Cloud Club Bloglogue
NAVIGATING SPIRIT

It’s a grey, drizzling day. Lee is upstairs laid out for a nap - not uncommon at this time of day, as he usually gets up sometime between 3 and 4am to write, build, create and/or process. For my part, I’m down in 8ft’s having just cleared off a bunch of non-Cloud Club related projects this morning and I’m psyched for a Big Fat SuperAwesome Sunday Brunch.

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BRUNCH!!!

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Which sucks for me, because today is Tuesday.

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Linear Earth Time and me don’t always see eye to eye.

This particular linear earthtime week has, however, been very productive for me and Lee, if not exceptionally “Creative”. I’ve been nose deep in html and xml tutorials - equal parts “Groan” and “Holy Shit. This is an entire, barely explored artistic medium unto itself” - and Lee has been diligently plowing through over 60,000 photos, labeling and organizing them for future use.

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This is an insanely daunting task, both by virtue of the volume of photos at hand, as well as Lee’s general disinterest in all things mundane (Read: Labeling and organizing 60,000 photos for future use). Despite either and both, he’s stayed virtually shackled to the computer, breaking only occasionally to scurry around in blasts of inspirado building a small pantheon of puppet-sort-of characters that will eventually add their own voices to the continuing adventure.

He has informally dubbed them “Pope-ettes”. I cannot tell you why.

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Suffice to say we have kicked ass and taken names this week. Give the boys a fckng psychic round of applause.

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YAY Pope & Lee!!!

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There’s an ongoing discussion between Lee and I concerning “process vs. product”. Not just in regards to the website, but as applied to creativity in general and in fact all aspects of life itself.

This is always a bit of a trick subject for me, as “Product” or to use a less socially tainted word “Existing Thing That Didn’t Exist Before I Made It Alone Or With Others” actually seems an inseparable part of my “Process”. With that, the entire “process not product” debate is a bit of a red haring. Its like debating cake vs icing. I mean can anyone seriously call something Cake if it doesn’t have Icing? Juss Saying.

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This subject invariably comes up when we’re faced with shlogging through mountains of Cloud Club “Product”. Certainly while researching other websites of other like-minded folks and artists, we do begin to see a pattern of people posting a lot of  ”Cool Shit” online. Which is, of course, very cool.

I love cool shit.

"There’s a window in the floor. Hey! That’s cool shit.”

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"There’s a tree to a geodesic dome. Hey! That’s cool shit.”

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"There’s a shower in the bathroom. Hey! That’s Cool Shit”.

Wait. What?

Well, maybe you haven’t seen this particular shower in this particular bathroom, but it seemed worth mentioning.

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And, really, no doubt there is plenty of cool shit throughout The Cloud Club that has been photographed repeatedly and can be easily posted.

Clearly though, Lee has little interest in creating a website that is essentially a catalog of “Cool Shit” he’s made, found, or captured through the years. God how easy that would only be - Just start randomly grabbing things and posting them folks, 9 out of 10 will be bizarre enough to warrant a tweet.

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I’m paraphrasing Lee when I say - What gets lost in translation here, and debatably of equal if not greater importance - is not whether something is “Cool” in and of itself, but the context in which the cool thing exists; The ideas and life view that were the impetus for its creation; The meaning that can be found, not simply within the individual object, but the meaning found in the act of actually “making”. What in Lee-speak, one would refer to as “The Spirit”.

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This spirit, Lee believes, is at great risk of being overrun by commercialism and the commodification of humanity - amongst many other things.

And quite frankly, on some days that’s hard to argue…

The challenge for us now, is to create a website that through virtue of the cool shit presented, something might… what’s the word I’m looking for… trigger or maybe awaken… that spirit. Not just in the pieces themselves, or as some sort of testament to Lee, his process or The Cloud Club - but within the person actually navigating the “Cool Shit” of the CC Website-To-Be.

You guys still with me?

Our thought is to create a navigational interface that will allow the participant to experience the site as a kind of Holistic Immersion. An immersion that might, in fact, embody that spirit. In the first step to this end, Lee has designed The Navisphere.

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The Navisphere is the longest running idea of the CC Website to date and we’re thinking of using it as the homepage and navigational tool of the site. This is still very much in the Idea Phase, with numerous drafts and versions still evolving.

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Navisphere Drafts

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The idea of the Navisphere is to have page-links at each intersection of beams. As you move the cursor over an interconnected point…

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… A graphic pops up, representing the media there… possibly a  text window too. (we swing between staying non-dialogue or not, sometimes thinking to give the option of either/or).

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Along with those links, additional links to related pages would emanate down each of the beams - like curving filmstrips - to the next Intersecting Point.

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These additional links would follow a yet-to-be-determined logic, that acts as a model for the evolution and interconnectedness of ideas in general. Which of course is a model for the evolution and interconnectedness of Us, that in turn might reflect the deeper meaning of art and humanity.

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I’m telling you, we’re not fckng around here.

Another day I’ll get into the 3D Animation - Spheres within Spheres Ad Infinitum concept.

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For all practical purposes though - god I can’t even type that word with a straight face… 

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PRACTICAL…

PRACTICAL?!?

… See? Just can’t do it.

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For our purposes here today, I’ll say that the Navisphere as it is currently imagined - sans 3D animation, still posses a most daunting task: To determine the so-called logical relations of the links in a way to embody meaning greater than the pieces themselves.

Now’s a good time to confess that I am predominantly a “Feeling” person, far more than a “Meaning” person. And by Feel I don’t mean feeling emotionally as much as I mean feeling Energetically. Or, at the risk of being misunderstood, Spiritually.

I mention this because it’s a rare day I actually look for meaning in anything: Films, paintings, statues, poems, songs… Truth be told, I don’t care what they mean. I care how they feel. Energetically and, at the risk of being misunderstood, spiritually.

I imagine that our attraction to “Cool Shit” is possibly an internal navigational device. That when we define something as “Cool” we might not be simply responding to the coolness of a single thing - a Product - unto itself as defined through commodification. That it might be this attraction is driven by some sort of energetic overtone inherent in all things.

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That said, I’m a bit more inclined to post everything in The Cloud Club I think is cool. Ultimately, the fact that I think it’s cool is the logic behind it. It is the internal navigational device of “Feel” - or possibly The Spirit itself - one that’s immutable, unstoppable and found in each and every one of us.

It may, in fact, be more of a “Getting out of the way” challenge for us - Trusting everyone to find their own meaning, their own Spirit, by virtue of their own internal navigation of Cool - that will ultimately serve the website best.

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Of course I’m talking about a species that somehow races to watch episodes of "Jersey Shore" on a weekly basis, sooooooooo… 

Jersey Shore ROCKS!!!

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It might be that Lee and I really do have our work cut out for us.

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The Adventure Continues

Michael Pope

"We Create Therefore We Are"

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