May 7, 2004

Information Aged

It?s been one month since I?ve had a high speed connection at home and I?m missing one badly. All we have is an old television set that was left in the house from the previous owner (13 channels solamente) and our primitive antenna rig can only recieve one station with enough clarity: BBC World. Call this revenge, my surf report pals stateside, as you will.

The surf report is a small chat circle of friends to whom I send (and some respond) a digest of interesting sites. It might appear to be news-blog-like (Instapundit, Iberian Notes) but I wouldn?t compare it to the quality of what these super heros of the bloggerverse actually do. The surf report is an effort to share information that I am absorbing with pals with which I enjoy news-topical discussions with. I was tired of shouting across the chasm of our separable info-verses, everyone locked in their own bubbles.

This blog is an extension of my studio... and while an artist?s studio can be thought of as a reflection of that artist?s life, my art life has focused on the life of paint... or "breathing life" into a material that had been declared dead in our time. I had narrowed my focus even though I had treated my education up until that time with the most extravegance (g-d, do I need spelll check now): Navy, Architecture and a little over a fifteen year saunter as a substitute for undergrad art school. I had prepared myself almost perfectly (an undergrad humanities degree in literature would be the capper) for what the artworld wanted (far-flung, neo-Smithson, make art with anything within your reach) and then I turned my back.

I did this because I wanted to turn towards painting, and I knew that I couldn?t paint the things I have done in the past decade without a brilliant focus upon it. I did this too, because of the hubris I saw and still see in the artworld too, an unselfconscious pride in its achievements. I did it in honor of the great painters I weaned myself on as a kid, for the week I spent in the Prado in my teens, astonished, floating. I did it because I?m stubborn and they said it couldn?t be done. I did it simply because I wanted to... passionately.

And I think this weblog is a keyhole to the rest of the world. I?ve been thinking about installations, making things like sculptures of conversations and recreating the C.I.C. (Combat Information Center), fused with an idea of how to start up an alternative architectural practice... I want to do some drawings of it and I?ll show you later when we get our broadband.

When we get our broadband. Next week? That?s the promise. I miss the spontaneous google searches. I miss the backstory that can only be found with a broad news scan and weblog surfs.

I miss Stephanie too. Right now, she?s bedside with her Dad. Times are really rough over there. We talk every day. She tells me stories that are hauntingly similar to when my father was ill, his mind fogged, not knowing what is wrong, forgetting how he got that strange place in life. Life is stubborn, and it?s not a pretty sight when the fingers reach the end of the tether... and even so, thank g-d that it is stubborn. (I try not to tell all of it here.)

Back to the studio. Then tonight, Kiko (a nickname for Fransisco, our friend who happens to be our contractor) and I will rendevous for drinks. His favorite: "Nocandos", no can do?s. Time for an espa?ol workout. People tell me my Spanish is getting better, but I can?t tell... I feel less so. I?m starting to think in Spanish, a few phrases here and there. But the brain feels more addled than strong. Let?s hope this is a good sign.

Posted by Dennis at May 7, 2004 4:56 AM


special thoughts out to stephanie and yourself...take care and keep painting....

dennis, im on mark computer. we are making a web site for all the music. you will be able to download it all for free. tif is doing well, although academics are not. send my love to stephanie.joel

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