My placid floating through cars on the Amtrak is interspersed with intense happiness. Feel-best neurochemical showers have punctuated the last several days, three of which were a marathon of slumber parties.

On Friday Christan rolled into town and went to Izanami with Angelo. John, Anaïs, Noah and I made vegan pizza. Sean and Mariah came and went, Sarah popped in from time to time and Karl arrived at around 2am. I snuck into Angelo’s room, participating in cross-futon pillow talk and skinny-jean sleeping.

Samantha Harmsworth

Samantha Harmsworth

My grandparents came to Currents and I had them over for dinner. Grandpa Obie and I sat in the back yard and discussed the age of the tree in the backyard. We talked about how watching the clouds float across the sky is better than going to see a new media art festival.

I played my gender set at “Queertopia.” People danced but mostly to the ironically placed dance songs and not to the noise – opposite of the crowd I’m used to. Spacesuits was the multifaceted happening of the night. Dirt Girl played one of the best sets I’ve ever heard and I remembered how to dance, multitasking by showering in my own sweat. I toned it down with “cerebral dance jams” as Benji dubbed them. Angelo played gentle and dark. One minimal 4/4 beast had me and Benji jumping continuously for 15 minutes.

I snuck into Angelo’s bed again. We looked at his books, in describing photos by Aaron McElroy Angelo illuminated how he is essentially romantic. We listened to records and smoked out the second story window, talking with fleeting, sparkly eye contact. Our foreheads and hands touched as we slept.

IMG_5295
Not to brag, but I am adept at maintaining my work ethic without much sleep. I ran into Juliet Meyers at work while fetching water, she asked if I had stayed up late. I mentioned that my set didn’t begin until well after midnight. LizzE, who works the floor, was surprised by this double life. In the evening of course I repeated the process.

Benji’s video for spacesuits was my favorite part. Christian rattled the furniture with bass and chugged water while wearing leather gloves. Axl Contemporary was outside and we offered Juliet Meyers a treat from the gas station. Standing around the bonfire Karl outlined his project, trees with various positions in society enacting their positions in society: a cop tree, a doctor tree, a lumberjack tree…

Anaïs brought coconut bliss. Standing in the kitchen eggs came up. “Yeah, chicks are gross” I said. Karl countered that an egg would only be half a chick, or the empty potential of a chick. I meant to draw a parallel between the cultural thought that human periods are gross, but enforced chicken periods are nutritious. Laughs all around.

This time Angelo and I snuck upstairs together.

Currents + Proxies

In one slo-mo swoop I moved into new-old house (former Ghost Olympics) with Sean & Noah and built an experimental new media art installation. That + full time job + sparse parties took 12-18 hours a day for about two months. When the project was finished (ha ha, as if any project can be finished), Tristan and I stared at it, exhausted. “This is, cool? right?” Tristan asked. “I have no idea.” I replied.

Pepper's Ghost

Pepper’s ghost experiment with Margeux & Tristan

Tristan and I ran into each other at Skylight (also known as Cologne or Dick Village) when I was dropping off a fog chiller I made for their Halloween party. We talked about projecting onto fog and new media art and decided to create a proposal for Currents.

“Proxy” is essentially a joke about new media art:

A face floats on a screen of water vapor, it is not immediately clear whether is is interactive, if it is artificial, or if it is a live feed.

Proxy is comprised of duplicate stations. If both are occupied each person sees the other as a live hologram. Proxy tricks people into an immediate (mediated) human interaction within a context of new media art: artificial-artificial intelligence.

Proxy Currents Vapor Projection E M Wingren II-

Last December we experimented with a Pepper’s ghost rig and with projecting onto humidifer vapor. Water vapor was cooler. Tristan got busy with Meow Wolf so I designed and created the mechanics of the project, learning metal-working to fabricate a waterproof design and building a high output water vapor machine. We ran the Max Patch with a 30 day free trial for the course of the show ;)

After two old towers Dave Mcpherson generously offered us couldn’t run the piece we used my computer. The day of de-install I left for L.A. The train was 5 hours delayed so Noah and I went with our mom to her job sites in the area, talking about modern furniture with her client. Waiting for another hour for the train was one of the first enforced breaks I’ve had in several months. I sat down and wrote most of the application for CalArts.

A highlight of the Currents opening was when Erika Wannenmaker (Ditch Wytch) and her friend Tom said that Proxy was their favorite. Tom encouraged to apply for the Art and Technology MFA program at CalArts. I said that it would be too expensive. He said that he, and his friend (also Tom) are the directors of the program and they hope to fund one incoming student, again, he encouraged me to apply.

I met with Tom and Tom in L.A., eating Papaya salad at a strip mall, meeting Tom’s little dog, admiring resilient trees in face of draught. We talked about art and spectacle, about sociology, I saw Tom’s 19th century voltage tester. I think it is funny that I am not differentiating between the two Toms. One Benji refers to as “The biggest nerd we know.” It was his house in Echo Park, his voltage tester, his pointy-faced dog with cancer. “This is what grad school is like” the Toms said. Of course I want to go to graduate school.

Another highlight of Currents was Myriam. Her piece was my favorite. It referenced turntables with illuminated spinning tops that played slowed-down and sped-up vocal samples depending on velocity. I waited around after her performance to ask inane questions and invite her to “negronis on the terrace” (beer on front porch) but lost confidence and left. Bea and Leo made me go back and actually talk to her. I drove up the mountain to feed my boss’s dog and when I got home Cole and the gang iced me. It was the first time I have been “iced.” Very fun.

Myriam came over, we talked about paying rent, drinking coffee, and making art. She has a French accent and a boyfriend with curly blond hair. She left. Angelo and Jay arrived. We talked about minimalism and watched the lightning storm from the front porch. The sky is, and always will be a better artist than I.