Archive: Profiles in Confusion celebrate differently-abled thinkers, and you either find them puzzling or absurdly funny. (There are very few agnostics when it comes to my work.) These strips, arranged by academic year as they appeared in the Indiana Daily Student, are among my favorites. (Arranged here in reverse chronological order.)
PROFILES IN CONFUSION, VOL 4
Evolution dictates that you should walk upright. Evolution dictates that you should walk straight into my arms, you crazy, beautiful woman. What we have together is not an aberration of Natural Selection. It’s golden, Samantha. We’re golden.
PROFILES IN CONFUSION, VOL 3
Mercy, woman! We’re gonna pimp your funk! We’re gonna get your Botox on and shake it on down! Mercy on a world with such funk in it! Mercy!
PROFILES IN CONFUSION, VOL 2
Wha’cha doin’ walkin’ ‘round wid all dem keys for? You ain’t got no job. Why you got all dem keys for if you ain’t got no job? You ain’t up ta nuttin’ but no good wid dem keys! You all actin’ like Mr. Big Shot wid dem keys! Like you a Key Master or som’um!
PROFILES IN CONFUSION, VOL 1
What happened to the dinosaurs? Why haven’t we built a time machine to solve this riddle yet? Who's in charge of this dog and pony show, anyway? What bonehead is dropping the ball here? This burns me up! I’m not waving this gun around because it matches the color of the veins in my neck! I want some damn answers!
PROFILES IN CONFUSION, BEST OF THE REST
I want to learn to fly an airplane, but not how to land. No landing—just taking off. Is there some school where I can do that? Someplace where I don’t have to pay out-of-state tuition? I can drive there, but I only know how to drive a car and not stop it. I went to school for that last year.
The Road to Nirvana is Paved with Karaoke: Schopenhauer said that every generation believes it is the salt and summit toward which humanity has striven. The case is always strong, but clearly wrong if the next generation does not concur. Where seizing the reins of power (as well as the modes of production), we have not so much liberated the best and brightest among us as have been swallowed up by manifold vanity projects of plebeians. The New World Order of culture is Karaoke Culture; and where culture is left to its consumer to invent, one gets exactly the culture one deserves.
About Garage Band and Logic: For anyone who thinks a computer writes this music, let me assure you that, the odd loop notwithstanding, all compositions presented here are mine. As for the loops, I sometimes use percussion loops, and just as often modify them. The only thing more difficult than writing this music is mixing it, so these pieces are frequently tinkered with and fine-tuned.
These pages contain approximately eighty original works for various ensembles, with pop, rock, jazz and classical stylings. The above link presents the music in reverse chronological order from 2013 to 2009, while the below links are specific by year. Last Update: 9/01/13
2 0 0 9 Pages featuring enthusiastic early works.
2 0 1 0 Pages concluding a prolific period.
2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 3 Pages comprising recent works.
Pirate Ship Aesthetics: I do not have the resources, patience, or interest to make polished animation. God created metaphysics to get around the obvious, so I will leave the exhaustive work of constructing animated sequences that move objects conventionally from here to there to others. Last Update: 5/05/13
The Internet That Wasn’t: The Internet that wasn’t is more interesting than the Internet that is, since the freedom it offered promised fertile opportunities for creative people to network and disseminate their work. Instead (and no one should be surprised that this is how it went down), the World Wide Web has become a glorified phonebook/photomat. The fact that there are more untalented people in the world than talented people is one reason for this outcome: Why would you buy a gifted musician’s album when you can make up your own three-chord songs with iPad software?
Computer technology truly invented the idea of planned obsolescence, and few artists, if they are interested in wading into the obscure realm of html code, are eager to create work with software that will soon be unsupported with updates by their manufacturers. You can create works of art on paper for no more than the cost of a pencil and pad of paper, but creating an attractive website requires study and sums of cash. And what artist is willing to invest in a media where his toolbox and materials are likely to be changed or eliminated willy-nilly?
Modernist Aesthetic: I admittedly credit myself with an immodest degree of uniqueness, which stems from my formative exposure to and adaptation of Modernism. As a creature of this Twentieth century aesthetic, I spent a portion of my formative youth rebelling against the ruinous tyranny Modernism became through art academia in the Eighties. By the time we get to Post-Modernism, and the glib politics of “identity” used to justify the lamest banality imaginable, those distant European pioneers, who inspired me to apply my imagination first and foremost, were long dead and relegated to the pages of art survey books.
Modernism is ended in its best sense, and what we are left with are self-aware parodies of its once revolutionary ideas (as found in anachronistic New York galleries). Today we live in an era of post-ism-ism, where everything is allowed. There are many more gifted artists than in times past, especially where artists achieve unparalleled levels of craftsmanship in furthering styles originated in other epochs. Unfortunately, this unprecedented commitment to doing-one-better has given us a kind of replicable scientific algorithm. Momentarily, few are interested in seeing past this data base. Last Update: 1/12/14
Paintings: The arts divide naturally between creators and community. Most artists, being socially lacking, aspire to a monk-like existence—or at least default to a reliable sanctuary when they want to define themselves in opposition to everything else. The community, by contrast, is attracted to the idea of the creator, although, really, they have little true interest in his or her welfare. Let us not forget that the community of art exists principally to be a community. It is social, so intends, by its meetings and get-togethers, to plan other events that look suspiciously like more meetings and get-togethers. The community loves its own company, especially in settings where art serves as a backdrop, or as something to be discussed in lectures where the attendees can be seen attending.
Works on Paper: One untold loss in the new algorithmic age is that of accidental discovery, where one happens upon unsought things and find in them something new, exciting, and potentially life changing. Nowadays, overly helpful cookies and spyware keep track of your movements online, and you see only those advertisements of places you have visited. You are denied access to random unknown places, unless you actively seek them out. Of course, if you knew where you wanted go, it would defeat the point of going.
Odds and Ends: Success is mostly a social thing; and for those who believe that the Internet liberates the creative person from the dictates of the herd mentality, think again. “Social networking” is simply the latest version of a very old truth. The analogy that comes to mind is one I have encountered in coffeehouses over the years, where male baristas are invariably musicians. These guys are decent people, but from what I have heard of their music, it is no more ranging than their limited skill in pursuing it. Still, these attractive fellows are gregarious, and have no problem recruiting young women to come to their shows and drink beer while they play. Is their music liked? Music clubs are, after all, social venues, where the participants play at art more than emulate its genius. Everywhere I look on the Internet in search of creative opportunities, or even like-mindedness, this social phenomenon is what I find. Sociability is no guarantor of success, clearly, but it is the starting point of most successful people. Social media rewards a kind of baseline creativity that social people generally have and appreciate. In other words, it is about aiming for the broad side of a barn and hitting it.
Learning Curves: I am an autistic first, and an artist second—at least as it applies to my process. When I turn to a new art form, I display creative ability in it initially, and only later struggle with the difficulties of learning the fine points of its craft.
One man’s reinvention of the comic strip: Here lies the remains of an unlovable cat (minus shoebox).
From 1989: I would describe my work in this medium as a combination of kitsch and haiku, where the resulting absurdity resonates like a subterranean echo. This pages includes works from my unpublished Epic Dermis series.
From 1992-2011:The majority of these Flash animations are derived from early comics, as well as a selection of Profiles in Confusion strips. Other early attempts at animation are also here, including a few animated gifs.
A Novel / Memoir in Late-Diagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome: Site for my online book, as well as other writings, including notes for God, Science, and The Unknowable Thing-in-Itself.
Shop At Cafe Press: Support Blender Kitty and its creator.
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Artist Statement: Autism is the lens through which I view not only my creative life but also the world. While most professional artists seek a style, a community, or a livelihood with their craft, my focus revolves around a hermetic thought process that first reverse engineers creative ventures that interest me, and then applies what I've learned to create original work. On mastering one craft, I move onto the next, connecting dots between disciplines as I amass a database of insight into how the artistic mind works.
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