Thursday, September 15, 2005

Drawing: Greg Tate

Attending the Afro-Futurism/festschrift for Samuel R. Delany organized by Alex Weheliye and others at the university last year, I took copious notes which I only recently found and have been perusing, and, as I often do when too engrossed to write things down or feel the compulsion, did some quick drawings. I thought I'd drawn Alondra Nelson and Kodwo Eshun, but the only two images I found--and which I scanned in today--were of Greg Tate and Samuel Delany (I'll post my drawing of him tomorrow).

I know Greg passingly, having met him back in the day when I was in the
Dark Room, and he was first starting to work on his science fiction novel (or maybe it was before then, and he was regularly dazzling readers with his weekly critiques in the Village Voice) and then again when he staged his thrilling adaptation of Amiri Baraka's Dutchman. For a week or so the scenes from his version of that play were on autoloop in my consciousness. I found myself looking askance at any potential Lulas on the T.

He gave a talk on the hiphop/tagger/graffiti artist Rammelzee and linked this to Delany's work, noting how Delany "foregrounds the marginal, the countercultural as central, through his literary and cultural practice" (his works, his lectures, his life). In the Q&A, Greg spoke a little about the James Snead, the ideas of the break and the cut, the fugitive, being at the origins of hiphop, the fluidity of performance in all the forms, and the articulation of multidimensionality. He also mentioned the notion of "race memory," in relation both to the hiphop/graffiti aesthetic and to Delany's art.

Anyways, here's my "interesting little sketch," to use Louis Delsarte's term for them, for the flyboy in the buttermilk:

Greg Tate
Actually, it could be a self-portrait....


If anyone from Blogger is checking out this page, here's a suggestion. Please recalibrate the "Add Image" button in Mozilla Firefox for the Mac platform so that it's more flexible and precise. I'm glad it's now working in Firefox and that it allows you to post directly from the desktop, but it adds the javascript command "onblur," causing the image always to float to the top, and adds other specs that control the image in ways I often don't want to (and other posters might not either).

I always end up going in and erasing everything except the a href and img src tags, the hyperlinks (to Blogger's page, where the image is stored), and the border and alt commands. As it is, border always sets to <"0">, while there's no way to insert any words or phrases for the alt command. It sets no default hspace or vspace parameters either.


I also have resumed allowing anonymous posts, though now you'll have to enter a letter code, which ought to prevent the spamming autobots that have accounts on Blogger to evade blocked anonymous posts. Are the system administrators addressing that problem yet?

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