Monday, March 1, 2010

Vandercookin

In order to not become crazy, I like to fill winter up with things to do. Last year I took a ballet class at an amazing Gothic-church-turned-dance-studio and a course on the history of neurology and psychiatry (how does a professor make even lobotomies boring?? it's possible). This year I just finished taking a letterpress class at the Center for Book & Paper Arts, during which I learned how to set metal & wood type, mix ink, operate one of these babies, and cut paper with a giant guillotine(!!). Luckily it was so fun that I didn't even mind waking up multiple Saturdays at 8 or ingesting mass quantities of lead. There is something so zen about working on art early in the morning: in this case, the creaky floorboards and the sharp smell of metal and mineral spirits and the clatter of turning presses mixing with the clattering el down the block. You can just zone out and drink your tea and MAKE STUFF for hours on end (that is, once you've learned enough through trial and error to stop constantly fucking up).

I'm not very good at painting or drawing or sculpture, so thank G-d that I live in the 21st century and can therefore HARNESS TECHNOLOGY to create art. And by technology, I mean pre-World War II technology, i.e. bulky darkroom equipment, toxic chemicals, and 1700-pound presses chockfull of ball-bearings and gears and bolts--the kind of stuff not featured on gizmodo or hawked by Steve Jobs. For me, at least, there's a lot to be said for the physicality of photography and printmaking, and for the ability of the average person to understand the technology behind them. And there's something very, very beautiful about using basic physics and mechanics--a box with a tiny hole cut in it, containing a silver-coated plate--to create something as completely non-utilitarian as art.

I could go on for days and days about my embarrassing mystical feelings about loud clunking things, or things that make your hands dirty, or microscopes, or petri dishes full of agar, but let us save a little something for future posts, shall we? Instead, here are some fun publicity photos I recently took of my roommate Alisa as her performance alter-ego, Plucky Rosenthal. Some of them are blurry, but you know what? Making them was FUN. And perfection is sooooo annoyingly 21st century.





Technology sidenote: my ipod earbuds are breaking for the zillionth time (gahhh Steve Jobs x2). Does anyone have suggestions for a relatively inexpensive pair of quality headphones (preferably over-the-ear)? I have to listen to this song on repeat until the end of time...

3 comments:

Becca said...

I have a pair of WESC. They are not uber profesh but they were pretty cheap and block out a dangerous level of traffic noise.

p.s. LOVE your blog. Keep it up.

sammyp said...

you should buy fancy noise-cancelling headphones and then leave them at 1237 'cause i've always wanted some

sammyp said...

oh ps how'd you ever come across that link.....you know which one im talkin bout

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