My father in law is quite curious about what I do, and as a man getting on a bit in life and who has experienced a fair amount of bullshit from younger people in his role as a teacher, I can also tell he is a little bit sceptical about what I claim do. This scepticism is exacerbated by the fact that since I’ve been impregnating his lovely daughter, I’ve been a graphic designer, then an art director/creative director, then I suddenly became an illustrator, and now I use the word ‘semiotician’.
It took me about 4 years to explain to him the fundamental difference between design and illustration in a way he could understand clearly. He seemed quite suspicious about it all and refused to acknowledge that I had changed career. He questioned me at great length each time we met, and the process of explaining the difference took years.
Just as he was finally ‘getting it’, the distinction became violently confused once again thanks to his best friend discovering he could treat his digital photography to a microsoft paint filter that made photographs look like very shit wood cut illustrations. All the years of careful explanation were swept away in an instant the moment his friend proudly produced his portfolio of shit digital woodcut photographs of the lake district, prompting my father in law to challenge me to explain my ‘claims’ in light of these shit woodcut photographs, in a vaguely accusatory tone.
he had finally begun to grapple with the fog and comprehend the first vague outlines of distinction that separated and defined the disciplines of design and illustration just as I switched career again and became a cultural analyst, known in short-hand as ‘a semiotician’.
So each time we’ve met since then I’ve tried to explain what it is I do, and he remains sceptical and suspicious and questions in the style of a patient person who knows he’s dealing with a liar, but wants to play the long game in order to allow me to talk myself into a corner.
One of the first times I tried to explain to him what commercial semiotics was about, I talked about ‘encoded meanings’ and he wanted to know what they meant, so I said ‘everything we make and produce carries with it a layer of implied meaning in addition to, and often supporting, the intended meaning’. he needed a few examples, and then I said to him ’ We all use codes to understand the nature of the thing we’re interacting with. At its most simple level, nature offers us sets of codes that we understand almost subliminally… the wasp, for example, is encoded with signals that warn us of danger… yellow and black stripes. We understand yellow and black stripes as being an urgent warning.’
We met again fairly recently, and he confessed that he still wasn’t entirely sure what it is that I do, and that nobody he ever speaks to has ever heard of ‘semiotics’ (the implication being that I may have made it up as a cover for my drugs and people smuggling business). He asked me if I had thought of a better way to explain it to him, so wearily, I told him about a few projects I’d worked on over the last year, and explained what I did and how it was beneficial to the client.
His frown grew with each explanation. Eventually I ran out of projects to tell him about and I fell silent. He continued frowning for a while, then he looked up and said, “none of what you’ve just just told me has anything at all to do with wasps. Last time you tried to describe your job, you told us very clearly that you dissected wasps.”
In a miserable cavernous pub filled with old men staring wistfully into their Guinness whilst grey drizzle batters spitefully against the windows.
The jukebox is playing “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye.
I was at the Kohls getting some new slippers this morning and they were buy one get one 1/2 off…and I thought to myself: “what a joy to have someone to love and to share such a deal with on the regular. Equally as joyous to share a life with someone who appreciates slippers as much as I.”
Last night I was in awful mood.
It started out with losing one side of the earring that I got from my art teacher. I have cleaned and searched every part of my room but it refused to show up.
Then I don’t know why but … I started to cry. I think the suppressed emotions I had when I discovered that he had abandoned me and the world finally found their way to surface.
After when I gained little control, I made the lists of things that has happened to me this summer.
"This summer I lost some friends. I begin to feel apathetic but the loss of this one friend hurts me the most.
This summer I have fully decided that I am going to be a fine artist and with all my best effort I will make beautiful things.
This summer I have realized that I am Taehee but also Theresa. Theresa will be my name that my friends will use. Taehee is my rediscovered fragment of my past that will pursuit artistic journey.”
Then I fell asleep.
After I woke up I ran family errands. But when I got back, I saw a piece of earring that I thought I lost forever. It was casually laid on my bed. I have asked my family if they have found it but they knew nothing of it. So it just mysteriously disappeared and showed up again. I can’t find logical explanation.
But somehow it is comforting.
That awkward moment when I got scared by my own painting in the dark.
I’m sitting at the Discount Tire, waiting to get my tires rotated. It seems everyone else had the same idea, because my wait is about an hour. Last time I came here I had to buy four new tires. I haven’t shaved in forever and I’m wearing shorts. Does anyone really look at each others’ legs? I don’t look at anyone else’s legs. I have the same view on shaving legs as I do on mowing grass. I’m trying to figure out what I want to eat for lunch. At the start of this saga, that was my main motivation. I dropped a roll of color film off at work so it makes it into our morning route tomorrow, and then I ended up here. I think it’s important to have a working knowledge of both analog and digital photography in my line of work. I wonder how long I’ll be working where I work. I wonder how long I’ll be living where I live. Almost everyone is on their phone in here while they wait. I wonder what they’re doing. I didn’t intend to be here right now. I wonder what would have unfolded if I had done something differently today. Timeline wise. I want to take a nap. I missed the period at least 5 times there and kept hitting the Z key instead. Napz.
So Tao lin deleted his facebook, several twitter accounts and his entire gmail inbox and threw away his macbook as a result of ‘alien possession’ while on mushrooms and that is so funny
Felt this came to Korea …
Now my place in Korea that there is no real feeling.
Subtle feelings about Korea but I
After all, the country only blood relation to me as well
I found that there is no place to treadmill.
Parts of the body like the cut just once.
Sseureut slightly sad, but really.
I went from an early age to continue moving atmospheres
What is my home place where the journaling which is often tried to think.
Korea or the United States or … anytime I could will shake the feeling was not the isolation dwaeeotda.
But until now, we’ve been the happiest place I
As for dorm life
Shown to have similar thoughts to feel similar feelings living
Me to live a different life, or people with different personalities
Where I migrated here because I recognize that my own people …
Here I found my house had a feeling gangyeolhi.
Come on, I want to go home.
My neighbours are playing acoustic guitar and singing but…. really really well, and we’ve only had one green day song. I paused the movie I was watching.
Writing to embrace fragility
In acknowledgement of my weaknesses
I haven’t written in months, to remain bold is to exist in silence, in rejection of poetic tendencies. To ignore romanticised stanzas written about boys I fall asleep next to. Repressed emotions; to write doesn’t make anything any more real. “You already know how I feel, right?”
Tonight I cried twice,
Tonight I fell up a staircase with a tray full of glasses and rolled about in the shards.