Monday, November 21, 2011

Live-blogging the Internet

This is what I am watching. I am sitting at Taza coffeehouse with my headphones in and I'm half hearing the smooth British female voice and half listening to the two older men at the window table, one gesturing and talking about "an artsy mom" which strikes me as sexist but maybe it's simply out of context.

I notice Martin Kohout's name in the credits of the film. We had a lecture by him today, I found I could follow almost all of it, to my surprise. I surprise myself often, with things I remember and know and do. I don't mean to sound pretentious at all, I simply don't think I know something, and then all of a sudden I do.

I guess it's worse when I think I DO know something and I then I don't.

I click on another link on Jaakko Pallasvuo's site. It takes me to pictures of a gallery show, and this quote, "I read into things: haircuts as language, gestures and objects as language. Language as language, too. I'm interested in social dynamics. Subtle changes in room-size atmospheres."

His work is interesting to me. It deals with several things I like to think about. I wonder if he's Finnish--what else could he be with a name like that? Maybe I'll write to him. What about, though, I don't really know.

Would you look at that, Nicholas O'Brien is on this site. I have seen this video, on Nicholas' own YouTube channel. It is all at once more strange and makes more sense in this context, next to the video by Jake Diebeler.

The speakers here are playing Our Cat Philip. I saw them when they played here. I liked them better live, which is rare for me. I really prefer recorded music to live, in general. I explained it to my sister in this way: the music is a film strip. When it is presented to you live, you experience it one frame at a time--the strip of music is in contact with you only one moment at a time. In order to experience each frame, you must forget the one before it. When you listen to a song though headphones, you can see the whole strip, experience a bigger chunk of it at a time. When I find a song I like, I listen to it obsessively, playing it over and over. Eventually I can sing along, I can anticipate the good parts--I can see the whole film strip, the structure and the linear quality of it.

"6. The Acknowledgement That This Is Boring Doesn't Make It Any Less Boring
I asked someone to stand still and hold a sign saying I KNOW THIS IS BORING for one minute."

Okay, yeah, that's great. I need to write to this guy.

I have kept this link open for three days because I don't want to lose it but then again I do not want to bookmark it because even though it will be in my bookmarks I will forget about it and all I REALLY want to do is to keep the doorway to that song and that video open as long as I can.

There are two girls singing and four playing drums and I notice that there are no men in this video, which shouldn't strike me but does. Damn you, patriarchy.

I've tried talking feminism and genderqueer with my sister, but explaining third-gender pronouns to anyone is awkward. "Zhe" and "hir" are awkward. I try my best to use them when they apply. They taste strange on the tongue.

Is the visual of the vintage suitcase at the bottom of the lake too hipster, or just hipster enough to be relevant? Music videos both intrigue me and frustrate me. Often they have half-formed narratives woven into the song and I want more, a continuation or closure or something. But asking the Internet for closure is like asking a cat to do, well, anything. It'll refuse simply because it is not in its nature to comply.

In between videos I hear the ESL group chattering and laughing. I turn to iTunes. Massive Attack. Not my favorite band but it's in my shuffle so here it goes. Still reading Jaakko, I start thinking about Ryan Mulligan, comparing my thesis work to poetry, breathing room and all that. I wonder if this i meant to be poetry. Does it matter? I've stopped writing poetry. It's easy to start writing and then hard to stop.

Ryan also asked me about grad school. Oh god don't ask me about grad school. Jordan asked me about money. Oh god don't ask me about money. I need time I don't have time jesus christ I should be doing comics and Japanese and returning library books and mailing Netflix envelopes and I skipped English today, even though I did the reading. That class makes me happy, it is easy. That class makes me sad, it skims along the surface of things I want to dig into, now that I know I can.

A video at the end of all that writing, a plastic curtain billowing in front of a window, you can see the squares of light moving on it. It is a delicate video, quiet. It clashes with the sound of the barista stacking cups.

Here, watch it:

Incomplete Descriptions from Jaakko Pallasvuo on Vimeo.

Oh my god he does comics. I'm done. I wish we'd had more time in class for artist presentations lately, I've found so many good ones. Another one I found was Uno Moralez, who does bitmap comics and gifs.

I like Martin Kohout's bio on his about page. I wish I could do the same sort of thing without being classified as a smartass. I feel like there's a different expectation for female artists when it comes to that sort of thing. And it cuts both ways. I love The Pervocracy's Cosmocking series--she covers why Cosmo's presentation of females is disturbing and wrong, but why Cosmo's presentation of men is also problematic.

Now that The Pervocracy is open I'm going to end up reading it until my hot chocolate has gone cold (oh wait that's already happened nevermind) so I'll end this live-blogging thing for now. Might come back and do some more later.

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