Posts Tagged ‘living’

Quitting: A Comic

Posted: October 28th, 2012
Categories: comics
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Burning Man / Secret Passage

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Posted: September 12th, 2012
Categories: burning man
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i can’t expect you to understand how all these people in this video make me so happy but they do

I’m also fair­ly obsessed with this song.

Posted: September 26th, 2011
Categories: adventures, things i like
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art vs. craft vs… a lot of stuff

My friend recent­ly wrote a blog post in which she shared what she dreamed it would be like as an artist vs what it’s actu­al­ly been like.

I was in a pret­ty seri­ous band for many years and have a back­ground in fine arts (with a focus in paint­ing and sculp­ture) and I def­i­nite­ly wres­tled with some of the same issues while try­ing to fig­ure out how to actu­al­ly live out a cre­ative pro­fes­sion* (the ide­al vs the real­i­ty). There are two aspects of the how-to-be-and-be-hap­py-and-even-be-suc­cess­ful-as-an-artist issue that I want to address here: art vs craft, fem­i­nism, & the cult of the ama­teur, and the cur­rent trend col­laps­ing art/craft & consumerism/consumption.

Your Mom’s a Fiber Artist**
(the art vs craft debate from 3rd wave fem­i­nism to the cult of the ama­teur)

In the past 8‑ish years, there has been a huge main­stream resur­gence in a cat­e­go­ry of cre­ative activ­i­ties tra­di­tion­al­ly con­sid­ered more “craft” than Art. Knit­ting, cro­chet, sewing, etc are expe­ri­enc­ing a post-mod­ern renais­sance where it has become cool to play with fiber (and knit­ting has pos­si­bly even jumped the shark since every­one and their mom does it). Out­side of the realm of fiber arts, activ­i­ties like paper/printing arts, jewelry/metal work­ing, home craft, and cook­ing have gained a degree of legit­i­ma­cy that even 3rd wave fem­i­nism could­n’t have imag­ined.

[As an aside, it is worth doing some read­ing about the art vs craft debate (or even just on women and art in gen­er­al) from the per­spec­tive of fem­i­nist writ­ers. I am not going to pre­tend that I am aca­d­e­m­ic enough any­more to do this top­ic jus­tice, but suf­fice to say that the asso­ci­a­tion of many crafts (and espe­cial­ly fiber crafts) with wom­en’s work/domesticity has his­tor­i­cal­ly rel­e­gat­ed them to a low­er posi­tion in the hier­ar­chy of all-things-aes­thet­ic, where­as fine Art-with-a-cap­i­tal‑A enjoys a legit­imized (and his­tor­i­cal­ly large­ly male-dom­i­nat­ed) posi­tion at the top of the aes­thet­ic pyra­mid.

Here is a poster by the Gueril­la Girls and some links for your aside enjoy­ment.

…end aside.]

Aaaaaaaaany­ways.

Back to the explo­sion of pop­u­lar­i­ty and sub­se­quent main­stream legit­imiza­tion of the craft‑y arts. I am cer­tain­ly not here to crit­i­cize the pro­lif­er­a­tion of craft-as-art-and-even-Art on the whole, but I do want to point out an unfor­tu­nate side effect: much like we have seen with music over the last 10+ years, we are in a peri­od that J some­times likes to call “the cult of the ama­teur.” It has become incred­i­bly acces­si­ble to become a cre­ator, a mak­er, some­one who con­cerns them­selves with the prac­tice of aes­thet­ics. In a world where you can buy Garage­band for you iPad for $4.99, a search for knit­ting pat­terns turns up over 8.3 mil­lion results, and Urban O*tfitters has a DIY sec­tion, how do you deter­mine who is actu­al­ly Good? What is actu­al­ly Authen­tic? How is value/meaning/significance assigned to art now that the angle of par­tic­i­pa­tion has widened sig­nif­i­cant­ly? I don’t have the answers to these ques­tions (nor am I try­ing to sug­gest that we res­ur­rect the cult of Genius). How­ev­er, I think it is impor­tant to acknowl­edge that as we swing away from the myth of artist-as-spe­cial, we risk swing­ing too far to the oth­er side, where we val­ue the ama­teur over the pro­fes­sion­al, the casu­al over the seri­ous, the mediocre or even crap­py over the skilled. And that is not a world that sup­ports and val­ues cul­tur­al pro­duc­tion by Artists.

Con­sum­ing Anti-Con­sum­ing
(or why Etsy is not all that it’s cracked up to be)

This brings me to my sec­ond top­ic. I have refrained from men­tion­ing Etsy thus far but it is obvi­ous­ly a result of the val­ue of hand­made enter­ing our main­stream con­scious­ness. Etsy encour­ages peo­ple to buy items from what they term small-small busi­ness­es (“human-scale economies”) and places an empha­sis on author­ship and prove­nance in the items mar­ket­ed there. In the­o­ry, Etsy is real­ly, real­ly great and I am whole­heart­ed­ly hap­py that it exists and espe­cial­ly proud of my awe­some friends who have shops here, here, and here. But (yes, I just did anoth­er “yes, but”).

Here’s my prob­lem with Etsy. It’s cool that it’s root­ed in ideas about alter­na­tive economies. In prac­tice, though, I see a race to the bot­tom (after all in cap­i­tal­ism cheap­ness wins). In an effort to com­pete (or per­haps out of igno­rance about their val­ue as cre­ators or even in spite of their val­ue), sell­ers must suc­cumb to mar­ket pres­sure and the pre­mi­um for arti­san and hand­made gets thin­ner and thin­ner. Sara Mosle wrote about the false fem­i­nist fan­ta­sy ped­dled by Etsy two years ago. The NYT ran an arti­cle ques­tion­ing the effort required to run an Etsy busi­ness as well. Since then, I haven’t exact­ly seen things get bet­ter. Search­es turn up a pro­lif­er­a­tion of list­ings made with ques­tion­able mate­ri­als (cheap & made in Chi­na), ques­tion­able author­ship (every­one copy­ing every­one else… owls and deer any­one?), and even ques­tion­able sell­ers (is it real­ly a small-small busi­ness and is it real­ly hand­made if you are clear­ly out­sourc­ing your labor and pro­duc­tion?). I mean, it’s not like all of Etsy is like that, but it’s def­i­nite­ly there as the dark under­bel­ly of the indie com­merce machine. At the end of the day, I think that the mar­ket pres­sures you see in play on Etsy might be the undo­ing of craft-as-Art, and iron­i­cal­ly of hand­made as a viable cre­ative pro­fes­sion. It’s very dis­ap­point­ing because it’s so tan­ta­liz­ing­ly Almost.

Final­ly, let’s not for­get that even for the best that Etsy has to offer, it’s still about CONSUMPTION. I’m going to go way out of my league here intel­lec­tu­al­ly and aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly and say that my gut reac­tion is that when Art/art/craft/Craft seeks its val­i­da­tion through con­sumerism, artists aren’t real­ly com­ing out ahead.

It’s my bed­time but I plan to read more about this last point (this, this, and some good old marx seem like decent start­ing points), to make sure I’m not being full of sheep. Please call me out if you dis­agree, I’d love to have the con­ver­sa­tion or some links to read.

*It turns out that I became a UX design­er, which was a good fit for me cre­ative­ly, but try­ing to fig­ure out how — and whether — I want­ed to “make it” as a musi­cian or a fine artist took a lot of soul search­ing.

 ** Dear Mom. I don’t mean this as a dig against moms.

Posted: September 13th, 2011
Categories: making
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

raw thoughts from burning man

writ­ten on the plane.

p.s. my hair exten­sions sur­vived just fine in case you were won­der­ing :D

Posted: September 7th, 2011
Categories: adventures, things i like
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Comments: 1 Comment.

goggles and glasses

Posted: September 7th, 2011
Categories: things i like
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people are scared to say hello is a line from a subhumans song

A few weeks ago I was meet­ing a friend after work and since I knew I would have an hour to kill I thought I’d stop into Wax­Trax, which is a few blocks away from her new apart­ment. I had­n’t been there in ages and ages (because who buys CDs any­more?). I think this was slight­ly before I fin­ished my zine so I had it in the back of my head that maybe they still had a bin of zines I could poke thru while I was wait­ing.

Den­ver has been hav­ing these crazy rains this sum­mer where the sky just opens up and floods down. One of these rains hap­pened the minute that I stepped in the store, an intense bar­rage of water. I did­n’t see any zines — well, there were like 2 or 3 on a mag­a­zine rack thing, along with a book called The Rest is Pro­pa­gan­da by Steve Igno­rant of Crass.

Now, I had coin­ci­den­tal­ly just lis­tened to Crass a few days pre­vi­ous­ly and giv­en that I was clear­ly going to be stuck in the store for a while due to the rain, I thought it would be polite to buy some­thing. So I picked up the book, and I wan­dered around the store for a while, and I left with it and a copy of the How to Destroy Angels album (lit­er­al­ly the first CD I have bought since around 2004 or 5).

The book is real­ly great and it turns out that Steve Igno­rant is a real­ly good writer. Though I was once real­lyre­al­lyre­al­ly into anar­chop­unk music I real­ly nev­er knew the sto­ry behind Crass, and how they formed out of the Dial House in Essex out­side of Lon­don. I have been real­ly intrigued to read about the cul­ture sur­round­ing that place and time because it is just so dif­fer­ent than my life is now (or ever was) and even though I still real­ly love Crass I can now as an adult see how I was nev­er, ever real­ly a punk (cos, y’know, punk is dead). I mean for chris­sakes I grew up in the Val­ley. Any­ways there’s all this stuff about squats and oth­er inten­tion­al com­mu­ni­ties, which I find real­ly fas­ci­nat­ing and I real­ly want to do some more read­ing on this top­ic.

And hon­est­ly my life is so so so far removed from any of that that it’s not even fun­ny. I live in a lit­tle sub­ur­ban sub­di­vi­sion plopped down in an old coal min­ing and farm­ing area. The clos­est thing to squat­ting here is the fact that my coun­ty has a high fore­clo­sure rate and also a high meth rate and one might imag­ine that the two lead to occa­sion­al ille­gal aban­doned house occu­pa­tion. And the lack of com­mu­ni­ty here is notable. We’re one of the younger fam­i­lies in the neigh­bor­hood, and most every­one is either retired or has kids. Lots of stay-at-home moms and SUVs. I don’t see a lot of evi­dence of peo­ple with left lean­ing pol­i­tics and I do see a lot of evi­dence of peo­ple who go to church. On one side of me are neigh­bors that I have lit­er­al­ly seen less than 10 times in the 3 years we’ve lived here. The oth­er side used to be a guy who worked in IT and was out of the coun­try 3 weeks out of every 4. Across the street is a fam­i­ly with teenagers who once watched Mr. Kit­ty when we were out of town but they don’t real­ly talk to us. There is a fam­i­ly down the street that sells us girl scout cook­ies and we wave and are friend­ly when we walk by their house to the mail­box, but that’s about it in terms of pur­pose­ful con­nec­tion with any­one in my imme­di­ate res­i­den­tial vicin­i­ty.

Why is that? I *do* like my home and I *do* like the area we live in and I real­ly *am* a died-in-the-wool sub­ur­ban­ite with a fond­ness for rur­al farm­land and no desire to ever live in an apart­ment or city, but at the same time I have sit­u­at­ed my life so that it is very iso­lat­ed from oth­er peo­ple. I can gen­er­al­ize about how I prob­a­bly would­n’t like any of my neigh­bors (see above) but the real­i­ty is that I’m kind of anti-social and priv­i­leged to be able to live in my own sin­gle-fam­i­ly home and while I some­times bemoan the lack of any kind of com­mu­ni­ty in my life I know it’s com­plete­ly my own fault.

The IT guy was relo­cat­ed this spring and a fam­i­ly recent­ly moved in next door. They are an extend­ed Indi­an fam­i­ly (grand­par­ents, par­ents, kid) and at first I was annoyed because they have a lot of cars and one was parked pret­ty closed to our dri­ve­way, which I am not used to. I know I was being a brat about it so I felt bad and promised myself that I would intro­duce myself. I kind of waved at the grand­fa­ther on my way to work once (he sits on the porch a lot). The grand­moth­er plays out in the front yard every evening with the lit­tle girl (who is super cute) and they both said hi when I was walk­ing in with gro­ceries the oth­er night.

Tonight I was tak­ing out the com­post and on my way back in the grand­moth­er and lit­tle girl were wait­ing on the wall between our hous­es to say hi. She does­n’t speak much Eng­lish but she seems real­ly friend­ly and nice and eager to meet the neigh­bors. Of course! They have pos­si­bly been mak­ing them­selves extreme­ly vis­i­ble in the front yard as a way to intro­duce them­selves to the com­mu­ni­ty.

Is there any hope that my sub­ur­bia could be a lit­tle less of an unin­ten­tion­al clus­ter of reclus­es and a lit­tle more of an inten­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty? I mean, I have every inten­tion of get­ting to know the new fam­i­ly but the real­i­ty is that I don’t have high hopes of sud­den­ly hav­ing drop in art nights and band prac­tices in peo­ple’s garages and col­lab­o­ra­tive gar­dens and stuff like that. We’re still going to be younger than the peo­ple around us by 10+ years. I’m still a bit of a recluse. I still have a bit of a chip on my shoul­der with regards to fit­ting in with any­one. It feels like an unsolv­able dilem­ma. Maybe in 10 years we will have our own ver­sion of the Dial House on Jasper Road and we will have some don­keys and some goats and a big gar­den and com­mu­ni­ty din­ners with heather & miles. But I think there is a per­son­al­i­ty prob­lem I have to work on to get there.

Posted: July 24th, 2011
Categories: Daily
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i made a zine

yep, i did.

the last time i did some­thing of the sort i was 15 and i made it with a kid named MK who was some­body i met from the aol punk mes­sage boards and my screen­name was oran­gesid and i am pret­ty sure i wrote about the pro­pa­gand­hi riot at the VFW (that i did­n’t “get” to go to).

so then fast-for­ward many years and i am a design­er by pro­fes­sion and let me tell you how chal­leng­ing lib­er­at­ing it was not to get sucked into doing this thing on the com­put­er. cos at one point i was try­ing to pick out what font i was going to use and a lit­tle voice at the back of my head told me “no, no, no you are miss­ing the point entire­ly.” and so i picked up some tape and a mark­er and 3 months lat­er once i was done pro­cras­ti­nat­ing less busy with work i final­ly had 26 pages to scan on my copy­ma­chineprint­erthing. and oh did you remem­ber that when you make real phys­i­cal print­ed things the pages need to be in mul­ti­ples of four? ha ha, yeah, that’s embarass­ing. so i added two more pages.

so, here it is. issue one of my zine called ‘animal/people’. the theme is love & loss and in it i process a bit about los­ing mr. kit­ty and oth­er things. there are some great con­tri­bu­tions by colleen, jen­na, and heather. and i am real­ly proud of it.

if you would like a copy, then please harken back to the way zines worked last time i did them and send an SASE and $1 to… wait, i am not going to post my address on the inter­net. i won­der how much P.O. box­es cost?

so, just email me at linds­dot­moore­atmedot­com (you know the drill with the dots and stuff) and i will send you some snailzine­mail. and if you would have sent me a dol­lar in the mail maybe you could donate it to the boul­der humane soci­ety instead. thank you lovelies.

 

Posted: July 17th, 2011
Categories: making
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 2 Comments.

The Modern Failure

You are my hero­ine! And by hero­ine I mean lady hero. I don’t want to inject you and lis­ten to jazz.”

—Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

Right now my lady hero is my friend Chanelle, who is writ­ing an awe­some blog called The Mod­ern Fail­ure. In it she explores “the areas in which the mod­ern woman may feel like a fail­ure (the work­place, the work­out, the home, preg­nan­cy, being ‘green’, etc), the ori­gins of the mod­ern wom­an’s expec­ta­tions of her­self, and why we wake up every day feel­ing like we are already behind.”

I pret­ty much think that if you have ever been, cared about, or even met a mod­ern woman human being on this plan­et, you should prob­a­bly read it. Right now.

Posted: February 17th, 2011
Categories: things i like
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Last Day Of Magic / SX70

last day of magic

sx70 land camera

Posted: September 11th, 2010
Categories: Daily
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Hi Summer

Hi Sum­mer.

You’re pret­ty awe­some. You make it feel like vaca­tion, even when it is just a nor­mal Sat­ur­day. I real­ly like spend­ing time with you and hope that you’ll con­sid­er hang­ing out with me until at least August.

xoxo,
Linds

Posted: July 17th, 2010
Categories: Daily
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erie

Today con­sist­ed of gar­den­ing, going to a farm stand a few miles away and buy­ing spring greens and straw­ber­ries on the hon­or sys­tem, dri­ving around farm land, eat­ing local greens on the back porch while Mr. Kit­ty lounged and looked pleased, and some more gar­den­ing. All the while, a back­drop of amaz­ing bil­lowy clouds set off the snow­caps still show­ing on the moun­tains to the west. Erie is pret­ty good place to live…

Billowy clouds hanging to the west of the Erie farmland:

Posted: June 5th, 2010
Categories: Daily, things i like
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chlorine

mmm­m­mm. first adult swim time of the sum­mer. oh how i <3 the smell of chlo­rine!

Posted: June 2nd, 2010
Categories: Daily
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life like weeds

Life Like Weeds
Mod­est Mouse

in this life like weeds

And in the places you go, you’ll see the place where you’re from.
And in the faces you meet, you’ll see the place where you’ll die.
And on the day that you die, you’ll see the peo­ple you met.
And in the faces you see, you’ll see just who you’ve been.

in this life like weeds

In this life like weeds, in this life like weeds.
Eyes need us to see, hearts need us to bleed.
In this life like weeds, you’re a rock to me.
I know where you’re from, but where do you belong?
In this life like weeds, you’re the dirt I’ll breath.
In this life like weeds, you’re a rock to me.

in this life like weeds

All this talk­ing all the time and the air fills up, up, up.
Until there’s noth­ing left to breathe,
And you think you feel most every­thing.
And we know that our hearts are just made out of strings
To be pulled, strings to be pulled.

in this life like weeds

So you think you’ve fig­ured out every­thing,
But we know that our minds are just made out of strings
To be pulled, strings to be pulled.

in this life like weeds

All this talk­ing all the time and the air fills up, up, up.
Until there’s noth­ing left to breathe,
Up until there’s noth­in left to speak.
Up until the data parts in space.

in this life like weeds

Posted: May 23rd, 2010
Categories: words to rest in
Tags: , , ,
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pavel, fading.

today i logged into face­book to find an unex­pect­ed reminder of my col­lege friend pavel’s death from a hero­in over­dose 5 years ago today. it is crazy how often i still think of pav but i also know that i have con­di­tioned myself to remem­ber him when­ev­er i hear lou reed. since i used to wake up to ‘pale blue eyes’ every day, it was­n’t a huge leap to keep him in my con­scious­ness.

this is prob­a­bly the first april 19th in 5 years that i haven’t thought about him on my own. it is scary when mem­o­ries begin to fade, scari­er still when you think of how the mem­o­ries that haven’t fad­ed are the ones you have rehearsed. bowl­ing. nap­ster. go board. bowtie. red shirt. bor­rowed chair. radio show. messy room. hunter s. thomp­son.

i real­ly wish i still had the mem­o­ries that fill the holes between those words.

Posted: April 19th, 2010
Categories: words to rest in
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Everyone calls someplace home.

Every­one is from some­place. Every­one lives some­place. Every­one calls some­place home.

The oth­er day I was talk­ing to some­one who had moved to Den­ver from Min­neso­ta 2 years ago (I took note because I am also from Min­neso­ta. If you could hear me say that word you could tell). He was explain­ing that he knew he want­ed to move some­place less cold, with lib­er­al pol­i­tics and good schools for his chil­dren. He took an online sur­vey that was sup­posed to let you know where you should live and his match­es were Den­ver, Austin, Nashville, Min­neapo­lis, and Cincin­nati.

Cincin­nati??” I said. “Who wants to live in Cincin­nati?”

Do you know any­thing about Cincin­nati?” he respond­ed, point­ed­ly.

Tonight at din­ner, my grand­pa men­tioned how much he likes Col­orado and that is a very nice place to be. He moved here two years ago, when my grand­ma passed away.

You like where ever you live,” my mom respond­ed.

I think my grand­pa is wise.

I went to col­lege in Flori­da, which is about as far as you can get from Col­orado in terms of cul­ture and weath­er. For the first 2 years, I felt like I was dri­ving around with blind­ers on because I had no periph­er­al vision due to the flat­ness and trees. I also found out that I am aller­gic to fire­ants. I spent 4 years lament­ing about how Col­orado was so great and about how much I missed it and about how peo­ple from the east coast _just did­n’t understand_ what it was like to live in the West. I think back now and know that this must have been so tir­ing to the peo­ple around me.

Last week, J and I went to Flori­da to see our super­greata­maz­ing friends. We spent a mag­i­cal week doing chill chill chill. We also saw amaz­ing birds, ani­mals, and plants, ate beer-bat­tered hot­dogs on the key, sun­burnt our­selves at the beach, had boat drinks in the tourist quar­ter, breathed at yoga, and watched good local music. Spend­ing time with them makes me love Flori­da. Spend­ing time with them makes Flori­da feel like a sec­ond home.

Every­one calls some­place home. Whether it changes 20 times or whether you stay root­ed for your life, every­one has their rea­sons for where they land, where they leave their hearts, and where they want to be. Den­ver. Sara­so­ta. Tai­wan. San­ta Bar­bara. Brook­lyn. Maui. Mani­la. Chica­go. Alas­ka.

Even Cincin­nati.

Posted: April 4th, 2010
Categories: Daily
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Perfection

Posted: February 27th, 2010
Categories: Daily
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Comments: 1 Comment.

you are beautiful

Posted: February 1st, 2010
Categories: words to rest in
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One Little Word: Unfold

If 2009 was a year where I was sur­round­ed with peo­ple hun­ker­ing down, per­se­ver­ing, and mak­ing it thru, then I here­by declare that my word for 2010 will be Unfold.

Unfold­ing is some­thing that can hap­pen phys­i­cal­ly, men­tal­ly, and spir­i­tu­al­ly*.

I look for­ward to good things unfold­ing on this year’s hori­zon.

*fun­ny for me to men­tion since I comfortably/firmly an agnos­tic and don’t real­ly care for that word, but it is appro­pri­ate as relat­ed to good soul­ful yoga liv­ing. Kin­da like a sec­u­lar ver­sion of adhy­at­ma vikasa.

Posted: January 6th, 2010
Categories: words to rest in
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Comments: 1 Comment.

New Years Fortune Cookie

If our New Years Eve and New Years Day were a for­tune cook­ie, this is what John told me it would say:

You are risk tak­ers. You are will­ing to take on risks to find hap­pi­ness.

What a crazy night, but I love that way of look­ing at it!

Posted: January 1st, 2010
Categories: words to rest in
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