Failure is always an (entertaining) option

I don’t mind sharing failures as such, except for a lingering worry that they’ll be the last thing I ever post. They’re part of the process; like doing scales, they get the feeling of the materials into your fingers, etc, etc, resilience, you can’t fix what doesn’t exist, and so forth.

There are, however, some failures I persist with in order to remind myself of the boundaries of what I should (or want to) attempt. There are workshops I go to with the primary intention of remembering not to try this at home. Screen printing, for example, and letterpress.


From a Print Gocco workshop at Avid Reader

I love what everyone else does with them, but they don’t work with my style, my patience, my back, my set-up of sinks, my preference for not being entirely filmed with oil-based inks, and so on (weirdly I love lino printing, so everything has its exception).


Inking things, mwahahaha

I always meet great people, learn new textures, observe how people interact with the tools, find techniques to borrow, get out of the house, etc. But mostly, it’s a form of walking the bounds of what I do want to do.

Then there are the failures I pursue because failing is funny, but once I (re)gain some competency it stops being entertaining. This was the origin of the whole cooking experiment on Twitter (thread begins here), which, incidentally, also contains the reason for the bandaid on my hand in the Border Keeper process video.

Collage is becoming both for me. I admire what actual collage artists do with it. But it doesn’t resonate with me as a process. I get cranky and covered with glue and drop words and think the end result is both too weird and too simple, and yet keeping flipping back to look at it, shake my head, and laugh.

It started with attempting to record collage without any glue. Then I had glue, but couldn’t cut up the paper with the overheard notes on it (and forgot there was a photocopier just there I had just used it).


A line from an amazing conversation overheard at a training session

My resistance to it doesn’t make obvious sense, because I like weird and simple and glue and scissors and words. It’s just that this is the outer edge of my preferred territory, and its good for me to visit it, but there’s a reason I choose not to live here.

I also like limitations, and recombinations, and juxtapositions. I just prefer them to happen before the final piece gets formed, not as the final piece. Or at least, to be cleverly veiled.


How do you do, fellow humans?

For instance, what I want this to be is a story about Fashion Spies who are possibly robots, and also about a kidnapper who starts glueing together a ransom note but is limited by the words available on the few pieces of paper available to him and ends up plunging sideways into an wild conspiracy, sort of Foucault’s Pendulum meets that one science fiction Father Brown story by way of O. Henry.