Archive for May, 2010

Figuring it out

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

I’m working on figures for a show in August called “Body Parts”
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Odd Dream

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

My vivid, lucid, odd dream:

Briefly, in the dream, I was in a hotel room, woke up in the middle of the night to find other people in the bed across from me and still more coming into the room. I was quite annoyed by that and got up to figure out what was going on as more people came into the room. and then I felt myself pee my pants and heard a popping in my ear, I blacked out and in and proclaimed I had had a stroke. Later in the long dream, some guy tried to acost me and I ran to get away and for the second time in two weeks I did the swim flying. Where in, I push up from the ground doing the breast stroke as if under water coming up for air. I am high up in the tree tops trying to get away from the man in pursuit of me and I start searching for the mystic goddess among the tree tops. I found her and others who have been in search of her. I whine, “I love you mystic goddess please help me!” ( I know it sounds funny), I love you I love you!! The mystic goddess is behind a platform type thingie creating a distance from the people praying to her. Yet she is gently moving left to right and waving her graceful arms at the people, she is very sweet with a kind smile but interestingly, she is made of stone. Stone that is rainbow colored.! She kind of reminds me of characters in the movie Mirror mask, where you hear that Carpenter’s song “Close to you”, Anyway, I reach out to her and she waves her hands over mine, and milky clear vermcelli, jelly fish like tentacles sprout out and across my hands and arms and that is all I remember, I was touched!



She turned a blind eye: Fight Club Girl

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

She turned a Blind Eye

Are you wondering about the images of Fight Club Girls? here is a bit of an explanation for how the work germinated:

The series is called Fight Club girls and the ideas come from the movie/book as well as my earlier work about alter egos and duo personalities, its also about the human condition, the sublime, beauty in chaos and its sort of a feminist transgression.

Sheerly Avni writes about Fight CLub the Movie:

The David Fincher/Chuck Palahniuk venture was one of the most controversial statements of masculinity of the last decade. Ed Norton plays a disenchanted everyman, drowning in his IKEA catalogue and searching for meaning wherever he might find it. He first tries support groups (testicular cancer, malignant lymphoma, emphysema), and then enjoys the company of his idealized alter-ego, Tyler Durdon (Brad Pitt). A handsome, insouciant tough guy, Pitt introduces Norton to an underground world where men beat each other to a pulp for fun and camaraderie. It’s a man’s movie, supposedly, so why did I think it was the best feminist statement of the 90s? Maybe because it was time to watch a man learn what women have always known: That living a life defined by home furnishings, fashion, commercialized domesticity and constant messages about how your body should look can literally drive you batty.

I also like the idea of healing being trans-formative and visually the bruises, segmented as just fields of color can be pretty. The author of Fight club writes this:

partly inspired from his own experience of getting into a fistfight during a weekend camping trip. “They just beat the crap out of me,” he says of the men he fought. “My face was so bashed and so horrible-looking. It was blacked-out for three months. And it just slowly changed colors before it got back to being a white person’s face. And the whole time, no one at work acknowledged it.”

where the author says, no one at work acknowledged it, interests me and I am not sure why, its something I have to figure out still.

Also, since Fight Club, the movie is about the politics of masculinity ( http://www.henryagiroux.com/online_articles/fight_club.htm ) I wonder what it means when the tables are turned and the Fight Club members are women.

So, I’ve really only distilled some ideas down to images that relate to some convoluted and complicated ideas stemming from the movie/book Fight CLub and informed by my previous works on alter egos and duo personalities. I readily admit, the ideas aren’t entirely thought out and the paintings are intuitive.

gypsy sole

Friday, May 21st, 2010

I had a great day at work today, a couple of the other gallery members came in for a visit, was fun. I wore my sandals that remind me of a gypsy and Cola loved them

Gypsy sandals

She said her toe nails matched better 😀

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My iphone pics turn out really blurry :( its tricky to not move the phone when snapping the photo.

wip

Friday, May 21st, 2010

wip

oil on canvas, 18 x 24

this pop eyed girlie had a mind of her own, changing my direction with each bit of layering and so the original idea has gone by the wayside and I will have to mull her over for a few days or weeks. Right now my inclination is to dull down some of the coloration, but also wanting to think out the conceptual aspects…

Melancholic Pez Head

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

melancholic pez head wip

Started a series of Pez Heads last year and just now starting to flesh them out, this one went very quickly, tomorrow some glazing and a bit more color.

Steffie Stitches

Monday, May 17th, 2010

For Steffie Stitches, feeling the pain on the outside helped her to not feel the pain on the inside…
StiTcHeS: Fight Club Girl (not a pirate)

Landslide

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

The Amaryllis are blooming, adore!!

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And the grapevine over the pergola is making lots of grapes this year, also you see a rare watermelon bird eyeing the hummingbird feeder 😀

watermelon bird

poolside, MINT! yum for tea

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Landslide

title?
The title from a friend of mine who immediately thought of the song when he saw the painting:

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too

Ah, take my love, take it down
Ah, climb a mountain and I turned around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down

And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, oh, the landslide will bring it down

Love Facebook?

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Or love your privacy?

I have always felt unnerved by facebook’s lack of privacy, and while I was thinking about using it full on for art biz, lately I’m feeling like closing it all together.

snagged from bloggy.com

I don’t have a lot of illusions about privacy when using social media such as Flickr or Twitter, but there is a difference when a company like Facebook behaves in a really sleazy fashion.

I work on websites every day, including my own such as the art calendar ArtCat. I did not start out with one privacy policy for the calendar, and then gradually claim the right to use more and more information submitted to us. For example, I could offer a list of contemporary art galleries for sale to advertisers or artists looking for representation, but that would be wrong because it’s not what the galleries expected when they gave information to us. However, given the changes in Facebook’s privacy policy since 2005, they would consider this perfectly reasonable behavior.

In addition, with recent changes to their development platform, Facebook applications have more and more access to your private data, including applications you have not chosen to install, but your friends have. Want to share information only with friends? You’re sharing it with applications that your friends use.

And how about those neat new sharing tools introduced by Facebook? Until they corrected a bug, visiting sites that are using Open Graph allowed them to install an application to your profile without asking you. Given their privacy track record, including the recent exposure of private chats, I wouldn’t trust them to fix those holes quickly. “Instant personalization” indeed.

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Top Ten Reasons to Quit face book: Taken from here: ( http://www.rocket.ly/home/2010/4/26/top-ten-reasons-you-should-quit-facebook.html )
After some reflection, I’ve decided to delete my account on Facebook. I’d like to encourage you to do the same. This is part altruism and part selfish. The altruism part is that I think Facebook, as a company, is unethical. The selfish part is that I’d like my own social network to migrate away from Facebook so that I’m not missing anything. In any event, here’s my “Top Ten” reasons for why you should join me and many others and delete your account.

10. Facebook’s Terms Of Service are completely one-sided. Let’s start with the basics. Facebook’s Terms Of Service state that not only do they own your data (section 2.1), but if you don’t keep it up to date and accurate (section 4.6), they can terminate your account (section 14). You could argue that the terms are just protecting Facebook’s interests, and are not in practice enforced, but in the context of their other activities, this defense is pretty weak. As you’ll see, there’s no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. Essentially, they see their customers as unpaid employees for crowd-sourcing ad-targeting data.

9. Facebook’s CEO has a documented history of unethical behavior. From the very beginning of Facebook’s existence, there are questions about Zuckerberg’s ethics. According to BusinessInsider.com, he used Facebook user data to guess email passwords and read personal email in order to discredit his rivals. These allegations, albeit unproven and somewhat dated, nonetheless raise troubling questions about the ethics of the CEO of the world’s largest social network. They’re particularly compelling given that Facebook chose to fork over $65M to settle a related lawsuit alleging that Zuckerberg had actually stolen the idea for Facebook.

8. Facebook has flat out declared war on privacy. Founder and CEO of Facebook, in defense of Facebook’s privacy changes last January: “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.” More recently, in introducing the Open Graph API: “… the default is now social.” Essentially, this means Facebook not only wants to know everything about you, and own that data, but to make it available to everybody. Which would not, by itself, necessarily be unethical, except that …

7. Facebook is pulling a classic bait-and-switch. At the same time that they’re telling developers how to access your data with new APIs, they are relatively quiet about explaining the implications of that to members. What this amounts to is a bait-and-switch. Facebook gets you to share information that you might not otherwise share, and then they make it publicly available. Since they are in the business of monetizing information about you for advertising purposes, this amounts to tricking their users into giving advertisers information about themselves. This is why Facebook is so much worse than Twitter in this regard: Twitter has made only the simplest (and thus, more credible) privacy claims and their customers know up front that all their tweets are public. It’s also why the FTC is getting involved, and people are suing them (and winning).

Update: Check out this excellent timeline from the EFF documenting the changes to Facebook’s privacy policy.

6. Facebook is a bully. When Pete Warden demonstrated just how this bait-and-switch works (by crawling all the data that Facebook’s privacy settings changes had inadvertently made public) they sued him. Keep in mind, this happened just before they announced the Open Graph API and stated that the “default is now social.” So why sue an independent software developer and fledgling entrepreneur for making data publicly available when you’re actually already planning to do that yourself? Their real agenda is pretty clear: they don’t want their membership to know how much data is really available. It’s one thing to talk to developers about how great all this sharing is going to be; quite another to actually see what that means in the form of files anyone can download and load into MatLab.

5. Even your private data is shared with applications. At this point, all your data is shared with applications that you install. Which means now you’re not only trusting Facebook, but the application developers, too, many of whom are too small to worry much about keeping your data secure. And some of whom might be even more ethically challenged than Facebook. In practice, what this means is that all your data – all of it – must be effectively considered public, unless you simply never use any Facebook applications at all. Coupled with the OpenGraph API, you are no longer trusting Facebook, but the Facebook ecosystem.

4. Facebook is not technically competent enough to be trusted. Even if we weren’t talking about ethical issues here, I can’t trust Facebook’s technical competence to make sure my data isn’t hijacked. For example, their recent introduction of their “Like” button makes it rather easy for spammers to gain access to my feed and spam my social network. Or how about this gem for harvesting profile data? These are just the latest of a series of Keystone Kops mistakes, such as accidentally making users’ profiles completely public, or the cross-site scripting hole that took them over two weeks to fix. They either don’t care too much about your privacy or don’t really have very good engineers, or perhaps both.

Update: Yet another very recent example of Facebook struggling with very basic security and privacy bugs.

3. Facebook makes it incredibly difficult to truly delete your account. It’s one thing to make data public or even mislead users about doing so; but where I really draw the line is that, once you decide you’ve had enough, it’s pretty tricky to really delete your account. They make no promises about deleting your data and every application you’ve used may keep it as well. On top of that, account deletion is incredibly (and intentionally) confusing. When you go to your account settings, you’re given an option to deactivate your account, which turns out not to be the same thing as deleting it. Deactivating means you can still be tagged in photos and be spammed by Facebook (you actually have to opt out of getting emails as part of the deactivation, an incredibly easy detail to overlook, since you think you’re deleting your account). Finally, the moment you log back in, you’re back like nothing ever happened! In fact, it’s really not much different from not logging in for awhile. To actually delete your account, you have to find a link buried in the on-line help (by “buried” I mean it takes five clicks to get there). Or you can just click here. Basically, Facebook is trying to trick their users into allowing them to keep their data even after they’ve “deleted” their account.

2. Facebook doesn’t (really) support the Open Web. The so-called Open Graph API is named so as to disguise its fundamentally closed nature. It’s bad enough that the idea here is that we all pitch in and make it easier than ever to help Facebook collect more data about you. It’s bad enough that most consumers will have no idea that this data is basically public. It’s bad enough that they claim to own this data and are aiming to be the one source for accessing it. But then they are disingenuous enough to call it “open,” when, in fact, it is completely proprietary to Facebook. You can’t use this feature unless you’re on Facebook. A truly open implementation would work with whichever social network we prefer, and it would look something like OpenLike. Similarly, they implement just enough of OpenID to claim they support it, while aggressively promoting a proprietary alternative, Facebook Connect.

1. The Facebook application itself sucks. Between the farms and the mafia wars and the “top news” (which always guesses wrong – is that configurable somehow?) and the myriad privacy settings and the annoying ads (with all that data about me, the best they can apparently do is promote dating sites, because, uh, I’m single) and the thousands upon thousands of crappy applications, Facebook is almost completely useless to me at this point. Yes, I could probably customize it better, but the navigation is ridiculous, so I don’t bother. (And, yet, somehow, I can’t even change colors or apply themes or do anything to make my page look personalized.) Let’s not even get into how slowly your feed page loads. Basically, at this point, Facebook is more annoying than anything else.

And from rocket.ly.com

To those of you who shared your stories about leaving, or took the time to clarify some of the reasons for doing so, thank you. Apparently, I was hardly alone in making the decision to quit, or at least seriously considering it. It has been nothing short of inspiring to read your comments and realize how many of you cared enough to take action, whether it was actually deleting your account or simply taking the time to share your thoughts.

I thought I’d try to respond to some of the more common objections:

What’s the big deal? I don’t care if someone has access to my photos or status updates.

Tens of millions of people provided personal information to Facebook with the understanding that this information was being shared only within their social network. Then Facebook changed the rules and this information was unexpectedly shared with perfect strangers. That is, simply stated, a profound invasion of privacy. In the United States, the Fourth and Ninth Amendments to the Constitution, along with numerous landmark Supreme Court cases, have established privacy as a fundamental right.

Consider the example of the government tapping your phones. You conduct phone conversations thinking that they’re just between you and the person you’re speaking with. The government can’t tap your phone and listen in on the conversation without a warrant. This is because your privacy is a right protected by law.

Now take this example a step further, and suppose your cell phone provider one day sends you an updated privacy policy that states that they can tap your phone any time they want. Would you still use their service? Of course not! And, in fact, they won’t do this because it’s actually against the law for them to do so. In other words, it’s such a big deal, we passed laws to prevent it from happening.

Social networks involve not only voice conversations, but images, video, links, and text. Not only that, but there are frequently many recipients of this data. According to Facebook’s original privacy policy, these rich “conversations” were supposed to be private. Later, they changed their minds. This certainly breaks the spirit, if not the letter, of privacy laws, not only in the U.S., but all over the world.

I haven’t even touched on the various reasons people might want to keep these conversations private. They range from the profound, like avoiding workplace discrimination or protecting political dissidents, to the banal, like cheating on your wife or avoiding an abusive husband. But it really doesn’t matter. It is not for any of us to decide on behalf of someone else what information should be considered private.

Most people just want control over what they’re sharing and with whom. They have a right to make that choice. And many Facebook members did make that choice, only to find that, after the fact, Facebook made a different choice on their behalf. In the telecom industry, that’s illegal. Yet in the social networking space, where far more information is being shared, it’s not a big deal?

Just don’t share your personal information. Or, if you do, don’t use any applications and learn to use the privacy settings.

Maybe that works for you, you fabulous geek, you. But are all of your family and friends as clever as you are? What are the odds that the majority of Facebook members will do these things?

I don’t trust Facebook, either, so I just use fake data.

Uh, okay. Somewhere between not sharing personal information and actually using fake data, we cross a line into “what’s the point?”

Facebook works just fine for marketing purposes.

That’s true. Of course, that’s true for any social network with a critical mass of people on it. But it’s a circular justification. Once people switch to another network, it’s useless for marketing.

I’d leave except that I have too many family and friends still on there.

This is a tough one. I wrote my original post for exactly this reason – to try and convince them to leave. I felt that by continuing to use Facebook, I was passively endorsing it.

I’d leave except that there aren’t any real alternatives.

I am not aware of any good solutions for privacy in social media. Facebook has expressly moved away from providing one. But there are plenty of good opt-out solutions. Twitter works fine for status updates. For photos, we’ve had Flickr for years. For video, YouTube. For link sharing, Digg. I’ve picked these because they are all independent companies, but there are dozens of solutions for sharing social media.

The nice thing about decentralizing control over your data is that you aren’t at the mercy of any one company. In fact, you could make a pretty good argument that the Web itself is the real social network.

If the allegations against Zuckerberg are “dated and unproven,” they’re irrelevant.

I’m not trying Mr.Zuckerberg in court, I’m selecting a service provider. The burden of proof is on Facebook here. If the head of a major bank is accused of embezzling or a teacher is accused of molesting a student, they’re usually summarily fired. They may have been entirely innocent, but the standard for holding a position of responsibility is much higher than that for simply not going to jail. Mr.Zuckerberg has been accused of reading people’s private emails, and he runs a social networking company. Also, keep in mind, Facebook also settled out of court in a related case for a significant sum of money, lending some weight to the allegations. If Facebook and Mr.Zuckerberg wanted to clearly establish their innocence, they could have chosen not to settle out of court.

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If you follow the link above for bloggy.com it will list links that take you to other articles related to Facebook and privacy issues. I have permanently deleted my account but you

You can find me on flickr, or here or my website or etsy or live journal

Fed Ex

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Fed Ex arrived with a sweet bouquet of roses for Mother’s Day from my very sentimental brother. Its good to be loved. I hope all the mommas out there are duly honored, after all, you wouldn’t be here without one.

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Small mini pale apricot colored roses, adorable.

At the base, forms for my watermelon birds in three dee

Based on a dream I had, where I saw a batch of watermelon birds flying right at me in full color.

I designed my piece for the Canteen Gallery in Canada with them in mind. You see the watermelon birds spitting their black seeds at a naked impostor!

watermelon birds

I plan to do a painting as well, but the birdies will have human faces.

the best thing about being an artist; letting your imagination go where it will…

And everything else too, cuz for me nothing is quite as wonderful as living the art full life.

Especially on a gorgeous southern California day like today, what a gift!