Paper Letters / I'm In Love

For a short stint in August 2014, I helped the awesome Sally Tran make paper letters and crafts for her stop animation music video, I'm In Love by the band Fool's Gold. It was super fun to work with her, and so is her video—

Here are a few pictures of my handiwork—

 3D crafted WOAH's!

3D crafted WOAH's!

 Workspace (I brought my own bone folder)!

Workspace (I brought my own bone folder)!

 More woah!

More woah!

Dune

I'm coming up on the end of Dune, you know, where you read more slow, maybe less, just to savor the last few pages left. Being such a beow science fiction nerd, I don't know what took me so long to read the novel. It is truly tremendous and amazing. 

Here's a little excerpt that I want to share—Paul's expanded awareness of time:

Paul’s mind had gone on in its chilling precision. He saw the avenues ahead of them on this hostile planet. Without even the safety valve of dreaming, he focused his prescient awareness, seeing it as a computation of most probable futures, but with something more, an edge of mystery—as though his mind dipped into some timeless stratum and sampled the winds of the future.

Abruptly, as though he had found a necessary key, Paul’s mind climbed another notch in awareness. He felt himself clinging to this new level, clutching at a precarious hold and peering about. It was as though he existed within a globe with avenues radiating away in all directions . . . yet this only approximated the sensation.

He remembered once seeing a gauze kerchief blowing in the wind and now he sensed the future as though it twisted across some surface as undulant and impermanent as that of the windblown kerchief.

He saw people.

He felt the heat and cold of uncounted probabilities.

He knew the names and places, experienced emotions without number, reviewed data of innumerable unexplored crannies. There was time to probe and test and taste, but no time to shape.

The thing was a spectrum of possibilities from the most remote past to the most remote future—from the most probable to the most improbable. He saw his own death in countless ways. He saw new planets, new cultures.

People.

People.

He saw them in such swarms they could not be listed, yet his mind catalogued them.

Even the Guildsmen.

And he thought: The Guild—there’d be a way for us, my strangeness accepted as a familiar thing of high value, always with an assured supply of the now-necessary spice.

But the idea of living out his life in the mind-groping-ahead-through-possible-futures that guided hurtling spaceships appalled him. It was a way, though. And in meeting the possible future that contained Guildsmen he recognized his own strangeness.

I have another kind of sight. I see another kind of terrain; the available paths.

The awareness conveyed both reassurance and alarm—so many places on that other kind of terrain dipped or turned out of his sight.

As swiftly as it had come, the sensation slipped away from him, and he realized the entire experience had taken the space of a heartbeat.
— Frank Herbert's Dune

Used Goods in Village Gate; Rochester, NY

Just having come back from a visit home, to Rochester, I still dream of it, its gray skies having shaped me.

When there, I try to do all my favorite 'Rochester' things, which includes, yes, eating the best garbage plates at dogTown, seeing movies at the Dryden, and always stopping by my comic book store, Comics, Etc.  

Comics, Etc., though, used to be in the more run-down and desolate Village Gate. Now that Comics, Etc. is located in the Hungerford Buildings, the store is way more spacious and cool, but somehow lacks the excitement of stepping into Village Gate—it was a weird (but amazing) place. I lamented its renovation and the closing or scattering of my favorite shops.

I get more to the point in a little section I wrote on it a while back for my thesis, about USED GOODS, and CHANCE AND MAGIC. I will share it with you now:

     In my early 20s, I spent hours in Village Gate, a weird quasi-industrial type building—part artist studios, business lofts, retail stores, and restaurants.  Except, the retail stores were bizarre, an array of used goods and vintage stores mixed with a piercing place, a wig shop, and New Age store.  My usual places-to-be were Ricky’s Place, Far Out Vintage (vintage clothing), the Bop Shop (vinyl records), Yankee Peddler Bookshop (rare and used books), Comics Etc. (comics, obviously) and some random toy store, I can’t remember the name.  I think at the time Village Gate called itself a mall, which I guess is true in its textbook definition: a large building or series of connected buildings containing a variety of retail stores and typically also restaurants.  But Village Gate was more like Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.  Peeling courtyards, worn out facades, displays of wigs or dresses—and lost within all of this some lone individuals and freaks.  An image of the petrified world, Village Gate was my arcade. It was a mood—the disorder, the darkness, the air saturated with dust and mildew, the piles of stuff—one of anticipation.  It was a magical place where a chance encounter with a rare book or odd record could change you and the course of your life forever (another fork in the labyrinth), a rebirth.  It was just that that I was searching for among those obscure places and forgotten objects.  These motifs were also the same that the Surrealists discovered in the twenties in Paris—chance and magical circumstance, and an attempt to find new aspects in the vanishing, old-fashioned, and nostalgic.
     It was there that I stumbled upon my first issues of Psychotronic and Cult Movies Magazine, the essays of Thomas De Quincey, the madrigals of John Dowland—and it is these same materials now (magazines, books, records) that I use in my artwork.  Also, I still possess the same impulse in acquiring old objects, that is, to renew a distant, lost world.  In Benjamin’s Unpacking My Library, he explains that a collector’s existence is tied “to a relationship with objects which does not emphasize their functional, utilitarian value—that is, their usefulness—but studies and loves them as the scene, the stage, of their fate.”  Everything about the object—the craftsmanship, the period, the region, the former owner—everything remembered and thought about the object adds up to its magical fate, and the most profound experience is its acquisition, and furthermore, its transmissibility. 
     In 2011, the owner of the Village Gate began renovations to the building in order to transform the run-down labyrinth into an up-scale conglomerate of restaurants. The rent was sharply raised, thus evicting all the small weird shops I frequented. In fact, most of them closed all together.  Only three of the stores (Far Out Vintage, the Bop Shop, and Comics Etc.) still exist, although they have scattered to other parts of the city.  And so, all the strange stores and strange people have left, and so has all the magic. 

These people have seen an alternate future!

There are some exhibition shots of A LOST (HI)STORY: SIBYL ARCHER AND SIMULTANEOUS PLANES, INC. that didn't really fit in the work section, but that I love and want to post anyway.  One of the greatest joys was seeing people so involved with the story/history, and asking me, "Wait, this is real?"  Click on the image below to sort through all 7.  (Answer: it is).