Monday, April 24, 2006

Paint Should Be Your Tatoo

Had a killer interview with Matt Sesow a couple weekends back. The interview is forthcoming from Rock Heals (next week, God willing).

Matt and I used to work together before he quit the office life and holed himself up in his Adams Morgan studio where he works and lives. He estimates that he has painted over 10,000 paintings since he started in 1994. He's been a self-supporting artist for more than 5 years now.

One of my favorite statements from the evening was, "Kids who want to be artists shouldn't get tatoos. Paint should be their tatoo."

As the photo above proves, Matt practices what he preaches.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Great new open source advertising campaign from Firefox.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Power to the People

Found out last week that Join The Global Fund, a site AKQA created for Friends of the Global Fight, was nominated for a Webby Award in the activism category. Woohoo.
Bright Lights

Gulp. I love advertising. This is the truth. The truth will set me free.

I'm not supposed to like advertising. As a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and an artist, I should revile advertising. So goes the party line.

But, truth is, advertising is effective. Advertising is direct. And advertising can be beautiful.

What better career for a progressive thinking artist? If stuff is going to change, it's going to happen through commercial art. Dark arts? Maybe. But even the Jedi must know the ways of the Dark Side.

If you want to make a difference, you have to play the game.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Starving Creativity

Came across this minisite for Easy Mac from Kraft Foods.

I like the soft branding of the site -- notice how there's no Kraft logo anywhere until you play a video. Nice.

I don't like the "viral" subservient college student piece -- it's choppy and gross (click on the refrigerator to watch the dood eat some nasty cold cuts).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pomposity v. Populism

In response to my recent audio collage on Rock Heals, my friend Dave had some tough love for me:

IM with HOTSTREAM 04/13/06
Hooker. You are swimming in the self-indulgent arty wank-off end of the pool again. Is this what happens when you live in DC too long?
Thanks dood. I love you too.
Hey, I'm just trying to offer constructive criticism.
it's supposed to be tongue in cheek.
Which part is supposed to be tongue in cheek? I mostly just heard a lot of noise.
Thanks for the criticism. Pffft.
I'm just trying to give you the benefit of my years of accumulated wisdom.
Is that what this is? I thought you were just berating me for my pomposity.
I don't remember using that word
Self-indulgent arty wank-off
Yeah, that was it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"We can derive knowledge from the world; but we cannot derive the world from knowledge." --Tor Norretranders, in The User Illusion

Along with the yummy hilarity of the Comedy Fest last weekend, I found some time to work on that audio collage I was talking about. Here it is in this week's Rock Heals. The final product, which took about 10 hours to create, got me geeking out about the science of consciousness.

As a guy that makes his living from ideas and who spends his free time making things up, I think it's time I give a shout out to my subconcious. What up dog?

A good website, a good play, a good painting, is much better than the group that made it. That's obvious. But humans tend to decide that people making good art are geniuses. I don't think Beethoven was a genius. I just think he tapped into some good shit. And road that train home. He was just a regular guy.

I've been holding on to Tor Norretrander's User Illusion for the past 7 years. I reread portions of it because it fascinates me. The thesis? The human brain becomes conscious of reality a half second after it actually happened. Meaning, our concious self is experiencing a representation of existence. That representation is only a small nugget of the actual information our brains receive. Kind of like a graphic user interface is a recreation of the calculations happening within a computer. In fact, the term "user illusion" comes from experiments done at XEROX PARC that eventually turned into the interfaces we use in OSX, Linux and Windows. The book goes beyond this stuff and starts connecting this delay to environmental, social and political problems.

What this means is, trust the gut. Get excited about stuff. Be willing to trust things that feel right. As Norretrander says, "It is important to dare to be pleased that we are not in full control, are not concious all the time; to enjoy the liveliness of nonconsciousness and combine it with the discipline and reliability of consciousness. Life is really more fun when you are not conscious of it."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The White Chappelle?
(Chappelle illustration courtesy of Lance King of snakesheep)

First off, a clarification. I do not have a drinking problem. I was trying to be funny. I failed.

Dave Chappelle's a guy who will never fail at being funny. I was in the front row of his late night show at the DC Improv on Tuesday. The majority of the show was a dialogue with the audience. Dude was just having fun -- while flinging such nuggets of wisdom as, "You don't go to war with a country that has weapons of mass destruction, you negotiate." His set was 2.5 hours long. That's a lot of fun.

Show highlights:
1. The audience and Chappelle singing along to the theme song for "The Greatest American Hero."
2. Chappelle, in response to audience requests, receiving a call from Common.
3. A long and winding tale about a pimp named Iceberg Slim.
4. Chappelle referring to me as the white Chappelle. 'Don't take offense. I'm not dissing you. If I diss you I diss myself.' Having a bald head does have its privileges.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Funny ha ha? Or funny, I didn't notice that smell in here last night. Is there a dead rat in the cinderblock? Funny. Or funny, have you noticed how you always finish my sentences for me? Just the last word? Under your breath? Every time? Funny.

It's DC Comedy Fest this week folks. Four days of comedy gluttony. Starts on Wednesday. Goes through Saturday. Funny.
The city is winning. There’s too much to do. And I find myself spending almost as much time deciding as doing.

Can a simple life exist in the city? I sure hope so.

As nice as it is to live in a place where I can eat Ethiopian, dance Salsa and see Dave Chapelle, all in a 5 mile radius, what’s missing is a true sense of family – says the guy that lives alone. Says the guy who’s idea of a good evening is reading a book. But, honestly, telecommuting’s the future right? Who says I can’t live in the middle of nowhere? Or more specifically, the middle of Missouri.

In other news, I’ve been playing a bit with Audacity. My friend and collaborator Kate and I are working on a new piece tentatively called “The Working Poor” based on some video she shot while she was here in February. I’m taking the audio from the videos and slicing it up to create an aural collage. Yum.