In case you noticed, or not, whatever, I moved myself from brutalfuckingmurder.wordpress.com to here, mostly because I was getting really pissed off that I couldn’t customize my blog enough over on the wordpress server. I’m not kidding. I woke up and had this thought in my head that the only way I would start publicly blogging more would be if I had a layout that I was totally cool with. Because of this, I ended up spending something like five hours at work installing wordpress on my server and then fucking with it to get to some design that I was mostly ok with. I am now mostly ok with this, it could probably use some minor changes, but I got tired of staring at code. This happened last week.
I finished writing a book that I am refusing to call anything other than a book, even though it’s only something like 6,500 words, which, really, is not even long enough to be a novella by “official standards.” While it might only have that many words, the PDF I mocked up is 82 pages. It is also not poetry. It is “basically prose.” I don’t know, I refuse to call it either of those, it’s a text. That’s what I do I WRITE TEXTS. While I was re-reading the text and looking at the book and editing, I guess, more accurately I was just making sure that everything was “working” I realized that, as obsessed as I can say I am with narrative, the truth is when I put things together it has little to do with narrative in a traditional sense, with plot. My interest is more of that of a curator. Specifically, I guess, I am interested in compiling books or texts or bodies in the way that Jannis Kounellis (whom I mentioned in the former entry) compiles his installations, or whatever, his shows I guess. He takes works that have existed forever, but he recontextualizes them into a new space, occasionally adding new work, and then he has a room or an entire gallery and there are new feelings, even though the objects, perhaps, are the same. But that is the thing: experience, tone, affect. I am far more interested in the creation of said things than I am in telling a story. It was a weird thing to like consciously realize, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve known it all along. The book, for the record, is titled VARIATIONS ON THE SUN. I came up with the title before I started writing any of the words or taking any of the photos or arranging anything. This is often how I work. Outside in. I guess. If somebody asked me what it was about I would tell them it was about a group of autonomous child-nomads. I think that statement is mostly accurate.
Anyway, also while I was editing, re-reading, whatever, I realized that I was basically totally cool with the text itself. What I was having problems with was the photographs. I got a digital SLR about a year ago after using (almost) exclusively film throughout my time in my BFA program and beyond. I wanted one because I thought it would let me be lazier, in the sense that I would not have to buy film or process film. However, I still don’t really know how to use it, I guess, because I hate most of the photos that come out of it? I don’t know. The weird thing is that they don’t look that terrible once they’re printed out, but I mostly hate looking at them on a screen. They are so utterly boring in comparison to the film I used to shoot, which I would always push process and then scan in weird ways I invented and then fuck with levels and there would always be so much visible grain and it would look, ostensibly, “shitty,” but it was the exact aesthetic I was going for and I was constantly amazed that I was achieving it. Now I don’t know how to do that. I think it’ll probably be easier for me to just get better at photoshop, but I should learn the camera better too.
I am hesitant to go back to film because I do not have the money, really, well I mean I guess I would if I like re-prioritized and adjusted my spending habits, but more to the point, I couldn’t be developing my own film without a severe initial investment that I definitely couldn’t afford right now, and since I don’t even know where I’ll be as of August, something that big seems dumb to invest in at the moment. I’ll experiment, I guess.
I have an obsession with record keeping. Since 2003 I’ve been keeping track of every movie that I’ve watched, and since like 2006 or something I’ve been writing “notes” (kind of mini-reviews, commentary at least). I have like 4 documents in GoogleDocs with these texts, and it’s something like 600 pages of text, or something. They are mostly just super-subjective not-very-thought-out notes, but I like that I have them. It makes me more organized, or something. You can read some of them by clicking this. Keep in mind, nothing mind-blowing, really.