Friday, May 31, 2013

The Crucible

This morning (Wednesday) was not the best feeling I'd ever had. It was the case of waking up and realising that what you needed was at least another six hours of sleep and a week off. But I don't have either of those things on hand, so I made the foulest coffee in the world and headed to uni.

It wasn't until I arrived at Fibres, and pulled the door open, that I realised that this week was probably the Crucible of Directed Studies.

The Crucible is a term used in writing, but it's also a physical object. And a book, but that wasn't something I had to do for school, so I didn't read it.

So yeah. A real-life crucible is a ceramic pot, and you use it for heating things to get a reaction. When used in writing, a crucible is a situation where the conflict comes to a head, and the darkest hour of the hero's trial comes to pass. The crucible refers to that moment when the change takes place, and something arises out of the ashes of the fire that devastated the situation.

Life isn't a novel, but I'm sick of things feeling worse off with uni work. It's nearly the end, and I'm actually losing track of days because they're all just bleeding into each other. Night and day aren't really clearly marked out, even by the sun. There's too much work to be able to rest for very long. And there's too much going on to be able to even stop and think about trying to get a grip on circumstances.

But. Things have to keep going. I know I can't kick off and up until I hit bottom. But the coffee I had this morning has had to have been part of that. It was possibly the foulest coffee I've had all year.

I'm going to keep digressing on process for a moment, because I have another scene from a book in my head. I'll tell you about it at the end of the post.

This week's progress:

I finished the thigh plates. This brings the number of pieces I have left to finish to two, which is a big encouragement. It was big enough of an encouragement that I tried everything on as soon as the glue cooled on Wednesday night. And that's kind of big because I properly burned my fingers. Blisters and stuff. And fatigue, and doing more of the business of cutting folds the wrong way.

Not all fun. This is the part where we wear thin and burn brightest. Of course, it's easiest to burn bright when there isn't much to be opaque with.

"Quick, imagine someone pinched your undies"
was literally what Bec said moments before
she took the photo. It's one of my peeves.


Um, on Tuesday, I had enough hemoglobin in my system to donate blood. Which means a bit considering I'm usually anemic.

And some other time during the week, I can't remember when, I was told I had good chopstick etiquette.

What else?

So, my current challenges with Directed Studies are thus:

Get to the networking with the airbrush that I know is at university. I contacted the person I needed to about it, and he was 'yeah, come in and see it and make friends with it. I'll be in on Tuesday'
I read this info on Tuesday night, and immediately cursed my not-checking-the-mail-earlier-business.

Finish Tex, and explain the full extent of the concept and why it is I picked her (aside from the 'hey, let's make Spartan armour). This has spoilers for the character in it, so I'll put that at the beginning of a post or something.

Start and finish Sheik. I'm hoping to use as much of the current patterns I have for that one, and modify everything else. I have better skills this time as opposed to last time I made the outfit, but this one should be a sight more difficult also. Still confident I can do it in two weeks with little sleep. Pretty sure I'll still be taking the sewing stuff from home back to Newie though.

Get some photos of Tex, possibly in situ or something. I talked with my supervisor about photos, and she suggested booking the studio at uni, and then I mentioned that I'd actually like to take photos outside. I mean, studio photos with a cosplay look good, but photos in the open air, or in an area that correctly corresponds to the world of the character is really a lot better. It completes the motion of moving the character from the world of fiction into reality, transcribing the motion. Whatever. I'll just sit here and hope it makes sense; I'm enjoying the chill feeling of a good ginger beer and mulling over the two movies I just finished - Looper and Ice Age 4.

Significantly different kinds of movie.

And I mean, I'm kind of glad I ended up watching Looper. I initially read the premise and was like 'aw heck, now I'm not going to be able to release Shift for another ten years'

Shift was a novel I wrote in 2011 for National Novel Writing Month. It needs rewriting and fleshing out, and I've kind of got a whole other story arc planned out for Alexander, the secondary character (what makes him decide to go and save the main character, Caspian, in the first place. That one isn't spoilers. It's first chapter stuff.)

But the big themes that floated around were kind of similar. How exactly, I don't want to expand on, because spoilers and stuff, but there's time travel, and mobs, and touch screens and people.

But in the end, the plots are totally different. Not a stack, but enough that they could probably actually exist in the same universe while being totally unrelated.

And just thinking on the side, like, I could see Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing, maybe if he was more restrained as in Inception, and didn't have Bruce Willis' nose. And was blonde or something. Alex is blonde. Maybe if I had the time travelling devices used in the book, I'd actually go and pick Edward Speleers or something. And I dunno. Now I'm trying to think of who I'd cast as Caspian instead of writing a blog. Jeremy Renner? Hahahahaha. Yeah, that's not actually a bad idea.

The man with no memory

The time-traveller
And I can't think of who I'd cast as the female lead. Someone less well-known. Or Emily Browning or something. This all works out, there's time travel.

Except that it's written as a novel, not a movie, and it's not a screenplay, and I don't have the resources to cast people like Jeremy Renner or Ed Speleers or whoever else into a movie of my story.

Moving right along.

What else of this week?

I felted an owl for a friend's baby shower that's happening tomorrow, which is also why I've gone back to my folks' place for the weekend.

It's the one in the middle. Moot and Nee-san came along for
reference sources.

And then I go home, and there's all of this going down:

3500 word art theory essay (due Thursday)
polishing the blog for my Titanic of an art course, Professional Practice
Finishing Tex
Starting Sheik
Getting photos of both, as much as I can
working out the fine details for directed studies supplementary material
finishing the armour for my Fibres project
finishing the other thing for Fibres (I think it's going to be called Testify, or something)
finishing the documentation for Fibres in general

Directed Studies gets assessed on the 19th of June

Fibres will be on the 24th.

And then I will sleep.


So, as mentioned earlier (I think?) I've gone back to my folks place for the weekend. This was primarily for a friend's baby shower, but also a bit of an escape from Newie, and the bit where I had stuff for Tex that I could have got done here.

Back when I did dance, I had a pair of Jazz Boots. They're hard to describe, so photo:

Mine were a size too big, and I have non-existent arches in my feet, so they usually hurt a bit when dancing in them. Ballet for a year helped. But I need shoes to build the armour boots onto, and realised that they were perfect, because they were all black, and the way the shoe was built was ideal.

And then I remembered that they were probably still at the family house, and we'd just moved.
I've just spent the last hour or so poking around the potential boxes that could contain the mystical boots, but to no avail. I think Mum may have Op-Shopped them. And it's after 12 now, so there's no real ability for me to go poking about in the op shops to see if they're still there after a month.

This is a little frustrating, but I guess I'll just have to go looking for different shoes again. Which is a shame, because I was kind of keen on those boots in particular.

On the upside, we found a pair of my brother's cycling gloves that he never uses anymore, which didn't get thrown out. And they're coming back with me because I need gloves with detailing on the fingers. They're getting a wash first I think though. Stinky.

So yeah, that's kind of where things are. I'm now tossing up between trawling ebay for more jazz boots, or trawling op shops for shoes, or caving and getting some cheap sandshoes from Kmart, which have no height-granting abilities, no support and no detailing. But I'm running out of time, so I can't jettison the idea purely on aesthetics.




Oh. The thing I promised at the beginning.

There's this series of high fantasy novels I read or started reading in year eight of high school. And read all the way through high school, and they've only just finished, and I haven't read all of them, and they're the series where the author died before all of the books were written.

Anyway. The scene in my head is from the prequel to the series. It's called New Spring, and it's the shortest of all the books. If you want to read one of them, you could read that first. Or read The Eye of the World first, because that's where the story starts and I can't remember how much world explaining Robert Jordan skips out on in NS.

There's a scene in New Spring where Moiraine Damodred, the protagonist (and keystone character in the main series) is undergoing her final test to become a fully qualified mage (Aes Sedai). Part of the test involves  jumping into synthetic realities, and weaving a complex piece of magic in them while being put under severe stress. They do this multiple times.

There's a part in the test where the synthetic reality Moiraine is dropped into is a ballroom from the palace she grew up in. She starts the piece of magic, and then a stack of Orcs (Trollocs) start attacking her from all sides. Because one of the requirements of the test is that she keeps her cool at all times, she then has to figure out how to dispose of all the orcs before they can get to her. They appear one at a time at first, and she's able to dispatch them with fireballs, because she's a mage. And then more and more come and she'd end up failing the test if she were to stop the complex weave and panic and try to take out all of the orcs at once.

So she starts to dance.

Moiraine dances in the centre of the ballroom, which allows her to turn quickly, seeing the orcs as they come and react thusly with balls of flame, all the while maintaining the complex piece of magic required to advance from the stage.

And she does it. She's not allowed to bat an eyelid to the situation that is going on, but still manages to take down a room full of orcs by herself, all the while managing to work on the big project whose completion would allow her to advance. And then she finishes, bows the the imaginary partner she'd been dancing with, and keeps going through the trials, eventually succeeding and becoming a full-fledged mage (Aes Sedai, which means Servant of all in Old Tongue, FTR)

And all I'm saying is that currently, I feel like I'm in this situation. There's a buttload of things that need doing, and they keep piling on, and I can only take out as many as I can see, and I can't afford to lose my cool on this.

Let's dance.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Week 11 just finished. I'm panicking.

So yeah.

I guess I can cover basics of what's going on with assessment work, and where things are looking and going and I'm actually blogging at the moment because I'm supposed to be writing an essay and my head isn't ordered enough.


That's a crying face, if you're not aware of emoticons. Like, anime-looking style crying face or whatever.



Monday began later than it should have - that's what happens when you stay up until 1 the night before trying to finish a blog post (funnily enough). I started work on one of my other projects, because it's really not fair that I'm spending the classtime of one class for work on another project. So I heated up some beeswax and spent the morning writing scripture passages onto a giant piece of calico. Working on a batik was meditative to a degree, and to a degree annoying, because I'd never done it before and it was fairly chilly, so the wax would cool before I could write more than two or three words.

So that's about three hours worth of work.
And the flipping computer can't even orient it properly.
But, by the end of the class, I had a section from John 1 and one from Philippians 2 written with a degree of neatness. The idea at the moment is to make an artwork about Jesus, since the theme of the artwork is 'hardcore softly/softly threatening'

And I'm not trying to be ironic about anything. I am just aware that most of my art friends don't understand Jesus, and would probably find him threatening, since his call to drop everything and follow him is kind of treading on the cushy outlook of someone who has no immediate desire to know the Maker of the universe.

And, like, Jesus never wussed out of anything. Ever.

Suitable artwork subject matter located.

Um. Rest of the week.

Tuesday I finished the shoulders for the armour (dupion/pauldrons/whatever you call them). In a relatively short period of time. To my joy.

I mean, the things, when they're just worn over my clothes, look like something the eighties spit out but hey. I'm sure they'll make more sense when they're attached in conjunction with the rest of the armour. Something I've noticed (early on) is just how bulky Spartan armour is on the body. It's not something you realise until you see someone moving around in it, and get an idea of how smaller they are than the shell.

It's almost comical until the helmet goes on, and then you can't help but be in character. And then the theme music starts, and some part of comedy exists, because it's a guy dressed as Master Chief in someone's dining room and a small dog just ran past. It's like the moment that helm goes on, you cease to be you and the costume is complete. Fiction drawn into the real world. Fourth wall gone.


My thoughts are more scattered than when you pick up a bag of rice from the wrong end. I've had a lot going on upstairs at the moment (figuratively speaking) really. None of which I will inflict on the world wide web, because this is not LiveJournal. Can we move on? Let's move on.

It feels like I'm getting a good pattern established with the armour in terms of...what? A repoire? A habit? There's something about the way I'm doing it now, that's just better than whatever I was doing before.

Plus, getting three pieces done in a week is pretty good for your headspace in terms of 'hey, I achieved something'. I finished the codpiece on the weekend.

No finished pictures as of yet.


I keep calling it a belt, because it does go around my waist, and that means I can name the armour with a straight face, because it's a piece of armour that's otherwise going to be called a buttplate or something. At the moment I'm tossing up whether or not to put a buckle on the inside of it so I can buckle it around my waist instead of wriggling the thing over my head and shoulders.

On Thursday, I met again with my supervisor, settled a date for assessment (19th June), talked about the possibility of borrowing an airbrush from the uni to paint the armour (because I'm not painting it until it's all done so everything is definitely the same colour), and the challenges involved with getting everything done when I'm still really hoping to get another costume done in time as well.

I haven't forgotten about you, Sheik.

I've just grossly underestimated the amount of time needed to get this flipping thing done. I've been working on it (conceptually) since semester started, and now I really just want it to be done so I don't have to worry about it any more.

I mean, having the thing done will be amazing. But it's just stressful at the moment. I am ready to have it finished, and when it is finished I will take it to every costume party ever, or at least until summer arrives, because even after vent panels go in to the wetsuit, I still think it'll be rather warm.

You know, after watching that video up there, I'm kind of wondering if maybe I should go about having the things attached a little differently. Initially, (and I'm still thinking like this) there is/was going to be velcro on the suit, and on the armour, and then the armour pieces would be directly attached to the suit.

Advantages: Segmented. Kind of simple. Armour would basically be rigid attached to the body.
Disadvatages: I need padding on the inside of some of the pieces to ensure a good surface...that, surface area! I need a lot of flush surface area for velcro. And it might be a little bit hard to make sure things are even.

The harness looking thing looks like it'd be a little bit more complex to set up, but might pay off. Oh, but you can see the straps that connect the pieces.

The other thing that worries me about the harness setup is that it would actually restrict your movement - like, if you were running or climbing, your stride length is immediately impeded by the straps holding up the thigh armour.

I know that either of those activities would be a lot harder in armour anyway, but I'm trying to think of things that would compound the problem.

So, harness-type for holding armour on:
Advantages: comprehensive. Doesn't require internal padding. Easier to have armour even on both sides.
Disadvantages: turns your gear into tangling nunchucks when not attached to the body. Complex. Probably okay for walking around and/or basic poses, but would impede more extreme movements. Possibility that armour would migrate during movement.

If my leg-hoster bag is anything to go by, migration of armour can be expected. This will actually get really annoying if I need to stop every twenty metres to straighten up leg armour because it moves when I walk.

You guys are great. You sit here and read, and I yabber, and all of the problems get fixed. Thanks :)
Velcro it is.

Okay. It's now week 12. Where am I up to?

I am going to die. Sooner or later.

In the meantime, I have two weeks after this where my studio is accessible. I have two Fibres projects to finish/polish, and the studio folder for that to get in order. I have the armour to finish (Thighs, Breastplate, Helm, undersuit, boot bases, gloves, paint), Sheik to finish (I'm fairly sure I can knock that over in two weeks), a seventy percent essay due next week that I haven't started, and the blog to make shiny and print up. There'll probably be supplementing documents for Directed Studies as well, because I don't include absolutely everything about DS on the blog (because it's all the kind of bonus material that is justified in leaving in the 'bonus content' part of the DVD, rather than being in the middle of the movie and then hearing the director butt in and give their spin on what's going on right now.)

But yeah. Bonus content is always good, because it's getting to explain to non-costumers why I'm doing what I'm doing, but at the same time, the blog is really following the narrative, so if I stop and tell you about every little detail, things will get boring really quickly.

Pictured: Boring.

So yeah. Hey week 12. Let's dance.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

This is what happens when you don't write for two weeks.

Apologies in advance. Time has been running away from me and I haven't updated the blog in a while. So, this post will cover the adventures of week 9, 10, and something interesting I discovered last week and thought that it would be interesting to write about. Anyway. Read on.


So. This week's update. Or something.

Yesterday, I finished (at long last) the paper patterns for the Halo armour.

Things kind of went on hold for the last week and a half, since I had assessments coming out my ears and I don't even know what else. Oh yeah. I was sick.

And now it feels like my body is trying to figure out what else it can debilitate me with while I head on. Seriously. I think this week's meals will be a combination of Bonjela and jelly and custard this week. Wisdom teeth.

This weekend just past, I didn't achieve an iota of work, since my family was moving house and there was no way I was going to not help my family move. There was a lot of heavy lifting, cleaning of ick things and juggling of stuff and people. And the fun of handling a figurative bomb for all of Saturday. Let's not talk about that.

So, there was a cubic metre of dirt, and Mum and Dad finally threw out the fridge double that they'd had for ages and I painted. It was a project I undertook in 2006, and the fridges were old as buckleys when I painted them. They'd just started to rust through and had failing seals and smelled funny. But they were actually my first big art project, so it was interesting and a little sad seeing them go.

<I have a progress shot of it at the beginning...somewhere...>

Shortly before the tip

Mum said that when they can, her and Dad want to get another fridge for the garage though. And she wants me to paint exactly the same artwork on it. Because it carries a lot of feels and she liked it.

My mother is absolutely ruthless when throwing things out during moving season. It means a lot for her to say 'please do this one again because I like the artwork, even if the functional item it is on isn't useful anymore'

Not bad for a transferred piece of promo art for a GBA game.

And yeah, you have to be ruthless when throwing things out during moving season. This does mean that I end up a little stressed, because a lot of my stuff which is still kind of important gets thrown out as well, and if I'm not home to make sure that doesn't happen, then all kinds of things go.

I'm pretty sure my quarterstaff got chucked, since I can't find it.

I guess this is one of the challenges of having just moved out of home (I've been out for a couple years, but hey). I don't have anywhere to put my books, for example. I have a shelf and a half of the landlord's bookcase, and that's it. Please don't throw out my TAFE work, Mum. I'll move it when I have space.

Anyway. I've probably just told you a bunch of stuff that isn't that interesting. Except maybe for the fridge.

Where am I up to with the everything else?

The armour went on hold. I will regret this soon enough - for reasons beyond my comprehension, it's now week 9. I've still got another costume for Directed Studies due, which I'm fairly sure I can knock over in a week or two, provided I don't have anything else to do.

Provided I don't have anything else to do.

Sorry. Got things to do right now.

Lo and behold. Things were done.


So. What happened in the week just past?
I finished the forearms in foam, and managed to gain a better grasp of how long things take, or at least, be able to break up the tasks and therefore time for each armour piece.

So, the forearm (Vambrace from here on. The right one.) took about five hours to assemble in paper (because it was the first one, and I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing)

And then I disassembled it, and it took two hours to trace out the larger pieces onto foam (tracing each piece out twice, so I had a pair of them)

It took an hour and a half to cut these pieces out.

And another two hours to shape them.

At this stage, I'll explain what I mean by that. Rather than folding the foam to give it shape, I have to score into it, as it's too bulky for simply folding. I cut a small groove on one side and then score a line on the opposing side of the foam. If it's a mountain fold, the score is on the face side and the groove is on the underside - a valley fold is just this reversed.
I'll also take this time to bevel edges of pieces if they need it, or cut details into them, like rivet holes or indents. I started doing all of this with my large box cutter, and then realised that detailing was much easier with a smaller one. So I have two knives going on this. And you notice when the blades become blunt.

And then I kind of crease those shaping cuts in, and glue the bad boy together. It took two hours to glue together the vambraces - an hour each.

Featuring hot glue and burnt fingers

And the assembling time for the paper was only an estimate. So, just on this one section of armour, I've spent at least ten hours to get from paper to foam. Haven't painted them yet either.

It's now more than ever I realise the enormity of this task. Like, I've been realising it all through semester, but it's now that I am sitting in the camp of 'I'm wasting so much time on this armour' and 'this is just really time consuming stuff'

I'll get it done in time. I'm just worried because I also have another three practical things to finish, plus paper and an assessment for a theory subject that's worth 70%.

I'm gonna die.


Tonight, as I try to prolong the effects of downing two coffees at church so allow for blogging, which I haven't done in ages, I also take in what has been achieved. Because I went and actually tried what I had on, in conjunction with the wetsuit I bought for the task, and felt a little better about everything. Maybe not about  about the wetsuit currently (Op shop find. It's about a size too small. I'm cutting vent panels in it to allow it to stretch/breathe/not kill me), but about seeing progress. I really, really need to get this done.

Any minions wishing to volunteer themselves for assistance will be given baked treats. I can make a mean mudcake.

What else happened over the course of this week?


The Japan Foundation is an organisation based in Sydney that promotes cross-cultural stuff and shenanigans. Earlier this year, or late last year (I can't remember which), there was notice of a travelling exhibition of stuff related to the Rebuild of Evangelion, which is a series of films happening at the moment, retelling the story arc of Neon Genesis Evangelion, a mind-blowing mecha anime from the mid-90s, orchestrated by Hideaki Anno.

The show was only in Sydney for a week, so I caught the train down on Friday and checked it out.

If you want to see the thing I am yabbering about, hit that link there.

The works presented were mostly stills/storyboards from the first two movies (You are (not) alone, and You can (not) advance), presented in a vertical diptych. So, the drawing was framed up, and then beneath it was the corresponding frame from the relevant scene in the anime printed on foamcore, so you could see what the original frame looked like.

I'd show you a picture if I had taken any. There was a strict 'no photos' thing going on, so you'll just have to bear with me on it.

I was amazed at the quality of work, and intrigued as well, because..well, I guess the essence of anime-compared-to-real-life, aside from the odd proportioning, is how simple the lines are and how complex an area they cover. I don't know how to explain that otherwise. Um.

Oh. Hey, Shinji.
This is Shinji Hirako, of Bleach (Which is of Tite Kubo). As he appears in the manga, because the manga goes in for all these little details that you don't notice in the anime adaptions because they're either forgotten or taken up by shading so your eyes don't register them.

Look at his shirt. Look at it. There's like, a couple of tiny lines thrown in here and there, and suddenly it looks like the flipping thing is busy being fabric.

The Evangelion exhibition allowed me to appreciate in detail one of the more subtle things about anime and manga; basically, you can use small and simple lines to delineate something, and the mind fills in the rest. It's brilliant.

Seeing frames from the animation also let me notice a few other things. They were rarely on white paper (unless it was a closeup of a face or something), and were usually on a light green or brown or blue. I think white paper scares artists a little, so that makes sense. It would have also had something to do with colour scanning and photocopying, I think, owing to how the frames were shaded.

There was no finished colour added to them, so there were lines put in that basically meant 'cel shade here and here and here. Fill this area with black, and this area with white'. And then some rough hatching to cover the shaded area. It looked odd, because it was obvious that so much more time had been spent getting the lines right and the colour stuff looked like an afterthought. But it wasn't. It's just that this wasn't the stage when the colour needed to be added, so placement was a little rough.

Ack. Sorry. I'm going small picture with this. Bear with me.

There was also a video display showing scenes from the second movie in a split screen format, which allowed the viewer to simultaneously see how things in the scene looked at story board level, rough lines, rough colour, full colour, and finished movie. There must have been some things in there I missed, because the number of split screens going ranged at times from four to twelve. Which freaked your head out, because you were trying to process a lot of information at the same time, but was really cool to see the evolution of the film at the same time. I mean, that's not something you actually get to see with live-action films, because most of the stuff is there when the camera is rolling (unless you're shooting something that's got a buttload of green screen or something).

But when an anime gets made, the whole film gets made in several renditions, so you can view those renditions side-by-side and appreciate them and the finished product a whole lot more.

Look, if I go out and actually get :01 and :02 sometime in the future, I'll try and make you watch them, and then the special features. Pretty sure you'd get to see some of what I'm yabbering incoherently about.

Actually, have a scene of EVA 00, 01 and 02 against a falling-from-space alien/the 8th Angel. I apologise for the English dub - would have used a subbed version if it was there. This really just lets you see how enormous the EVA are and thusly cool. And I got to see stacks of clips from this scene at the exhibition.

Okay. It was cool. Next thing.

I was aspiring to maybe visit White Rabbit gallery too, until I got back to Central station and realised that I had an hour before my train left, and in that time would have to walk to the gallery, tour the gallery, and walk back. I instead wandered the train station and speed-drew people I saw while walking, deciding that maybe it would be more constructive than running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Soon. I will do White Rabbit soon.


What else happened this week? Hmm.


I had a mate turn 21, and attended his 'disguise'-themed party as an elf-kind-of-thing. Because it's actually really confusing when you tell a cosplayer to come in disguise.

'But this is what I do all the time. How the heck am I supposed to be disguised?'

I kind of just threw together a whole bunch of things and it worked. And I got my hair under a wig. With only two hairpins, since I'd misplaced my box of the flipping things.

Appreciate that wigging it up is difficult when you have hair that you frequently and accidentally sit on, okay?

The birthday boy cut his hair, which is just...ack...yahhhhh what the heck?

Evidently, I still need to adjust. But he went from shoulder-length super-curly plus beard to a number 4 and no beard. It worked as a disguise though - he and one of his housemates wore full-face masks and each others clothing and rings, and it was only when I looked at the hands I went 'they're wrong.' and then there was the hair missing too.

Hopefully, this will only take a couple of weeks to get used to. There's another lad at unichurch who just shaved his long hair off too. I don't cope well with change. But haircuts are not something I get to dictate for other people.

Okay. Let's talk about the next thing.


Now, if you read this post, you'll get to see a bit of where I'm coming from with this bit of the post.

But in essence, the lecture for one of my theory subjects this week was on 'breaking down boundaries' or something. The lecture talked heavily about an exhibition called 'dOCUMENTA', which is like a giant art exhibition done by people who are artists and people who are not artists.

And there's some mediation for the artworks presented by the non-artists, but not much. Basically, there were artworks installed that were working things built by engineers or physicists or garden designers that had a function outside of being art, and we spent about half of the tutorial following with my classmates and the argument 'is what they're doing art?'

To which I present my argument:

You cannot say that art is open-minded and encapsulating of everything, and then decide that by 'open-minded' you actually mean 'something you can hang on a wall or put in a gallery'.

The gallery bit in particular gets me. It's something that kind of cropped up with the Street Art argument - that people would remove street art from its environment and stick it in a gallery and then it's definitely 'art'? Nope. It's a paradox.

I think in part it stems from an understanding of the subject, and understood aesthetics. An artist will appreciate art because it conforms to a certain set of aesthetics, but an engineer will use a completely different set of aesthetics to determine whether or not something is beautiful or functional; whatever. I think this issue has more to do with understanding the rules of the artwork. 

The art world saw it happen in the nineteen-tens, when abstract art first popped up - we were used to things looking like things, from before Modernism to Impressionism to Post-Impressionism, especially in the painting world. There was all these artworks that popped up, and all these people in the art world going 'what the heck is this stuff?' and now that we're a few years down the track, there's an established set of rules that the art world has learned in order to appreciate abstract art, and every art movement that followed. 

It's something I reckon that is like a secret handshake, or that thing that the guys on the bus used to do when I was in year 7 - playing 'Snap is the name of the game'; some kind of special code that only artists understand and feel cool about because they know that the rest of the world doesn't get it. And then someone explains Blue Shift to them and because they don't understand astrophysics, they say 'this cannot be art. I don't understand it.'

I didn't say all of this in the tute, but it's kind of what I feel and think.

Art is busy claiming that it's open, but the work that people actually see - the stuff in galleries - in fact is dictated by whether or not it's made by a 'professional artist', which means 'someone who is paid to create art'.

Which is kind of like saying that only professional photographers can take good photos, or professional drivers can drive properly.

I have friends who create art, and it's good art, but they don't receive payment for their works.
I have friends who can take amazing photos, but it's not necessarily a living. It's actually pretty hard to eke a living purely from taking photos.

This, to a degree, is why I have a difficult time, even in my own head, of classifying what I do as art, because costume serves a physical purpose beyond hanging in a gallery, and therefore only borderlines as art.
Just get the paradox sorted out, is my call. Otherwise you end up with this asterisk sitting at the end of your sentence, and it might be attached to something vitally important down the track.*

...This is rather abrupt, and rough, and probably ruffling-of-the-feathers. Apologies. I'm rambling. Because it's late, and I'm coming off the butt end of the caffiene high, and my teeth hurt, and a billion other excuses that equate to Tomorrow is Monday of week 11.

Okay. Bring it on. I've got things to do. Just let me sleep enough to function.

*which might affect how you practice art or get paid at all.