Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 | No Comments

The Blot – Part 2

The Blot Part 2

The story of The Blot continues, told in sound and images through the collaborations of a seriously amazing group of musicians and illustrators.

Chapter 3

The Blot - Chapter 3 - by Keith Jones

The Blot Chapter 3 – by Keith Jones

Thom Gill

Thom Gill, member of OG Melody, and countless powerhouse music and art projects in Toronto and beyond.

How do you feel about the character of The Blot so far? Is he hero or villain? Tragic or underdog? Who is he to you?

Thom Gill: The Blot is the mind, no? In and out of clarity, unhappiness, confidence.

Encountering the unknown constantly. Frightened of overtaking itself and/or coming up short of itself.

In that case, The Blot a kind of hero. Humanity is, hopefully, about love. It’s interesting that the Blot stayed in a dark, confused place for so long, that we artists chose to keep him there. I certainly like him now, seeing him in the light.

I know he will die though. And whoever gets to tell that story in their chapter may not choose to present as a heroic death.

Given how the story has evolved so far, how did you approach creating your instalment of the The Blot? Does seeing and hearing the works made for previous chapters shift the way went about your piece of the puzzle?

We were pretty ambitious with our chapter. I was pretty stoked on creating an oil sands allegory. And the line “try to hold sand / imagine the power is in your hands / when all the while it’s just slip slip slipping away”, got that across for me. But then we move away from that image by having the Blot speak to the world as its audience in a plea to banish their expectations. I think we had hoped for this to be a seed for the subsequent Blotters to characterize the Blot as fallible yet good. That a civilization, a collective mind, that can do such damage and wrong will still be forgiven.

Chapter 4

The Blot - Chapter 4 - by Erin McPhee

The Blot Chapter 4 – by Erin McPhee

Nick Grottick

Nick Grottick of Bad Channels

How do you feel about the character of The Blot so far? Is he hero or villain? Tragic or underdog? Who is he to you?

Nick Grottick: The Blot still seems to be finding its place in the world. It has good intentions, but who knows how that could change in next chapters

Given how the story has evolved so far, how did you approach creating your instalment of the The Blot? Does seeing and hearing the works made for previous chapters shift the way went about your piece of the puzzle?

Nick Grottick:The previous chapters were more lighthearted, with the blot sort of getting its footing, so I felt it was a good time to give it its first real challenge and throw something really dark its way.

Where do you see the story evolving from here? Is it the Never-ending story? Will The Blot take a more concrete shape and reveal a face? Will the story splinter in to many alternate Blot realities? What does it all mean?

Nick Grottick: Whoa, I like all those ideas! I think it would be cool if the blot took a more concrete shape, maybe even became a human? Or maybe the Blot will split in two?? Good Blot Vs. Evil Blot! I really like the idea of putting the story in to another artists hands and seeing what they do with it.

Chapter 5

The blot - Chapter 5 - by Jeanie Phan

The Blot Chapter 5 – by Jeannie Phan

Moshe Rozenberg of DD/MM/YYYY and Absolutely Free.

How do you feel about the character of The Blot so far? Is he hero or villain? Tragic or underdog? Who is he to you?

Moshe Rozenberg In place of explanation/disruption/influence, here is an excerpt from Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar:
“Just call me whatever is in your mind.
If you are thinking about something that happened a long time ago: Somebody asked you a question and you did not know the answer. That is my name.
Perhaps it was raining very hard. That is my name.
Or somebody wanted you to do something. You did it. Then they told you what you did was wrong—“Sorry for the mistake,”—and you had to do something else. That is my name.
Perhaps it was a game you played when you were a child or something that came idly into your mind when you were old and sitting in a chair near the window. That is my name.
Or you walked someplace. There were flowers all around. That is my name.
Perhaps you stared into a river. There as something near you who loved you. They were about to touch you. You could feel this before it happened. Then it happened. That is my name.”

Given how the story has evolved so far, how did you approach creating your instalment of the The Blot? Does seeing and hearing the works made for previous chapters shift the way went about your piece of the puzzle?

Moshe Rozenberg:The past wraps the present in a ribboned cube and all we contributed was the bow. Think item number five on Captain Beefheart’s guide to guitar playing:
“If your brain is part of the process, you’re missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that is fur bearing.”

Where do you see the story evolving from here? Is it the Never-ending story? Will The Blot take a more concrete shape and reveal a face? Will the story splinter in to many alternate Blot realities? What does it all mean?

Moshe Rozenberg:As most things, it will age indefinitely through earthwormholes’ reinterpretation and digestion.

Jeannie Phan, an internationally published illustrator based in Toronto, Canada.

Given how the story has evolved so far, how did you approach creating your instalment of the The Blot? Does seeing and hearing the works made for previous chapters shift the way went about your piece of the puzzle?

Jeannie Phan: Yes, definitely. It’s hard not to base it off of the last set of artists because I want the narrative to flow. But, at the same time I wanted to throw in a jolt of something exciting to at least throw The Blot into leading to some sort of decisive action.

Where do you see the story evolving from here? Is it the Never-ending story? Will The Blot take a more concrete shape and reveal a face? Will the story splinter in to many alternate Blot realities? What does it all mean?

Jeannie Phan: I feel like The Blot will take shape after a few more instalments. Right now I think we’re all trying to feel out how his personality is like based by his reaction to all the crazy things we’re throwing at him. He’s becoming some sort of cosmic entity.

Suburban Dreaming by Jeanie Phan

Suburban Dreaming by Jeannie Phan

Chapter 6

The Blot - Chapter 6 - by Howie Tsui

The Blot Chapter 6 – by Howie Tsui

Ho Yan (Howie) Tsui is a Canadian visual artist, born in Hong Kong.

How do you feel about the character of The Blot so far? Is he hero or villain? Tragic or underdog? Who is he to you?

Howie Tsui: For me, Blot seems to almost be a victim of existence. Gradually evolving and trying to make sense of these drastically shifting environments that it inhabits with each chapter. To me, Blot is a juve. Yet to sprout a pube.

Given how the story has evolved so far, how did you approach creating your instalment of the The Blot? Does seeing and hearing the works made for previous chapters shift the way went about your piece of the puzzle?

Howie Tsui: I listened to all the preceding chapters first in order to visualize the narrative arc for the character, trying to place myself in its shoes. Really relieved Blot made it made it past Chapter 5 alive, which was a pretty traumatic experience. I took our Chapter as a post-traumatic psychic healing session. Repeat listens of Olga and Jace’s track put me in this floating, ethereal, unconscious space world. So I tried to capture this image of Blot hovering beyond the planet, buoyed by the transmissions from a Walkie-Talkie.

Where do you see the story evolving from here? Is it the Never-ending story? Will The Blot take a more concrete shape and reveal a face? Will the story splinter in to many alternate Blot realities? What does it all mean?

Howie Tsui: Tough to say. Much of the narrative depends greatly on the music that will be written in future chapters as they serve as the springboard for the imagery. I believe in circles/cycles. The Blot may just self-detonate and become a library.

Silver Tree by Howie Tsui

Silver Tree by Howie Tsui

Chapter 7

The Blot - Chapter 7 - by Irma Kniivila

The Blot Chapter 6 – by Irma Kniivila

Dan Werb and Maylee Todd

Dan Werb (left) and Maylee Todd (right) of Ark Analog

“When It’s Mine” was skillfully crafted by Maylee Todd and Dan Werb, who wrote the words and music. Their excellent new duo project is called Ark Analog and we’ll be seeing much more of them in the future. Dan has previously written and recorded with Woodhands, and Maylee’s new solo record Escapology comes out April 2nd. The visual component is by the wonderful artist Irma Kniivila, who has paired illustrations with many musical works.

How do you feel about the character of The Blot so far? Is he hero or villain? Tragic or underdog? Who is he to you?

Dan Werb: To me, the Blot represents that aspect of a person that is susceptible and vulnerable to being defeated or undone by the pressures of the world. I see it as a manifestation of the inner secret life that we all live and often try to hide from others. So I interpret the story of the Blot as one of overcoming neuroses, or anxiety, about living authentically, which can be a scary and potentially self-destructive experience. When you put yourself out there, you put yourself at the mercy of the other…

Given how the story has evolved so far, how did you approach creating your instalment of the The Blot? Does seeing and hearing the works made for previous chapters shift the way went about your piece of the puzzle?

Dan Werb: It seemed clear that by our chapter of the story, the Blot seemed to be at risk of going down a k-hole of neuroses and anxiety. I feel like we’ve all been there, and I personally feel like the best way to avoid that urge to let your unchecked thoughts take over is to ground yourself in the physical, the tangible – another person, your own body, the natural world. So I wanted the Blot to start understanding its own sensuality and capacity for feeling something real outside of its own endlessly circling thoughts. That’s why the lyrics focus so squarely on touch and exploring the physical other.

Where do you see the story evolving from here? Is it the Never-ending story? Will The Blot take a more concrete shape and reveal a face? Will the story splinter in to many alternate Blot realities? What does it all mean?

Dan Werb: I really hope that the Blot becomes a real concrete manifestation. Our aim with the chapter we worked on was to start that process, and I think that’s reflected in the artwork and the lyrics. It’s always better to start taking shape…I think one of the most seductive traps we have in this era of endless choices is indecision – or, to put it another way, making decisions to never truly define yourself because self-definition means cutting off potential other lives. We all want to be everything and I think sometimes that stops people from doing anything at all, because it’s comforting to feel like doors are always open. But there comes a point when you’ve gone too far without having the courage to make a choice about who you are, and that’s a dangerous trend. Which is just a long-winded way of saying: the narrower the definition of the Blot, the better!

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