baker Blinker's Weblog

First and Second Life at least.

“Day of Destruction” March 31, 2008

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Calling C.N. Blinkerton, 1

Filed under: Hidalgo County, NM — baker Blinker @ 10:45 am
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Phone interview with Charles Nelson Blinkerton by baker b., March 31, 2008.

bb:

Hello sir. Hello?

CNB:

Yeah, is this baker?

bb:

Yes sir.

Honored to be speaking with you.

CNB:

Well, likewise.

bb:

Are you having a good night?

CNB:

Pretty good. Got a mug of strong tea with me so I’m doing ok.

bb:

Yeah, I’m sipping on a decaf latte. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview in the middle of the night.

CNB:

Like you, apparently, I’m a night owl.

bb:

Right. So we agreed in this interview to talk about your career a bit, since you said you don’t get to do many interviews. Then we’d like to go into your ties with Second Life some as well, probably toward the end. Does this sound good?

CNB:

Let’s get hopping.

bb:

Tell us about your career a bit. Oh, did you get a chance to look over my blog before the phone call?

CNB:

Yes sir I did, and I was pretty impressed. I’m somewhat unclear about some of it. Maybe I can ask you about that later on. I see in turn that you’ve been visiting blinkoritsover.com as well

bb:

Yes.

CNB:

The downloads I mean. That’s perfectly ok, as long as you don’t try to make any money off of ‘em. I’ve donated them to the public domain.

bb:

Right, I won’t.

CNB:

Well, to start with the career, I think you did a pretty good job in your blog, short but sweet. The death of Pollock was a turning point. It was when I was staring at the rocks already atop his grave rock — how would you put that — tombstone, let’s say — that I had the vision. Well, not then but later on, in the middle of the night. Like the Vertigo guy after the death of his girlfriend. You can insert a picture of that when you transfer this to your blog, ha ha. Now as you said I wasn’t an abstract expressionist at the time but I became one. In the vision I saw a particular peak. I didn’t know what it was until later but I knew I just had to head west. Follow the southern border of the US. I knew that I’d eventually find it. This turned out to be Hilo Peak, not the one, necessarily, in your blog, or at least the one near your home. The one near my home in Lordsburg. In Hidalgo County.

bb:

How did you find the peak, then?

CNB:

I was driving on Highway 10 after just entering Hidalgo County and all the exit names seemed familiar. There was one called Antelope Wells that I took, southbound. And a little bit down that road I saw what I knew to be Hilo Peak to my right. It’s not a huge mountain, but I knew it was the right mountain. Trekked up it that very day. And I knew I was in the right place.

bb:

How did you end up staying in the Lordsburg Motel for so long?

CNB:

Contrary to rumors, as you hinted about in your blog, I didn’t stay in the motel room for 20 years without going out. Quite the contrary: I went out at night when no one else was up much. Did a lot of my painting, then, in the open. Actually I was writing more in the motel room during the day, when I was awake.

bb:

Writing?

CNB:

Yeah the Squirt book. Didn’t you dig up that information?

bb:

Sadly, no.

CNB:

It’s a book I was working on the whole time I was in my abstract expressionist period, or the 1960s and 1970s basically. It could be considered a cut-up, like Burroughs did. It didn’t start out that way but, inspired by Burroughs work, it certainly ended up that way. I called it “Red Squirt Seven”. Then there was a sequel called “Shakenstein”. I see you knew about that one at least, because you put the word in your blog.

bb:

Truthfully, I didn’t know about that.

CNB:

Really? That’s hard to believe but I’ll trust you.

bb:

Truthfully.

CNB:

Well, maybe you got it from the same source that I did: the combination of the ghost towns Shakespeare and Steins near or nearish to Lordsburg. I spent some time in each.

bb:
Yes, you are correct. That’s what it is. So you were a writer and an artist at once?

CNB:

That’s right. It was a yin and yang relationship. Give and take. It was like I was married to each.

bb:

Can you tell us more about your relationship with Pollock? You were a surrealist at the time?

CNB:

I met Pollock through Thomas Hart Benton. We were both students of his, but not at the same time and not in the same place. He [Benton] was visiting New York with a number of people and asked me if I wanted to go along. He mentioned there was an exciting new group of painters there that may be more my style than his. I liked him [Pollock] instantly, although I realized he had his ways with people. It never bothered me much. He drank too much, especially toward the end. I was always careful to be moderate in that area. But I wasn’t in the spotlight all the time like Jackson was toward the end. Lee was a nice woman as well. I didn’t know them as well as some, but I didn’t have many friends in NYC and was a loner by nature, so I probably considered Jackson much more of a friend that perhaps he would have stated about me. Could be wrong about that. He was a great influence, though, and I realized the greatness in him from the start. I knew he was going places, for better or for worse.

bb:

Can you tell us about your work at the time?

CNB:

The surrealism? Well, a definite influence was Max Ernst. Did you know he acts as kind of a bridge between abstract expressionism and all that went on before. Insert this in your blog if you wish: the painting called “Surrealism and Painting” from 1942. The painter inside the picture is creating a Jackson Pollock action painting before Jackson Pollock created one!

bb:

So your works were heavily Ernst influenced?

CNB:

Yeah, but I don’t see them as that important any more. My real work began in New Mexico. Mind you I was almost 50 when I started renting the Lordsburg room at the [delete motel name by request]. So this was a kind of mid-life crisis, I suppose, except not so crisis-like, although it would seem to be. I was married to my painting and also my writing. I hadn’t done any writing per se, however, until New Mexico.

bb:

Is any of your writing published? I didn’t see any mention of it on blinkoritsover.com.

CNB:

I’ll save that info for later, if you don’t mind.

bb:

Not at all. There’s plenty we can talk about in the meantime. So you painted these action paintings, somewhat in the style of Pollock…

CNB:

Somewhat.

bb:

You painted them at night and wrote by day. Can you tell us about the different periods you went through with your painting in New Mexico?

CNB:

The first thing I did was make a movie. I was inspired to create a fictional following of a UFO on the main Lordsburg highway – which happend to be numbered 666 — but it was all staged. There was a reason for this. My brother provided the music. The film acted as a bridge between my surrealism and abstract expressionist periods. Ideas about what I wanted to paint came directly from that film, which I called, simply enough, “1961 Film”. And from that came the first abstract expressionist-like painting, opus 1.

bb:

You number all your paintings, like Pollock did.

CNB:

All the abstract expressionist paintings, yes.

bb:

How many of these kind of paintings have you created?

CNB:

Oh, I’d say maybe 150.

bb:

Can you tell us about the next genre switch, to a Jasper Johns-type style.

CNB:

Well, abstract expressionism is just that, very abstract, very internal and self enclosed, like I was mainly enclosed in a Lordsburg Motel at the time, or so it seemed to others. Eventually I had to come out of the womb in a public way. And again it was a film that linked the two painterly styles: “1981 Film”. This has basically the same subject matter as the “1961 Film”, except day is dawning this time, washing the abstract expressionist-like shapes, which are the same as the UFO-like shapes, away from the sky. What we have instead is stark, unrelenting reality, the Lordsburg environment, which I really began to dig during the day. I had come out of my shell.

bb:

I’ll try to give some examples of this phase of your work soon in my blog. Would you say that you’re still in this phase?

CNB:

Well, once you come out of the womb, you’re out, so to speak. Although I don’t paint quite like Jasper Johns now, I would say that this exiting is an all important step. The present phase would have begun when I created what seemed to be the first virtual burn in Second Life, when, as you put it in your blog, I stuffed or jammed all my Pollock and Johns influence work — renditions of them by uploading what’s called their texture into the Second Life grid itself — anyway, jammed it into an old, rusty wagon I also created there. Then I set the whole thing on fire.

bb:

This is something I didn’t know when creating that post for the blog, but you indicated in our initial emails to each other that this burn happened right next to The Man statue that I mention elsewhere in my blog, and which represented the very heart and soul of the Second Life world at the time.

CNB:

It was not called Second Life, then, but Linden World. Second Life only came in 2003. But, anyway, yeah, some of the residents saw the fire and thought The Man itself was on fire. So they rung up the Lindens. I tried to explain what happened but originally I was banned for a couple of days, until they could check into my credentials.

bb:

My taking the surname Blinker on my Second Life birthday seems an odd coincidence. And you’ve speculated that this surname probably comes from your name.

CNB:

It seems likely.

bb:

Did you begin to create art in Second Life?

CNB:

You could say that.

bb:

Can you give us some examples?

CNB:

Lemon World.

(to be continued)

 

“Blinker’s good enough.” (Baker B., 1/22/08, upon choosing surname for SL birthday) March 29, 2008

Filed under: Harris' Son Branch (STREAM) — baker Blinker @ 8:17 am
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Charles Nelson Blinkerton: composite, 2 (Selected Works from 1971-1981) March 28, 2008

Filed under: Hidalgo County, NM,Uncategorized — baker Blinker @ 7:15 pm
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Charles Nelson Blinkerton: composite, 1 (Selected Works from 1961-1971)

Filed under: Hidalgo County, NM,Uncategorized — baker Blinker @ 6:47 pm
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Lemon tree is no more

Filed under: Uli Sim — baker Blinker @ 5:53 am
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Baker Blinker tp-ed to Uli today to find that the lemon tree was no more. Baker Bloch had just seen it perhaps only 2 days ago. Another sign? Most likely.


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Green… Green… what was it? March 27, 2008

Filed under: Hidalgo County, NM — baker Blinker @ 7:02 am
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The relatively unknown abstract expressionist painter and filmmaker Charles Nelson Blinkerton (see above for more!) was proud to call Jackson Pollock his friend. Blinkerton studied with famous regionalist and fellow Missourian Thomas Hart Benton at the Kansas City Art Institute in the 1930s. He met the contemporary Pollock, former Benton student himself, while accompanying the regionalist to NYC in 1939. So taken was he with the career possibilities in the world’s largest city at the time that in the 1940s he took up residence first in NYC itself, and then later on at Springs, New York after Pollock himself had moved there in 1946.  In this way, he became a more minor and now basically forgotten roleplayer in the Cradle of Abstract Expressionism buzz centered around this Long Island hamlet.

Unlike Pollock and de Kooning, who also had connections with Springs, Blinkerton labelled himself a surrealist during his time in New York. It was only after the death of Pollock in 1956 and a subsequent move to New Mexico that, in his own words, he took up the banner of abstract expressionism from his compatriot whose life had been cut so tragically short.

Rumored to be locked in a Lordsburg motel room from 1961 to 1992 (partially true), he created abstract painting after abstract painting that could be stacked on top of each other to create what Blinkerton called composites. The 2 posts above represent only 2 of the numberless ways to create such composites in a digital fashion. Blinkerton preferred to exhibited his new work in this stacked manner rather than the conventional gallery method. However, he had little opportunity to do so. In New York, few took notice of his surrealist works, and after his move to New Mexico fewer took notice of his new paintings. Abstract expressionism’s time had passed, along with Pollock himself. 800px-pollock-green.jpg

Blinkerton seemed always one beat behind the current fashion or fad. In 1981, the then 70 year old artist and eccentric shifted allegiance from abstract expressionism to the neo-Dadaist pop art espouced by Jasper Johns and others, and which was also seen as out of date at the time. I’ll attempt to give some examples from this period of his career as well soon. It was only then that he dared to give up his Lordsburg motel room of 20 years and venture out into the surrounding community and beyond, into the Hidalgo County desert and brush itself.

In 2002, upon returning to his home state of Missouri to attend the funeral of his brother, William Charles Blinkerton (unclear whether this funeral was in Green City or Greencastle), he first logged onto the Second Life virtual world, then in its infancy and known as Linden World. In short fashion, Blinkerton claims to have recreated 319 of his pop and abstract expressionist works and “jam” them into an old rusty virtual wagon based on an actual example in the ghost town of Shakespeare just south of Lordsburg. He then set what he thought of as the ultimate but also final of his composites on fire, virtually speaking, in the center of Linden City which was, in turn, the center of Linden World.

Virtual burning was born then, according to Blinkerton, and not in the later Burning Life event started in 2003.

Which brings us back to the topics of this blog!
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Hilo!!!, 2 (into the fire)

Filed under: Longest Hope Mtn. (rl mtn.) — baker Blinker @ 1:34 am
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A *most* amazing hike. Now I was on Hilo Peak Mtn. again but to give you a perspective, if you look at this photo…

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…the very furtherest peak back you can see on the left hand side of the photo is the one I hiked around today to get to the places I photographed just in front, relative to this photograph that is. The distance to that particular peak is probably at least 4 miles from where the photo was taken. Maybe 4 1/2.

What I was aiming for in particular was the pond that Baker Bloch used to “cue” his whole stargate setup that allowed Lemon World to manifest in our world on the actual Hilo Peak. I guess, then, it would be more correct to say that the whole valley pictured in that linked photo above could be called Hilo Peak valley, but it’s actually one giant mountain containing what’s called a hanging valley. It is just this hanging valley aspect of Hilo Peak Mtn. (so let me get my phoney nomenclature straight: Hilo Peak is a just small peak on Hilo Peak *Mtn.* which contains this valley) that attracted the Long Hope Indians to settle there, along with presence of the legendary blue holly, of course. That’s another thing I was searching for today, not surprisingly, but “only” found a lot of spruce instead. But still there was an interesting little synchronicity involving the color blue that happened I’ll get to below.
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So here we have the actual High Lonesome Pond, which is the name I’ve given Baker Bloch’s “cueing” pond. It must have been 20 years since I made my one and only other visit to this pond, with Edna in tow. It seemed quite different, and I admit I was mildly disappointed at the sight. I remember more trees encircling the pond, even crowding it in to provide a quite mysterious ambiance. But now I find a large beaver dam at one end with the trees below and away from the dam. I wonder if my memory is faulty or if the landscape has actually changed that much. Anyway, it had been 20 years or so. I’ve been wanting to go back for the longest time but the mtn. is pretty hard to reach, and on top of that I could have been trespassing, although much of the area is now protected by a conservancy.
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Damn, I don’t remember this!
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Thought I’d throw the above photo in here because of a queer trick of perspective. The spruce tree trunks you see are only about 1-2 inches in width. Look much larger, eh?
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Here’s some grown up versions of same. Beautiful!!
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A glimpse of the hills surrounding the valley. The trees are so thick that these kind of views were hard to come by.
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So here we have the little blue synchronicity I mentioned before. I actually spied the blue tarp above from a considerable number of yards away through thick tree cover and across the Hilo Peak Mtn. Creek that started around High Lonesome Pond. At first I thought it may have been a trick of the eyes, but as I kept staring the blueness did not go away. I couldn’t make out what it was at all since it was just a speck I saw through the trees. I’m still surprised I could spot something so small; I’m not the most observant of people. Still, I’ll allow doubters to say that it was probably just the contrast with all the greens and browns around.

Then after the old road I was on crossed the creek, I saw the only bird I remember seeing that day: a blue jay. Although he didn’t stick around long enough for me to take a photo of him (drat!), I couldn’t help but think of the coincidence: *blue* jay. Then just beyond I found the tarp, the only other really blue thing I remember seeing up there (besides the clear sky!).

I mostly bring all this up because of the legend of the blue holly. Admittedly I made this legend up, and I didn’t expect to find holly. But I did find a series of blue things in a very short span. A quite tangible magic seemed to enshroud this mtn. after all!
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Another nice view of the surrounding peaks, this time over a boggy area. There are many bogs in the hanging valley, reportedly.
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Another possible mystery, and one that will tie into things that will soon come up in this blog. At the very lip of the valley, where I first entered from below on this grand hike, found a series of rocks mainly to my left that contained a large number of smaller rocks on top of them. The photos immediately above and below show the most obvious of these, but there were a number of others. If hunters or other people arranged these rocks, why did they do it a number of times with different base rocks? That’s a question Baker Bloch asked as well when he found out about them. He has some theories. Oh yes he does!
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Another example.
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Hilo!!! March 25, 2008

Filed under: Longest Hope Mtn. (rl mtn.),Uncategorized — baker Blinker @ 11:19 am
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One of the more incredible sights I’ve ever seen.

From today as well. This is Hilo Peak!!!

THANKS FOR THE PHOTOS EDNA!

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Here’s looking in the other direction into a *deep* gorge. A waterfall lies within as well.

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A smaller waterfall on the way up.

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Wowsers!!!

 

edge of the world

Filed under: Corsica Continent — baker Blinker @ 12:06 am
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In the main now, both Baker Bloch and Baker Blinker, if they depart from their respective 20 meter long “cubby holes”, like to frequent art galleries and events, such as those publicised on the Not Possible IRL site. When visiting one of these events at the International Justice Center, Baker Bloch couldn’t resist looking around at the neighboring lands before departing. His eyes lit up when he found the huge chunk of virgin sim land I give a map of below, formed apparently quite recently on the very eastern edge of the Second Life world grid.

Upon teleporting around, Mr. Bloch found that some of the land had already been developed, but there was still a lot of unspoilt forest left. Below is how he decided to record his findings. I’m not so sure of the high resolution snapshots, which takes away some of the mystery of the place. But it is a way of quite clearly seeing what is there for sure. Enjoy while it’s still around!

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3.
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ishel%20Down/12/73/80

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On 1. looking south toward 2.
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South toward 2. This is my kind of place!!
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On 2. looking south toward 3.
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On 2. looking north toward 1.
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South toward 3 looking north.
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On 3. looking north toward 2. See the edge of the world?
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On 3. looking south to tip of mainland.
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3. (north side). Hi up there!
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3. (south side).