Sunday, July 23 2000
I had things I needed to do today, but in the morning I just wanted to work some bugs out of the new messageboard system which I put live on the NT server at www.vodkatea.com (it is now serving as the messageboard system for this journal). I'd like to encourage more people to post to it and tell me what they think about it.
The messageboard system is just one of the new tricks I can do now that I have server space on the NT machine that Evan and I set up for Unveiled and Goddesstemple. Not only is that box hosting my Vodkatea domain, but it's also the home of Kim's project, Bathtubgirl.com. Being able to write any script I want in a language as familiar as ASP/VBScript considerably simplifies the development of a site like Bathtubgirl. Kim hasn't really mapped out or otherwise articulated the specifics of how she wants the site to look and intralink. Her method of web development is to sit at my side and tell me what she thinks would look better, revising continuously. The only way to build consistent navigation for a site undergoing such changes is to build it as a centralized function. Indeed, centralized navigation functions are probably the single biggest time saver for my web development generally.
Towards evening, Kim and I drove into Downtown LA for another visit to the Dr. Susan Block Studio. Today my mission was to remove the cheesy gold frame from my painting Original Sin and then paint the edge of the canvas black. It was a simple enough job, and the only real difficulty was finding a lightswitch in the cavernous warehouse space housing the Studio.
While we were there, Kim and I were sent on an errand to pick up some smokes down at the corner grocery store. Inside the warehouse, the air had been stuffy and hot from baking in the bright downtown sun. But it was already dusk outside and the temperature had fallen to a perfect 76 degrees Farehenheit.
The neighborhood around the Studio is characterized by fairly typical downtown Los Angeles urban decay. Some day I would like to go on a tour of the rotting neighborhoods to the south to see just how devastated things can get. Spending so much time in the sterilized Westside, it's easy to overlook the big trends in demographic/economic topology that make the city so interesting.
While Kim was buying stuff in the corner store, Sophie saw fit to urinate on some newspapers on a low rack out in front. This is not an unusual perversity for her, but this evening the shopkeeper actually saw her doing it. It's a lucky thing that she was Mexican. I know Hitler smiles on me every time I generalize about ethnic groups, but I've yet to meet a type-A Hispanic.
Back at the gallery we all smoked a joint and proceeded to unpack a huge makeshift portfolio sent to the gallery by an evidently unhinged former courtroom artist. She'd sent at least a dozen large works, most of them done on layers of paper and collage so thick and rubbery that they almost seemed like linoleum. The principle drawing medium appeared to be pastels, although some of the richly clotted colors looked a little like oil paint, though they may have actually been pastel mixed with glue. The images themselves were complex, nightmarishly claustrophobic scenes of masturbation, rape, torture, and many other things revealed to anyone patient enough to untangle the stormy snarls of the pastels.
But more disturbing even than the images themselves was the passionate disregard displayed by the artist to things such as conservation of effort and
possible means of display. These lapses were manifested by the tendency of the artist to draw on both sides of the media, leave vast swaths unfinished, and to bury perfectly good drawings under layers of paper, collage and other drawings. How could you hang such work? Max thought perhaps they should be hung from clotheslines, like pants.
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