Thursday, October 30, 2014

Enter: Calidus Fons Crustum

The Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumAli18

_____I have realized for two plus weeks that I haven't blogged in two plus weeks. Every day, I woke up, and provocatively thought, "Ali! You puny fart! Go forth and blog. Make thyself a big, noticeable fart if you're gonna be a fart in the first place," yet every day I haven't been able to find a minute in my schedule to perform THE BLOGGING. In all caps. Because it's important.

_____I've been sacrificing sleep and whatever inconsequential amount of a social life I once had to the mighty art gods (their names are Tim and Tim-Tim, and they are animate representations of spaghetti and meatballs) but I have reaped rewards, so the sacrifices were necessary. I can stay sane as long as I eat healthy noms, get my daily bike ride in the morning, and hear positive words from professors on current projects. I've been more ambitious in what I'm doing and have been making my projects soar above and beyond what they used to, both conceptually and visually. I have willingly been researching my concepts in order to solidify them and it's been helping me immensely.

Ali17The Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons Crustum

_____This installation is based on actual events: this summer, picture-taking drones dropped into hot springs and lakes in Yellowstone National Park, and thus officials have banned them from all national parks. I conceived a fictional narrative where the eventual pollution of one of these hot springs, specifically the Grand Prismatic, would cause a change in its temperature and acid concentration, thus causing the prokaryotic organisms that thrive within to adapt over time.

_____The previous organism, which currently does exist in the Grand Prismatic, would develop into these fictional donut-shaped microorganisms, which I have so properly named Calidus Fons Crustum. They have a thicker cell wall and produce more offspring that have the potential to live than it would have pre-evolution. Hypothetically.

_____Calidus Fons Crustum translates from Latin to "hot spring pastry." I still try to have fun, you nerds.

The Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons Crustum

_____So my network here comprises of three elements: a satin fabric abstraction of the Grand Prismatic which dominates the central space, donuts borne from bubble wrap and panty hoes that swim out of said fabric and onto the walls, and diagrams that I rendered to resemble prints and field notes. Somehow I managed this in four weeks, but I must say I'm quite satisfied with this new language of fabrics and overall plumpness that I'm beginning to create for myself.

_____Hope you guys have a wonderful rest of your week! Thanks for sticking around like flys in a sticky trap even though my posts have been absolutely haphazard. I can't honestly say they'll get any better but donut worry too much about me. Ha. Hahaha. Hahhahh. Sigh.

The Mutation of Calidus Fons Crustum

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Baby's First Mosh Pit

Marsh

______I went to my first real concert last Thursday night, you guys. Perhaps you've heard of AFI, short for A Fire Inside, also known as a metaphor for my middle school existence: composed of angst, sorrow, and studs, they owned the stage that night and the audience before them. I would have never expected them to come to a place near me, but lo and behold, they did. So I managed to get a dear friend of mine to abide me and we did jam like the jammiest of fruit concentrates. As we sang and  to all the familiar AFI tunes, the horrors of middle school flooding back into our thoughts, he suddenly asked, "You want to go up?" I wasn't sure what he meant, and then it clicked.

______Crowd-surfing.

______Nodding then subsequently putting on a mask of urbane swag, I shout-asked a random fellow to my friend's right, "Can you help me up?"

______And within an instant, I was floating above a sea of undulating hands, unable to control the direction or velocity at which I was being transported. I was a helpless turtle on its back being guided solely by the black-clad human beings below me. My hands were scrunched in toward my core and flailing ever so slightly, and my mouth was most definitely producing screaming noises. I was just being so hardcore in that moment, you guys. Such. A. Punk.

______Take me to your leader, I thought, and as if the shaking bodies below me heard such thoughts, my being was slowly transported toward the stage, and closer, and closer... I saw a strobing blue light,  heads furnished with mowhawks, ears gaged with chrome, the lead singer's combat boots, and even gazed up for a short second to meet eyes with him for a bloody 1/60th of a second. The best 0.01666666 seconds of my life, naturally.

______I did the math for that fraction. Don't check it.

______Suddenly, my shoulders dropped and my body slanted at an angle toward the ground. As soon as I knew it, I was half-cradled, half-flopped in the muscly arms of a security guy who skillfully slipped me upright and onto my feet. It was plausible he had done this many times before.

______"You okay?" he asked with a half-laugh. I nodded, but apologized immediately for being in the empty lane between stage and crowd, and waddled back toward the chanting swarm of black-clad human beings with my tail between my legs. As quickly as possible, I integrated myself seamlessly into the dark blob of thrashing organic matter. Don't you just adore how I refer to people as thrashing organic matter? I do.

Grass2

______When the moshing began, I did not know it had. I had always presumed that moshing was nothing more than highly intensified fist-pumping and jumping, much more energetic than the usual kinetic motion that reverberates through concert-goers' bodies. What happened was that all of a sudden, I realized that these turdbuckets next to me were shoving each other. Like, chill you guys. This is AFI. We are a chill folk: act like it.

______OH.
______But then.
______But then.

______But then, a sweaty man with a ginger beard and a rubbery belly smacked into me. His momentum propelled me into one of the three long-haired Gothic Fabio-bros that had been swaying peacefully alongside my friend and I the entire concert. From there, Gothic Fabio One propelled me into Gothic Fabio Two with a hearty shove of both hands. I felt absolutely betrayed since we were all bros signing along and smiling and stabbing the air with our hands just a moment ago. Now, the brotherhood had been ruthlessly torn apart, like a piece of bread unable to be mended, and so tossing all logic aside, I shoved Gothic Fabio One back at his other two clones. They seemed unfazed and continued to shoulder into whoever they could.

BubblewrapUntitled

______From there, I dashed away from the mad mosh-y merriment, dodging the wild Spartans about me like a football star and using my arms to bounce from one human to the next. I was a pinball in a game of flashing lights and shifting obstacles, and the floor was my beer-and-sweat-drenched battlefield. Taking care not to slip, I took refuge behind a chill couple in their mid-thirties who were surveying the situation with eyes saturated with wisdom and amusement.

______I was so not being hardcore in that moment, you guys.

______But it was no matter, because the evening was rad nonetheless, and I zipped back to the center of the floor when the moshing ceased. The presence of the lead singer (and love of my life), Davey Havok, gave off the presence that he presented in his videos, interviews, and tunes, but he performed above and beyond what I thought. He did all his jumps, hair flips, and sassy Davey-gestures were just the way I imagined in the flesh, if not better. I did fangirl. Hashtag no shame.

______What was your first concert experience like, if you had one? If not, what's your favorite steamed vegetable?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ow, My Bodily Insides

Hot Pink Paint Was on Sale
Florescent Pink Paint Was On Sale That Day
oils on masonite, September 2014

______As I typed this, I was voraciously consuming grilled chicken and lettuce in one of our campus's dining halls and simultaneously spilling meaty juices on my keyboard. Which was gross, but I've fully assimilated all elements of grossness and busyness into my jam-packed life this semester, and the proof of that is present in my surroundings: sketches and sketchbooks lay scattered across my bedroom floor like the carcasses of small rodents, my oversized painting shirt has officially stiffened and transformed from white to a hauntingly prismatic display of grey and yellow, and my backpack is stuffed with ziploc bags from hauling grapes and carrots and whatever else is portable-slash-edible to campus.

Hot Pink Paint Was on SaleHot Pink Paint Was on Sale

______Oh. So art. Here is my first painting of the semester on a 4-foot by 4-foot masonite panel. It's very pink and its title a very true story--hot pink paint was indeed on sale that day. It's also sort of always on sale since it's so bright and belligerent to the eyes. I believe that the addition of florescent pink blinded my professor, but sometimes you've just gotta push those limits and risk your professor's eyesight. He said that as it's been sitting in the back of the painting studio, he's grown to appreciate it a little more whenever he walks into the room. Excellent.

______I have much much more to show you in the future, but my goodness, I have been busier than a colony of ants after a stick of butter. Do ants favor butter? We're going to pretend they do, strictly for the metaphor. I've been more ambitious for many reasons this semester: lusting after a fellowship for which I was nominated, wanting to participate again in the end-of-the-year BFA exhibition, preparing my own solo exhibition, wanting to use my final year of undergrad studies to its fullest so I can evolve into an even better artist, and finally, desiring sweet, sweet revenge on the strange, chirping squirrels in the quad...

______Well, that last one didn't quite fit. But I still do want that revenge. Those chirping squirrels that sit in trees and mimic bird cries have gotta go down.

______Carry on, my buttery little ants.

Hot Pink Paint Was on Sale

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Eat Seeded Grapes

LavenderLavender

______The first step to properly eat seeded grapes is, quite frankly, to have seeded grapes in your possession.  This can happen only by mistakenly purchasing them or receiving them as a spiteful gift from that two-faced liar of a neighbor who also happened to kill your beloved plants when you asked her to water them on a short vacation.

______Perhaps your usual grapes were out of stock and you hastily grabbed those tempting, planetary-looking table grapes as a surefire replacement, or maybe you just forgot to read that darn label. No matter which way you decide to acquire them, it will always be a mistake, because nobody buys seeded grapes unless they want to sabotage or appall whoever is coming over for dinner that night.

Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender

______Upon acquiring your nasty, seed-filled grapes, you must proceed to pluck one from its aggregation of spherical brethren and pop it into your mouth. This action is very important and must be done with as little enthusiasm as possible. From here, you will swish the grape around in your mouth and nibble at it delicately, for you do not want to disturb the seeds that are lurking beyond the grape membrane. To do so is to knock at death's door. Why? Because these grapes have no logic, no manners, and no formula for their spontaneous seed counts; where as a large grape the size of a 25-cent bouncy ball may have four seeds, one that is extremely tiny may have just as many. This is also to say that a large grape may have just one seed that is floating away from the center of its expected growth point, because you know, seed spontaneity.

______There is no pattern, and the grapes know that damn well; you must ready yourselves against their unpredictable advances.

______As you munch carefully around the seeds, you will inevitably bite into the grape membrane and its enclosed grape plasma with too much force and scatter the seed(s) into an even more incoherent pattern. From here, your teeth will crunch uncomfortably on a something that will halt your chewing and silence your surroundings.

______Oh no. Oh dear.

______The seed.

______You have done it. You have bitten into the seed, and it will mingle with the grape parts and render the entire grape useless, and you will swallow parts of it and receive in your mouth an unpleasant, woody aftertaste. When (not if) this occurs, you will spit the grape out, frown disgustedly for an indefinite amount of time at a wall and/or the remaining bag of grapes themselves, and proceed to wallow in self-pity, most likely in a corner or at your dining table.

______And that, my friends, is how to properly eat seeded grapes.

Lavender

Dress: Lulus (similar)
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Sandals: Franco Sarto

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Obscurity of Things

Self-Potrait with Funky Curtains

______I've always been peculiarly drawn to the abandonment of places and spaces, very similar to the way some boys are attracted to the tantalizing headwear that is a fedora. The way nature smites a space into one composed of peeling wallpaper, tattered furniture, and creaky floorboards is alluring in the sense you've caught something in a moment from which it will only further decompose.

______Some may think the old outhouse I stumbled upon was unpleasant as the texture of mayonnaise on watermelon (mmm yeah, pretend you can feel that one in your mouth), but I've gotta disagree and say it was weirdly compelling, bro. Why, inside was a plethora of eccentric items that would cause any peasant to squeal with delight: a generic baseball trophy, a 1984 road atlas of the United States, a few empty jugs of motor oil, and most curiously, a ladder.

______A ladder in an outhouse? I mean, sure man, maybe there comes a time once in a blue men when you've just gotta take a dump from atop a ladder to make it all performative and stuff. I'm sure someone out there wants to invent the turd-taking Olympics. Hint hint: it's me. The bigger the splash, the higher your score. There's a definite relation between doo-doo size, velocity, and splash circumference. There's a potential topic for your senior thesis. Get at it.

CurtainsCurtains on an Old Outhouse

______So now that we've covered bowel movements and their prospective future role in sport competitions, along with some creepy-looking pictures of me, let's talk about this weird object trailing behind me that just so happens to look intestinal. There is consistency to my blog post topics, random as they may seem.

______This aggregation of segmented strands is actually for a performance piece that I'll have to work with next week for my advanced drawing concepts class, and the forms are based loosely off the gestural, biological forms I work with in my paintings and lithographs. I'm sort of pumped and sort of nervous for the actual presentation, but conclusively I'm ready to go for it. SO READY. Each individual strand is plump with plastic wrap or fabric, and some even have jingle bells in the nodules that produce a delightful wind-chime-esque sound when I move.

______Carry on and be merry, my friends!

Ladder