May 10 2009

Project II: Co-Modify

My experience within the project

I was initially attracted to the Co-Modify II Project put forth by because it forced me out of my little comfort zone which is generally something I am loath to do. What seduced me was the combination of art, albeit commercial, which is an area I have generally avoided and marketing which has always been my personal pariah.

Having completed the project which ran from May 3-9, 2009, I have but one last task to complete my search (along with Mick Jagger) for the ever elusive end-point of “satisfaction”. For that, I must review my thoughts, motive, purpose and experience.

On first perusal of the project description, I freely admit I was not entirely sure what the project mission was. In fact, make those perusals 2-6 as well! As a dedicated student and practitioner of Dharma, I am used to committing to concepts and ideas that are not infrequently confusing, seemingly contradictory and almost always esoteric. Thus I refused to give in to the obvious path and simply follow the creative work of others. I chose to pursue intrigue and participate in a project I did not fully understand. In reflection, I may have discovered a new mantra….never let a lack of comprehension keep me from my personal forays and explorations!

Having completed the project, do I now have a better understanding of its concept? “Project II will be a commentary on and exploration of the commodification of social media and, by extension, the commodification of our social lives in general.” Answer; “no”, to be honest, what the hell does that mean? I had to look up “commodification”! Perhaps that was the purpose; make it so vague that the participants would create their own concept/interpretations and by human nature we would be copying mass/social media!

Enough said…..forward with my oversimplified mission to select an imaginary sponsor and then create commercial commentary which would fit in the parameters of our internet based marketing world (I could only understand/utilize twitter as my relay).

I chose “Sharpie” for my sponsor. Although it seemed like a vision at the time, I suspect if I were forced to analyze my choice……Sharpie is universal! It is a common denominator in our society of artist, children, office staff, etc..

My initial attempt was a fairly classic magazine style advertisement.

It seemed like a good first effort but as is typically the case, “too corporate” and a little overt! I admit my first inclinations were to “Commodify” my business/or logo into everything there by marketing my brand as well as my sponsor’s, however I did not see anyone else doing this and felt somewhat tacky for this overt tactic! The random idea I had and documented with a picture was of my body being traced with Sharpie’s, like a crime scene, only I was playing hooky from work and Sharpie documented it. Never did I think so many people would find this visual appealing, funny and creative! But it worked, from that picture on a buzz was created by many twitter’s and somehow found its way to an aficionado!


From that point forward, I let Sharpie take me and mingle intimately with myself creating subsequent efforts that were more directly related to my non-conformist, half Japanese, half German, artist personality. Just seeing the combination in written text scares me! What I generally thought of was how to use Sharpie in everyday life outside of its preconceived uses.

As a working artist/metal sculptor, the initial excitement of the project was gradually blunted by the day-to-day reality of my work and I began to question my motives. It was then that my work was recognized by , the public relations social media (PSRM) spokesperson at Sharpie!

She was thrilled to see such “free” PR out there and was gracious in her compliments. Enough so that she has asked for one of our dress’s from my gallery/salon, here in humble Tucson, AZ. I was photographed in a “blk. drop cloth recycled dress w/recycled linen lining” and Sharpies attached throughout the front…for easy reach in every color a gal in design needs!


With the help of @sharpiesusan my enthusiasm was reenergized and my mission rejuvenated. We exchanged tweets and I felt as though my efforts were a success within the project. I immediately connected with @sharpiesusan. My online impression is of a bright, funny, passionate and enthusiastic woman. She seems quite genuine in a world of fake media. A true connection with someone I’d never of had the opportunity of speaking with. Thank you @platea and An Xiao for this and the opportunity to work with you and everyone that participated…on many levels! It was fascinating to watch the mix of performances and how they all did them. I am still catching up on what others put out there!



*i initially wrote this for An and @platea to be posted on their site, my experience with the project. it has not been published but this is the latest that was

perhaps i will not go with that new mantra! ignorance has never been an acceptable reason for a cause…even Buddha would agree.

complete flicker photo’s from my visual commentary