Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Sketches: Making Something Different of a Conference

I'm putting these up here, now, but they're in the Scraps section of my DevArt page with more comment, and with the snap of the page I used as a whole. Eventually I may take these down in favor of simple links (are these working, btw?).

In between penciling parts of a letter to Jala, taking notes on the talks, and generally paying attention to things which weren't quite the talks themselves, I sketched. Until Melánie's mother caught me. :)

So, without further ado. . .

Sketches of Philosophers!

The sketches of Matti and Stephen
This is supposed to be Matti (top) and Stephen (bottom).

The sketches of Kay and Chris
This is supposed to be Kay (left) and Chris (right).

The sketches of Ya-Huei, Julia, and Ayten
This is supposed to be the lovely ladies whose names I'm EDIT: no longer screwing up!--Ya-Huei (left foreground), Julia (left background), and Ayten (right).

Now aren't they all beautiful? I wish I could find proper pictures of them. I'm not thrilled with the accuracy or flattery aspects of the sketches (and usually those are pretty important in portraits--at least one or the other of them), but I can tell who I meant, and remember what they looked like. So not a total wash. I wanted to do more, and some of my favorite people from the conference I didn't get to drawing, but I don't think I could've done them well, as it is.

More about the conference:

We met this lovely lady, Stacey, who's doing research into blogging. Go visit her, damnit! She wants to know what bloggers get out of blogging, what it's like for them (the experience), why they blog, etc. Also just a very cool person, all around. We went to dinner with her and several others, that I'm getting to.

Now, the conference was a hybrid--the Society for Phenomenology and Media (SPaM) and Outis (roughly: deception). One of the others that came out with us was Randall, and Randall was good people, but in the strange position of being a government guy hoping to get info on deception, how it works, and how to get around it (in the sense of when other peoples' governments are lying to us, as opposed to our own) in a conference full of lefties more interested in deception by (you guessed it) our own goverment. Or in the case of the delightful Finns talking about it, not so much their own government, but the US gov, as well.

One of those delightful Finnish gentlemen (who came out to dinner/drinks, despite being 10 hours ahead of us, via time difference, bless him) was the lovely Aki-Mauri (whom I did not sketch, but of whom there are actual photos on the web, so it's okay). I don't know what to say about him other than that I absolutely adored him. It surprised me and also didn't, to find out he's a Major in the Finnish military. Does that make any sense? Ah, well. His paper was thoughtful and kind've heartbreaking, and he was just plain good people to hang out with. Plus, he's into hockey, so Chris and I felt less out of place caring about who was doing what in the hockey part of the Olympics.

I'm turning into an Academic-and-Union Groupie. Oi.

Anyway, the lovely, wry Kay (another paper I followed!), my lovely Chris, and I rounded out the dinner group.

The night before, however, we dined with Paul (the man who organized the conference), his wife (I think?), the lovely Melånie from Bordeaux (who like Randall and I was in something of an outsider position to doctors-of-philosophy--I followed her paper, too, though!), the lovely Stephen, and the very cool (and also lovely) Wendy and Erica, who are in the interesting position of being a couple of romantically attached hippie feminists in rural Pennsylvania. We traded war stories, as it were. They've got great senses of humor, and Wendy's paper was another that I mostly followed and also got stabbed with thinking about.

Stephen and Matti (who did not come out with us, for shame!) were absolutely wonderful to listen to. Matti brought in poetry, peppering the "trailer" of his paper (the ultra-condensed version) with it. Stephen wrote and spoke in a beautiful way, and, what's more, I think I understood most of it, which was sometimes an issue in the more technically oriented talks. They were wonderful.

Goodness, it was a blast. There was some tension, and I sometimes felt a little strange hanging on watching, but it was wonderful. It felt so good to meet so many wonderful people. And while I don't know if it's likely, I hope I'll get to come back into contact with them. I may have developed something of an idle crush, and that's too much fun to put away!

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