As supporters of my previous Kickstarter project, I want to remind you about my new project “Location; Connecting People, Connecting Stories”. This new campaign has the same concept as my “Mapping A Memorable Man” project, but it is a scaled-down version, with a lower overall funding goal and more affordable price points ($15 PDF option).
This new campaign is almost to my funding goal (I need about $250 more to make it happen) and I hope you all have had a chance to check it out.If not, please take a few minutes to do so by clicking the link:
I am really optimistic about this project and I really hope I have the opportunity to make this body of work. It is still really hard to admit that Justin is gone, and the way that it happened, it left so many things unsaid. I wish I could tell him how awesome he was and how talented and amazing he was, but I guess I need to find the faith to believe that he somehow knows that.I feel like it is up to us to keep his stories alive, and I hope I can do that through this project. This body of work is my way to celebrate his life, by visually telling his story in a unique way.It also is a way for people to get their own piece of artwork, showing an abstracted map of a place that is important to them. There are over 40 cities included in this project, so there are many options to choose from.
Thanks to you all for being so awesome and hearing about my idea. Here are a few new photos to give you an "inside look" at what Ive been up to.
Have a good day,
We are delighted to announce the Maze of Games redemption site is now available for ordering. If you are a backer of the Kickstarter campaign, simply go there and enter the email address you use on Kickstarter. Then select Existing Backer, and you'll get an email that will allow you to continue. You will start with a credit for the amount of the items you ordered. You can always add more, using PayPal to increase your pledge.
If you didn't back the campaign, do not fret! You didn't miss your chance! You can use this site to order The Maze of Games and most of the attendant items. You'll need to enter an email address so After the Crowd can set up your account, then select New Backer. You can use PayPal for any items you order.
Some items require a book of some sort to be selected before you will see them on the site. Once you select your items, you may also have some information to input (if you want a signature, what you want to be credited as, what you want your cryptex password to be, etc.). Then you'll be able to provide your shipping info and check out.
Why not do this today? Simply to go to https://mazeofgames.afterthecrowd.com/ and let us know what you ordered and where you want it to go.
Thanks for supporting us through this process. We've been hard at work making the best puzzle novel we can. About 80% of the puzzles have been sent to editing, and we're coming up with very good ideas for the rest. It's really going to be a fantastic book, and if you take care of a few simple keystrokes for us, we'll get it off to you when it's ready. We're pretty sure you'll like it.
If you're a regular reader of the Classical, you might have seen this news already--sorry about the overkill. We just want to make sure all of our friends hear about what's next for the site.
The Classical is 18 months old, depending on when you start counting. We just got done being babies. We’re toddling now, warily eying the prospect of potty-training, getting ready to upgrade these gross motor skills for some fine motor skills. But, if you’ll pardon the toddlerbrag, we think we’re pretty accomplished for babies. Just in the past few weeks, this toddler had an awesome reported piece about Filipino hoops in the Yukon, a must-read on what came out of the closet with Jason Collins, and more installments in the rad, ongoing Why We Watch feature. But, as is generally the case among our toddler peer group, we’re just getting the hang of solving puzzles.
The puzzle weighing heaviest on our comically oversized 18-month-old heads right now is sustainability: How do we find a way to make The Classical economically just, not just for ourselves, but for our writers? As most of the people reading this will remember, we Kickstarted this site. The $55,000 that 1,070 of you gave to us—the generosity of which still amazes us and fills us to overflowing with gratitude—helped get us this far. We built a site, we paid our taxes, we paid server bills, all thanks to you, with an assist to Kickstarter.
But we need to find a way to turn “kickstarting” into a steady, always-on mode if we're going to be able to keep this going. To that end, we’re going to do something old-fashioned: 1) create a product (the great and unique sportswriting we deliver on this site) 2) sell it for money. We’ve partnered with 29th Street Publishing—the awesome, nice geniuses who brought you the Awl’s Weekend Companion, Maura Magazine, V as in Victor and many more great publications—to create a magazine.
The Classical’s new magazine format will be for sale, via monthly or yearly subscriptions, as well as single-issue purchases, on the Apple iOS newstand. It’ll be $2.99 if you pay monthly, $29.99 if you sign up for a year in advance, and $3.99 to buy individual issues. (We'll have a link to share early next week, and will share it then.) On the second Tuesday of every month, a new issue will appear to delight your senses (mostly/only your eyes) and give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of adjectives. We’ll have a PDF option for Applephobes, too, and 29th Street is working hard to make a platform-agnostic version you can get on your Kindle, Dick Tracy watch, whatever. This is just for starters, by the way: the bigger the response, the more frequently we’ll be able to put these issues out, and the more readily we’ll be able to expand in other directions. We’re still growing, and aren’t trying to toddle forever.
If you are naturally inclined to first consider the gloomy side of life, as some of us are, you might be wondering “But so this means no more Classical website, huh?” To answer that: no, this is not the end of that. Will we maintain our present volume of 10 features a week plus Clog posts? Almost certainly not, because it is just an unbelievably immense amount of work given the number of people we have doing it, and because we also have other jobs that we need in order to pay rent, buy food, etc. But you can bank on something new on the site every day, although the magazine will have a supermajority of exclusive material (and some stuff from the website). Not only is this a way to get Classical-quality new reads on sports, but it’s a way to keep on top of things without checking in on the site everyday. We know you’re busy. We can tell this blog post is maybe already too long.
So we’ll let you get back to work/Dwarf Fortress/crafts therapy/your nap. But yes: this is what’s happening with us. We are very happy, and very proud, about The Classical magazine. This is the next step for us, and we hope you like it—we think it’s pretty awesome, ourselves, although we’re obviously somewhat biased. Most importantly, it’s a way for us to keep doing this thing. Stick with us. In every meaningful sense, we wouldn’t be here without you, and it will be fun to take this next step, together. And if you have any questions, ask us over email or on Twitter or Facebook.
**SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR IMAGES**
Thanks so much for your contributions to the Current Space Community Darkroom. It wouldn't have been possible without you! All of the work on the darkroom has been done through volunteerism so it's taken a little longer than expected. That being said, we plan to open June 1st and will be having an opening party May 31st from 7-9pm at Current Space 421 North Howard St!! Please join us! If you signed up for darkroom hours, I will be contacting you soon with more information. Other rewards will ship out at the earliest in June.
Speaking of rewards, scroll to the bottom to check out images from the Good Light Catalog!
Some of the extra money raised is going towards photo exhibitions and making classes and workshops a little more affordable. One part of our new photo programming, that we are very proud of, is our solo photography exhibition program in the Project Space. We had our first exhibition last month, which highlighted the work of Elle Perez. She is a MICA graduate and will be attending Yale for graduate school in the fall. Check out the press release, exhibition photos and catalog below:
And then they said, “Being infinite sounds beautiful” in a letter, before heading back into the woods.
Elle Pérez’s series "Into the Wood" dismantles gender binaries through their images and experiences in the utopian society of IDA, a safe space in Tennessee. Following in the footsteps of communes that have come before them, IDA drifts towards a divine state, but is not without flaws. This rural farming community allows people to come home to their ideal selves. They take on new names, exist freely, connect to nature, and have the opportunity to learn farming skills. In this place people are able to break away from the societal bonds placed on their bodies. Individuals can let go of their physical and emotional history and open up to themselves, others, and nature in a more fluid way. Pérez is able to document the visitors and residents after they’ve shed their protective layers and begun to explore their eternal spirit. "Into the Woods" is Pérez longest running series on queer culture. Still in progress, they have made yearly pilgrimages to IDA since 2011.
Elle Pérez (b. 1989, Bronx, NY) is a photographer who works and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Perez's work focuses on themes of gender-based identity, queer self-awareness and youth culture, and has been exhibited at galleries such as Conner Contemporary Art (DC), Spattered Columns (NYC), and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. In 2011 Perez was awarded the Jane Meyer Traveling Fellowship to produce a new body of work titled "The Outliers: Regarding the Space(s) Between Genders." Perez has previously taught photography at the Educational Alliance Art School, a NYC based non-profit program with a focus on accessible art education for youth. Perez received a BFA in Photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art."
Our next solo exhibition opens on the 25th and features the work of Kyle Tata. Kyle is also a recent MICA graduate and a Current Space Studio Member. Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/564687700218902/
Current Gallery’s Project Space
Opening: May 25th, 2013, 7-10pm
On View: May 25th – June 16th
Gallery Hours Saturday and Sunday 12-4pm
“To create an Architecture is to put into order. Put what into order? Function and objects” -Le Corbusier
Current Gallery is pleased to announce Assembly Affect, a solo exhibition of new work by artist Kyle Tata. In conjunction with the exhibition Current will be releasing a catalog of Kyle’s work. Assembly Affect features photographic work that explores Modernism and its relation to contemporary domestic living. Citing influences that range from Oscar Niemeyer to IKEA, Assembly Affect plots a nonlinear line through history to connect the dots between abstraction and domesticity. In addition to the subject matter, the photographs in this exhibition contain both digital and antiquated printing processes as a way to conflate contemporary and historic approaches to photography.
Kyle Tata (b. 1990) is a Baltimore based artist and recent BFA graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work addresses history, urbanism, and architecture through photography, artist books, and other printed matter. Tata has also written for numerous art blogs including Humble Arts Foundation in New York. His work has been featured at galleries and institutions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland Art Place, The Light Gallery (MD), the George Segal Gallery at Mont Clair University, The D-Center (MD), Petrella’s Imports (NYC) and a forthcoming exhibition at the International Print Center of New York. Tata is currently on the faculty at Baltimore School for the Arts.
If you're interested in finding out more about the lady behind the Current Space Community Darkroom consider attending THIRTY this Wednesday at Maryland Art Place. Ginevra Shay along with Station North's Rebecca Chan, and Charlotte Keniston who's created a program to get healthier food to people in Pig Town will be lecturing about the importance of community organizing through art in Baltimore. Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/357582101028663/
OK, I've saved the best for last a few images of the darkroom before and after. The Current Space Community Darkroom has been over two years in the making now. Finding the space, getting equipment donations, going through the equipment, drawing a building plan, raising money, and figuring out what our programming will be was very time consuming. Sometimes I felt like I was in the Herzog movie, Fitzcarraldo, trying to pull a steamboat over a mountain to build an opera house in the Amazon. We started this project with absolutely nothing but a basement space filled with junk. A cage completely packed with old tvs and monitors that no one was using. Now there is a clean, beautiful, functional space where we as a community can keep these wonderful analog photo processes alive through practicing them and sharing them. This Darkroom is here now because it was a needed, and through it’s use we are preserving an important thing.
I couldn’t be happier with Current Space. I really believe in Current and their mission statement: "Current Space is an artist-run gallery, studio, and a headquarters for cultural production. Current is committed to showcasing, developing, and broadening the reach of artists locally and internationally."
On to the darkroom…
There are four distinct spaces for the darkroom. A dry area, a film processing room, enlarger station room, and print processing room. Photographed is the space after all the junk was removed and demo was almost complete. In the new images is the completed dry area with the entrance to the darkroom and photograph viewing wall (with new track lighting!) and the enlarger station with equipment being organized.
Thanks again everyone! Please like Current Space on Facebook and keep and eye out for the Facebook event for the Darkroom Opening Party. We're in the process of creating a new website for Current Space which will make information about upcoming classes and workshops more easily accessible.
We'd like to introduce you to the kit of equipment that we used for the Survey. There are a few items missing, that we either didn't have yet or discovered that we needed, that we'll talk about as well. By taking you through equipment, you should also get a good idea of the information that we are collecting from each survey point.
All of this equipment fit into a small tote bag, so the Survey is really quite portable. We were originally envisioning a padded equipment case to lug everything around and protect it, but as the case weighed more than the stuff inside it, it seemed ridiculous.
Every researcher needs a clipboard! This helps take notes in the field, as well as making you feel a little bit professional when jotting down the Survey results.
Survey Pad not made yet
For the Alpha Test, we took notes on a legal pad. As you can see, it would be helpful to have a form with item boxes for everything to be recorded. (For some reason, we kept forgetting to write down the elevation.) We think that we should be able to make a three-part form on one page, where all three benchmark points at one site could be recorded.
The very first thing we wrote down for each survey site, after the name, date, and time, is the GPS coordinates of the benchmark locations. For each site, we chose three benchmarks. These are our three "view points" onto the site, and they typically form a triangle of some sort, around the site, looking inward. We go through the survey procedure once at each of three benchmark points, and that is a "completed survey" for the site. With the GPS information, anyone using the database should be able to find the same benchmark point and stand exactly where we stood, and see exactly what we saw (temporal displacement notwithstanding).
We used a handheld GPS unit, that seemed to give pretty good results. A benefit of the handheld unit is that it works anywhere in the world with the same accuracy. A downside is that it requires line-of-sight to geostationary satellites, so if you are inside, or up against a wall or a cliff it cannot get a signal. We're going to experiment with this, and maybe use a smart phone as backup to see if that gets us some extra accuracy indoors.
At each site, we chose a "point of reference" that was visible from all three benchmarks. This could be a piece of the structure, a spot on the ground, or anything. We generally oriented ourselves by standing at the benchmark, and facing towards the reference point. The idea with the survey is to get three different views of the same site. We would observe more than just the reference point, of course--but this provides a starting place, to make sure that others could find the benchmarks, and orient themselves in a similar way. To this effect, we recorded the compass bearing from the benchmark to the point of reference, so even if the appearance of the site changes so the point of reference is no longer visible, with the GPS coordinates and a compass heading, one could stand on the same three points, and face the same three directions with some sense of accuracy.
And to aid the process of orienting oneself at the benchmark even easier, we also took a digital photo from the benchmark, looking at the point of reference. Any digital camera will do, as long as it has a system for uniquely numbering the photos' file names. We also used analog film cameras, because we like photography. But the digital photo for each benchmark can be included in the digital copy of the database, to help reference each particular benchmark.
It's also nice to have data from the benchmark that is not simply a number. Looking at GPS and compass data in a database, a person does not get any sense of where the benchmark is without also referencing a map. Even the name of the site written in text is not necessarily meaningful without prior knowledge of the area. But a single photo says a lot. One can see the ground, the background, the color of the air, how much light was available.
A major discovery that we made on the Alpha Test, is that once you start considering what sort of environmental structures affect your subjective interpretations of a space, there is nothing that does not seem relevant. We'll get into this more in the section on the data, but we started wondering what other sorts of things we should be recording, along with our subjective impressions. The weather? Our pulse? What is important? The idea is not to prove some sort of correlation between subjective impressions and objective data, but to provide the best picture possible. Those questions aside, providing a photo certainly helps creating a wider view, sharing a lot of those incidental factors that might not be recorded any other way.
Distance Laser not acquired yet
We brought a tape measure to measure the distance between the benchmark and the point of reference, but our 30-foot tape was insufficient for many of the site layouts, so we had to guess. We considered getting a 100-foot tape or a measuring wheel, but in doing some research we discovered that laser measuring tools for ranges of over 100 feet, and accurate to 1/16 of an inch are fairly reasonable, and much easier to use with less than two people. (Like this one.) So, we'll be investing in one of those.
Benchmark not made yet
The benchmarks, small metal washers that are riveted to the ground (you can find similar ones on any sidewalk in the United States, see photo) mark the benchmark points, and are the mostly-permanent marker for the Survey sites, so that others can find where we Surveyed, and repeat the procedure themselves. In our overview, we mentioned that getting these manufactured is taking more time than we thought, so we didn't install any in our Alpha Test. However, with the geographic data we collected, we could easily re-visit these sites, collect more Structurodetic data, and install the benchmarks at that time.
The marks are fairly simple. They should be a metal ring, marked with the website URL (so people stumbling across them can find out what they are) and a unique ID number that links them to the database. For the Alpha Test, we numbered the survey points as AX-Y. A for Alpha Test, X the site number, and Y the benchmark number at the site, 1 through 3. So the benchmarks we surveyed were A1-1, A1-2, A1-3, A2-1, A2-2, etc.
Conducting the Alpha Test without the benchmarks gave us some perspective on this part of the Survey. For one thing, a problem we've always been considering is how to install benchmarks on private property, if we don't get permission. We thought we could just proceed to the nearest point off the private property, benchmark that point, and conduct the Survey from there, even if it is hundreds of feet away, or even a mile away. That would be weird, but maybe interesting. But then we took the Survey to National Park land, where is protected as an environmental site. Even though this is public land, we didn't want to pollute the ecosystem with metals and potential finishing residues. So what to do? We're happy to report that doing the Survey without benchmarks is totally possible, although not preferable. So we may work up some protocol or special numbering system for non-invasive "invisible" benchmarks, for use when the particular site is not suitable for leaving an artifact behind.
Reference Card not made yet
It was always part of the plan to make up a laminated reference card to guide people through the process of using the kit and conducting the Survey. But naturally, we wanted to do the Alpha Test before we made up these cards. It should be a fairly compact affair, with some pictures and a brief list, detailing all this equipment. That, combined with the forms on the Survey Pad should make completing the Survey for the first time fairly straight forward.
Right now, the card deck is a stack of index cards, sorted into five categories. The way this part of the Survey works, is that you write down your first impression, standing at the benchmark point while oriented towards the reference point. Then, you pick a card at random from Category A, and read it, and write it down. Then you write down a second impression. Then you pick a card at random from Category B, read it, write it down. Then write your third impression... and so on. By the end of the process, you will have written down five card draws, one from each category, and six impressions (including the first one, before seeing any cards).
This is the central data of the Survey, so a lot rests on the cards. We'll be talking about the cards in the next update. But from a physical standpoint, the cards are a good size, though we think that the final printed version (which some of you will be getting as rewards) will be a little smaller, more playing-card sized, for easier shuffling. Also, a box of some kind will help--it's hard dealing with a rubber band wrapped stack of paper when you're in the middle of the windy desert!
* * * * *
And that's it! Not such a bad field kit.
The items are presented in basically the order that they are used in the process of doing the Survey, so if you imagine using all of these things three times over, that is pretty much the Survey. We'll get to the particular categories of data in an upcoming update.
With only a few days left, we thought we’d give you a bit of an update on how things are shaping up with our Route 66 Polaroid Project!
We’re taken aback by the amount of people supporting us. We thought it was a fun idea and we’re glad to see that others agree. More than ever, we’re itching to get on the road.
We’ve selected seven vintage Polaroid cameras and have tested them as thoroughly as possible. All the ones we plan to use take great photos and seem to be reliable. The real test will, of course, be the road itself.
Since being organized while traveling is fairly difficult, yet completely essential to the success of this project, we’ve gone over our plans again and again. We have a feeling by the second day, it’ll have become second nature.
We start out from Seattle on June 13th for our wedding in Pennsylvania on June 22. The honeymoon will begin immediately, and after a bit of sightseeing, we’ll hit Route 66 on June 26th. The next two weeks, we’ll be on the Mother Road shooting with fifty year old Polaroid Cameras and mailing the photos to you!
Thank you again for your support. We’re so grateful that so many have wanted to share this with us.
Wow! So we're nearly at the halfway point now and I'm absolutely delighted to be almost 80% funded!
I couldn't be happier and I'd like to thank you for all your pledges so far...but it's not over yet.
Quite a few projects get to this point and then stop funding so please spread the word, let's make this happen!
Since we made Kickstarter's project of the day on Tuesday, Clyde has let the fame go to his head a little. He now only drinks expensive Bourbon and every night since he's brought home a different lady! The attached image is the horrible sight I walked into this morning.
So another reason I need this project to take off is to put Clyde through rehab!
On a serious note. I have a commitment that I'm trying to clear away now. As soon as it is I'm all yours. THEN I'll show you lovely, lovely backers some more TGTBATM goodies.
Oh, and I'm going to make it my mission to get Zach Braff to let Clyde get a part on his new movie. Hope you can all help too!
By the way, my twitter handle is @andydoodles, just incase you ever need it.
Thank ya Kindly
We are grateful for your support in funding this project so quickly. With the plumbing nearly complete and the walk-in cooler mostly built, we are looking forward to opening our doors to you soon.
Our Kickstarter campaign closes in 4 hours. We can't wait to get the rewards to your doorstep. Lizz's linocuts look beautiful, and we are taste testing delicious recipes for the gourmet dinner. If you haven't already, please share this project with anyone who might like one of our awesome rewards and wants to help support a sustainable food system.
There's really nothing to say. Just take a look at RoboCop in his 10-foot-tall pixel-atom-perfect glory. So far he's passed from you, the backers, to Fred Barton's expert custom sculpting, to Across The Board Creation's 3D scanning, digital enlarging, physical fabrication, and assembly in foam, wax, clay, and steel (pictured below), and now he's headed to Venus Bronze Works in Detroit for casting and manufacturing in bronze. We bow to all parties for going above and beyond.
He's not done yet, but what you're seeing in these pictures is pretty much exactly how he'll look. We hope you love it as much as we do, and we hope you send good vibes to all the craftsmen and the production team who've run across the obstacle course to get here, as we all send good vibes back to you, the awesome, patient, and hopefully super happy backers!
Good vibes to and from Detroit!
To be continued shortly..
Team Robo in Detroit