I’m able to deceive myself for about a week or two at a time. During that time I find myself to be able to function, create, live. After that, however, is the crash. It can happen for a variety of reasons: I had to pay my student loans, I saw a bill, Couldn’t afford food, etc.
The next reaction is twofold: isolation and desperation.
It’s the most dangerous combination I can think of. The isolation makes one tempted to grab onto anyone while the desperation makes one want to grab onto anything.
Things have, for the most part, gotten ridiculous. As can be seen the gap between this section was truly active to now is wide. what has been happening? Easy. Disillusionment.
I’d like to write about a winter holiday in maine or some such thing but mostly it’s been staring at the walls and drinking cold coffee while i come to grips with walled gardens and silos, etc.
I’m bored now with the internet. with the constant pressure of creating something new. one can get lost always making something for the snacking audience. everything becomes throwaway. it’s not enough to know you’ll be forgotten but now it’s thumbed in your eye through algorithmically engineered precision.
Sometimes it’s just easier to work in the command line and run batch operations without having to worry about opening photoshop, making actions, etc.
You can do this stuff on Windows, however, since I run both systems on several computers I favor batch operations in linux. More will come but here’s my current jam:
##make thumbnails: (one at a time) convert image.jpg -resize “200>” newimage.jpg
(batch) mogrify -resize “200>” -path thumbs *.jpg
##make smaller file: mogrify -resize “1500>” -path thumbs *.jpg
*the 200> and 1500> tells it to make the largest side that size in pixels.
##convert formats: (batch convert from raw to jpeg) mogrify -format jpg *.CR2
##video from stills:
(default framerate = 30 fps) ffmpeg -i INPUTNAME%06d.jpg OUTPUT.mp4
(adjusted framerate to 1 fps) ffmpeg -framerate 1 -i INPUTNAME%06d.jpg OUTPUT.avi
*the %06d in the above input names designates the frame order with digits so it’d normally look like: INPUTNAME000001.jpg, INPUTNAME000002.jpg,…,INPUTNAME999999.jpg
(preview clut before making video) ffplay -i INPUTVIDEO.mp4 -vf “movie=CLUTFILE.png, [in] haldclut”
(make video with chosen clut) ffmpeg -i INPUTVIDEO.mp4 -vf “movie=CLUTFILE.jpg, [in] haldclut” OUTPUTVIDEO.mp4
(add boxblur for good measure):
ffmpeg -i INPUTVIDEO.mp4 -vf “movie=resizedClutsPNG/433-clut.png, [in] haldclut, boxblur=2:1” OUTPUTVIDEO.mp4
*for a little more detail on ffmpeg filters here’s their docs: filters!
text that appears on a screen after a blinking cursor is always exciting.
shortly thereafter, however, it ceases to be exciting and simply becomes history.
text that is found in a folder on an old hard drive is also exciting while it is loading.
shortly thereafter, however, is simply becomes just another recently opened file.
text that is on a website waiting for google to find it isn’t exciting.
Van Gogh spent many of his nights alone in a room within that dammned Yellow House of his. When things got too lonely he took too much to drink and met up with a prostitute for company.
Other times he could be found in a bar that had a billiard table.
He didn’t want to be lonely. In fact, he wanted to be surrounded by friends in an artist colony of his creation. This, after the dream of a wife and kids had eluded his grasp. Not that he didn’t still want that, mind you, him and his “wife” show up in plenty of his paintings–a dream unfulfilled–just like his artist colony.
Later he would succumb to his disease and take his life in a lonely field only to stumble home and die surrounded by friends. After this his work took off and we all know at least something about him.
Van Gogh, notorious for being a ‘bit too much’, tried. He tried and kept on trying until it finally killed him. Only after he stopped did art and the rest of the world catch up with him and turned his despair into romantic martyrdom–the perpetual suffering, genius artist.
This scenario has continued to play out until it’s just another art world trope.
The academy justifies this pattern with the idea that his suffering was ultimately worth it. That, in the end, he made it. Not that he realized it, mind you, since he was dead but that is neither here nor there.
Fast forward to the present.
The Van Gogh of today tries. They’ll have a presence and a desperation. They’ll tweet, post, blog, instagram, follow, share, etc.
Nothing will happen.
They’ll become an echo chamber of one. THeir work will languish in a basement after their death. Maybe finding its way to a thrift store to sit in a pile with other discarded dreams.
Or maybe it’ll be found and broadcast like Vivian Maier’s work.
Their unknown lives exploited to maximum effect for the benefit of a sole proprietor that isn’t them. Their story romanticised as “passionate but quit labor”.
Just another story to propagate amongst the artists struggling for a life. Here’s your fate. Be happy–someday you’ll die and we’ll love you for it.
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