02 Apr 2013

Dispossessing

I turned in the first draft of my thesis document yesterday, a milestone in this pursuit of a Master degree that has got me reflecting. This video I made a month ago, to test the concept for a behavior I (but really these brilliant people) call dispossessing is resonating more as a metaphor for what it means to be nearing the end of school. The knots I’ve tied and retied in my time here; the thoughts I’ve pulled together to make this one argument, for the first time, is not the final product. Instead, it will become the raw material I reuse, reconfigure, and repurpose in every project I undertake from this point on. The traces of kinks from previous attempts and undertakings will remain, but this through-thread is forgiving and versatile. With it, I will build my nest wherever I land.

From this poetry I turn to the practical. I am clearing off my bookshelf of the books I will not need to finish my thesis. They are books I chose at some point when I was standing at a particular fork in the thesis road. While I don’t need them yet, I may need them someday. So before I dispossess them, I share them here in order to keep them within reach: Innovation and Visualization: Trajectories, Strategies, and Myths; Natural Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence; The Shallows; Speclab: Digital Aesthetics and Projects in Speculative Computing; Total Recall; Transient Images: Personal Media in Public Frameworks.

Added 9 April: The Social Psychology of Experience: studies in remembering and forgetting and Affective Computing.

12 Nov 2008

lost sign

Hollywood, Los Angeles

Hollywood, Los Angeles

I miss this sign. I used to see it every Sunday when visiting the farmer's market, but the yarn shop has since closed.

01 Oct 2008

looking skyward

Monument to the Rain God? (as seen at Sunset Junction in Silverlake)

Monument to the Rain God? (as seen at Sunset Junction in Silverlake)


Supposedly it rained in Los Angeles this weekend, but except for the two guys in the CVS parking lot, who I saw pointing eastward and up into the sky, I have no evidence of this assertion.

One guy said to the other, "Look, it's raining!"
"Really?" said the other guy, seeming puzzled because there was actually no rain falling from the sky.
"Well, it is raining somewhere," the first guy countered. "See those streaks coming down from the clouds? That's rain."
"Huh."

As a fairly-new-to-southern-California resident who is continually baffled and disturbed by my uninterrupted water service despite the lack of rain, I fought the impulse to chime in with a skeptical, "How do you know those streaks are actually reaching the ground as rain?"

I think I've developed these feelings of frustration because rain is beginning to feel like some sort of mythical happening. Something you can be cursed from experiencing or that you have to build some sort of monument to or create a ceremonial dance for. I believe the last time I actually saw or felt raindrops (here in Los Angeles) was sometime back in April or May—and even then my memory may be being generous. So no wonder I saw this guy gaping skyward at those distant streaks and paying no attention to his own personal safety or what car may have to swerve to avoid him next. But how does the mere sighting of atmospheric water, off in the distance, warrant the statement, "It's raining"? These must be desperate times.

10 Jul 2008

lucky dress

So today feels like a good day to finally start this blog. It's beautiful, I got to eat lunch outdoors and I'm wearing one of my favorite vintage dresses. It has this amazing blue flocking and rows of different patterns, everything from phoenix to rick-rack. Plus, I got the dress years ago from a dear childhood friend. It had been her mother's. I can only imagine the fun times Sue had in this dress. AND as if I needed further confirmation, apparently this dress is also "lucky" and may just have "saved my soul."

Here's the story:

While I was waiting for the Metro train on my way downtown, a woman approached me, speaking in tongues. She was smiling, seemed friendly enough, but I could not make out what she was saying. I tried not to be noticed. Then she looked more directly at me to tell me, "That is a lucky dress you are wearing."

I looked down at the pattern and picked at the fabric near the row of elephants and nodded.

"You know now I speak English because God wants me to."
I nodded again, slowly, only because I didn't know what else to do.
"What is your name?"
"Erin"

She looked at me for a second, "How do you spell that?"
"E–R–I–N"
"E....I..., Huh."

She seemed stumped. I guess my name wasn't as lucky as my dress. She began to speak in tongues again, loudly but with a pleasant, throaty voice.
"Jesus blesses you," she told me.
"Why, thank you."