My work on/for/toward thesis (and honestly this class) has been in a weird kind of limbo for the last week-plus. I have been doing a lot of logistical things that will help me to “hit the ground running” when I get back to Colorado next week.
getting the other 7 panels printed, doing a GreenScreen Wall demo, finalizing plans for constructing the wall itself, starting to print the 3D models (though I need some help with Cura for this, I think.), artist statement/curatorial statement/press release for #Allegorithms, …
Much of my week was spent in Arizona, at the PostHuman Newtwork Conference. I really appreciated a group of people getting together to look at and think through some of these ideas. There were people approaching the subject of the posthuman from communications backgrounds, thinking about it environmentally, via very subjective views, through technological artifacts, politics, spatiality, and history. I thought there were some real oversights, one of the most common was an understanding of the posthuman as equivalent to the cyborg, plugging the brain into computers, or downloading consciousness to a hard-drive. This contestation of terms continued throughout the conference. I always think it is a mistake to get caught up in nomenclature rather than understanding an idea, despite the words.
I had a good time, overall. As mentioned before, I really appreciated some sense of camaraderie and mutual endeavor.
Approximately nine people presented each day. I was looking forward to more bold and “far out” thinking. There were only a few doing work I was really interested in. There was a lot of really dry academic writing and thinking, a lot of concern with really specific terms and hashing these out, rather than the relationships, or a comprehensive understanding. Some of the presentations were so flat, people just reading from a sheet, staring at the sheet, not addressing the room full of people, no pictures…
This is a skill that has really been focused on through GradCrit, which actually makes a serious difference. Something as simple as not reading a large block of text that is also being projected/displayed can make a presentation much more enjoyable and comprehensible.
I got excited about the more esoteric and abstract presentations, those about the alchemical or about hyperstition. or those conflating or merging of two forms of information.
I guess this isn’t surprising, given my own practice…
I gave two different presentations; the first was like an artist-talk, and the second was a performance lecture.
The artist talk was good practice. I could see areas of the presentation to improve, mostly in terms of what to cut, information that was critical to the presentation, and information that was more for me, almost like content to save for the Q&A. I could also see areas where I could be better prepared in the future. Overall it was a really stabilizing, or “confidence-building” experience. I was able to articulate the developmental arc of my work with algorithmic systems in an articulate and compelling way. I would have really appreciated more feedback, or more questions asked… I didn’t really have a sense of how people were responding or understanding the art (/work) and investigations (/research).
The performance-lecture went well overall, I question how well it was actually received. There were a lot of “thumbs-up” but not a lot of actual feedback. I think that part of this is attributable to it coming so late in the program, I saw this coming and wanted it to be kind of a “rock & roll” presentation. It also meant that people were tired though. So much of the conference atmosphere was also a kind of party, people staying up late and drinking a lot…I didn’t participate in this very much, and by the end my introversion was showing/undeniable. Also, the sound scenario for my presentation was less than ideal…the screen was nice though.
I have continued to work on the “companion” pages for each of the panels…
the 3D models will also have companion labels.
I realized that simply having a bitly URL wouldn’t be enough, they also need some kind of instructions, something along the lines of:
“To view additional content, type this URL
into your smartphone’s web-browser:
“For bonus content, enter the URL below
in your smartphone web-browser:
Viewers having multiple ‘screens’, one one the wall, one in their hand, one that is art, one that is the internet, one that is vertical, one that is mobile, etc, is important for me, aesthetically and conceptually.
continued working on the GreenScreen Wall patch, deciding whether to include cross-fade or not, feel like I need to do tests… Planning to make this happen the first week back at school? Or maybe just for the final…present the GreenScreen Wall demo and two of the panels/constellations.
Bootleg Mothlight 2
I really revisited the material for Bootleg Mothlight 2, beyond just collecting more material I reviewed some of the slides and sequencing for the performance-lecture itself. When compared with Underground Weather I can see how much my style and skill and complexity and articulation have improved. How this performance lecture develops from here will be strongly informed by my experience at the PostHuman Network Conference. I look forward to re-engaging this material and basically developing another iteration (before it was fully realized for the first time, it is already evolving).
[I’m really excited to dig into this work, and really make it happen. With this “bonus achievement” taken care of, now my thesis becomes my primary and even “only” focus. That and finding a teaching position of some kind… ]