Archives for the month of: April, 2013

nothing

Another one of my building site images. It shows Nothing. I particularly like the scratch marks around the nothing :)

windows

Sadly I won’t be able to do much art this weekend. We have to attend to our renovations. We are half way through and I am so over it! I went around the site this morning to take some images. Yesterday the glass for the windows was delivered. All the panes are leaning against the wall with little blue stickers on them. Through the lens it looked like they were floating.

wire knot

This week has been pretty stressful but I still want to keep my blog going. I know from experience once I start slipping, it will turn into a land slide in no time flat and that would mean the beginning of the end.

So I went through my image files and found this one here to describe the current situation. It shows the most important thing in any New Zealander’s tool box. A piece of No 8 fencing wire. It is said a true New Zealander can fix anything with this. It is a reference to the creativity and ingenuity of the early settlers in adapting to living so far away from the ‘mother land.’

Ah well, it shows I am not a true New Zealander. My piece of wire is tied up in a serious knot and it doesn’t look as if I could untie it in a hurry. Maybe the weekend will fix it!

nail

This item is so typical of my youth. I got it from the person I had my very first crush on. It is a nail to fix shoes to a horse’s hoof. I don’t know if it is universal, but horse shoes are supposed to be lucky charms. Well, nobody ever gave me the shoe. I had to make do with the nail. But I’ve learned in the meantime they can be just as lucky. You only have to believe in it.

sunny and lartiste

Who is going to tell Sunny that we are not using his project as is. Certainly not me. I am a wimp when it comes to such talks. Thankfully I have a good excuse. I am not even a Dede. If I told him he could view the decision as oppression and blame me, the outsider, for his woes of being turned down yet again rather than taking in the real reservations we all have with his proposal after Minor’s revelation yesterday. No, one of the Dedes has to tell him and let him down softly.

I asked for volunteers and waited for a bit but nobody held their hand up for this certainly ungrateful job. Devil just shook his head when I looked at him. “I resigned from my job as spokesperson, remember? I gave you the letter” he said.

“And I’ve never officially accepted it!” I reminded him.

“You took it and said you will get back to me after the weekend. You never did.”

“Guys, guys, what is it with you two?” Witch interrupted. “It’s not helping. This is a totally different issue and won’t get us anywhere today!”

“I just wish he understood what it means to be an artist” L’Artiste started now. “He doesn’t get that while you can use bits of existing work you have to bring your own in and develop it further. He is such a me-too guy. It drives me bonkers!”

“Do you want to talk to him, artist to artist?” I immediately asked.

“No, he wouldn’t take it from me. He would discard my words as sour grapes, as though I was envious I didn’t come up with this ‘brilliant’ project.”

“Why don’t we all talk to him then he has to accept we all agree on it.”

“Yes, and have him feel like standing before a tribunal? This is a sure recipe for disaster…”

Minor should tell him. After all she knows the entire background. And it was her who alerted us to his ruse.”

“C’mon she is only a teenager. Do you think he will take the message from her?” Detail stepped protectively in front of her daughter.

“I don’t know what the big deal is” Philosopher finally said. “I’ll do it. It’s not that we want to scrap the project entirely. We just have to strip it back and assemble it differently, don’t we? I personally like the beginning with everybody sitting on the stands. It goes right back to our roots as NO BODIES. When you look at the image posted yesterday your expressions are just gorgeous. Can’t we work along these lines? We just need a mentor who can help Sunny develop it into his own style.”

“Agreed” I said quickly before he could change his mind. “You just proved you would be the perfect mentor!”

“But I know the least about art.” Philosopher pointed out.

“Art  is Sunny’s job. You only have to keep him on track.”

harlem shake

Right after breakfast yesterday we went into the studio. Sunny took charge and explained again what he wanted to do. First all the puppets will sit on their stands for 15 seconds and then they all put their robes on and dance like there is no tomorrow for 15 seconds. It sounded like great fun and there were plenty of volunteers who wanted to take part, more than could fit on the tiny little stage. In the end we cast a lot to make it fair for all.

Like Socialite had anticipated, the entire thing was done and dusted in an hour or so. Work with the Dedes was never easier. Sunny was a fantastic lead character and he danced his little heart out to music only he could hear. The trouble started when I put everything together in a video editing program and I needed some real background music. Sunny of course had thought of this too and he gave me a file to use. But, oh dear, most of the others didn’t like his choice at all. It was some sort of techno or hip hop stuff which most of Dedes are no big fans of . Someone suggested using something more melodic that you can really dance to. Something that suited the majority of the Dedes.

“This is not a film by committee.” Sunny put his foot down. “I am the artistic director and this is my choice. So keep your noses out of it!” he insisted. He added I had no choice in the matter. Either I use this piece of music or he would withdraw the project altogether. Not the thing you want to happen after you have spent an hour in the studio already. But there was definitely no room for negotiation. To prove his point Sunny  left the room.

Minor, who was sitting in the corner pretending she wasn’t interested in the goings-on finally spoke up. “You know what he is trying to do?” she asked.

“Yes, he is trying to bully me into using some music that most of Dedes don’t like!”  I said very disappointed.

“What planet are you living on?” She rolled her eyes. “No, he is trying to make you do a Harlem Shake video!?”

“A what?” I asked, as I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. I looked around for help but only saw blank faces.

“Oh gee” she said and came over to push me away from the keyboard. “You oldies really have no idea what’s going on in the big wide world yet you believe we teenagers live in a world of our own. That is so rich!” She loaded a page on Wikipedia and explained to all of us that Harlem Shake is an internet meme that started in the beginning of February this year and peaked by the end of the same month. According to Wikipedia, within a fortnight of the original upload forty thousand similar videos had been made and uploaded by individuals from all over the world. All in the same format that Sunny had suggested! After forty days the videos hit the one billion viewing mark. And according to Youtube the world had spent roughly 2,782 years watching Harlem Shake videos in this one month. She showed us a couple of examples, each of  them 30 seconds long with the same music Sunny had suggested. I was speechless!

“The only artistic input from Sunny really is that usually the participants drop some of their clothing in the second part, while the Dedes put theirs on. So most of the videos have sexual connotations. Mum wouldn’t like me to watch them” she added. “But there are some really funny ones. The Simpsons have done one, there is an underwater one, one by some soldiers in the Norwegian army, and plenty of washing machine to choose from. You name it… even advertising agencies are jumping on the bandwagon. And you know once this happens you really are too late. Let me tell you guys, you’ve missed this train!”

She went back into her corner shaking her head in disbelief.

Now what?

socialite reading

Socialite takes her new job seriously and was reading the first scripts last night. This morning she arrived all chirpy at the breakfast table. “I have one brilliant contender already” she said. “It was handed in by Sunny.”

Just to recap, Sunny is a wanna-be artist who tries very hard to come up with something he will be noticed for. He last featured on this blog when he ripped-off the artwork of ArtistatExit0. Back then I was very cross with him, but now all is forgiven and forgotten as in this process he created our dearly loved mascot Lil’ Sculpture, who sits on the bookshelf watching what the Dedes do.

Socialite continued with her account. “Honestly, this script meets all the criteria. It is very short and everybody who wants to can take part.”

“Is it fun?” asked Alien

“Yes”

“Is it artisic?” asked L’Artiste

“Yes, this too”

“Is it meaningful?” asked Philosopher

“Definitely”

“So tell us the storyline then” I invited her.

She told us the whole thing can be shot in a couple of hours. It starts off with the Dedes sitting in-animate on their stands except for Sunny dancing around everybody. His dancing is so infectious that after a short time all the Dedes are dancing like mad. And that is it.

“It is so simple and says it all” she explained. “Life is drudgery until someone comes along and rips you out of your dullness!”

“Oh dear, you are two months too late” said Minor, the sloppy teenage daughter of Detail. We all looked at her. But she said no more, her eyes glued to her breakfast bowl she continued eating. That made us think she wasn’t actually talking to us and was in her own little world as usual.

“I think it has merit!” I said. “Sunny has done a fine job coming up with this one. If you are all okay, lets give it a go after breakfast!”

You should have seen how quickly they all finished their muesli.

dare devil writing

In typical Dede fashion all the puppets have ideas about what we should do next. So we have around 46 new ideas and everyone is convinced their idea will be an absolute hit. There seems to be a common theme though. They all want to do more films! However, with the precedence L’Artiste set, they all want to feature in their own little films.

L’Artiste of course wants to do another art film, not necessarily a sequel to “Life of an artist” but one where he is the star again and shown in a better light. Devil would like to re-enact what happened at my work this week. Obviously I have been complaining a bit too much at the dinner table. He believes what I have been through all week offers the perfect material for a drama/comedy and the main character would be tailor-made for him. Witch is very keen on doing a cooking show as they are so popular on TV. Her cooking show will of course be totally different as it will promote a healthy lifestyle. And she believes I owe her one since I totally neglect her on the blog.

I of course curse the day when I opened pandora’s box. This morning at breakfast I told them they should put forward their ideas in writing. Socialite volunteered to be my assistant and help vet the scripts. Of course scripts that feature several puppets will have a better chance than those that only feature one. I explained: “Do your math, guys, if everybody got their own film, and it takes at least a weekend to complete one, we would need a year.” I had barely finished when they all ran off to look for pencils and paper and find themselves a quiet space in the house.

“It’s not a competition and speed is not the essence,” I added, but they were all gone already.

monkey cup

There was a little bit of excitement last night when I came home. The Dedes were sitting around a parcel that had arrived while I was out. Two weeks back we ordered a cup and a few t-shirts from the new dededesign store. The parcel was too small to contain everything and it was obvious it could only be the cup. As a graphic designer I have very high standards when it comes the quality of printing. It is always a bit of a worry until you actually see the finished product. To check  whether everything turns out the the way I intended, I also ordered one t-shirt on dark apparel. This apparently takes a bit longer, as a white under colour – the canvas for the image – has to be applied first so the true colours come out.

Everyone stood around while I opened the parcel. I don’t want to plug it too much, but I have to say I am very impressed with the quality of the cup and the printing. It looks absolutely fabulous. And the puppets obviously thought the same. The cup was mine for as long as I held it in my hot little hands. Just long enough to admire it. The second I put it down, Monkey grabbed it an dissappeared with it up the scaffolding. I only hope he doesn’t drop it!

rose2

A rose is the ultimate token of love, isn’t it? This tatty old plastic rose is a painful reminder of my youth. I personally can’t understand why people want to be young again. All the pain you go through in your teenage years. The longing for acceptance and respect. You want to be different and stand out, but at the same time you want to fit in and be exactly like everybody else. What a dilemma. No way would I want to go through that again.

I don’t know exactly how I obtained this rose. I can’t remember whether I bullied the person into handing it over to me or not. My memory about this has faded, but the pain I feel when I look at it suggests that it was not given to me voluntarily. I know who I got it from and I remember the situation. It was at one of those travelling fairgrounds with a shooting booth. Teenage crowd, typical situation: girl loves boy, boy loves another girl,  the other girl couldn’t care less and second boy loves first girl, all without anybody really knowing what love actually means. Everything happens in secret, well hidden, or so they think, convinced that nobody except themselves knows, despite it being so blatantly obvious.

As you grow older you watch the next generation repeating the pattern. And just like we were, they are convinced nobody will notice. What can the old folks possibly know about the pain of searching for true love. Weren’t they born old?

What is most surprising though, is that for some people it never seems to end. Watch people in the rest home… It goes on, the craving for respect and acceptance and the search for this one special person.