Niente

As always, a trip to venice started with a group of Fabricanti running for the train. The ticket-checker said “you’re lucky!”

I added a paper mache Venetian mask to my DIY trash masterpiece and took the stage at some thumping party (Ainhoa told me to).

Carnival feels similar to mainstream American Halloween, except with a larger quantity of Venetian masks. I was unhappy to see a bunch of “Mexican” costumes. Other than that there were drunk people being impressed by cardboard costumes (they always are), and drunk people being impressed by my costume (they always are) and drunk people asking if I was a boy or a girl (they always do).

 

“Si una donna o uomo?”

“NIENTE!”

 

Ainhoa told a group of astronauts we were models from California, doing a campaign for Benetton. “Except me” I said “I’m modeling for Commes des Garcons” (making a joke  about my crow costume). The invited us to south Italy to smoke weed.

Everyone drank prosecco from a jug tied to a guy’s back. They invited us to the party at Arsenale. “Will it be actually cool?” I asked. It was around 23:30, the last train is at midnight. I announced my departure. Akanksha and Ainhoa begged me to stay, Alexis was ambivalent, Jenny was hungry.

I continued to walk toward Santa Lucia. Ainhoa climbed a gate. Jenny took pictures. We ran into Giorgia, dressed as a giraffe, wondering who would drive since her and all her friends were drunk.

I continued to walk toward Santa Lucia. Jenny and Alexis came with. We got falafel back in Treviso and the people there asked for our pictures (for their fashion blogs, I’m sure).

25.2.17

Finished two weeks of sobriety with drinks post-Bertjan-Pot workshop + lecture.

I Complimented Bertjan on an excellent lecture behind his back. Kenzi and I stayed as everyone else went out for pizza.

Talked about the trial, critiqued the workshop. We both felt interrupted by constant feedback. Like “let me show you how to discover the meaning of the workshop.”  I might have discovered the meaning of the workshop if I was given more space.

We went to Dump, laughed with some women who work at Benetton. Kenzi snuck off at some point. I left with Akanksha and crew.

23.2.17

Today I was writing to Bea in my dream, saying I missed her and telling her what I was up to. I woke up to an Instagram message from Bea, told her I missed her, and what I was up to.

I had a brioche and a cappuccino for the first time (THE Italian breakfast) because it was being paid for by the Japanese film crew. (I got up early to be on Japanese TV in four years, because Bebe the Fabricanti is also Bebe the Olympic athlete).

Quentin used neutral pronouns for me and I felt happy and understood.

One of the film crew people had the best outfit and I stared at them. Àngeles and I giggled about who was cute. It was cute. Cute is my new word I guess.

Made monsters all day (Bertjan Pot workshop). Drank coffee and felt like 6 hours of sleep and a broken REM CYCLE. I gave Akanksha half of my thermos. She said I made really good coffee. I said that that is why I am a great date. Then added “also my skills at sex.”

In the afternoon several people came up and laughed at me, said they had seen me dancing. I don’t even have a strong memory of dancing, probably because I am dancing anytime I think I am alone. Marco started laughing in the studio and pointed up to me

Everyone was draping-themselves-over-the-furniture-level-tired after the workshop. It was cute. (There I go again).

I walked home and it took two hours (longer than normal). Lorena passed me on her bike and said she recognized me from far away.

21.2.17

I saw Teresa Mascia in a dream. She was wearing a dusty rose skirt. She beamed and waved as she walked by. It was nice to see her.

Never know anyone, or yourself… because you can’t. Because there isn’t. That’s how it just now felt, more or less, and earlier today too.

Like at the Imago Mundi meeting, agreeing on a concept. I disassociated for a moment and we were just containers for nervous systems with all words meaningless. In us and through us: blank space.

And just now, thinking about “cute” and remembering Jess use the word the last time we saw each other, and thinking the way they said it was it. (Cute). And I never knew Jess and never will know anyone.

The memory of having that crush and then being rejected is on a feeling-loop whenever I think about it. And now I’m trying to avoid giving those feelings to someone else again. By lying. But not really, just halfway. By not being fully honest because mightn’t full honesty result in emotional catastrophe? I don’t have the time.

How did I dig this hole and am I building a house in it? Wasn’t it all sealed in that first 10 minutes of looking in Kamille’s eyes?

20.2.17

I was pretty deep in dreams when my alarm went off and my 5 minutes to go in there and find them again turned into an hour and a half.

“You’re only late once” I thought to myself “you might as well take your time.” I took my popped-tire bike to the repair place, went back upstairs, made coffee, and did DuoLingo.

I borrowed Ainhoa’s bike and rode to Fabrica listening to Patricia, thinking about the problem of dressing myself with the mounting dysphoria of warm weather. Maybe I will just wear body shame and sunglasses. Or maybe there is an ephemeral jacket that will save my life and I’ll get model skinny and fucking ripped. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In the morning I moulded my concept for Imago Mundi. Midmorning I had a deep-in-thought-cigarette and then went upstairs, where I opened Max and played around, achieving nothing, until it was time for mensa.

I sat next to Akanksha, she said it was time to really party next weekend. I asked about logistics and it comes down to this: We got to Carnival, take the last train to Vicenza, and party until the early morning train at 5 or so. Sounds like hell.

Post-mensa I peacefully continued work on my prototype. I thought we had an Imago Mundi meeting but we did not. I ran into Angelo, who looked at me like “Why are you always walking to and from weird places with sunglasses on?” He asked if I had concepts for the new brief, I said yeah, I asked if he did, he said he was working on them.

 

17.2.17

Angelo and I walked back and forth between my new studio and the workshop, setting up my next prototype. It is so peaceful there. We worked fluidly and silently, save for the unfurling of painter’s plastic. “I love that sound” I thought it, he said it. He rotated the foam cubes we were using as stands to make the view more aesthetic. He said he bet anything Stefano would come inquire as to what we were doing (Stefano being the reason we were protecting the floor with both plastic and a trough).

Back in the studio after mensa I found out I had been accepted to the second round of the Amsterdam light festival. I forwarded the email (+ the rejection from Arte Laguna). Marta chirped her congratulations and the whole studio applauded. I said I may not get into the final round. 300 people were accepted into this round Angelo said, 30 will be accepted. “Oh a 33.33% chance” I said. “Yeah, we can do it” Angelo replied, and he told me to forward the email to Stefano as well.

We were standing outside, talking about how the main things I’ve done at Fabrica have involved boxes “year of the box, new horoscope” Angelo said. “Are you happy?” he asked. “Yes, very” I said. Well practiced stoic reactions.

There was a short meeting for a new (exciting) brief, after which time I tried again to fix my iphone (to no avail) and laughed to myself as I walked back and forth to my studio, listening to music, and fb chatting with Noah as I filled and refilled a watering can from the bathroom sink. 

15.2.17

It was fun for me to ride the bus yesterday but I did a great job of not catching it (the combination of waking up late and stovetop espresso doesn’t work for that) so I rode Ainhoa’s bike, which was good because I had to spit out lumps of snot on my journey.

I get to use the showroom above Monica Faggin’s studio as a prototyping space and am deeply excited. Angelo greeted me this morning and we talked about putting down plastic to protect the beautiful dark wood floor.

As he checked emails I added my project to the “Speak Up Monday” presentation that Kentin (Kenzi and Quentin) organized. This is their idea to add interdepartmental transparency/connectivity.

I went to facebook to download the Jitter bible that Federico Foderaro posted in the CC4AV group. I saw a post of Akanksha’s about Berghaim opening a new basement dancefloor and commented “when r we going/will the neighbors complain?”

Then we both got really excited.

Angeles emailed me asking if I would be a butt model (since I bike so much) for ARS Fabricandi. So Akansha and I will be the butt models. Ha ha ha. “How’d you get such nice asses?” – “Climbing fences”

Walking to mensa, I talked with Leo about how her idea could be done using generative 3d animation and depth sensors. She had LEDs in mind. I told her what I know about programming LEDs or pixel modules. Said Angelo may know more, having just sent an email explaining ta new storefront concept where an LED array changes color based on a live feed of twitter hashtags.

At the point when the afternoon sun was most beautiful Angelo led me to my new workspace. Glass objects on perfect tables beautifully displayed for no one. And I’ll have my own elevator, ha ha ha.

 

Human-y feelings.

My new home is:

(the smell of)

afternoon sunlight on a dark wood floor

in a secret room

 

Today as the sky went from blue to deeper blue there were bird sounds I hadn’t heard before. Does this mean it’s spring? “It’s a big day today” Daniel said.

Quentin just rammed into Silvia, who was holding a giant pillow.

14.2.17

Alexis convinced me to ride the bus by saying “you could ride the bus.” I Hugged Ainhoa and Leo at the bus stop. I Met Matteo, the new photography trial from Italy. Lorena talked with her Spanish/special needs bus-friend (who is an excellent singer when Lorena isn’t around to converse). The guy with elegant outfits who I see exiting the bus whenever I bicycle by was sitting near me. Jonas and I talked about how good his outfits always are as he exited.

Big mama Fabrica bought me some presents which were sitting under my desk. New ultrasonic mister and accompanying floating ring. It felt like my birthday, which it will be soon.

I was working on a maxpatch, Kenzi and Laura came in and rang the Mensa bell. Quentin stayed and worked on modular furniture drawings. Ainhoa made him a mensa-sandwich.

Kenzi and I went to Mis Catena. I talked about Finland (he didn’t know I was going), he talked about the “Venice Over Tourism” Unesco World Heritage project that Social Campaigns is working on.

In the afternoon I was measuring out a fan-array  when Quentin came in and said “it’s five” we went to the Imago Mundi meeting. Karen skyped in. Jonas picked ever present glitter out of his hair.

I chatted with Fuse as we left the bus home. Ran upstairs, ate the tiny amount of soup left from last night, changed the SIM card from my phone to ipad (broke the cable on the battery replacement I was attempting to instal on my phone) so now I giant phone instead of a tiny monitor.

Met with German photographer, Phillip, in Venice. We got a coffee, I signed his handwritten model release because there are no internet cafes in the world anymore, and no printers in all of Italy. He gave me €50, we took pictures by graffiti, by water, by trash cans with the Mcdonald’s logo (M, for me). A drunk guy came up and asked drunk questions.

The train was coming in half an hour so we got a drink. Two medium IPAs each. We had two because though the room was full of clocks, none of them were correct and I missed the train. I said he didn’t have to babysit me and he said he would be delighted to do so. We stayed another hour, talking about AI. Phillip lived in Japan with his gf, they started a company, they broke up. He went back to Germany and translated Japanese into German for Nintendo (Mario, Zelda, etc.) creating new jokes for those that were untranslatable.

“Grazie mille” I said to Phillip, as we waved goodbye, half a meter apart. Last Valentine’s day I was in Venice for the first time, having dinner by myself, amidst a sea of couples who’s language I didn’t know, and it was romantic. This year I had a romantic-platonic date with a stranger (who also forgot it was Valentine’s day).

I don’t really know the story of saint Valentine (of course I could look it up) but my impression is it has to do with someone who was brutalized/imprisoned, wrote kind letters (to friends?) from prison, and then got killed/martyred. And it’s a nice thought to celebrate love in many forms in honor of this dude who was v loving in spite of having it real bad.

In practice Valentine’s day seems to make people feel like they’re being martyred ;) All responses, critical and non, are common to the point of being boring. I feel boring writing about it. I am so bored. Here is a chart.

Critical / Negative Uncritical / Negative
The way Valentine’s day is celebrated is overly capitalistic Stress about buying gifts for (usually female identified) partners
The way Valentine’s day is celebrated is overly focused on romantic love Stress about being romantically alone on Valentine’s day
The way Valentine’s day is celebrated is cis/heteronormative Blanket middle-school-like hatred of Valentine’s day because it seems edgy
The way Valentine’s day is celebrated causes a significant upswing in emissions from rose agriculture  

 

Critical / Positive Not Critical / Positive
In terms of the namesake story, the holiday is actually just about spreading love, which is lovely It’s romantic

 

I am only parsing my thoughts on this topic because Kamille was bummed, belonging primarily to the uncritical-emotional-response group (though she’s meta about this). She said “When I’m alone and see other people in love I feel somehow jealous and my thoughts go in the direction ‘noone loves you because you’re trans.”

Heartbreaking. Reading what she had to say made me empathize more with people who feel things other than indifference toward the holiday.

💎

In Berlin you can eat garden-weed-spread on toast and drink steamed white wine with a teabag in it.
You can go to the sweatiest basement, from the pointiest wind, and back.
In Berlin you can come home to Kamille making 150 vegan perogies.
Falafel is €1. You can buy a warm beer and walk outside with it until it is cold.
Aside from that, they do a great job game-ifying their recycling.

10.2.17

The main processing of the Jitter/Javascript workshop took place while asleep – I would be coding in dreams every morning for weeks.  I got drinks with a varied group of interesting nerds after the workshop. I had been chatting with a new father/professor and a kid who had his own music visualization company for the past several days, and sitting next to an Italian girl with both great questions and great hair. Probably the most advanced of the group was this German woman who, I learned, programs self driving cars for a living.

Isaac and Luna met me at Sameheads, which was a different bar from when I was on mushrooms. We chattered away like North Americans who are friends, and had a walk-and-drink to luna’s lovely apartment. We danced around her big room of windows and plants with one of those rotating-multi-color-light toys.