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mmancuso
Dear Friends,

I'm sharing a bit of art news: I finished writing up (my very first) academic paper that covers the abstract sculptural/conceptual work I've been doing with plaster and ceramics for all of 2014. I've been invited to speak in Rome on this topic December 16-19, 2014.

I'd be delighted to send you a postcard from Europe. If you'd like snail mail postcard from Italy (or wherever else I end up) please give me your mailing address, even if you think I have it.

The title of the paper is: "Mind Over Matter: Generative Concepts in Three Dimensional Sculpture." This link goes directly to my paper for anyone with an internet connection.
http://goo.gl/YVls9g
(You might need hip boots for the copy, but pictures start on page 9.)

The 17th Generative Art Conference itself has a website, and has 16 years' worth of other people writing on generative art:
http://www.generativeart.com/

Sorry if for some of you I've already sent this another way.
Warmest wishes for the Holiday season!
Marc
Tags:
 
 
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
 
 
mmancuso
09 November 2014 @ 10:46 pm
poem  
Lost Ground
November 9, 2014

you no more remember me than the
dirt under your fingernails
but you dug me at first
and I went along

seeds were sown and we talked of
roots

I pulled up after a few moons
unsure of what was to come
and not liking the looks of it

I have watched many seasons
come once and go home the
next, mourning

the ground becomes ready
and even smells of potential
then freezes and waits again

I have a can of seeds on the back porch
almost rusted through
 
 
mmancuso
03 October 2014 @ 11:33 pm
"Perpetuation"
(a short story)

We did not, when we were done, see any reason to stay. Our movements were fluid and efficient, wasting nothing.

One went water and seeped into the dirt. One went up into the lengths as far as the widths and was silent. I stayed my ground and became something else.

He was out of the cabin and passed over and under the other ones,
but my ruse must have been incomplete, or maybe we had been too many times together for me to hide completely from him.

He stopped and tried different directions, speaking something angry, then something quiet only I knew how to hear.

I waited.

The other ones waited. One in the dirt welled up a bit to get closer to his feet, but I gestured against it and one stayed.

He looked up at the endless through the widths in that way I'd seen before, but never not smiling: smiling was over. I waited.

He looked back toward his feet and walked on and he almost convinced me with that look to unhide. So that I could hear his voice again, as I had been. As he knew me.

The others were impatient, We get an heir, and did He not get nearly a quarter-turning of his desire? I waited.

He got almost to the stream before stopping. I followed near enough to feel the air swirl behind him, He saw nothing but moonlight and shadows.

Some living creature made a sound and fled. And he looked into the short growths, searching. One above seemed amused, but the youngest aspect loses nothing.

I will lose this man. I had never understood that word before. We will leave him and he will tell noone, We will have an heir and he will live and die

He walks back to the cabin. His lips move. He is promising. He enters the cabin and closes the door. I will remember this one.

We did not, when we were done, see any reason to stay. Our movements were fluid and efficient. And we made from that place.
 
 
mmancuso
02 September 2014 @ 10:08 pm
Dear Friends-- For those of you not following my efforts elsewhere, let me humbly present to you news of the launch of my Patreon campaign. In a nutshell, the site manages the logistics of their variation on the Kickstarter/Crowdfunding model: Patreon allows donors to give $1 or more, recurring safely and automatically on a monthly basis, stoppable at any time you wish. Depending on how much you pledge, there are Donor Rewards.

(Note that there is an option to keep your identity private from others visiting the site, though I do see donor email information, because for some rewards I need a way to contact you.)

The monies will support my Creator Habit in its various manifestations. I've been putting up evidence/content already. There are goals at different levels to give donors some idea of where I'm headed. Thank you for taking a look! Even better, please spread the word. News of it reaches back to me, I'll be suitably appreciative.

http://www.patreon.com/marcmancuso
The pretty profile with enthusiastic writing and stunning photography.

http://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=899279
Shows my Pitch video, in that strange quirky way I have when I've forgotten all the lovely scripting I did. It will probably be replaced with something else, but you don't want to miss out on embarassing stuff, do you?

Warm regards,
I remain,
etc.
 
 
Current Mood: energeticenergetic
 
 
mmancuso
30 August 2014 @ 11:42 am
The Past, its goal, the Past it seeps toward the quicker soul same as slower, crests not fair nor foul waves, but glistens in tracks forgot.
Tags:
 
 
 
mmancuso
21 June 2014 @ 03:25 pm
This is an abstract written in advance of its paper. My intent is to interest Fancy Art Conference enough that it grants me a spot in its presentations in December. Comments welcome, bloodletting preferred. The length is just about at maximum; if it loses weight, I can fit a pretty picture into the one-page template. Also, since I hate jargon, I did try to keep it away. However, I'm not scared of *dense.* I'm hoping to give up on it toward the end of June and just send it.

Artworks similar to whatever the hell I'm talking about:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcmancuso/sets/72157645276988071/

Abstract version 3t:
This paper discusses the effect of generative concepts on the planning, execution, documentation, and interpretation of my series of recent three-dimensional sculptures.  The preparation of metal, plaster, rubber, clay, plastic, and other commonplace materials falls easily within the sculptural traditions of any modestly-equipped studio, and require only a methodical sensibility toward measuring, cutting, fastening, noting elapsed time, and similar operations. Materials are then categorized as instances on a continuum between extremes including rigid-flexible, absorbent-waterproof, opaque-transparent, buoyant-dense, attractive-repulsive, durable-dissolvable, and so on. After the materials are prepared and conceptualized in this way, I build systems that allow me to specify the interaction of materials on an individual or categorical basis, to define and implement rule-sets, to regulate the order of interactions, and to manage constraints. Despite the choice to limit the use of virtual technologies, I show that it is the design and implementation of methodology that places the results of these activities within a generative context. In contrast to other physical systems in which familiar causal interactions and linear methods predominate, my challenge was to build systems that had both cyclic and open-ended processes from which there is no combination of form factor or surface evidence that traditionally identifies an object as precursor or final product. An additional challenge was that the systems should allow any transformation to be the initiating or concluding event of another process. Owing to the physical limitations involved that are not constraints in virtual systems, I discuss my successes and failures toward building systems that fill these requirements. A more concrete analysis discusses the extent to which these particular physical systems have analogs in virtual generative processes. I argue that these systems have close analogs to Boolean operations, graphical user interface tools such as fill and skew, programming structures such as loops, random number generators, and identities of geometry. Of particular interest is the way in which plaster, metal, clay, and rubber are used over a series of transformation to embody recursive structures, variations in high- and low-fidelity data compression, and distortion. A video and several still images illustrate the relationships among those transformations. The paper goes on to point out that documentation raises philosophical issues as well as practical ones. I discuss the implications of documenting systems that have been designed to make starting point and ending points of processes at least ambiguous, if not entirely irrelevant. Since these systems have one or more real-time unfolding aspects, and one or more physically durable artifacts, the documenting gesture provides a means of expression that might range from forensic to cinematic. Additionally I discuss whether concepts of vernacular, idiom, content, medium, and narrative are relevant to discussions of these works. Finally, I discuss my future plans in which I show how these early designs can be interpreted in terms of selection, that essential element in any context for which concepts of user, tool, and result are applicable. Situated in this way, these processes serve as the starting point for projects that are more ambitious in scope and more detailed in structure.

Tags (tentative): analog computing, sculpture, mathematics, hierarchy, programming.
 
 
mmancuso
20 April 2014 @ 10:34 am
I am currently doing research in ceramics and its intersection with generative art and iterative processes. In its familiar mode, plaster moldmaking is used to accurately reproduce something deemed worthy of the time spent. Having studied this process extensively, I began to regret that even masterful moldmaking seems a bit subservient to the reproduction that emerges from it. But perhaps more annoying was that even though the molds themselves might be efficiently made and be longlasting, the mold parts themselves tend to embody a very limited vernacular. I decided to look for more interesting processes for creating originals and molds that actually related to one another. In fact, I wanted to make forms that were literally interchangeable as either mold or casting.

What if every surface on a plaster object built from scratch were viable when used as sculpture or as a casting mold?

In order to respond to that conceptual question, I realized there are practical questions to address first. How do I make plaster objects that are interesting on all sides? How can they be clustered in ways that allow for slip casting? In working out my ideas within the specifics of ceramics, I realized there are many aspects that overlap with analog computing, chance occurrences, and feedback loops.

Specifically, I am using flexible, relatively common materials such as rubber latex sheeting, playing cards, thin plastics, and rubber tubing to make containment areas for plaster objects. Already nonstandard, these flexible materials respond to tension and gravity and "compute" the distances between more rigid objects and "filter" that result in response to the liquids involved. After casting a few clay objects from the plaster ones to discover what I like and don't like, I continue the process. The resulting mold pieces themselves, as well as the cast objects of clay --which may or may not be baked into permanence-- are then re-inserted back into their own moldmaking process. They may be altered in predictable or unpredictable ways to yield further objects of plaster, at which point ceramics objects are made again. After several cycles of this positive/negative shift, shrinking, addition/subtraction, presence of artifacts, distortion, and so on, how different will the objects be? How much of the "original" form is visible? Are the concepts of "original" and "artifact" valid reference points anymore? I am quite interested in the novelty of the objects themselves, but also interested in putting words to my choices of whether I minimize or emphasize the characteristic design and manufacturing marks that the materials leave behind. The choices I make at different stages of manufacture contribute to viewer's notion of what happened up to that point. Is there or is there not an obvious relationship among the surviving "individuals"?

Ceramics already has a few "unpredictable" qualities, even when practiced in a more straightforward manner. My current interest is to dampen or amplify different unpredictable aspects in order to encourage a divergent "evolution" of forms.
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mmancuso
18 April 2014 @ 12:18 am
poem  

preparing for anything means doing nothing


these things I choose from

neither here nor there

nevertheless take up space in my head

all together, with their spin and charm

mostly air but still too real


as if choosing is compacting, clearing:

indecision expands to fill the space

midden of coffee cups, receipts, laundry

a rustle, a haze of not-yets

drawing flies, were flies that easily bored


I tip a few things into the trash, and for what?

choices never stay chosen

nevers can be made to bleed

attracting maybes


these things I choose to ignore

don’t go away unless you banish them

by choosing


we do not wield anything but intentions

expressed sharply

swung in one direction, unwavering

and held in both hands

so long as the one knows what the other is doing

17APR14

 
 
mmancuso
19 March 2014 @ 10:28 pm
poem  

caught in the balance


the boys will come to me

and the men will wait and come later

i have collected all my jewels and my riches

which none shall want really

but want to look upon


a well that nobody drinks from

because not even I believe its purity


what gushes is happening

and real

but nobody wants and I do not offer to many


there is no balance between

kinetic and potential

physics of motion and of waiting

who I was and will be quarrelling in my head over

morning coffee


the boys will not come to me

and the men do not know I am there

watching their antics and their lives

reeling out like tape

sticking to itself more than to others

I am somehow separate and in the middle of them all


can I never decide whether being alone is

blessing or curse

and whether there can be vacations

from either


one of you is excellent and interesting

but bastard you are hiding

or is it me
 
 
mmancuso
11 February 2014 @ 10:41 am
For the truly ageless and vibrant oh_that_jocelyn, in honor of her birth-anniversary:

"Down to the kitten to play"
As I bent down to the kitten to play
Cuddling her mouth in that good ol’ way
And who shall tear the curtains down?
Good Lord it’s only a fray!

O sisters let’s bend down
Let’s bend down, go on down
O sisters let’s bend down
Down to the kitten to play.

As I bent down to the kitten to play
Cuddling her mouth in that good ol' way
And who shall tear the robe and gown?
Good Lord it's only a fray!

O brothers let’s bend down
Let’s bend down, go on down
O brothers let’s bend down
Down to the kitten to play.

As I bent down to the kitten to play
Cuddling her mouth in that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the carpet down?
Good Lord it’s only a fray!

O mothers let's bend down
Let's bend down, don't you wanna bend down?
O mothers let's bend down
Down to the kitten to play.

As I bent down to the kitten to play
Cuddling her mouth in that good ol' way
And who shall tear the robe and gown?
Good Lord it's only a fray!