Friday, 20 June 2014

Paetron False Machine

I have been considering doing a Paetron for False Machine and this is an attempt to work through in my head how I would do that and ask what you would think.

So what would I do if people were paying me to do it? It wouldn't be enough to just run the blog. It would have to be about something. Not exactly a Job, but an effort directed towards some outside goal.

It would have to renew month-by-month as the amount of effort I could put in would vary considerably if, for instance, I got a job.

Essentially I  would try to find out about form. That's what I'm most interested in at the moment.

I would start with sculpture and mini's and work out from there.

The more money I get the more forcefully I would pursue it, partly because the money allows me to, but also because of the moral weight and spurring effects of guilt. Despite the fact that I fucking hate Thomas Hobbes with a passion my internal world is quite Hobbsian. There is only fear and the absence of fear and if someone pays me actual money to do something then I can’t fuck about on it.

In between doing that I would probably fill up the spaces of the blog with my usual rambling about whatever I am interested with like I do now. If I read a book and it's any good I wold try to do a proper review or something rather than just dropping quotes. (The problem with really big, dense, good books is they have too much interesting stuff in them to do a ‘light’ review and have it be anything other than a pastiche. If you do a two page review of ‘Democracy in America’ you may as well just have kept your mouth shut and given it five stars, because you won’t have anything meaningful to say about it in that space.)

If I do a bunch of interviews I will probably put them together in a book. (I would do this at no profit of course, it wouldn't feel right taking money for someone elses words.)

I would be kind of like a reporter, but a reporter dedicated towards a general theme or self-assigned subject. Like a shit version of Bldblog.

Right now, at this moment, my interest in gaming & D&D is at an ebb. This  might be for a number of reasons.

- Lots of already-made stuff clogged in the out-pipe and its turning toxic.
- Summer depression coming up. (Expect this one to be a bit worse than usual.)
- Just changing as a person maybe?

It would have to be done on no money so only with:
- Email interviews.
- Stuff I can read online.
- Stuff I can access in Liverpool.

that's limiting.

Also. What people really want from this blog is basically funny stories and random tables, the stuff about art they don't care about as much.



This is the main theme to which everything else connects. Its the theme of making shapes out of things.

This is like the stuff you have already seen. Mini sculptors and designers are prolific, accessible, inventive and use a wide range of design processes and  production techniques. There is a dearth of interviews and analysis not of the mini's themselves, but of the design of the mini's.

Essentially: people look at real buildings from the bottom up. They look at model buildings from the top down. Although one is meant to simulate the other . They are in fact utterly different things and not many people seem to talk about this.

One part of this is wargame buildings needing bold rooftops profiles more than  useful doorways. Another is real building being roof-dominant in real life because everything is planned by and sold by a process in which a group of people look down onto a tiny building. What does it matter if a building had a cool roof that looks good? Answer: it doesn't that much. Get the doors right, get the gutters right. That’s what people will see. What does it matter what a building looks like in the bright source-less light of a computer simulation? Answer: it doesn't. In the UK the majority of its real existence will have the same building in slow dawns, long dusks, grey skies, light rain, pale endlessly modulating light. Design for that. Design for gloom.

I am not sure what I would write about this. There is a fair amount of it about in Liverpool at least. The first thing I have noticed is that equality seems to be quite bad for monumental sculpture. As you go back in time the sculptures in Liverpool;

A. Get bigger.
B. Become more personal ie more related to a particular person or action.
C. Are better.

Example- one of the oldest in Liverpool’s monumental district is the big fucking tower for Wellington. It's huge. It’s about one guy. it has a list of where he was at particular times. The most recent is a monument to "all victims of Oppression". Its a bit of slate with the above words cut it. That's it.

Groups of people designing things for companies. Not much work done on the aesthetics of this. Or the theory (I am sure you will let me know in comments if/how I am wrong about that.)

Privateer, GW and..  the others. Always more you can find out about these guys. Especially shifts in production techniques and the use of moulds. Design processes. A big interest I have is how shifts in materials and production change models and alter for the structure of imaginary worlds. (ie the 40k universe in the 90's was a more confident place because to run the pewter through a mould it has to act like a river, its easier to cast longitudinal sections 'across' the line of the mould instead of 'into' it so that leads to a lot of mini's standing like disco dancers with a weapon held in each splayed  arm, weapons and arms all on the same axis.)

The people who make aliens and masks are another example of people who do a LOT of creative work at an intensive level but it isn’t considered 'art' because blah blah blah.

The Stan Winston Workshop. The 'mimic's from edge of tomorrow, the masks from Thor 2 etc.

There is auteur theory which is about how one clever bastard forces a bunch of drones to obey his vision, but there is no gestalt theory about how someone infects a bunch of competent specialists with an idea and then they slowly accrue details and inventions, the thing becoming a powerful cohesive whole while being passed back and worth through the hands of many individuals, which seems to be how good things are produced in companies. So I suppose I would invent that theory and find out how it worked, though that would probably be the longest and hardest of these things to actually do to a reasonable level.

I have written a little about the use of constraints in creation before but, if I did look carefully at processes across a wide range of creators, I would probably/maybe be able to work out if there are patterns shared between interesting people.


This is the hot new sauce in terms of production. There are probably a shitload of people already writing about this all over the internet. I don't know how many of them are looking deeply into the art aspect. In terms of mini's 3d printing lets you do some interesting stuff that challenges convention. You can print stuff like linked chains or forms within forms. You can link the purchaser directly to the design process and give them exactly what they need exactly when they want it.

Will that make Mini's better? I have a feeling de Tocqueville would say 'non'. A bunch of nerds getting what they want will produce boring mealy shit. But maybe you are wrong Alexis!

I did have the idea that good designers could produce 'shape libararies’ so if, for instance you want something designed with the feel of Jess Goodwin or Naum Gabo then you just go to the Gabo library and build you thing out of the shapes and forms you see there. So you get an original thing but it has the 'feel' of a particular creator.

And licensing pure shapes and lines is something copyright has never had to deal with before. can I build a library of Henry Moore volumes and lines and sell access? can I build a Barbra Hepworth tool for my CAD program that won't let me draw a line she wouldn't draw and them build things with it?

This comes from the Grossman interview. Right towards the end she mentions that almost every made thing around us is the result of the Mould. I looked into industrial production methods and she's basically right. To make something you either get a solid thing ad cut it to the right shape, or you make it liquid or soft and use a mould. Which means every created thing carries inside it the logic of gravity and fluids in certain states. Everything plastic glass or metal was once a fluid.

3d printing threatens to change that for the first time. It builds objects with complex internal structures, not as constructions, but as basic elements. Of all the changes printing objects will bring I think this is the most important and also the most difficult to see and understand. How do you even see the hidden unifying logic in everyday objects? How can you think about what happens when that changes?

Also I had the idea you could 3D print food and the makeup of it is usually granular like the base used for metals. Grain and rice and sugar and flour and whatever are just particles. Not sure what you could do with that? Pre-assembled complex foods? Foods with highly complex internal forms?

I don't really know anything about this yet. The reason I started thinking about it was that I had the idea that fashion and naturalistic sculpture are kind of like strange relatives. They are both concerned with form and with shape. Sculpture creates or builds the shape out of space and material. Fashion starts with the assumption of form, then alters or interprets it with a soft and flowing surface. Fashion is like liquid sculpture.

Not sure what I would do here. Invent alien bodies then try to find out how they would dress and how the imaginary movement and shape of them would affect what they wear in the hope it would reveal unknown truths?


What do you think? Would this be a good idea? Is it something you, or anyone, would want to see?

If anyone has used paetron, does it work? What should I ask payments for? Per post? Per week? Per month?

Is this a crazy or stupid idea?


  1. Might be crazy, but it's certainly not stupid. I'm actually supporting another blog via Paetron at the moment. Which is Courtney Campbell's blog Hack and Slash ( I prefer Paetrons that have payments per product/post myself, though the more common seems to be per month. You do interesting stuff, though I'm a bit sad that your interest in D&D stuff is ebbing. Would still be willing to toss a few dollars a month to keep you putting out the interesting stuff you put out.

  2. I'd definitely prefer a monthly payment, what you do at the moment is brilliant and if some money every month let's you carry on but MORE that's perfect.

    As for the ebbing of interest in D&D that's no problem to me, you've produced lots of great stuff already and maybe your interest will return in the future. Keep writing about what you're interested in! Especially if it's art and sculpture (and Liverpool, it's a pretty awesome city).

  3. I also came for the D&D, but I have stayed for the far-ranging interesting stuff and I'm happy to support you in all of the above mentioned endeavors.

    As for Patreon, I am also backing Courtney Campbell and Dyson Logos. I believe both have it set up as a charge per post but I'm only billed monthly. Backers also have the option to set a monthly maximum, and creators have the option to set tiered "rewards" per level of support per unit of production. These don't have to be tangible stuff: Courtney offers commentary on the posts he puts up, and Dyson asks contributors over a certain level to send him ideas for maps he might use.

    Anyway, looking forward to helping support you putting interesting stuff out there.

  4. I don't care what you do as long as we get to hear about that Gestalt Theory. Closest things I can think of to do with Gestalt Theory are this book:

    This Doctor Who Blog:

    And this other book about the origins of the State:

    Particularly this bit on State desire, which I think is the idea which "infects" people that you're talking about here - ideas which have people:

  5. Why don't you write fiction or poetry?

    1. I am actually trying to write fiction at the moment.

    2. Actaully actaully it is one of a number of things I am not doing becasue I am extremly depressed and buried in self-loathing. I am not re-editing the Medusa Maze, I am not looking through the latest proof of DCO, I am not writing any fiction, I am not proceeding with the Paetron thing, I am not cleaning the bathroom, I am making lunch.

    3. Don't bury yourself in self-loathing. You're a very talented guy.