As much as I hate to leave our humid little home, a family function up North forced me to put down my pen for the past fortnight. (Ever tried to write an arts column while dancing the hora with a stomach full of smoked fish? Bad idea.) So this week I'm celebrating my unrenowned return with an artistic experiment. I've had a Twitter account — the latest must-have for self-obsessed techno-fetishists — for the better part of a year (twitter.com/skubersky). But the inefficiency of trying to use it through my aged cell phone prevented me from uttering more than a handful of tentative tweets.
That all changed when I was recently inducted into the cult of (Steve) Jobsentology via my new iPhone. Thanks to a fantastic free app called TwitterFon, I can now microblog and TwitPic my way through life with ease. In the spirit of my newfound obsession, I present the following diary of my latest adventure through Orlando's art scene on the evening of Aug. 20's Third Thursday. This chronicle is freely adapted and dramatically reinterpreted from one evening's worth of my Twitter postings. (Since I've heard it's easy to Twimpersonate worldwide celebrities like myself, I'd take everything below with a shaker of salt.)
5:28 p.m.: Trying an experiment tonight: twittering my Third Thursday art stumble. Wish me luck …. First stop is for fishy fortification at Ichiban. Dynamite rolls, warm sake, unagi for dessert. "Happy hour" and "sushi"; words together that make me smile.
6:16 p.m.: Walking into CityArts Factory. Let the art slog begin! The main hall is filled with paintings by Puerto Rican artist Juan "One" Sepúlveda; surrealist oils after Dalí, and pixelated portraits a la Harmon & Jules. In the side room, sad-looking snacks and some nondescript nature photography. Trying to figure out if there's supposed to be a theme here.
6:44 p.m.: Autumn Ames of the Red Chair Project is here for the visual art exhibit of auction items for next month's Red Chair Affair (Sept. 19 at Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre), which is billing itself as the season preview party of Orlando performing arts. There's a trio of the now-traditional IKEA kids chairs decorated by different arts organizations, plus paintings by local artists (including Bill Moran, Annie Laurie Wells and Carl Knickerbocker) in the "red chair" theme. Bidding is online and the items will be on display until Sept. 11. (BTW, the Keila Glassworks studio is gone for now, but the creative glassblowers may show up again in Parramore or somewhere else.)
6:59 p.m.: Pound Gallery has urban streetscapes by the one-and-only Swamburger (something in the line work reminds me of MTV's Liquid Television from the Aeon Flux era), along with the fabulous Consuelo Bellini and her affordable jewelry.
7:08 p.m.: Meet recent UCF grad Jessica Matos in Rojo Art + Coffee, standing next to her abstract acrylics. I dig her use of bright colors against deep muddy backgrounds. She seems thoughtful and talented. Of course she's planning on getting out of Orlando as soon as possible.
7:17 p.m.: Upstairs in the Eola Capital Loft for Feminati Couture: A Tribute to Fashion. The faded Jani Lane's sign on the brick wall makes me laugh. Love me some Liz Watkins; her mosaic-like "Peace Meal" is no exception. "Uni Erectus," a mounted unicorn skull "discovered by" Christopher M.W. Johnson, made me do a double-take, and Pam Treadwell's bird-headed "Deluxe Animal Suit" is oddly disturbing. Not much else stuck. Maybe that is the evening's theme ….
7:24 p.m.: TheDailyCity.com's Mobile Art Show U-Haul has rock-star parking on Pine. (How did Mark Baratelli swing that?) Inside the truck it's dim and humid; patrons use flashlights (decorated by Jessica Earley) to inspect works like "Barf Hand" prints by Tele V. Cheeseburger and ink drawings by Morgan Steele. Blatantly bizarre, but more interesting than most of what's inside. Brian Feldman is here and, astoundingly, not actively performing anything; I ask the iPhone sage for app advice, which he bestows benevolently.
7:54 p.m.: Off to the Arte Faire at Will's Pub: a couple of tables of handmade knickknacks and local band-inspired hot sauces, but no medieval re-enactors, as the spelling would imply. Brice Stephens' artwork is also up, in anticipation of tomorrow night's opening. Something in the crude naiveté of his craftsmanship and politics appeals to the 12-year-old in me; how can you resist a serpentine pile of poo emblazoned "Don't Shit On Me"? WUCF's Art Beat host Katie Ball is celebrating her hubby's birthday, while DJ Nigel spins Tears for Fears on vinyl near the pinball machine.
9:26 p.m.: I'll be back here on Saturday night for former Fringe development director Kristina Goetz's going-away bash (featuring Hannah Miller in a batwing headdress with Jack Fields, Earley and a paranoid android puppet as the inexplicable Thunder Hag). For now: a pint of Guinness, some hot-and-sour soup from Forbidden City down the street, and a good night's sleep.[email protected]