Erf. I just got done saying I wasn’t going to do one of these (Artomatic Experience Posts), but I just saw the base image assembled as a whole for the first time and was excited enough that I wanted to post pics of the image at least. Just getting that out of the way first – this is a blatant excuse to post pics..(yet somehow this is long-winded…I have nights like this).

Artomatic Piece

Originally uploaded by sintixerr

So –

As mentioned earlier, when I first really started thinking about AOM this year, I thought I was going to be in Arkansas for the majority of the show and wanted to put together something “simple” (yeah, right, me? simple?). I was so strapped for time, in fact, that Angela and Paivi had to grab me some space for the second year in a row while I was out of town. ( My space is on the 8th floor at SE D6 btw.)

Ok. Great. Have space. Project? Art? No so much.  Ultimately I decided to do a huge (6’x6′) self portrait installation (covered in earlier blog posts – )

So, uhm, how do you print a photo that’s 6’x6′??? I ended up deciding to print the picture in 9 sections, 24″x24″ each. I originally wanted to do an 8’x8′ image, but at 24×24″ sections I could go one price category lower at Chrome than 32″x32″. Still, lots of cash. Hrm. Where else will print this? For a much more reasonable sum?

It turns out that -Ritz Camera- of all places will print really large images for less than half the price of Chrome. Supposedly archival. I test printed one 24×24″ section and it came out perfect. Sweet. I had a printing solution.

For framing I went with Angela’s suggestion of American Framing and picked the smallest frame borders I could – with no matting. The ultimate effect would hopefully look like the face was peering in through…something (window-esque?). That was an easy process and everything showed up toot-sweet.

I went with for the business cards. They did a good job but, in hindsight, I didnt. I think my cards are a little bit juvenile and cheesy, but, we all make mistakes sometimes I mean, who puts “Artist” on their cards? I guess I do. Meh.

While I was still playing with my final image, I met Angela and Paivi at our spaces last Sunday to help them paint, do lights, and take a look at my space.

I got there first and spent an hour or so mocking up what I wanted things to look like with rope and gorilla tape (it made sense then). The final result was looking pretty good and I was feeling very satisfied. Until Ang and Paivi showed up.

“Thats not your space, Jack”


“Thats. Not. Your. Space. Its the one next to it.”

–Insert vulgar words here–

Luckily I hadn’t done anything permanent and I sheepishly took down all my stuff. At any rate, I knew what it was going to look like and everything was good.

Angela and Paivi that day managed to paint their space, buy lights, put up lights. I managed to…put down duct tape and put up one wall of the shadowbox (seen in pics later). Really, I hate this part. Im slow as HELL at painting walls and usually a mess. People always regret asking me to help them paint their house/interior. I suck at it.

I came in the next Thursday after work by myself to try my luck alone and got a lot further. I managed to put up the second shadowbox wall, put down a layer of paint, and not end up with blood or paint all over my clothes. It was a good day in that regard. Still, I had forgotten paint rollers and had to use a brush. Those partitions, even with primer, suck. up. the paint. I was despairing a little bit about how things were looking, but put that aside knowing how much was left to do.

So far, I’d run into a couple of people here and there that I knew, but the AOM space is -so- large this year that unless youre actively wandering around looking for people or just outright lucky, it’s entirely possible to work with a dozen people you know there at the same time and miss them completely. (Except for Melissa, whom I run into every single time Im in the elevator.)

This past Saturday night I had my first volunteer shift with Angela and Paivi, so I came in ahead of time to get some work done. I met my “partition-mate”, who’s name I can’t recall at the moment, but who’s work I had been familiar with and am really psyched to be next to. If I had space in my apartment, Id buy some of it honestly. More painting ensued and things were good.

Queue the volunteer shift.

I have a gripe here. We were given a 3 minute introduction to our responsibilities by the GM on duty. The instructions did not mention two big things that we were asked about -all- night:

1. Lights. Anything about them. Where to get them? What to do if any were broken? Etc. I know this was a GM responsibility, but by Saturday you’d have figured that there were enough questions being asked that the volunteers should be given some sort of heads-up.

2. Brightest Young Things:

Anyone who was at AOM that night figured out very quickly that there was some shindig on the first floor. The only instructions of info we were given by anyone about the first floor party was “oh yeah, tell people bathrooms are on the 10th and 12th floors if they start bitching about the first floor bathrooms”.

What about the first floor bathrooms? Huh? And who’s making all that racket next door? Apparently Philipa Hughs’ Pinkline and Artomatic collaborated to help throw a relaunch party for a website called ( )

So, in addition to AOM people, there were tons of the trendiest, coolest, hippest, artsiest, brightest young things wandering in and out of the front door. Nothing against them (and it was cool something else was going on there), but it was really a pain in the ass to do “lobby” duty while there were bands playing, a plastic fence between us and them, etc.

I was asked to “keep people from there going up to AOM”…but really…how was anyone supposed to tell the difference? There were also a lot of people bringing in artist materials through the lobby that I didnt catch because I couldn’t always pick them out from the crowd milling about in the lobby.

This all would’ve been cool if we had been given heads-up….but we weren’t. We were left to piece it together ourselves…

I also wish I’d NOT worn the -skankiest- shirt I own to paint in. Felt like I was bringin the place down just sitting next to the party Wink

The monotony was broken up a bit by a trip to Sketchies (aka Wendy’s) to bring us back some much-needed diet cokes (Angela and Paivi were covering Loading Dock duty that night) and also by Jim, who gestured for another volunteer and myself (I think he meant me too) to come out front where he proudly showed us the new lighting for the Artomatic signage in the windows. The “ART” in “ARTOMATIC” was glowing red! Cool!

By the end of the shift, we were all -done-. Id gone running that morning for the first time since the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and between that, working on the space, and the volunteer shift, I was no longer human. Paivi wanted to take some pics of the graffiti kids up on our floor (Cool doing their thing (didnt work out), but we did run into Halo and Arty4ever putting down some finishing touches on Michael’s space (which looks great!).

I also met a couple of cool volunteers, but unfortunately was too brain-fried to ask for the business card of one of them and now forget her name. :( Ill need to check the volunteer list later if I can…

That brings me to today. Lights are up, painting is finished, etc. I just need to get some fabric to frame the shadowbox, hang the piece, and add some other artistic touches to the installation (and it will be an installation) that I dont want to describe here. I managed to frame all 9 sections (woohoo – Im really slow at that, so Im proud of myself here) today as well!

Ok, whew. Finally, this behemoth of a post is at it’s end.

(As a side note, the lighting in the first pic is provided by a couple of White Lighting 10,000 strobe, which we’ve now started using as generic apartment lamps lately. Heh.)