5cense

546> Elements + Phyllotaxis: cunvergent whorl-wind trips graduating past ports in 3° person to 1990


9 Sept 2017 | DC> Whew! We dun finish'd our '80s archiving, thanx for pudding up w/ us dear Inurnet. Bud jus to bridge th' gap (since we ya post'd a few scatterd entrees from them urly '90s + also cuz dis be a pt of cunvurgence b-tween volumes 0/I + II of 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' + tom bien a diparture pt from A Raft Manifest (no longr bablando on be-½ of them devolved mongrel twins Rem+Rom... tho we'll plug th' backdrop til they launch their janky-ass raft on Oct 12)... + also here on 5cense as th' powers dat bee (Cal A. Mari + co.) x-fer'd narrativ authority to us, Anon I'm Us—th 12-yr ol' street urchin of undetourmined sex + ethnicity dream'd up a few posts ago—hola y'all!)... see, 1990 wuz not just a crushul yr in these high-flutin' books bud in th' ℝeel lives of brudders Kevin + Derek White.

In 1989 Kevin (a.k.a. Chaulky) wint off on dat whorl'd trip his 'SSES" 'SSES" MFA fesis is based on + then put hit to papel in 1990. Derek wuz still in Santa Cruz @ th' beginning of 1990, shackin' up in his crappy camper, makin' crumby cassettes + finishing out his last classes @ UCSC. Til this pt he hadn't even declared a major... a clueless lost soul, burnin' out... so he took stock of his credits + ends up he only needid a few mo' classes to git a degree in math-o-maticks (w/ a minor in pyshicks) so dats what he did yo... computational math to be specifico. UCSC had ∫um sorta undergraduate fesis reakwirement so he figger'd heed do his finel project on plant morfology, since he already dun ∫um legwork in dis area (he suck'd @ chemistry, udderwise he mite of major'd in evilotionary biology ± eekology or ∫um other -ology rather than ∫umpin' ending in -icks). How kin a 12-yr orefan git so mush dirt on these White boyz? Well see, they gave us unfetterd axess to dare journels + whatnot, dats how. Cal A. Mari also debrief'd us + gave us a style guide dat we spose to ad-hear 2, bud we figurin' shit out still so slip us ∫um slack, ok? De todos modos, it wuz sort uv a hack fesis for th math dept, mo' crunchy (as in granola) than number-crunchin'... souprized they even graduated his ass, wreckon uc regents jus wantid hymn outta thair heir. Th titel wuz Phyllotaxis: A Mathematical Model of Plant Morphology, ware (if u're like us + hat to google hit) "Phyllotaxis" reefers to th derangement of leafs on a plant stem. No doubt there wuz loads uv pre-∃xisting pop-sighents new-age bullshit bout how o-posing spirels in plants (such as sunflowrs, pineapples, etc.) come in sets of sucsessive Fibbynacho #s (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc.), bud Derek want'd to know how come dis be th' case. Hit wuz also commun knowledge dat as Fibbynacho #s got mas grande, th rayshow of sucsessive Fibbynacho #s a'proached th so-calt "golden rayshow" φ = 1.618 (or 0.618, th inverse of 1.618)... ore, x-pressed as a continued fraction:

Trippy shit, rite? ∀ll th' way back in Greek times they figger'd this # wuz special, estheckly pleasing or ∫um shit + used hit 4 ∀ll sorts a crap, like in arkitexture or canvas sizes... in fact, bookies like our benefactor Cal A. Mari (sawry, shameless plug) use dis cosmic rayshow to d-sine libros (eg ~8" x 5"). But not just humins tink this # bee dope, it occurs natchurly ∀ll ova in naychair. Ends up this golden rayshow optimizes points on a circulo, so if a plant uses this rayshow when spacing her leafs around a stem, sheel optimize sun xposure (hence photosinthesis, dumb-ass). But why lettuce botch rehashing th' jist of hit, here's th fool fesis form th horse's mouf fo' inny1 in need of a sleep-aid:

So, yah, geek-boy graduated in May of 1990, dint wait for no ceremony tho, just up + split Santa Cruz como una tortuga con tale b-tween his legs... he put key in th ignition + drove his janky mobil home up to his hippy mother's place in th shadow of Mt Shasta. Here's an action shot of him leaving th UCSC camper lot to corroborate our story:

As Chaulky used to tell 'em, mayas well put a bumper sticker on back dat declared «I Smoke Pot». Crazy thing is he dint... bud may-b he shd of. What kind of kid dont drink or do drugs in high shcool + college? Kevin advised him against painting his camper so cops woon't pull him ov'r, bud Derek figgerd he had nada to hide. He kept a tally in fact—in them Cali yrs he got pull'd ov'r 19 times + only got 1 ticket + dat wuz cuz (aft'r making an illegal U-turn in front of a cop in his '66 mustang) he handid th' occifer his license + aks'd, respectfully, if he cd run inside to th post office wile he got written up cuz he wuz in a hurry + coont find nowhere to park + th occifer wuz so baffled he said sí. Aft'r droppin' his trashy trailer off, he wint back to git Sara (his Bug... also w/ a whack paint job) + sort of wanderd around lost @ 1st, hangin' out in th desierto, abiding a sine.

headless shot of Derek w/ Sara, his '66 VW Bug, in Joshua Tree

His knee be scab'd cuz he crash'd his bike riding from Palo Alto to Sta Cruz, he definitly recalls dat... for a second b4 hit startid to bleed he cd see ∀ll th' way down thru white flesh to th bone, made him throe up on th side of th rode... his typickle response to th site of blood, specially his one. Then he had to pedal th rest of th' way to Sta Cruz w/ a bloody booboo, pobre bobo.

His brudder-½ Kevin also graduated round this time, from fancy art shcool. He had his Master's xzibit in Pasadena, June of 1990, dis much we know fo' shore cuz it sez so on th back of th' invitation (perhaps why Derek stuck around into June):

invite to Kevin's MFA xzibit



gallery front

Th xzibit cunsisted of 6 pieces similure to th "Lead" 1 on th card. As quoted from Chaulky's notes, on pg 80 of 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY':

The objects I make are built up and around the absence of the artist. The works, with the hollow(s) left by the artists hand, are never really complete unless the artist (to whom the arrangement and size of the holes are made) refills the holes with his hand. The holes could conceivably be filled by someone else (left handed, large, etc.) The dimension of the [piece] also correlates to the artist’s body, the holes are directly at groin level, the top point at eye level. The pieces share a standard size uniformly, which as I mentioned, correspond to the artist’s body (the general dimensions are 42” high, 12” wide, 9” deep). The body shapes of the pieces are ambiguous shapes which seek to subtly refer to identifiable shapes but not to being recognized as such. The metal plate (in which the holes are drilled) is no more than 10 inches square, usually flat, sometimes shaped. [The] shapes of these metal pieces are signs, symbols or icons of absence and transitoryness [sic] (Frosty the Snow Man, Starburst, the Microscopic). The body forms are covered in elements (graphite, sulfur, iron, lead) transitory in that they all react to the air we breathe to form compounds, thus never really being just elements.

∫um weird froidian thang if u aks us... aquí hay 2 más:

Untitled 1990 (Iron)

Chaulky buffing up th fingerholes on Untitled 1990 (Graphite)

Era mas of these not inklooted in th xzbit dat wuz similure in naychair, ∫um of wich they show'd in 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' vols 0+I, but if not weel be sure to inkloot them in vol II. Th actshall fesis ('SSES" 'SSES") Kevin cumpleted in August of 1990, as evidenced by th title page.

Nether Kevin nor Derek kept a steddy journel yet in urly 1990, we onelie got ∫um scatterd notes to go off. Here's a pg from 1 of Kevin's notebooks:

Not sure witch girl he's goin' on about, dont think he'd met th French 1 dat broke his heart til later. We found 1 or 2 letters b-tween Derek + Kevin from round this time, nada worthy of transcribing here tho. We did find a few pgs Derek rote dated April 18, 1990 in wich he menshuns seeing 'SSES" 'SSES" for th 1° time:

Hey, well I haven’t written in here in a while ... had to read back + see where i left off [he rip'd these pgs out so dont know what other pgs he's talkin' about] ... as if chronlogy matters. So the next morning [E] calls + we go to Monterrey to the aquarium. They had these jellyfish w/ neon lights undulating up their sides that tripped me out. What’s the function? It only makes them easier to see + expends a lot of energy? 2 crabs were fucking + it was really cool, male on top in a passionate 12 arm hug... they were going at it for while. People were embarrassed to watch. [then he goes off on more tangents, like talking about doggie maxi pads... ] + we got back to Santa Cruz. [M, his neighbor who's friend died in the earthquake] bridged the gap between our campers, so we can be like hamsters in a habitrail. Then Kevin called so i proceeded on to Menlo Park... lots of driving. He didn’t act so thrilled to see me... typical Kevin, acting lethargic + nonchalant. Like he just saw me yesterday. He’s got pork chops now + scraggly hair. Unlaced Timberland boots + an Ireland bumper sticker on his car. He showed me his thesis “SSES” ... strange stuff. Based on James Joyce, mythology as applied to autobiography. Inspires me to want to keep a journal, framed within a mythology applicable to things happening now. I was reading it under llama fur [in the upstairs guest bedroom at their grandmother's house, where their mother also stayed a lot] that was making me allergic. Staring out at the starry skies separated by a giant screen. At 6:30 Marge [a wild cat he rescued from @ a hotel he worked @ in high school + gave to his mom] started knocking all sorts of shit over on the chair. [... continued in his handwriting on the actual page below...]

Maybe we'll find more as we put together 'SSEY"...

then he park'd Sara in his mother's barn + got th' hell outta dodge

In July of 1990, Derek set off on an odyssey of his one. As he menshunned in th last post, he had a thing for Indonesia + set his sites on Bali... @ least as primero dustynation, from dare he wd see where th road took hymn. He had unlimited time + 5 Gs to his nombre (wd be nice, rite?), leftova from dinero dare father left each of them when he up + died... trustafarians spose u cd call 'em. Kevin quickly burnt thru his moola in art school + L.A. living (+ th trip round el moondough he took in '89) + startid to rack up debt. But UCSC era mas barata (+ th community college where Derek ticked off most of his lower division credits even cheaper, basickly gratis) + no doubt living in a camper saved on rent. He did dat cliché thing where u git an ISIC card (killer discounts!) + a youth hostile ID:


When he priced tickets to Bali w/ STA, there wuz cheap tix where u cd stop off a bunch of times in th South Pacific @ no addl cost, so seem'd silly not to, rite? As he re-members, he got a ticket (1-way off corse) from LAX > French Polynesia > Cook Islands > Fiji > New Zealand > Australia > Papa New Guinea, ∀ll for ~$500. In sted of flying, he endid up crewing on a boat from Fiji to NZ (wich reminds us, we need to transcribe dat journel... tho he did post this xcerpt). He had a ticket to PNG cuz Australia required u to have an onward ticket, from there he figger'd he cd mozy his way to Indonesia, Asia + b-yond. While he wuz able to travel rather frugally (campin' out or stayin' @ hostiles in th South Pacific + riding a 10-speed round NZ + working on "WWOOF" farmstays) Oz left a hole in his pocketbook... even hitch-hiking folks wd aks u to pitch in for petrol, wich wuz muy expensivo, as wuz coffee wich aussies sold by th cup (~$2), unlike ∀merika w/ th bottumless tradition. So he scalped his PNG ticket + in sted puddle-jumped Darwin to Flores. In Indonesia 1 cd live like a king for 5 bucks a day, but he'd ya squandered a fair bit of his funds just hitch-hiking thru th outback of Oz... in retrospeck he wd of skip'd her. He continued onto Malaysia aft'r dat, but b-sides running low on moola he wuz running low on moral ... innyhow, we aint gunna a'tempt to ∫ummarize 1990 in this here post, we'll fill in th blanks as we see fit. We will however inkloot his overdue passport pgs from 1988-1998, like how he did from 1980-85 + 2007-2017 (leaving ony 1998-2007):

seams in most official photos from these dayz he's got gumballs in his mouf


[Mexico + Belize, 1988]


[Guatemala 1988 + Mexico 1989]


Fiji '90 + Tahiti '90 + Malaysia '91


Mexico '88 + Indonesia '90 + Singapore '91 + Cook Islands '90


Australia '90 (work visa) + New Zealand '90


Malaysia '91 + Argentina '91 + Chile '91


Chile '91 + Bolivia '91 + Canda '96 + Peru '91



Mexico '96 (work visa) + Brazil '96 (5 yr work visa)


Mexico '98


Canuck work visa tucked into last pg

Wheel link up unlinked stamps to correosponding posts as we git to them journels. Wile were @ it tho, mayas well post Chaulky's passport pgs... most of th journels from these travels can be found in 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' .

+ his trekking permit he had tuck'd into th' last pg along w/ his ISIC card:

 545 <( )> 547 > Guanajuato underground: vampire zombees, loculized cryptography + Lazarillo de Tormes

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