new work [ oldschool : newmedia ]

selfie [ oldschool / newmedia ]

The negatives I’m using for this process were shot & processed long before computers became part of my process – –

When I met animation processes, it was, at first, printmaking and scanning and hand-manipulation. Then hand-altered 16mm film. I’ve particularly missed that, the bleach and salt and razorblades and rubber gloves and stamps, glue, glitter and tape.

I figured out how to do that again, recently.

afterward // 30 poems in 30 days // questions from charis caputo

how did this year compare to years that you’ve done it in the past

Different venue – Facebook, vs. tumblr and live journal in the past. Easier in certain ways because of other people around doing it. Knowing that other people were expecting to see your work enabled the production process.

what was your secret to completing it or to motivate yourself to keep going

Make time, sit down & do it. Also, honor my commitment to myself and the work. The first person to hear what I say is myself. Breaking my word affects my ability to trust myself, so that’s an important thing to consider.

what was a favorite/most surprising thing that you wrote during the month

A pair of villanelles. They turned out surprisingly well, and ended up influencing the list-like thing for the William S Burroughs-inspired “Contact us within 10 days if anything of the following changes”.

what was your favorite prompt/source of inspiration

I use “The Making of a Poem”, the Norton anthology of forms, to shake things up. I collect fragments of lines & cut lines & write when ideas strike, but when I’m writing habitually I make room to write and show to the page regardless if I have an idea or not.

anything else you want to say about it

Remember, no matter what you do other people have their own point of view on your work. That’s life, that’s how we are. Have your own relationship with it. Know it well. Love it. It is yours. It is also not who you are, you are way more valuable than a bunch of words. Cut your favorite lines, edit the hell out of yourself. I saw a lot of apologizing in the online communities. FUCK APOLOGY. Value your own voice. Who are you trying to please?

thanks, mr. postman : on time, thought, and peer critique

Recently completed a round of critique on my film-in-progress. The artist-crit-group lives in MA, CA, PA & Canada. We did everything by mail.

Since I requested handwritten feedback, I thought my response should be composed in kind. That writing process – careful cursive – assists an ordering of the mind no keyboard typefest supports. Slowing down speeds up the making process – the content produced comes clearer, better.

The 6-week critique round made space for the kind of depth of thought I needed to really make use of their insight. The artists I queried, each brilliant in her own right, each in different career moments, provided sharp, hard critique. The best kind, the kind that helps kill the vain starting point so you can turn it into something really good (writers call it ‘murdering my darlings’ I think).

The next round of editing means deep structural change, cutting and focus. The  decisions came over consideration of rolling incoming critiques. Such an unique process, especially in our “busy-busy deadline-deadline” world.

on finding “Mistake” in my mailbox

They sent Mistake on purpose. Mistake, the poetry chapbook they published, the title of the collection they chose.

Make stuff, send it out. Sometimes I send the stuff itself – poetry manuscripts, DVDs. Sometimes I send the plans to make it happen – descriptions, to do lists, sketches. A feedback loop of non-response, acceptance, rejection.

I keep a semipublic sketchbook on this blog, on flickr, bits and pieces go to google+, to the Facebook page. The undialogue of ‘like’ing and +1-ing. The undialogue of no negative feedback. People are afraid of hurt feelings, people are afraid of alienation.

I found Mistake in my mailbox. Meredith Stricker’s manuscript won the 2011 Caketrain poetry chapbook contest. My entry did not. Glancing at a poem here, a poem there, her manuscript won it worthily, the work looks excellent. Right up my alley, too. I’m looking forward to reading it.

The nice thing about submitting work to poetry markets? So often they send content to read later. Not so much with the art shows, or the galleries. What did they do with that proposal, I wonder? That’s the non-response black hole the polished, tightly edited paperwork and supporting documents and DVDs go to. I have the delivery receipts. Blank refusals of no answer.

The editors, curators, gallerists I have enjoyed working with most have a useful etiquette for critique, for saying ‘no’. They provide some insight into why – “the inconsistency of your punctuation use tells me you haven’t figured out what that communicates yet”, “we like to publish work with stronger emotional punch”. That provides some insight into how to adjust my approach. At least, my approach to them.

What do I want for the work? Do I want it to be that way? I fold the critique back into the dough, as it were, and keep making.

A young musician struggling with how to get his creative life moving asked me what to look for in a creative relationship. I said, “Find a bass player that can tell you ‘no’ in a way that works for you”. He thought about it pretty hard. Apparently the kids these days like to take their ball and go home when the friends they play with give critical feedback.

I found Mistake in my mailbox. I had the privilege of starting to learn how to make at a very, very young age. I was four. Violin is hard. I was lucky, I had really patient teachers who validated my person while teaching my clumsy hands and wrists. I was lucky. I decided that my hands made the mistake, not me, when I had a tough teacher from second through 7th grade. (Thanks Mrs. Brandenburger!)

Mistake. Does mistake carry blame so our hands don’t have to? Its cousin, Accident, also a common target for our negative emotions keeps our egos blameless. Both mean our skills lack, not us. They can be a common foil for not developing our skill. We have to come back to the workbench, the practice room, the studio, to keep making.

Keep practicing. Keep sending. Excellence will follow. Or, what is good will find the right pair of eyes, the right set of ears. Some day, I will find my chapbook in the mailbox.


in process : stills from i.thou : chapter ~ 19

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (flight)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (flight)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (19)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (19)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (nikita in kitchen)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (nikita in kitchen)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (baby crocodile)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (baby crocodile)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (19)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (19)

these stills are taken from a 4 minute sketch i worked up the last few days. this is for the next chapter of the film in progress, i.thou.

the chapter or excerpt is titled “19”. the moshing technique assists the viewer take a meditative journey on identity, memory, witnessing, transpersonal consciousness, the tellable story, and the problem of unbelievable experience.

the still image of the girl named “19” is taken from the television show CSI. the source video shots used (pre-processing and ‘mosh’) look like the two stills that follow:

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (source still)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (source still)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (source still)

i.thou : chapter ~ 19 (source still)