Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Now that I have things to show you I can finally say something: Amber and I are continuing the Cyborg Anthropology project, and there will be a new batch of little illustrations sorting through these 21st century concepts.

I was glad she was wanting to go in for another round of this, because it's a very good thing she and I have. She's very enthusiastic and makes me think about all sorts of things I would probably never have thought about on my own. Particularly since this time around a lot of the easier, feel-good (to me) topics have already been illustrated, or have been combined into some slighty bigger topics. All the low-hanging fruit is picked. So I'm facing more complicated ideas, which are in tern a bit more difficult to bring to life. Especially if it's something I don't really agree with.

I think fundamentally Amber and I are on the same page about many things -- we like parks, we admire the calm and self-propelled life even as we at times feel yanked around by our obligations or passions, and we are both addicted to the “Open in a New Tab” option. (We are also both bespectacled women with short hair cuts that are extremely driven.) Of course, we also extremely different from one another. I spend a lot of my day thinking about colors and lines and shapes, and she spends a lot of her day optimizing and connecting wires and activating touch screens. So when I come across something that strikes me as, well, horrible, it’s sometimes hard for me to gauge whether it’s something she’s being critical of or something she’s enthusiastic about.

These key differences in our character are perhaps best illustrated in our glasses. Amber sports a very striking modern pair that do not hook behind her ears but rather artfully cling to her head -- sporting glasses, that I think are actually designed for mountain climbing -- and are certainly an appropriate reaction to the strange boxy things that are the fad right now, because those things don’t stay in place at all. I have a pair of those -- with a newer prescription -- but by and large I mostly wear an older pair that I got about eight years ago. The UV protective film is slowing dissolving and thus there are small unclearable patches speckled throughout my field of vision when I wear them (which is why I often wear contacts,) but they’re sturdy and look harmless and get the job done.

Often in the course of asking clarification questions I will present my dissenting take on a topic, framing it with the reminder that I am made of “sticks, leaves and soil,” because it is the quickest way I can communicate this strange primal objection I feel to some of the things she gets excited about. I have to find a way to at least find her reasoning behind something, because otherwise it will make it very difficult to find a picture.

However, as a stimulating exercise one couldn't ask for a better gig. You can't just stay in the box you create for yourself, you have to stretch. You have to think about things you wouldn't normally think of on your own. And for that this project is ideal.