Un-multi-tasking

Air traffic

flight patterns by Aaron Koblin
Today was a bear of a day- got up at 6 and put in about 12 hours of work- without a break- to try and catch up with work. The entire studio is buried in work- which is of course a good thing- but it is also exhausting for everyone, including yours truly. Mostly I have be rewriting dense copy on moving and reorganizing lists and forms- sometimes a thankless task. In the last few days I have written copy on moving valuations, how to estimate the cost of a move, how to compare different estimates ad nauseum. Hardly the most interesting work, but work nevertheless that pays the bills. So I am truly not complaining.

When I have to do writing I prefer to work at home- presumably less interruptions ( not today) and the chance to work in my sweat pants. And mostly I can capture at least 1 1/2 hours of travel time which is not wasted sitting in DC traffic.


I was worried that I might not have enough energy to work tonight but for the last few nights I feel energized. I have spent a lot of time looking at the work of Aaron Koblin a really brilliant digital artist who has found fascinating ways of capturing and presenting complex data. It is really worth spending time on his site. Some of his most compelling work is capturing flight patterns. I am not really sure how he programmed this but with data feeds he was able to create images of airplane flight patterns across the world. They are quite marvelous and I have been carrying them in my head for the last couple of weeks. I reached out to Aaron and told him that I was interested in capturing some of the feeling of his work in fabric, not a copy of course, but the sensibility of movement and line that is embodied in the flight lines.


I sat with this for a while and last night I started. I started to cut my fabric free form and just sat and looked at Aaron's work and analyzed it. I stopped after about 3 hours, and today started again. I spent a good amount of time just massing colors- although you can not see this there are many different shades of hot orange and red, some solid and some mottled. I also have been playing with dark greys, teals, moss green- a somewhat unusual color palette but I like the effect so far. I am not trying to copy Aaron's work and I am deliberately not using anything remotely close to his work. It is that interesting balance between influence, derivation and appropriation that we talked about so much this summer at Nancy's and it has been so helpful to me to understand that you can be influenced by what you see without copying.

So, I feel like I am taking flight again after a brief period sitting on the tarmac- I know- really bad metaphor but I have been writing since 6 am and I deserve a bad phrase now and then. It's exciting and I can not wait to get back to work tomorrow night.