robohemian

I’m Writing a Manifesto

I attended a magnet school for the arts called Las Vegas Academy back when I was in highschool. All I’ll say is, every sort of nonsense occurred here during my teenage years. It was my spawning ground, and an integral part of me becoming me.

At some point I walked into my core art class and written on the white-board was the prompt: “Invent Your Own Cult!”. This was our in class project for the day.

Since I was a wee fledgling, my weirdness gland wasn’t pumping at full strength yet, and this experiment in creativity was somewhat lost on me. I didn’t come up with anything meaningful, or clever, or funny (nor did I have the charisma to make up for it).

This memory was on my mind for a couple of reasons while driving home from SuperCon this past weekend:

I self identify as an artist, writer, hack, hacker, mechanical designer who pretends in her imagination to be a machinist… OH and a philosopher. This is a confusing and convoluted list, which usually gets abbreviated into “artist” when talking to other people (as it did at SuperCon this past weekend). The problem is that when you tell perfect strangers you’re an artist, for whatever reason, in spite of this being the year 2017, folks instantly get the mental image that you stand in a field somewhere with an easel and paint sunsets… or something.

So, for fun I will begin calling myself something slightly absurd from now on that might facilitate in creating a more accurate mental picture of the type of person I am and what I do with my life. (don’t worry, I know I shouldn’t care what others think, this is for fun =F)

TECHNO-BOHEMIAN. BOOM.

Or Robohemian in my case…. I could go with either. The term is nice because it is descriptive of the art side as well as the technologically capable side.

When I was a hatchling, one of my clutch’s mantra movies was Moulin Rouge, which is famous for its quintessential depiction of the “bohemian” life style. My friends and I longed to be part of the era where creativity and overlap of disciplines was booming in a streets of Paris back in the 1900s.

It is defined in the big internet book of defining things that:

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits. In this context, Bohemians may or may not be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.

This use of the word bohemian first appeared in the English language in the nineteenth century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities.[1]

Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which often were expressed through free love, frugality, and—in some cases—voluntary poverty. A more economically privileged, wealthy, or even aristocratic bohemian circle is sometimes referred to as haute bohème[2] (literally “high Bohemia”).[3]

It occurs to me that this culture and lifestyle cited in early century Paris exists today in a modern sense all over the world. Today’s Montparnasse is simply the internet. The coffee shops of then are effectively what hackerspaces are to us now.

… Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love

These are the four principles of bohemian mindfulness; the things they lived by in the world of Moulin Rouge. Theirs isn’t so much a manifesto, as it is a mandate of common values that sets the tone for a proper bohemian head-space and heart.

Truth: Always be genuine vs. fake. Gravitate towards that which is real, honest and just, instead of people who are misleading or purposely withholding.

Beauty: All that we put into the world, as energy or physical manifestation is to make it a better place to exist within.

Freedom: (gonna quote Ayn Rand here) I will not live for the sake of any man, nor will I expect any man to live for the sake of me. Never be afraid to freely express yourself or who you are. Never be afraid to fight to defend that right.

Love: The undefinable thing that pulls us like gravity towards that which we desire most in life. May our love of things and people bring out the best in us. May all of our actions and words be spoken out of love vs. negativity. (to quote Bjork, All is full of love!)

While those ideals are good enough to float your boat on, I wonder if they need to be tweaked in any way to better suite today’s techno-bohemians.

I intend to meditate on this over the weekend and compile a description of what it is to be what we are, this particular flavor of human with these frustrations, feelings, needs and desires. If you have any input at all, let me know! If you feel that the term “techno-bohemian” applies to you, what would your four principles be?

Ex: Creativity, Innovation, Passion and Coffee

In a sense, I’m revisiting that in-class project from high school just for fun. Maybe also because I feel a need right now to reflect on who I am and why I am this way. 🙂

I will post my conclusion shortly.

my thoughts on...

An open letter to those in the ocean

It’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it?

I’m writing this because it’s my nature to disclose pretty much anything and everything that skirts through my mind. I find that the seemingly unmanageable monsters of my life are deflated, simply by saying their names out loud. So, that is what I’m doing right now. Also, by sharing my feelings, I’m more likely to find others who relate to what I’m going through. So if you’re one of them, hello!

Things are different now. I’m entering a new decade of my life and my self-image has changed drastically without my own permission. Ten years ago, when I first shouted “CHARGE!” And ran head first into battle, I thought of myself as a smart, sexy, young thing that couldn’t help but be liked by everyone and as a result was strong and unstoppable. The world was mine. The present was my time. I had all the energy I needed backing me up.

But you know where this is going. We climb our mountains and eventually find ourselves questioning the stamina we were once certain we had. I suppose I’m there.

If you ask me what I “do for a living”, I will tell you that “I am an artist”. I’m also just as broke and aimless as the title suggests.  I knew long ago when I first put my chips on the table what I was signing up for. I’m not surprised by the grinding and chafing inflicted by the unpaved road I’ve been dragging myself along, but I am marred to the point that I can’t recognize myself anymore.

Additionally, who knew that this fresh era of my life would begin simultaneously with heaping gobs of social disillusionment. After eight years of relative optimism, I’m again parsing broken expectations as our country is led into shady uncertainty by a brand new shit storm. So this is the theme of now.

There is a metaphor in my comic, relating life to a stormy ocean. We either (a) drown, (b) wash out somewhere safely stranded on an island we can never escape, or (c) we fight and struggle to keep swimming.

At times we find chunks of debris to hold onto for a while and there happens to be someone else clinging along with us; cosmically at the same place at the same time.

The water is rough, but I know I’m not alone. That is why I’m writing today, and will continue to write from this point on. By continuing to call out the monster’s name, I want this little shitty piece of debris that I find myself on to become a raft. We don’t have to stay here forever, but it’s nice to catch your breath for a while before continuing to paddle on.

thinking about it too much

WTF Sheldon

As of late, my life has taken a turn down an unexpected avenue… that is covered wall to wall in paint. Last October, my friend and I adopted the hobby of sneaking around at night and exploding colorful fluid on flat surfaces in unconventional ways. Since then, we began crafting cannons for means of high velocity paint application, and maximum showmanship of course:

Around the same time that this practice was budding, I ran out and bought “Splatoon” since the vibrant ink sloshing nature of the game hit close to home. It would become my nightly mantra of Japanese bukakke-flavored vandalism from which I’d channel inspiration.

For those who aren’t familiar with the game, Splatoon is basically a paint-ball style shooter, where teams battle in mini turf wars to try and cover the most surface area with their color of ink. The game’s setting is in a nautical themed pseudo-Tokyo that is filled with teen-aged sea creatures and Japanese pop-culture. You and the other players of the world are squid kids (thus the ink squirting)… and you of course share the setting with jelly-fish, shrimp, sea urchins, and other evolved sea-kin…

The game’s characters have some darkness to them. If you’re a fan, you’d likely argue that the shady sea urchin sitting on the floor of the alleyway who mysteriously “acquires” the items you envy from the nearby squid kids, and also shucks the quivering pile of sea snails stacked next to him with a screw driver wins the award for most disturbing, hands down:

It’d argue however that Sheldon, the unassuming trilobite across the street, is by far leagues creepier that the pseudo-stoner sea urchin above. This kid’s got secrets.

So allow me to introduce you to the foremost of WTF…

When you log into the game, you appear in the middle of a busy cross-walk lined with skate-shops where you can buy clothing and other accessories. The most important of which is the storefront where you can purchase weapons and other ink slinging peripherals:

In here, you can find all sorts of fun toys made by the shop owner, a Boy Scout named, SHELDON.

He may look adorable standing there unassuming, but notice how he seems almost uncomfortably eager; with his hands folded quaintly. In the game he even bobs hurriedly back and forth like he is shy… or nervous. This might appear to be the hallmark of innocence, but I’m onto you Sheldon. Seriously. There is something slightly off here.

He is more than willing to offer a windy description of all his wares as you scroll through his list of weapons. Some of which he will mention were built from his grand-pappy’s blueprints (who was also a weapons monger himself).

If you happen to see something you like, Sheldon will gladly let you test any of his goods in a walled off area just behind his shop:

There’s nothing weird about it…

Just some high concrete walls, random patches of dirt and stuff. Totally normal.

I’ve wrecked this place dozens of times without any regard. But last night in my dazed and sleepy boredom… I started thinking about what was right in font of me.

…why mounds of dirt everywhere, Sheldon?

I’m not saying they were recently put there or anything… Every “back area” of an arms dealer’s lair has the right to be a little disheveled. What has me though is the obvious stipulation in regard to Sheldon and his family’s legacy of engineering ink weaponry:

Sheldon, though adorable, IS NOT A SQUID. He’s not even an ink producing cephalopod. Why is his shop called Ammo Knights when effectively, he has no way of creating any “ammo” to prototype his own weapons with?

Even if he doesn’t need ink in order to test his gear… doesn’t dedicating your life to the practice of building devices for another creatures fluid excretion border on the creepy?

just stuff to think about.

I use to come visit Sheldon after my nightly battles to say hi… maybe test out a new cannon or entertain the idea of sniping. He’s the type of cute I’d poke in the rib and say something vaguely inappropriate to as flirtation… but now every time I go into that back area with the high concrete walls, I can’t help but wonder if this is the time he doesn’t let me back out again. O_O