Greetings Fellow Residents Of The Electronic Cottage:
Since the completion of my last audio project, I have directed my artistic whims toward visual art. Anyone who has ventured into the Taped Rugs Universe has come in contact with my black and white collage graphics. I have been assembling these collages, which, of late, I have been calling: "Groffics," for many, many years. They help me focus my ill-equipped human mind as it struggles to comprehend the complexities of all the things it perceives and conceives. Sharing these assemblages provides observers with potential opportunities for entertainment, and possibly even a bit of exercise for their mental muscles.
Those of you who are familiar with the history of art, as applied by human beings at least, are likely to notice that my creations have much in common with the works of my artistic predecessors, particularly those made by Dadaists and Surrealists. I venture that my Groffics are nothing new stylistically, but the form does meet my needs very well, and I appreciate that I have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the many great artists who have paved the paths which I tread.
My process begins by hunting down old books, pamphlets, and other bits of printed matter that contain line drawings and/or simply-composed black and white photos. Pre-1970's advertisements, instruction manuals, science text books, etc., are my favorite sources for such materials. Of course, I also include my own original photographs and sketches in this hunt. These I pore over, computer-scanning any images that I imagine may be of use to me. I keep these images in my computer as raw materials, which I later refine into building blocks for collages. To all the artists and photographers (most of whom are long dead), whose work is unknowingly manipulated into my works, I offer my sincerest gratitude for your contributions. It is you, my uncredited brethren, who truly bring the human element into my visions, somewhat similarly to the way Campbells once spilled soup into Warhol's silk screens.
Various computer software serves as the scissors and glue for assembling my collages. The first step in refining my raw images into collage building blocks generally involves turning them into "threshold" or true black-on-white images. My experiments over the years have shown that thresholds are the most easily-edited and reproducible images for assembling collages. Next, I usually attempt to turn each building block into a self-contained image, bordered on all sides in black. This makes it easy to computer-copy as a whole, and, thus, easy to manipulate within a collage.
The actual collaging together of a Groffic is very much a trial-and-error sort of thing. The most common computer processes that I employ as I paste together these building blocks are: re- sizing, re-angling, darkening, lightening, and whitening. I try to limit my use of most other fancy-dancy computer graphic editing tools, but they do come in handy on occasion. Of course, my imagination is the wild card element that gives each Groffic its unique qualities.
As with all forms of art, I end up with many failed experiments before my sensibilities are comforted by a finished result (and sometimes, upon re-examination, I am discomforted by results I once considered comforting...). Over the years, I have matched many of my Groffics with Taped Rugs audio to use as cover art for albums. Some also have appeared in calendars, booklets, and propaganda that I have produced. Many of my collages have never been shared with the public.
I here offer eight of the Groffics that I have assembled since the completion of my last audio project in late June. Click on any of the pics (both above and below) if you wish to view a larger, more detailed, version. Thanks much for your attention!
I am one of the several alter-egos of Charles Rice Goff III. I am best known as a radio host, although I have had some of my reviews published here and there over the years, and have even been involved in occasional recording projects.