Monday, 29 August 2011

Clothes, patterns and everything

So starting with a usual black and white line - optic blurring into grey and dark.  I bought something that I would rarely ever wear - boring and usual.  Was it always there to compliment it's surroundings and be worn inconspicuously - to give the feel of someone empty, thoughtless and not worth anyone's time.  Slip through as a no one whilst secretly manning battle stations and building interior defenses.  The closeness and the slimness of the lines did however create a radiator like effect which unfocused the eyes of the viewer into a shuddering annoyance - though this always seemed indeliberate and clumsy.  And when passed on it looked very much the revolution against the right skin.

Rocks and blurs - situations and broken blocks of static - in between textures - turning inside out conveying a lost empty me - a real lost empty and also grey death hiding a flash fire of spirit bursting with escape plans (in the death scale of weights and burdens I was brimming with those ideas of retribution and thought that someday this would all come to some desperate solution... in the dark circles of everything and nothing the contradicting contractions had every relation to the rotting blemishes on the skins of fruit - and we all became confirmed as chemical sacks)

 At one point my wardrobe was less full than it is now - and still behind the borders of self discovery.  I loved anything which bore diagonal lines anything that would criss cross would make me happy - convergences and reflections, symmetry in asymmetry - shirts all worn down to frayed edges and holes stitched up near the shoulder blades.  Holes leading to smooth pale cold flesh - the summer hangs useless whilst the winter works wonders on bringing in one more layer after another.  Coverage of me and the extensions of my self propelled armour.

So anyway the relevance of this blog post is that I used some of these photos of my clothes in my collages -in fact they are still being used - I photographed all my clothes close up in order to get their textures and patterns and integrate them into an animation I was making - namely this one:

Which as explained before was used in later collages - so as always it was part of a larger becoming.

So red like the roofs of tents in festivals I never bother going to.  Too expensive and I spend money on other expensive and stupid things instead.  Like a red t shirt or jumper or an item of clothing so very red (or orange) but one that I can't actually remember what it actually is - it looks creased.  Unlike but so like the light passing through the membrane of skin reaching through a prebirth.  Words so pretentious but somehow I value being able to say them - or write them (type them).  I know my own self importance has very few boundaries besides the way they rush back two steps before making one.

So as a mistake a top like a faulty princess with troll features (looks good in all forms of photograph) too many days spent in front of counters looking through racks.  Money in hand wanting to be lost and an overbearing ego believing itself capable of anything - a cheap felt pattern and sleeves too short (they needed folding) - I stepped out into a world not ready or far too ready to put me in place.  Superficiality exposed in the core of everyone and me.

So then the light poured through grey matter burning purple - the loose surroundings - towards broken perimeters of non shadow.  There's a way of constructing uninteresting abstract sentences - the sort of sentences most won't bother reading... there's a sure method of second guessing what someone reading is going to think.  These methods are completely alien to me as a complete alien but I attempt them anyway.  As I have a fluid and unvaried disinterest in myself - though also a surefire extreme for too much introspection - most of which is like dead grey boring walls of the sort that I end up staring at - all the way into them to the point of some dead colourless space - maybe a pinkish cream.... though really is this situation completely unique to me?  The awareness of the buzzing and bustling of others are like yawning pin holes cracking through the minutes and the passing of everything - they line up and they step past and step through and step wherever and they keep going onwards and downwards and over and over (and over). 
There are lovely and dancing streams of continuity and blazes of light and connectedness - where we all seem worthwhile and the organic broken screaming dull vortex of clawing dead cells doesn't pull me down.  And somehow I overlook the disintegrating reintegration of broken matter and become part of some sort of flux.  Not willingly I just fade into a non awareness of my issues with everything (which actually makes it more annoying once I become aware of my issues again - so it's like swinging from one extreme to another).  Though I deal with this on a daily basis.  And distractions and interactions are all part of the fun.

I have the most fun finding clothes in charity shops and 2nd hand places as I like the buzzing escapism of so many patterns, colours and contrasts - like sinking into some amazing buzzing static.  Looking at the ladies wear is important - especially, if not entirely the jumpers and jackets.... nothing jolts and bothers me more in my exploration than having some shop assistant trying to direct me over to the men's section - as if I don't belong in both and that I would only be interested in the stripey shirts and over sized suits and under sized hats.
Like some bizarre special effect (along the retro futuristic bend) I love glittery and well fitted things, also patterns and shapes and contrasts - making stuff match when it shouldn't match at all - I'm not making some kind of fashion statement - I just really like old vintage sci fi so to me a zip up sports top looks more like a space pirate's jacket than it does a zip up sports top.  Above is a glittery girls top I found in Wythenshawe - which now has a big orange button stitched to the top corner.  It's my favourite jumper on the days I decide to wear it.

So like a dotted breakdown of texture and none repetition - the alterations would be to change the height and length bringing it down to the correct level.  Getting stuck inside a causal loop circling the grey and red and stuck in the threads of beige.
So on I go - a real stopping and starting cataclysm feeling like a tape recording over itself again and again in the same structures - then remixed into tighter and more cohesive patterns.  If I've learnt anything over my life it's how to turn everything I've not learnt into smaller and smaller threads of inconsequence.

Which is probably why I'm quite fond of repetitive patterns - check for instance......

Bought together when keen on developing a familiar silhouette.  Some broad integer of identity screeching with unsubtle wheels in random copycat motion to it's opposite side.  Texture of seat belts.  A rotation between the two both separate and operating as one mechanism no matter the distance.  Like some clockwork nothing that needs the momentum of personality and embellishment with florid sentences and character imposed prison bars.  Moving from one side to the next - could almost be representative of cages - full of smoke and the obscure.

So overlaying this with an eventual swooping and long ego boost.  Winter jaunts became protected with thick textures and patterns - the evenings would roll by with a skip and jump and a constant moving.... no wonder I began  to hate public places of sitting down - the pubs where you can see strata of age and devolution in the faces of barflies - my own snobbish superiority coming into play and the disgust of the surrounding decay and the need for comfy and boring escapism - huddling away from the cold weather next to fire places in drinking houses - waiting for their lives to come to a dead thump...
All these stripes in themselves are like the constant streaming of continuous everything though when placed next to each other in various combinations they create a circling like the wheels turning in the static on television screens - some optical buzzing fun.  So colour matching doesn't really matter and allows for almost any combination of abrasive line contrast joy.  I'd love to become like one of swirling wheels of static - passing through the tangible and growing larger as I roll across the real - picking up little bits of people and objects as I blur the world into my own fluctuating roundness.  Like a buzzing sphere of scribble wavering over all the surfaces of seriousness.  I'd probably have to take myself a little less seriously first though - I don't half think a lot of myself sometimes.

So the world alternates between me seeing it as flowery and pretty and then seeing it as gestating, crazy and a non-stop infinite hell.  I think it probably depends on whether I'm getting my own way or not.  But it's also the trappedness.  The way we are locked in our boring bodies unable to touch anyone and anything properly as our spirits are sunk in a quagmire of our own sense of being - and there's no off button, except death and that's probably not an off button it's more of a reset - where you get put lower in the hierarchy of the universe - and also end up having to fill in more and more forms.  Control systems are set into place we have no idea about.  I think.  Though it's not easy thinking about it.  Much less doing anything about it.

So I've looked over this entry... over and over... I've added, subtracted, destroyed, reiterated, repeated, continued to go on with the same things even though it's unnecessary and entirely to my detriment - there are some real concerns expressed but mostly I'm just encouraging the repeat patterns of my life - when really I think it's time to throw some kind of spanner in the works and jolt myself out of whatever causal loop I've found myself.  Find myself in another one perhaps - because it's not like I don't change my patterns and constructs every single day, it's just that there's no reverse switch - and why would I want to reverse - back into school, back into nursery, back into birth.  Here is the best place I could possibly be and I should stop being negative about it - reevaluating oneself is of core importance to self maintenance.
Whatever key facts I choose to live my life by it's probably worth realising that whatever I perceive is real -even if it is in my head doesn't mean it's less real, just means it's not going to integrate my reality very well with the reality of others.  So everything I do, it seems, is an attempt at integration and progress - the creative impulse is a growth... like a series of cells reproducing into finer survival systems... this has nothing and everything to do with everyone else and I'm completely at terms with that sort of contradiction - opposite factors blending together into a grey area where the truth is - and the truth slips terrible around like the rattling of a small living brain in a decomposing, dislocated skull.  I've managed to build some connective tissue around it - archways, doors, causeways, floors.  My cathedral is still under construction.  It also looks quite messy - time for a tidy.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Disposition of the Organic

I've not done any work of any real tangibility this last month - not that I have a "creative block" or anything just that it's all mostly been scribbles, writing and designs in my little red notebook.  So in the spirit of my last blog post this is about another photocopied booklet I made back in 2006.

With the slightly overdone title: Disposition of the Organic.  This was a smaller book than Nightmares About Teeth - I wanted to half the cost of photocopying and also the amount of time spent putting it together.  The title sounds like some sort of vague metaphor of life - as if the cross hatched office doodlings inside were somehow illustrative of all our existential concerns and questions and that between the lines somewhere there are answers palpitating themselves through the abstract and the not quite as abstract.  Or as if I thought the book was bleeding some pained confusion.  Whatever effect is had on the passers by I gave it to I doubt it effected them as profoundly as I thought it would.  I did get an exhibition by handing it out - though it was one of those free for all Autonomous Art exhibitions run by rich kid revolutionaries in a squat in Manchester's Northern Quarter.  I'm glad my creative career has moved on a bit since then.

I drew most of these whilst working at NTL - I had a little notebook I kept during my training - many Customer Service jobs give you three weeks of sitting in a class room getting paid to sit and doze off whilst your supposed to be learning computer systems.  The picture to the right is a futuristic building complete with glass domes and a bridge connecting one end to another, underneath the bridge you can see the shadow of someones normal house - not sure if I was trying to illustrate architectural growth - how the past is left hanging around even in the most inconsequential ways. 

I think I was probably stabbing in the dark at nothing in particular, just passing time and building up areas of shape and pattern - my target whose face was made up of anyone and everyone... except it wasn't an aggressive stab, just carving at the mid distance colours with a rubber knife.   I think I was probably just beginning to to articulate what myself and was moving away from the underside of a cloudy fog of prescribed medicines.

There was little chance of me socialising in NTL as I just didn't want too - the illustration to the right shows I was sliding introvertedly into snide aloofness.  I was even enjoying my lack of communication with my work colleagues - like it actually made me better than them - I was developing a secret confidence which was projecting itself right at the people around me - I was actually manning battle stations and getting ready to create barriers between myself and the normal people that like to sit around the office talking to one another.... This was a long time ago and I don't think I actually felt quite as disturbed as it sounds but there was a less than secret egotism and superiority developing in me at this point.  The seeds of such were planted in school by all the people who didn't like me.  I programmed myself with a "I'll show you all and make every last one of you pay" attitude from a very early age.

So like some caged throb in a dark place the deathly strangeness grew and became unapproachable and alien - I had to come up with ways to camouflage it - one of which was self deprecation... so every time I say I'm great I somehow contradict it straight afterwards with a self directed insult.
I've started to wonder if that's the best way though - am I at a stage now where I don't need to do that anymore?  Is it time to kick the self deprecation habit - enjoy that I'm actually doing well and if I can carry on making artwork and following my heart I may actually end up making you all pay after all.

Thing is though arrogance is likely one of creativity's greatest obstacles, I did this drawing and obviously felt so big headed that I thought it was interesting enough to put into a book.  It's not a bad picture as such but it's not that great either - none of these pictures are that great and maybe I was never convinced they were.  I went through a two year stage of producing paintings that were just large circles stuck to each other.  I got very obsessed and drawn into a very basic and boring method of painting that didn't in reality look very good after it had been done.  I also made a few jerky animations that took me months to make. With clunky editing and sombre and over done monologues.  When I think I'm some kind of genius - things start going wrong.

So it's actually really good to keep myself in place - otherwise I end up wasting my time building something that I over hype until it ends up becoming disappointing.  Though the failed projects have all ended up being useful in some shape or form.  Even this booklet has ended up being useful in future collages, animations and also it's been something to write this blog post about.  It's allowed me to type all of this and allowed me to think about things out loud through a keyboard.  Blogging is odd because it's not just thinking aloud to yourself your also thinking aloud to pretty much anyone who happens to sit down and read this.  How many people - who know me, or don't me - have sat down and read this and thought very negative things - or maybe just laughed at the fact I exist - or got bored after reading the first few sentences?

Feel free to write something horrible at the bottom of this by the way.  The internet is pretty good for supportive compliments but I don't get much harsh name calling.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Nightmares about teeth with death conjecture

Nightmares about teeth was a small photocopied booklet - or what would now be referred to as a zine - I produced in 2006 after first moving to Manchester.  The title comes from me having recurring nightmares about teeth - so a simple title and a very common anxiety dream - though mine were very varied, not just teeth dropping out but teeth regrowing, teeth melting, pulling out endless piles of pulverised, bleeding and shattered bone, teeth turning into metal, teeth teleporting away and then back again - lots of staring into mirrors and finding out they are back before they vanish again - other variations - the background setting was often some kind of old disused building refurbished by a futuristic cabal.  People walking around stone circular cells scraping their hands against walls until they'd worn away everything before the shoulder - whilst I'm in the corner with a face of metal.  My responses during these dreams was either shock or complete and total complacency.

 This book also had networking and dating potentialities.  I'd hand it to other creative types, leave it lying around on buses and cafes and quite frequently handed it to interesting looking and pretty women with understanding eyes.  Being very shy and nervous as a human being and attempting to make my waking reality a little more likeable than my sleeping one, I tried to somehow throw a little bit of my internal world at passers by - I didn't have very much opportunity to observe their reactions as I usually exited the scene at super speed. Over time my sense of self worth and identity has grown from this skulking covert into the loud mouth I am today.  I don't have those dreams about teeth anymore either - and I'm generally in a position in my dream world where I usually end up outwitting everyone I come across - brain monsters aren't quite as scary anymore.

Have I, therefore, accepted that gradual decay is inevitable?  Death is perhaps not the big event we think it is.  Not essentially the end.  If you die and then you become nothing (as in void).  Do you then have to be something  to have a concept of nothing in order to become nothing and to be nowhere.  So if your are something perceiving nothing then your still something.  Imagination slowly forming shapes, places and ideas - becoming tighter and simpler before getting even more complicated  with an expanding awareness going into your own little infinity with it's own population.  Theoretically we could all be in the imagination of an already dead being.  When you look into your own eyes in the mirror are you staring into the confused circling remains of "God"?

The universe apparently began approximately 15 billion years ago because of some huge chemical reaction.  The most solid and touchable fact is that we are somewhere and this is all something - and going on all the time within our thought processes is endless conjecture.  Chemicals bottled in skin sacks, absorbing and expelling resources and ideas until our bodies fall apart into dust, grit and cloth.  The electrical charge in our brains either dies out or carries on into somewhere else - I don't believe in an afterlife as such but I say that it's fairly logical to theorise that this electrical charge of drifting and dissipating consciousness is capable of creating a small self involved bubble universe based on memory, dream, neurosis and all the other remaining feelings.  There's a very good chance that if this is true then we are all recurring endlessy from one universe into another and each time we copy ourselves we are like simulacra and becoming less and less true to ourselves - and the world around us becomes more and more distorted and full of error in every death, like an image being photocopied over and over again losing it's sharpness.  Life isn't moving in a figure eight of infinity - it's more like a spiral going downwards and downwards to a centre which leads nowhere except to a badly drawn blurry mark that's burning smokily into forever.  Our mind dissipating with every regurgitation into a body and life less and less suitable.

Eternal return of many kinds does seem to recur throughout many spiritualities, philosophies and sciences.  Somehow when I walk through a city or town on a busy day I can feel the concentricity of life pulling me down some whirlpool of bleak everything - I've concluded that my only way out is to think and feel positively as much as possible, then my electrical charge may actually come up with somewhere ten millions times better... this universe here is like being stuck in the head of some mental patient - who is bleating tongueless through every wall, ceiling and floor.