“A lot of times I wish I had big painterly European emotions, unapologetically vibrant and dramatic, instead of small, hardy Nordic ones, wandering the wastes and dying before they get anywhere.”—More brilliance from DC Pierson, on location in the City of Angels.
“On the drive out to the beach we pass several things that prove that Google is both good and bad. One is in Venice, an austere little building labeled the Institute Of Jurassic Technology. The next is near Redondo, a Roundtable Pizza whose marquee reads “I LOVE YOU WONDERWHEEL.” Now we could easily Google these things and we would, with truly astounding quickness we take for granted, be provided with probably very simple answers about what these things are and mean. But then we would be robbing ourselves of the image of a little shack-laboratory in Venice run by a disgraced paleontologist filled with dioramas of T-Rexes piloting backhoes and helicopters, or the image of a sad and mostly crazy middle-aged Roundtable Pizza owner-operator who, as his wife has withdrawn further and further from him (and further and further into her affair with the hot-shot night-manager of the CPK ASAP across the street) has started to develop a very real, very dangerous romantic obsession with a carnival ride down at the boardwalk. (I realize both of these mental images center around sad little men. But let’s be honest, on their way to the really dangerous crazy stuff, sad little men do some pretty hilarious shit.)”—DC Pierson, reporting live from LA
“Congratulations, Scorpio. You’ve reached the end of the Big Squeeze. You’ve served your time in the bottleneck. And so I invite you to relax your pinched expression, loosen up your puckered expectations, and let the Season of Experiments begin. According to my projections, you will soon be receiving a host of invitations to wander into the frontier with your raw sense of wonder turned up all the way. Please research each invitation thoroughly before choosing. When you’ve decided which adventures are most likely to enhance your understanding of the art of liberation, dive in.”—Scorpio Horoscope for week of June 25, 2009 (http://www.freewillastrology.com)
I found myself, today, speaking to myself as if I were a dog. Let’s go boy, I said. It was the only way to get out of bed. I called, c’mon boy, when the shower had gone on long enough, and I took myself for a long walk. If it weren’t for my leash, I don’t think I’d be out today at all.
Today I am a dog, and it’s raining, and I’m soaked and I’m just not smart enough to know that this isn’t some sort of punishment.
“A lot of friends, when tolerating a fast, discursive, hugely whiny thought of mine about leaving New York recently, have responded “You can always come back.” Which is totally true. And I honestly can’t wait to come back. I know people who are just moving here now, in the summer, and I am so jealous that they get to move a mattress up eight flights of stairs in Bushwick and then go downstairs that night, covered in dried sweat and buzzed from exhaustion and post-moving beers and think, “Well, I’m here now.” You can move to New York any number of times but you can only move there for the first time once.”—DC Pierson, of Ham Fisted Theatrics, off to fight monsters in the City of Angels
I lost myself for a time and it was terrible. I looked everywhere and even places where there was no possible chance I could be. I looked in the last place I’d expect myself and all my old haunts. I thought about where I’d last left myself and where I’d last remembered seeing me and if I owed any money that I’d forgotten.
I called you, exhausted and a bit distraught, and I asked you if you had any ideas. I told you it was terrible, me being in this state. Without me. I went on for a bit and you were surprisingly silent. Who’s that in the background, I asked. Are you with someone right now? You said you had to go.
I retraced my steps, but the terrible thing was, every step led me farther into a hazy certainty/uncertainty that I’d always/never been like this. That I’d always/never been me without me and there was no change here, just an anxious sense of lighter, a lost rhythm, helium in my skull. I lost some time thinking about this, and then it was yesterday. Last week, even. And everything was different.
I remembered being here, and doing what I was doing - backwards, which, to be honest, is sickly pleasurable and you should try it - but I was me without me, skinless, or perhaps only skin. Entirely a different me in the same time, patterns fit themselves around me like tiny highways, nipped at my calfs like collies and led me along. It’s interesting, as I’m sure you’ve discovered, to see that.
At a loss with the search for my lost self I headed forward again, a bit faster, to catch up. This was not part of the pattern. The tangled little ribbons tugged and I sadly had to rip a few, like IVs at first, and if I was myself I would have bled, I might have stopped, but instead I just kept going, til they were spiderwebs slipping, crossing my skin.
Moving forward, I began to realize I did not recognize this place, this time, assumed I’d gone too far but checked my watch - a fine watch that I will trust - and saw it was today, knew it was. Heading home, I saw him sitting on my porch, knew him instantly. He was immediately foreign. I studied him from across the way.
He was heavy. I could see. And I felt just so light today. He looked a bit worse for the wear and I couldn’t remember ever taking those licks. He was gray and drooping and I thought, there is helium still in me. And I thought, there is more forward left to go. And I thought, I don’t know who that is, and, that must be his house, and, there is a nice house for me, maybe, this way. And I went this way, and as you know met a very nice young man, free of many ribbons, who joined me in paintings.
I had ideas, sure. They were big ones too. They had blue prints and they hung up in air plane hangers for the crew to examine. They were cataloged underground and they had back ups at the base. They were for all days, all weather. They had plans for launch, even.
But for this fear, even, they say they could have changed the world. But for this fear of open space.
Just watched the movie Helvetica - all about the font, its origins, use. Very interesting to me, the part of my brain that’s just now starting to dissect the practice of graphic design. I never realized that the font was so widely used, and that there were so many professional opinions on it. I found myself agreeing with many views as they were explained, some of which that were in opposition to one another.
Some say that it’s the “perfect” font, that it expresses so much, or can express so much within a design without becoming expressive itself, without having emotion. Others see it as a boring and corporate tool. There’s certainly an argument to be made for it’s universal use - it’s an easy read, making it a favorite of governments for forms and signage.
I think the viewpoint that most interested me was of the designers who use it now and speak of it’s capabilities as a Post-Modern tool. If the debate is between a Post-Modernist view (it’s too formal, fascistic) and a Modernist view (it’s powerful, simple, solid, universal), this third group seems to say that Helvetica’s power and blockishness can be used to subvert and to inspire new ideas - it’s all about design, how it’s used. They showed some pretty cool examples, too (see: Dada).
I suppose this is an arguement that goes on in any medium. Some style or technique becomes the center of a debate for that form’s followers because it so powerfully stands out in one way or another, so powerfully delivers on a certain goal of the form (Helvetica reaches people, fills space, quietly delivers). These followers begin to debate whether it “should” be used, or not. Whether it’s valid in the larger sense of the form.
But to say something “shouldn’t” be used doesn’t sit right with me. It brings to mind my understanding of the history of experimental theatre - or the evolution to Post-Modernism of any form, I suppose. Someone says, ah, art is that, and here are the rules. These rules evolved for years and have made themselves perfect. Post-Modernism then comes in and says, no form, it only matters how you feel about it. And for some with a great eye for design, that really does work best - some of the most beautiful work of the last century explodes forth from obedience only to the work itself. But I find those mavericks that I truly enjoy few and far between. In fact, I often find Post-Modern works cluttered. Boring. Overlong or unfocused. There’s a larger element of design missing (another reason why Mary Overlie’s Viewpoints system is so important to the stage).
I like the idea presented by that third group. It says, to me, there is something universal, even you can figure it out. But you’re going to have to study. And you’re going to have to love it.
I once had a girlfriend who told be there was no such thing as post-post-modernism, such an idea/name was stupid and impossible. To be honest - and this speaks worlds of this relationship - I didn’t know if there was, but kept pushing the point to piss her off. But there is - they’re just names for ideas and methods after all. And after we get tired of Post-Modernism, we are post Post-Modernism. And, really, if there’s going to be a counter to the Post-Modern ideals that ‘form is obsolete,’ please please let it be that form is alive, needed and mostly subjective.