Friday, December 10, 2010

I wonder if Pandora said to herself:"Get off the box already Sister!"

Before she decided to open it - or after.. when she could no longer look away?

Sometimes, the power of the internet scares me like that. Or more, so the uncertainty of the information distributed and how quickly it is absorbed into the organic world as truth. "Going viral" I think is what the kiddies are calling it these days. ("YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN NOW, YOU HEAR?!") Which deeming anything "viral" seems a bit of a negative connotation or like a disease you'd want to avoid. I stopped getting active in chat rooms or forums years back, as I found it was far too easy to become the Red herring if you questioned anything against the grain of a community or questioned the validity of a statement or claim made by a 'popular' member. Gee that kinda sounds like High School doesn't it?

I actually like the idea that people can share free thought and self-promote their art/writing/skills, or connect from distant oceans and cities.. or just simply from miles away. But it's the responsibility and the power combined I guess..which makes me think of that great Stan Lee Quote:

"With great power there must also come ... great responsibility!" - STAN LEE, Amazing Fantasy #15, Aug. 1962


Just to give fair warning before you go into any further reading - Mercury retrograde has really turned my Gemini/Ram brain gears on a contemplative mega-hyper-overdrive-warp-speed-sense-of-justice state, and I've been too physically busy with life in general to sort this topic out in my head. So I thought I'd break by composing an entry as a form of purging. Forgive me in advance if you came here looking for an Art,Music, Comics or Horror related posting? This would not be that. Unwinding my brain with a post like this really is relaxing for me though.

Maybe as social creatures we are now self-aggregating our organic persona's by means of inorganic technology. This can be a good thing. But from just my own observations of web-society and participation (or my lack there of) in communities I see most are self aggrandizing their accomplishments along the way. With the encouragement of social network sites like FB, Myspace, as well as private and professional company web pages, corporate staff lists, tagging, flickr images, etc. People are not only listing credits and accomplishments but also their 'moods' and bio-rythms. How much of this is actually real and honest, accounting? There is far too much disinformation going on out there.As if news journalism wasn't enough to worry about there are a million+ monkeys now typing away on a million+ keyboards and very few fact check anything.

Job-networking sites such as Linkedin (one example) store resumes, work history, and company bio data until it becomes free-share information via linking or tagging. Without having the ability or good sense to fact-check all the data. It is up to the reader to do that fact-checking and the author to represent themselves honestly. These pages are sometimes public, sometimes private depending on security settings set by the user and therefore an accurate estimate of just how many are 'dropping in' is next to impossible without the use of web based tracking and analysis software. How much of it builds or Destroys careers, reputations and relationships would make for a fascinating term paper thesis at the very least.

Self-promotional tools like blogger or wordpress, as well others far too numerous to list, also encourage a bio or profile to be listed as an introduction.

Do I have a bio or resume up on more than one of these sites? You betcha' I do. But I keep my settings moderate to high, and usually only connect with people i know, or have known and dealt with in some networking capacity. Which keeps my numbers and reach low. As for work experience, I want a chance for a piece of the pie like everyone else.But I try to honest about what I can put into the pie before I try to make it. I don't make false claims. If I say it's a cherry pie I can make you, then it's cherry. You won't be biting into any surprises. Have I been tempted to lie in order to gain a better reputation or more under my belt? Well sure. Mostly because I saw that strategy played by many others in the past for a paycheck. But as I get older I try not to let that discourage me. I believe it safe to say that anyone who has worked hard and is qualified has at least once been passed over for a position given to someone who wasn't. Simply because they talked the talk. But I will also wager that they couldn't walk the walk after awhile on the job, or in the working relationship. The real-walker knows the key to this one is perseverance and self-confidence in your own skills.

Honesty is the best policy unless you want to wind up falling on your face the instant someone expects you to perform. I could never live my life like that for any amount of money or status.I'd rather put the positive effort into earning the skills necessary for the title or pay rather than propagating the lie.There would be no joy in the work it must take to keep false appearances up, no reward or sense of accomplishment only a nagging fear of the truth. Sure , if anyone fact-checks something before they hire, date or meet a person they can expose the truth but in most cases Corporations hire headhunters who rarely check facts before they deliver a rash of potential hires to be interviewed and the quality control of the hiring process breaks down.

This applies not only to career padded bios, but also personal bios on web-based friendship or dating networks. Can you imagine the confusion when the cream-puff you thought you had been chatting with is Mr./Ms. WTF in the flesh? I am sure this happens all the time.

For example: Think about it like this; most web based social networks allow us to construct bios, images and work resumes almost akin to an advertisement for a human being. Our followers become our consumers, as we grow our network lists, our potential outreach grows as well. Promoting us to be noticed by even more potential clients or social friends.

That which allows us to become more social online and connected via our computers: software, web, mobile cell services, etc. is listed into the data banks of these various networking sites and communities - and is also what is allowing us to encourage self-aggrandizing behavior in ways that define us based on our affinities and abilities. Be they true or false statements. The technology itself is tethered to these ads and brings it into the actual organic social world. Does the world really need more dishonesty?

It has to do less about the technology itself and more about the content used to entice others to make these connections with the author of the info. People are more likely to lie on the net than they would be face-to-face. They have the confidence of knowing it cannot be as easily detected behind a glowing box. The experiences we create as a result of those connections are just as important as the experiences that brands are trying to create for us when they 'sell' us a product or service.Yet they are (for the most part) governed by Consumer advocate groups and State Agencies or National counsels.

I have no doubt with the web still in it's infancy stages that as laws develop to protect consumers from fraud, children from harm, web-identity theft, and horrors of the like, that there will be someday be a need for a sort of system. An FDA or BBB type True or False scale put in place by which to measure these claims and deem them credible or not. With so many people on this planet and web access being what it is to date (as compared to say a decade ago?) I can't imagine that there could ever be a way to tackle all that.

As it stands now, we are to be left to our own devices.Are we willing to honestly govern ourselves as to how we represent one another as human beings?




But I digress, the purpose of networking either socially or professionally is for self-gain. Connections that we make *may* enhance our love-life, or further our careers, shift our directions or opinions by interacting with others. This allows for the potential to gain either financially, monetarily, or raise our social status. By collecting our lists of accomplishments and attributes in order to make ourselves appear more attractive or useful one should try to be as honest as possible. But this seems a daunting task without pointing out our true selves, or our actual skill levels and possible flaws as a part of the whole package. We deceive no one but ourselves and society in the end if we are anything less than forthright and true. Other than citing my own experiences, I can only wonder how many reputations have been built or condemned based on lies or stretched truths.So sometimes I have to question how much effect this powerful and useful internet tool has on the waking world and it's inhabitants and my tiny role in it's infinitely growing structure.


*Seems like I am not the only blogger wondering and making the Pandora's Box connection.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Show pics.

Had a fantastic time at opening reception for The Ghost of Christmas Past Group art Show JUNC BOUTIQUE during the South Park Walkabout last night. Thanks to Jasmine Worth (curator), Designer and Boutique owner Jeffrey Parish and all who came out to celebrate the event.
(L to R)  The Great Randali, Me, Jasmine Worth.

Taken at The Ghost of Christmas Past Group art show @ JUNC.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Powerful clip - powerful song. Even minus the heavy hitting drum and full on guitar assault, this acoustic version (although not as heavy as the LP track) still packs a mighty wallop! Her stage presence and voice is so powerful all at once, that it just really magnifies the lyrics and intensifies the delivery.

I have always found this song and Skin (Deborah Dyer) both a joy to listen to, and also highly motivational. Not only in her choice of lyrical content, but that often in songs the message is one of introspection, self-trust, self-respect, empowerment, and strength to overcome.

Ex: "A circle of angels deep in war, 'cause I wanted you..Weak as I am no tears for you.."

Whether or not these lyrics are based on personal struggle, past mistakes, or just merely an invented scenario themed to create a mood in a song? Either way it works. Weak enough to make mistakes, strong and smart enough not to dwell on it, or cry over spilt milk.That is what I gather from it as a listener.

It's always good to have something to turn to that helps you find your bootstraps. For me, that's always been art first and music a close second. It's songs like this make me want to get behind a mic again - and even if could not throw down the powerhouse vocals like this, it sure would be a nice exorcism.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Self portrait photography:November 2010

I have been working on this project since Fall 2000 when I arrived in California. It started off casually as a file folder of photos on my mac and just kind of grew from there. It began as quite accidental, because I have often used myself as a reference model for paintings sometimes, or took shots to get hand gestures down just right and/or for other lighting study. It evolved into a long-term archival project, spanning over a decade and utilizing a dozen different cameras. The experimentation with different cameras, cell-phone cameras and lighting effects, as well as the span of time has made for a really introspective experience.Here is the first one. This is probably the last CA entry, which I am now using for my wordpress about/bio photo.

Frozen Charlotte - Stage 2

Work in progress, acrylic and mixed media, including possible framing selections. (antique frame circa 1880's - 1910)

Stage 3:

This painting upon completion will be featured in the JUNC boutique December 4th show.

Click link HERE for more details on the opening reception.