Dan Thomas-Glass with Stephanie Young
Stephanie et. al.,,,
I live in Albany and take 880 down to the Dumbarton bridge every weekday to teach in Mountain View. My proposed project will consist of 88 pictures of the Oakland section of the freeway, taken on my daily commute between now and next May. These pics will be combined with an 88 line poem that takes its language from descriptions of the West Oakland developments and real estate projects which line the freeway. My interest is in examining intermediate spaces-- between language and experience, history and present, life and work, etc.-- both moving through and being situated within these spaces. The project is also something of an apology for my ecologically-irresponsible life decisions.
I don't need any funding or materials.
I'm going to attach a few of the pics that I've already taken. Links to published poems etc. are on my blog: http://danthomasglass.blogspot.com
Let me know if there's more info I can provide---
Thanks so much for your proposal. We would like very much to include this project at Deep Oakland.
We should talk a little bit about how you want the project presented; we could do a few things.
One option would be to create a project page that would appear here: http://www.deepoakland.org/project and which would show all the separate image records and the text in one location. This would also allow you to include some descriptive text about the project, maybe something about how and when the photos were taken, anything you'd like to say about it. (But the descriptive text obv. wouldn't be required.) In this scenario, the text of the poem would appear as a discrete item, as PDF on the 'text' page, and each individual photo would be a single record on the 'image' page. We'd use tags on the image and text pages so that someone could filter to view just the 880 photos. The records would also be available by neighborhood, in west oakland.
The other option would be to create a PDF chapbook that would include both the text of the poem and the images, putting them into one object/record together. The one thing I'm not sure about with this option is file size - the PDF might become too big/download really slowly if all the photos were in one PDF. It might also make the whole thing really, well, discrete, less threaded throgh the entire site.
I lean towards the first presentational option, but it's totally up to you. Maybe poke around the site and see what sort of mode you think would best suit the work and utilize the functionality of the site?
Also of interest is that we can add individual addresses to each image record; not entirely sure how this might be utilized on these - so interesting - how in the world would one determine the address of a view from the window of a car while driving on 880? I'm not sure but I can't stop thinking about if the address function could be at all useful or provocative in this case.
Thanks again for your proposal. I look forward to hearing from you,
Cool! I'm excited to put the project together, and so glad you'll have it at Deep Oakland.
As far as presentation goes, I very much prefer the first option. I think the project page is a great home for the work, and I like that it'll allow greater integration with the project of Deep Oakland as a whole, which really is the point. One question-- is there any way it would be possible to actually have the text visible on the project page, in the 'text' frame, in conjunction with its being available as a pdf download? Seems like it might be interesting to be able to see the poem alongside the rows of thumbnails. Not a huge deal, just a thought.
I love the address idea too-- would you be open to approximations? I can imagine an attempt to drive alongside the freeway to try and get close to some of the visible points in the photos, but they might not always be precise. I do find the idea of that approximation provocative-- the indeterminacy of space at those speeds, etc.-- but I don't know if the cognitive map of Deep Oakland wants absolutes.
Let me know what you think-- thanks again---
I'm glad the first presentation option sounds good to you.
In terms of how the text will be presented, I was going to point towards another project that has both image and text components, but just realized we don't have a project page yet that combines both. Unfortunately, the way the site is built, there's no way to have the text itself visible within the 'text' column - on project pages, text appears as a title/link, which then goes to a page where a PDF can be downloaded. I have some ideas about how to work around this. I'm wondering if you might want to provide the text both as a PDF but also as an image, or series of images. That is, we could create a PDF of the text, but also scan and present it as an image record. We haven't done this before, and depending on total length it might mean presenting the full text as several images. You could even decide to present it as a series of images - it the poem is going to be 88 total lines - there could be one image record for each line, or you could break it up however you wanted - 22 images of 4 lines each.. However you did it, the text would appear in both environments. Thoughts?
And, I'd be totally open to approximations for the addresses. Thus far I think the address function has been used by only a few projects, the east oakland churches and macarthur blvd. portraits. I don't think it's posible for the cognitive map to be absolute or comprehensive, and indeed wouldn't want it to be/try. Your investigation of indeterminacy at various speeds is super interesting.
I'm also thinking how this project could generate others; right now I could imagine a response piece which attempts to do a walk of the approximate addresses below / alongside the freeway following your approximate route and location of images. All sorts of speeds and approaches that could be attempted.
I'm about 95% done with the 880 project-- looking to have time late next week and early the following to get it into proper form. I'm looking toward a one-line-one-image approach-- 88 of each-- though somehow they aren't captions, or don't seem to me.
How should I go about getting it to you-- both in terms of delivery and format and whatnot? One big pdf? Images tagged to lines, or vice versa? Text as image too?
Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Hope you're well in this strange spring---
Writing from my work address where I finally started having the gmail stuff sent as I seem to be, alas, more productive when writing from ‘work’. So, I’ve been drafting emails to you and failing to finish them, everything gets so complicated thinking about how to present these intelligently, and how presentation decisions will impact mode of delivery.
So, I’m wondering if you’d like to present the materials more than one way.
The two options again:
- a PDF which would have the image / text pairs embedded, and this would appear on the general ‘text’ page, as a deep oakland literary object. This option has the benefit of being downloadable and printable.
- 80 separate image posts which would be separate records on the ‘image’ page. There’d be a tag (“880”?) at the top of the page, to cluster them together, and we could also generate a ‘project’ page for this, which would allow you to provide some framing text for the work (or not, it’s really up to you). In terms of individual image posts, the paired line could really go wherever you want – if you look at one of the images, you’ll see that there are two fields directly below the image: the italicized line (most often used as a date field) is the ‘caption’ and the larger text is the ‘title’. Do either of those seem like good places for the paired text? Just as an FYI, I’ve realized recently, working on another project, that the ‘title’ field is *required*, so do think about how you’d like to use it. Doesn’t have to be text. You could invert it so that the title field was a date or something else. You’re welcome to mess around with normative uses of the fields. And again, we could do something with the address field if you were interested in that. The one thing we don’t seem to have is an option to place text *above* the image. There is something called ‘description’ – I haven’t played around with it but I imagine it’s a place where we could add a larger block of text for each image if you wanted that.
Again, I think there is something great about presenting the work both ways. But it is totally up to you. One or the other, or both, and/or some other way I haven’t thought of.
I am thinking the best way to get the materials to me, however you go, is probably images tagged to lines – email should be fine, depending on file size. but also some sort of key showing any other material that corresponds with an image; addresses for instance. Perhaps number the images, so that we can use a shorthand as I’m posting things – I’ll probably have more questions once I begin that process.
If you want to do the PDF option, I could make it, or if you were up for generating it, I would not complain. The art-related advantage of your making the PDF is that you will know best how you want the work to appear. I know that it could be a fair amount of labor and we would be happy to pay you for this, I have you down as receiving a $50 honorarium in my budget, what if we bumped it up to $150? If you were up for doing this, you’d just need to make sure the front page of the PDF looked like the other “deep oakland literary objects”.
I’m out of town this weekend, back in on Monday. Really looking forward to the project.
Have been grateful for the june project you’re doing, in my other inbox-journal-life-frame,
Hello! I hope the Tangent reading last night was fun-- it sounds like it was a great lineup. I've published Dana in W+S, and I certainly admire your work... And Portland's a lovely setting. Good times all around.
So, I had already been working toward the pdf version, just for my own sense of cohering the incoherent. I'll attach that-- oh wait, I can't, it's huge, almost 300mb. Hmm. Ok, I'm going to send it to you through transferbigfiles.com-- I've used them before, without trouble. Keep an eye out for an email from them. No need to up any honorariums-- though I do appreciate the thought.
I'd like to do the second version too-- I'm wondering though how the logistics of sending you 88 pictures would work? Would it be possible to pull the pics/lines of the poem from the pdf? Let me know about that-- but I very much like the idea of exploding the constructedness of the literary object version.
I can't say how much I've enjoyed putting all this together-- seeing how the pics (presented chronologically) fell into lines of the poem (which I put together first, without the lines from the pics, as a initial step toward form) was fascinating. And some of the unexpected questions that emerged-- especially around speed and scale-- continue to give me a lot to think about. Thanks for giving me a reason to do the labor.
Let me know what's the next step!
All my best,,,
Portland was lovely – lots of backyard time, sitting in the sun w. friends, which felt like a huge treat.
Hope you’re getting some break time this summer..
So, I was easily able to download the PDF, which is great – am reading / thinking about it now – and will help me/us move forward in getting the materials posted online.
Mea culpa: I realized right away that I should have thought more clearly about file size limitations; 300 MB is way too big for our server. Oddly, we haven’t dealt with this before around PDFs, only video, so I had to query our internet folks. Turns out that 18 MB is the size limit for any one text or image record. I am wondering if/hoping there is a way for you to convert / re-size the image files that are already embedded in the PDF (i.e. without re-doing the work of the PDF.)
My guess is that we wouldn’t have any trouble uploading the individual image files at whatever size they currently are – anywhere under 18 MB per image should work. But you could also re-size them, since they don’t really have to be high res for internet presentation, which might make it easier to send them as attachments. Otherwise, could you use the service you used to FTP the PDF? Other option would be a CD by post. Or I could also meet you somewhere and drop them on a flash drive.
The good part is that I now have the basic ordering and pairing of image / text from the PDF you sent, and I can use that as my reference point. If it sounds good to you, I am going to use the page #s (using the first image/text pair as page 1) to refer to the images going forward. Does that seem like a good working shorthand?
Thanks for all this work! And very sorry for the not-thinking-ahead-clearly.
As soon as I sent you that beast of a file I had a little light bulb turn on my head-- kind of a 'wait, that's too huge' moment. My apologies-- totally my bad. Luckily a friend who's a graphic designer hooked me up me Acrobat professional. I went in looking to figure out how to make something smaller and there in the file menu found 'reduce file size,' which dropped it down to 4.5 megs (!). I love when there's just a button for the thing you want to have happen, and then you press it and it happens.
So I'll send it along, let me know if it works.
As far as the rest... The page # plan sounds good. Just let me know, whatever labor/changes/etc. need doing.
And summer's good, thanks-- lots of time with baby Sonia (she's 8 months now, or close), she's amazing and keeps me laughing. Have started summer teaching with the kids of East Oakland, out your direction (or Mills', I should say), at a program for 'economically disadvantaged' middle schoolers. That's fun work, mostly. And you know, sunshine, being outside, it's nice.
Thanks for all your work on this Stephanie-- I'm very excited.
All my best,,,
This file size totally worked; I’ve gone ahead and uploaded the PDF and started a ‘person’ page for you etc. – take a look.
The central question that came up for me was what area (neighborhood) to tag the work with; for now I’ve just used ‘pan oakland’ which is our catch-all for things that don’t easily fit into the neighborhood designations (which we foolishly created early on in the project, or rather, not foolishly, it’s just that they aren’t yet useful in the way I’d imagined them to be – for example, we can’t assign more than one neighborhood designation to a record, and in this case it would be interesting to select various ‘regions’ that are bisected by 880).
But then I was thinking I may be wrong and perhaps this should be designated ‘west oakland’ ? I’m not sure.
I’d love to get started w. posting the individual photoson the imagr page– can you try sending a set of images along, maybe the first 3-5, and we can find out if it will be viable to transfer those materials via email?
And, in the case of the individual images, would also be good to know what ‘neighborhood’ or area you’d like them each tagged with.
Finally, whenever you get a chance, please do send a bio and photo of yourself.
Feels like I may still be missing something, but this is a good place to start. It’s very exciting! I’m going to be sending around announcements of new work pretty soon, am waiting on a chapbook text from Javier Huerta, and then Charlie Legere is also finishing up an intermedia project, and we have some other photography and studio visit stuff. But will wait until we finalize all of these.
You know what, I realized that I never thanked you a million years ago for letting me know that our url had expired momentarily – eesh. I wasn’t watching paperwork stuff, and could have lost the address entirely if I hadn’t paid the bill quickly, so a big thanks.
What summer program are you teaching in? My partner teaches summer theater stuff at california shakespeare festival, and I’m always slightly envious of the outdoor rehearsals and warm-ups and general embodiment.
So, cool. My person page's photo placeholder even looks a little bit l do. I'll send pic and bio now.
The neighborhood thing is tricky. I think we're better with pan oakland if multiple areas aren't an option, since (though the loft language is primarily 'about' west oakland) the text and images really pan what's seeable from 880.
I'll send the pics in their large format selves. If you want the smaller versions let me know. Though now that I attach one they're really not very big-- something must've gone wonky when I first generated the pdf. I'm thinking what's best for these would be to have '880' as the title for all of them, and then the relevant text from the poem as the caption (the smaller italic part, yes?). So the big word people will see is '880', and then the caption will be hovering there as some strange in-between (intermediating!) data.
So the five captions for these photos would be:
for 0261: When the real estate market hands you
for 0262: The Stone Gallery Interest Rates
for 0265: unveiling ECONOMY
for 0268: their first live/work
for 0299: now is the time to become
and for neighborhoods with the photos... can we still do some address/intersection tags?:
0261: 66th at 880
0262: 600 50th Ave
0265: 750 High St
0268: 23rd at 880
0299: this one isn't right at a particular overpass/intersection. basically it's near Coliseum Way/Independent Road, out by the warehouses that are north of the coliseum.
Is that close enough? Or can you extrapolate neighborhoods from the addresses? Looking at the neighborhoods on the DO site I'm not sure I know the names of these particular places. Reverse-engineering the addresses with the help of google maps seems pretty easy though.
Ok, here's a bio:
Dan Thomas-Glass is the lead editor and spraypainter for With + Stand. He's a Berkeley native. His brother Gabe and his daughter Sonia were both born at Kaiser Oakland. He's writing a dissertation about cities, collectives, language poetry, and rap music in the 70s and 80s.
Pic of me's #0423--
You're welcome from a million years ago about the URL, of course-- I'm glad the note helped. You took care of it so quickly I thought maybe I'd just blinked wrong. And I'm teaching in Aim High-- teaching 8th and 9th grade 'language arts', in a kind of summer enrichment kind of environment. Not quite summer theater, but more fun than it could be. I'd be a bit jealous of your partner too!
I took a look at Charlie's piece there-- it's really lovely on initial reading. I'm excited to be putting up a piece in a summer with him and Jaiver and others--! Very cool.
Thanks for this--- I'm taking off for the weekend Friday morning, and I don't think I'll have internet, so if I'm delayed in any response, that's why.
All my best---
That all worked out super easily, only weirdness I’m encountering is that the ‘caption’ field doesn’t register the, uh, how do you say: reverse backslashes? Or rather I think it over-registers them as code or something. I have a query in w. internet co and will hopefully get that resolved. Otherwise, again, take a look and let me know what you think.
If all looks well, why don’t you go ahead and send more images along, as you have time, w. whatever addresses you have (alas and embarrassingly, I will need to do some sussing out around the neighborhood distinctions; for right now I’m just labelling all of them as ‘west’ but will work to make those more specific. Am so glad you are including address / intersection information.)
I am such a fan of the self photo/representation in glass…
Also, hopeless fan of the last pg. of the project. And which was also making me think, what do you think of including that image as the ‘author’ photo for aaron sachs? I’d love to make a ‘project’ page for 880, so that readers can see together / access the two possible presentation modes, and associating the image as a ‘person’ associated with the project would be one more way of dispersing relations-images through the – is medium the word I want to use? I think so?
Have a great weekend away,
It's looking great so far. I'm very excited. Thank you so much for all your labor on this Stephanie-- there's a lot to it, and I really appreciate it.
I think Aaron would be into having an author photo connected to the project. He's just starting a new media/communication professorship at St. Mary's, so intermediation is his thing. And I'm sure he'd be down with the photo. And should maybe then, keeping with that, I take as my author photo, rather than the one I sent (it's taken in the window of Kaiser, me and baby Sonia-- 2 days old-- the ghosts in the reflection) use the one from page ummm.... 80? The one with just my arm?
Would also love to have a project page for the whole thing-- which makes me think, should I also send just the text, as a 'third' (or, like 90th?) way of accessing the whole deal? I'll do that, you can think on it.
Ok, I might get to sending images tonight-- depends on sleeping babies. If I do, I'll just send them in batches of five, like the last, with captions and addresses. If not, next week.
Thanks again Stephanie-- have a great weekend---
All my best,,,
Hey Dan.. if you have a moment, let me know what you think of this option. (re: the slashes not showing up)
From: Ian Silber
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 1:55 PM
To: Stephanie Young
Subject: Re: another deep oakland question...
If you use forward slashes (///) it will work. Is that an acceptable solution?
On Jul 2, 2009, at 12:08 PM, Stephanie Young wrote:
I’m uploading some individual image files right now, and there is accompanying text the artist wants to use in the ‘caption’ field. Some of this text has three slash marks in it, i.e. like this:
The Stone Gallery Interest Rates
When I enter those slash marks in the caption field, they’re not showing up on the actual page, i.e.:
Can you help? Is there any way to get all three backslashes to show, and not somehow register as code or HTML? It seems like the back end of the site is ‘reading’ it as code.
Thanks for all your help this week,
Not to be an annoyingly picky poet, but forward slashes won't work-- there are some syntactically appropriate forward slashes in the text and I don't want these as visual objects to be making anything like the same move-- or get lost in that confusion.
What about a trio of this symbol?:
As though the straight lines get bent in the movement of the text as a whole-- straight alone, bent collected-- and literally a 'shift' away from the original sign-- they themselves becoming signs of the inter- of this intermedia project, little dialectics....?
More soon on the other email---
Yeah, I didn’t think the forward slashes worked either, but thought it was worth checking in.
I tried the trio, both w.o. spaces and with – I think that w.o. spaces works best (as you have it in your email). I love the idea of the straight lines getting bent “in the movement of the text as a whole”. They also graphically point towards fencing, fences, borders, boundaries, edges.
Take a look at one and let me know what you think:
Looks rad, that's a yes.
Good all around. If you don’t mind checking in with him and getting a bio, I can go ahead and put together a person page for him.
I’m totally torn on your photo – there’s something so great about the one of your arm. B.c. it’s not just your arm, it’s your arm attached to the iphone. Seems more complicated. But then, like I said, I’m a sucker for portraits-in-reflective-surfaces, and now love the first photo even more, knowing the context, and that Sonia appears there. All that said I’m leaning towards the symmetry of using photos from the project for both you and Aaron.
And, again, like the 91st (!) way the materials get dispersed and re-presented on the site. ? (since associated ‘people’ show up on the project page, photos and all.)
But I could go either way. Totally up to you.
And also really like the text-only version being available, although it raises some more questions – do you want both PDFs availale from the same page? If so, what sort of language / context seems best? I was thinking something like:
For Dan Thomas-Glass's 880 (full text and images), please click here.
For text-only version, please click here.
Does that seem right?
Lastly, do give some thought to text for the project page; I haven’t built it yet, but there is space to add a description. My thought was that you might want to use the text from the first page of the PDF (“photographs taken on daily commute; text taken from photographs & West Oakland loft real estate websites”) but that might be too full-frontal or.. pragmatic .. none of these are exactly the right words. It might also be used as another location to re-present materials from the project. Or if you wanted to write a brief intro. Or nothing at all.
You can see people/projects have used that description space quite differently:
and et cetera..
OK, thanks again! We’re getting close now. I got the other image files, probably will get those uploaded tomorrow morning.
Ok, cool. In order:
1) Checking with Aaron. Bio will be forthcoming.
2) I think we go with the arm/from the project photo. I dig the other photo too-- the depth of the different windows with those weird Kaiser 'lanais' as a second layer makes for a cool awayness of the selves-- but I like even more the coherence (/incoherence) of using the shot from the project, and the foregrounding of materials of that particular pic.
3) The text for the full text pic/text only looks good. I'm mildly wary about it all of a sudden-- is offering the text on its own somehow not being true to the intermediation of the whole enterprise? But I think it's still ok-- in the awkwardness of the caption/not caption allusiveness. So yes, that looks good.
4) For the project page:
An examination of Interstate 880 as an intermediate space: between language and experience, history and present, dislocation and locatedness, as well as literally between media. Multiple speeds register; materials included iPhone camera, globalization, real estate developers, financial crisis, Google maps, and daily commute.
5) More pics soon--- thanks so much for all your work Stephanie---
Bio for Aaron:
Aaron Sachs is a newly minted PhD and Assistant Professor of Media, Technologies, and Culture at Saint Mary's College. Born and raised in Oakland and Berkeley, he's returned to the Bay Area after an extended stay in the midwest. In addition to Aaron's academic work on culture, media, race, gender, sexuality, and hip-hop, he is a non-fiction writer and intermedia artist.
Google mapping as we speak...
Dan! Thank you so much for all the google mapping, which I’m now beginning to snap into place(s) over at Deep Oakland. I can’t wait to see the ways these 80 images are going to shift the entire image / randomized spread page.
So I’ve put together the project page, and am foreseeing that I will have just a few more questions for you as I upload various pieces of the project – forgive me if we decided on some of these things but I’m bumping up, again, against the limits of the DO site as it was designed (and a dearth of new funds for re-design).
Big problem I’m seeing today is that we can’t assign more than one “person” or “author” to a piece of content. So, for the individual photo entries, I don’t have a way of affiliating Aaron. He’s affiliated w. the project as a whole, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to add him to the individual image records. And I hate to use any of the spaces for description, as that text is larger than the caption space we’re using for your text.
One thing I was thinking was that I could make a collaborative person page: Dan Thomas Glass and Aaron Sachs.
Or I could leave you as the affiliated person for the text only, and Aaron for the images.
Or I could not affiliate Aaron with any individual piece of content. (how it is now)
Do you have an opinion on any of these things?
I’ve got to check in w. Charlie, I’d heard a bit about a release party, which would be great – I have a few or a lot more people who are completing projects this month, and would really love to do something that would include a little bit from everyone, but also don’t want to rain on his idea of an event around his particular project.
Glad your other work is done for the summer, and that you get a little bit of a break! Got the with + stand announcement, very exciting. I am going to get it together to participate this time.
Cool Stephanie. Very cool.
The project page looks rad. How exciting. Seeing it all in the intermeshing of that page-- or what's up there so far-- is quite thrilling.
As far as Aaron goes-- I actually like the idea of his connection being dematerialized, how it is now, without individual pieces of content being tied to him. That's a pretty accurate description of how it went-- his role in the project was driving and talking, and neither of those was explicitly or specifically productive of any of these objects, but rather of the project as a whole. I like that he's only present in the project as a whole, and I think he'd like that too. Makes sense.
And last, very very glad to hear that you're going to be part of W+S. I have a good feeling about this issue; I think it's going to be pretty incredible. Hopefully it will do justice to LR's work.
Ok, let me know if you need more from me! Thanks again, a million times over, for all the labor you're putting into this. It's much appreciated.
All my best,,,
Hi Dan! I’m super excited, b.c. so far as I can tell the project is completely uploaded. Take a look and let me know if there are any glaring errors – the only thing I still need to do is crop / re-size your and Aaron’s ‘people’ photos (we try to keep all the people photos square).
I uploaded the text only version to the main text page. Let me know what you think – does that look right, or do you want me to do it on a separate page?
Totally agree re: Aaron – I think I got confused for a second when I saw his bio, and thought he took some of the photos.
I am having a lot of ‘favorite’ pairings right now. the shot w. ferris wheel, and “large wave of development”. Also the paired text w. the photo of you/r iphone – built during WWI and WWII..
Anyways, this project does so much useful work and I feel like is finally utilizing some of the texture of the site as we imagined in the planning stages so again, thanks!
Happy Monday Stephanie,,,
Looks AWESOME. Text only looks good, the whole thing just looks great. How strange and exciting to see it in all its myriad forms. I love how when you click one discreet part-- one of the photos, say-- it takes you to a page that gives a completely different view of the whole thing... And that lost list of images titled 880 is just freaky and cool. I completely agree that the site and the project work in conjunction-- so many of the decisions we made about the project based on the site have extended it in such thoughtful and positive ways, and extended my thinking about it too. Thanks for all of that. I couldn't be happier about it. I'm glad it's exciting for you as well.
Take good care-- and thank you so much, again---
So glad to hear it!!
Me too, love that long list of images titled 880. It’s very much, uh, like a freeway. Specific and monolithic and abstract.
This project has been totally satisfying to work on, so thank *you* - will be announcing it in various places soon!