Monday, February 1, 2016

Digital Means Digital

I've said it before here - I don't take "digital art" seriously at all. As a Stuckist and Remodernist, I'm all about painting and photography made on real equipment in the real world, not pixels that only inhabit the electronic imaginary fantasy-land known as The Internet.

But when on Mars, do as the Martians do. I enjoy twiddling around with MSPaint (the world's crappiest image software) to make weird little patterns out of nothing, and then tossing them aside and forgetting about them. I also employ digital techniques to treat my fine-art photography, sometimes with an eye for hyperrealism, sometimes with an eye for Glitch Art, sometimes with no eye at all.

But recently someone on that Internet thing "corrected" me to say I shouldn't be using the #digitalart hashtag on these treated photos, because in their view, digital art means only computer-generated bullshit.

No.

It's so elementary that I shouldn't even have to explain it; it should go without saying that since photography is art, a digital photo digitally altered on digital software on a digital device and dumped to a digital forum is, ipso facto, digital art. This would be obvious to anyone on any past point of the historical time-track, right up until a few years ago. I'm not going along with the new-think of commoners who have so fully assimilated the digital world into their lives that they consider it undifferentiated.

And on my pieces that appear both on the #digitalart and #nudeart hashtags, there's always an element of collage going on, even when it isn't apparent to the viewer. I'm not just slapping a filter on a photo and serving it. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Get it? Got it? Go. Oo-rah. Semper Fi. Over and out.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Invisible Terrestrial Entities

So there's this physicist from Italy, one Ruggero Santilli, who recently made a rather jaw-dropping announcement: he and his company Thunder Energies (based in Tarpon Springs, Florida) have perfected a special telescope that allows "Dark Matter" to be viewed and photographed.

Now, this in itself, if true, is a pretty big deal. And Santilli, though viewed by many as a bit fringey, is a "real" scientist with a considerable cv and pedigree; he's been published in reputable scientific journals, won legit awards, etc. So when I heard about this awhile back, my interest was piqued and I've been keenly watching their progress.

But then something happened that Santilli hadn't predicted: his telescope started picking up strange invisible things right here on Earth. Things that did not appear on the conventional telescope placed side by side with the Santilli telescope. They seem to behave intelligently yet also mechanically, says Santilli, and for lack of a better term, he calls them "Invisible Terrestrial Entities".

Cue Lovecraftian music.

The photograph above, taken by Dr. Santilli from room 775 of the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel in St. Petersburg, purports to show one of these entities as viewed in time-lapse moving in the sky above Tampa Bay. The photo below, taken on January 16 in a scan of the western night sky from Tarpon Springs, shows a different-looking but equally puzzling phenomena. The object vanished from view soon after sighted. (You can read the whole story in a PDF press release here.)

And still more images have been produced by Santilli and Thunder Energies, although they're of a more squidgy nature and not terribly edifying. They look like they could be anything, anywhere, really. But they are interesting, and I am interested.

How does this thing work? Apparently by way of a postulated anti-matter-world version of light. Let the professor explain:

"Since matter and antimatter annihilate at contact into light, as a condition for its existence at the classical macroscopic level, antimatter must have all characteristics opposite to those of matter. For instance, matter-light has a positive index of refraction while, as a condition for its existence, antimatter-light must have a negative index of refraction.

Consequently, the focusing of images of matter-light require convex lenses as occurring in the Galileo telescopes, while the focusing of images of antimatter-light requires concave lenses, as occurring in Santilli telescopes.

The above features imply that none of the refractive Galileo-type telescopes existing on Earth or in space can detect antimatter-light because they are all based on convex lenses.

Similarly, we will never see images of antimatter-light with our naked eyes because our cornea is convex, and as such, it disperses images of antimatter-light all over our retina. The sole possibility to detect images of antimatter-light is via images on a digital or film camera."

I dunno.

I am planning to make a drive up to Tarpon Springs sometime soon and drop into Thunder headquarters and see this gizmo for myself. I'll send you a copy of the report.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Feral Humans?

Seventeen years ago, I had a small webpage devoted to the topic of "feral humans", a term I coined to describe the idea that perhaps, just perhaps, there could be human beings living in the wild in an animal-like state. Perhaps some of them were driven to this by madness, perhaps some were even literal descendents of cavemen who have carried on separately from the rest of the human race. (And when I say I "coined the term", I don't mean I originated it. I'm well aware the combination of those two words has been uttered prior to my specific use of it.)

It wasn't a concept I was particularly passionate about or emotionally invested in. Like many of my ideas, I just tossed it together into a webpage as random food-for-thought, and promptly forgot about it. So when Art Bell called me out of the blue and asked me to appear on his show in 1997, I was stunned. I accepted the mission, of course, what else was I gonna do? The show ended up becoming something of a legend among Art Bell devotees because it was so completely off-the-wall, and the legend only grew with time as the show was never archived. (To this day I still get a few requests each month from people asking if I have a copy.)

And that was that. Or should have been. But seventeen years later, lo and behold, I get an email from Art's producer, Heather Wade (who is wonderful, by the way - she's a dazzlingly energetic hard worker and problem solver. If I had five people like her working for me, this war would soon be over. And she has such a great charismatic voice she really needs to be hosting a radio show herself!)

I told Heather that I had absolutely nothing new to say about the topic of "feral humans" and didn't see much value in rehashing it. She persisted, and we finally agreed that we'd do something that used feral humans as a jumping-off point to talk about a much broader range of related topics, especially the idea of modern so-called "zombies" like the naked Florida face-eating psycho, and werewolves - which would tie in to promote my upcoming new book, Undomesticated and the Hollywood film that is currently, fingers crossed, being planned for it.

So when I saw on the official Art Bell website that the show was listed as "Jeffrey Scott Holland - Feral Humans", I had a slight sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that this wasn't going to go as planned. Sure enough, Art chose to disregard a large part of the outline we'd worked out in advance (hey, it's his show, he can do what he wants, but I did make it clear from day one I didn't just want to come on the show and do the same show about feral humans all over again.)

Art has a strict policy of "no cellphones" for guests. I have no landline, and so I had to download Skype and go out and purchase a new headset. When we got on the air live, I realized I could not hear myself - AT ALL - in the mix. All I heard was a booming GIANT ART BELL in my ears. I was told this is "normal" and to just speak naturally. Nevertheless, when you can't hearself in your own headphones, it's a mess because you can't tell whether you are speaking too loud or too quiet, and my own voice tends to modulate greatly from highs to lows to shouts to whispers and vocal-fry (kinda like the way Anton LaVey plays organ.)

It only devolved from there. My Wi-Fi chose to conk out halfway through the show, and I quickly reset it and got Skype running again. During the break, off the air, a cranky Art snapped angrily at me, "WHAT HAPPENED?" I was increasingly feeling like Valerie Solanas being set up and ambushed on that right-wing talk show in the film I Shot Andy Warhol, and was now thinking I should've just not bothered calling back. By the time Art testily asked me, with the show now nearly over, "Well, Jeffrey, is there anything ELSE you want to talk about?", I just said nope. He had no interest in talking about my new book and movie, which is what I was there to promote, so I just sat back and let the dog and pony show play out. I was up way past my bedtime and felt my time had been wasted.

Already, I'm receiving congratulations from people saying what a hilarious chaotic mess I made of Art's show. That was not my intent. Had it been, I would not have sat so politely listening to Art trying to spin my thing into some other thing. I would have done what Alex Jones did to Piers Morgan and just ignore all questions and start rapid-fire ranting about what I wanted to talk about until forcibly stopped. (Next time! See ya in another seventeen years, Art.)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Films from the Florida Zone

You might wonder what's kept me so busy lately that I haven't had time to update this blog as much. Well, looks like we're going Hollywood, and I don't mean Hollywood, Florida.

Out of the blue, it looks like two films of my novels are going to see the light of day sooner or later. The film rights to Undomesticated, my werewolf novel set in Florida, have been sold to an undisclosed agent even before the novel is published. Now, mind you, the gears of filmmaking grind painfully slow - sometimes moving in geological time - so I'm not holding my breath just yet. Taylor Hackford, for example, bought the film rights to Charles Bukowski's Post Office in 1972 and the film still has yet to be made. (Mr. Hackford is now a month or so away from his 71st birthday.)

But The Bartender, I'm thrilled to announce, is a fully-greenlit project. No director has been announced yet, but I'll keep things updated here and on its official Twitter account. "The Bartender" novel is set in Florida in the 1970s, and will probably be mostly filmed on location here. If you have any interest in applying for a position, e-mail me!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Florida Man

Meet "Florida Man", the world's worst superhero!

You see him everywhere, every day, in the news, his latest exploits, foibles and follies, with headlines such as "Florida man run over by van after dog pushes accelerator" or "Police arrest Florida man for drunken joy ride on motorized scooter at Wal-Mart." And, like Kenny on South Park, Florida Man often dies but inexplicably comes back for more mishaps.

Florida Man has become an Internet meme that centers around news stories and articles about unusual or strange crime or events occurring in Florida, in which the headline usually refers to the subject as "Florida Man". The Sunshine State has an especial notoriety for generating bizarre news stories, and our hero Florida Man personifies the legend. It's all part of the cognitive dissonance that Interzone so adeptly manufactures for itself, being a magnet for marginal people doing sketchy things in the most fringey way.

The diligent fans keeping track of Florida Man's adventures are legion, and you can find them on Twitter and Reddit and damn near any news outlet. (His erstwhile sidekick, "Florida Woman", has also made a name for herself.)

Is it the hydrogen sulfide responsible for Florida Man and his army of zombies? The Red Tide? Or just weird drugs like Flakka? Either way, there's somethin' happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear.

Stay vigilant, my friends.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The File Clerks

Some of you may have noticed that I've been churning out puzzling little pieces of piffle on Soundcloud lately. Though for a few years I've been laying low from my old sideline as a purveyor of sample-delic random avant-garde noise, I'm back in the game. For a while, at least, until I get distracted by something else. As with my recent forays into digital abstract art, I don't take it seriously at all and neither should you.

The new project is called Jeffrey Scott Holland & the File Clerks, or simply File Clerks for short. It's basically me, a bunch of laptops and synthesizers, and sometimes various other people I collaborate with at any given time, like my old Cheeseburger & Fries accomplice, J.T. Dockery.

The File Clerks take a wide survey of the digital music field, including but not limited to: jazz, noise, ambient, chill, chillout, dub, industrial, techno, trance, house, acid, drone, glitch, dubstep, dark wave, vaporwave, brostep, brutalwave, hip-hop, trip-hop, goa, and many other sub-sub-subgenres uncategorizable and as yet unnamed by the increasingly aspergian kids of today. Mind you, it's important to note that this is impressionism at its utmost; just because I make dubstep records doesn't mean I like dubstep or that I even truly understand the genre. But there they are.

Jump in here and swim around awhile. A couple of my personal favorites: "To The Cloud" and "Molecules By Night". Oh yeah, and "Insouciant". Headphones recommended.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Raccoon Rides Gator

They say "man bites dog" is news, and I think "raccoon rides gator" is too. This picture has been making the rounds in the media lately, showing a deceptively pleasant scene of animal interaction. But according to this article, the raccoon was only on the alligator's back for a few seconds before the gator slid into the water and the raccoon hopped off. Richard Jones, who was in Ocala National Forest on vacation, managed to click the picture at precisely the right moment.

As the article also mentions, alligators and raccoons are natural enemies. Scientists say gator feces usually turns out to contain raccoon, while most baby alligators and unhatched gator eggs fall prey to raccoons.