Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Not art

In an expanded sense of the word, I guess you could claim this to be art. But that's a waste of good words, isn't it? We could just have some other word for it. We probably do have a word that would better describe it, I might just not know it. But by trivializing the meaning and content of words, as one might when one would pass this as art, we reduce the need for having a broad vocabulary. And that's the true shame. Words will disappear. And how might I impress people if I don't know bigger and fancier words than they?

... Fluorescence luminescence condensation perspiration idiosyncratic synchronisability hypervitaminosis...

In the end, words will be but words. But I always wanted a party trick. You know, art is so slow. It may not be unimpressive or even undramatic, but drawing is all about the results. Results that take time. This spinning thing, with these so-called poi, is impressive in the process itself. Like singing, it only exists while you do it. People don't wait until you're done to be in awe, and you don't have to spend a long time in order to accomplish something neat. And as a practitioner of slow art such as drawing, I find that very charming.

I have always been a bit jealous of musicians. Not, like, a lot, but you know, it's annoying. With practice, they can just pick up an instrument and go - instant spectacle. I have to sit down and be calm and tedious for half an hour before I have anything to show for. But, I guess, us canvas artists have the benefit of our work actually staying around. Music literally disappears into thin air, and my canvas will remain to be viewed later and again. I can see how the jealousy would work both ways.

But poi are fun. It's a bit addicting, and I have blisters on my fingers from spinning so much in the past few days. The GIFs are ~realtime. Everything looks just a bit faster because of the low framerate. I have to apologize for the limited range of contrast. I swear it was a limitation of my software, not of my will to produce decent material. GIMP doesn't have a sane way of editing animations or applying filters to multiple layers, which is quite the disappointment.


  1. That's right, move those hips, boy ;)
    Nah but seriously, those are some nice moves. I love how those gifs tell a story of committing a mistake, deciding to go along with it as if it was one's intention all along, and just not giving a f*ck.

    Also, as for jealousy between different kinds of artists... I can indeed pretty much pick up a few kinds of intruments and start playing immediately. But the thing I'm jealous of is not that the sound disappears (which is doesn't if you record it, ofc), but of how some people are able to produce wonderful visuals, pretty much right from their minds, through theirs hands (or I guess through whatever). Even if I had a perfect vision of what I wanted to draw and what I wanted it to look like, I currently lack the skills to produce that vision in a fashion that completely satisfies me (and I don't have such a "perfect" vision either, as I have not trained up my imagination to that point either). That said, you can learn to become better at both art and music, with practice. So in a sense, I'm not really jealous, as I appreciate the time that an artist spent on practicing to develop the skills that are necessary to create something wonderful. And thus, I get inspiration to maybe practice enough myself sometime, in order to achieve even a little bit of that wonder. As an example, I've improved a lot myself over the years, even if art is not my first choice for expression: http://art.ngfiles.com/images/398000/398106_lucidshadowdreamer_jordling.png

    So I say that instead of being jealous, why don't you pick up your Ukulele and move your fingers like you move your hips ;)

    1. Listening to music really gets the hips moving... As you may or may not know, I've joined a dance group since I started studying at Aalto. Dancing really has become something I enjoy, and not only in private as before. I'm not super great at it, but it's a lot of fun.

      That drawing is really not bad at all! I think there is a lot of value in having several different options of self-expression, and I like to think that they can complement each other. The idea of the Renaissance Man deeply appeals to me. I don't know whether I could ever become a complete artist without understanding a bit of music, but I sorta hope not. I really want to become an engineer, but the more I learn, the more I feel the want to complement it with the humanities. The more math I learn at lectures, the more I want to go to the woodshop and use my hands. A polymath, as it's called, is what I want to be.

      I guess that's why I started playing the Ukulele. I had so many musician friends, I wanted to show everyone that I too have the capacity to learn, that I am not one-sided. And it gives me great pride to think back at how I felt instruments were just so difficult and unconquerable. Now I'm in on a tiny bit of that wonder, just like you are with your drawing. It feels like anything and everything is within the reach of nothing but an amount of practice. It's a great feeling.


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It's also always more fun if you leave some way for us to identify you.