August 13th, 2012


Coming out of the closet, which is full of useless costumes

Lots of my friends are tech geeks. Like, they make fancy tech things in their kitchens. For example, on Friday night we went to a demo where a couple of our friends have built a giant Tesla coil (like, over 6 feet high giant) which is hooked up to a keyboard and you can use the noise of the arcs to make music. So yeah, lightning music. You can get a sense of it from this short video (sorry, no idea who to credit that to).

And then there's Happy, who's dedicated a frightening amount of time to building this thing from a pile of wires and LEDs on his kitchen table. In fact, in a couple of different kitchens... The Mitochondrion 3.4. Now you could call that a glow staff, but that'd be an understatement IMO. I think it's up to version 4 or 5 now, but I doubt it'll ever be finished tbh. Happy will probably be fiddling with Version 754.3 in the rest home. Cos that's what tech geeks are like - they Just.Can't.Stop. Must make it bigger, shinier, faster, louder, whatever-er.

Then there's tieke, whose geekiness takes a different direction in which she experiments with new and innovative aerial dance styles - also in her kitchen (sort of, more like the lounge, cos she has a trapeze space in her lounge).

So yeah, I'm surrounded by creative people doing cool things with materials. Me, I have no interest in circuits and wiring, even though I think what other people do with them is cool. I make costumes. Generally the costumes that pop out of my brain are in the Demented Pixie On Acid genre, but it's a little known fact that photorealism is a talent of mine. Back in the day when I was a single Mum on a benefit in Dargaville, I used to make cash by doing photorealist pencil portraits of people's pets and dead relatives. Trufax. And the thing that I get off on with costume making isn't really the end product (although that's pretty cool) - it's the working out how to make it work, how to arrange/fix/cut/wire/combine the materials to create the perfect representation of my vision. Often, like the flamenco dress I made in April, I don't even wear them. I just like making them.

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Anyway, the fact that I'm unlikely to wear them doesn't stop me wanting to make them. Like I said, I want to see if I can. I want to get that kick from figuring out how to take something that previously only existed as pixels on a screen* and make it into reality. I want to be able to look at my creation and know that it's an exact match to the finest detail. And then I want to..

I don't know. What do you do with a costume you've created that you'd never wear? Put it in a museum? Sell it? Give it to someone who's into cosplay after having spent several hundred dollars and countless hours making it? I have no fucking clue. And so far, that's what's stopped me. Well, that and lack of time, but when I finish my degree I can feel a creative binge coming on. Because I can.

Hi, I'm Tats and I am the queen of useless hobbies. Fuck you, brain.