I can’t tell you how much pleasure it brings me to give this post the title ‘Five By Five’. Linguistic links are funny like that for me – I’ve written before about the delight I find in unexpected connections – and this is a lovely one.
I’ve been working hard this week at Grit&Pearl after the news that Richard has been shortlisted for the inaugural 5X5 public art festival in Washington DC. He’ll be flying out on Tuesday for a week in which he’ll be the eyes and ears for the artists that have been long-listed to submit proposals. I’ve been looking at sites that might interest people, all against the backdrop of trying to push forward with my own cherished DC project ‘Hawks and Doves’. I’ve finally got the paperwork ducks in a row (new passport, visa, letter of support et al), though I feel I have made too much of a meal of my audience development plan. I’ve also started designing logos to be printed on the skin of the zeppelins – maybe I will have something completed by next week… I’m very unsure of where I’m going with this, as my instinct is to echo the extraordinary-looking Montgolfiers, and my brain is telling me to look at modern signage and graphics or old aircraft logos.
Other excitements of the week have included: not going to the Turner Prize press preview; Jussi Parikka’s talk on Media Garbology at Culture Lab (and the subsequent Turkish lunch) which left me thinking about excavating projections of the future, and about the relationships between digital media and surface; having completed a second image of three for my Metraux archive project – so far I am thrilled with this stage of the images (they seem to hit the right balance of suggestiveness, technique, elusiveness, surreality and clarity, I’ll post them when I have done all of them); having made some resolutions about trying to put this audience development plan into place; and having finally decided how to use this studio diary.
My problem with the studio diary is that it becomes another chore. And I have quite enough chores in my life to be getting on with. So I plan to try and write something about the week gone by on a Friday afternoon, and then any additional posts – like the positively constipating These Strange Tableaux – can be a happy addition.
Now it’s time so say a little more about the connections spidering out from the title.
Five by five will be well-known to some readers as a description of signal-to-noise ratio in radio communications used by NATO. Loud and clear. It’s also the catch-phrase of Faith from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a television serial so key to my thinking that one day, surely, it will deserve it’s own post.* There are a lot of psycho-analytical readings of BTVS, but let me reassure you that my interest is in the linguistics of SoCal and the mysterious topography of Sunnydale (sparked in part by Mike Davis brilliant books City of Quartz: Excavating the future in Los Angeles and Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the imagination of disaster).
As I write, it strikes me that mysterious topography is something I think about a lot. I can’t tell my left from my right, so other’s people’s topography is inherently mysterious to me. I never worry about getting lost as a result of never really knowing where I am, or where I am going.
* the other would be Twin Peaks.