Guest blogger – tipota

Guest blogger – tipota


Today I have great pleasure in introducing you to the uniquely talented and wonderful blogger tipota – proprietor of spaces between trees. Her real identity will remain a secret but I can tell you that she is an innovative and experimental artist (visual, sound), writer and genius to boot! Her blog contains poetry, story fragments, ideas and her distinctive audio/visual podcasts (all composed and produced by tipota). She loves cats and has been known to look after the lost and found felines of her neighbourhood in Cape Cod, USA.

I can also reveal an ‘exclusive’ photo of tipota (above) – haha – one of only 2 in existence on the net, I am told (we are used to her cartoon gravatar, below). This is all very exciting, so let’s get to the questions and answers. Over to the inimitable tipota.


Why do you blog?

Thanks Gabrielle!

it’s always somehow magical to see the pieces ‘publish’. (when placement doesn’t match preview and if something is really way off, i have to figure out the html or rather unlock the secrets of WYSIWYG the automatic thing and try to fix it. or see how it works with a different editor. with options of which editor to use, new or old one – the actions work differently from one to the other. so it’s kind of like stardust collects into a solid image and view when it comes up. even if it comes up wrong) (and then it also can look different with different browsers, or color settings, or resolutions but that doesn’t bother me – i think that may be a bothersome thing for picky upscale brand names with cross-marketing on commercial websites). I’m not able to be quite picky enough with the basic template, and then as things go forward, the new editor will become the old one and a newer new one will take its place, etc. better if they kept them all and just numbered them because each upgrade both wins some and lose some.

and also the message. i had an idea for that when i first started. i started because a friend of mine was entertaining the public with her blog for the newspaper, she was an art teacher who left the trade to ‘pursue her own art’ – the blog was about all sorts of things but always had this sharp witty perspective. it was good too, because as a local teacher in the public schools many people knew her and followed her postings. she wrote outside the box about politics, animals, art, the vision in everyday experience. but the format only allowed text, no images. i got to reading and commenting and it was so much fun i thought about doing one in the wider world.

when i decided to start spaces between trees (sbt), i only knew about the text. honestly. i was way behind the average person in exposure to online cultures. i was only using the computer for design when friends were getting into chat rooms. and people were chatting about chat rooms and i was clueless ha ha. one friend had become an administrator on this math and science message board. she got so addicted that it was painful when her computer went out for over a week. blogs also were starting to circulate among people i knew.

it was when changes to copyright law were sneaking through our systems and controversies over that were forming coalitions that i started the blog. i was doing my bit. senator kennedy was alive then, and being that i was a ‘constituent’ who had been a delegate once, he answered my letters personally, thanked me for material to argue the point. he wrote that he hadn’t known the practices around selling original artwork to companies who would then use it in manufacturing of housewares, giftwares, paper products, textiles, furnishings, ceramics you name it including book and media jacket covers. and if it was successful, every other company in the world doing the same product would do a knock-off, the offshore reduced price/quality. the industries would squeeze every drop out of a winning pattern. it would trickle from the designer upscale down to walmart, and get clunkier along the way. it would take a long time to die. you’d be buying ivy patterned curtains with matching napkins for the next 4 years until it finally went away. the artists were tearing their hair out wondering when the public wold ever get sick of buying this crap trying to create new things, and the salesmen were trying to revamp whatever sold most or predict a blockbuster while the manufacturers were scrambling to put together mass production and there were always limitations. the law allowed already that a small 10% difference was within the realm of acceptable, enough to bypass copyright infringement, wink wink. this, i had written him, even without these proposed changes.

they give any manufacturer who licenses art and pays royalties a ripe chance to opt for the ‘orphan-trade’ instead. easy to do since the network of freelancers are clamoring for work. everything and anything could be claimed ‘orphaned’ if it is sold for reproduction rights under a company’s label, or by a ‘work-for-hire’ contract, and it could be converted to a dozen different things, produced and sold by truckloads before whomever owns the copyright ever finds out. alas, he informed me that much of the push for change had to do with the internet, and not so much with the use of art in and on products. but that he could see how a new ruling would affect these areas. there are thousands of artists who do this kind of work. because they cant find a living wage with their own. and the pay is good. anyway, because of this, and because of my friend’s newspaper blog, i decided i needed to see what it was about. i really didnt have much intro to begin with. and then i found out how wonderful it was to experiment and have this new fascination. i have to admit it was a whole other ballgame when i first started. learning a new field really, and that is inspiring. gingatao left the first ever comment on my blog. i’d had it there for several months and just kept exploring with it, had not either commented anywhere or received any comment, had taken a few months off and gone away, and when i came back, there it was. great surprise! it was really great!

in the time between clicking the “Publish” button and when the “Post is Published” sign comes up, there’s a part of me that is aware of related things like printing presses, grinding out everything from fliers to fine art reproductions. the ‘analog’ camera and complex chemical processing, etc. and earlier ‘posting’ communication practices were in deep contrast to the internet where there is no limited edition concept, as well as multiple formats and the ability to do several tasks at once so a post can include diverse elements. and you dont need to sort out fonts or make color separations. you dont ink anything or press the plates. all in all i think i do sbt because it’s really fun. but if i just said that, the answer would be really too short

What do you like best about blogging?

it has worldwide connectivity, and people do have the right and do pay to keep upgraded etc and contract the server/connection, it is a powerful tool, and collectively it is more informative than any other kind of medium imo, in a way that is direct and multifaceted.

important for me is the flexibility, that i can use different forms, writing, video, photos, art, music, etc. it’s really a wonderful environment – the enrichment it offers on so many levels.

communication, basically. and because of it, i come to know creatively talented people like you! i enjoy comments that spur me on to think differently about something. that is very rewarding. and i enjoy reading and commenting other blogs, keeps it moving. i see it as an important medium not yet fully defined and so has more unknown possibilities. which is a great place to be.


thanks tipota for that fascinating response 🙂

18 thoughts on “Guest blogger – tipota

  1. thanks gabrielle, this was really a fun thing to do, and something i hadnt done before, it really put down some roots for me. i can feel my feet standing on the cloud ha ha
    oh yes flower power, i love flower power! good title for a poem ha ha, over to you now!

    1. I have read your interview a few times tipota, and each time I get some new, deeper understanding – you blow me away with your perception, and that stuff about copyright is just amazing (how depressing for visual artists) – I knew nothing about that at all.

      1. the “Orphan Act” at the time was setting up legislation to require the copyright office and potentially private (?) registries to assemble all information on copyright, and each artist (not just visual but across the board: musicians, writers, etcetcetc) would be required to register (for a fee) any work they want to retain copyright to. it was also proposed to be retroactive 34 years! so any piece of art someone did years ago that was not registered would not be copyright protected and would be designated “Orphaned”

  2. aloha tipota and Gabrielle – your responses fascinated me tipota. coming from the visual arts end of creativity, i’ve had to deal with that copyright issue for a long while now too. it certainly has gone through some long lines of thinking, not to mention trying to meet the New Needs created by the ever expanding technological (as well as materials) world. i try very hard to put a copyright on my work. every bit of it – even pages in sketchbooks – (partly to be in the practice of doing it – but then partly because i never know when i might use something in one of my sketchbooks as a base or part of another work that goes to completion in some way). i do this knowing that in many cases a copyright is easily removed or ignored when people want to do so. i just see it as and indicator of my intent. plus i try to make it easy to contact me if a person wants to, regarding use of my work. again, that’s easily bypassed and i wouldnt have a clue as you mention until long after it’s happened – if i ever did find out. …and then of course… what to do about it. it would take a lot to be worth the time to do something in most cases. so… i just try to aim at the good side of people and trust and show my intent.

    it sounds like some of your motivation is exploration – i like that about technology right now too (and have regarding all of my art for a long time as well), altho i dont think i immerse myself in as many areas of technology as you do (way cool on that) – there is simply so much and so many hours of life…

    for a couple of decades now i’ve felt that the net is simply (or may be complexly) a new frontier and that we are the pioneers. the edges simply keep expanding faster than i can run. bwahahahahaaha – it is a fun run tho. currently, i’m having way too much fun creating on an iPad with apps. sheesh. another all new territory for me.

    so – just to say, i enjoyed your responses and felt a lot of kinship in them. like you said, connecting around the planet – that in itself is awesome (yeah, i do have some familiarity with the Cape). i find it extremely interesting too, that i can speak to you from one end of the USA to the other (almost) – and almost instantly too – and at the same time have the potential to reach people around the planet, again – as with Gabrielle. amazing this frontier – and fun… aloha.

    1. Thanks Rick. I think the new frontier thing is true and interesting and running to keep to the front – hahaha – it is impossible to keep up with everything but fun to try with some (like you with your ipad apps, which I want to get oneday – for the kids too, with the art stuff – they both love to draw/paint – whereas I am more the words person – with a few photos for good luck 😉 )

  3. I love Tipota for her wit, her creativity and her passion. I also like that she saves all those cats. And in the photo you look like a sprite from the woodland, Tipota. Very cool. FAB interview!

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