My latest residency project with Noosa Library Service.
The overall goal was to get multiple artists, starting with me, to recreate their favourite places in Noosa, purely from memory. Each artist will create the location within Virtual Reality, using an application called Tilt Brush, from Google.
Once the places were all created, the goal is to incorporate all of them into a single read-only VR environment, which will have its default state as a 3D topographical map of Noosa.
There’s always that part in the zombie film, where some idiot lets the zombies in by getting too close to the barricade, getting bitten, turning, and then suddenly the infection is inside the former stronghold.
That’s what things feel like now. Someone’s lifting up the edge of the dome – people outside the dome are there with their crowbars, lifting and prying, you hear parties in neighbouring apartment complexes, large groups loud and drunk, and so you hunker down, and wait for the second wave.
While hunkered down, I’ve been working on an arts grant, and spending vastly too much time arguing with strangers on internet forums.
Life drifts under the dome, days become weeks, weeks become months, every Sunday I look at my calendar, and realise how much more time has gone by.
This week was spent with construction noise, as the roof of the building I live in has a solar array installed. Future moment.
The singular task this week has been moving my photo library to a new drive, and new format. It’s been a slog – especially dealing with images from iOS devices, which randomly fail to include EXIF data in the files, AND don’t let you assign an image naming schema – so you’ll hae files called “IMG_1234.jpg” but no way to know for certain which device make it – an iPhone, somone else’s iPhone, an iPad – there’s no way to tell the images apart.
A lot of the detective work required looking at the filename, then looking for files with similar numbers, then inferring the dates they were shot – in one case trying to find out if there was a particular nightclub during a particular weekend in 2001.
A bunch of medical appointments, and continuing to bounce back and forth between trying to model up a cart for my welders and gas cylinder, and migrating my photo library to a new organisational structure, in preparation for adopting Capture One.
Gotta say, the more time I spend in Capture One, while it feels at times a bit less Mac-y, a bit more like a UNIX X-Windows app, it does feel nicer in some respects. Maybe it’s just a feeling of security that I’m moving a big part of my creative process out of a macOS-only app, and into one that’s cross-platform, or maybe it’s that catharsis of doing some careful manual organisation, but it’s a good feeling.
A bit of the week was taken up with dicking around trying to buy a new hard drive to store all my photos. It’s a multistage process – first I have to move the files out of Aperture’s library, then fix the fact that it gets the folder structure wrong by putting things in folders with the wrong date, but once it’s all sorted, it will be a thing of beauty, and able to be adapted to any photo DAM app I want to use in the future.
I bit the bullet and bought Capture One, then most of the week was spent on trying to figure out the workflow to replace Aperture.
It’s a difficult process.
In Aperture, I had a simple workflow that worked the same way for all cameras, iOS devices etc:
Sync out to iOS device with iTunes.
Unfortunately Cpture One can’t import from iOS devices directly, and the tool that is included in macOS as a part of Image Capture – AutoImporter, which is supposed to be able to slurp all images from the iOS Camera Roll whenever the device is connected, is broken as of iOS 10 and doesn’t do anything.
New power supply for the welder was installed this week. I now have twin 15, and twin 10 amp plugs in my carport, so I can power up both my welders at the same time (or a welder and the air compressor for plasma cutting), which should let me switch back and forth between them without a powerdown cycle on either.
I also finally unpacked and assembled the air compressor.
The other thing I’ve been fooling around with this week, is Capture One Pro, as a replacement for Aperture, my current photography software.
Switching to it is going to require a pretty big change to my image storing and management setups, disentangling my iOS and DSLR images etc, BUT the quality of results it produces, are pretty spectacular. What’s especially interesting about it is how it automates a lot of tasks that are VERY fiddly and manual in my current software.
Here’s an out-of-camers, vs quick adjustment comparison. What’s remarkable is a function that removes white haloing around the edges of high contrast, which has bedevilled me in a lot of shots when trying to recover blown out skies etc.
Life continues under the dome – we adapt to the new normal. Hopefully the electrician will return to work soon, and I can get my power supply hooked up.
The big distraction of the past week (because distractions are that, of which we have become masters) was switching cellphone providers – after 16 years plus with one company, they changed a billing policy just enough to annoy me, so away I go.
The week closed with the loss of mathematician John Conway, creator of the Game of Life.
Nothing happens, under the dome. As civic life grinds to a halt, while we cower in our homes, we drift, hungry for direction.
I’ve come to a decision that’s been building for a while now – I’m going to pull my books from the Apple Books store. Or rather, I’m going to redevelop them in multiple formats, to be able to be sold directly, and viewed in user-selectable applications.
The why of this comes down to Apple having broken the functionality I rely upon for all the stuff I find interesting, with the transition from iBooks to Apple Books. With the things I want to do no longer doable, and the limitations of Apple Books being an Apple-device-only platform, there just isn’t any good reason for me to keep my books within an ecosystem that seems to be going nowhere good, or to keep making the investment in Apple’s book store, which takes 30% of the coverprice, and for which there’s no actual developer support available when you encounter what appears to be a problem with the app itself.
So, I’m going to go more independent. The plan is to go DRM-Free and sell through Fastspring, in multiple formats – the current fixed-layout EPUB, as well as CBZ and PDF.
I’ll lose some of the cool features I’d wanted, but given I’m losing them already, that’s already a conceded issue.
Coronavirus continues to eat the world. Had my first interaction with a store for ~2 weeks. They’re limiting customers, wearing masks, but not disinfecting their hands between handling objects customers have given them.
We use better infection control, in non-pandemic times, with the VR systems at the Makerspace.
I put the deposit through on the power system upgrade at home, however on Sunday evening we heard that the electrician is postponing the install for a minimum two weeks, which is annoying as hell.