funding [ send and receive ] via kickstarter

This morning I spent some time at the Milwaukee Zen Center. After morning meditation and work, we had lunch. Its so simple to sit and eat together, and share perspectives. While this unfolded I kept thinking about how America is not a problem to be solved, nor are the American people.

Our lunch table conversation differed so from what unfolds in social media. The shallowness of the internet conversation, the need for the immediate solution. News media has fractured – if you have different politics than your friends, you will see a very different news world online. We have lost the Edward R. Murrow perspective.

Who is the author of the single narrative that explains us to ourselves?

This afternoon I thought about how to return to this funding activity. And the thing I was hiding – the artist-dialogue around [ send and receive ] and why I think its important to make this work – well, no time like the present.

The communication process is depicted as a circular flow chart to depict constant movement between the sender and receiver. If the process is disrupted, it is usually due to interference in the communication channel between sender and receiver. – source

[ send and receive ] will have multiple screens. One on a monitor just outside the door of the gallery, one inside the gallery, and one on the internet. If you’re standing in the door at that monitor, you’ll be able to see the people texting or sending photos to the big screen in the gallery. And unseen by any parties on the ground will be the internet view.

When a person texts or sends a photo to the screen, most of the time they will show up, and most of the time they will be legible. This is where the glitch comes in. Will it be visible on-screen? Perhaps –

Please share the Kicksarter page link – [ http://kck.st/2eI7ILD ] – to help me meet my goal. I have 6 days to climb another 2/3 of the way to $1850.

Ever grateful for your help ~

Jessica

* * *

Jessica Fenlon
www.station-number-six.com

»radiantdevices« & Chandeliers & Psychic TV July 22 2016 at Reggie’s, Chicago

Last night’s show was 3 bands in a bar [ »radiantdevices« & Chandeliers & Psychic TV ] with 200+ people listening & singing & dancing. »radiantdevices«had an amazing set, it’s fantastic when we play with live cello and more found-percussion, & the visuals worked quite well in the space. Chandeliers’ analog synth sounds with analog video synthesis projection was the perfect band to watch on Martin Gore’s birthday.  There were technical shenanegans, this was a running around putting out fires & pulling it together with no spare minutes &

& Genesys B-P, after Psychic TV’s opening song, said the important thing. “There are people out there – we know who, don’t need to say who – loudly actively bringing more hate in to the world right now. That’s what they do. Don’t play their game. Be happy.”

Invest in your joy my friends. As David Lynch put it so well, “What we pay attention to, that becomes lively”

still, test for backing visuals "DIRTY"

still, test for backing visuals “DIRTY” a song dealing with the experience of street harassment. processing & quartz composer linked by syphon server.

the digital artist ships 2 paintings to NYC [ what? ]

After the single-shooter massacre in Orlando, a New York City-based artist started a painting project. Organized in a private Facebook group, this artist assigned Senators who have a track record of voting ‘no’ on reasonable gun regulation in America to willing artist-participants. These 54 Senators have helped prevent even the most mundane collection of data to understand how American citizens use guns. It’s a move that drives the American Medical Association bananas; medical personnel see guns’ bloody consequences in ER’s every day.

The organizer’s provided theme: blood on their hands. I signed up for Senator Howard “Ron” Johnson (R-Wi). I’m a Wisconsin resident. Ron has received an A rating from the NRA and 1.3 million bucks from gun rights groups in his single term as a Senator.

I come from a family of people who work in health care, including doctors. I’ve heard what bullets do to the body. I spent about a year working in a hospital in Pittsburgh, I loosely understand what a gunshot victim means to an ER’s workload, how it reshapes the staff’s ability to treat any other person in the ER that moment.

Its bizarre to me, the silence around the consequences of using guns. But / and then – in our daily news, we see and hear anectdotes and incidents which pile up into uncountable extremes very quickly. How many mass shootings? How many people injured?

 

Senator Ron Johnson blood on their hands

I guess Lutheran souls are expensive ’cause the gun lobby bought Senator Ron Johnson’s for $1.3 million ~

One phenomenon of the Internet is our new capability to cut through that silence. Two survivors of the Orlando shooting ~ Patience Carter and Angel Santiago ~ discuss their survival process in a media essay produced by the New York Times. I think the immediacy of personal survival narratives fuels calls for reasoned approach to regulating guns in America.

See all the portraits at Senator Portrait Project : Senators Who Have Enabled Gun Violence

New York Daily News ran many of the images in a piece on July 5 2016.

~

At the same time as the Daily News piece came out, our organizer was approached by a lobbying group, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV). NYAGV asked about portraiture of New York reps to the House in Congress. Our organizer asked for volunteers; Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) was included in the call. As a Wisconsin resident, how could I not?

I get Speaker Ryan’s lifestyle, the whole hunting-fishing thing. I grew up here. I only mildly resented those who got out of school for a week for hunting season because that week was easy peasy schoolwork and no tests. The call for discussion is simply that. A call for discussion. Who am I to attempt to control the outcome? Enforced silence gets us nowhere. That’s what each of these politicians has done, by refusing to consider discussion of something very important to the American public.

 

Speaker-Ryan-Web

[ thoughts prayers ] House Speaker Paul Ryan

Each image started as a digital composite. Both politicians’ portraits include text layers naming their financial relationships to the gun lobby, as well as their ratings by the NRA. Those spiraling texts, created using Processing, were then composited into manipulated portraits of each man.

Scale set by the organizer meant that inkjet prints were made on 8.5″ x 11″ photo paper. I mounted each print onto firmer supports before varnishing and painting ~ I love any excuse to break out Sennellier pigments. In House Speaker Paul Ryan’s case, his role asked for gold leaf. . .

 

Leah Gunn Barrett delivering artists' portraits to the politicians who voted AGAINST universal background check legislation.

digital media : so very portable

 

[ thoughts prayers ] was also printed and delivered to the Speaker by NYAGV’s Executive Director Leah Gunn Barrett. She delivered artists’ portraits to the New York politicians who voted AGAINST universal background check legislation, and the Speaker.

So why the heck am I boxing and shipping these 2 paintings? They’re now finished, mounted on cradled wood 9″ x 12″ panels. Well . . .the organizer’s working on a show, a fundraising exhibition for NYAGV. And apparently now someone volunteered to make a film of all the pieces?

Let’s keep talking about guns and what’s going on with them, for all of us!

Want to see more work? Visit the public Facebook page for the group.

[ OSX ] [ LINUX debian / raspbian ] install wordnet for processing + RiTa

“Wordnet is definitely not written for use by humans.” – a helpful friend

I work with language as a poet. I write “poems for paper” as well as “poems for spoken-word performance”. In both, often, fragments of narrative appear as images.

In video, I’m exploring what I call the ‘variable narrative’, iterating tiny moments of story.

 

the-gravediggers-meditation

untitled video still [ the gravedigger’s meditation, 2014 : hybrid literary project ] spiral text composite layer created in Processing

Playing with ‘text as mark’ in Processing is pretty fun & relatively simple. Text added as strings can be expressed glyphs of this or that font. Strings of text can take particular shapes or be used as brushstrokes. In the image above, the entire text of Gogol’s short story The Overcoat becomes a shifting textured layer composited into an animated short film. The spiral text composite layer was made using math and one loooooong string of text.

~ RiTa : extends Processing’s use of language by referencing text’s meaning ~

RiTa, a Java-based coding toolkit that can be added to Processing, allows artists to work with meaning / words by role in language / rather than just text as mark.

example one : Automatype by Daniel C. Howe

example two : Spin State by Michael Coppola

~ installing RiTA inside Processing ~

With Processing open, go to the menubar: Sketch > Import Library > Add library

The library installer will open. Scroll down to RiTa.

  • If it is pickable, pick it & install!
  • If it is greyed out [ as it was for me ] one must instead go to rednoise.org and download the dependancy, unzip it, and stick the folder in the library directory your installation of Processing uses. If you have not customized your setup,the directory order [ on Mac ] : ~/Documents/Processing/libraries. Stick the folder that happens when you unzip the download into the /libraries folder. Relaunch Processing and you’ll find it. RiTa’s examples will also show up in the examples, under contributed libraries.

The RiTa reference guides the coder through toolset’s functionality & what it can do to explore art-related ideas on the meaning/language tip.

~ Word Net : high level text analysis with ‘parts of speech’ tagging and dictionary definitions ~

To further dig into meaning, to access markov language part-of-speech tagging, the necessary dependancy? wordnet“its primary use is in automatic text analysis and artificial intelligence applications.” ~ wikipedia

RiTa’s toolkit allows me to plug in wordnet analysis & execution functionality into Processing sketches. To do that, I needed a local installation. I tried to use the documentation provided by Princeton to create a local wordnet installation, and fell down several successive rabbitholes, each of which ended on ‘nope’.

Wordnet can be used with many coding languages – PERL, Python, SQL, and PHP etc etc.

Processing and Python use different operational approaches to installing dependancies. It was a head-turner to shift to the Python-like approach – using [ on Mac ] terminal, with sudo pip commands.

There’s this other thing one can add to Mac which provides “one terminal command installation power for many many dependancies”. It’s a  kit called Homebrew, built with the Ruby programming language.

~ an aside on art and technology, transparency of process, and meaning ~

Have your eyes glazed over yet? The mind-numbing list of tasks above this moment in the blog post is not, in itself, an interesting thing. I know that ‘the rest of the art world’ doesn’t know how the ‘studio inside of the computer’ works. I’ve been directly treated with contempt over the digital creative process by painters, in the past*.

I’d love it if my attempts at process transparency help encourage the conversation about meaning, to discover the metaphorical power of what artists can and are doing with computers, and relate to them . . . More directly, I think it would be awesome if more ppl were using these tools in their own work. So lets get back to that to-do list.

~ to install Wordnet locally, install Homebrew. To install Homebrew, install Xcode. ~

Homebrew can install a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff for me, besides wordnet, when attempting to sudo pip3 install various dependancies for Python and something doesn’t internally link. Fantastic! OK, time to install Homebrew.

Aaand I need to install a 4.5 gb thingy from Apple called Xcode wha-  ?

OK so most of the coding things discussed in this post are script-related single-tasking things. XCode is the Mac-based development environment for building OSX software & iOS apps. Its filled with tools, testing environments, and more.

One must install xcode in order to ‘unlock’ the bash commands [ for terminal ] that one needs to install Homebrew. Randomly, you will also now have a C compiler on your Mac. You can delete it once you’re done getting the bash commands you need.

Go over to the coolest guide on the planet, and follow their step-by-step instructions to install first xcode and then homebrew. Then come back here to finish up and see how cool wordnet really can be.

~ use a terminal command to tell homebrew to install wordnet ~

Open terminal. Next to the dollarsign prompt type

brew install wordnet 

Terminal may prompt you to add several other things.

When it finishes, don’t close terminal just yet. Jot down the directory location of your wordnet installation. You’ll use it in the next step.

Go back to Processing.

File > Examples. In the pop-up : RiTa > ReplaceableWriting.

Updating the sketch to include the local directory url for wordnet. Press play.

BLAM. Now you can see what it does.

Here’s to less maddening ‘getting going’ on ideas you’re interested in . . .

~ footnotes ~

*“Oh you just push a button – ” and a some other disparaging remarks

On a Windows machine? Try Scoop instead of Homebrew; here’s a list of terminal-like command line editors for Windows systems. Processing installs for PC, and the RiTa installation workflow should hold there as well. I have no idea if Wordnet can be installed on Windows in this way, but its a starting point.

If you’re on Linux you’ve got the work ethic to figure it out yourself 💗 and that Linux installation is on a raspberry pi, all you have to do is open terminal and type this:

$ sudo apt-get install wordnet

answer a few questions and you’re set.

??? !!!

The Raspbian install of Linux is a child iteration of Debian; it includes a compiler and you don’t need to “unlock” other OS features in order to get it to work. . .

on performing [ send and receive ]

I sat in a gallery, at a table, in a turret. This was semiprivate space. At Northern Illinois University, the gallery is in a building like a castle. The turret room has arrowslot windows. It felt well-defended. I had daisies, the signifier for the piece. I wore grey. I waited.

performance installation send and receive

send and receive installation

I had invited audience members to come to the gallery, to tell me a story about guns. My request inverted the art object’s signal flow. The audience usually comes to a museum to get something. Now they were asked to give something.

His father taught him how to shoot. What the gun actually does. How to respect it, what code of conduct was related to it.

I am no therapist. I listen when people tell me their experiences. I can be present for their narratives.

Beyond that personal skill, this work is the fruit of working directly with audience for years. I have hosted experimental art-video shows. I used to guard art in museum-spaces from drunk people. I guided museum tours.

This work is a long look at audience relationship with the mediated story [ the artwork itself / the stories in news and entertainment media ] and its authority.

My studio space [ a computer ] means I sometimes make art in public spaces, like coffeeshops. Making ungun I was working with decayed images of guns. The visible screen became an invitation to strangers to interrupt, to ask “Hey what are you doing? That looks cool.” To tell me about guns. About being American with guns.

It meant staying alive, to carry three guns through Bosnia-Herzegovina as a UN-authorized peacekeeper, discovering countless bodies in fields, barns, knee-deep in pits, bodies made by guns. 

Guns are surrounded by cocoon of silence spun, paradoxically, of fear and bombastic noise. They are intimately connected to issues of authority. Who has the right to tell a story about guns – a story that easily can, illusively, be corrupted, become, paranoidly, the story about –

How could she raise her sons and keep guns out of their hands?

 

send and receive performance installation at Northern Illinois University

send and receive [ turret space ]

I spent four hours in the gallery listening to the space, to the visitors. Very few people accepted my invitation.  That inversion of audience relation to public art space needs a different introduction, perhaps.

I listened to the gallery sounds, to the floor creaks, the oops its time for me to leave hustle footsteps, to the fear. Staff at NIU are most afraid of the young white men with baby faces. That’s what NIU’s mass shooter looked like.

She left the day he brought a gun home. Things were bad enough and she knew the statistics.

Good art encourages the audience to examine their own experience. Art about guns doubles the authority of the mediated story – doubles the illusion that truth is outside of onesself – for the audience.

This is tricksy, working with potentially painful or trauma-sourced content. What is only a signifier for the artist can evoke intense memory for audience members. Memory of lived experience powerful enough that it denies the artwork. It also can challenge the audience member’s ability to manage that memory.

The reality, for people who have survived gun violence personally, or whose daily lives are affected by navigating spaces shaped by that violence – the audience needs to retain that authority over their own difficulty. Ceding that authority to the art doesn’t work.

So – instead of censoring published media, give space for the audience’s voice. Give them a space other than they have to avoid the signal of information coming from the artwork in order to be OK.

I was thanked by members of the NIU community who could not look at UNLOADED.  It was the language of gesture, ameliorating the re-traumatization that can be provided by published media.

 

send and receive performance installation

send and receive [ daisies ]

on gifs [ storifying the latent content of film/television narrative media ]

Gifs do so many things, I’m not even going to list all of those things! Right now I’m thinking about gifs as amplifiers of particular moments from narrative media. In these pieces, they strip moments from narrative, expanding the gesture used to tell a story while erasing the original context.

a moment from Tarkovsky’s “Ivan’s Childhood”

This eternal moment, stripped from narrative, reminds me of tween frames in the animation process. As an artist who has learned how to make in many kinds of media, I often think of the making process while looking at an art object (or other thing). Tweening is the frame-by-frame drawing that carries the image from moment a to moment b. Its where animation really happens. Skilled animators’ tweens inform how the story is told.

But-and-also – gifs operate with a more cinematic set of visual references, thanks to copy/remix culture. They often inhabit the vocabulary of filler moments.  The embellishments in a televised or film-presented narrative used to allow time to pass, allow the viewer to update their story, create rhythm or pace for the narrative. These moments, over time, become the vocabulary of unconscious narrative of a film/television-presented story.

unconscious narrative the consistant (or inconsistant, depending on the skill of the filmmaker) backdrop woven of actors’ gestures, filler shots, setting, shot framing, color, mood, tone. The assemblage of choices related to non-verbal or not-plot content that provides a consistant ground for the ‘plot’ / cause-and-effect narrative / story, which is spoken or explicit. The language of film that operates outside of verbal story, the elements that make film/television an art form discrete from other storytelling media.

The gif can particularize moments from this unconscious language. The elements which we recognize as part of the assembly of a particular story.

Ryan Seslow has been developing discrete elements in gif form for quite some time. His characters and repeated making-gestures arrive on the screen-canvas of his website & other internet feeds. Recently he assembled several into a sequence.

 

Telling Stories : a gif by Ryan Seslow

Ryan steps into the space of a story. Its liminal – it is not yet a story – it is a projection field for a story of my invention. It invites me to create relationships between jump-cut moments. We automatically work to create relationships, as storifying machines, as viewers. Like we discover the Virgin Mary’s face in a waterstain or a fried tortilla.

Looking, looking back. The screen looking back at us – the portraited pretty lady winks (usually she’s the object in the gallery) its the gaze of the inhabited object – and then the gaze of others looking back –

untitled antonio roberts video

Antonio Roberts made this. I think it describes the emotional mirroring overload of micro reactions I have skimming the internet when sh*t really hits the fan and so many people are scrambling && colliding && making sense of && pointing at *why this happened* and *what must be done*

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153223284537143

[ music video ] Love is Lost [ Hello Steve Reich Mix ] David Bowie

David Bowie : Love Is Lost [ Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA ]

It’s a music video; it’s a 10:30 short film odyssey from particulate animation through meshes through datamoshing and other decay tricks, edited with quicktime effects and transitions, and referring always to the human form and figure in this newnew language of ours.

or, David Bowie remains just about best at everything.

[ ungun ] pittsburgh, newark, milwaukee, portugal – –

In 2013, right after I left Apple, I made a 6.5 minute glitch animation called ungun. In it, I deconstruct the vocabulary of the object, using audio sampled from American movies to complement the breaking and reforming data-damaged handgun photos in the visuals. Even during the editing process, strangers responded to the imagery and content (I would edit in headphones at coffee shops). Now, curators keep choosing to show it!

This weekend and next, there are several opportunities to see ungun in person . . .

Pittsburgh, PA: SPACE gallery has been exhibiting UNLOADED [ curated by Susanne Slavic ] since February of this year. Friday, April 24 – tomorrow – is the closing party! See work by Mel Chin, Adrien Piper, and many more for the last time. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Vanessa German’s powerful poetry performance.

Link through to read the latest review from UNLOADED, featuring a reading of ungun.

 

UNLOADED catalog ungun

UNLOADED catalog

Newark, NJ: Saturday, April 25, Index Art Center’s FILMIDEO 2015 international film festival (day 2) – ungun plays with work by other artists on the installation monitor for the duration of the exhibition.

Milwaukee, WI: Sunday May 1 ungun screens in the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival Program #5 on UW-Milwaukee’s campus.

Last but not least, ungun’s going to Portugal, to screen in FONLAND 2015. It’s safely tucked under the arm of the Italian curator who first chose to screen it in 2013.

I’m grateful, a little overwhelmed, and more grateful. The work doesn’t complete until it meets an audience, really –

animating the tarot trumps [ processing ]

My colleague Christian Kriegeskotte composed a set of piano pieces that are, for the lack of a better word, portraits of the Tarot Trumps. He funded recording this work, ably performed by pianist Eric Clark, via Kickstarter.

I have at various times incorporated imagery or made creative process decisions with Tarot cards in mind. I have not, however, explicitly worked with this material.

Since Tarot is, for me, a living set of principals, it made sense to put ‘image into motion’. I’m abstracting the forms that so often get reduced to cartoon-like images. Color choices are inspired by the same Tarot deck Christian used for his inspiration; as the project moves forward, color will gain its own closed system of internal reference. Movement and form are relative to individual cards’ meanings and mutual relationships in the system.

I’m using Processing to code these animations, capturing them to video and then editing them further in Final Cut Pro X. Its a fun puzzle, using complicated tools to work very simply. I’m enjoying this process a great deal!

Videos :
0 Le Fou
I Le Bateleur
II La Papesse
III L’Imperatrice
IV L’Empereur
V Le Pape

 

Project stills : at my flickr

Purchase the music here: argentowl.bandcamp.com/album/le-mat-xxii-arcana

Gogol’s Overcoat: The Gravedigger’s Meditation [ view online through 2/28 ]

 

 

The Gravediggers Meditation-HD 720p 1750

untitled video still : the gravedigger’s meditation

 

An experiment in audience relationships, exhibitions, intimacy, the internet – – I’m streaming The Gravedigger’s Meditation at station-number-six.com through Feb. 28. After that, it disappears into the land of ‘password protected screener’ as I work to get it shown elsewhere.

Vladimir Nabokov said of Gogol: “When, as in the immortal The Overcoat, he really let himself go and pottered on the brink of his private abyss, he became the greatest artist that Russia has yet produced.” Gogol’s story of a poor, quiet copyist who finagles a new overcoat in the bitterest of Russian winters. Then, the coat is stolen; what was a blessing becomes a disaster.

This animation – – yes, I did steal images of overcoats from the internet in order to make it … The piece is also a meditation on the relationship of copying, language-as-object, record-keeping, and technology to a community’s memory. There may be a wink at the commodification of appearances but you know, the first rule of capitalist materialism is you don’t talk about how it works.

Animation frankensteined together in Adobe AfterEffects from parts created with QT7, Processing, and Quartz Composer. Audio created & mixed in Apple Logic, better with headphones.