Friday, January 23, 2015

New direction

So here is the new wrinkle that the Beast, who wants to be called EffinGee, is moving in. He seems to be ready to come to us nude. He has decided to grow wings. I am entertaining offers to midwife him. I'm up for co- parenting too.
He has chosen his skin and form, his purpose in life and his diction.
 He reminds me of a Makonde Effigy statue. I'm looking into other cultures that use them.

S'all I got right now.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Showing the prototype at my fellowship's January Meeting. Left and right are Photoshopped concept sketches.
It's about 10 feet tall. The vision is to wear this into the public and interact in character. I envision crewing a narrative based on his new and naive arrival, adaption to the environment and response of the citizenry to him. I anticipate confusion, distaste, acknowledgement and understanding, revulsion, and discourse.
Costuming him to adapt to different environments will be an added challenge. I'm thinking of using technology to enhance his metaphor; color sensors that trigger different sound art, lights etc.
I am depending on the response from the public to push the concept and mythology into an important level of discourse. 
I am challenged by the level of craftsmanship that it takes to make it functional, aesthetically successful and sustainable through use and time.

Sharing Vexations

The things in my head rattle around and bounce off of one another like reckless children. Brilliant and  fitful. Glowing incandescent one moment and dying for attention then spinning themselves out or into one another like tots or like tops on a playground.
Some of the things up here are fully baked ideas that have gathered moss from tumbling around for the better part of four decades. Many are stiffly steeped and marinated in artistic juices like summer sangria, loaded with all sorts of flavors and delicious poisons. Ideas are like liquor and food. Yeah, that sounds about right.
 Some of the things up in my dome piece are just reckless children because they are all id. Lil things nasty and wild with ego and defiance; just feelings really; animated with the same intelligence as a fly or a bee. Buzzing on one command, with one purpose they fly around in my head and keep playing in my minds periphery when I seem to be most close to peace. Those pesky ideas and thoughts keep crying to be added to the more Frankenstienian, more majestic monsters that combine into Golems and totems and Yaegers. They want in on the fight. They want to be part of the conversation if only as metaphors or side notes. The lil buggers want their bites and stings when I let the monsters loose.

We can't get to all our ideas. We can't hold and recall all of our dreams. We can scramble to journal them down or blog them or put them neatly into status updates but they won't all fit. Let's be real. They don't all deserve to see the light of day. Some of those thoughts and ideas and feelings are creepy little shits that need to be hidden safely behind our eyes. Trust me. You are better off without half of my ideas running the streets amongst your loved ones. Some of our notions are honestly half baked and need more time to be ready for others to consume. There  is nothing more embarrassing for me than serving uncooked food. There was that night on the camping trip, with the drumsticks.... eeeeeew.
What ever the case may be, in my head there are still lots of little monsters and creatures that are really quite lovely and funny. Picture ten year olds, charming as hell but a little bit off the rails. Some of these ideas and beginnings of art are exquisite and poignant from head to toe but missing one or two limbs or a set of teeth to make them good stories or art. Because they are always cooking up in my head (I mean ALWAYS!)  there are scores and scores of them. That is why I sketch so much. It's not so much for practice, it's to let them out a bit and to let them breathe. I put them in books or on backs of agendas and discarded high school administrivia so they have enough form to warrant a rudimentary commitment. If I sketch them they have a fighting chance.

The ones that never make it out never really die or fade away. They collide and combine with others and breed hybrid monsters and hatchlings. Trouble making thoughts and feelings copulating upon maturity and realizing they are abandoned and neglected hoping to double their strength and force their way to paper or laptop that way. They occasionally give birth to tiny Titans imbued with the potency and complexity of both parent thoughts.

This is how the Effigy Beast was delivered. More accurately, he is the child of several parents, some of whom escaped to paper and others who brooded and bred internally. He is the child of a narrative that came together in 2004, an offshoot of a supporting strand that began as a question about society's need to be inclusive to most and exclusive some. About how every society needs an alien, an other to embody their fears and disgust. His other parents are you and I. You and your in laws or your work friends. The people you have conversations with about whether #BLACKLIVESMATTER or #ALLLIVESMATTER. He came from Darren Wilson and that Zimmerman clown. He came from 2Chains and Bobby Schmurda and Denzel Washington in "Training Day", from Terrance Howard's endless stream of stereotypical portrayals. He is the son of Kimbo Slice and the son of Barrack Hussein Obama.
This beast is coming out of my head and into the world. Like all the things that crawl out of my anxiety ridden dream box he will come out not whole and complete, but in bits and pieces. First in conversation, then in notes and sketches, then in prototypes and dreams or bits of poetry and back story. Who is to say when we are truly fully born into the world? We also come in kicking and screaming trying to curl up and go back into some womb of sorts our whole life. The same can be said for my monsters. The Beast will be no different.
I want to try to inform this ideation and process in a way that honors the beginning of the conception. A wise man told me once that my art does not belong to me, it belongs to the world. I like that. With that spirit I ask you to help me raise our baby boy. Follow the posts and comment. Ask questions. Tell me I'm full of shit. Hate hate hate if you are so inclined. All of that goes into making this type of monster. When you see him on the street engage with him. Bring others to sit with him for supper. Bring him on stage with you if he comes to your show. Most importantly, use him. Put your fears in him pour your animus and anima into him. Yell at him. Cry to him. Accuse him of all the dark things you want to attribute to some one but only dare do in joke or with sarcasm. All this will give him purpose. All this will give you cathartic release. Hopefully this folly will allow us all to talk about some real shit. We can let our monsters out to play together and see how silly they look in their childish ignorance. We grown ups can get to the work of making life better for one another.

With respect,