The Ups & Downs: Brian Kim Stefans
The Ups & Downs
Scriptor 1.0 by Brian Kim Stefans
Friday June 5 & Saturday June 6 from 7-10pm
with a short artist's talk each night at 8pm
The Ups & Downs is an installation series. The show goes up, the show goes down. Opening party on Friday night and closing party the next night, on Saturday. No time for exhibitions. Low impact, ephemeral and immersive art. People with lots of People. The market. It’s a party. Time for the underground. It’s a ball. It’s for The People. This has been made for you. You look familiar? The show must go on. Installed and De-installed. Up. Down. Now what? Now then…
The Scriptor series is meant to bring free form doodling into the digital world. For the project, I created my own letterform creation program that, purposefully, lacks many of the elements of professional graphics programs such as Illustrator and Flash that encourage symmetry, cut-and-paste, and the mathematically precise placement of objects that we associate with digital design, not to mention much digital art. These letterforms and doodles are all "by hand," and "by eye" - they are a version of penmanship for the screen, but one in which each line or stroke of the letterform can be animated algorithmically (something you can't do with digital fonts). The words themselves are parsed from news articles - interesting phrases are randomly picked out, given randomly generated sizes, placements and trajectories, as well as a "crazy level" (that's the name of the variable in the program) that determines their legibility. This "crazy level" can grow or shrink - once the "crazy level" reaches a certain pitch, the letter explodes, but in some instances letters can be brought back from the brink of disaster to reach a stable state again.
Scriptor teases the eye into a game of determining when a form is merely a scrawl and/or when it makes that invisible transition into an icon, a "letter" - or, inkblot-test style, into something else. These are not films - nothing you see on the screen will ever happen again (or, for that matter, ever happened).
Brian Kim Stefans is a poet and digital artist whose recent books include Kluge: A Meditation, and other works (Roof, 2007), What is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers (Factory School, 2006), and Before Starting Over: Essays and Interviews (Salt Publishing, 2007). His digital works such as "The Dreamlife of Letters" and "Star Wars, One Letter at a Time" have been shown in gallery settings worldwide; many of these can be found at his website, www.arras.net. He is an Assistant Professor of English at UCLA, specializing in poetry and electronic writing.