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Monday, 8 November 2010

24 shaft patterns - all the fun

 Yo-Yo-Yo!

24-shaft weavin in the house yo!




i think that's enough pretend hip-hop talk for now, eh?


so yeah, here are three of the more successful results of my cotton warp on 24 shafts. i am really beginning to envy the 3rd and 4th years working on compu-dobby systems now. you spend 2 hours weaving and 2 hours making a peg plan, and it hurt my back putting little pegs into little holes. and of course all the little pegs and the little holes are almost imperceptibly different sizes, so not all pegs fit all holes, and sometimes you have to stuff wee bits of yarn in as well to get them to stay. and then sometimes they're not far in enough and they jam the dobby mechanism, and sometimes they're too far in and they jame the dobby mechanism. and sometimes a link breaks and the whole mechanism jams. and sometimes all the shafts lift at once and you can't figure out why. and sometimes shafts just bounce off their strings and you can't figure out why, and then after a week's weaving Drew says you're weaving too fast and they're bouncing and you think to yourself maybe it'd be a good idea to tie them in a little bits so they don't fall off their strings, but you've already nearly finished this warp now, so maybe leave it for another time, but there's no way that you're going to let that stop you weaving quickly because dammit you enjoy weaving as quickly as you can, isn't that what it's all about? and besides what other exercise do you get besides walking to college and back, it's not like you can afford a subscription at the gym is it?


so yeah, problems, but that's just the way isn't it? these are the clearest patterns, the others are either basics like plain weave and twill or too busy to come out properly on the screen and probably aren't worth repeating. i'm coming to realise that in dobby weaving simplicity is key and maybe it's best leaving the celtic knotwork till we get to make jacquard designs.


also, i should spend more time in the drafting stage and try to start wrapping my head around using non-straight drafts in order to get more variety in pattern. though i also realise good handle, drape and simplicity of pattern are much more important in most commercial household textiles, because complicated and busy patterns have a tendency to do your brain in if you look at them too much, and people generally want calming simple textiles for curtains and upholstery and the like


but i really would like to get into undulating, large-repeat twills and such, cause i think they're pretty.

here be following close ups of the previously photied fabrics.

 this be a combination of 3/1 left facing and 1/3 right facing twills, in sections of 4 x 4
 the second is a single element from a celtic knotwork repeat. the only one i can get to work. i had aspirations to make celtic knotwork. As the best i can do is a single pattern block and that takes all the shafts i've got access to i think i might leave it for a better day and a newer machine with a more sophisticated shedding mechanism ;-)

For our next project we're to be weaving/printing textiles for casting concrete with. researchers at edinburgh uni are researching the use of textile formers for casting concrete and are interested in the different textures that the textile applies to the concrete. porosity and elasticity of the fabric are both greatly important (porosity definitely, and elasticity probably, i reckon)

i have lots of ideas, i think i'm going to enjoy this project so much that i'm going to put my private projects on the back burner until this is finished.

-andrew

Saturday, 30 October 2010

treble-cloth construction

I am currently in the process of designing a triple layered fabric. One layer shall carry conductive warp threads (one out of every three), another layer shall carry conductive weft threads (again, one out of every three) and a third layer shall lay between them and act as an insulator, keeping them apart and preventing unwanted contact between the two conductive layers.

Constructing a treble cloth is a compicated process. The way that a treble cloth is woven is that first the face cloth is woven, then the centre cloth is woven, then the back cloth is woven.
This is a draft for a treble cloth. The crosses indicate weaving marks for the cloth currently being woven, the dashes are lifts and are used to indicate shafts that are being lifted in the case of layers that are above the layer currently being woven.

Blue is back, Red is front, Green is centre

(All three layers are plain weave btw)

The cloth is constructed like so

1: Back cloth is woven. All red and green marks are lifted up
2: Middle Cloth is woven. All red marks are lifted, blue marks are all left down
3: Front cloth is woven. All blue and green marks are left down.
and repeat.

 I now make the plan for the other section, where the back and front faces interchange. The only difference here is that the lifting marks are swapped around so that the colour that was once on the face is now on the back and vice versa
 I want to be creating a checkerboard effect here, so i combine these two weaves together like so:

There is my finished draft, which i shall have to run past my lecturer on monday to make double sure i haven't bolloxed anything up.

In order to create the checked effect, i have to alternate the shafts which i'm threading up. So section is threaded on the front 6 shafts, and the other section, where the front and back faces are reversed, is threaded on the other 6 shafts.


I'd love to say i was anywhere near finished working this out, but i'm not. heyho

Saturday, 23 October 2010

having lots of fun with grid paper

i've been having fun today, weaving away and making up new drafts.

 This is a selection of the drafts i've been making up as I idly whittle my time away, avoiding doing what i'm supposed to be doing in my timetabled class time. Also what I've been doing at home when i should be studying for a test on colour chemistry, which isn't going to be easy. We're also going to get tested on weave structures and processes, but I know most of that and besides it tends to conform to logical rules. Colour chemistry and dyeing and all that though you just have to know. I guess there probably is some logical consistency to it, but probably only if you already happen to be shit-hot at molecular chemistry and physics and biology. Which I'm not
 I've also been weaving away (as I say) and have just finished my first sample of a pattern repeat i took from the knotwork book i mentioned before. It's working out rather well, although you can blatantly see the reed lines in the warp, it's a pain. With any luck it'll even itself out in finishing.
These pictures were taken with my new USB microscope. I got it for my birthday from my parents along with a beginner's Arduino kit, for which to be playing with textile electronics. i want to make an array of switches. It's difficult to explain. But now i have a microcontroller. Here is a picture close-up of a fucked-up bit of my bag where the fabric has been stretched and distorted due to rakes of stuff being stuffed into a small bag:

Is a little bit fuzzy, i forgot to take the lenscap off. Is good for examining fine fabrics close up and that. You can see how the fabric there's been damaged, is pretty good eh?

Anyhow, I've got a 24 shaft warp of 2/19's cotton to play with and more ideas than i know what to do with. considering that it takes me about an hour and a half to hammer in a 24 lag peg plan, it's probably worth taking care in what exactly i'm going to be weaving, as I can't spend all year making this one warp. I also have my special project to be working on, as well as a christmas present for my mum, which is a linen table runner and matching placemats. It's a surprise, but it's ok because she's allergic to the internet so she'll never know as long as noone tells her.
Having looked at some of these drafts a bit more closely it occurs they're occassionally flawed and wouldn't work actually. The above weave is a classic example of what happens when my love of symettry isn't working with commonsense and such.

-andrew

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

week 4 of 2nd year

and we're spending pretty much all of our time in the weave shed.


pretty much everybody has ended up doing double weave, which means that pretty much everybody is behind. i'm doing an interchanging double weave with 2/2 twill on both shafts, meaning i'm using 16 shafts. my lecturer tried to talk me out of it, but i wasnae listening.

i hadn't thought of this before i started, but it turns out that areas of the fabric where the two faces interhange often tighten up a lot quicker than those areas of the warp where the faces don't interchange. as you can see in the second one the interchanging is occuring every 8 picks, by the time i'd finished i had to cut the fabric off and retie onto the front stick 'cause the warp was slack on the sides and in the middle and it was becoming impossible to weave properly.

that's why you're seeing these before i've finished the 3rd sample. we have 3 samples to do. it was supposed to be finished by the end of the week, but as some people have only just started weaving we've got an extension.

the weave department is understaffed, the college administration have no understanding of it whatsoever

in other news, i've just ordered a 400X magnification USB microscope (for examining textile fibres) and an Arduino Microcontroller newbie's kit, for to play with electronic. for my next project i want to create a fabric with conductive warps and wefts that can act as a touchpad by connecting one warp with one weft via the conductivity of the finger and all that. but i need to get the electronic part sorted out.

i need at least two layers of fabric (one with weft and one with warp) so the two sets of conductors are seperated from each other. i also possibly need an insulating layer in between, but i'm not sure about that yet.

it would be kinda groovy to make triple layered interchanging fabric though, a proper challenge for the old brainbox and that. would make me feel dead clever that would

Saturday, 31 July 2010

voluntary obligations

i have to meet prince charlie. only for a minute or so, but still. i might end up with my picture in the paper. and i hate having my picture anyway.

cos i set the loom up at castlehill heritage centre, and that's what that's for. i wasn't sure originally, but when i got an invitation letter in a fancy envelope i kinda knew.

so that's that. i think the other people that'll be there are more important from a social point of view. Charlie ain't a decision maker, he ain't a politician or a businessman or a charity organiser. but there'll probably be a lot of them there. so it's probably worth me going. and i might as well shave, mightn't i?

i mean, i don't think i'll be coming back to live in caithness permanently in the future, so in the long run it might just be a waste of time, but on the other hand there's always that chance that i might have to fall down the route of being an anachronistic backward-looking kind of a guy that's just stuck making boring tourist crap that doesn't challenge his intellect at all because he's scottish and that defines his identity. but i'd rather not. a living's a living i know, but jeez, i'd rather not sacrifice myself like that. and, you never know, maybe the heritage people can be convinced to look to the future and not just view our society as a horrific moral abberation that needs to be wiped from the slate (the prominent view these days, it seems)

the thing is, there's a chain of events here:

1: i get offered this loom, cos it's been takin up space in this woman's shed for ages
2: i use the loom. that's all good, and you've seen the results
3: i move out and give away the loom. the only place i can think that'll take it is the heritage centre
4: i am now bound to be the heritage centre's weaver since i gave them the loom, and isn't giving someone a loom a dickish thing to do if you then charge them for your time?
5: Answer: it is, so here i am

i just make work for myself, i really do.

and as far as the anachronistic thing goes, i only mention that because i hear a lot of talk about natural-this and fairtrade-that and don't use any non-natural materials. and to people that want to tell me what materials i should and shouldn't weave* with i say: FUCK YOU! if you want to stand by those standards, then rip off that polyester shirt! throw your shoes in the bin! remove that warp knitted t-shirt and those industrially dyed socks! you say i can't be industrially relevant? that just because i choose to be a weaver i have to live in some fairy-taqle vision of the-way-things-were? NO WAY! i'll embrace industrialisation if it becomes available and economical to me. i'll expand into every market i ethically can do. and i'll use every technology i can responsibly use to make my designs and my fabrics stand out from the crowd.

i am not a romantic

i look to the future

and NOBODY shall tell me what i can and can't weave with.

NOBODY

-andrew

* i do get people sometimes going on about how i should only use natural pish. to push a philosophical point - everything that exists is natural. suck on that

Monday, 12 July 2010

500 heddles

It's finally done.

I've made all the heddles i think i really need for the castletown loom, and i'm going to go in and warp it up on saturday. or maybe friday. friday might be better now i come to think of it.

anyway, i got some yarn for to put on the loom. a navy blue plain yarn, probably something like 28 worsted count i guess, and also a brown and white sorta flecky nep yarn. i think that's the right term, i really should know these things by heart now.

anyway, i'm going to warp it up at 20epi or so with blue predominating in a sort of tartan check. so, my rough calculations go like this:

500/20 = (5/2=2.5x10=25) 25"

or just over 2 feet. allowing for draw-in it could end up being exactly 2 feet wide, which is quite a nice width for a scarf. so i guess i'll make a 5 metre warp with that and get 4 scarves out of it if all goes well

anyway, that's that. making 500 heddles is no joke.

-andrew

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

end of year exhibition

i got bored when i was in the country. this is what i did for the 3D sculpture part of visual studies

the front piece is a warp of plastic fishing line, which is tough enough to handle a weft of bramble and gorse stalks. for those not familiar with gorse, it's prickly as hell and almost impossible to weave with. you really need a shed about 20 cm deep to expect to not be snagging warp threads while using it. the warp was a chaotic mess by the time i'd finished using the gorse, the brambles were very little trouble on the other hand

and this is a flower, think i had a picture up of this in unpainted state a while back. as you can see it's made out of gardening wire and masking tape




the tutors thought the straw hanging all over it was intentional, something to do with the interface between nature and artifice. the truth is i ripped the wire out of a tangle of weeds.

the suit is sort of an idea i had for aggressive textiles. textiles that harm rather than heal, y'know. the next thing i'm wanting to work with is razor wire, but it's quite expensive (about £44 for a 10 metre roll, and i think you might need a special license), so i might settle for barbed wire for the time being. it's completely frivolous of course, and has no practical applications. it occured to me you could wear sharp stuff to demonstrations and the police wouldn't be able to grab a hold of you, but then you'd hurt innocent passers-by and fellow protestors, rather self-defeating. fetish-wierdos might go for it, but i don't want to get into that market

just a bit of fun really. surprisingly enough you can actually run in that suit.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

no more posts for a wee while

cos i'll be out of computer range and besides, my camera's broken

first year's finished anyhow. don't know if i've passed CAD or Art History yet, but have everything else.

away out west tomorrow to help build up a ruined house over the summer. took my copy of collingwood's tablet-weaving book to see if i can't get into some more complicated pattern.

doubleface i could do with getting the knack of. i wish i hadn't misplaced that linen, i guess it's around in gala somewhere, but that's no use.

need to buy a shitload more acrylic as well. always easy to get hold of. tablet weaving with wool pisses me off, it's too damn hairy, felts up awful as well. linen is lovely to TW with, i imagine silk is too, but i've never been able to afford any.

anyone got any more suggestions for fibre for tablet weaving?

Thursday, 8 April 2010

final samples

That's my favourite one (above), it's a plain satin. I like the one below as well, which is sateen stripe




That's a double faced interchanging plain weave
I went somewhat overboard on the fancy yarns there. slub, gimp, and hairy. don't like it that much

That's a honeycomb. you probably can't see there, but the texture changes as it goes up cos i gradually changed it to a plain weave on the way up. the lecturers idea.
That's weft figuring. not a big fan of weft figuring, it is kinda pretty, but i reckon the floats would catch on things. don't think it's too practical

the pictures aren't too great. i don't have access to a scanner. i tried taking pictures of the draft sheets but they came out pretty incomprehensible, so i'll leave them for now. i'm wanting to make an interchanging double weave tartan next year, and am going to try getting the draft sorted out in scotweave (that's the weave drafting program we use, it's kinda cool and fancy) when i get back from easter. if i succeed (if i have the time), i'll post pictures of that. maybe i'll be over busy with photoshop bollocks (don't like photoshop) and other tasks like getting this lot mounted up for assessment and getting my portfolio board ready for the lecturers and that. we have a wee interview thing to help us choose what we want to do next year. seems most everyone's made up their minds already. it's constructed or print i think, constructed includes knit, which is fine with me. apparently you get to do different things though, so print students can weave or knit fabrics to print, and construction students can use the knit room. there's the sewing room as well, which has embroidery stuff.

Monday, 29 March 2010

all done

almost

just finished my last final woven bit on the looms at college. that's 8 technical samples and 5 final samples (usin colours from pictures i pulled off the web, cos i use the web to do pretty much all my research and imagery scavenging)

all the samples are based on natural stuff that happens in nature. in order - 1 dying star, 1 lake with hills in front, 1 bunch of trees in summer, 1 largest/coldest large-sun-sized-but-really-cold object as seen through hubble telescope (discovered the other month), 1 rocky/heathery hillside somewhere up north presumably with the purple heather and all that jazz and 1 big green nebula thing with all bits of orange and some pale blue in it

i particularly like the hubble stuff. gas nebulas rock

the fabrics should be getting cut off the looms tomorrow evening, and i'll have to do yarn wraps and weft plans. of course, not having written the weft plans down while i was weaving, i now have to painstakingly look at the fabrics to figure out exactly what weft i used when. luckily, i'm a stickler for regularity and symmetry in stripes, so it shouldn't be too difficult, and i only have to do the weft plan for the 6 final samples, not the technicals. still, a bit of foresight and i could've had the whole thing finished by tomorrow lunchtime.

i'll post up some piccies (actually, probably a whole rake of piccies, or i could just post the finals, cos the technicals really aren't that interesting)

drafts will be posted only on demand, cos they're A4 sheets and i really can't be bothered pissing about in OpenOffice (subtle plug for open source software there) for hours remaking them. you might find them a little confusing, cos they use a slightly different notation system from what most of you will be used to, being dobby and all. i still ain't 100% sure i understand them perfectly well.

still, i'm working on it

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

doing things in the correct manner

hey! guess what!

pretty much everything i've been doing so far as weaving goes is grossly inefficient!

hooray!

i kinda figured that would be the case

so far i've learned better ways of making the warp, better ways of putting lease rods into the warp while it's on the board, better ways of stretching the warp, better ways of packaging the warp for transport, better ways of winding the warp, better ways of threading the heddles, better ways of sleying the reed

at some point in the future i'll probably attempt to illustrate these methods in a comprehensible manner, though i find it difficult to imagine i could reasonably expect to show anyone how to use a warping rack consisting of two levels of yarn alternating 1,2 in an up, down manner in order to make a cross between thumb and forefinger for ease of quickly putting onto a warping frame. not without standing there and making sure. it looks like magic when an experienced weaver does it, until you figure out how it's done and then it's just a simple movement of the hand combined with a certain physical standing in relation to the warping board

christ, the dog's farting, bring on summer and i can open the windows :P

oh yes, away with the warping paddle, it is not necessary! but keep hold of yours till you figure out how to do without. and this new method of warping makes things a great deal quicker. like, it used to take me an hour or two to make a 200 end warp, and if i wanted to do it with multiple threads at a time i had to do it a silly finickity way and even then i'd often end up with twisted bunches and a generally unusable warp that'd have to get chucked in the bin. and now i know how to blatantly make a simple 1000-end warp in an hour or so in a reliable manner that doesn't make me look like some kiddy that disnae ken what on earth he's doing and is just makin it up as he goes along

also, i've spent a bit of time staring at the mechanical dobbies here (which are at least 100 years old) and i'm totally convinced they could be built by any competent metalworker and carpenter. it may even be possible to replace some of the metal parts with plastic and fabricate them in 3D printers

on the other hand, computerised shaft selection may be a lot simpler, in terms of readily available technological resources. like, i'm surrounded by computers and software geeks all over the place, but i've only ever met one blacksmith

anyway, hooray for learnin things from a man that's been working in the industry for 40-odd years!

very good.

-andrew

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

CompTex - Twitter Dress

this from

Imogen Heaps Twitter Dress Tweets From The Grammys

"Around Heap's neck: a kind of sculptural cuff with blinking light. And her purse was a small television.


The necklace had a live Twitter feed with a wireless router. And a television with videos her fans were sending to her account. She brought her followers down the red carpet."

Wow, that's kinda cool and was actually something i was thinking about recently, about incorporating IM, facebook, twitter and other such info-feeds into clothing via a visual display or an earpiece (with text-to-voice software necessary of course to translate all that "omigod! c wot wez doon 2moz d00dz!" txt/hack speak stuff which is so unnecessary these days when everyone under the age of 25 types at the speed of light anyway

It's maybe not a viable application the now, but surely will be an inevitable and highly desirable one in the coming age of Ubiquitous Computing and Full Connectivity. It might not be feasible perhaps to build computers into your coat* (at least not for the time being) but a good start could be wireless transcievers built into your coat you could plug your PDA into, or whatever it is.

OK, maybe PDA's already have these things. i dunno, i guess they probably do. I just like the idea of being able to wash my mobile phone in the machine with my socks and shirts

never mind that, that's silly. but what isn't silly is video fabric, which i've probably rambled on about before. i mean, why not? i'm convinced the technology's there. all it needs is hooked up to a, oh, what is it, BLUETOOTH! that's it, one of those thingy's, and BAM, you can get texts on your sleeve! how cool would that be?

ok, still kinda kitschy, and perhaps a rather complicated way of solving a problem that's already been solved 20 years ago or so.

anyway, yeah, programmable fabric displays. well cool. react to ambient temperature, or light. maybe yer coat could go red when your blood pressure rises to tell the people about you you're gettin stressed and about to blow your top. that's not a bad idea, like the ultimate PC extrapolation of those gieger tags the workers at nuke plants wear that tell them when they've had too many rads and it's time to go home. "your coat's gone red, time to go lie down and listen to soothing music in the break room"

of course, one thing i've overlooked about the twitter display coat is it gives the likes of 4chan the ability to display lewd messages and icons on the clothing of celebritys at the Grammy's. where's anonymous when you need them?

-andrew

* wee PS about that whole thing of fabric based computing substrates that has all been kinda boiling about in my head for a while now. i just thought it would be a kinda mad dystopian/utopian/mundane thing if connectable computing substrate was built into all textiles, even wallpaper and landscaper fabric. i mean, say, you've got a 1m square patch of comptex, and you connect it to another piece, and it doubles it's computing power. or maybe it's all connected wirelessley and working as a distributed computing network like how you can use many computers on the internet to complete parts of a program that you'd otherwise need a supercomputer for (SETI have a web interface for hooking your computer up to help scan the stars for radio signals). i mean, imagine, you don't have a computer, your HOUSE (like, your carpets, your wallpaper, your bedsheets, the insulation in the walls) is a computer, and so is your coat, and maybe it loses some of it's power when you're out of your house, but it's still a phone/PDA at least, right? And, the more of this stuff about there is, the less need there is for individual connections to an ISP, cos eventually you won't be able to walk the streets without picking up a WiFi signal (it's getting that way already in the city centres).

All it needs (i make it sound so simple) is flexible, washable logic circuits that don't degrade any faster than the fabric substrate they're woven into. i reckon anyway, i'm no expert on computer architecture, at all. not even slightly. but it makes sense that if the components had those qualities and you could find suitable textile based I/O media then there's no reason that your coat couldn't be a computer. or your bag maybe, or perhaps rather a special, valuable piece of fabric that you paid a lot of money for and wouldn't be particularly happy to expose to the rough and tumble of everyday life.

on the other hand, if the individual computing units of a distributed computing architecture could be made small enough, and assuming there wouldn't be some kind of electronic data loss effect over distance, then it wouldn't matter if one piece of it got torn cos the rest would just work around it, the way the internet does. i mean, think of the net as one big machine, which it is in a manner of speaking. it doesn't matter if a node, or a town or even a country gets blasted out of the net, the net keeps working, cos it just routs around the dead zones.

super-micro-distributed-textile-computing-substrate.

that's what i'm talking about

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

i did something i liked

i made a pile fabric out of ripped up strips of an old t-shirt

and guess what, it's part of visual studies. not that sam said "make a pile fabric out of pieces of an old t-shirt"

but she did say "take last weeks 3D sculpture stuff and express it in cloth in a 2D format with 3D elements coming off the surface"

and i had this old t-shirt sitting there. so i cut it up into strips and made warp, weft and pile out of strips of warp-knitted fabric. i tied the warp around my A2 sketchbook

it's all 1 colour and kinda ugly, and i couldn't keep the selvedges from pulling in progressively as it went on and i'm sure you can understand how crap that feels, cos once the selvedge is pulled in on there's no way of pushing it out if you're not using a reed which i obviously wasn't. it's a common problem i've found with tapestry and knotted pile on square-frame looms. not easily avoided unless you're going to go to the trouble of building little bows in the weft line before you bat it down with a fork, which i didn't have the time to do

if you want to know what i mean by that i can photocopy pages from Peter Collingwood's "Techniques of Rug Weavng" in which he describes how to lay the weft so as to give it space to go up and over the warp ends to avoid draw in when the batten is pulled back. i also find keeping an open shed and holding the weft lightly (so as to allow it to run through your hand freely) with one hand and beating it down from entry point towards exit point also works, but is necessarily more time consuming

i apologise for the lack of pictures, this was the one day in the last two weeks i'd emptied my bag and only taken in what i actually felt i actually need. which didn't include my camera, unfortunately. it is unfortunate, cos i paid a lot of money for that camera, and i really should use it more often

Saturday, 16 January 2010

totalitarian art


North Korean propoganda poster, presumably the bad guys are US soldiers

Monument to the Third International, communist

More North Korean propoganda

anyway

so here's the question. i have been asked to, at great length it seems to me, define Art. and the question occured to me, can totalitarian art be considered truly Art, or is it merely propoganda? in the same vein you could ask if adverts have artistic value.

the other issue that popped up when i was discussing this with a friend earlier that there were several schools of art, with their own distinctive styles that grew up in the USSR, so yes it is. but then, this begs the question doesn't it, that are all products of a totalitarian society necessarily totalitarian in themselves. certainly, state controlled propoganda artists certainly produce totalitarian work, but does that discredit every artist in the school of Socialist Realism, for instance, a state sanctioned artistic ideaology though it was?

we don't call all art that derives from capitalist cultures "capitalist art", is this fair? no, i don't think it is. we can judge others very well, but we rarely look at ourselves. are not the endless barrage of adverts simply capitalist propoganda? could capitalism itself be considered a political and economic philosophy like communism, which with it's stranglehold on all aspects of life could itself be labelled totalitarian? much capitalist architecture is in my opinion blatantly totalitarian. many housing estates are clearly designed for the use of the riot police, and most of these new office blocks and housing units going up are clearly designed to make people feel small and powerless as far as i'm concerned.

think of that diamond skull. isn't that nothing more than a worship icon for senseless consumption, and how many of those diamonds came from the killing fields of Africa, mined by slave labour? This is true capitalist art, in my opinion, and i consider it a work of evil.

but to get back to the main point, can art, propoganda art in particular, really be called art. North Korea is an instructive country, as there is NO independent artwork coming out of there. look for pictures and videos of Arirang, the mass games, a stunning spectacle of ant-like cooperation. if you can call it cooperation

-andrew

Monday, 4 January 2010

happy new year

hey there

i know, i hardly ever put anything on this thing anymore. see, it's like this, it's actually hugely frustrating, i haven't done any weaving worth speaking of AT ALL since i started college. and yeah, i ken like that there's more to life than intersecting two sets of threads at right angles to each other, but i like it you know? and i'm supposed to be down here to be doing that. and the knitting is really quite interesting, and actually i guess a potentially productive money-spinner in terms of actually producing sale goods, and it's handy to know how to actually cut patterns and sew properly, with a machine, and print is fun and is so something i quite enjoy and want to do more of, but the thing is i feel like it's gonna take forever before i get to do any weaving

and here's the other thing right, well one of them, there's a whole rake of things doin my brain in right now, but here's the other thing like i say. see, in first semester we had two whole days a week of either knit or print right, and that's all good. lots of time in the workshop standing on your feet actually DOING THINGS (not like all just drawing and trawling the internet for pictures of bleeding dresses to put in research files. i mean, i have an appreciation for fashion like, but only insofar as i like what's actually wrapped up, i mean, i could care less whether a hot girl's wearing a gucci dress or a bleeding sackcloth). but next semester we do weave (finally). but only one day a week. and yeah, cool, it's all semester rather than just half of it, but we're gonna be doin CAD as well, and for all that i spend a lot of time on the internet, i just HATE HATE HATE working with computers, especially on creative stuff, it's just so bloody soulless and life-crushing. i mean, what is the point, really?

so i guess that's just one day standing up moving my limbs and the rest is going to be spent on my rear-end, slowing down my metabolism and withering away what little muscle mass i have left since i stopped actually working physically, and i'm like so unfit and that's all there is to it. i so have to take up farming or landscaping again, but christ, who's gonna give an unskilled manual labourer (and a skinny one at that who doesn't know anybody down here) a job in this economic climate?

people look at me and assume i don't know one end of a spade from the other, it annoys me.

i am pure ranting like, and i apologise, i'm just having one of those "what on earth am i doing with my life?" moments, well it's not a moment, i've been deeply troubled about my social condition for a number of years now but one just tends to ignore these things and muddle on through.

but the period between now and christmas has so far been totally bat-shit bonkers insane, what with the drinking and the partying and getting dangerously drunk with exes and going out with an old crush (like, for years kind of a crush) and her new boyfriend (who's totally sound by the way, and at least i care about her enough to realise that). which is all good i guess, cos he seems good for her and there was no wierdness, although the craic was blatantly like "hey, i ken you're into me and have been for ages so here's my manny, just so you know like, and we're all still friends like and it's all good, so yeah"

or something along those lines.

but yeah, emotionally turbulent. and also, coming to a realisation of what seriously good friends two people in my life who i haven't spent enough time with in the last few years are and how they know better about what i need and what i want than i do, cos i never think about these things seein as i'm a bleedin Stoic. which brings back home in all it's full amazing glory the unavoidable fact that i've had no-one to actually talk to about girl/life stuff for so long and still don't (without coming into edinburgh, which is a hassle) and it's total pish like.

and that's just the thing, i am totally not clicking in Gala. everyone is lassies like, and my only mates i don't have anything in common like. i mean, they're great people and all that, but can you imagine trying to explain to a fashion-and-boys-and-shops lassy what it means to live in a tree and why you did it? or even bring the subject up without everyone thinking you're a total freak?

though i did meet a nice spanish couple the other week, so i guess i've got a fighting chance of building a mad "let's all get hammered and find random people" drinking culture there. it's worth a try. if things still aren't working by the end of this semester i'll seriously have to think about switching to a different institution

so i guess when the stream of conciousness has been written down i guess the lack of weaving in my life is not the problem at all, and of course it's other things. so obvious really