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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

house "plans"

i don't have much desire to write or talk or anything, but somehow i have a feeling that this might be rambling, since its been a while.

for the last 4 days i've been working on something(s) that i wanted to post and felt that there needed to be some background story for clarification purposes before doing so.

i've never really spoken about this with anyone, as i've never considered it interesting enough to bring up in conversation. but trying to piece together a description for you of my latest "project", i've been thinking of how long i've had an interest in "house plans".

this is going back further than necessary first computer was a commodore 64 (i think i might still have it somewhere, actually)
remember DOS, oh my god.
i recall something about codes to be able to do anything. i also recall i was a bit of an "expert" and people would come to me asking computer questions. good lord, i should have studied computer something-or-other...i'd be rich and doing something useful with my life...but i digress.

anyway, i was 18 and started writing a short story (more like a play focusing on a developing romance between a young couple - based on non-experiences, of course). at around 19 i wrote a version of phantom of the opera that suited my happy-ending fascination/need. i was obsessed with that story and jekyll and hyde and beauty and the beast - all for the same same reasons. rooting for the underdog, the loser who never gets the girl. the misunderstood genius who is always having to hide or explain why he's in plain sight (the nerve of him). i always wanted them to get the girl and live happily ever after, damn it. so anyway, i wrote my own version of phantom. which i had started on an old typewriter (yes, i was alive when those were around and actually owned about 3 of them) and continued/finished it on my brand-spanking-new, ridiculously expensive computer purchased at Sears in 1989 as my high school graduation present (my poor parents - they truly deserve a better daughter, one who can for once, make them proud). ok, i digress again.

why i wrote the above, i have no idea. i guess it was to preface that the first house plan i did on a computer was using a very unsophisticated home design software i bought at that time - yes i recall some more of those ridiculous codes necessary for it to work (does anyone know what i'm talking about with the codes and c prompt???)

damn i'm old.

anyway, ever since i can remember, i've mentally pictured or visualized the house plans of every house i've ever lived or been in. i remember as a child, drawing the outlines of the rooms, trying to recall exactly where each detail was and attempting to render them as accurately as possible. later on, these house plans would show up in some of my artwork and even a video piece i did years ago

RE: the video - it was for an "art and shamanism" class - the assignment was to do an art piece on the "home" inspired by Dead Man - the Johnny Depp (yummy) movie. i decided that i wanted to do a video piece (at that point, i had done 2 and thought i would pursue this media, since i had gotten great response/critiques). i remember how frickin long it took me, i was editing and adding audio until 20 minutes before class, no sleep, felt (and probably looked like) a maniac. after i presented my video, during which there were several "oohs and ahhs", there was silence (as if digesting the whole thing) and then really was a great experience and the second applause i had received for the video pieces i did (i wish my camcorder still worked, i would have done a few more). of course, in my insanity to get it finished, i never made myself a copy of the final version - i wonder if the professor kept it? (add that to my to do list)

by the time i was 18, we had moved 8 times, so maybe these drawings were a way of trying to capture a sense of belonging, a sense of place or then again, maybe just a method of memory recall. i do have large gaps of memory loss of my childhood (probably best that way), so that the only memories that are really etched and clear are ones where i have a photograph capturing the moment - does anyone else experience this?

anyway the plans of actual houses led to just making up and inventing them. the ones i worked on in my late teens, early twenties had hidden rooms and labyrinths and tunnels. they were visual representations of the buildings in my fantasies and dreams at that time. Places where i wanted to live and escape to. I did dozens of them, spent hour upon hour developing more complex, secretive, mysterious spaces (did this rather than attempt dating, yeah). Many different configurations and funny enough most contained some sort of painting/creative studio space that was hidden away from the rest of the "home".

i have to find them (they're in one of my boxes) and scan them so you can see what the hell i'm talking about.

i warned you this would be long.

i think it was this past saturday that i had a pretty vivid dream where i was back in tuscaloosa. in the dream i was explaining to someone why i was back there. i had come onto some money (of course its a dream) and had decided to purchase a house there to flip it (i had just watched about 3 hours of a house flipping show marathon before falling asleep) and during the flipping process, decided that i liked it and wanted to live in it myself. in one of those wonderful dream visuals, as i was describing the house i was seeing it...there's more to the dream, but the house part prompted me to try to find a trial of a home design program, so i could re-create this house (before i forgot it). i came across a free 7 day offer for a pretty cool program, smartdraw. so i downloaded it and of course, now i feel the need to purchase it - those bastards know what they're doing with those free trials.

computers and software have come a long way since the commodore days.

here are the 2 i've done. i have 3 days left of the trial, so i might be able to sneak another one in.
btw - these are from scratch, not templates. every wall/line, every texture, piece of furniture all placed individually and re-arranged a gazillion times (because i'm not neurotic).

tuscaloosa dream home, #1

dream home #2

i'm going to have to call this art, its been too arduous a process not to.

they've been a lot of fun to do, but my eyes are shot to hell (is that a proper phrase?) each has taken 2 days to make, working pretty much from 10 am to 3 am, with the typically necessary breaks in between. i've been wearing my "reading" glasses not just for reading anymore, so my eyes are taking a beating.

sorry for the long-ass post.

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