A quick update - i will be at Frank Ogawa Plaza Saturday, December 7th, 12-2 weather permitting. And now a few pictures:
It's been a while since I updated the update blog. Why? Because the flu season coincided with the start of my residency and has sapped me of all my energy. I now am in the habit of going to bed at 8 PM, it's really sad.
But! I have many great things going on. My print residency at Kala is in full swing. I am selling screen prints of various sizes through my Hatchfund fundraiser, which ends on my birthday December 16th. So you can give me $10 dollars, and in exchange you can get a screen printed postcard. If things go as planned you may even get it in time for Christmas!
I have also begun tabling in order to gather information from the public. My first session at Mills was a great success - my little ballot boxes got filled and I almost ran out of paper thanks to students' enthusiasm. I can now announce some OFFICIAL UPL glyphs. They are almost a sentence: 'the universe takes love', perhaps?
This weekend I will also be arranging to set-up my drawing table in front of the Downtown Berkeley BART Station, at 2160 Shattuck Ave. on Black Friday. And maybe even more places, who knows? Many things are in the works. Come to the Mills Tea Shop steps during lunch this Monday and Tuesday and draw a few words, won't you?
Oh, and my nails are itchy because ink dries the skin around my already severely damaged nails.
First, a lovely email:
My name is Sam and this email concerns pieces of art that I have found.
A couple of months ago, I was parking in a parking lot at the trailhead to Skunk Cabbage when I saw what appeared to be an art canvas. I did a double take and walked over to it. It was number 15 of 42 titled "Thee." I looked at it, a plastic covered piece of art and looked around...no one in the parking lot...a quiet afternoon. I put it down and took my walk, then came back to the parking lot and saw it still sitting there. This time I examined the back and read your message about the piece. I decided to take it.
Two or Three weeks later a strange thing happened. I was walking down the same trail and what did I see but another piece of art from this series. This time I knew what it was and I really liked it. But I couldn't take two. So I did the walk, thinking about the piece of art in the plastic by the side of the trail and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to keep it too. They would look very good together. A duo. So, they now hang together. #15 with #41.
I hope you don't mind that I took them both. But I do like them and they compliment each other nicely.
My last two abandonments before I leave to Berkeley / Oakland for two months.:
And now, yes! My abandonment is taking a break. I will be spending the next two months at Kala Art Institute in residency working on a UPL dictionary. I cannot afford this residency out of pocket, so please check out my promo video and fundraising page. If you donate you can get screen prints and drawings, who doesn't love those? Plus, this fundraiser ends on my birthday, so your donation is basically a present exchange <3
Thank you all for reading, and I'll see y'all next when I report back from Oakland First Friday!
My first test run with the general public to draw three words as ideograms - "love," "take," and "universe." These shots took place outside of the Ink People Gallery on 2nd Street in Eureka, Ca as a part of the Arts Alive! art walk. The results were delightfully random, but some interesting issues came up.
1. Herd Behavior. Many people did not like having other drawings directly in front of them, saying they were distracting and influenced what they drew. Two participants asked that I give an "anonymous" option, either on a post-it note or on a form via the web. Creating a worksheet with an explanation, that participants can fill out alone, might resolve this.
2. Drawing Angst. I have had artists do this experiment before, and they had mentioned that randomly chosen individuals would be turned off by being put on the spot to draw. "I can't draw" was heard quite often from passersby, along with "Will it take long?" I need to find a way to best emphasize that these are simple and straightforward to be better understood. What term should use instead of "draw?"
3. Reproducability. Simply saying "try to make it simple" didn't seem to cut it. I really needed to emphasize that these drawings had to be reproducable for others. I tried using the phrase "it's actually better if you can't draw, because that means it's more likely that others can draw it!" But I suspect that resulted in only more complicated images.
4. Ideogram vs. Pictogram. I keep getting these terms mixed up, which I believe added to confusion. The UPL is mainly an experiment in ideograms. As Jim Grossmann from the Conlang Facebook Group Explained: "Strictly speaking, you can't draw a pictogram (picture-depiction) of the universe, because the whole is unpicturable, if only because spacetime has more than three dimensions. You could draw an ideogram (symbol-for-idea) of the universe."
The next step for this first set is to translate these ideograms into my own hand, and then run group debates over which to chose for each word. Then, that image will be uploaded onto my website and temporarily "confirmed" as a UPL symbol, along with notes on its debate process. Stay turned for more on this page and others.
Two abandonments this week:
I am please to say that, even though it was a last minute decision, I got the chance to collaborate with the artgoing public to start designing pictograms. This session was just outside the Ink People Gallery on 2nd Street in Eureka, Ca. The first three I chose were 'universe', 'take' and 'love' - all being a part of the GSL/Fry list conlanger Seedy Johnson was kind enough to send my way.
I also just wanted to see if any viable alternatives could be developed for 'universe,' 'cause it's been bumming me out!
Which do you prefer? Why or why not? Could you draw your own interpretation? I'll share the brainstorming sheets from UPL Session 1 once my head clears from this virus (which sadly is why I wasn't at Art Alive! Arcata yesterday. #sadface).
Firstly, I am pleased to announce that at the last minute, I decided to participate in Arts Alive! Eureka. If you plan to arrive early, then come and find me on 2nd Street and try your hand at some hieroglyphics.
I am also participating in First Fridays in Oakland during November and December. I'll update as more info comes in, but all I know for certain is that I will be on Telegraph around 25th Street.
Our buddy Nick Call was grand enough to find a home for one of my abandonments:
I found this one about a week ago as a few of us hiked in the rain. The girls loved it and so we brought it home. When I read the note on the back it made perfect sense knowing you two;) I'll be keeping my eyes open for more!
Finally, two abandonments this week. I saw the second one get carried away by a woman and placed into her van, which is both exciting and vaguely creepy of me.
I've been getting behind in updating. "Arms," seen below, was found almost immediately. I hope the founder enjoys looking for additional pieces - more hints below.
Another piece has been found, this time I recieved a text message response:
Good morning. I found a picture about a week or so back and forgive me for not messaging you sooner. Its name is "is" it reminds me of a forboding dream I had And it looked like a gate way sitting there where I found it. My name is Stephen and the big "S" on the front made it most inviting to pick up. Thank you for the Picture I will frame it as soon as I am able. Hell I might just frame it myself. I do like to make things. Perhaps refined bone border frame will pay it justice.
I also abandoned "The" in the Arcata Marsh this week. You'll start seeing more and more pieces there as my work with the non-profit Redwood Planet Media kicks off. We're kinda making a movie 'bout the marsh, you see.
And in some excellent news The Ink People have been gracious enough to accept me into their DreamMaker Programs, through which I will develop my Universal Pictorial Language project into a community arts program here in Humboldt. Stay tuned (linked?) as I begin to flesh out this crazy endeavor.
The piece I left at McWay falls has been taken. Here is the response:
I´m Friedrich and I took your picture 5 – in. I´m an exchange student from Germany and I stay for one semester in the near of L.A. . The last weekend was our first free weekend and so my roommates and I decided to go to a roadtrip to San Francisco. Certainly we traveled trough Pacific Highway No. 1 and enjoyed the beautiful countryside. One of our stops was Mc Way Waterfall. I saw your picture on a bench and read your paper. I liked and like it very much and I decided to take it. There are many main reasons. The first reason is the beauty of the painting. The second your nice idea for giving away your art. The third the painting will be a memento for a great trip to San Francisco and my semester abroad in the USA. Fourth I knew from the first moment on where I will place this painting. Next year I will renovate a room in my apartment. It will be painted in red and green, because they are complementary colors. On the Green Wall will hang your painting. I hope you like that idea. I will send you a picture for sure. The Last reason is that I currently read a book about numbers and it contained the statement that the number seven is good. Sounds crazy, but as I saw that this is piece 7 of 42 I thought – maybe it is fortune. Because of this 5 reasons I took 5 – in ( oh numbers again ) Thank you very much for it! I appreciate you work a lot! I have two three questions concerning the painting. Are all paintings in the same style and did you give them away like you did it with piece number 7 ? How long was the painting laying on the bench? I took it on 08/31/2013 at 2 pm. Unfortunately I´m not very gifted concerning art that is why I can´t give you something back. But If you ever come to Germany feel free to contact me, visit me and you will always have the opportunity to by my guest if you need a place to stay overnight.Thank you very much for making my trip a lot more awesome and for giving me that present! It delighted my day and will delight it often as I walk by it at my home. Maybe I will have the chance to make another person sometime a present like this, too.
And, one more abandonment. Sore feet and nosebleeds impede my progress.
I interview with a local community gallery next Tuesday in the hopes of getting assistance on the UPL. Wish me luck!
After abandoning one piece at Julia Pfeiffer State Park, I pushed myself too hard on a trail and sprained my ankle. The other two pieces therefor are not on trails as per usual.