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Closing Party. Joan Schulze. LCD Soundsystem.

A reminder that the closing party for my art show in San Francisco is on Saturday, May 22, 2010, running from 6 to 10. Details here. I’ll be selling recent art and fractal prints as well as canvases. As part of the SF in SF series, I’ll be reading with author Michael Shea. My readings will be some of the gnarliest bits from my forthcoming four-novel omnibus Ware Tetralogy. Michael will be reading from his kick-ass new novel, The Extra.

Here’s a new painting that I worked on this week, I guess it’s called “Insane Skate Posse.” As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, “Fractalmania! With a T-Shirt,” I’ve been working with higher-order fractals of late, and I found a really nice double spiral that came from a cubic Mandelbrot set. I saved off a high-res image of it, and started selling the image online as a skater T-shirt with the caption “Seek the Gnarl.” And then I decided to do a painting of this fractal, even though it’s a quixotic effort to paint an infinitely complex object.

I started with just the painting of the fractal, and then I took a photo and pasted on some web images of skaters, and drew on the computer image, and painted that desgin onto my picture. I always think I can’t draw or paint people, but somehow if I chip away at it, something kind of reasonable comes out. It’s not like I need to do photo realism, after all.

I’m slowly working on a story about fnoor, like I was talking about before. In it, a renegade app-programmer is studying a pink patch of fnoor (a.k.a. graphic chaos) in an image made on his off-brand tablet-computer by his run-anywhere “Phractal Phun” app, and he says, “You might say that the pink fnoor is a funhouse-mirror image of a spoiled-rich-kid Apple exec’s furious face inside the Qwirky program that I’m using to emulate the iPad’s app-running code.”

Speaking of programming, I did something potentially self-destructive night before last. I had insomnia, and around 2:40 a.m., I noticed that Microsoft gives away a free “Express edition” of their Visual C++ compiler, and I downloaded it and started trying to rebuild my old 16-bit Boppers app as a modern 32-bit app that will run in Windows 7. I felt like a crack-head deciding to do just one rock. I thought I’d given up programming for good. But the computer gods were kind to me, my old programming skills came back to me, and I managed to fix most of the issues and even some old bugs in Boppers yesterday, and hope to post a superduper Boppers 2010 version soon. Just one more rebuild! [As of May 20, it’s happening baby! Go to]

Last week my wife and I saw a great show at the San Jose Quilting museum by Joan Schulze, who lives in the South Bay and has a studio in San Francisco. Schulze herself was at the show—it was the exhibition’s last day—and she was very friendly and talkative. Her quilts are anything but traditional—one might equally well call them fabric art, and Schulze is justly compared to Rauschenberg. I got a photo of her next to one of her works that I liked a lot. She made it while teaching a worshop in the U. S. southwest. That squiggly calligraphy, it’s ink, and it looks vaguely Arabic to me. The color shades are so lucious here, and the quilting stitches are a whole game in themseles. Anothe favorite of mine is called “The Angel Equation.” There’s a nice slide show of her works on her site, and a link to a reptrospective book of her work: Poetic License.

I saw about half of the movie Nine last week. I’d thought it sounded promising: a remake of Fellini’s classic 8 1/2, with a superstar cast, transmogrified into a musical. But, my word, it’s awful. I’m always forget what hideous songs they use in musicals—the singers narrating, in flat-key half-notes, prolonging arbitrary ugly notes for…what? Emphasis? “It’s nice to see you naaaaaaaaaaaaaaoooooooooooooooooooooooow?” And those horrible songs are always at least twice as long as seems bearable. And, oy, the vulgarity and puritanism of the script! Fellini’s imposing, battered, primitive-sex-goddess Saraghena becomes…a Victoria’s Secret model? And the mistress played by Penelope Cruz has none of her the pathos, wit, or dignity—what a waste of Penelope’s skills. And ditto for Nicole Kidman’s role. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

Speaking of songs, I read a glowing article about LCD Soundsystem in the New Yorker a couple of weeks ago. (The review, by Sasha Frere Jones, is only online in an abridged form.) I looked up one of LCD Soundsystem’s videos: “Drunk Girls.” It rocks like Lou Reed’s “White Light, White Heat.”

Drunk Girls

A recent video of “Drunk Girls” by LCD Soundsystem.

As a video, “Drunk Girls,” reminds us that music videos really don’t have to consist male and female sexhibitionists doing aerobics (sorry, Lady Gaga, although I did enjoy parts of “Telephone”—like your prison-yard sunglasses made of a hundred burning cigarettes, and your quick little right-on dance move right before you get out of jail, and the horizontal-hands Egyptian-style-happy-rabbit dance moves in the diner after you and Beyonce poisoned everyone—but, please, enough with the Jackson family leather-thong dance troupe aerobics!)

LCD Soundsystem is on tour, playing here in SF at the Fillmore on June 3, but dang, the show is sold out. James Murphy, if you’re reading this, put me down for two tickets on the guest list!

6 Responses to “Closing Party. Joan Schulze. LCD Soundsystem.”

  1. failrate Says:

    I tried to do the same thing with VS Express that you’ve done, but gave up. Too many arbitrary Windows interface changes between the different versions of their APIs. Instead, I’ve entertained the idea of scooping out the data manipulation bits into their own library and just calling that from a cross-platform GUI like Qt or GTK. Or even remaking the whole thing in JavaScript

  2. Mike Reid Says:

    I like the edge in your description of slipping back into hacking. Very appropriate given the tone of Lifebox. On the other hand, I would like to see an updated Boppers. May the Gnarl guard you against falling into the dark addiction!

  3. Rudy Says:

    Success! I have boppers2010.exe running well in Windows 7 (and earlier versions of Windows as well) and available for download as of May 20, 2010. Thanks, Mike and failrate, for your interest in this ordeal.

    I’m doing a Creative Commons by-nc-sa release of the software and the accompanying book by me.

    (As a last twist of the screw, I had to include an install package for a Microsoft runtime C++ library, but it’s no biggie, you just run a setup batch file.) will get you there.

    Intrepid users: let me know if Boppers 2010 works for you.

  4. failrate Says:

    Runs on my Win7 laptop. Thanks 🙂

  5. Mike Reid Says:

    Runs on my XP desktop. Very sweet!

  6. Dianne Says:

    Hey Rudy, Not that this comment has anything to do with anything posted on your blog, however, would like you to know we have a new girl at work from California, just moved here a couple of years ago and she is soooo Californian, if that’s the right word…made me think of you, you being there in California…she says her neighbors call she and her husband, “transplants”…and then she comments….we are not “transplants”…:-)))

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