Too lazy to categorize

Two Decades

Two decades of largely living digitally. Two points in time where we all take a reality check. Thinking back to my twenty year ago self, I would never have guessed that I would be half way around the world and marking the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 by getting my second dose of vaccine to help protect against a virus causing a global pandemic. The fact that America was attacked by terrorists and that a global pandemic has happened are not surprising to me, I saw the warning signs for both well before they happened. Still no less shocking when these terrible things ultimately manifest. Things are not going to get much better I’m afraid. The cycle of violence in the world is set to continue. It may have been hundred years since the last major pandemic, but then next one might not stay in abeyance that long. What can you do. We can try to use less electricity. Burn less oil. I don’t think we are going to do a very good job of it. One thing I set out to do after the 9/11 attacks was to not own a car. I’ve only been partially successful in doing that. I share a car with my wife. I don’t drive to work, but she does. I still consume a great deal of electricity. My work is on the Internet and this is powered by electricity, with out the Internet well, I guess I would get by, but my life as I know it would be very different. I couldn’t make this digital collage for instance:


I wouldn’t be making “generative art” which twenty years ago I was just beginning to comprehend. I didn’t quite understand it as an art-form at that point but I was thinking about it. Now I have a daily art practice. I create at least 400 digital collages a day. Most of them going unseen, but when I get chance I try to review them and pick out my favourites. I’ve devised a scale for picking out the ones I think work well. Some people worry about taking copyrighted images off the Internet, but do traditional collage artists worry about where they get their material? If you are cutting up magazines to create collages do you worry about violating copyright? Maybe you are not scanning those collages and putting them online and trying to sell them. As electricity consuming NFTs no less. Let’s just say I will claim fair dealing if anyone asks. And go from there.

My goal is to begin working on, inspired a great deal by this website:

I believe we need more sites like these that are just fun and promote the digital arts. There is blank piece of digital paper in front of me. More than that an empty digital space that I want to fill. The only problem is that I need to consume electricity to fill it. It’s purely a selfish need. I need art in my life and I want to curate it on my own terms. I’m doing research on green web hosting and advocating for it where I can. But I need power. Let’s just try to use less of it. One idea for a art project is to have a site that is not always on… A website that is only available for 8 hours a day for instance, and then shuts itself down. It’s a art site, not a commerce site, where you need to buy buy buy at all times. Make money while you are sleeping, is that your dream? Ha, see what I did there. Ok that’s enough writing for today.

Too lazy to categorize

Chance Operations

One incentive for myself to write here more often, is that in the RSS reader that draws upon to create the daily cutup, is a subscription to this very blog. I’ve idly thought about writing a script to go through and pull out random images from my personal photo collection and collage them together in some way. If I put some images into this post, there is a chance they will be selected for the daily cutup.

The National Museum of China

But how to select a random image? Well, are large portion of the photos I have taken, mainly w/ my Canon EOS M10, are in my ~/Pictures folder. So a quick google around for “linux filesytem pick random file” I found a suitable command mentioned here:

The actual recommended way did not work for me, but further down in the comments someone suggested using “shuf” which is a command I used in the cutup script also.

[email protected]:~$ find Pictures/ -type f | shuf -n1

Yielded the photo I took from the inside of the National Museum of China a few years ago.

Sunset in New Zealand

It gives me a way to explore my photos directory and potentially insert them into the collage maker. It’s a slim chance but you can’t win if you don’t play. Unless it’s the lotto, in which case I agree with Fran Lebowitz on your chances there. Out of the 400 images generated each day, I usually only look at about 40 or 50 to insert into the daily cutup. But on some days like today, I’ll look at a few more. The ones that didn’t make it, like this one.

I should probably do something more productive with my time. But I don’t have much of it, time that it is, on this sunny and warm spring day. Above is image #1 generated today. Works for me as a basic digital collage. Here is #400, the last in the batch:

Welp, that is all the time I have for day. Someone just opened my door and said, “It’s a Norwegian Blue”. Time to go.

Too lazy to categorize

Today’s Favourite Collage

Everyday I take random images from my RSS reader, and composite them with random options fed into ImageMagick. Which I’ve mentioned before. WordPress really doesn’t have a way interlinking posts does it? Anyway.

Just looking at the blocks of things you can do w/ WordPress, oh look a verse block. I did start writing a poem the other day.

Standing on the shoulders of giants
First of all they are not giants
They were just regular people like you and me
Sure, some of them were taller than others
But the point is they were just human like the rest of us
They may have been smarter or more talented 
But altogether human
And we are not standing on them, we are learning from them

Something like that, I’ve already thought up 1 or 2 other versions. Starting a few days ago in the shower. That is where poetry comes from. Not some muse or inspiration, it’s the shower.

So I didn’t start out planning to write that, but there it just happened. What I really wanted to write about is the collage selection process. In the daily cutup I don’t have a way yet of inserting the collages randomly. And honestly it’s just a crap shoot everyday, which is why the 400 are created. Sometimes the options don’t work and a collage is not really created. I’m certainly not saying my process is perfect, it’s just the best I could do in the time that I have. But sometimes the options do work and I’m pleased with the way several images are composited together. It’s quite a time consuming task to go through the images and judge which ones worked best. I’ve spent many hours looking at the images and trying to come up with a scale. The scale I came up w/ is called VOCA, for Vibe, Originality, Composition and Aesthetic.

The VOCA scale.

So if I really had time, I would first quickly go through and select my favourites. Then from my favourites narrow down to a even smaller batch, the short-list, and then judge them on the scale. And that is how I would choose which one I would make into a NFT, my selection for June 6th here.

I’m done with the NFTs for now though. Now I have decided to just focus on my blog here. It’s time to write and just journal things here for now. I am of course interested in what’s going on here:

But not enough to learn how to use Tezos and a new blockchain wallet etc… Oh, I just randomly found an article from one of my new favourite sites looking for that. There is so much interesting stuff going on in the world…

Anyhow Today’s favourite collage on the VOCA scale. Also I cheated and only looked at the last 100 or so collages, but this is what I came up with:

Vibe: You know the vibe of the thing. How does it make it you feel? This image above had the vibe of the collage of the day.

Originality: Does it take the source material and do something new with it? Does it look unique? I think this image scored higher on that:

Where the first image has more recognizable elements from the source material. I mean you can recognise a chair in 313 but there is a still from the upcoming Dune movie which forms the basis of the 319 collage. And if you look closely the other figure superimposed on the man in the hat is Jemain Clement from What We Do In The Shadows. I don’t normally like recognisable people in the collages but it’s unavoidable and the composition on the left side of the image is good. Could use more work on the right side, where it’s interesting but just the set design of the film coming through.

Composition: Do all the elements of the collage work well together? Are they combined in an interesting way that doesn’t look like a random computer program assembled it? Having a hard time finding an example of that today, but this might have a higher score in that area:

Okay it still looks a bit random, but there is some sort of composition there. There are hard edges from the layered images, but they work better than in the first or second images. And finally:

Aesthetic: Basically, does it look nice? Do the colours work?

The above images would also score highly for me in this category. I think the blues and reds work well together and there is some nice patterns in there. In fact I think 299 might be my favourite of the day. There was one more I think deserves honourable mention:

I mean it looks like there is a Apple watch in there, you can’t get much more aesthetic than that right? Since I don’t have time to go through the 400 collages each day, I just randomly upload an assortment which get put into the daily cutup. The last one here, 388 was included in that batch but the other three I have mentioned here, 299, 313 and 319 were not and on most days they would just go ignored and unseen. Since today I have some time I was able to go through all the images and pick some favourites.

So you tell me, what the hell is this? A waste of time. Well be that as it may, it happens. This is how I consume and regurgitate the Internet in 2021 and try to make art.

Too lazy to categorize

Some cats I’d like to buy

Searching for collage on OpenSea this morning, I found:

The first time I tried to buy it the gas cost was around $60. I waited a few minutes and then it went up again. I guess I’ll come back later.

This photography is amazing:

Today an interesting title:

I had never heard of the Haim sisters. I enjoyed this live set from last year:

Today I am learning me some Kubernettes.

Too lazy to categorize

Express yourself

This is a concept that is easier said than done. Although it certainly brings this song to mind.

You have to choose your art form. Mine happens to look something like this today.

A collage which was generated for, but not included in the daily cutup. One of 400 collages I generated today. Why? Why not, someone has to do it. That is my philosophy anyway, about digital collage. Like the mountain when asked why he climbs mountains. Because it’s there.

For me it’s the adoption of an art practice that keeps me going. No one else would be looking at these images and constructing this textual sculpture in exactly this way. The generated text seems to be a narrative. It’s not, but my mind wants to make it into one. With out any real conscious effort it tries to make connections and meaning.

I reach out and she clasps my hand. “Stay same thing. Someday, maybe.”

I visualise a scene in some unmade Anime, a women shot, in broken English farewells her would be foreign lover. I don’t mind telling you the text for the titles are plucked out from a mass of text, which is later further processed and recombined.

Los Angeles polite post assumes that this will be the result of these changes of dual workers and caregivers, and some “gender baggage” will have an impact because they can escape people from provoking future wealthy people. Shot, she took my hand. “Keep it as it is. One day, maybe.”

This text has been shuffled and translated in and out of Chinese, but you can recognize some of the source material is the same. It’s rough text that doesn’t really make sense. The point is to de-construct the text and recombine it in an unexpected way. A way to generate new ideas. A daily oracle based on the text and images being published on the Internet, that I might look at but don’t have the time. Digested and regurgitated into a slightly gross pattern. There is no meaning but what you make of it — what you can derive from it. It’s just a thing that I do, a service I provide.