July 2009


More or less done with this first version of the Letter Builder. It doesn’t do much for a user on the web since you can’t actually save a file (for security reasons having to do with Java). I’m looking for a work-around.

If you open the program up and press “l” (lower-case L), the image above will be loaded, but in its animated form. I’ve also created a short instruction manual for the tool, in case you decide to take your letter builder seriously.

Pressing the 9 key will load an image of David Lynch. You can begin to trace his face by changing to TRACE mode (by pressing M). Changing the opacity of the image by using the number keys will make tracing easier. That’s a fun way to waste an afternoon.

The Lynch image is just a proof of concept. My hope is to be able to trace letterforms and other pictures, but I don’t have a proper loader designed yet.

http://www.arras.net/processing_test/LetterBuilder/applet/

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Two people, my friend Anna Guercio in Los Angeles, and a Sphynx Cat lover named Allison Reynolds in Australia, managed to locate my header through Google image search. I could have sworn I tried that myself, but I guess I didn’t use the right terms. It’s an archived image of the header from a blog post on a site called Zero Strategist about blogs, and includes a snippet of the fab San Francisco MLA reading poster from December.

Unfortunately, it’s of a lower resolution than the original header, so I can’t take this image and blow it up without it being obviously deficient. But it’s neat to see that the fickle but generous memory of the internet has decided, somehow, to hold on my cats. (And thanks to Todd Pitt at Zero Strategist for using my blog as an example!)

I tried to find the image on the Wayback Machine but I guess this internet archive project just captures the code, not the multimedia aspects of websites, so Free Space Comix, which appears there in bits and pieces, has empty spaces where the header should be as well.

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I’ve been developing this little software application in Processing for creating letterforms and doodles for future versions of the “Scriptor” (here and here) series of digital projections. In fact, I’m moving the whole project from Actionscript to Processing, if for no other reason than that Processing was invented by one of my peers at UCLA, Casey Reas, along with Ben Fry. Processing is also built on Java, which I’m guessing runs a little bit faster than Actionscript, but of this I can’t be sure. (more…)

…(if you are reading this on my blog, and not on Facebook), I’ve accidentally deleted the Free Space Comix sphynx cats header, and I don’t have a backup anywhere. I was upgrading WordPress and replaced a directory where, unbeknownst to me, the image was stored. If for some strange reason you have the old sphynx cat header stored on your computer (perhaps in a cache), then send it to me.

I.e. if you see the cats at the head of this page, left click on the image and save it to your computer, and then email it to me! I’d owe you a Tecate and back rub.

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[Announcement for a talk I’m giving at a new art gallery right around the block from me called the Eighth Veil, a great new addition to the handful of interesting galleries here in Hollywood/West Hollywood. The name of the gallery actually derives from the name of the go go bar that sits right next to it, Seventh Veil. I don’t know Gregory’s work but his talk sounds really great.]

AN EVENING OF TALKS WITH POET AND SCHOLAR BRIAN KIM STEFANS & ARTIST GREGORY WIEBER

Thursday, July 16th
(One night only)
8PM

EIGHTH VEIL
7174 Sunset Blvd. (@ Formosa)
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Asked by current exhibition curator Jibade-Khalil Huffman, to speak on the subject of writing and/or language in its relation to image (and vice-versa), Kim Stefans and Wieber will address, among other things, the very nature of images and image-making (be it text-based work or otherwise) in our current climate.

Brian Kim Stefans will present, “The Lure of the Scrawl,” a talk about the possibilities of animated handwritten script in digital text art.

Stefans is a poet and digital artist whose recent books include Kluge: A Meditation, and other works (Roof, 2007), What is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers (Factory School, 2006), and Before Starting Over: Essays and Interviews (Salt Publishing, 2007). His digital works such as “The Dreamlife of Letters” and “Star Wars, One Letter at a Time” have been shown in gallery settings worldwide; his most recent project, “Scriptor,” recently opened in Los Angeles. many of these can be found at his website, www.arras.net. He is an Assistant Professor of English at UCLA, specializing in poetry and electronic writing.

Gregory Wieber will present, “Complexity out of Chaos,” a talk about markets, societies, online social networks, and life itself as complex phenomena which often arise out of chaos. How much of what we assume to be random is actually pre-determined? This talk will look at examples of chaos and complexity in a variety of situations.

Wieber is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Los Angeles. An alumni of Bard College, Greg left New York for California in 2004. In addition to his personal artistic endeavors in music, art, and photography, he works in the field of interaction design — most recently for Electronic Arts (EA).

Eighth Veil is a new contemporary art exhibition and publishing house located in Hollywood, California. Eighth Veil provides artists with studio space on the premises in which they can conceptualize printed matter and closely oversee its production. This opportunity is extended to artists exhibiting with Eighth Veil as well as individuals chosen by the gallery, commissioning works on a per project basis. Eighth Veil aims to develop close relationships with artists and provide more visibility to their process, allowing creativity beyond their normal medium and into print.

For more information please contact Nicole Katz: nicole@eighthveil.org or 323 645 6639

For press inquiries please contact Jessica Trent: pr.avantgarde@gmail.com or 310 968 9373

eighthveil.org

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Here’s something you might hate me for, excepting those who think that Stan Brakhage’s The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes was easy viewing. Actually, I was more grossed out by this one than Brakhage’s (which is about a half hour of footage of autopsies being performed in Pittsburgh).

Delvoye’s video (he’s the creator of several extraordinary works that have to do with bodies and its obscene, i.e. “offstage,” processes, such as the Cloaca, a machine that digests food and produces artificial poopy, which he then packages and sells to collectors), is really quite beautiful. It’s like a nature documentary (Microcosmos, for instance, which I highly recommend) but about skin — if it had a Morgan Friedman narration, it would be in all the theaters.

A better version can be downloaded at ubu.com:
http://www.ubu.com/film/delvoye.html

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