zoom in and focus on just this concept for all that long in the writing and project work

flying back from Valley Forge yesterday i bumped across this passage in ‘Storyteling for User Experience’ by Whitney Queensbury and Kevin Brooks:

‘Anthropologists talk about contextual observation as a way of making the familiar strange and the strange familiar’ 

i see a lot of these flip paradigms subconsciously surfacing in my work, and specifically in my more performative play investigations and in my curatorial endeavors — for instance, for ‘Provocative Objects: the extradition,’ the original call for work, as lifted directly from the website, says:

We are looking for pieces that instigate the viewer-participant-gallerygoer or blur the line and leave the audience wondering. Physical traditional art objects — dynamic prototypes — video, performative and conceptual work — we’re looking to collect an eclectic body of work to provoke viewer-participant exploration, thought, discussion and interaction. There will be a vaguely-defined ‘stageSpace’ for certain event-related ‘performances’ throughout the evening as well as numerous ‘objects’ or installations.

we made it seem like we were simply looking for ‘provocative work’ for the show, or at least that was the almost overt implication — but, i think my theory behind the show was to put together an amazing gallery exhibit that inclusively involved any and every mediatype — all the works you might find along the continuum of creative human expression — and to set up an eclectic body of work in a traditional ‘white box’ gallery space, mix the social factions together, these wonderful little cliques of musicians, artists, poets, performance artists and others, and sociologically see ‘what happens’

the exhibit-event was actually more about the artists and gallerygoers being the quote-unquote ‘provocative objects’

it is my belief that we are the most provocative and unpredicatable creative medium — flesh and blood and feeling — this is why, time and time again, i return to performance art as my primary form of personal expression — and this is why almost everything i do, as i have come to realize, comes from this fundamental core practice of using my own body, my own mind, my own movement and momentary experiential thought as the primary focus of my life’s work — this is how i empathically design through contextual consideration, through imagination, through performance or through imagining my own performance { as myself or as someone else } of a set of activities, tasks, goals, etcetera — it is how i participate and contribute to the world i live in and ultimately to the greater good of a collective conscious life in the world — life, our ultimate time-based medium

Design Seminar 2 » Blog Archive » one cozy minute of isolation

one cozy minute of isolation

By lou suSi March 4th, 2009

a crisp, saturday evening in autumntime

down in the fort point area of Boston, the mobius annual artrages fundraiser party takes over an entire floor of commercial space to create an atmosphere of surreal, unbound creativity — the crowd warms the space — the rawness of the space goes unnoticed as people walk through and enjoy the art installations, participatory music and performance art, roving performances, and the company of so many amazing, creative people — lights and sound cascade and echo across the hardwood floors — there is a sense of celebration, uncanny premeditation and a joy for the subconscious enjoyment of this ocean of possibility

the night sings of timelessness — suspension of clocks and watches — a quarternote of one moment

i am waiting in line — the half hour passes fairly quickly as i talk with the waiting people — there is an installation up ahead — conversation in the line compresses time even further — there are people to watch, performances to figure out and discuss, distractions and thoughts pouring in like sunlight

as i get closer i see a man in a dark suit — very much a sombre sight — serious and cleancut — either a bit of business is being conducted or there may be a funeral, i can’t quite figure it out — but he is opening and closing a wooden door { the door to the installation } — letting people in and out, one by one — he is pleasant enough, but tall and calm in demeanor

every once in a while there is another person — shorter, wider — dressed in overalls and a thermal shirt, workboots and a red and black plaid hunting hat — he seems to have tools and occasionally goes into the wooden space between the flow of the line — he’s a bit nervous, but all smiles —  almost a living contradiction to the suit

as i get closer i can see that the wooden door opens into an outhouse construction labeled with a large ‘#1’  above the door — the man in the suit talks to each person at the head of the line — he literally helps each person in and out of the installation — i can see each person being pulled up and out from behind the door — everyone that emerges from the installation seems happy, pleasant, a bit relaxed

i look at the artrages map — apparently the piece is called ‘claustrophillick enclosure #1’ — i am almost at the front of the line — people are wondering what’s inside

i finally get to the front of the line and the man in the suit welcomes me — he explains that one person is allowed in the space for exactly one minute — he warns that the space is tight and if i have any fear or phobia of being alone, enclosed in a tight space, then i may want to reconsider experiencing the enclosure

he opens the door, reaches in and helps a young woman get up and out of the space — the interior of the outhouse is lined with a pink, floral cushioning material — the woman stands up, readjusts to the light of the mainspace and moves to re-gather with friends at the party — the man then helps me curl up inside the womblike fabric of the inner space — as he closes the door i am completely alone, surrounded by darkness — it is warm — the scent is that of flowers, perhaps the previous visitor to the enclosure

since i am enveloped in pitch black — my attention is drawn immediately to a subtle soundtrack — no real music, or at least no instrumentation — just many sounds, a soundscape — water dripping — passing traffic — a jet flies by — little girls singing together — songs from a playground — hopscotch or jumprope comes to mind — a muffled heartbeat becomes the most overwhelming sound in the mix

the space is warm and soft — very accommodating

my eyes begin to grow accustomed to the dark — i see what looks like someone moving, directly in front of me — just the silhouette — a little scary — i am looking into a mirror — a mirror on a medicine cabinet that is clearly marked ‘PRIVATE’ — an image of an angel dangles from the edge of the cabinet — i am facing my reflection in the mirror of the medicine cabinet — i notice a sign that says ‘Open Me’ — i open the door to the cabinet and can see restroom signs, the symbols for ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ — between them is a small jar with a magazine clipping — the image of child inside the jar — just the child’s face — there is also another clipping that says ‘True Love’ — and then i notice a sign that says ‘Close Me’ { very reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland | Through the Looking Glass } — i close the medicine cabinet and quite suddenly the door opens up — the man in the suit asks me how i am doing, let’s me know my minute in the claustrophillick enclosure is up, and reaches down to help me exit the outhouse — my eyes hurt a bit as they begin to readjust to the light

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blogpost to Design Seminar 2 for The Dynamic Media Institute @ MassArt :: in response to Kevin Brooks’ session on Storytelling and Narrative …