I’ve started a number of projects this year.
The 365 Self-Portrait Series: The challenge is to take a different self portrait each day for an entire year. I’ve attempted this a number of times in the past, but every time something came up to interrupt the flow – my camera broken or stolen or a hard-drive crash that locked up all my pictures. According to Flickr, the most I’ve ever managed is 181 photos. Last year I was too depressed to even begin, but this attempt is already unlike the others. Something inside me snapped this spring and hasn’t mended. All that’s left is the determination to make this year different.
My Facebook Friends Portraits: This is the year I expect to have 1000 facebook friends. To celebrate the milestone, I am going to take a portrait photo of every single one. When I am done, I will have a small gallery show. Given that many of my friends are scattered across the globe, I may have to actually apply for arts funding for this one, but for now I’m going to do as many as I can where I am. The website for the project is still in the planning stages, but I’ve already started taking the pictures.
Six-String Samurai: I haven’t picked up a guitar with an intent to play it since my father smashed mine when I was little. Time to move on. To that end, I’ve been given an acoustic guitar by my family, jointly somehow by my mother and brother Kevin, that used to belong to Brenda, and my friend Ray has returned my family’s guitar book, Rock School, that my mother bought through mail order when I was two. I have cut the nails on my left hand short and practicing chords every day until my fingertips go numb. There is an end goal, a VideoSong, but more information on that will come later, once I am farther along the way.
Sell My Stuff: I started this last year to some success, but the pace isn’t moving fast enough. To this end, I’m putting aside a day every week to catalogue what’s left and re-list anything that hasn’t sold. I will also be reviving the minimalfox blog to keep track of my progress. Most of my sentiment’s been excised, so the new rules for the majority of what remains shall be that of good design – if it’s not unique, rare or hard to find, it had better be useful as well as beautiful.
I deeply appreciate Jacob. Not only is he locally famous as my mad, delicious friend who convinced Liz and I that taking our shirts off while standing in two feet of snow was a good idea, (all in the name of art, you understand), he is also now, gratifyingly, the mad genius behind NoiseBridge, an open Project Space for hackers that just opened in San Francisco’s Mission District with a focus on art, science, technology, mentoring and other fun stuff.
“We want to provide infrastructure and collaboration opportunities for people interested in programming, hardware hacking, physics, chemistry, mathematics, photography, security, robotics, all kinds of art, and, of course, technology. Through talks, workshops, and projects we encourage knowledge exchange, learning, and mentoring.
As a space for artistic collaboration and experimentation, we are open to all types of art – with a special emphasis on the crossover of art and technology. From hardware labs to electronics, cooking, photography, and sound labs, anything that’s creative is welcome.
We intend to have many interesting things happening at all times. Sharing is essential to making this work. A logical followup to this is to find a space to display our creative projects.”
When it’s completely set up, the plan is to have a darkroom, a machine shop area, an electronics area, a programming laptop area, a relaxing reading room, a bart capsule hotel space, a library, server racks, a kitchen, and possibly a few more things, just because. At the moment they’re still meshed in the process of establishing themselves as a non-profit, but soon people will be able to make tax deductible donations. Not to say you can’t already give them money. That would be good too.
Dave Bruno looked around his San Diego home one summer and realized just how much of his family’s belongings were cluttering their lives. So he decided to do something about it, in a project he called The 100 Thing Challenge:
By my thirty-seventh birthday on November 12, 2008 I will have only 100 personal items. I will live for at least one year (God willing) maintaining an inventory of only 100 personal things. This challenge will help me “put stuff in its place” and also explore my belief that “stuff can be good when it serves a purpose greater than possession alone.”
Lisa McLaughlin of TIME Magazine covered this story:
Excess consumption is practically an American religion. But as anyone with a filled-to-the-gills closet knows, the things we accumulate can become oppressive. With all this stuff piling up and never quite getting put away, we’re no longer huddled masses yearning to breathe free; we’re huddled masses yearning to free up space on a countertop. Which is why people are so intrigued by the 100 Thing Challenge, a grass-roots movement in which otherwise seemingly normal folks are pledging to whittle down their possessions to a mere 100 items. […]
“It comes down to the products vs. the promise,” says organizational consultant Peter Walsh, who characterizes himself as part contractor, part therapist. “It’s not necessarily about the new pots and pans but the idea of the cozy family meals that they will provide. People are finding that their homes are full of stuff, but their lives are littered with unfulfilled promises.”
Dave’s progress blog, guynameddave.
(I’d very much like to see a printed version of this eventually. I’m told it’s popular in American libraries, but I’ve only a PDF copy, myself.)
My story was about Shane Koyzan, (teaser: here), who is conveniently performing at the Cultch this Tuesday with all the lovely people mentioned in the flyer stage right. I’m told that I’m to be the official photographer for the evening, which is a task I’m beginning to look on with mounting panic. For one, the plate to my tripod’s gone missing. For another, as my mending is at two months behind, I’m going to have to very hurriedly find some theatre blacks with appropriate pockets. (This is where, simultaneously, one of you feels guilty and someone else laughs). Oh, watch me begin to scurry. while. stuck. at. work. Head, this is the desk.
The feet on the floor above me sound like an amplified heartbeat taken from a terrible new age TV show, as if they’re pushing blood through the building by the mystical power of dance. Heads thrown back, arms out, legs crashing in slow motion, blue waving graphics meant to symbolize something drastically spiritual and unlikely to be true. Either that or they sound like feet and I really should have slept more last night than I did. It’s a fifty/fifty bet.
Part of my mock-panic worry are the miniature New York Times Bestseller hallucinations floating around in the penumbra of most of my sensory input today. I’m not so far gone that I’m seriously considering joining the Project 365 Photo-a-Day, but I am beginning to sift through my pictures, trying to pick what to give to A View In Your Mirror. The idea is to create a collection of self-portraits from people all over the world, artists or no, in the medium they prefer. I fall into the categories presented, I like what they’ve chosen to show so far, but most importantly, (not to mention unexpectedly), I can’t think of any reason not to.