PIG

I was disappointed to find that all the relics from my childhood, which I had thoughtfully sorted and let go of ages ago, had reappeared. It was a heavy feeling, modulated only by the bittersweet memories attached to a collection of gelato spoons amassed over a summer with my (now dead) first love.

A music book stood out in the pile of discarded and homeless items. An illustration of a pig accompanied a wild post-bop jazz piece. I mentioned to my dad that it was a wonderful song and he said he couldn’t read music.

Mykki Blanco was sitting in our living room after a show and before a party, talking about feeding apples to pigs in Germany for a music video. I jumped up and said “Oh! Pigs love apples!” I know this because in the mess of old stuff a piglet appeared, eating what looked like a very juicy apple. It shook its head around playfully, looking me in the eye.

Beyond the pile of things was the shore of some spirit realm where we would have a family dinner with our deceased loved ones. Pork was on the menu and I wondered if it would be served with an apple in its mouth.

THX

Jess and I talked about ethics at opposite ends of a dramatically-lit table with an antler and pomegranate centerpiece.

I used to be the type of vegan who could eat goat cheese at an art-opening and call it freegan. Now knowledge of systematic brutalization prevents me from indulging in no-cost gustatory pleasure.

Jess’ line is somewhere between plant and primate, I think people should eat bugs but I don’t even kill mosquitos. I’m just vegetarian-type, it’s my sign or my gender or whatever. If it weren’t an option in my culture, I think I would still have the inkling, but who knows because I can’t live in a vacuum.

Similarly, who knows if I would have body dysphoria outside of patriarchy?

~~~

I’m in a weird in-between zone in a few ways. Waiting to figure where I’m moving, what I’ll be doing. House-sitting, not finished with a number of projects. I feel low key apathetic about everything except that I also feel like I’m falling in love. Hard not to.

~~~

Soft and sweet sexuality, pervasive throughout my body, it felt like a pale color and it felt like I could sink into it. Come to think of it, it was the same color as 11. I laughed, said something about 11,000 orgasms, and “T-H-X.”

 

What Kind of Jazz do You Like?

After Noah and I took in our Whole Foods haul we stomped our feet, spun in circles and yelped.

Noah: “If we lived in an apartment we would be homeless.”

We each drank a beer and had one of the two crackers that were left with Kite Hill cheese.

We excitedly talked about vegan cheeses with a gray-haired man at Whole Foods. We looked in his cart and asked if we could come over for dinner, asked what kind of jazz he liked.

Noah’s goal is to be able to pick up vegan cheese without thinking about it.

“Can you imagine being wealthy and stupid enough to buy these pre-cut vegetables? – I can, it would be awesome.”

 

Fabrica Interaction Design Trial

Before applying to Fabrica I spent some time searching things like “Fabrica trial experience” and “Fabrica interaction Design Trial.” Now I am adding mine to the stacks, using a boring title for search engine optimization.

5

During my skype interview, Sam Baron asked: “Why do you want to come to Italy?” I replied “I want to go to Fabrica.” He asked why I wanted to come to Fabrica, I said: “The pictures look nice.” “Pictures are sometimes bullshit” he responded. “Everything is a joke and an illusion,” I countered, “that’s why you should hire me.”

Fabrica is just like the pictures.

32

There are some things that aren’t mentioned in the literature, like that there is a nearby field where several black cats hang out and that two dogs bark at you from a neighboring fence as you walk down a path denoted by a sign that says: “Rugby.”

My trial was broken down into four projects for which I was to propose ideas: An event at Milan design week for Veuve Clicquot, an in-store iPad display for Benetton, an exhibit at Fondiazzione Benetton, and a personal project.

The workflow felt natural. Designers think independently, then meet to discuss ideas. The collaborative nature of larger projects brings out everyone’s strengths.

In the open concrete room that the design department works in, I overheard a 3 hour meeting centering around the name of the Veuve Cliquot project. Sam said he liked “Particle” and an Australian graphic designer said that “sounded too sciency” to a native English speaker. I interjected: “Call it Party-cle” and a product designer responded “Party-Cool!”

6-

When I met with the interaction design head, Angelo, he encouraged me to begin prototyping my ideas. I made a water vapor screen with the materials around (computer fans, foam core a dry paint bucket…), did some sound design, and built a patch for ultrasonic distance sensors. My thoughts were to ephemerally delineate the Veuve Cliquot  event space. The granular projection surface went with the theme: particles projected on particles. I was also interested in defining the space sonically, specifically to make parts sound like the chalk caves where Veuve Cliquot is aged by adding sharp reverb to visitor footsteps.

For the “Color Run” Benetton iPad display I outlined four ideas: a 2-4 player racing game (encouraging a longer interaction and playing on the theme of “running”), a color-personality quiz (flippant and self-aware of the vapid fashion world), a motion-sensitive “mirror” of colors “running together” (also related to a retail context, and using Benetton’s SS16 palette), and a simple video loop of running paint.

The borders project was trickier as the docket was written in Italian, and the subject matter was historically specific. I approached this proposal in a more general/abstract way, with visitor-based light projections. Angelo said this was too art-oriented and to think about contemporary issues and/or data-driven interactivity. My next proposal was an interactive rights map. The refugee crisis was the biggest contemporary issue that came to mind, specifically in regard to Europe, so this was one direction. The other was a global map of LGBTQ rights. I’m not sure either hit the mark with regard to the client. As I discovered later, Angelo has already covered European borders in a gorgeous way.

7-8-

I was encouraged to have fun on the weekend… So I came to Fabrica to continue work on my projects. This was the most luxurious and relaxing thing I could imagine. The acoustics in the building are amazing when you are in there alone singing and I’m sure Tadao Ando designed this building with whistling in mind.

Marta, (admin of design department?) was giving a tour to some guests and offered me a ride. She said that they used to throw a party at the Trial apartment every two weeks, and neighbors complained every time. I took this as a hint – personal project? Throw a party.

4

I arrived at a busy time, but it appeared to me that no one was working on personal projects. If I were accepted it seems I would have to put in extra evening/weekend hours to complete everything I envision. This is what I am used to anyway ;)

The hours Fabricanti put in are long, which I am also accustomed to, but the lunch breaks are longer than in U.S. capitalist culture. You walk by a giant abandoned building to get to Benetton’s mensa, which features pasta every day (and other options for omnivores). I had pasta with tomato sauce, fruit, a salad, and sparkling water during each lunch hour (these were the entirety of the vegan options). Vegetarian options weren’t robust either (add cheese to the above and have desert if you want it), and food quality was a notch above mediocre. The stipend of 700 euro a month (before taxes) on top of free rent and daily pasta seems geared toward Europeans fresh out of college (without loans to pay off) and is less than I’m used to making for full time work (it would equate to about 7.50 an hour including an estimated 400 a month for rent and 200 for lunches). Still, I would rather do interaction design alongside a creative group than continue to manage social media/SEO for high end designer fashion.

There’s still some fashion industry to contend with, seeing as Fabrica is funded and run by the Benetton group. I respect Benetton’s socially aggressive marketing platforms but am critical of them in terms of manufacturing practices – they follow the tropes of fast fashion and are “unable to” regulate/be transparent about their labor. The Bangladesh factory collapse in 2013 was connected to Benetton production and there is the problem that most cotton produced in the world involves slave/child labor at some point in the supply chain. Come to think of it, I can’t believe I didn’t incorporate wordplay on “Fast Fashion” into Benetton’s “Color Run” themed display.

If Benneton is “socially conscious” fast-fashion, Fabrica must largely function as a tax write-off and a resource for semi in-house marketing (“essential part of the Benetton group” and all) though overall Fabrica feels relevant and independent. This is due to the strengths of the people and the tremendous building.

So there’s my Fabrica Interaction Design Trial experience. I had a fun time at villain-tryouts.

1

(Update: after > 8 weeks I found out I was accepted)

Venice

After 30 hours of X sleep, but plenty of thinking, I arrived in Venice. I got my passport stamped, admired the industrial design in the bathrooms, and took a swig of duty-free Russian vodka.

Venice Water Taxi

Googs instructed me to get off a water taxi at Ospidale. Meandering through the hospital and across myriad canals I was led to a final tiny alleyway. The only people around at midnight were smooching each other.

A door with an iron handle demarcated what the map said was my hostel. I buzzed and the door opened into a dark room with a marble floor and a single chair. Further on, there were stairs – also dark. I used my airplane-mode-phone-flashlight to ascend 3 flights, at the top of which I found a closed door. It was unlocked and I was greeted by a well-dressed young man. The hostel room had six beds, a sparkling floor, and panoramic views of Venice rooftops. In the morning the well dressed young man gave me a small pitcher of coffee and a basket of pastries. I noted to facebook: “So far the only thing I have said is “grazie” because all Italians are psychic and just hand me what I need.”

image

A vendor handed me an umbrella as I walked through the rain looking for lunch. At a tiny restaurant I asked what was vegan the owner said “anything you want.” Then, because he was also psychic he said: “If you feel like a pasta dish I can use smoked seitan and a spicy tomato sauce.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 10.42.24 AM

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 10.42.40 AM

It was valentine’s day, so it’s possible that the amount of people smooching was higher than normal, then again maybe that’s how it is in Venice. For dinner I went to Pinzimonio and laughed about being the only english-speaker and the only person not on a date. An appetizer of carrots, celery, cauliflower and some sort of fuchsia turnip were placed on the table along with a creamy sauce. The vegetables alone were astounding. Before leaving for Italy I had joked about trying pasta there for the first time and realizing everything I love is a lie. It turns out I went to Italy, tried vegetables for the first time, and realized everything I love is a lie.

I selected a Saffron rice dish with seasonal vegetables and crumbled nuts. I was pleasantly surprised by the addition of juniper berries, whose bitterness blended artfully with my IPA. When asked about dessert I ordered a slab of cake with rose petals and heart-shaped chocolates alongside a perfect espresso. By the end of the meal I found I could speak Italian.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 10.45.43 AM

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 10.45.16 AM

if anything

Aeriflot

The airline procedures on Aeroflot are all in slow motion and exalt beautiful, smiling stewardesses interacting with young children. Oddly enough this is pretty much the scene around me on the airplane.

A flight attendant said something in Russian, pushing a cart of drinks and I said: “red wine?” She poured the wine into a paper cup that depicted a sea of blood with the Coca Cola logo floating above.

A food cart made its way down the alley and the stewardess looked at me quizzically, then said “vegetarian?” I emote vegetarianism. Resting vegan face.

With 3 hours before my flight I tracked down a vegan restaurant. This required that I leave the airport and go through security at a different terminal. I won many points in LAX’s platform game of “Vegan Separatism.”

I think to myself: “should I feel nervous?” then sit back in my pervasive sense of calm. There is something about travel that makes me feel inordinately relaxed. (I am also the type of person who routinely misses flights).

I am having a pleasant time laying my thoughts out across the “Notes” app. As always, the onboard wifi doesn’t work and all my pre-loaded articles have been replaced with a smiling Russian stewardesses (clones, like nurse Joy and officer Jenny). They are so beautiful. I dropped my toy truck in the aisle – flight attendant Roxana picked it up and smiled at me. later, as I was sleeping, flight attendant Roxana pulled a blanket over me. As the airplane crashed into the sea, flight attendant Roxana put her oxygen mask on before assisting me with mine.

Pokemon metaphors are vital. The most important thing to think about is how I am like a Magikarp, and how I have to focus on swimming up that waterfall. One thing that is really boring to think about is that I lost and/or used all my fake money. I’m in debt around $6000 between car repairs, airline tickets (not refunded by insurance), Airline tickets (new), and dental surgery. I just can’t get myself to particularly care. It will take me > 6 months to pay it all back with current wages at full time but I also feel the time to quit my job is nigh.

Yes, it is time to move to a new place by myself and quit my job. Both unreasonable things to do in the perspective of money, though more and more money is a construct I don’t really get… pun intended.

The other day Lynn said something about how I “wouldn’t understand” because I’m “not a capitalist.” It’s true – at home Noah and I sit around and invent communism all day (how lazy).  Mom says “there is a lot of money in the world, I hear.” I’ve heard that too. More importantly, there are the things that we physically need to survive – like this fruit cup!

I am delighted my airline breakfast: potatoes, spinach, and whole little mushrooms, bread, fruit, and tea. A side dish had kiwi, melon and pineapple cut into tiny pieces with cilantro. A lemon wedge, lettuce, tomato, and an artichoke heart decorating the top. A combination I’ve not encountered before – wonder what it was alluding to, if anything

Goo World

Sarah used her airline points to get us tickets to LA (lucky!).

IMG_5904.JPG

Getting up at 4:30am what I wanted was just a cold brew coffee with coconut-based ice cream in there, cacao nibs up top – get the little lady started. Portobello tempeh-bacon cashew-cheese chile burger with a salad and fried artichoke hearts to go with the coffee. That and a sunlit-trip to China town galleries with Raven, a free visit to botanical gardens via reciprocal museum-pass, and pizza delivered to the bungalow with some friends and beers, and a talk on psychic dogs at a bar, followed by a noise show. 

IMG_5908.JPG

IMG_5947.JPG

Studying for the GRE before anyone else got up, I discovered a coffee date almost by accident because LA is easy. Museum of Jurassic technology was a magical process of discovery, and also free due to having been a museum guide. At a thrift store I found $200 Italian trousers, pockets not yet seam-ripped, that fit me perfectly: $18. Venice beach was down the street. We ran straight into the ocean – me: skinny jeans and turtleneck, Crocket: underwear. We walked around for a couple hours after that, picturing life on scooters by the beach, trick-or-treating for cocktails at the houses of the wealthy. Cold butts, but easy-cold, like 50 degrees fahrenheit.

12473748_1161948427163618_6653653229020349418_o.jpg

Skyping with Emily/Benji in future-time (Hong Kong) and getting a virtual tour of part of the city, Crocket and I drank 4Loko. At a NYE party we played tag with Brendan and Alanna. They have to come back to Fe to get us back.

IMG_5913.JPG

For New Year’s Day we had Pho with Everything is Terrible, after a look at his upstairs China Town studio (where they rented him out, and he was counting hundreds of Jerry Maguire VHSs). Everything at Ph0 87 had beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp, except the vegan pho – which was excellent – as was the coconut cream and red bean drink.

 

IMG_5941.JPG

I found a cutie – “Yin” asked them “Beach?” to which they replied “yuh.” We didn’t manage to coordinate outside of a text-chain, but nice to know I have game in a place where there is one.

IMG_5919.JPG

At the second beach, Point Doom, we hiked down some cliffy-landscape. Crocket and I went swimming in the waves at sunset ~ perfect hair forever ~ Sarah and Sandra opened the matte black champagne bottle and we drank on the sand till it was dark.

The .99 store has those $6 lettuce bins, but fresh, for.99. Also everything else. Move to LA, get part time work at MOCA and foodstamps, spend them at .99 store –  start an illegal taco stand and make a killing (vegan killing). “Taco Beast” a reference to Taco Bell if Taco Bell is Taco Belle: Taco Belle and the Taco Beast.

Flagstaff Arizona at The Monty, where it turned out Crocket and I had both gone on tour, we walked to the vegan curry place and cursed the parking. Sitting in the “most haunted” hotel room, we all talked ~the feelings~ and ~the thoughts~ I realized I have never heard Sandra say anything negative. She makes clear statements, well thought out, and compassionate, about every subject. I aspire to her outlook, and communication skills. I aspire to be like my friends in many ways, Sarah for her observant/critical nature and limitless kindness, Crocket for perseverance, outlook, and getting shit done.

IMG_5966.JPG
On the road trip back we ate limitless snax from .99 store. A trucker told me she liked my hair, said she would let her son cut her hair after seeing my do. Crocket said: “Why didn’t you leave with her? Free U.S. tour!

IMG_5963.JPG

12.17.15

I ate 8 tangerines, dhal, fried rice, and a salad over the course of the day (also coffee and green tea). Dion asked me for a bite of my salad and said it was good, then we all talked about dressings (mine was spicy/creamy with chickpeas/chipotle).

On Dion’s suggestion, As I re-sized photos, I listened to a talk from Dr Greger, who analyzes every nutrition report over the course of the year. Basically don’t eat animal products, they cause cancer, alzheimer’s, etc.  Also, it literally kills animals to kill them 4 food. 

Tina asked if I had painkillers, I went to 5 and Dime and got some for her along with a cake (Cliff Builders Bar)

Dion wrote: “Rhodia Rosea” on a piece of paper for me after I yawned

Crocket came into the store around twilight (4:30). We had a break to drink apple cider and go joy riding.

Bethany and Dion went over reports, 10% of new customers come in through the web, up from around 3% last year. Don’t know if that growth is good or not good but I am responsible for it.

12.15.15

Lifehack: No leftovers for lunch tomorrow? Make a pot of dhal just now. The more beers you have had the more garlic the dhal will have – yum!

The more bad you are the more bags of pixel modules will be on your floor.

Sleep until 9. Work at 9:30. (15 minutes of exposure to sunlight). Never set an alarm, just be late to work. And don’t take a lunch break to buy a burrito – $5 is a cheap lunch out but more than the ingredients for a burrito. Plus there will cold grey clots of turkey on your (non menu item) vegan burrito.

A lunch break also costs $6 after taxes, so that’s $13 (+ tip at counter service) for a lunch that could be $2. No sunlight without lunch break though, loose hatchtag $ (#$) for a lunch break though. We could all need a work-buddy to peer-pressure us into any vitamin D.

I wish I could have a cup of chamomile tea. I wish I could stand in a shallow pool of sunlit water. (Again). No one knew that that was what I was doing, hiding tequila at the Rat Rat. Shallow devil in sunlit water. I didn’t see the toothbrush I had stowed there (long ago) there (recently). Sad shallow devil in moonlight. No time for that kind of fast-sadnes. The kind of fast sadnes with 2 s’s only.

Everyone conspiring against me like: “Let’s hang out,” “we love you,” “this will be fun.” It’s true. let’s hang out, I love you, this is fun.

I don’t want to do the work that I don’t want to do, therefore I am lazy.

I wanna figure out how 2 code these depth sensors and not finish my (overdue) project for Meow Wolf. I wanna wire some fans and go to the hardware store. I wanna drink these beers and sing “Glue” with Sean and Noah while there is snow on the porch.

I dislike class structure and the abstraction of labor but do like working hard and pleasing people.

It is so cold in my room but I have a hot water bottle and synthetic covers. I hardly sleep but sleep hard lately, don’t notice parties and can barely visualize my next day b4 crashing on my iceslab…  I only get ½ of what the 3 me’s could do done in 1 night, because every me got sleepy. 

I do the work I don’t want to do out of obligation (+ 2 pay 4 living), therefore I am a sinner. 

 

11.15.15

So this morning there was an upstairs with new rooms in the house – typical dream symbol and one my dad mentions experiencing often.

A few days ago, a lion came up to me on the porch. It was probably gonna try to harm me. I told it to:”fuck off.” Dejected, it went off into the yard, pulling up tall weeds with the yellow flowers, shaking dirt off from the root formations.

The flowers then turned into a zebra and I watched as the lion twisted one of its legs,  tearing it off.

At work: “I guess the lion showed me that plants are living, that they feel pain, and that I am part of their cyclical suffering.”

At home, with Sarah: “You have mentioned several dreams about zebras being killed.”

Killing zebras is black and white. In reference to the earlier instance: Oliver knew the zebras wanted to give him their lives because he was a hunter. The lion killing the zebra on the front porch was natural.

I told Sarah about hiking with Caity/Lindsey’s grandma (in the Meow Wolf Prom dream) she said: “Which grandma?” I didn’t know, I haven’t met either, one is not currently living. Sarah asked me to describe her – short dark blond hair, new white tennis shoes, small stature. Sarah showed me a picture on her phone – it was the woman I had dreamed about. Wonder if I had seen her picture and subconsciously filed it to make dreams with.