Thursday, September 27, 2007

Better Explained Intentions..

This is an email that I wrote to Ed Keller to tie everything together. I've been meaning to write this in the blog so I am going to just copy and paste.

Hello ed,
i wanted to give you more preface on what I'm doing. I haven't gotten every everything on the blog. I am profiling these 4 things to find the overlaps and unorthodox relationships through juxtaposition.
(placed in order of scale)
1.Homeless Persons
2. Glory Holes
3. Bread Tabs
4. Fruit

Each already have profiling systems that are imposed on them. The Homeless classifications are posted on my site, the glory holes are being collected by myself(ill describe my methods), the Bread tabs also have a system found at which is posted on the blog, and the fruit have the nutritional contents that are derived from their chemical make up.

All three have points of travel and anonymity. The homeless are separates from society, the glory hole separates the organ from the body, bread tabs become "homeless" after their purpose of closure is complete, they be come noise or litter in society. The fruit suffer from diaspora, as some oranges from california sit next to others from New Zealand at the Grocery store. Those fruit are "in" the system while the fallen fruit are not.

For collecting info on the glory holes,
I have created an alternate personality for myself. (no real name is picked yet) but *******@*****.com is a 23 year old bi male, with more details if necessary.
I have been baiting people on craigslist and also this to find out the location of these phenomena.

So where am I going with all of this...

Right now other than still collecting info and collaborators, I am trying to decide what medium to use for displaying all of this. I am working on a prototype for the fruit website, connecting the fruit by nutrients then location

the homeless and the bread tabs and glory holes are in the process of being mapped via
those have links to the blog.

i see all of this coming together in an amores perros fashion. the non connected interlaced in a narrative or something on those lines.

This led to long informative skype discussion. It was great. So more to come.

PLEASE IF YOU FIND ANY BREAD TABS or BREAD CLIP or what ever, please tell me where you found them and if you could take a photo of it. Thank you!

Monday, September 24, 2007

I See You....

Where are they? What are they? Where did they come from? What are they made of? Why am I talking about this?


What started as an occasional appearance, turn into my friend Margot's obsession. That obsession found its way into some of
her friends. I was one of the victims. Though I have only collected them to send to her, I have wondered of their existence.

While looking in to Taxonomies and Profiling, I came across
the Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group. And after thinking about it, they have a closer parallel strings to the other topic I am perusing. These unnameable creatures are a product of industrial society. Where would be we with out bread tabs? Our bread would get moldy, our orange would roll away, our potatoes would have sewn bags, etc. There purpose other than bread tabs are hard to explain. Even for their purpose holding bread bags closed, bread tabs (I know this is blasphemy but) were not completely necessary for society to evolve.

Another site calls them transactoid has a collection of 1000 or so. This is from around 2000 so who knows how much he has now. This is what it is on the site. The site is hard to read:

The bread tag collection process is a long and complex procedure. This explains the seemingly outdated bread tag collection count. The bread tags are harvested quickly from all new incoming bags of milk, orange juice and/or bread. Upon initially discovering the presence of a new bread tag, the bread tag is removed and placed into the Bread Tag Collection Receptacle, or, the BTCR; otherwise known as my pocket. This continues on an on-going basis

the duration of the day. At the end of the day, any bread tags that have accumulated in the BTCR are extracted and assembled onto the Bread Tag Temporary Storage Unit, or BTTSU as we like to call it. The BTTSU provides the means necessary for the bread tags to grow to critical mass. A picture of the BTTSU can be seen below:

Once the bread tags have managed to reach critical mass, they are removed from the BTTSU and placed into the BTCD. This, the Bread Tag Containment Device, safely stores the bread tags for an indefinite amount of time. It is a metallic, cylindrical container capable of withstanding massive impact forces such as dropping it on the floor from several feet or hitting it with an inflatable mallet.

]\Bread Tag Species
]Bread tags are identified primarly by the number of pincers located in the bag containment center. There are subspecies which have varying numbers of gripping pieces. The basic parts of a bread tag can be seen below:


Species Characteristics Population Notes
  • Contains 3 pincers in the bag containment centre.
  • Subspecies I contains no gripping pieces.
  • Subspecies II contains gripping pieces.
  • Of the 7.1% of subspecies I, 100% are white.
  • Of the 22.9% of subspecies II, 93.8% are coloured.
  • This represents the largest proportion of coloured bread tags.
  • There exists a very rare white variety of subspecies II. This particular bread tag has only been observed once (top left), comprising merely 1.4% of the bread tag population.
  • Contains no pincers in the bag containment centre.
  • Subspecies II contains gripping pieces.
  • Subspecies I contains no gripping pieces.
  • All 2.9% of subspecies II are of the coloured variety.
  • All 2.9% of subspecies I are of the white variety.
  • Research shows that both subspecies I & II exist in equal proportions.
  • Contains one one pincer in the bag containment centre.
  • Has no gripping pieces.
  • Makes up 7.1% of the bread tag population.
  • They are all white; no colour variation has ever been observed.
  • Contains 2 pincers in the bag containment centre.
  • Features gripping pieces on the outside.
  • These make up 57.1% of the bread tag population.
  • 15% are of the coloured variety.
  • 85% are of the white variety.

Bread Tag Terminology

Bread Tag - A small piece of plastic varying in dimension used for keeping bags closed. They feature two pressure tabs used to hold close the bag, and small gripping pieces to assist in easy tag removal.

BTCD - BTCD stands for Bread Tag Containment Device. The BTCD is used to isolote the bread tags for an indeffinite amount of time.

BTCR - BTCR stands for Bread Tag Collection Receptacle. This is simply a holding spot for the bread tags, and is nothing more than a fancy term for a pocket.

BTTSU - The Bread Tag Temporary Storage Unit is a large clip that holds the bread tags until they reach critical mass. It acts as a transition zone between the BTCR and the BTCD.]=

]Bt/D - Bread Tags per Day. This is the unit of measurement used to indicate the rate of bread tag accumulation. A rate of 1 Bt/D indicates an increase of 1 bread tag over a period of a single day.]

Critical Mass - The critical mass is the point at which any further buildup of bread tags in the BTTSU would result in a catostrophic failure of the BTTSU, and result in dozens of bread tags scattered across the floor. This point has never been reached, and hopefully it never will be.]

KBt/D - Kilobread Tags per Day. This represents a buildup of 1000 bread tags per day. Such a rate would inevitably cause a deadly, irreversible chain reaction in the BTTSU resulting in massive death and widespread damage.

One might think bread tabs don't exist because they are not on
wikipedia. (Also wikipedia is listed as misspelled on this spell checker.) They are listed as bread clips or bread tags.
The bread clip was invented by Floyd Paxton in the 1950s and manufactured by the Kwik Lok Corporation based in Yakima, Washington with manufacturing plants in Yakima and New Haven, Indiana.

Please check on the side of the blog for more websites and info for the bread tabs/tags/clips.
But please, don't eat them!

Friday, September 21, 2007

And they keep knocking harder.

I want to get into this site that I just found but I really don't have the energy and I want to continue diagramming.
They even quote Deleuze! This is an awesome article and we will discuss tomorrow/later today.

One Last thing,,,

Well, what do you think about this guy?

and Thanks Keith Haring.

Service Provision Areas, let's hunt me some homeless...

So they've got tracking homeless down to an equation. Through Service Provision Areas (SPA), the department of statistics of UCLA found that in the County of Los Angeles tracked that there were 64,000 homeless people in 2005.
I have to throw drug use into the mix also for the homeless population. There are a ton of studies so now I need to start narrowing it down from them.

Back to Glory holes(ps that link is pornographic), I've started mapping what I could. Here are some places, feel free to augment. Most of the glory holes that I have been mapping so far have been gay ones, the link I found has led me to interacial heterosexual glory hole-ing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

loss of identiy and edge conditions?

I have stumbled across a preexisting way that homeless are categorized or at least identified.
This is what it means to be Homelesss In Los Angeles:
(notice this is strait off the website...)

Homeless Definitions

Chronic Homelessness - An unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more or has had at least four (4) episodes of homelessness in the past three (3) years.

Homeless - A person is considered homeless only when he/she resides in one of the places described below:

  • In places not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings (on the street).
  • In an emergency shelter.
  • In transitional or supportive housing for homeless persons who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters.
  • In any of the above places but is spending a short time (up to 30 consecutive days) in a hospital or other institution.
  • Is being evicted within a week from a private dwelling unit and no subsequent residence has been identified and the person lacks the resources and support networks needed to obtain housing.
  • Is being discharged within a week from an institution, such as a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility or a jail/prison, in which the person has been a resident for more than 30 consecutive days and no subsequent residence has been identified and the person lacks the resources and support networks needed to obtain housing.
  • Is fleeing a domestic violence housing situation and no subsequent residence has been identified and the person lacks the resources and support networks needed to obtain housing.

Sub-Population Definitions

General Groups:

Family - Family is defined as any of the following: Minor parents with child(ren); one or more adults with legal custody of minor child(ren); a couple in which one person is pregnant; grandparents or others who are legal guardians with child(ren) present; multi-generational families with grandparents, parents (adult child) and minor child(ren).

Individual - A person over age 18, not accompanied by minor child(ren).

Specific Groups:

Domestic Violence, Families - Families that are homeless due to an abusive partner. The abuse could be physical, mental, or emotional. The cause of the family homelessness or housing instability must be related to domestic violence.

Domestic Violence, Individuals - Individuals who became homeless because of an abusive partner. The abuse could be physical, mental, or emotional.

Dually Diagnosed, Individuals
- Individuals who are substantially limited in one or more major life activity by mental illness and alcohol or drug addiction. Persons with other diagnoses qualify under multiple diagnoses.

Elderly Homeless - An elderly homeless individual is 62 years old or older.

Homeless Emancipated Foster Youth - Young adults who have reached majority age (18 years), were in the foster care system and who now have no other home.

Homeless Veterans - An eligible Veteran is defined as one who: (1) served on active duty in the US armed forces for more than 160 days and was discharged with other than a dishonorable discharge; (2) was discharged or released from active duty because of a service connected disability; or (3) served on active duty during a period of war, or in a campaign or expedition to which a campaign badge is authorized.

Individuals with Disabilities - A person has a disability if she or he has at least one of the following: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.

Individuals with multiple diagnoses - Individuals whose ability to live independently is impaired by two or more of the following conditions: Physical disability (including HIV/AIDS), mental disability, substance abuse. This may include a diagnosis of multiple physical disabilities, multiple mental disabilities, or the combination of the two.

Mentally Ill, Families - Families in which at least one member is substantially limited in one or more major life activity by mental illness, based on confirmed clinical diagnosis, or initially by referral or staff assessment and later confirmed by clinical diagnosis.

Mentally Ill, Individuals - Individuals substantially limited in one or more major life activity by mental illness, based on confirmed clinical diagnosis, or initially by referral or staff assessment and later confirmed by clinical diagnosis.

Substance Abuse, Individuals - Individuals who have acknowledged addiction problems related to alcohol and drug use and who seek services or housing to support their sobriety.

Youth, 12-24 - Unaccompanied persons, age 12 to 24. Youth may have run away or were forced out of their home and are not in the company of a parent or guardian, and who may or may not be legally emancipated.

I am also looking for other ways to profile homeless person but this is quite thorough.

And if any ones knows where to find a glory hole please tell me. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Every town needs a fucking wall...

Ya(y) for throwing more information into my lap. So I've been on a frizzie hair hunt looking for info on fruit and their energy input/out put. I unfortunately don't have funky diagrams yet but I do have tons of points of view and websites to back them up.

1. Emailed the gentlemen who started the Falling Fruit. Haven't heard back from them. One of their emails bounced. This interactive mapping system of the fruits in the area is quite nice. The program, platial the people's atlas, allows people to coll
aboratively map what ever they want to. Also, to make a map one has to create a profile and then can "friend" other map makers. Sound familiar? Social interactions through making marks. Another tid bit about this program is that you can have it map your friendster and facebook friends. On facebook, it maps your photo albums. Not too different from what flickr does.

2. It's a la mode to eat and shop locally, especially for food. Now what about organic and certified organic farms? Doesn't it take more energy to ship the organic apples from some New York farm to Southern California while there are apples being grown h
ere?How does this attribute to our personal carbon footprints?

This profiling exercise has brought me to this point. Starting out with nutrition, I have expanded to the energies that they take to produce Books like
Eat Here by Brian Halweil explains this in a friendly fashion. In the book he explains that the current system trades labor costs for transportation costs. Find cheap labor on a huge, highly mechanized farm in Mexico and then pay to move the harvest a few thousand miles. He introduces the statistic that people 10% of the calories from eating the food from the total amount of calories required to move the food. A waste of energy?

(Sidenote- I can't help but think about an anecdote Ed Keller brought up in studio that first week of class. If you are reading this Ed please correct it. He was saying how there are Mexican migrant workers that come and work at an onion farm not far from where he resides. The workers receive small pay but double of what they would in Mexico. They move from farm to farm with the seasons. Whose taking more energy? The workers or the food in transportation...?)

Sustainable Table goes into some detail on how the carbon footprint and the food miles start to come into play. The site also has some in depth links to further information:

Because industrial farming draws on the economy of scale, our food is increasingly grown in concentration in specific areas of the country. This is so common that it has shaped much of our country’s geographic identities—the western Plains are wheat country, the Midwest is the Corn Belt—but it has reached extremes. For instance, approximately ninety percent of all the fresh vegetables consumed in the United States are grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley.xix

This national-scale system is possible only because it uses large quantities of fossil fuels to transport food products to the consumer. It is now common practice to ship food not just around the country, but around the world. (In 2005, more than $120 billion of agricultural products crossed U.S. borders as imports and exports.)xx As a result, the average American foodstuff travels an estimated 1,500 miles before being consumed.xxi

Another article, Eating Oil by Andy Jones gets into the energy usage versus the food intake. He uses an energy ratio as an indicator of the unsustainability of the contemporary food system. The ratio of energy is the the energy content of a food product (calories) outputs to the energy inputs. The inputs are all the energy consumed in producing, processing, packaging and distributing that product. The energy ratio (energy out/energy in) in agriculture has decreased from being close to 100 for traditional pre-industrial societies to less than 1 for most of the food products supplied to consumers in industrialised countries, as energy inputs, mainly in the form of fossil fuels, have gradually increased. In the modern high input fruit and vegetable cultivation, the output/ input ratio is between 2 and 0.1. That's one calorie of food energy output requires up to ten calories of energy input.

He continues and suggests three ways to start towards a better system:
a) Voluntary approaches by farmers, the food industry and consumers
b) Increases in environmental taxes
c) Policy and fiscal support for local foods

My personal favorite is the last.

Where was I running with all of this information?
The plan was to make a website/diagram that people could sift through going from fruit/nutrient and shared qualities between them. From there, there would be a connection to a layer of location. This could be attached to a participatory mapping of local farms or Fallen Fruit. People who are growing fruits, lettuce and etc might have a bit and may be some extra and people could by or sell their homegrown. This mapping would also include grocery stores and the fruits they provide for consumer.

See Sketch.

Just to throw this out there, I also found a study about food miles that did not shun food from afar.
Dr Andrea Collins from the Brass waste and resources research center at Cardiff University and Dr Ruth Fairchild, a nutritional analyst at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, say that the food miles concept is too simplistic. Their recent research into the environmental impact of food points towards a more efficient system of "ecological footprint" analysis, measuring a food's impact in "global hectares", the notional land area needed to provide the resources to produce it. The research concluded that only around 2% of the environmental impact of food comes from transporting it from farm to shop on average.

"Our study was to investigate how much impact our food consumption has," says Fairchild. "Most people would be quite surprised that the biggest environmental impact of food is not because of food miles, but because of the processing it goes through."

The research devised three eco-diets. Presented on a sliding scale they only allowed foods with a footprint of less than 0.006 global hectares per kilogramme in the first diet, then 0.004 in the second and finally 0.002. The researchers looked at the footprint of an organic diet versus a non-organic diet and found that switching to organic brought a 22.9% reduction in the food footprint. However, they said these findings were offset somewhat by the 31.2% increase in cost to the consumer. These studies were mainly based on the UK system and economy yet I feel they are quite applicable to the US.

3. Get to the sex already...

So after a discussion with Gregory Thorpe on the whole profiling the fruit and their nutrition, I realized theres a lot more to dig up.
He asked me to review all the other profiles I was looking at and take a step back. Look at the other ones listed below( IE. homeless/signs /restaurants) and find a way to profile them also. By profiling all of these seemingly non congruent topics, a discovery through their juxtaposition of similarities may and can expose itself. Using this method of "mashing up" objects or profile typologies, other situations can come about, possibly even in Jerusalem. Ultimately, we are going to be focusing on the Just Jerusalem competition that MIT is circusing. I will add more to this later. There is a lot of info on it that I have been collecting also. This is when I said "yes I feel this is the method that could lead to some resolution and not just sticking a fucking wall down, unless it is a fucking wall." One track mind ladies and gents. One track mind.

To continue on the fucking wall, Glory Holes have made it into my typologies/profiles that I will be collecting. If you have any hot tip on where I can find these. I wonder if that is a map on Google some where. Hot date at the glory hole, whose (going) down?

Think about it, a wall that could tear a city apart or make them closer than one would normally think...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

fruit files and persuations.

For studio, we are looking at different profiles. Profiles types that I was looking at originally were:

1.Homeless people (a great possibly and something that I am interested in as a subculture) Homeless people live in other spaces and among the existing infrastructures. Through technological advancements, society can move towards a more nomadic lifestyle via gadgets and gizmos, surviving and plugging in here and there. (Insert a dreamscape of Archigram). So where will the homeless population, these current nomads, find themselves then? What can we learn from the wanderer's ways?

2. signs of LA, specifically how they work, material in conjunction with purpose, how are Korean restaurant signs different than liquor/"girls,girls,girls" signs?, etc. Looking at the intent and who they are attracting...

3. observation of a specific place and those who interact with it over a set amount of time. The place is/was the Brite Spot in Echo Park since they are open from 6am to 4am, the e
volution of the place and inhabitants through time and there mannerisms change drastically while the function is constant. I went and did observations this past weekend at different times. I did not make it to the 4am closing time though., specifically raw foods, looking at the nutrients and taste(chemicals) and then categorizing them or clumping them with shared traits and benefits. On a personal note, I have been recently interested in the combination of flavors and how recipes are put together. The original intent could have led to a mix and match "make" book where people could start to formulate different combinations of sweet/salty/sour/savory/bitter.

So I've decided to continue with the food and roll with it. It seems basic but it has been expanding in many different aspects and situations.

Nutritional values are existing ways of judging fruit for calories, vitamin, and mineral content. When you buy fruit in the grocery store, those values are not typically advertised unlike processed food. What if that was given to you when you brought the food items? Ways of scanning not just your prices but your total calories you are purchasing? Maybe not just the amount of calories you are digesting but what it it was the amount of energy it took for that piece of fruit to get to you?

A project by
Matias Viegener, David Burns, and Austin Young from the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest is the Fallen Fruit: A Mapping of Food Resources in Los Angeles. They mapped the "public" fruit in their own neighborhood of Silver Lake.

Free food is available at every time of the year on the streets of Los Angeles. According to the law, if a fruit tree grows on or over public property, the fruit is no longer the sole property of the owner. Fruit trees in particular are highly decorative, and often demand no greater care than any other landscape ornamental. Los Angeles is particularly rich in this respect: bananas, peaches, avocados, lemons, oranges, limes, kumquats, loquats, apples, plums, passion fruit, walnuts, pomegranates and guavas, just to name a few, grow year round in every neighborhood in the city. These fruits ripen at different seasons, so free food is available year round in Los Angeles."

That's a lot of nourishment for low (no) costs. City Planning could start to integrate fruit street trees into their master plan. *This has effects on the first profile list I was looking at, the urban nomads.*

Also, looking at the fruits not just for nourishment, but also for medical/environmental benefits. Apples,(yes they keep the doctor away), have natural UV-B protective quercitin glycosides in their own sun-exposed skin. This antioxidant flavoniod could be planted in climates where the suns rays are more harsh.

The fruits also can be categorized by products they can be processed into. I am not talking about fruit juice and wine here. I am talking about PLASTIC! While at the Wired Next Fest,
I came across the Novomer plastics. They make plastic from limonene, which is found in orange rind.

Now to make some spiffy diagrams...

and it was good....

I am starting this back up again for more professional reasons versus what I had going on in blog land before. This is not a travel journey book. This is not a daily revelation capacitor. It is more of a documentation of the "makings" and it's process while I am in the mediascapes program. Who knows where we will go from here.

please reply with any suggestions or aids/links.