Archive for August, 2010

Spit, Bristle and…Ad Space?

I’ve just discovered some ads right here on this weblog, selling some of the very things I’m railing against. I’m sorry if anyone has seen any of them and found them to be exploitive or offensive. I’ve found them to be both.

I have contacted WordPress about the ads and if necessary will pay for an upgrade to keep them off my page and out of your sight. Please disregard them until I get the issue resolved. I understand the supposed necessity of ads on a free service but we shouldn’t have to pay to keep from having a part in promoting what we are opposed to.

As I hope to resume regular updates this week and increase and rebuild readership, it will become increasingly important. For now I hope all ten or so of you have not been too put off by the ads!

August 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm 1 comment

It’s Just Like You’re One of Us (But With a Steel Strap and a GPS).

So this is what it’s come to? We’re willing to tag and track people based on a diagnosis? Oh that’s right, we’re not doing it to each other, only those sick ones we’ve so self assuredly separated out.

South London and Maudsley Hospital is trialling tracking of mental health patients. The tracker system involves fitting patients with a steel ankle strap linked to a GPS tracking system that can then monitor the location of the person.

As Gianna Kali of Beyond Meds wrote, “If you don’t automatically think ‘civil and human right violation’ there is something wrong with you.” I couldn’t agree more and would go so far as to say that you are part of the problem. There are two reasons these things happen — people in power are willing to disregard our rights and  the public is willing to allow it.

In response, a Department of Health spokesperson said;

‘This is a locally led initiative, not a national pilot.

“Patient rehabilitation into a community is an important part of recovery, but it relies on good risk assessment, trust between the patient and the service and patient responsibility. There can be no substitute for staff knowledge of patients to properly assess risk and to make the right decisions to ensure safety”.

Trust between the patient and the service? Is this what trust looks like — a steel strap with a tracking device? Maybe I’m reading this all wrong and they just mean the patient should trust the system. Personally, I have a problem trusting anyone with more power than regard for my interest. Similarly, rehabilitation only calls for patient responsibility. If it called for responsibility on the part of the system, we’d need a new one, rebuilt from the ground up.

What do you think this does for the idea of inclusion, by the way? I can’t imagine that a person wearing a device that advertises their private struggles and places them socially between a criminal and an animal to be studied is very well received in public situations. Perhaps we could forego the cost and complication of these devices and just go ahead with a ball and chain and scarlet letter…oh yeah, rights. We better keep it digital.

August 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

Scribe, Copper and Fury

I’ve been in the studio in brief and sparse bursts and while I haven’t come close to accomplishing the number of projects I had hoped to by this time, I am very proud of what I have created. I’ve been working on drypoint printmaking. It’s a time consuming and laborious effort (but not prohibitively so) both from the artist’s and printer’s perspective. The end result, however, is unlike anything else, even among prints.

These are not copies of existing images on paper but the result of a completely print-based effort. The image is engraved into a copper plate by hand with a diamond tipped scribe. That plate is, in a sense, the original image. Each plate is then inked and prepped by hand for each pressing of each individual image. Because of this, each image in an edition is unique. The ink is captured in the burs and grooves engraved into the plate and with all the excess wiped clean, the image is all that remains. Because of the softness of the plate and the immense amount of pressure from the press, the plate degrades fairly quickly until the image is barely discernible on the plate’s surface. While some might see this as a drawback, I appreciate that it keeps editions to a tidy limit. I’ve always had a problem with people charging top dollar for digital color copies that can be printed and reprinted endlessly. With these prints, if there is a run of six, someone can essentially walk a way with one-sixth of the original.

The printing was handled by Chad Andrews who operates a pair of antique presses under the name Paper +. As the printer is not just duplicating the image but interpreting it, a working relationship has to be established that allows for the artist to understand the process and the printer to understand the artist’s vision. I think we’ve reached a good understanding of each other’s dialect in the overlapping languages of art and printmaking.

Both the process and image are a welcome departure from  what I’ve been doing with pen, ink and watercolor and while I don’t expect or intend to get away from watercolors entirely, it’s a nice switch for a while. When time permits, I can see myself going back and forth between the two and seeing how one informs the other.

These prints will be available for purchase directly from me in very limited quantities at the Roc City Tattoo Expo (Aug 20-22) and Absorb Music Festival (Aug 28). If there are any left after these events, I can be contacted directly about purchasing them.

August 17, 2010 at 11:07 am 4 comments

I’m Still Here

Wow, has it really been a month and a half since my last post? Indeed, I have taken an unexpected, and frankly unwanted hiatus from much of my life outside of the things that keep my personal and interpersonal ship afloat. A lot has happened that has made me want to get on here and post but, as is so often the case when I’m burned out or burning out, I either have time, energy or neither but never both.  Hopefully things will get back to (ab)normal around here soon. I’ll start in the immediate future with an image post as I completed some prints last night. I’d like to see things get back on track soon as this little corner of the internet has become strangely important to me.

August 17, 2010 at 8:58 am 2 comments


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