Is that even a real word? I’m assuming so since I knew how to spell it. Then again, I know how to spell recockulous and I know that isn’t a real word. So be it.

My critique on Monday went well. They liked the photos and thought my idea was sound. I thought it was a bit surprising since that class as a whole usually doesn’t like anything. All the better. They actually responded most actively to the humor. I guess when you change things on a drive-through menu to read things like “conspiracy burger with cold war tater-tots” it can only be taken in a humorous light. That, by the way, was in reference to Coke’s involvement with the CIA during the height of the cold war… not that the cold war itself was a conspiracy. Just to clarify.

I have another critique tomorrow in fashion. It should go well. I’m showing more of the mobster/fashion photos. They usually get a kick out of those.

Also, my check from SCAD finally worked itself out. I actually refrained from mentioning anything about this until now but for the past month I’ve been broke. Really broke. So broke I couldn’t pay the cable bill or my credit card. The reason was that SCAD didn’t deposit my money from the beginning of the semester. Then, instead of fixing the problem, they cut me a paper check… then promptly lost it. This time, check #3, actually made it into my hands. It was promptly deposited yesterday and should clear by tonight or tomorrow. So, Friday I can pay some bills. Thankfully my “student” credit card is lenient and my cable company is clueless so I should be fine. I also need to pay my roommate back for 2 month rent. He’s been very supportive, so I thank him for that.

Elsewhere, Lauren and I are making plans for the days following graduation. The tentative plan is for my family to bring my stuff home, for me to drive to TX with Lauren and then for the two of us to fly to NH for a little get-together/engagement party/grad celebration. Of course those in the area are invited.

I also fixed QuickTime last night. I have no idea what the problem was but every time I tried to watch the new Matrix trailer (or anything for that matter) it would lock up the system solid. I uninstalled, reinstalled and changed some options and it seems to be working now.

I’ve also been trying for the past week to get Brittney’s computer up and running. She purchased a new mobo, an Athlon xp-2700 and some memory and the motherboard refused to cooperate. It was the Asua A7N8X deluxe and at first it simply refused to recognize the processor and gave POST errors to the tune of “wrong/different processor installed”. Then it refused to boot all together. It was rather annoying. After searching online it became apparent that TONS of people were having this problem. Only a handful fixed it and those that did didn’t know what they did, it just magically started working. We sent the board back. There’s a Gigabyte one on the way as a replacement.

Lets see, what else? Oh, X-Men opens on Friday. I’m probably going to go see that since Friday is Lauren’s bridal lingerie shower and the groom isn’t invited. Then the Matrix opens on the 15th, looking forward to that.

I’ve also got a huge list of things to do and not enough motivation (and/or time) to do them all. In no particular order:

-Find a job
-Pack things for home, sell and/or trash the rest
-Finalize portfolio
-Buy a portfolio book
-Redesign website
-Make website into an interactive CD to send along with portfolio
-Find a job
-Shoot 4 weeks worth of photos
-Finalize some wedding plans (invitations, photographer, etc)

I don’t know. It seems like so much. Some times I want to crawl into a little hole and not come out until my life is simpler. Sometimes I work well under pressure and things turn out really well. I’ve always been positive and I’ve always tried to “looking on the bright side of life”. Things usually turn out alright in the end. It’s just a bit scary at the moment.

Alright. Time for some food. Later.

Public and Private Matt

I’m sitting here, trying to come up with some sort of “personal vision” for my photo class and I’m starting to realize there’s a real split in my personality that may shed some light on the subject of “vision”. You see, I think that most of the time, 99% or so, I’m normal everyday Matt. A personable, outgoing, fun kind of guy who likes to take pictures of things he sees merely as “cool or interesting”. The problem is that taking picture of pretty things doesn’t exactly make up a personal vision. In my opinion it sure as hell should but for some reason it doesn’t. It’s not enough to simply take cool pictures, I have to explain the “meaning” and the reasons and what I’m trying to say with my work. Well, news flash for you, I’m not trying to say a damn thing. I think I’m fairly traditional and formalist in my work, meaning that I value things like composition, lighting, colors and the aesthetic qualities higher than I do the deep inner-meaning. It’s all well and good if it’s there but I don’t need it in order to appreciate a work. This mentality, by the way, really blows when you’re trying to create work with a vision. Since I only care slightly about it’s deeper meaning, the meaning is often about as deep as a dixie cup.

So, in order not to fail completely in my class I decided to take a look at anything that’s slightly controversial that I have an opinion on. Most of you will call this opinionated person “angry Matt”, probably because I get worked up easily and tend to express my opinion in a louder than inside voice. I’ve narrowed it down to two things: censorship/over-regulation/freedom issues and over-commercialization.

Basically, without sounding like a conspiracy nut, I think we’re all fucked and that big corporations are going to run our lives (if they don’t already). See that as Orwellian if you wish, but Big Brother is alive and well and telling us to shop at the Gap as we go. We’ve lost the 1st, 4rd and 5th amendments and there’s no stopping this train-wreck of a system we’ve set in motion. The government, if it wanted to, can read you email, check your credit card purchases, search your car/house/etc and detain you without reason. All without due process, reason or even explanation. Networks can’t secure themselves anymore, cops can pull you over and search you car without probably cause and blame it on something else later and I can’t get a cup of coffee for less than a buck anymore. Something is terribly wrong. That is concern/issue #1. Not the coffee, the system.

Issue #2 is over commercialization. Don’t get me wrong here, a little commercial here and there is ok. Hell, I want to be a commercial photographer. I don’t mind seeing seeing a 30 second TV spot or seeing an ad in a magazine. What I do mind is when it goes too far. When I go to the ATM to take out $20 and I’m charged $2 from that ATM for the privilege of using it, $2 from my bank for the privilege of taking out my own money and then, the whole time I’m doing it I’m seeing TV ads ON THE ATM, for the bank that I’m at urging me to switch to avoid “excessive” ATM fees! What the fuck is that about? Anyone remember 10 years ago, when ATMs were new and you didn’t have to pay anything?

Remember when the Nike “swoosh” wasn’t on everything and just on their sneakers? Notice how that’s changed? It’s called branding. The idea being that if they saturate the market with as many logos as they can, eventually they’ll either build up subconscience brand loyalty or simply generate sales because that’s the name you associate with a certain product. Why do we call them Band-Aids instead of Adhesive Medical Strips? Why does Coke stand for anything soda related and why when most people are asked what kind of computer they have answer “windows”? Because of the branding. Look around your desk right now (I’m assuming you’re at a desk since you’re obviously at a computer of some kind). Look around it and tell me how many logos and/or company names you see. Immediately I see 10. My mouse and game-pad have Microsoft in huge letters on them. My keyboard and webcam say Logitech and my speakers have a grand total of 5 logos on them. I have a small Cambridge Soundworks setup, 2 cubes and a sub. There’s the company logo on not only each speaker but on the volume knob AND powercord. How sick is that? In case you’re crawling under your desk and somehow forget what brand of speakers that you own, thank goodness the power cord is there to remind you! I know I’d be lost with it. I’m obviously too stupid to put 2 and 2 together and reason that the cord coming out of the speaker might be made by the same people as the speaker itself.

I could go on and on and given enough caffeine I probably would. But I’ll save you from my ranting and get back to photography (finally). So, there we have it. Two things I generally care about and are vaguely controversial. This, I thought to myself, must make good art. But how to actually make art about this crap? That’s the problem.

I’ve decided to try two different approaches. The first, dealing with government/freedom issues, I’ve decided to approach from a more humorous angle. I’m going to continue a series I started in fashion class of all places and use the stereotype of the “government spook”. I’m sure you know the type. Dark suit, sunglasses at night, fedora and briefcase. Think Matrix bad-guy and you’ll be close. Basically these guys are hiding behind every corner, watching everything you do, making secret deals in dark alleys, that sort of thing. My reasoning that if I make them an obvious part of the scene maybe you might notice them. No one notices that their freedoms are slipping away at the moment so maybe I should put them blatantly in front of them and say “here, look, the problem is right here, take notice please”. The second issue, commercialization is more easily handled in Photoshop. Corporate logos are everywhere so why not exaggerate that fact. What if a company owned 99% of a market, or all markets? Lets say that Coke, or Microsoft or GM owned not only the entire market that they’re in, but the others as well. What if we all drank MS Cola and wore GM shoes? What if a company so completely dominated our culture that it worked it’s way into everything. That’s what I’m going to do in Photoshop. I’m going to alter logos, signs, type, anything and everything and put the same company logo on all of it. Probably different companies for each picture but saturation none-the-less.

So, a series about G-men spooks and a series about uber-commercialized society. I don’t know how concrete these ideas are in my head or even if they’re good ideas. All I know is that the 1% of me that thinks about these things constantly is pretty worked up about them and that the other 99% of me wasn’t coming up with any great ideas at the moment. The hard part is going to be explaining all of this to my class tomorrow.

So, what does everybody think? I’d really like some opinions on this one. I don’t know if I have sound ideas, if they’re interesting artistic-wise or what. So, let me know what you think.


Thought it might be a good day for some random linkage.

First, for Chip, I came across a story on Neowin about a “CarPuter”, thought it might be worth a read.

From CNet, Judge rules file-swapping tools are legal. Wow. I seriously didn’t expect that one.

From the Reg, Apple and AMD working together. A snipit: So what can we read into this little interchange? Certainly there have been rumours aplenty in the past concerning Apple’s possible migration to the x86 world, and AMD’s x86-64 technology – now officially known as ‘AMD64’, by the way – in particular. We’ve always found such claims incredible, given the considerable difficulties of managing the migration users and software developers to a new platform. Yes, Apple is a past master at this, witness the 680×0 to PowerPC shift, but don’t underestimate the effort involved. It sure sounds nice. Hopefully something good might come of it.

Also at the Reg, Verizon loses RIAA piracy case. This does not bode well.

Full Throttle: Hell On Wheels Screens. Oooh. Nifty.

Y’z Dock 0.7.5 released. Memory problems are now fixed. Mostly.

That’s about it for today. I’ve got to go scan some negatives. Later.

Even CNN is getting into it


In other news, I’ve got a photo shoot in a half hour. I don’t know how it will go but it should be interesting. I’ve got Matt Ferral and Jason to help out this time so it should add a little “spice” to the mobster mix.

I also forgot to mention that Lauren and I have registered at Target and that it’s available online. Also, the Dillard’s registry is available online.

For Dillards, go here and put in either one of our names.

For Target, go here and put our names into the “Club Wed” section. Also, there, for some weird reason, is two versions of our registry at Target. I’m going to fix that later tonight. I don’t figure anyone is going to be ordering anything within the next 24 hours, but please wait if you do.

That is all.

Half Life 2

Ok, now I’m officially psyched. Usually I don’t buy into hype for games/movies/etc, but this is an exception. I’ll will paste a bit of an article for you. You can read the rest at your lesure or pick up ANY of the computer game magazines May issues hitting stands now. Take a peak:

Half-Life 2 (full name) has been in development since late 1998, ever since Valve has released the original Half-Life. The reason for secrecy? They knew how much the game would mean to their fans, and that’s why they wanted to make it perfect before anyone would know about it. The good part is that the game will be in stores… on September 30, 2003. It will be available through both retailers and Valve’s recently launched pay-per-download client, Steam.

Half-Life 2 takes place in a Eastern European city, called City 17. It happens a short time after the end of the first game. Earth is once again under attack by aliens from Xen, and you, Gordon Freeman (now working for a secret government agency) have to save the day. Valve promises 12 chapters and almost 40 hours of gameplay.

The game is powered by Valve’s in-house developed graphics engine, called Source. The specs of the graphics engine sound very impressive, and Half-Life 2 is sure to give Doom 3 a run for its money. Even more impressive is the scalability of this engine – while to take full advantage of it an Athlon 2Ghz with a GeForce 4 will be needed, the game will be able to run on a P3-700 powered by a DX6 compatible video card.

Yah, I’m happy. 🙂