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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Punching Fag's LiveJournal:

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Friday, December 18th, 2009
12:58 am
Thursday, December 17th, 2009
1:15 am
Sorry I've been away Live Journal...
Adjusting to grad school took more out of me than I expected.
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
10:58 am
Where is that tension headache coming from?
Doctors note that an extra 20 calories a day (one peanut M&M or a tortilla chip) over a year means two pounds gained.

Remember the energy crisis? It didn't end, it's just that the global economy made it too expensive for third world countries to buy oil. As the global economy recovers it will return. Also the US has pressured the IEA into underestimating how fast the world is running out of oil.

Democrats are threatening to stop the health care bill because they don't want federal money funding abortions.

Or do you remember how early this Summer the government decided to delay vaccine production for the swine flu because they wanted to make sure it was going to become an epidemic first...
Monday, November 9th, 2009
10:03 am
Once again I'm regretting not learning French and German. Normally it's because I want to live/travel in Europe but now it's because I really need to read some texts in their original language. Translations done by people outside the field are often wrong!
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
1:38 am
I'm looking to find American action films with famous (or not so famous) one liners ("I'll be back") that I can sample video from. Especially looking for films that have violence against non-white persons by white guys.
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
1:04 am
All about the gushing
While our book only gives two pages and two pictures to Toulouse-Lautrec, my instructor gave us an hour worth of class time including a series of images of prostitutes that flipped by while she played Lady Marmalade on a boom box (The Pink/Christina/Lil' Kim version).

Have I told you how much I love grad school in the last ten minutes? I love grad school. Ya know what I hate? That I didn't do it ten years earlier.

The only part I'm not crazy about is the being broke part. That's not really surprising however. I budgeted for living expenses (though everything has gone up recently) but I didn't accurately gauge my expenses for supplies (plastic resins are 'spensive!) and new equipment nor was I expecting the tuition hike. (Thanks Governator!) The maximum amount of loans you can borrow has not changed much in ten years and certainly hasn't kept pace with inflation. I thought that all I'd need to do this year is buy a new computer monitor but I'm starting to realize that I'm gonna need some other equipment for installations that the school just doesn't have.

I'll also eventually need a Hi Def camcorder with decent lenses. That's gonna run me about $3500. I'd like it now but will really need it next year. I'd sell a kidney but mine are shot. I guess I'll just have to start hunting undergrads at night. I've been doing a bit of searching online to see if there are any grants available to schools for equipment upgrades but I've come up dry so far. I would be happy to fill out a grant application for the school. Big institutions have people on staff whose job is to write grants while the poor schools (that need the grants more) can't afford to staff those people.

Just 'cause I've never won a grant doesn't mean I won't try.
Saturday, September 19th, 2009
11:52 pm
High School RPG
I had this dream that I was playing a role playing game where you are a high school teacher. It was totally frustrating so I finally quit the game yelling "Fuck this! I have all this responsibility and no power to affect change". Then I woke up.

It could be worse. It could be something I couldn't wake from.
Sunday, September 13th, 2009
2:13 am
Day of Art
Had a day of art today. Went to two galleries and a museum that were required shows to see for a class. They all basically sucked. Then I went to a show that was not assigned for class but I was interested in, the Your Bright Future show at the LACMA. (Work by twelve contemporary Korean artists.) The reviews said the show was hit and miss (what isn't?) but the stuff that hit really hit.

My three favorite artists in the exhibition are Jeon Joonho, Gimhongsok, and Kimsooja. Not surprising all of them are either video artists or use video to some extent.

In The White House by Jeon Joonho a video projection of a twenty dollar bill has an animated figure moving around and altering the image of the White House, slowly painting away the windows and doors so that the open building becomes a bunker. It's both beautiful and hilarious. A clip from a similar piece done with a Korean bill can be found here. (A clip from the one in the exhibition can be seen on the LACMA website.)

Kimsooja's piece A Needle Woman is really amazing to see. It's one of those that you have to stand in the middle of to really experience. (That's what installation's all about right?) Six screens of her standing still in the middle of a street while people walk around her. At first you think it's six screens of the same video but then you realize the streets and the people on them are from all over the world. Despite the slow movement on the screens, all six of them together almost become sensory overload. I really love video art like this and was happy to just sit there and have it sort of wash over me.

At first glance I sort of dismissed Gimhongsok's work but then once it sunk in it almost became too much and it was as if part of my brain shut down. Most of the works had a video element to it as well as some text painted directly on the wall that almost pushed it into installation. The work contains both some truth and some fiction to it so that you don't always know what is being presented as documentary fact and what isn't (though sometimes it's obvious). In one of the pieces a line is written that states that "with communism, fiction is realer than fact". (That might not be an exact quote but it's close.) It's almost to say that the artist's fictional reality is just as valid as the fictional reality created by the communist regime.

Probably the most disturbing/delightful parts is the performance aspect of the installation. There are animal costumes on display. A sign next to them states that there are real Korean and Mexican immigrants being paid $5 an hour to hold poses for eight hours in the costumes to highlight the subject of illegal workers. The museum claims there are actually people inside the costumes but is this just another one of the artist's fictions? You stare at them to see if they move and you're sure you see some kind of movement. I'm sure I saw one breath for a second... Then you decide that you're tired of trying to figure it out and you look elsewhere but then you wonder if they are looking at you. Are there eyes watching you or is it another fiction?

Images and video clips from the whole exhibition can be seen by going to the LACMA website. The show is only up for a week so if you live in town catch it while you can. If you don't live in town at least check out the website. Click now! Operators are standing by...
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
12:24 pm
Love for Tivo and Kathy Ack(er)
Today I finally threw my broken Tivo into the trash. As it sailed into the dumpster I sang "I Will Always Love You". It hasn't fully worked for two years (couldn't record anymore) but I had some shows on there I wanted to watch. Before tossing it I ripped the case open and took out the hard drive which was still good. In a way it's Tivo's heart and soul. Maybe I'll use the hard drive to build a robot that will eventually enslave the human race. I feel...it's what Tivo would have wanted.

I finally found the Kathy Ack website. It combines the text of experimental writer Kathy Acker with images from the comic strip Cathy. I can't love it enough. They are relatively close in age but obviously have a very different view of life as a woman.



I also have jury duty in October. I thought I'd get out of it because I no longer live in LA but I'm being called into federal court so I have to live more than 80 miles away from the court to use distance as an excuse. Since most juries don't serve on Monday I'll hopefully only miss one class a week. I hope it's a case involving a demented mad scientist. I would totally want to be part of a jury of his/her peers.

She tried to use a super atomizer to wipe Fresno off the map? Innocent I say! Innocent!
Friday, September 4th, 2009
6:36 pm
Seen a tank lately?
Does anyone know if there is a park or some place where there is a military tank that I can take pictures of? Anything at a VA building, veteran's memorial, or something?
Friday, August 14th, 2009
7:48 pm
Sarah Palin and the Nooooo Joes!
Remember that kid that you could always convince to walk up to adults and say "fuck" or other inappropriate things because he was a little slow and just loved the fact that you were giving him attention? I feel that's what the Republicans are doing with Sarah Palin.


The best part of the GI JOE movie was the preview beforehand for the action film where one guy insults another by calling him a "Gilmore Girl". I mean, making a pop culture reference that might be too obscure for your audience to get is SO Gilmore Girls...
Saturday, July 18th, 2009
11:26 am
Adorable robot game on shockwave
Little Wheel

It's more like an interactive French cartoon. And it's short. The art alone makes it worth a click.
Saturday, July 11th, 2009
1:03 pm
Zombie Landscaping
When I finally buy a house I expect someone to buy me this as a housewarming gift.
Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
1:26 am
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
1:35 am
I was grumbling about the lack of media art in Seattle when in a flash I remembered about the existence of the Henry Art Gallery. While the Seattle Art Museum may be in the business of perpetuating the idea that art is boring and only for an elite crowd, the Henry Art Gallery almost always has something fun and interesting going on. (Which is a little surprising because it's the art museum for the University of Washington which has a notoriously conservative reputation.) I saw a few children running around with their parents excited to be there.

Upstairs I caught the UW's MFA show. The painters were a bore except for Hugo Shi. I won't tell you the subject matter of his work because you'll get an idea in your head of what his work is like and you'd be wrong. Sadly he doesn't seem to have a website. The rest of the painters were boring and derivative. The video artist was so fucking boring that I was sort of taken aback with how bad she was. It's like she hadn't seen any video art after the 70s and decided to do a high quality version of what she'd seen. I can't even remember her name. You shouldn't care anyway. The performance video by Bo Choi (who got her MFA in Fiber) was far more compelling.

My favorite of the whole show was the sculpture by Arun Sharma. The Plexiglas coffin with the ant farm sides was my favorite. There were live ants in it. His other sculpture which was a casting of a guy with an umbilical cord at the end of his penis going down to a sculpture of a newborn child. It was seriously unsettling to look at. I forget the name of it but Kelly and I called it "Dick Baby".

The big exhibit downstairs are video and sound installations by Ann Lislegaard. The exhibit is called 2062 which is 100 years past the year she was born. The audio pieces draw from science fiction movies (2001, Solaris) and the video installations draw from science fiction texts from writers like J.G. Ballard, Ursula Le Guin, and Samuel Delany. The installations ranged from uninspired to hypnotic, the later benefiting from good presentation as much as good content. I didn't however feel compelled to spend a lot of time engaging with what was taking up half of the museum's exhibit space. I wouldn't have spent as much time as I did were it not for my familiarity with the stories and attempting see how they expressed the ideas behind them. Once the work by the Chinese video artists is up in July I'll return and see if my feelings about her work has changed.
Sunday, June 21st, 2009
1:34 am
Now with 57% more hipsters!
Went to Moore Inside Out which was an installation art and performance event at the Moore theater. At first I was excited but being choked by throngs of hipsters definitely cut into my joy. The scale of it was the most amazing part. I can't imagine Los Angeles putting this much money and energy into producing a free event. Of course in LA people would have pretty happily paid $20 bucks to go to this and not felt ripped off.

One of the largest installations was a scaffolding that rose from the floor backstage up to the balcony. The performers just danced and made music around this scaffolding bisecting the theater. When you walked out onto it you were literally in the middle of the stage while everyone was watching performances. The installation spaces were in closets, bathrooms, dressing rooms, and service tunnels. It was kind of cool to walk though all of the guts of the Moore theater (behind the stage, under the stage, up strange balconies, etc) but got clausterphobic with all of the people crushing into them.

I think my favorite was a "post-apocalyptic hip-hop" bunker that was built into this weird cavernous dressing room in the basement. So often the apocalypse has a punk flavor to it (which I prefer as someone who leans punk-ward) but it was fun to see how someone who identifies with hip-hop imagines how they would live after the apocalypse.

It ended with a marching band leading the crowd to the after-party at the Underground Events Center. We decided to hit a French restaurant, drink a nice Pinot, and discuss the show in relative quiet instead.
Thursday, June 4th, 2009
12:15 pm
Northwest New Works Festival
The Northwest New Works Festival starts tomorrow (Friday) at On The Boards. It can be hit or miss but I always enjoy it. On the mainstage they have dance performances and in the studio (black box theater downstairs) they have music, dance, performance art, and theater. I'm gonna hit the shows at the studio. Probably tomorrow and Sunday of next week.

Is anyone else in Seattle interested?
Thursday, May 28th, 2009
8:55 pm
Landed in Seattle
Then I took a long nap. Feeling a bit human now.

Lost a few pounds while doing manual labor and want to keep it up while I'm here. Back to the gym!
Thursday, April 30th, 2009
10:22 pm
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Why did I think of Melanie as soon as I saw this?
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
8:37 pm
It often drives me crazy but there are things I'm going to miss about this neighborhood.

The neighborhood ladies who always wave from their stoop. When some delinquent kid was harassing them I walked up and said "Is there a problem?" Towering over everyone involved at my impressive 5'8" the kid left the scene. Now I'm a hero for being scary to a snotty fourteen year old.

The old Korean woman who took my arm and led me around the produce section of the supermarket. She'd take my vegetables out of the cart and replace them with what she thought were superior specimens. She spoke Korean to me the whole time. I thought I did a pretty good job of picking out veggies but I was too charmed to contradict her.

The sushi restaurant on Larchmont where everyone shouts "Michael!" when I come in the door.

The cheap Thai restaurant where the waitress calls "The usual?" from across the room when I walk in the door and seat myself. (Cashew Chicken, medium spicy, no carrots, side of rice, and a Thai Ice Tea.) If I try to order a second Thai Ice Tea after 5pm she says "No, you can't handle that much caffeine this late. I'll get you water." She remembers my low caffeine tolerance better than I do. We regularly loan each other books and comics we think the other might like.

I've lived in places where there was a stronger sense of community but still...there are things I'll miss.
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