Thursday, October 17, 2002

The City steam cleaned the sidewalk and alley today. It was actually getting gummy and I'm sure Willie Brown is trying to spruce up before the elections... Meanwhile the last vestiges of the artchalking is now officially gone. Ce la vie!

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Judy and Rich trek over the bridge to see the installation in its last throes on Thursday evening. Celebrate after the viewing with beers and tacos at La Taqueria. The piece seems to generate other ideas and possibilities; projected images onto a larger pane of window, subliminal messages (be kind, have correct change for the BART, say hello to the person standing next to you at the busstop...). Rich suggests more video addressed to the 'audience' on the street, squeegeeing the window, big brother observation. Notice a few people glancing up as they scurry along to their destination, and assume they notice the 'happening' because our group is looking up. Perhaps this piece needs a docent.

Catch the Beth Custer piece of the evening at the LAB, chow down some potstickers and brie and talk with Stacey and Matthew about school and contract negotiations...

Returning home late night Thursday, couldn't wait to reconstruct my front room, former sight of Interstitial Alley. Will have to wait for he-man assistance to return the larger monitor to its perch, meanwhile it sits catty-whumpus in the window reflecting back on itself 3 times. Quite the visual go-round. Positon myself for a bit of Law and Order in the watery reflection in the old glass of this old house...

Sunday, September 29, 2002

added a visitor's gallery and an interior shot of "backstage"

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Gingerly edited the colors to match the site... but I seem to have dismissed my archive as well.
The installation ran a little longer than scheduled last night. I wasn't home from a concert till midnight (Elvis Costello, thank you K.C. Jones!), so the smaller "inside tape" defaults to local television (FOX) station, while the larger screen displays the green word 'DIGIT' on a black screen. Hope you did!

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Sean and Kim and friend dropped by to view Interstitial Alley about 8:30pm. Went down to visit with them on the street. Took some photos as they stood and watched. Luckily their visit coincided with a bit of mutual friend Kelly on the "inside tape" This is the first time I have spent any quality time viewing the installation at street level. It's rather nice, if I do say so. The old smaller television has a nice warm quality to it and the "outside" tape has such surreal out-of-context imagery. As Sean's friend said, "it feels comfortable", a living room turned inside out, if you will! Sean posited that if everybody did it would be kind of distracting. What is lost is the soundtrack, expecially the guitar-strumming and jamming that has filled the old homestead with music over the years. Sean-wisdom again: the real-time sounds of the street add their own soundtrack. They plan to come back by with other friends tomorrow.
Its been days since last we talked...
In fact, since the 23rd, I have chosen the 'promise of an early bed' and hence, not to chalk. The BART steamer seems to be later and later each evening and I need my beauty sleep. I've been busy with a bumpy day of Broadband installation, NERT training and the ever-important matinee ;-)
Today was also the first time I forgot until well past 4. oops! Apologies to the throngs of those that timed their day to view 'the Piece' Helped a friend kick the tires on a barely used iBook, bought a leather jacket for $US50 and lost track of time. Add 30 minutes to the posted schedule with a personal mea culpa from me.

Monday, September 23, 2002

If you haven't visited the site yet please do...

Interstitial Alley

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Hot time, summer in the City. San Francisco's summers are all of 10 days maximum but we do swelter. Fashioned a better tent for the plastic boxes that live in my front room. They seem happy and cozier now, but it limits the window opening for much needed breeze through.

Last night when I checked on the screens from the street, the owner of Cafe Boheme asked if I had any pull in City Hall... Not likely(!) He expressed concern about the YEAR-LONG construction at the 16th Street BART station which seems to be driving the street folk down here for a place to hang. He has a business to run and fears similar (de)construction that would effectively shoo his customers away. The flavor of the street is deterrent enough for carefree cafe squatting and family outings to his establishment. The videos from the screens above reflect alot of good times and art and rememberances of times gone bye bye.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Last night was the first night the artchalking became a little dicey. There are more and more street guys hanging around the BART plaza until all hours. In the past, I've seen them using a screwdriver to jimmy open the street bathroom's sliding door so they can have some privacy while they fix or whatever. Usually its a crowd and group effort to get inside. Called the police cruiser and they came around to bang on the door, but no arrests. 5 guys and gal(?) filed out and waited patiently until the cruiser departed, then a mad rush to retrieve whatever they stashed when the police started banging.
I probably look like more trouble than I'm worth to hassle. Crouched over doodling on the sidewalk is a vulnerable position and I find myself backing away from anyone approaching. Skittish is not a total defense, but my chalking is quick.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Whoops, forgot the essential URL you'll need to make this make sense

Interstitial Alley

First successful post and publish. I'm blogging ;-) Whew. Please read anything that follows as a very rough/raw beginning to this process. It is a laboratory, after all.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

September 18: Wake up determined to post the blog today. Spellcheck and tweak the text, then...

September 17: Fashion a tent for TVs so they don’t sit in direct sunlight, poor defenseless plastic things.

September 16: Setting up the tapes and TVs should not be such a drag this early on...

September 15: Get some early morning feedback on the website from a friend in Iowa. He says he’ll look it over further. Spurs me on to more WebTV grabs of the interior tape, I can only work during the day when I roll the TV out of the window since the WebTV uses it for display & video in. Sign up with Blogger, spend a couple hours entering some random posts and then lose them all (twice) before I surrender to bed. Being persistent makes me sleepy.

September 14: I’m officially tired, but able to keep the chalk fresh. Fret about the blog, but it is so, backburner

September 13: Refine draping and hang inadequate signs in the side window. I will have to re-think, thought my new $139 laser beam printer could print posters. Na unh. The .pdf promised otherwise, perhaps in OS X. Remember to artchalk after the steamcleaning of the BART station

September 12: Plan to sleep in, but is that a doorbell I hear at 9am? No, its my wind chimes. Now that is my phone, “hello this is Connie at AT&T Broadband, there’s a serviceman at your front door to install your cable modem and digital TV.” After convincing her that my appointment is for next week, we reschedule for the same timeslot next week!?! Well I’m up so I dupe backups of the tapes. Make copies onto card stock with the help of Casa Bonompak. Deliver the printed sheet to Cassandra at the gallery, which is in gorgeous disarray, but on the verge of potential splendor. Rush home to slice up cards and struggle with the matting for the televisions in the window. Showtime is 4pm for me. John saves the day with special heatproof tape that can be used on the plastic soon to be scorching in the window. Must slice a hole in the black drape to reveal the screen, reluctantly I cut my favorite and trusty backdrop. The website is up without a blog, interior images and smaller animated gif. Only 24 hours in the day-o!

September 11: Call from Cassandra asking for a statement printed up for the kiosk with the videotape interview. Yaah, I’ll get that right over. Spend the day wrestling with the words and design and decide I will deliver it the day of the show. Dupe the interior tape, rewind and dupe it to the end of the itself. Repeats! Stay up too late, after NERT training. I dupe while watching a 9-11 special about photographers that’s rerun late. Finish the statement, cards and then forge out (4am) to chalk the sidewalk, BART station and fresh post outside my door. In bed by 4:30!

September 10: Fevered brain decides I can print up cards to hand to folks at the opening or otherwise advertise this enterprise to anyone I happen upon in the next month. Spend a bit of time deciding on possible deign for front and back. The illustration needs some adjustment to show up.

September 9: Show is 3 days away, perhaps now would be a good time to create the interior tape. After much rewinding, the interior tape only fills over 3 hours. Ooops. John E. comes over to lend a hand to the television dressing for the windows. Tape and pins and grease pencil markings on the window still doesn’t compensate for the angle of view from across the street and the sidewalk below. I rarely see people scrutinizing this window, so look for symbols at I need something to paint or chalk on the sidewalk below to hip folks to the happening above. Artchalking!

September 7: Borrow DV camera from a friend to add the last bit to the exterior tape.

September 4: Burnt out on duping (more rewinding of same tapes to craft the interior tape) so use the WebTV to grab still frames from the finished tape. These will help illustrate the otherwise mundane prosetry of the tape logs planned for the website. Also work on GIF animations for the window from these grabs.

September 3: Give Lise and herlovely assistant the house tour, the funny built-ins, the marble in the bathroom, my sleep nest in the eaves, the inspirational view of the BART hole. Ooops, she forgot to pack battery/charger. We’re able to get it in one take and then do some street gesturing downstairs. Am very conscious of the junkies and drunks aware of my faux celebrity (camera on odd turf)

September 2: Love holidays to do tedious things like duping from 15 different tapes. It’s all about the rewinding, but my trusty tape logs make it bearable. Also am watching 24 broadcast in real time all the while. Inspirational with all the split screen and time deendence. Finish it up, except for some DV footage and that Donald Sutherland VHS tape (1983!), by 9pm.

August 31: Leaning toward the two screens. One exclusively outside imagery, shot from the vantage point of the window. Exception: Parades, come on, they are so surreal and beautiful. The other is all about inside the flat. Anything and everything

August 30: Decide to highlight (in pink) stuff that has happened inside the house. Maybe I can split up the video to two monitors. Give a little back to all the people whose privacy I have invaded with a little personal privacy invasion of my own. It only seems fair

August 28: More tape logs and highlighting and memories. Trying to re-assemble the past from a relatively linear history. There was always one tape qued up and ready to roll when the police lightening and thundering sirens were a happening. The intimacy of the camera on full zoom makes me Gladys Cravitts, by any other name.

August 27: Assemble everything for the interview presentation and start looking at tape logs, highlighting and guesstimating the amount of footage, looks to be about 6 hours PLUS of outdoor footage.
“This oughta be painless”. Lise said at the beginning of the interview. It was. We talked more of the Mission and the makeup of huge shows like this. This will be fun; she’s swell (and was the lady taping the alley last Saturday) and has much work in front of her before the opening. Taped interview scheduled at 24th & Osage for next Tuesday. This will be a chance for me to further nail down the concept - in words – about the quintessential essence of Interstitial Alley. No chance to look at footage, no need.
I’m psyched and come home to more tape logs and the highlighting thereof. Start to winnow the logs to just the existing footage and reprinting the emerging schedule as if some Rosetta stone of bad poetry. Fruitlessly try to read it with webpage visitor eyes; it’s all too familiar…

August 26: Spend the day hammering out the proposal. Same old problem, love the words too much and wanna show rather than tell anyway. So I draw a picture of the interior window seat area in Illustrator, because I can dammit! I’m using a large gridded desk blotter to sketch out ideas and scenarios. Dub about 20 minutes of video for the presentation from the Hi-8 to VHS. Print out my 3 page online resume, in color along with the proposal in black & white. Working title: Interstitial Alley (much better than “two four ‘n Mish” or “Above BART Art” or “Mission Mirror”) Ready to go

August 25: Call from Lise at 9 am on Sunday morning(!). I was able to gather my sleepy words to relate my fuzzy and still forming concept for this piece. Seemed to be enough intrigue in my vaguery so we set up a face-to-face interview for Tuesday 11am. The email suggested I should present the ideas in a formal proposal. Talk of a contract…

August 24 There’s some lady with a video cam taping the alley…

August 23: Called and left a message for Lise

August 22: 2nd email "The Living LABoratory"

August 12: Mathew P. forwarded an email "Call for Mission Artists"

This began as a journal to map progress and archive this experience online. Interstitial Alley is my video installation contribution the Living LABoratory show running September 12 through October 3, 2002 at the LAB at 16th @ Capp in the City’s Mission district. Pardon my indulgence and enjoy.