Basically, the point of this album is just so you all can get to know me better by seeing stuff I do besides the limited stuff I'm able to do online. Eventually I'll collect better tools for contributing more useful stuff to this website. Maybe you can find uses for this stuff here, too, or get an idea, for this site or for your own non-digital life.
Figured I'd upload this for my "non-digital stuff I made" album which is a collection of the sorts of things I do for fun offline. These are photographed on a table I painted. The one on the right has a UV gloss coating, so it's reflecting light from my ceiling fixture.
These are my 3 self-published books of poetry:
Deciphering Scars, 1997 When Midnight Comes Around, 1998 To Kiss the Sun and Mean It, 2000
I started a publishing company, zède publishing, and even got ISBN #s and bar codes for them. The first 2 went into second printings (each was about 100 or so copies); the 3rd had one printing of 300 copies. I still have plenty, but I don't sell them anymore, I give them away 'cause I'm no longer happy with about half the content. I know you know what I mean, dear hitRECorder, you're an artist.
Anyway, the titles are from Joy Division, Velvet Underground, and Bruce Cockburn songs, respectively. True North (Cockburn's record company) kindly gave me permission to use the quote. If you're not familiar, do check out his song, "Dialogue with the Devil" on his album Sunwheel Dance (1971).
My friend and then-roommate took the photos. The first one, we went on a shoot together looking for "scratched metal" (my only directions). She shot a macro closeup of a hand rail in Hart Plaza, Detroit. The second, she had already taken of me in the Michigan Central Station (that big, abandoned train station in Detroit—we went in & up to the roof not long before), and she offered it to me for the book. The third, I said, "I want a picture of a pot hole." We figured that would be an easy shoot, it being March in Detroit, but it turned out the city had just filled all the pot holes the day before. What are the odds? In Detroit! Anyway, we found this gutter with trash in it, which might have been better. I only wish I'd thought to bring a flashlight to shine light off the water. Oh well.
I've got lots of poems up here on hitRECord. If they're from one of these books, I indicate that.
I sold some through local (Detroit area) book stores and online at amazon and barnes & noble (which never paid me...) but mostly I sold them in person, after readings, or out of the trunk of my car. I made a CD too, but no one ever bought it. Good thing I only made up about 2 of them. :) People always wanted to buy the books after hearing me read, but not a recording of me reading. I'm sure some marketing genius would find some significance in that. At any rate, I only charged money at all to offset my costs in producing the things, since I've never exactly been independently wealthy, ha ha. Good times...
The reason for self-publishing was, quite simply, that my musician friends were making their own CDs and I thought that sounded fun. Trouble was, I'm not a musician. It was a fun way to do something more with my poetry, and it seemed like a good idea to have something more permanent to offer people who enjoyed my readings. Plus I got to design them! :) With the caveat that I couldn't afford to use color in the covers. I made plenty of mistakes, but I definitely am glad I did all that. It was a lot of fun. (The third one has some typesetting errors, because I was throwing it together to meet a deadline right after the event described in my RECord, 'My "aha" moment'. PTSD-related typesetting errors, I guess!
So, for what it's worth, here's a picture of the front covers of my books. The first one's photo wraps all the way around, but the other two have only the UPC code on the back, along with the price "$8 US" and the category, "POETRY". They do have a spine, and measure 1/8" thick—which I have often pointed out is good to know in case you need some shims in a pinch. You know, in case you have to square a door frame quick and all the stores are closed; or you have a wobbly table leg.
OK, so I made these the same way DuChamp "made" his urinal "Fountain," but still. These are both found objects: a tailpipe I use for holding incense sticks, and a strip of chrome (from the side of someone's car door) I use for burning the incense. Both were found on the streets of the Motor City!
The bolts in the tailpipe to me were reminiscent of feet, as if it were an object meant to be propped up like this. The chrome strip I think was partly bent already which gave me the idea to use it this way. It also already had a hole in the end, where the screw had attached it with mixed success to the car door. I put some epoxy in the hole to make it smaller so it would actually hold the incense, and I adjusted the angle a little, but that's all I did. Other than repurpose these found objects for this use!
Well, I like it.
This was a Christmas card I made for a friend but never mailed. (Oops.) I'm uploading it for my "non-digital stuff I've made" album. If you want to use it for remixing, you should probably replace or obscure the faces of the Velvet Underground members, as the source photo probably isn't public domain. But the Santa Claus hats might be usable (next year). The inside of the card is in the results below.