Tag Archives: fsma

Memo: Poets and “Major Media”

In reply to someone’s “hot take” about how major media doesn’t give a shit about poetry (whatever)…. I replied: 

Do any poets give a shit about major media? 

Roll your own chap books, build your own culture, wander widely to find your audience, make *things* every day, stick poems to message boards in grocery stores & telephone poles next to lost cat flyers, mail 500 poetic postcards a year, find the renegade youth to mentor, transcribe stories from grandmothers, but every used great copy of poetry you come across for $3 and abandon them on buses with a note, go *everywhere* just to find coffee shops with a good table in the back corner and write so fast you’re inky pens run out.

Then paint poems on post boxes, make a painting of the poem on the post box and do an exhibit with other paintings of post boxes with poems (preferably at a goat farm in the country)…

Strangely, people show up, people ask questions, people want to be part of whatever it is that they’re doing even if you or them don’t understand it.

Doing these things, I find very little time for erstwhile mass media or even submissions to *highbrow* literary journals (plus rejection letters need a return address and well, I don’t always have one).

Poetry is for you to create and share with those who seek the goods. Carry on accordingly. 

Memo: Personal Archeology > for years and decades

Embark on Personal Archeology

Think of *every* surface as your own personal notebook and remind often you’re doing *this for yourself* and for the future and everyone else is just kind of “bonus” looking over your shoulder. In other words, write when you can, write what you want > mix medias and metaphors, use social channels as a memo book to later copy & paste and expand into your archive.

Importantly: don’t put pressure on yourself, days are *just days* – you’re doing this for years and the decades.

Memo: “document in the way which feels natural to you”

Embark on Personal Archeology, in this case, at Dome Wonderland, Metchosin

Re: Personal Archeology

Document in the way which feels natural to you. Doesn’t have to be a “blog”, can be a notebook with coloured pencils, or buy yourself a fountain pen, or an audio recorder.

Importantly: Tell your stories in the way that feels comfortable like your favourite pair of shoes – then add context, and interestingness. The rest is up to audience to breathe life into it. 

Then do again and again (regardless of outcome beyond self-enjoyment).

Letter: regarding eco-carpetbaggers, money-focused orgs, talk – action = zero, etc

Written as a letter to a friend, somehow thought good idea to put here so i don’t lose it. Not sure but hey… no one’s paying attention anyhow.

Might be scenic but still a dump

Hey [redacted],

I hear you on these hypocrites, bootlickers and carpet baggers who talk a big game but at the end of it, they spend all their “organizations energy on managing the organization” rather than actually doing stuff.

I learned a long time ago (somehow) in my punk rock youth that “talk minus action equals zero” and in that same youth, was idealistic enough to want to actively support a lot of different organizations in Utah and BC but every time I went to volunteer my (then healthy and strong) body for action (i.e. put me on those anti-whaling ships! send me out on desert missions! put me on a lookout tower!) the only answer was “you can help with fundraising… Why don’t you go door to door and ask for money?” Not impressed.

And, years later, I still see the same organizations spending all their money begging for money. E.g. After all my years of working to normalize cannabis, I see the suits and celebrities jumping into the mix and congratulating themselves and I wonder: where the fck were you on those rainy days at the capital decades ago? Where were you lobbying and writing letters and to policymakers and showing up at inane committee meetings? I hear you are running your mouth about stock prices and making cute branded labels for your factory growing weed blah blah blah.

As such, somehow I realize that despite my usual social and community-building nature, when it comes to getting shit done, I just do what I want to do on my own terms and float out into the world and don’t expect to see an impact for decades later. Been this way for my documentary films, punk rock fanzines, chap books of poetry and other arts and crafts… + Realized that I could be an artist who spends half of his time applying for grants and sending and submissions to be rejected (another quarter of my time complaining about the injustice of it all) or else I could just go hustle some day job for temporary times (goodness know i’ve had a few) and make art on my own terms and put it out there without any expectation of acceptance or money. Fuck Stats, Make Art.

Somehow I almost accidentally ended up this way as I teased with a flirting level of fame before vanishing again. Seldom seen indeed. I think of Henry David Thoreau self publishing 100 copies of Walden, dead at 37, no one remembers his contributions to pencil making or the impact that came hundred plus years later. That’s the kind of hero.

After being gone for Utah from sometime and ending up back there in recent years after my Mom died and hiding out, i saw all the precious places polluted by REI shopping yuppi3s and credit card wielding “ski bums” who think they’re making a difference by voting for “that other party”, left again as fast as I could and proclaimed my lifelong dream to never go back to Logan (the only town I’ve ever been busted for weed).

I even went to my favourite holy sacred hot spring up fifth water diamond fork on trails that I literally helped build and pools that I hauled up bags of cement to shore up the rocks to find it overflowing with BYU students, I stripped down to my naked self and took a nice shower in the waterfall and all my splendour and quickly cleared the area out for a nice leisurely soak. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

how to clear out an hot spring… (photo with Lomo sardine can spy camera)

All this is to say that I see you and hear you and admire you and you got a guy out here respecting your work and your life and understanding what you’re laying down about Lycra knuckleheads with their lawyers and mortgages.

Told a younger friend the other day who’s getting caught up in the rat race that all these asshole billionaires that end up in the news about not paying taxes or going to space, they’re all bunch of workaholics who never see their family, never just to get hang out in a barn with an illicit smoke and some used records, and hell my mother-in-law cooks as well as any restaurant and the best views are for free. And if you want to be all fancy, I built a house on a tropical island one time for $50K and another time for $70K, you can’t buy a carport most places for that. You can get your own campland near Gary’s outpost near Shasta for under 100… I’ll tell you about Paradise, the way John Prine sings about it. Move to the country, grow peaches… work little except for the real work.

That’s my riff/rant/spiel, yer pal, daveo

Artifact: Musical retrospective from desert rambler RJ Garn

Handcrafted USB guitar musical retrospective collection from desert rambler RJ Garn

Proud recipient of the last in a collectible series of bespoke wooden box with carved guitar usb drive with retrospective of desert rambler & guitar slinger & storyteller RJ Garn’s music. I feel am holding a very important piece of #personalarcheology, – very proudly & gratefully.

Reminder: your creative endeavours are important. We are the stories & artfacts we share. Fck Stats, Make Art.

Thanks RJ, say hey to the petroglyphs from Uncle Weed.

PS makes a great set with Larry Harper, ZZyzx Rd cassette, 1990

Diary: “where i’m calling from” (re: creativity & endeavours + caramel apples)

* where I’m calling from *

{i} Diligently send out creative goodness all the time / is doing so a worthwhile endeavour? I mean I know “yes” but…

My point: I just hope items/musings/artifacts are enjoyed and care is noticed (so i don’t feel like the family who handmade caramel apples for Halloween just to have them all tossed out when kids return home from trick or treat).

Am i making sense? Didn’t think so

** Fck Stats, Give Inspiration

Evidence: statistical oddities (3)

Japan: 420

I make art, document the art and document, the documenting of the art and I’ve done some of my whole life (as you’ve noticed in this personal archeology project).

Digression: There are paths for an artist – to chase fame or fortune, or personal satisfaction, or admiration from others (there are others). You can choose a couple of these *aims* but to get all at once is probably/possibly a bit much to ask. As for me, i make things for an audience 100 years from now and to amuse myself (and now so son Ichiro has a record of me). 

Anyhow the point is: I make these “things” for my own amusement not for numbers. Fuck Stats, Make Art right. Don’t cheat your audience make what you want.

Ergo: to make sure i am making “things i really wanna make”, I don’t check traffic/view numbers, I don’t make sales funnels, I don’t gather information, and at this point I don’t sell anything aside from paintings and poems on special request… but, in doing “all of this” project, I couldn’t help but notice a few notable numbers popping up, 420 everywhere. This is all, i am amused.

All-time views: 42,040

Oh yeah, a friend in Jamaica was concerned that he wasn’t getting “paid” for a video he appeared in which had more views in a day than all the rest of my little videos put together. He was convinced it was enough to buy a house, I sent him this detailed statistical report. .11 cents. Yeah, i’m a bigtimer on the tubes :). 

11 cents from Youtube

Spiel: sign from “F@ck Stats, Make Art” at SxSW, 2009

Spiel: sign from “F@ck Stats, Make Art” at SxSW, 2009

See also: F@ck Stats, Make Art spiel at SXSWi 2009 – Round-up Jamboree

Quoted: Fck Stats, Make Art

“The Internet is personal, not professional, not corporate, not to be controlled by self professed “gurus”. Fuck stats, make art.” #fsma

Dvo

Fck Stats, Make Art at SxSW09 flashback

Fck Stats, Make Art at SxSW, March 13, 2009 was a big day for me speaking to a load of my pals and smart/interesting folks at the big crazy con-fab. Where i really dialed in my schtick with the old-timey suitcase fulla treats and “paper point” collages to direct the story.

That night, saw Black Angels rock Psychedelic fest, had a sip of whiskey and a lil puff o something with them afterwards. Met the marvellous queen of Austin Kim Eitze, rode in a magic pedi-cab and rode that good vibe through days of hi-jinks leading to the next few years of rocking so many speakings gigs including TedX, Pecha Kucha x4, Northern Voice, Assoc of Alt Newspapers, and a return to SxSW for “Crowd Sourcing Projects like Tom Sawyer“.

Anyhow, always more to say but came here to share a roundup of the Fck Stats Make Art gig with a buncha snaps, tweets, blogs and whatnot. I have a great hat from David White and a best shirt ever and of course a smoking jacket and pipe cause im not a savage.

Riff: Art vs Stats / Personal expression is the pinnacle…

A solid guide book last centuries

From a response to a discussion somewhere at some time…

“Like the venerable Mr. Christopher Trottier (@atomicpoet) pointed out,… the crazy thing is, if you make awesome art, the stats (i.e. likes, tweets, subscribers, followers, paycheques, accolades, trophies…) automagically come.

It’s when you go chasing stats that you might get the quick sugar-high of cheap satisfaction but no one’s going to give a shit in a week, let alone 100 years from now.

Of course I understand that “business objectives” require performance and things going “up and to the right,” but that is accomplished by being interesting, pushing your envelope, being true to your authentic self, and respecting your audience.

Ergo: Roll your own media. Fuck stats, make art. Create for yourself, let others look over your shoulder. Personal expression is the pinnacle of the assortment of digital creation tools and distribution methods we (albeit awkwardly) call social media. 

Riff: Art makes the future / respect audience

Might Get Lonely so Get Comfortable Whilst you Wait

Make for yourself first – if you don’t “feel it” don’t waste your time, or others attention.

Channel a mix of joy and anguish and mix with honesty.

Don’t cheat yourself or any potential audience.

Don’t pander and don’t “give em what they want” – this process might get lonely, you will see other “enjoy” the buzz of immediate attention but this is a sugar-rush which likely doesn’t last long.

Instead, prepare yourself for the long haul of making creations which will inspire the generation behind you. There are wee doppelgänger of you growing up, struggling with identity and understanding – maybe in school or maybe in retirement – you seek (unwittingly perhaps) exactly what you are capable of creating.

Visualize them if you desire an audience and then share your work, standing behind your creation with integrity, and let the audience breathe life and meaning into your offerings.

Your rewards will come in mysterious way, not unlike the mysterious red envelopes of Chinese New Year tradition.