Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

More Blog Construction Update - Old Posts are down for now, Color Archive in Progress

As a status update, in preparation for a few new pages on this blog I've taken down all of the previous blog posts.  I've used a lot of links over the years and - having not touched this blog in a while, I want to check them out for their continued good health and usefulness.  Not sure how many of the posts will be returning to the blog - likely most of them in some form or another but not for a few months.  I cringe at some of the writing in the early ones now....  But - if they're salvageable, they'll come back.

The Color Archive will not be going away - it will be greatly expanded.  I'm still planning on keeping this as a project that runs on tumblr because their format is just better for posts with minimal text.  Currently it goes nowhere because there are some real-world mechanics that have to happen before that can go up.  Namely... painting and photographing a lot of color swatches. 

So. many. color swatches.  

Friday, April 14, 2017

Derek Jarman Flower Index Project – An Introduction

So – an Index of the Flowers in filmmaker Derek Jarman’s book Modern Nature.  The immediate and I think reasonable reaction is, oh god why?  The only answer that I can give to that involves giving you a brief history of how I fell down this particular rabbit hole. 

The thing about Derek Jarman’s work is that, as awesome and endlessly inspiring I find it to be, I freely acknowledge it is not easy.  This is probably why writing on his work comes pretty much exclusively from serious queer and film (and queer film) historians – so I need to start out by saying that that isn’t really where I’m coming from.  His films are beautiful but not always pleasant to watch and there are films I’ve got to admit have am still unable to get through Sebastian, for example, is hugely important in gay cinema and I still haven’t finished it.  (I did make it through the initial orgy but I had to turn it off at ‘Beat him harder, Severus!’ and haven’t been able to go back to it.)
I first encountered his work through the time-honored tradition of trying to impress someone I really liked.  The incredibly cool girl I finally came out for at 18 was a big fan of the 20th century logician and philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.  When she expressed excitement over having actually found a movie about Wittgenstein, naturally there was nothing I wanted more than to watch it with her.  (I might not have been able to keep up with her when it came to actual conversations about logical theory, but I could watch a movie!)  I wouldn’t say that I had low expectations for the film going into it, but I certainly did not expect to end up falling in love with an obscure experimental filmmaker.   Wittgenstein wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen before – and the more details I learned about the film’s production and its director, the more fascinated I became.  The many many reasons that Wittgenstein is a great film are a subject for another post, which I do promise to write at some point.

Wittgenstein was Derek Jarman’s second to last film.  Modern Nature is a collection of diary entries that he worked on in the last years of his life – including the period in which he worked on Wittgenstein, which is why I first picked up the book.  As a life-long city girl I was immediately slammed with more names for flowers than I had ever seen, and certainly than I recognized.  It was frustrating – in these flower names there was an entire visual vocabulary that I was completely unable to parse.  I can't say that I was particularly surprised that I would find Jarman's diaries difficult given the trouble I've had with some of his films - and yet, I really wished that the book had come with a floral index for the nature-ignorant, like myself.  Eventually, I gave up on hoping that someone else would do this and I decided to put one together.  I’m working on that now, and will be putting this onto a page on this blog - you'll see a link to that page on the right called 'Derek Jarman Flower Index' that will take you there.  Technically it won’t be a full index with every page a plant is mentioned on listed – but eventually it will list every plant that Jarman references and link to a definition and a picture – in the hope that this will help anyone picking up the book get a better sense of what Jarman’s talking about, and give better access to the visuals of Modern Nature.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Under Construction

As I re-vamp this blog I was GOING to put a picture of a lady construction worker here - thought it would be cute.  Then I image searched 'woman construction worker'.

I will say that while I as glad to see so many hard hats I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of protective footwear.  Or... shirts. 

So... we won't be going with that.

But this blog is officially under construction, kittens.

---2017 UPDATE-----

Going to actually start following through on that construction!

Things shall change and this blog will be back in business shortly.  Maybe it's the move to the west coast of the USA, but in terms of aesthetics I'm feeling more lo-fi and grittier these days and I really feel that I need a whole new look on this blog before I can get back into this.  I will explain these changes when I've put them in place, to document this experiment.  I'll share observations as the blog changes further.

I have some ideas about things to do to this blog to make it prettier and maybe more useful... to me, at least (beauty being subjective and utility being interpreted here very liberally).  I've also decided to post slightly more personal content on here.  VERY slightly more personal content.  I suppose that's part of why I fell out of posting - all of the fun stuff I felt that I really couldn't put up here without totally throwing away my privacy.  And I'm not terribly interested in some sort of online public diary, but I realize that...it would make me really happy to share a little more with whatever random blog-browsing humans happen to find their way here.

Also....I'm not quitting on Blogger as a platform.  For now. 

(cue Journey's "Don't Stop Believing")

 I don't know, we'll see about that.  I know a lot of people have bailed on Blogger.  For now, I'm happy enough with it.  We'll see if it lets me do the design things I have in mind.  Mainly...I've set myself rather a lot of goals in the next few months and I think it's pretty unrealistic to throw developing my own website in there yet.  That might be a late 2017 or even 2018 goal, but for now I'm not going anywhere.