The long Xmas break is coming to a close. I *love* being off from work, but I guess most people at this point in time could say that. According to Forbes at least 2 out of 3 Americans dislike their jobs. Still there are worse options, like unemployment, like living in a town I really don’t like (I do still like Blue Mountain quite a lot, just not as much as in earlier years). And I can see the finish line of my job now — 5 more years or so, perhaps 6. And that’s it.
As I’ve probably already written about here, I am very pleased with the progress on Sunklands, which is now a blog wrapped up in a legitimate web site (still bakerbloch.com for now). I see the blog as sort of a volcano of ideas, spewing forth strings of energy. I might have just finished up a round of Collagesity style fiction, for example. Before that I was heavy into the interpretation of the Boos collage series. Before that, the focus was on physically making the collages of that series. And so on back down the line. But sitting behind the blog are also several other projects I don’t talk about as much. The Sunklands site now seems to center around the collage art of me, baker b. But running in the background all the time in low hum mode is the maps research. It predates the digital collages, it predates audiovisual synching: for over 30 years now I’ve been working on this one project, trying to figure out how to put it in some sort of published form. And despite at least one valiant attempt, I’m still not there. Probably in about 10 years time I’ll release a version of the research but with the understanding that new editions will be forthcoming. I look forward to retirement for time to focus on that very important life project as well. The hybrid “Map Synching Feeling” from last year is a nod in this direction.
So let’s just break it down into categories:
Very pleased, once more, with progress on collage work. 2 10 work series came in the first half of the year, and then the 30 piece Boos series happened in November and December. If I can keep doing 2 or 3 series a year like that for the rest of my life I’ll be pretty happy. It’s very very important to allow time for 2d digital collage making. It’s become my bread and butter, along with overall blog development.
And I have to add here that collage *interpretation* worked out well this year too. My interpretation of the Boos series might be my best writing yet in that vein. I also worked quite hard on the Stonethrow series interpretation in May, but that was only 10 collages as opposed to the 30 in Boos.
Another type of collage in my mind, and one that keeps chugging along, although not at the hot pace of 2004-2007, or even 2013, another big synching year for me. But they still come. Carrcass-12 was formed this year in September. I still need to tape it, but I seemingly have all the elements in place now to do so. In a way, *this* is the center, and 2d collages just emerged from it instead of visa versa. But, really, the two go hand in hand in a bigger picture.
One thing I don’t worry about, at least presently, is making any money off of these collage creations. Setting that on the backburner has allowed me more freedom to experiment. For example, I’m always examining the idea of a work of art as self contained vs. being part of a series of at least 10 works. Obviously to the general (buying) public the former would be more understandable and probably more desirable to exhibit on their own. But without the flow of ideas behind the work, collages seem hollow and more insubstantial and, eventually perhaps, even dispensable. It’s a large topic. And this goes along with the needed interpretation of said series, adding depth. It’s almost two sides of one thing: like the moon, collages have a light side (surfacely viewable; contained) and a dark side (hidden meaning; boundless). To explore both, for me, is to better see the whole.
This year, probably for the first time in my Second Life involvement, I’ve kept together a virtual town for *a whole year*. That’s quite an accomplishment in and of itself. But, viewed in another way, maybe it’s a non-accomplishment, because I’m always going back and forth whether to sell the land at the first of the month, or even abandon it. Witness the “move” to Nautilus continent and the Mysten sim this past summer. Witness the more recent Nautilus City rentals. Just last week Spongeberg Resident decided not to destroy the town in January and shift everything over to that island city. And I’m well aware that Second Life will not last forever, and that if I retain a virtual presence it will soon have to come through some kind of other platform. But I haven’t found that platform yet, and so my involvement with Second Life and virtual town making there persists. I’m thinking that the name Collagesity might be carried over into a post Second Life existence. I just like the name.
Art (Toy/Junk) Happenings:
One for this year: Bigfoot. Another big success story. Taking place on the western edge of the Blue Mountain Urban Landscape, October’s Bigfoot art happening forms a great synthesis of junk, toys, and marble races, my best effort yet in that direction and a template of sort for all happenings to follow. Where is it headed? I’m not sure, but the happenings have become an indispensable part of my art now. They are also entwined with woodsy exploration. So let’s go to that next…
The weather has been super nice in November and December this year, allowing me considerably more hikes that usual for the time period. I have a backlog of photos to upload to the blog, actually, involving several more extensions of the Blue Mountain Landscape beyond Bigfoot (and Rediscovery). But Bigfoot is the big find of the year since it is attached to the successful happening. And the Blue Mountain Urban Landscape itself, taking a focus away from nearby Frank and Herman Parks. Too much stress, I feel, has been laid upon the latter to carry forth my art happenings, with Whitehead Crossing at the center of that quandry. More on that in a post to come. But Whitehead X-ing keeps being developed in its own way, and, as it seems to be turning out, in a *different* direction than the art happenings. Very important point there.
It keeps keeping on! I’m one of those that took to blogging like a duck to water. I can’t see that coming to a halt anytime soon. It also acts as or subs for a personal/ work journal. I sometimes talk through life problems via the blog’s various characters. I find refuge in a virtual village when the outside world becomes either physically or emotionally harsh. I weather the storm there and blog about it. I always seem to emerge a stronger person, and better because of the challenge. Thank you Sunklands!