~Nancy . . .

well, I’ve been debating if I need to cop to this, and I guess the answer is: yes.
yep, that screamin’ manic in the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC trailer . . . is me.

love the green and yellow puffy jacket, or what !!

well, if you’ve been following these pages for any amount of time, it will come as NO surprise that my middle name is: trouble.
QUILT LADY, ha. yes, that’s what they used to call me at PSEUDO. but that’s Quilt Lady, … not Church Lady !!
and I believe they pronounced it: CRACK.

and no joke.
turns out a lot of those early American women quilt makers – were quite the artist, weren’t they.

the ‘traditional’ quilt grid used as a symbolic ‘organizing’ format for social networking, in the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC opening credits, the design of which I had nothing to do with – that was all Ondi’s handiwork – but, just to point up the obvious.
quilt grid = matrix, in a one-dimensional schematic overlay.

so, it’s o.k. to use the ‘weaving’ metaphor for all the wireless web/internet interplay, up to a point . . .
but the quilt ‘organizational’ format – is actually a better symbol. and a better informational or graphic design layout for expressing the ground rules of new age computing, esp as regards social networking, blogs, twitter, google-enabled research. etc. etc.

in fact, it seems pretty obvious to state that if the hardware, the personal computer machines themselves – came out of that deeply rooted American DIY ethos, as seen in vintage GARAGE MECHANICS and other like-minded magazines . . . then the flip side, the wide world of female DIY handicrafts: sewing, esp as in embroidery, lace making (so hip today or what ?), pattern-central crochet, far flung quilt making – all supported, theoretically the intangible software codes, and the resultant web itself – as the interwoven and highly personal, translate HOMEMADE !! – social, as opposed to purely business, computer world we now live in today, ca. 2012.

if cross stitch embroidery is not exactly what code is, think URL . . . that is, if you miss a single stitch you’re done for – I don’t know what is.

in fact the ‘quilt’ metaphor beats out ‘weaving’ on a lot of levels, so that weaving becomes a sub-theme for wireless, basically. . not the least element being the dominant role of the individual, esp as contributor.
see that WLIP opening credit poster above again.

the quilt format – also relates to what became the dominant impulse of the computer generation as it evolved: photos and personal information, and that go on to become history, i.e. the supreme DIY archive – and which dominant web activity and which are shot out, created 24/7 mega huge, and non-stop, and global !! – on the personal web or matrix, as it has evolved. 2012.
so much for ‘desktop’ publishing and spreadsheets. ha.

JOSH got it very early on that quilts were not just about ‘bed covers’, but were more about . . communication, messages, history, cultural aggregation and . . . well, gee duh: sampling !!

and life experience ‘souvenirs’ passed down to ensure the growth . . of the next bio human generation.
if only killer whales, those troubled orcas who are the only other species on the entire planet, besides man – who need their parenting figures around their whole lives – could quilt !!
maybe they wouldn’t be locked up in bathtub-sized pens at SEAWORLD.
DIY handicrafts are obviously – the key to (dominant) evolution.

which is not even to BEGIN to go . .. . into computer ‘code’ per se, and making digital building blocks of binary patterns, and over-all MATH – working its way up into overall kinetic diagrams, and traveling up the multi-level perceptual ladders.
which also spells: QUILTS.
~light and shadow log cabin patterns, anybody !!
~’Baltimore wedding albums’ .. which carried individual ‘blocks’ from different friends – assembled into one cover – for the new bride to take off into her future home, esp if she was following her husband, and moving off into parts unknown.
~piecework quilts made from clothing remnants that detailed the growing-up and history of a family, to be handed down through the generations. a role photography would supplant.
~also piecework involved some serious MATH. as well as spiritual or historic messages.
~what about: Amish quilting . . . the pinnacle of a wordless spiritual expression – in pure abstract form. that told a story, cast a spell as powerful as the bible with no figurative content whatsoever. . and was the great runner-up of modern art, in this country. this kind of quilting having laid the groundwork for making sophisticated yet minimal ‘block building’ … a truly ‘visual’ play – a daily event, even for the most unsophisticated bed-goer.
~ quilting bees. social networking at it’s most primal communal base, or what . . .

yep, Josh got into quilts. the thing that impressed him the most though, was that, especially the early colonial quilts, were: spiritual artifacts. designed to protect and empower.

then, there’s the theory of infinity. if you want to try to get your head around, the concept of ‘infinity’, there is nothing more infinite . . . than the quilt culture. no two are ever alike. no two are repeated. they are still being made. the quilt is above all else: the power of the individual, the hands-on energy of the artist.
creativity = infinity.

I was thinking myself, that the ‘spiritual artifact’ element was what most distinguished the early quilts, and even the later ones, from the internet per se, which is commonly understood to be – more mechanical in nature, and thus has ‘no’ soul.

but seriously, that is a flawed reasoning. just because there are no obvious religious overtones, there is still an aggregate knowledge (!!) and a history that that gets archived – that gets made, everyday on the web.

the tracking of these 21st century digital fingerprints – is the aggregate trail we all leave behind of our times. our culture, our civilization, our evolution. our struggles.
it’s not just whose in a relationship, and cute baby photos, and what kind of music, or fashion – rocks out world.
though of course, in a profound way, it is.

it’s also, take a mental leap: about the other half of the world that doesn’t get the ‘freedom’ of the western web and the ensuing community dialog. and point blank – see it as a threat.

that’s why I was particularly awed by finding out the Middle East was trying ‘to get’ . . . what’s going on, by reading Andrew Smith’s ‘Totally Wired’. that book review that came out of Abu Dhabi really floored me. not the least, that halfway around the world – they were reading about Josh, and Pseudo, and the underground artists, like me – to figure it all out.

yes, the underground artists employed at Pseudo – for whatever reasons, we were just as an integral part or cog, of the early internet development – as the code writers. and they be reading about us – in Abu Dhabi !!
and yet we remain, almost unknown here at home . . . in New York friggin city. ha.
it’s a tough cold gritty city. maybe that’s why we love it.
but at the same time, it’s not so funny, either.
though as per this page – the internet is helping level the playing field. and re-write history.
ha. I’m thinking the poet, or the person with the ‘voice’ trumps the trust fund baby storefront gallery lease, or what !!

NANCY SMITH, PAPER LANTERN. collage, glitter, red embroidery thread on a single/standard 8 x 10 in. sheet of typing paper.
exhibited at QUIET, a ‘rebel’ ‘downtown’ underground art installation produced by Pseudo, that ran Dec thru Jan 15, 2000.

Josh’s Pseudo empire was so big at this point, DEC of 1999, that you could be working on a project for him, at say his Spring St. loft – and unknowingly happen upon a crew way further downtown on Broadway near Chambers – that needed installation wall painters for $10/hr, and sign up – only to have Josh walk in at some point, and ask you what the F you were doing there there ?
yes, it was DAVID LESLIE who first signed me up to paint walls for the QUIET underground disco/live sex/gun target rooms – that initially put me on the QUIET orbit. I was already buying Josh quilts.

and then to make a long story short: I was supposed to do a Quilting Bee – but I got tagged by Josh as a top level admin – so instead I ran around like a crazed motherf….. 24/7 to help make that 1 million dollar baby take off.
and take off – it did.
so scratch the quilting bee. that’s the way it was at Pseudo. move with the chaos, or move out !! – is the best way I can put it. go with the flow, and stay light on your feet.

to console my eclipsed artist status, in my spare time I made paper lanterns out of whatever I could get my hands on, that was lying around. though now that i look back – I think it’s pretty funny, and most definite : ironic, that it was TYPING PAPER – !! – in the age of computers just starting !!
I would hang them up somewhere, and the next day I would not only find them still there, but that they had been professional – stage lit. nobody got ‘art’ – better than Josh. amen. and I mean that.
Josh was pure life – life itself, to a lot of people, but esp me.

and when people STILL ask . . . why is it always about Josh – that’s the best answer I can give.

NANCY SMITH, ARCHIVAL QUILT DIAGRAM. incl photos of ‘distressed’ quilts I had repaired by hand, and brief text.

I also managed to fly light, be fast in the head,, and adapt – by putting up a smaller ‘stealth’ quilt project – in lieu of the not-to-be quilting bee. it was this simple photographic diagram of some important quilt patterns, essentially building blocks, with a bit of history and brief text.
1. that’s what sealed the deal for me regarding photos and text – on the run, as in on the internet.
2. it’s called PHOTOGRAPH, PRESENT/POST INFORMATION & ARCHIVE. pass down the aggregate information for the next generation, to build on.
3. archiving as such, it turns out, is such an important element in new age computing, though most of it is seen, as is this page is as real time ‘rambling’ – truth is – it googles for-evah !!
4. production needs, once you have scored the computer duh !! – zip. nada. nothing. no budget. disposable all the way, from the initial DIY energy to create and post – to the hard drive housing the ‘digital’ photos.


artist-wise, as opposed to computer-wise . . .

I guess though it ran well in Pseudo culture – this on-the-run fleetingly fast yet ironically ARCHIVAL mentality . . . also locked me into an ongoing contrarian conflict with the prevailing ELI BROAD art world mindset of the past decades.
which goes all the way back to the 80s for god’s sake, and, enough already !! it’s 2012 !!

and lo and behold, FALL 2012 – those masters of the low-fi: zines – rule !! DIAMOND LEAVES in CHINA !!
if you don’t follow the site – scroll down. I can’t do ALL – your homework for you.

CONTRARY . . . vis-a-vis both the HUGE fabrication mentality of an ELI BROAD favored JEFF KOONS, and the ‘fabricated’ – as in fictional narrative – of for example: the photographs of another ELI BROAD favored Cindy Sherman.

there was NO room for ‘light on the feet’, thinking as you breathe. no room for low-fi, and possibly disposable art forms. which if you think about it – are in effect the very nature – of the digital process.
and also speak – to the decline of hard copy, bye the way.

re: low-fi paper lanterns.

of course I have the hands-on actual repaired quilts – but who wants those babies. archival creativity to the max.
ha, to if – I ever get to see them on a wall, in my lifetime – or what ?
but hey, I’ve got the nickname, Quilt Lady !! what else could anybody want ?

ALTHOUGH, let me clarify.
I would have NO objection to ‘re-fabricating’ those paper lanterns – as expensive fiberglass objects !!
it’s just a matter of having the dough, the budget, and the backing. which is all, also a big part of that Eli Broad headset . . . but, not of Josh Harris. and certainly not of Pseudo.

if nothing else, Pseudo, was true to its name. Long live Pseudo.