Friday, May 25, 2012

It's Semi-Official!



Sue Killam and Eric Enderle from the Hunter Center for Performing Arts at MASSMoCA in North Adams came here for a studio visit on May 1, and we talked about details for the show there this fall. They took videos of my space so that it could be re-created on the stage up there, and we talked logistics with Greg Whitmore, the videographer who will be shooting more footage during the installation and show. This is getting to be very exciting!

The concept is that the installation will be about half complete when the show opens on October 5 and will continue until Saturday afternoon, the 6th. Visitors will be able to watch the process. I will be there helping and, when the installation is done, will be working in my on-stage studio and answering questions. The show will close on Sunday the 14th or the following day. We'll be more specific soon.

I can't wait!

31 comments:

  1. Congratulations, hope everything keeps going along smoothly.

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    1. Thanks, Matt! I appreciate your support. What would you like to see on this blog?

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    2. I can't speak for Matt, but I'd like to know more about your cards and the rules connected to them. I saw the video a couple of days ago, and your map is fascinating.

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  2. Congrats Jerry! I got the prints I ordered--thanks for the bonus miniature! I'll look in on the ebay store every so often. Wish I could make it out to western MA to see the full expanse. - Sam

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  3. Jerry, we will be there for the weekend before the closing. I wish we could see the installation. I LOVE the map!

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  4. this got posted on Reddit, prepare to explode across the internet, and soon the entire world. We are where things begin.

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  5. Jerry,

    Is there any way you can post the "rules" of how you run the map? Like all the cards and such? You could start something drastically new with your wonderful creativity. Please let other people know how you do what you do as well and share your imagination.

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    1. How about making a facsimil deck of cards based on the lovely deck I saw in the documentary, and sell it? I'd buy one!

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    2. The rules are a bit long to post here, and, as you know, they change over time. I'd be glad to give you some basics, though. For starters, the panels are stored in stacks, and I work my way through those stacks (arranged in spreadsheet-type rows) by drawing a card to tell me how far down the stack to move. A jack, for example sends me 11 panels down the stack. I then copy that panel, store the original, and start to re-work or add to the copy. If the panel is a first generation one it generates or "spawns" a new panel of the same type (land or water). I look at my master map to determine the closest spot on the periphery of The Map (to the spawning panel) and place the new panel there. New panels are painted in the same color as the spawner if they are land in nature and collaged in light, medium, or dark blue if the spawner is water. Clear? Or have I lost you along the way? That is the most basic system for determining the over-all layout of The Map.

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  6. Spectacular work. Just saw the post on reddit:http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/v0wd8/sim_city_done_manually_for_50_years/

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  7. I just watched your video, and was particularly taken by your creativity and the drive to work on the map solely for your own pleasure. I work professionally as an artist, and I wish I had that kind of devotion to my own work. I was intrigued by your deck of cards, If you don't mind it, I'd like to create a deck of my own and see where it takes me. I wish you all the best,

    -B

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    1. By all means create a deck! That random element is what keeps my fascinated. I even use the card process to determine in what order I do chores when I am at the farm since the list of things that need doing is always endless and I am helpless at determining priorities.

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  8. Hi Jerry,

    Like many others, I saw the short video/documentary about your work. It was quite fascinating, and I wish I could attend a gallery showing. I look forward to the future times of the "Gretzinger World." Best of luck!

    - Jacob

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    1. With any luck we will be able to set up a map site where I can post panels and people can zoom in to see details. I don't have the time or expertise to accomplish that but maybe one of you out there does....Calling all geeks!

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  9. I am blown away by this whole thing. I heard about it, and honestly ignored it, then when i actually looked into it i was dumbfounded. The story, the elements, the total lack of, yet complete control of the future of your map. The concept of the void is amazing, and the first connotation i had was it was evil. but the more i thought about it, was it truly? and i mean honestly I've thought about this whole thing every single day and just imagine the whole thing. What you have done is truly something that puts most authors to shame. they create a story, you sir have created a world, one that i can say I'm glad to be able to partake in. (P.S. i had misconceptions about the void, but the red dimension is totally evil, id like to see the void and it go head to head, only time will tell...)

    Thank you so much

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    1. Thanks for your note, Jake. The Void was created a few years ago when a friend of mine was attempting to write the story of The Map. He told me that we needed an evil force to create the kind of conflict that readers seem to need. I said that I would do that but only if there were also a third mediating force. That hasn't happened, but The Void is, as you suggested, not totally evil. People snatched away by The Void are simply transported to another dimension. (Please don't confuse this concept with the biblical Rapture!)And, yes, it's true that the Red Dimension can destroy any dimension beneath it, including The Void. Don't tell anyone but there is another dimension which will supersede Red. It may not appear for a few months, however.

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  10. I just finished watching your video on wimp.com. How amazing! Your work is beautiful. The thought came to my mind (and maybe this is my generation presenting itself) that this concept needs to be made into a movie shot from the viewpoint of the people living in the world your map depicts.

    Anyway, thank you for your creativity and brightening my day.

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    1. Tell that to Hollywood! I'll be there! Thanks!

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  11. Found your video on wimp and i must say im amazed!
    The first thought i got was "wow this guy should make some maps in minecraft"
    if you dont know what that is check it out
    http://www.minecraft.net/
    Anyway, keep up the awesome work!

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  12. I just saw a video about your map on Vimeo - I am astounded - it's beautiful!

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  13. Hello Mr. Gretzinger I was hoping you could email me at mason@bamspeck.com as I believe I have an odd concept to share with you. I will say this may open your eyes as to the potential you could reach and I plea that you contact me, thank you for your time.

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    1. Will do, Mason! Would love to hear your idea.

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  14. Jerry, thank you so much. This is really fantastic. As life-long 'musser' and builder of worlds, I'm really moved and inspired. I am looking forward very much to bringing my children to your exhibit.

    My questions: How have the tools you use(the paper, the pens and pencils, the paints) changed over time, and have you found ones that work best for a project like this? Did you ever take formal education in technical illustration, or did you just study maps in extreme detail and learn as you go? Do you have other details of the map-world thought out, like what sort of government they have, and how education works and so on? The Ukranians building a wall to keep out the Void definitely implies this. Following that, how do you come up with the names for things on the map? Lastly, what suggestions or advice or cautions might you make to your former self about this work, and what might you give to someone (of any age) with similar interests in paracosms* and map-making?


    *From wikipedia: "A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world, or fantasy world, involving humans and/or animals, or perhaps even fantasy or alien creations. Often having its own geography, history, and language, it is an experience that is developed during childhood and continues over a long period of time: months or even years."


    Thank you very much,
    Meguey

    meguey@earthlink.net

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    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful note, Meguey!

      Let me see if I can answer your questions.

      My original tools were ballpoint pen and what, at the time, was called "typing paper." I added colored pencil (Prismacolor yellow/green and Copenhagen blue) a little later. I have since experimented with almost all common mediums (except oil): watercolor, acrylic, India ink, collage (mostly my own images printed onto label paper), photos, pencil, marker. And, of course,
      I make use of lots of color copying, a medium undreamed of when I started in 1963.

      My only related formal training was in architecture which I studied at both the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley. I was always fascinated with maps as a kid and took all the free gas company maps I could from those stands in gas stations of the 50s era. We also seemed to have an endless supply of National Geographic maps. I loved tracing rivers back to their sources.

      The details are not carefully thought out, I have to admit, but new details keep coming to me as I work.

      The names of places, through time, have been determined by many different techniques. Currently one of the techniques I use is the surnames of people who buy Map prints from me on eBay. So, if you want a mountain named for you.........

      Advice? Just go do it! Explore the crevices of your mind and put that on paper!

      Thanks, lastly, for the new vocabulary!

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  15. I greatly admire what you are doing, since I'm in the same business, only my maps are cartoon maps. My company is called Fun Maps USA (funmapsusa.net). I drew my first map in 1982. I lost count at 100 maps. I'm glad that you have put what you do onto a blog so that we can follow your progress.

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    1. Thanks, Bron! I admire your kind of work, too, and will take a look at yours.....

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  16. This is remarkable. I wonder if anyone has ever approached you about an online interface for your world. Something akin to google maps, with a timeline so you can see the generations and panels evolve, maybe play like a video. With that spreadsheet you have, i imagine you have enough information to do this.

    If no one has, and you are interested, let me know. I'd be fascinated to see how it's played out over time, and it'd be a honor to help out anyway I can.

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    1. That would be fantastic, Danny! How do I get in touch with you?

      Thanks!

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  17. Hi Jerry. I work with Janine at UPPERCASE as the online editor. I'd love to feature the creation of the exhibition on our blog this fall. Can you get in touch with me and put me in touch with the folks from MASSMoCA too?
    Thanks!
    Erin

    erin@uppercasemagazine(dot)com

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