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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Monday, August 01, 2005

summer, 1993

I lived in a big house with a bunch of roommates on the south side of Minneapolis. It's still there, on Garfield, looking much the same as it always has...except now I bet it's a hive of blogging and net activism....lol.

Any given morning, me and my buddy Martin would throw on sneaks and drink some coffee at any of our five favorite haunts within a two block radius. (ah, the Wedge). Summer in the midwest is hot, humid...you really know you're in the middle of a continent...but that was nothing an iced coffee and a doughnut couldn't fix.

We were temps. We were slackers. He was a video artist. I was a film student. We both had about as little money as everyone else who was unemployed and had temped their way through the 1991/92 recession...which meant not much money at all.

But in Minneapolis, as in Austin, or Milwaukee, or Bloomington or Madison....not having money wasn't much of an impediment to us post-college types. There was stuff to see, museums to go to, movies in the park, free music all the time everywhere, the Minneapolis public library, cheap beer.

1993 was a good summer to be 23. A good year. I remember walking by Loring Park and thinking....aside from the fact that I'm a directionless slacker, life is pretty good...pretty damn good. Ah, the Clinton years.

Martin, in my 'film student mind', was a video art genius. A kind of Ernie Kovacs for the cable access age. He did stuff on his programs that I begged him to archive and get in a museum somewhere, someday. Cable Access, in 1993, seemed like this weird, public, "out there" form of communication with democratic potentials that hadn't even begun to be explored, and Martin just wielded it in very creative and sometimes controversial ways. Folks like us talked about Sadie Benning, Pixel Vision and the radical nature of indie films. When I watched Richard Linklater's Slacker, it was like, "hey, that's me, in triplicate."

Of course, that was before blogs. And google. Before dot coms and cheap laptops.

In the intervening years, I lost touch with Martin.

But, you know, in this medium, we never really lose the possiblity to peer back into a different world, one we've left behind.

Props to you, friend, and best of luck....keep flying the flag. I hope you've saved your archives.


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